People in Quebec speak French, not English. Yes, Quebec is part of Canada, but not every part of Canada must be English. If you only spoke French and showed up at a Toronto hospital, you would get the same treatment.
I had a very strange experience in Quebec City. I was writing a national licensing exam which was taking place at the main hopital in the city. I arrive at the hopital and asked the receptionist at the emergency reception desk if she she could help me find the location of the exam. She just looked at me with a blank expression on her face! She could not speak a word of English -- not a single word! Other staff members appeared and they could not speak English either! It was very shocking. These people were the admitting staff in a main Canadian hospital. If I were seriously injured I would have been in real trouble.
I stayed in Quebec during September 2005 and would advise enyone heading to Quebec during summer and warmer months to book a room at least 4 days in advance in Quebec. The hostels get very full so book ahead or you will spend a few nights without a bed like I did.
At more than four hundred years old, Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in North America. It is also the only city in North America that surrounded by a fortified wall (developed by the French to prevent British invasion). After being captured by the British in the battle along the Plains of Abraham, which you can go visit and walk around today, the city was fortified even further with the building of a citadel. You can go and visit the citadel for a charge and a tour guide will give you all of the information about the wars, buildings, and the history of the French Canadian military regiment that still uses the citadel as one of its bases today. You can also observe the changing of the guard ceremony every morning with your entrance ticket.
Walking alone through the stone cobbled streets of Quebec City is beautiful and an attraction unto itself. Most of the buildings here -- including Chateau Frontenac, Canada's most famous castle and hotel -- are incredibly old and have amazing architecture. The Notre Dame Basilica is also impressive, with tours through the crypt under the church on request for a small fee. It is home to some of the most pivotal players in the founding of Quebec and the church, including Laval himself.
The city has an amazing vibe to it and there is an abundance of free shows and festivals that occur throughout the summer and winter months. It is a good idea to check these things out before you get there to avoid missing out with accommodation.
Hostels in Quebec City are mostly located throughout the downtown center and within walking distance of all of the attractions. There are an abundance of restaurants to eat at within the downtown core, but you can also find supermarkets close by for purchasing your own food. Ask at your accommodation for the closest place.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Quebec City hostels. Welcome.