An Instagram Travel Thursday post: Québec in Winter
I recently had the opportunity to explore festive Québec City over the final weekend of Winter Carnival. I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing first-hand how the people of Québec embrace winter and enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather. I didn’t realize winter could be so much fun!
I especially enjoyed sharing the beauty of snowy Québec via Instagram photos. These are my favourites from my weekend.
Arrival in Québec
Upon arrival at the airport in Québec City, I was delighted to be greeted by Bonhomme Carnaval – even if he wasn’t very animated!
I checked into my room at the Hilton and was blown away by this view of Vieux (Old) Québec.
Vieux (Old) Québec
I had previously fallen in love with the city on a summer visit but soon discovered that Québec City is beautiful no matter the weather or the season.
There is something particularly romantic about bundling up for a ride around the historic city in a calèche.
The historic district of Old Québec (Vieux Québec) is surrounded by the only fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico and gates such as this lead into and out of the old city.
We went on a walking tour that I will never forget as it was certainly the first time that I have ever walked for nearly 4 hours in a snow storm!
The Fairmont Château Frontenac is said to be one of the most photographed hotels (at least in North America) and it’s not difficult to see why. I snapped Instagram photos in the snow and then on a clearer morning before I headed home.
The Quartier Petit Champlain is a neighbourhood of quaint boutiques and bistros with a decidedly European atmosphere. With snow falling, the scene on Rue Petit Champlain was picture perfect and I couldn’t stop snapping photos despite my freezing fingers.
The area around Parliament Hill and the provincial legislative assembly building is quite lovely as well, particularly with the Fontaine de Tourny (Tourny Fountain) captured in the photo. The fountain was a gift presented to the city on it’s 400th anniversary.
Grande Allée, near Parliament Hill and the Plains of Abraham, is a street lined with cafés and restaurants and everyone seemed to be getting into the Carnival spirit here.
Québec Winter Carnival
This year marked the 60th anniversary of Carnaval de Québec – the city’s world-famous celebration of winter. Bonhomme Carnaval is a snowman who acts as the carnival’s ambassador and “personifies the joie de vivre associated with the celebration”. A tour of Bonhomme’s Ice Palace is a must for everyone visiting for Carnaval.
The Carnival is a 3 week long celebration of winter with activities to be enjoyed by people of all ages. One of the craziest things that I have ever witnessed is the annual Snow Bath which involves participants in bathing suits frolicking in the snow with Bonhomme!
There’s maple taffy available at the Carnival – enough said!
Touring the Hôtel de Glace
The Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel) which is located just a few minutes drive outside of Québec City is an incredible sight to see. The Ice Hotel has to be reconstructed annually and the 2014 version includes elements from Disney’s Frozen movie. Even if you aren’t spending the night, you can tour the hotel and see the ice bars, the Chapel, the Grand Hall, the rooms and the themed suites.
I was visiting without my family so I had to promise my daughter that I would take photos of Olaf the Snowman from Frozen and the Reines de Neige suite which was designed as the room of princesses Anna and Elsa from the movie.
The Chapel at the Ice Hotel is stunning and is apparently a popular venue for weddings.
Even someone like me, who doesn’t generally like the cold, can’t help but get caught up in the magical atmosphere of Québec City during Carnaval. I discovered on my weekend in Québec that enjoying winter is all about the attitude – and the layers of warm clothing, of course!
10 Things To Do at the Quebec Winter Carnival
A Winter Walk in Québec City: A Photo Essay
A Photo Tour of Québec’s Hôtel de Glace
Satu VW / Destination Unknown
While reading this I’m sitting by the beach under a tree while our kids nap here in New Zealand, and it feels SO surreal to look at the winter photos! I love these though, the chapel at the ice hotel is AMAZING! And the snow bath could almost be from Finland. Except that we run outside to roll in the snow from the heat of the sauna… 🙂
Quebec looks amazing in winter. I would love to see the ice castle!
I have been really enjoying your winter photos on Instagram in the last few weeks. I am blown away by all the crazy cold weather activity. You are totally right. It’s all about your attitude! (and usually my attitude towards winter is rather rotten, so maybe I need to go to a winter festival!)
Katja of skimbaco
There pictures are incredible… I’m sold. I want to go. What a perfect winter wonderland!!!!
I love love love seeing Canada highlighted on travel blogs. Great photos and looks like a wonderful time. 🙂
I just had one night and part of an afternoon in Quebec City and feel like we needed at least three more days. John went skating on the Plains of Abraham and pronounced it magical (too cold for me.)
Also couldn’t get over the Ice Hotel and would like to return for the Quebec Carnival one year.
Nice set of photos.
The participants are actually kept in a very hot, sauna-like room prior to coming out to play in the snow! Some people who did it told me they couldn’t wait to get out of the heat and that it didn’t seem cold at all!
Thanks, Leigh! The ice provides insulation from the wind but I think that you would still find the rooms quite cold. They tend to be around -3 to -5 Celsius which is about 23-26 Fahrenheit.
Thanks, Reeta, it is really quite beautiful!!
Thanks, Alison! My attitude toward winter is generally pretty bad too but a festival certainly does give you an entirely new perspective!
Thanks so much, Katja! I don’t think my pictures really captured just how lovely it was!
Thanks, Cheryl! I love seeing Canada featured on travel blogs as well – it’s like a vicarious feeling of pride for our country!!
The Québec Carnival was so much fun, Leigh, you should definitely plan to return for it next year! I could have used a couple of more days in the city as well. Snowy weather on the Friday made it difficult to cover as much ground as I had planned and there was so much more that I still wanted to see. Hoping to go back on a family visit soon!
Wow Quebec looks so charming and beautiful. It really is like a winter wonderland. I’d love to get there one day . That maple on a stick looks pretty darn good too!
Just discovering your blog through Instagram travel.
Have a good week!
The fresh snow really made it quite beautiful – I think that I would like to visit in winter again!!
Great photos!! I’m so excited to experience winter in Quebec. The snowy streets look so quaint and charming!
Bethaney - Flashpacker Family
So beautiful! The snow is really magical. I’m only just realising that. 😉
This is a good list of things to do there if you have kids… Nice pics! it’s a real winter wonderland.