Exploring French Culture in Canada - Top Experiences in Montreal and Quebec City

If you have even come to Canada, you will notice a strikingly difference between the west coast and east coast.The french- speaking portion of Canada is very distinctive from the rest of Canada, with their own set of customs and traditions. Montreal is more international than Quebec City, which tries to stick to its French speaking roots. Montreal is one of my favourite cities in Canada because it gives you a taste of Europe within Canada, having a feminine taste to fashion and the exuberance of a international city with events happening almost every season, such as the Winter Olympics, comedy shows and exhibitions. The restaurants, open hospitality and distinctive European architecture will give you a lost in Europe feeling. Montreal was one of the first settlements conquered by the French during the age of exploration. 3 hours away in Quebec City, I vividly remember visiting the fortifications of the 100 years battle between the English and French, adding to the history of fortifications of Quebec City. On the west coast of Canada, we have an abundance of nature, but on the East Coast, you will be immersed in history.


When in Montreal, be sure to experience the highlights of an open and welcoming city. Experiences here differ from culinary delights to experiences that combine Montreal’s international charm as a fashion capital, a city full of exuberance, and a lively city that combines embraces modernity and tradition. Be sure to pay testament to Montreal's founder at the Maisonneuve Monument in Place d'Armes. Be sure to try the delicious and savoury poutine that is distinctively Montreal in style and flavour. Also, be sure to check out the various museums including the famous Biodome and the Museum of Fine Arts. Fashion here is distinctly a mix of European and French origins, so you will be definitely to able to see the feminine touch to apparel. One of my favourite boutiques here was Boutique 1861, which also has an online shop, with a feminine and delicate touch to their clothing. Nightlife and cuisine in Montreal are also big attractions that cater to many visitors.

1.Mont Royal Park

One of Montreal’s distinctive treasures, Mont Royal was designed by the same architect who designed Central Park is is known for its view of the surrounding Montreal area, including the impressive fall leaves in the autumn. A natural oasis in the heart of the city, this is a great place for sightseeing activities and witnessing the changing seasons. The panoramic view on top is the perfect place for photo opportunities and to witness the beauty of the changing seasons.

2. Old Montreal

Home to the famous Notre - Dame Basilica, Old Montreal brings one back to the time of the inception of the early days of colonization, bringing one back to the founding of Montreal, along with the new revitalization with the lively restaurants and modern cuisine that will leave you wondering if Montreal has changed at all. The convenient Metro line will take you through various key destinations throughout Montreal, including the Montreal Biodome and destinations downtown such as the art gallery and others. The cobblestone streets remind you of Parisan style streets, giving you a indirect taste of Paris while in North America.

3. Montreal Biodome

If you are interested in exploring other aspects of Montreal such as its museums, then the Biodome is an interesting place to check out.The Montreal Biome is located at Olympic Park, easily located on the transit line. The building was constructed for the 1976 Olympics and today hosts 5 different ecosystems with a wide variety of plants and animals. This is a perfect family educational outing to get educated with ecosystems of the world.


If your driving from Montreal to Quebec City, the drive is around 3 hours, and is a great way to see the change in landscape on the East Coast. Quebec City is a immensely historic city with over 400 years of history that you might not know about Canada, including the importance of the the battle of the Plains of Abraham on Canada's identity. I loved the street performers lining the streets during summer, as it reminded me of the atmosphere of European cities such as Paris and others, and the hospitality there.

Quebec City

When in Quebec City, say yes to explore several key attractions, including the famous Plains of Abraham and the region and district of Old Quebec.If Montreal reminds you of Paris in Canada, then Quebec City will bring you closer to the heart of French culture and customs, immersed with the history of fortifications and local tales. Known to be the only fortified city north of Mexico, Quebec City is known as the birthplace of New France. Found in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, today it is a UNESCO world heritage site, with the highlight in Old Quebec. Here in Quebec City, you will understand the historic tradition of Francophone culture and the importance of french culture and traditions in Canadian history.

Several key Experiences in Quebec City:

1.Plains of Abraham

Set in a historic park, the fate of New France between general Wolf of England and Montclam of France led to the British victory over New France. Today, the Plains of Abraham have been transformed into a city park, along with exhibitions and cultural activities. It is a great place in the summer to go hiking or for a nice walk. Visitors can see the battlefield that decided the fate of New France and set back into the footsteps of the pivotal time at this monumental park.

2.Old Quebec -Terrasse Dufferin & Fortifications

This famous open space incorporating a wooden walkway with benches and gazebos reaches from the famous Chateau Frontenac to La Citadelle, and is part of the region of Old Quebec. Along the way, you will find many small shops, among them with fortifications of Quebec’s military past. The fortifications that line Quebec City show its character and distinctive qualities, surviving not only colonial history, but giving it a distinctive charm. Along the Terrace Dufferin, you will also see the beauty of the waterfront overlooking the beautiful Saint Lawrence River, one of the famous rivers that Samuel de Champlain first set sail when he arrived in Canada.

Château Frontenac is one of the most photographed hotels in the world, as is located in Old Quebec. Travel back in time while touring Quebec’s city walls, and be transported into time to the defence struggles in the 17th century. The cobblestone streets and European style architecture will all bring you back to a different time and place.

Hidden Insights: Both Montreal and Quebec City are known for their festivals and gatherings in non COVID-19 times, such as the just for laughs festival in Montreal, and Quebec City's celebrations - celebrating 400 years of history on the waterfront with fireworks for example. If you enjoy a warm and friendly atmosphere, historic insights, and excellent dining and liquor options, then this excursion is for you.

Chelsea Reviews: 4.5/5

Montreal and Quebec are two cities that you definitely want to experience if you want a truly Canadian experience that highlights Canada’s history. On the West Coast, we are known for our open forests and appreciation of nature, but the East Coast, traditions are more established, but people are just as warm and friendly. Every season is a time to explore the wonderful cities of Montreal and Quebec City - get lost in the Christmas festivals of the winter season, or explore the fortifications during the summer heat. Explore the historic streets of Old Montreal and Quebec City, and find yourself getting lost in a new world when you come back, bringing back culture, fashion, history and rediscovering yourself again.

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