I know nothing about these cities other than they are my next destinations. Met a bunch of Quebecors in OZ and will probably visit them when it gets warmer.
when does it start to warm up? does it get annoyingly humid hot in july and august like most of north america?
what's the cheapest way to get there from Philadelphia/New york and between the two cities? are there china town buses up there or anything?
I know they speak primarily french but does most of the population speak english? because my french is very limited and very inappropriate...haha.
Woo! Great choices for destinations!
Firstly, it starts to get really lovely in May, and yes--it gets ridiculously hot and humid here in the summer (Montreal more than Quebec City). August is a little better, and September is ideal. Bring shorts.
Don't know the cheapest route, but I assume it's Greyhound. You an take the train, but that's always $$. That said, you may be able to catch a lift with Allo Stop (they're based here, but maybe you can find someone coming back). It's basically a car-ride-sharing service where you chip in for gas. Worth a look.
Montreal has a lot of English speakers, and Quebec City has quite a few in the very touristy places. Just practice your "Allo" and "Salut" and "Merci"s and you can pretty much do the international pointing and waving of hands thing to get by. Most people speak at least broken English (except if you go out into the smaller villages), so as long as you make a little effort, you can get by just fine.
Enjoy your trip! Montreal is great and Quebec City is simply beautiful. Ask away if you need any specific tips...
I went to school in Montreal and love love love the city. It's winter from pretty much October through April, and then you get some gorgeous weather in May and June, but it does get somewhat humid in July and August, but its still great.
I used to take the train from Philly (connecting in NYC) to Montreal and its pretty affordable and a beautiful ride, but long. Maybe 12 hours on amtrak. I think there are buses but that would be a VERY long and less comfortable trip. I definitely recommend the train. Unless you are in a rush. If you were to drive from Philly it would take maybe 9 hours.
Montreal is much more bilingual than Quebec City, but I'm sure you can get by with English in both. In Montreal, the west part of the city is English, the east side is French, with the very bilingual street St Laurent dividing the street in two. That was my favorite place for restaurants and nightlife. St Denis is a great street for very francophone clubs, definitely a more euro feel. If you want to stick with English, stay west. Definitely more touristy though.
Some info from a visit:
aw sweet. yeah I'll get the basics down. yes, no, goodbye, hello, nice to meet you....I already know how to say you look very beautiful tonight...haha. but it's good to hear there is an english side of the city. also If I make it out to quebec city that's where most of the french canadians I know live, so they will be around to help me.
yeah trains do tend to cost a lot more I'll stick with buses. I took a few 17-23 hour bus trips in australia, I liked them. so that's probably the way to go.
I live in Montreal and I worked in a hostel here last summer. I did the trip Montreal to New York many times, it is a 7h30 hour trip, ticket is 125$ if you buy it three days before the day you plan to leave!
Everybody can speak English in Montreal. Quebec city is more french, but people are so friendly they will try to great you in English the best they can!
Enjoy you trip!