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Finding a little France abroad: Why you should visit Quebec City

To experience the culture of a specific country – whether it be Italian, British, Dutch or any other culture – it is common sense to visit that country and immerse yourself in your surroundings. But countries all over the world have certain cities and areas that have strong foreign influences, to the point where they almost become microcosms of these countries. And one of the best examples of this is Quebec, Canada. With your eTA travel permit in tow, you have more than enough time to explore the diverse culture this city has to offer.

Quebec: A little France in Canada

Quebec is the only province in Canada that has a majority French-speaking population. In fact, French is considered the only official language.

While plenty of people of course speak English in Quebec, it does not hold a similar official status. The reason for this heavy French influence is that Quebec was colonised by the French in 1534, first by Jacques Cartier and then through another more thorough expedition in 1603 under leadership of Samuel de Champlain. To stimulate population growth, France regularly sent young French women to Quebec to encourage marriages and child birth. Eventually, the French lost the colony to the British after the Seven Years’ War.

Rue St.-Louis, Quebec City

Quebec City

No area reflects Quebec’s French history more than Quebec City, the former capital of New France. It draws in over 4 million tourists each year, and it’s not difficult to see why. From it’s beautiful cobblestone streets to the distinct European architecture rarely seen in other parts of North America, Quebec City offers a truly unique experience to travellers that can appreciate diverse cultures. Having been colonised by both the French and the British, you will see both clashes and mingling of styles.

The Chateau Frontenac hotel is perhaps the most emblematic of Quebec’s colonial heritage. Named after the French governor Frontenac and created by an American architect, this building is the most photographed hotel in the world. This popularity does come with its downsides, however. It can be exceedingly difficult to get a booking here, as the Chateau Frontenac is easily the most desired hotel in the area (and perhaps all of Canada). It is situated in Old Quebec, a historic district and UNESCO World Heritage.

Old Quebec is divided into an upper and lower part. Aside from the Chateau Frontenac, this district has plenty more to enjoy: walk through the Quartier du Petit Champlain, the oldest commercial district in North America, or explore Quebec’s own Notre-Dame Cathedral, the centre point of Catholicism in the region. Quebec’s Old Town is basically a full tourist experience; everywhere you go, you’ll find yourself in a historic section or in front of yet another beautiful building.

Younger travellers might want to consider visiting the neighbourhood of Saint-Roch. Here you’ll find students and creative minds relaxing over a mug of locally brewed beer. Naturally, it’s filled with cafes and restaurants (don’t forget to have a poutine!), as well as bookstores and theatres.

The eTA Canada: your ticket into Quebec

Canada, like its neighbour the United States of America, has strict visa rules when it comes to foreign travellers. The only people allowed to enter Canada without a visa are Canadian and American citizens. All other travellers must apply for a visa in advance, or be denied at boarding.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule.

Nationals from certain countries can instead apply for an eTA Canada travel permit. The eTA is both cheaper and easier to acquire than the visa, as everything takes place online, meaning no visits to the embassy to have your passport stamped are required.

The eTA for Canada is valid for 5 years, meaning it can be used for multiple trips to Canada. Each stay can last a maximum of 5 months. This is, of course, more than enough time enjoy everything Quebec has to offer!

About e-Visa is the United Kingdom’s leading full-service visa agency. With a professional team of experienced visa specialists, we commit each day to support travellers as optimally as possible with acquiring the right travel documents. We do this in an accessible way, so that anyone can easily meet the visa requirements for their land of destination.

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