Quebec, set in the east of Canada, is the country's largest province and second most populous after Ontario. Visitors arriving in Quebec will land at either Quebec City's large international airport, Jean Lesage, or in Montreal. Both airports are well connected to other Canadian cities, as well as several US and European destinations. While Quebec City is the province's official capital, Montreal is its economic and cultural epicentre. Rent a car in Quebec to travel with ease. With your own 4 wheels, you can explore quaint European-inspired towns, the mountainous terrains of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, and the rugged coastline of Northern Quebec, which is famed for its whale-spotting opportunities. When planning to visit these different regions of Quebec, make sure to give yourself enough time – the landscape is vast, and attractions can be far away.
Trips to Quebec encompass myriad experiences, from cultural weekends in the city to days spent in the wilderness of the northern regions. If you opt to go to Quebec City, you'll likely spend most of your time in its resplendent Old Town. The stunning colonial buildings are peppered with cafés, hotels, and restaurants serving up fine French dishes. Montreal is a wonderfully cosmopolitan destination, famed for its liberal attitudes toward the LGBTQ community and fabulous nightlife. You'll find most of the city's attractions in Old Montreal, which is beautifully lit up in the evening. Montreal is a vibrant affair, with large museums, must-see sights, numerous parks, and countless festivals celebrating everything from jazz to Shakespeare – the city is overflowing with culture. In both Quebec and Montreal, European café culture is embraced. Spend the afternoon with a coffee and pastry, simply watching the world go by.
Outside its large cities, Quebec offers stunning scenery that will delight lovers of the great outdoors. Visit the communities of southeastern Quebec, which runs along the coast, to see a fascinating side of the province. Meanwhile, the north may be the most dramatic and visually stunning part of Quebec. Port-Cartier is an excellent place to base yourself for exploring the majestic St Lawrence River, where you can spot whales in their natural habitat. Head even further north, and you'll find yourself among the Inuit and other native communities of Canada. To visit this remote region, you'll need to rent a car in Quebec and prepare for the long but highly rewarding journey. Knowing a little French will be supremely helpful when travelling in Quebec as much of the population is monolingual, especially in the more remote regions.
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US and European drivers visiting Canada for fewer than three months likely won't need an international permit. As most road signs in Quebec are in French, a good GPS can make navigating the region much easier. While Canadian roads are generally well maintained, they can get snowy in winter and may not be cleared immediately. Make sure to follow weather updates and local advice. Keep in mind that seatbelts must be worn by all passengers, and using a mobile phone at the wheel can result in a hefty fine. The drink-driving limits in Canada (0.0–0.08%) are strictly enforced, and breaking them can land you in serious trouble with the authorities. Finally, if you're planning to explore the more remote regions of the province, especially in the winter months, considering renting a 4x4 or other large vehicle that can cope with the sometimes snowy conditions, and remember to dress warmly.