The eastern Canadian province of Quebec is Canada's second-largest province, stretching from the Labrador Sea in the north to Lake Ontario in the south. It is famed for its French heritage and is one of the only regions in North American where French is the primary language. Montreal, the largest city of Quebec, is internationally known as one of North America's cosmopolitan centers of arts and culture.
Outside of its sleek, European-influenced cities, the natural landscape of Quebec offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities – from hunting to hiking. In addition, there are casinos, river cruises, and theme parks to keep a tourist occupied.
You may have the perfect trip to Quebec planned, but don't forget some of the most important things:
travel insurance or
travel medical insurance.
They are essential components of any well-planned trip, and can save you a significant amount of money should unplanned circumstances arise.
Things to Do for Travelers in Quebec
Hôtel de Glace at Quebec City
The only ice hotel in North America is open from January to March. Built from 500 tons of solid ice and 40,000 tons of snow, it takes six weeks to erect. This 32,000-square-foot palace glitters in the bright sunshine and has marvelously sculpted doorways and walls. The furniture too is made from ice. There are 45 rooms and suites, as well as an ice bar and an ice chapel. Every year there are new themes to the ice sculptures on display on the banks of the spectacular Jacques-Cartier River adjoining the property.
Notre Dame Basilica
Not to be confused with the one in Paris, the Notre Dame Basilica of Old Montreal was built in 1859. This magnificent structure meant for the Catholic congregation was designed by Protestant architect James O'Donnell. The interior is vast and can accommodate several thousand worshippers. The vaulted ceiling reaches high and is painted with rich tones. The ornate pillars with Latin inscriptions inspire a sense of awe and grandeur. Elevated to being a major basilica in 1982 by Pope John Paul II, it is visited by 11 million tourists and pilgrims each year.
Insectarium de Montréal
If you wish to experience someplace novel, visit the Insectarium de Montréal. Opened in 1990, it is a part of the Space for Life initiative aimed at protecting natural history. There are at least a hundred species of spiders and butterflies that thrive here. The preserved specimens number over 250,000, though only a small percentage are allowed for public display. The brainchild of entomologist Georges Brossard, this unusual natural history museum is affiliated with the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The MMFA is the most famed museum in Canada, attracting well over a million visitors every year. Its collections span artworks, film, fashion, and memorabilia. Founded in 1860, the museum moved to its present location in 1912. There are five pavilions covering well over half a million square feet. The exhibitions range from ancient European to neoclassical masters. Tableaus that trace the history of native tribes in Quebec and the French Colonial era are particularly impressive.
Eat and Shop
Montreal is reputed for its delectable cuisine. The French connection can be readily seen in hip bistros and sidewalk cafes. The traditional must-have on your menu has to be poutine – made with French fries and fresh cheese curds topped with a brown gravy. Due to the cold weather, most of the traditional dishes of Quebec are rich and calorie-heavy, like Tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean, a meat pie that is the signature dish of the region.
Key Guidelines for Travelers in Quebec
The weather in Quebec can be extreme. In the winter, temperatures do not rise above freezing for weeks, and lows can dip to -25° C. You need to be prepared by dressing in layers and covering exposed skin. Frostbite is quite common, and be sure to seek medical attention if you have sudden fatigue due to hypothermia.
Even on clear days, you need to keep an eye skyward. Brick-sized chunks of ice falling from roofs and cornices are an ever-present danger. Be wary of walking out after a snowstorm when ice begins to melt. However, dangerous areas are usually marked by the civic authorities and easy to avoid.
Be mindful that many inhabitants of Quebec speak only French. They may be able to converse just a few words in English. It's a good idea to learn a few French phrases or communicate using a translation app.
Quebec is largely Catholic. A sizeable portion of the population holds views in line with the Catholic Church, so it's best to not broach potentially controversial subjects in the presence of strangers.
Over the years, some Quebecers have expressed the wish to secede from Canada. Once again, it's best to avoid potentially controversial subjects such as this if possible.
Travel Medical Insurance for Travelers in Quebec – FAQs
Quebec is an exceptional place to visit with an effective public healthcare system. However, in some situations you may need private care, which could prove expensive without purchasing appropriate travel medical insurance before your trip.
Do I need travel medical insurance for Quebec?
There is no mandatory provision for buying travel medical insurance if you are visiting Quebec. However, should you unexpectedly require admission to a private healthcare facility, the cost could be massive. Purchasing a travel medical insurance plan before your trip to Quebec can help protect you from the brunt of these costs and is highly recommended.
Why buy travel medical insurance for Quebec?
Quebec is an enchanting province, to be sure. Nevertheless, in the winter it experiences extreme cold, snow and ice that could lead to an illness or injury from a fall. In the summer, outdoor recreation is abundant, but along with it comes the ever-present danger of a mishap. Excellent care is available, but at private clinics it comes at a steep cost. That is why you should remember to buy travel medical insurance to stay protected.
Quebec Trip Cancellation Insurance for International Travelers – FAQs
No one likes to consider the possibility of their trip being canceled, but it does occur. Bad weather causes flights to be canceled and sickness prevents us from traveling as we wish. Buying trip cancellation insurance can protect us from financial loss due to unexpected events.
Why should you purchase trip cancellation insurance for Quebec?
Much of your vacation is paid for beforehand. Prior to departure, you will have paid for rooms and travel. If you have trip cancellation insurance, it is possible to recoup the loss of covered prepaid expenses so your finances don't take a major hit in the event of a canceled trip.
What all is covered under trip cancellation insurance for Quebec?
Trip cancellation insurance is quite comprehensive. Policies can cover flight cancellations due to weather, as well as sickness of you or your family members. Even more comprehensive policies may offer add-ons that can cover you in the event of things such as political unrest. It's best to examine the policies available to you carefully before choosing the one that best suits you.
Before You Travel to Quebec - Do This:
Secure all travel documents in a safe place.
Leave plenty of time in your itinerary to relax and enjoy Quebec.
Purchase appropriate travel insurance or travel medical insurance for your family members and yourself.