For those who love that European charm, but can’t quite cross the pond just yet I highly recommend Quebec City in Canada. It’s only a 3-hour train ride from Montreal. Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with some of the prettiest streets in North America. The town looks like a movie set. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself.
Where to Stay
Château Frontenac is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. It’s stunning in person, and it peeks out at you from different parts of the city. If you can afford to stay there, go for it. If not, Quebec City has many affordable Airbnb options. We stayed in the heart of Old Quebec, in an old gorgeous apartment that looked like it was straight out of a novel, clawfoot tub and all.
our airbnb was through those red doors on the right
I do recommend staying overnight. You can do a day trip from Montreal, but this city deserves more time especially if you love this kind of charm. We spent 3 nights there and had plenty of time to explore it at a leisurely pace.
Explore the Petit-Champlain District
Super touristy area, but you’ll find some of the most picturesque cobblestone streets here. This part of town has all the colorful doors, colorful windows, flower boxes, and the whole shebang.
Where to Eat
We went to Quebec City the same year as Montreal so my memory’s a little fuzzy, but there were a few places that stood out to us:
Bistro L’Atelier – We came here for burgers, cocktails, and steak tartare! It was a cool atmosphere and really good food.
La Maison Smith – This is the cutest cafe right in the center of Place-Royale. The coffee and pastries were delish, and we enjoyed spending our time there just people watching.
Le Mezzé – It started pouring rain one day, and we just wanted to eat. Le Mezzé looked pretty good, so we snuck in there hoping to get a seat. The place is tiny, so we got lucky with a table. We seriously ordered half of the menu. The service was great, and the food was great too!
Quebec City really does have that whole euro feel, and we had such a great time there. If you don’t want to spend on airfare, you can make the drive out from Chicago in about 15 hours. Then I recommend making a stop in Montreal, Toronto, and Niagara Falls on the way home. Great little getaway!