I wasn't sure where to put this tip as this is definitely not one of my favorite features in Quebec City, but since many visitors get a kick out of it, I thought the least I could do was post a picture. From the rue du Petit-Champlain, if you walk along rue Dalhousie towards the Old Port, you'll end up at "Place de Paris". The historic buildings surrounding this square all date back to the 18th and 19th century and it would therefore be quite beautiful if they hadn't planted Jean-Pierre Raynaud's post-modern sculpture smack in the middle of it all! This "gift" from France (to think they gave New York the Statue of Liberty!) is called "A Dialogue with History", although most people refer to it as the white Rubik's cube, and it is supposed to represent the arrival of the French at this historic site. Tell me if you get it because I don't!
Unique Suggestions: Take a picture and laugh (or cry)!
Fun Alternatives: That sculpture pretty much is the only eyesore in the Petit Champlain area, everything else around it is worth seeing.
Our awful experience with the Quebec City Tours (QuebecCityTours.com) was simply hellish. The tour consisted of just 2 of us. The guide picked us up at the Frontenac. He spent the entire trip ranting about how pathetic Quebec City is with the provety and unemployment. He talked about the pollution of the St. Lawrence River and the contaminated well water on Island of Orleans. Our guide's name was Andre Roy. He simply dropped us off at various places and told us to meet back with him by certain time. We had the Tour#2 which consisted of Sainte-Anne-De-Beaupre, Island of Orleans, and the Montmorency Falls. The Sainte-Anne-De-Beaupre was closed for service when we got there. When I asked him about the Cyclorama next to it. He simply replied that they charged admission and why would I want to go there. What a ***.
If you want to enjoy your vacation in Quebec, stay away from QuebecCityTours.com. This is one pathetic tour and that was probably the reason why only 2 of us were signup for the tour that day.
It also operates under La Tournee du Quebec Metro.
Unique Suggestions: Do yourself a favor and don't use them.
Fun Alternatives: Try the Gray Line tour instead. Much more professional staff. We also ran into private tour guides in the hotel lobby.
I am reluctant to suggest there are no tourist traps in Quebec but I have to say I didn't experience any.
Some may say the Carnaval itself is a trap but I didn't think so. All the activities and events seemed to be very reasonably priced.
In the restaurants I couldn't beleive the value in a couple of places considering the ambiance and quality of food.
If I wanted to I could of had a perfectly good trip to Quebec without spending a penny, just exploring around the place.
Unique Suggestions: I did go on a city tour that I thought was a waste of money in light of the fact I had already explored the city on foot.
So if you are able to see the city on foot I would and if you are wanting to go on a tour I would recommend some sort of cruise on the river to get those views or a country side tour which would be impossible on foot!
Fun Alternatives: If you feel the prices for Carnaval souvenirs is to expensive right at the Carnaval you can try the many other stores offering identical stuff on Rue Saint Jean and Saint Louis Streets.
This isn't a tourist trap in the traditional sense, but while in Quebec City we encountered these freaky young women. If they had must minded their own business then all would have pretty much been okay. But instead they chose to start harassing tourists for money. Unfortunately screaming and swearing at someone doesn't generally have a positive effect!
Located next to Saint Anne-de-Beaupre, it was built in 1895 and houses a 360-degree panorama of Jerusalem. It was kinda neat, but way too expensive for what it was. The audio program that was blasted at us while we walked around was obnoxious, and a guy telling us to rent binoculars accosted us every five minutes.
Fun Alternatives: Just go back to Saint Anne and look around there some more.
Be sure to order your beer at the ouitside restauants in the afternoon before they switch to the evening prices. Very expensive after 5 PM.
Unique Suggestions: Eat supper early before they go to evening prices at the outside restauants as a lot of people want to sit their in the evening and people watch consuming only a beer or two. That is why they up the prices after 5PM.
Farther East from Quebec City, the St. Lawrence River opens up to the Atlantic. All along the road you see signs for 'whale-watching'. Don't bother with these. they cost about $50CDN per person and you may or may not see any whales. If you want to see whales for free, continue on to Tadousac where the whales are fully visible from the shore! Unfortunately we didn't figure this out until after we coughed up the dinero to see a bunch of fins. Yeehaw. From the shore we saw Belugas, Minkes, and Right(I think) whales. Of course, I was out of film by this time...
A Christmas store (which I loved) had an upstairs display of Christmas scenes. Unless you are really into Christmas don't bother with the admission price, you should just have a look around the store. Sorry I can't remember the name of the shop.
It's hard to call it a tourist trap... You can find interesting information in the Interpretation and Observation Centre, the site is nice, there's a beautiful lighthouse, the scenery is fantastic but I didn't enjoy the place: too many people walking 'à la queue-leu-leu' (Indian file), sitting on the same rocks to watch some birds and whales. I don't like concentration of tourists! Any kind of concentration, actually.
Many hotels have a 'deal' with area parking garages to provide parking for their guests. Be sure to check with the lot attendant sometime during your stay BEFORE you are ready to leave the lot to ensure that what the hotel is charging you for your parking passes is truly what will be due at the lot exit.
I stayed at the Hotel Marie-Rollet, who charged me $10 each for 2 parking passes. Since the hotel is in the heart of old Quebec, I didn't use my car at all while I was there. So when I went to leave the lot (and the city) was the first time I spoke with an attendant. He informed me the passes were actually worth $6 and my stay of 3 days came to $18 and I was expected to pay $6 more.
I explained that I had paid $10 each for them and luckily the nice attendant let me through but I could have had a much harder time!
There is a wonderful boardwalk high atop the cliffs, with great overlooks of the Saint Lawrence River.
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