Alternative ‘First Time’ Cities Ep. 1

When it comes to planning the next trip, we all want to capture the excitement that comes from the novel and fresh. Favourite destinations around the world are matched with lesser known places that offer an equally awesome experience when it comes to culture, food, nightlife and attractions. Here is the first match guide to find your perfect first time trip!

If you like PARIS, why not try QUEBEC CITY?

Paris

Night panoramic view to Cite island with Notre-Dame de Paris

Landscape: Paris is a one stop shop for iconic cityscapes that blends old and new. To explore the best of what Paris has to offer, start with the unforgettable Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Champs-Elysees – before sauntering down the lamplit streets, parks and terraces.

Culture: The city is prized for its art scene in particular. It’s hard to beat the cherished Louvre or Musee d’Orsay if modern impressionism is more your style. If you’re after something a bit more glamorous, sample the city’s impressive fashion credentials via its huge department stores, vintage shops, flea markets and haute couture houses. Not to mention a wealth of opera, theatre, music festivals on offer throughout the year.

Points of interest: The capital’s landscape is remarkable from the outside but make sure you go inside to really soak up the city – whether it’s venturing up the Eiffel Tower for the views, taking a tour around the Notre Dame cathedral, getting lost in the Louvre, travelling down the Seine River or visiting the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens.

Food: ‘Cuisine’ is French for ‘kitchen’ and it’s fair to say the foodie reputation in Paris is first rate. From small bakeries to Michelin starred offerings, it has the best of what France has to offer. Most famous for its patisseries, bakeries, chocolatiers and cheese shops – nothing beats a fresh Parisian croissant and fresh baguette covered in butter.

Nightlife: The city is definitely not all can-can girls and Moulin Rouge – there are a variety of evening activities, ranging from dance clubs, grand hotel bars, outside terrace tables perfect for people watching to chic wine bars and casual late night dining joints.

Did you know? If you’re in the city with friends in summer, grab a bottle of wine, a fresh baguette and some cheese and join the hordes of local Parisians on the Seine quays.


Quebec City

Quebec City skyline with Chateau Frontenac at sunset viewed from hill

Landscape: Quebec, although small, is well known for its varied and picturesque cityscape. Its beautiful old town is an UNESCO World Heritage site – filled with cobbled streets, 17th and 18th century houses, churches, squares and the beautiful Chateau Frontenac on top of the hill – the city’s most visited attraction.

Culture: The city is mainly split between the Old Town and Old Lower Town, but there is more to explore outside the historic town gates. There you can reach Port St-Louis and Porte St-Jean and sample even more wonderful restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Think antique stores, cosy bistros and world-class theatres. Not forgetting Quebec’s famous outdoor festivals that celebrate music, history and the winter season.

Points of interest: Take a boat tour on the Saint Lawrence River to see the city in all its glory or walk down the Chateau Frontenac promenade to explore Quebec’s battlefield remnants and gain an appreciation of its rich military history.

Food: The city has a dynamic and evolving food scene – famous for its gourmet coffee, meat pies and young raw milk cheese, you can sample pretty much anything at the local markets. Don’t forget to visit the stunning Chateau Frontenac for afternoon tea and sample the city dish of ‘poutine’ (pile of fries, gravy and cheese curd) – it’s a local delicacy.

Nightlife: There are various nightlife options to sample after dark. Ranging from art galleries with bars included, microbreweries, karaoke and even bars featuring church pews. The main area to head to is the Grande-Allee which contains the majority of the best restaurants, bars and even clubs situated in gutted Victoria style mansions.

Did you know? The imposing Morrin Centre, a former prison, now serves as Quebec’s only English-language library and well worth a visit to see its neatly lined book shelves and the balcony where prisoners were once hanged.


Stay tune for the next episode: If you like LONDON..
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