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Holiday Guides for North America - Canada

Quebec City Holiday

With a tinge of old-world French flavour, Quebec City is a bustling North American metropolis with plenty of culture and charm.

Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and located within the Capitale-Nationale region, on the north bank of the Saint Lawrence River near the Saint Charles River.

The city is the second largest in the province after Montreal and one of the oldest cities in North America, having been founded in 1608.

The narrow width of the river as it enters Quebec and Levis on the opposite bank resulted in the city's name - Kebec, which is the native Algonquin word meaning "where the river narrows".

Traditions and culture in Quebec City

The culture of Quebec is largely rooted in the history and traditions of its original French-speaking settlers.

Apart from New Brunswick, Quebec is the only North American region with a Francophone majority and is one of just two provinces in Canada where the French language is protected constitutionally.

As a result of this, the culture of French Quebecers varies from that of the 325 million English-speaking citizens of Canada and the United States who surround it, as well as from that of France.

Traditional folk music in Quebec is mainly influenced by the traditional songs of France and Celtic music. There is also evidence of influence from Ireland, Scotland and Brittany. Quebec also has a long-standing tradition of Jazz and the genre is widely enjoyed by Quebecers.

Food in Quebec is diverse and hearty, with meat pies (Tourtieres) being a notable speciality. Other firm favourites in this region include pea soup, baked beans, cretons, ham dishes, stew of pig legs, maple desserts and St. Catherine's taffy, which is a type of sweet.

Recommended in Quebec City

Quebec's Festival d'ete, or Summer Festival is an absolute must for tourists visiting around the first two weeks of July. Organised by local businesspeople and artists, the festival showcases the artistic and economic potential of the region.

If you are visiting in the winter, then the Quebec Winter Festival should be pencilled into your itinerary. The festival has scores of attractions and sights and is reportedly the biggest winter carnival in the world. It usually starts on the last Friday of January or the first Friday of February and lasts 17 days.

Weather in Quebec City

Summer in Quebec City is occasionally humid, with temperatures averaging between ten degrees C (50 degrees Fahrenheit) and 30 degrees C (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

Winter in the city is a very cold affair, with plenty of snow and sleet. Temperatures range between minus five degrees C (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and a teeth-chattering minus 25 degrees C (13 degrees Fahrenheit).

Destination checklist for Quebec City

Quebec City has a population of around 528,000.

The official currency is the Canadian dollar.

English is the official language as is French.

The city is five hours behind GMT.

Quebec's international dialling code is +5.