Discover Québec City, the Top Winter Wonderland in North America

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Canada by Design is sponsoring this advice on how to discover Québec City in the winter.

In terms of winter travel, Canada has a lot of amazing options. Whether you’re looking for fluffy white snow and active winter travel options, or just a nice long stroll around picturesque villages, places like Quebec offer a complete itinerary for any type of traveler. Today, Canada by Design is delving into Québec City, officially the best winter wonderland destination in all of North America.

It’s official; USA Today has just announced Québec City as the best winter wonderland destination in all of North America – sure, this is something we’ve been saying for years, but it’s always nice to see the mainstream media catching up.

Selecting the top winter wonderland is no easy feat when you’re dealing with heavy-hitters like Whistler and the Canadian Rockies – each rivaling with jaw-dropping scenery and endless activities both on and off the slopes. While these destinations offer stiff competition, there are 5 distinct reasons why Québec City stands as reigning champion of winter destinations.

North America’s Only Ice Hotel

Discover Quebec City on a winter trip. Be sure to stay in the ice hotel!
The ice hotel is an amazing structure made of ice and snow, or “snice”. Even the furniture is carved from ice blocks.  Too “cool”! (Photo credit: Luc Rousseau)

Every year from January 4 – March 26, a brand new Ice Hotel is constructed entirely out of ice (furniture and all!) for visitors to explore and even stay the night in. Discover the beautiful Great Hall, Chapel and the ice slide – and of course have a drink from the Ice Bar.

Request to add this experience to your Québec City itinerary at the time of booking to ensure seamless transfers between hotel and other activities, and for additional amenities like a free breakfast and welcome cocktail.

Québec Winter Carnival

Experience one of the largest winter festivals in the world! Dating back to 1894, this event has evolved from a local affair into a world renowned celebration inviting thousands of visitors every year. The event occurs Jan 27 – Feb 12 and features snow slides, an ice canoe race, night parades, sleigh rides, snow baths and more. It’s also listed in the Top 3 Carnivals of the world.

You’ll want to book well in advance for this event as hotels have already started selling out.

Quartier Petit Champlain & Place Royale

Discover Quebec City on a picturesque stroll through the old town.
If you’re looking for a winter stroll through picturesque  cobble stone streets, don’t miss Petit Champlain! (Photo credit: Ville de Quebec)

These historical neighborhoods are a draw all year long, and during the winter season the magic is heightened as bustling shoppers fill the cobble stone streets and festive decorations drape over the European architecture. Visitors will blend in with locals as they explore boutique shops, museums and cafes.

Ask us to add a culinary walking tour to your itinerary to get an authentic taste of the area from a local perspective.

Annual German Christmas Market

Yes, you will find a German Christmas Market in Quebec City.
Who doesn’t love a traditional German Christmas Market this time of year? (Photo credit:Marché de Noel Allemand)

Imagine a European inspired village of wooden kiosks, succulent German fare and scintillating lights set in the heart of Old Québec – a stunning area of the city infused with old-world charm. The annual event beings in the end of November and runs every weekend until Dec 18. Visitors can sip a glass of mulled wine, shop for one of a kind Christmas gifts and enjoy choral singing and other festive performances suited for the entire family.

New Year’s Eve in Québec City

Don't miss New Year's Eve in Quebec City!
Old Quebec throws quite the New Year’s Eve bash. Don’t miss it! (Photo credit: Jean-François Bergeron)

On December 31, a huge outdoor party will warm the crowds with a musical and pyrotechnic show complete with traditional music, fireworks, Ferris wheel, urban zip line, heated terraces, and outdoor bars. This year is expected to be the biggest year yet as the city rings in 2017 and kicks of Canada’s 150th anniversary.

If you aim to avoid crowds in your travels, book your trip for early January. You’ll still experience the city’s winter magic, minus the grand-scale events – you’ll also enjoy lower rates at this time.

This is really only the tip of the ice-sculpture when it comes to Québec City thriving as a winter destination; in addition to transforming into a real-life Christmas village buzzing with must-attend events, the city offers plenty of snowy activities for travelers looking to try something new – a guided dogsledding experience, perhaps?

The beauty of planning your trip with our experts is that you’ll get a seamless and personal travel experience designed to your precise travel-tastes. Looking for a little inspiration? Explore popular winter wonderland itineraries from Canada’s Best Kept Season.

Disclosure: Canada by Design has sponsored this article.

Would you like to discover Québec City on a winter trip? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts.

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