Thursday, October 2, 2014

Flashback Thursday Tips for Visiting Quebec City

Here are a few tips for things that are important to know when traveling to Quebec.

Passport- These days, you need a passport (if by air) or at the very least a passport card to cross into Canada from the United States. This applies to all American citizens no matter whether you drive, fly, cruise or take the train. Children have different rules, check the U.S. State Department website for details. 

Money - Use your ATM or credit card whenever possible. Never use a Bureau de Change; the rates are awful. Banks charge a heavy fee to change your money, so they are also best avoided. Check with your hotel: most will exchange some money for you at a competitive rate. Also, many stores and restaurants in Quebec will give a generous exchange rate for American dollars, sometimes even better than the official rates.

Weather - This is a hard one. Even in June or July we needed to wear a light jacket or sweater at night. It is very unpredictable. Some years we roast, some we freeze. It is often rainy so pack layers: this way you can add or remove as needed.There is almost always a strong breeze as the wind whips down the St. Lawrence River.
Dining-  If the weather is beautiful, dine outdoors and people watch. There are many iconic French dishes offered but you can dine on a variety of international cuisines. Things to try: poutine, tourtiere, crepes and anything with maple including ice cream.

French - Remember this is a French speaking province, and even if most Quebecois do speak English, it's always nice to learn a few key phrases in French, just to show that we are not ugly Americans. Believe it or not, not everyone in the world speaks English, and after all, why should they? We are visiting their country. So say bonjour, merci and s'il vous plait. 

Most of all enjoy the unique differences in culture, language, architecture and food. It is all good. 

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