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first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

Springfield...
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first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

Our family, husb and wife,plus a 23 and 16 yr old, are coming to montreal and quebec city the end of June. Is there enough to see for a 7 night stay? Probably thinking of staying 5 nights in Montreal and 2 nites in QC, would also be taking day trips from Montreal area? Also thinking of visiting Ottawa..would this enhance the trip? all recommendations would be appreciated, hotels, restaurants, sites to take in, etc. Best way to get around? train? Appreciate all help. Thanks.

Montreal
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1. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

Ottawa is a nice city. You could probably visit it in 1 or 2 days, depending on your interests. Again, depending on your interests, you could stay 7 days in Montreal without a problem... others will prefer 3 or 4 days.

As for recommendations, you should be more precise with your question... and maybe give us a budget $$... You can also look at the green ribbon at the top of this page.

With 4 people, you should drive between the cities, but park the car once there... and walk of take public transit.

Edited: 28 May 2014, 12:43
Montreal, Quebec
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2. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

I'd say 5 nights is a long time for Montreal itself, but there's definitely things to do outside the city (ie the Laurentian mountains/mont tremblant or eastern townships are a nice day trip). Montreal is all about the culture and nightlife. If you're there during the Jazz Fest (June 26-July 6) definitely check that out, it's a great scene.

Ottawa is a little under 2 hour drive and is a nice looking city, very historic on account of it's the capital and is really fun on Canada Day (July 1) if you're there but I don't think it warrants staying the night IMO...night life there isn't great.

Easiest way to Ottawa I'd say is to drive, to Quebec drive or train. Once in Montreal definitely ditch the car and take the bus/Metro everywhere, it's very efficient and goes everywhere you'd need to. Quebec and Ottawa you might need a car to get around because there's no subway but they're more compact so walking is always an option.

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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3. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

For a trip like yours I like to recommend a 2/3/2 approach, 2 days in Montreal, then the train to Quebec City, stay 3 nights, then back to Montreal for 2 more and home. You won't need a car in either city unless you plan visits to the surrounding area. In Quebec City it does limit you a bit as Monmorency Falls and Ile d'Orleans are very close by but difficult to get to by public transportation only.Otherwise, Montreal has great public transportation while in Quebec City buses and taxis are good. And both cities are very walkable.

If you do not do the 2/3/2, then 4 days Montreal, 3 in Quebec City is best in my opinion.

JDP

Montreal, Canada
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for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
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4. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

Well you wrote that you are coming from Springfield but which one? Certainly not the Simpson's one but I just want to know if you are flying or driving into town.

That being said I will suggest that you try to rent cars in Montréal if needed. As previously written you don't need a car in either Montréal or Québec City but considering that you will be 4 people then you should rent a car in Mtl just to drive to Québec City and drop it off there and do the same thing upon return.

As per Ottawa you can do it as a day trip as it is only a 2 hours drive from Montréal.

So my suggestion would be to start with Montréal, for 4 nights and do a day trip to Ottawa during that stay. Then your two nights in Québec City and back to Montréal for one last night. That way you will be able to leave very early in the day to go to QC and then return late on your return day., that will give you almost 3 full days in Québec City and, on the last day, before returning you could take the car and head to Montmorency Falls, Orléans Island and may be the Sainte-Anne River Canyon.

Springfield...
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5. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

we are coming from springfield, Pennsylvania and we were planning on flying in and out of Montreal. Are there "one day tours" that you can get at hotels to the places that have been mentioned? Would it be better if we ordered the car in Montreal or before we leave, cost wise? It sounds like all think we should get a car for travel between the cities at least. Since it was mentioned about the Jazz Fest in Montreal and the Canada Day in Ottawa on July 1 should we plan to be there on those days or is it crazy crowded? Our budget per night for the hotel would be around $200. I would like to stay where it is close to the train stations, and also within walking distance of things to do/see. Would I be better in town or is the scenery in Old Montreal a nicer option? Thanks again for your help.

Montreal, Canada
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6. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

Well the most economical thing will be a car rental downtown Montréal to Québec City, drop the car there and rent another one in Québec City to the airport in Montréal and drop it there. This will be way less expensive than 4 train or 4 bus tickets and it will shave some traveling time. Train travel is pleseant but the service is very limited with only 3 or 4 departures per day so, actually you don't need to stay near the train station in Montréal or Québec City although in Montréal a downtown hotel could be into your league. I am thinking mainly about Le Square Philips Hotel that might be a bit over your budget but offers free breakfast and a full kitchen in every unit.

Old Montréal properties are more charming but are more expensive and most of the hôtels there offer only one bed per room, boutique style.

Another interesting option would be Hôtel de l'Institut which is the application of our cooking / hospitality school. NIce breakfast included and it is in an interesting neighbourhood without being in the middle of the trourist paths so a bit more of an authentic feel.

Finally for Ottawa you could just rent the car for one day and do the round trip in less than 24 hours.

As per bus tours there are some to Québec City but most of the usual collaborators here will say that it is a waste of time and money as you are much better served by planning your own ittinerary in Qc and not to be "hostages" of the Grey Lines piks and the area to visit in Québec City is quite small and can be done on foot. Ottawa, not any that I am aware of.

Montreal, Quebec
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7. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

well Jazz Fest is a huge deal in Montreal so yes at the festival site where there's plenty of free outdoor concerts there will be crowds but it's a good mixture of tourists and locals...since we love the jazz fest as opposed to, say the F1 which makes many of us stay home. It's a really great scene and if you're here during it there's absolutely every reason to spend at least one evening at the festival sight seeing some free live music. and it's super safe so you shouldn't worry about losing your kids since they're older anyway, just make a meet up time and place (though there's plenty of drinks available if you're worried about your 16 year old drinking). oh..and the metro station is literally in the middle of the site so transportation is very easy.

as for ottawa, sure again there will be crowds but it's out independence day, everyone is in a good mood celebrating and you'll get a good idea of Canadiana at its best plus it's a stat holiday so many non celebratory things will be closed anyway in Montreal and Quebec. If you want to quietly explore Ottawa on your own no this isn't the day, but Ottawa as a rule isn't the most exciting city aside from its history, museums etc...Canada day is the best day to be there IMO

Burlington VT
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8. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

My wife and I find Montreal and Quebec City much more appealing than Ottawa. We did Ottawa once but keep going back to Montreal and QC time after time. As suggested, the only time you would need a car is for travel between Montreal and QC and it's an easy 2.5 hour drive especially if you stay in lower town Quebec City. In my opinion it is a little more complicated driving in upper town than lower. Bring a GPS and you will be fine. Note: if you plan to use your iPhone or similar while here call your cell provider ahead to get a Canadian data plan or be prepared in incur very high data fees. We learned the hard way. When you get to either city park and walk the city. Driving will be a hassle. Both cities are very very easily explored by foot especially if you stay in or near Old Port Montreal and Upper or Lower Town Quebec City. You don't really need a car in either city unless you want to explore the outskirts. Since we drive from VT we park the car when we get there and walk. We are currently on our yearly trip to Quebec and we find 3 days in each perfect. Any other questions let us all know and you will love it here. The Québécois are very friendly towards Americans.

9. Re: first time visiting Montreal and Quebec city

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