Canada Guide reports that Quebec is Canada’s only French-speaking province — but that’s not the only reason why it feels distinct from the rest of the country.
As a result of its peculiar history, Quebec has been influenced heavily by both French and wider European culture — as can be particularly seen in the province’s capital, Quebec City.
You should therefore be careful to do your research about Quebec before you visit it. Here are some reliable tips for helping you to make the most of your time in the area.
Brush up on your French
It would bode well if some of the preparation for your Quebec trip involves learning or perfecting some of the French language.
That’s because, due to the French pioneers who settled Quebec during its colonial era, this province not only primarily speaks French but also has it as its official language.
Nonetheless, many Quebec residents can still speak English — and you could find that using Google Translate on your smartphone helps you to overcome language barriers.
Embrace the French culture in Quebec City
The French culture is stronger in Quebec City than it is anywhere else in North America. You should therefore make sure you have a French phrasebook ready to help you when, say, you are reading highway signs or advertisements in the city.
However, if you have no qualms about visiting such a French-feeling place, you could easily have a lot of fun in Quebec City, given its highly Gallic cuisine and fashion.
For a less foreign feel, head to Montreal
Of course, there’s much more to Quebec than just the capital city that shares its name. Through booking online, you can get the best P&O cruises that stop at such overlooked gems as La Baie, Sept-Îles and Gaspé in the province.
Also worth checking out is the cosmopolitan city of Montreal — which, considering its very high rates of English fluency, could make an especially comfortable part of Quebec for you to be if your French is a little rusty. The city lies on an island you would be able to reach by crossing a bridge.
Read up on the history of Quebec
This is important because Quebec doesn’t have an entirely harmonious relationship with the rest of Canada. In fact, the Quebec sovereignty movement has succeeded in facilitating a number of referendums aimed at enabling the province to become independent.
ClickTravelTips explains: “In each case, the proposal has been rejected, at one point by a margin of just 0.58%.” You should therefore remember this when chatting to locals about the province and Canada as a whole.
Avoid visiting Quebec during the winter
This advice is crucial because, tempting though it can be to try to see what Quebec looks like as a snowy wonderland, heavy snowfalls can wreak havoc on roads and lead to major delays.
Hence, by attempting wintertime travel in Quebec, you could risk getting stuck in a small, obscure town of it and having to wait hours for snowplows to clear the exit for you.