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One of Canada's most historic cities, and the proud capital of the mostly French province of Quebec, Quebec City offers visitors both the feel of old Europe and the history of New France. Founded in 1608, Quebec City is the only fortified city in North America and proud defender of the Francophone culture and language in Canada. Quebec will celebrate its 400 years in 2008. A visit to the Plains of Abraham, scene of a famous battle in the seven years war, and Vieux-Québec (Old Québec), a UNESCO World Heritage travel destination and the only fortified city in North America, provides the traveller with 400 years of history to discover.
Quebec City has 8 boroughs, divided into 34 districts:
The Quebec Winter Carnival, held in the city since 1894 is the world's largest winter carnival and has given the natives and thousands of visitors a reason to celebrate and indulge in merry-making during cold and snowy winters. This annual event lasts for 17 days and is normally held between the end of January to mid-Febraury. The carnival takes place in various locations of Old Quebec. The opening and closing ceremonies take place in the legendary Ice Palace in front of thousands of visitors and the mayor of Quebec. 'Bonhomme' , a large snowman sporting a red cap and black buttons, is the official symbol and ambassador of the festivities. Some of the attractions and activities popular at the carnival are the Arctic Spa Village, Snow slides, Giant Table Soccer games, Ice palace, Ice tower, snow rafting and skating, Bistro, Zipline, snow sculpture and canoe races.
Kiosks and other outlets in the city sell the traditional Bonhomme effigy tag for around $10 that gives access to many of the carnival events, however some activites may cost extra.
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Quebec has warm summers and cold winters. Temperatures range from 24 °C during the day in summer on average, to -17 °C in winters at night. Temperatures have been recording though of 36 °C and -37 °C respectively. Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year with around 12 to 17 days of rain or snow each month. From November to March, most of it is actually snow. Summers are a little wetter regarding the amount of precipitation, around 100 mm a month, compared to around 70 in winter.
Jean Lesage International Airport near Quebec City (airport code: YQB) handles flights to and from the city.
Flights mainly go to other Canadian cities but there are connections with Central America, the USA, the Caribbean and even Paris as well.
Quebec City is 2.5-3 hours by car from Montreal on either Highway 40 or Highway 20 (north and south side of the St. Lawrence, respectively). Both routes are rather monotonous drives through endless forests dotted with farms. For a slower but more picturesque tour of Quebec's heartland, drive along the Chemin du Roy (Highway 138), which follows the north bank of the river instead.
A seasonal cruise operates during the summer months between Montreal and Quebec City. The one-way trip takes approximately 7 hours and is slow-going, but the views make it worthwhile.
From Quebec to Lévis, on the other side of the river, the ferry costs $7 for a car (including driver) and $3.10 for pedestrians and cyclists, and takes approx 15 minutes, all year round. There are departures every 20 minutes at peak hours, 30 minutes off peak. It gives the best view in town.
Some of the options to rent a car include the following companies:
RTC offers public transport in and around Quebec City. Tickets cost $3 each, which will earn you the right to ride one direction with a transfer valid for two hours. You can get a pre-paid card loaded with up to 12 trips (in bunches of 2) from licensed stores. 1, 2 and 7 day passes (2 for 1 on weekends) and monthly passes are also sold in the same stores. Free for children below the age of 6. Drivers do not carry money and cannot change bills so do carry exact change - to buy your ticket you place the money in a cash drop box at the entry of the bus. Google Transit can be used to find the best itinerary.
Four of the bus lines are frequent-service lines called Metrobus. They are served by recognizable green and grey articulated buses. 800 and 801 both start in Ste-Foy, head toward the Old Town, and end in Beauport and Charlesbourg respectively. 802 starts at Beauport to Belvedere, through Limoilou and Saint-Sauveur. 803 runs along Lebourgneuf blvd and connects with the Galeries de la Capitale terminus. They can run as often as one every three minutes during rush hour.
The Ecolobus line stops at most of the sights and hotels of the Old Town and is only $2. A short electric bus, it connects with both the ferry and Metrobuses. It runs every 20 minutes.
Walking is a great way to get around the Old Town, as the compact layout makes distances short. You will see beautiful old buildings and little vistas around every corner. You will get exercise. Do be careful of uneven cobblestones and narrow streets, though.
Côte de la Montagne is a steep, winding street that connects Upper Town and Lower Town. If you get tired, use the Funiculaire to go between the upper and lower parts of the Old Town. $2 per person will get you from near the base of the Breakneck Stairs (l'Escalier Casse-Cou) back up to the front of the Chateau Frontenac. It is well worth it if you have small children or large packages.
|À Lupins et Lilas B&B||860, avenue Belvédère||hostel||-|
|Auberge Amerik||1720 Canardière||hotel||88|
|Auberge du Quartier||170, Grande-Allée Ouest||hotel||89|
|Auberge Internationale de Québec Hi-Québec||19 Ste-Ursule St.||hostel||-|
|Auberge Michel Doyon||1215, Chemin Sainte-Foy||hotel||79|
|Econolodge - Lévis / Quebec City||208 Route Kennedy||hotel||-|
|Econolodge - Montmorency Falls / Quebec City||5490 Boulevard Sainte-Anne||hotel||-|
|Motel Suite Quebec||390, Boul. Ste - Anne Suite 20||hotel||-|
|Ozone||2800 boul. Laurier||hotel||-|
|Auberge du Littoral||910, boul. Sainte-Anne||Hotel||85|
|HI-Quebec- Auberge Internationale de Québec||19, Rue Ste-Ursule||Hostel||87|
|La Belle Planete Backpacker Hostel Downtown Quebec||386 du pont Downtown Quebec||Hostel||72|
|Motel le lucerne||9300 Boul Ste Anne Ste. Anne de Beaupre||Hotel||-|
|Motel Spring||8520 boulevard Sainte-Anne Château-Richer Chateau-Richer||Hotel||86|
|Quebec Downtown Apartment||790 St-Joseph Est ,Quebec , H2J3C3 Quebec||Apartment||-|
Internet usage is wide-spread in Canada. Wi-fi is available in many locations in larger cities, sometimes free and sometimes at a cost. You will find Wi-Fi in coffee stores, some restaurants and also hotels and motels more and more offer this service for free, but with a code usually. Internet cafes are common along major streets, and and in larger cities, charge between $3 and $4 for an hour, usually in 20-minute increments.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country calling code to Canada is: 1. To make an international call from Canada, the code is: 011. Emergency services can be reached by dialling 911. This number will give you free access to Police, Fire and Ambulance services and can be used from landlines, phone booths and cell phones.
The populous areas of Canada along the border with the USA have excellent cellular and wired telecommunications, meaning that travellers are never fair from an international phone call home, a WIFI connection or an internet cafe. Depending on the mobile phone provider, coverage could be either CDMA and GSM coverage. Travellers wishing to purchase SIM cards for GSM phones should look for Rogers Wireless, Telus Mobility and Bell Mobility, which all offer nationwide availability.
Postal service is provided by Canada Post, a crown corporation owned by the government but run as an independent business. Most post offices keep hours from 9:00am to 5:00pm though in bigger places longer hourse might be available.
To format the envelope of a letter sent within Canada, put the destination address on the centre of its envelope, with a stamp, postal indicia, meter label, or frank mark on the top-right corner of the envelope to acknowledge payment of postage. A return address, although it is not required, can be put on the top-left corner of the envelope in smaller type than the destination address.
The lettermail service allows the mailing of a letter. The basic rate is currently set at $0.63 for one standard letter (30 grams or less). The rates for lettermail are based or weight and size and determine whether the article falls into the aforementioned standard format, or in the oversize one. The rate is the same for a postcard. Mail sent internationally is known as letterpost. It can only contain paper documents. The rate for a standard letter is of $1.10 if sent to the United States, and $1.85 if sent to any other destination. Oversize or overweight letters may be charged a higher fee. Larger parcels can be shipped via Canada post both domestically and internationally, the rate is dependent on the weight and destination. 
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