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5 Reasons Québec City Is Canada’s Winter Capital

photo credit: hamit pena / unsplash

Bundle up, travellers! Each winter Québec City puts on a season-long show like nowhere else in the country. From carnivals to Christmas markets, the city goes all out to impress locals and visitors alike—and to prove that winter is the season to visit Canada’s capital of cool. Here’s why you don’t want to miss it:

The Ice Hotel is a North American one-of-a-kind

Part physical challenge, part work of art, Québec City’s spectacular Ice Hotel is open to all visitors during the day and brave guests at night. The entire hotel from floor to ceiling is ice—including the beds—so spending the night there definitely comes with bragging rights. Each year, artists carve the hotel according to a new theme. Repeat visitors will never have the same experience twice. The Ice Hotel opens on January 2nd.

Québec City does Christmas Markets like nowhere else in Canada

Canadians who’ve travelled to Europe during November and December probably know what it’s like to have Christmas Market envy. Over on the continent, they know how to celebrate the season right, with outdoor markets that serve up locally made gifts, treats, and—most importantly—mulled wine. As the most European part of Canada, Québec City serves up some seriously chic Christmas Markets that will have travellers feeling like they’re overseas (sans the tres cher plane ticket). Le Grand Marché’s market runs from November 21 to December 31 and is the foodie destination for home chefs. For a super traditional market experience, check out the German Christmas Market in Old Québec—think: wooden stalls and the scent of fresh-baked gingerbread wafting through the air every Thursday to Sunday beginning November 22.

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Le marché de Noël allemand de Québec 👌 . . Parfait pour se mettre dans l'ambiance des fêtes avec de la fondue au fromage, du vin chaud et des artisans locaux. 🍷🎀 . ______________________________________________ La photo représente la cérémonie du vin chaud. Il s'agit d'une boisson traditionnelle allemande alcoolisée où un pain en sucre imbibé de rhum est flambé et coule dans le vin chaud. #feuerzangenbowle ______________________________________________ #vinchaud #hotwine #explorequebec #exploremore #explorecanada #discover #discovercanada #quebecenphotos #quebecoise #quebecmoments #quebecjetaime #quebeccity #quebecregion #quebeclife #canadaparadise #canadaswonderland #canada #canada_pic #christmasiscoming #christmasvillage #christmasvibes #marchedenoel #christmasmarket #xmasmarket

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You can try ice fishing right in the centre of the city

You could get up at 4am, drive for three hours, and drill your own fishing hole in the centre of some remote, frozen lake… or you could just head to the Port of Québec’s Village Nordik in the middle of the city to ice fish inside an inflatable igloo. (Is there anything more Canadian?) TBH, we’re into the latter option. Prefer your fish in an aquarium? The Aquarium du Québec’s Festilumières lights up their outdoor pathways with more than half a million lights from December 26 to January 5 and January 11 to February 29.

Québec City dedicates an entire week to Canada’s most famous dish

All hail poutine, the best thing to come out of Canada before and since Céline Dion. Poutine Week kicks off February 1 in Québec City, dishing up the famed fries meets gravy meets cheese curds Québecois speciality at dozens of restaurants across the city, each putting their own twist on this classic dish. Try them all and vote for your favourite (just make sure your cholesterol levels are up for the challenge).

Carnival!

Proof that you can have fun in the cold, Québec City’s Winter Carnival goes hard all day and all evening from February 7th to the 16th with snow sculpture gardens, epic ice slides, food, drinks, maple syrup treats, and night time festivities. At the centre of it all is the king of Québec City winters: Bonhomme, himself. Check out his Ice Palace to see how snowman royalty lives.

 

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