Taking a winter walk through Quebec City might be cold, but it’s sure to leave visitors awed by the legendary attractions, including historic architecture, delicious food and drink, and classic holiday decor.
In this episode of Walk With T+L, guide Francis Pichette of Tours Voir Quebec takes viewers on an enchanting tour through the snow-packed streets across Quebec City. A cozy wintertime ambience is imbued in every corner of the city, from an ice-skating rink under the Saint John Gate, to the shop windows decked in lights and garlands.
Quebec has plenty of architecture highlights that are easily accessible on foot, including City Hall, Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, Quebec Seminary, and some of the oldest houses in North America which date back to the 1600s. Pichette says Saint-Pierre Street is “probably one of the rare places…where you can see a little bit of every era of architecture of the continent.”
Pichette is served a classic lunch at restaurant La Buche, which has the hygge feel of a Canadian fishing cabin. As the guide indulges in decadent cheese fondue, viewers also learn about a traditional drink called Kariboo, which is warm wine mixed with other liquors and spices, and the star of Quebec’s annual Winter Carnival every February.
When Pichette turns a corner and finds himself in the Place Royale Town Square, the holiday magic really comes to life, with twinkling lights and festive greenery adorning the historic stone buildings. Nearby, whimsical Petit Champlain Street has won recognition as the most beautiful merchant street in Canada, Pichette says, and it’s easy to see why, as striking red Adirondack chairs encircle roaring outdoor fireplaces for guests who need a quick pit stop during a long day of window shopping.
The tour concludes just outside of town at North America’s only ice hotel, Hôtel de Glace. Made from 2,000 ice blocks and 15,000 tons of snow, guests sleep on carved ice beds (with plenty of warm blankets) in this beautifully designed crystal palace. Giant snow sculptures adorn the halls, and instead of paintings on the walls, there are intricate snow carvings. Slide — perhaps literally — up to the cocktail bar, or even host your wedding ceremony in the ice chapel. This frozen wonderland is just one of the gems Quebec has to offer.
You can book your tour and travel to Quebec City here.