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General Info about Quebec, Canada

Quebec General Info

Currency
The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar. There are no dollar bills, the lowest note is five dollars, so dollars and two dollars come in coin form.

Language
The main languages spoken in Quebec are French (the official language) and English.

Climate
Quebec has what is generally referred to as a humid continental climate. The city’s summers are warm and humid with top temperatures of around 19°C in July. It gets pretty cold here in the winter when the city sees quite a bit of snow. On average, January is the coldest month with temperatures of around -12.5°C. July and August are usually the wettest months of the year in Quebec, seeing approximately 102mm of rain each month.

Time Zone
Quebec operates on Eastern Standard Time which is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight Savings Time applies between April and October.

Opening Hours
Shops in Quebec generally open between 10.00am and 6.00pm from Monday to Saturday, with many also opening on Sundays. Banks are usually open from 10.00am until 5.00pm on weekdays.

Electricity
The electrical current used in Quebec is 110 Volts AC/60 Hz, while sockets take 2-pin plugs (flat) or 3-pin plugs (2 flat & 1 round).

Visa Requirements
Visa requirements for visitors to Canada have become stricter in recent years. All people entering the country must have proof of citizenship. For most European residents and citizens of certain other countries, you do not need a visa but you must have a passport. Entry visas are required, however, for citizens of more than 130 countries so it is worth checking this out with the Canadian consulate in your home country. They will be able to tell you if you need a visa and, if you do, how to go about applying for it.

Tourist Office
The main tourist office in Quebec is the Tourist Information Office at 835 avenue Wilfrid-Laurier.

Currency Exchange
For the best exchange rate, it’s usually best to change your money into Canadian currency at a bank. Travellers’ cheques are also widely accepted. ATM cards which are part of the Cirrus or Plus network can be used in machines displaying the relevant signs. All the major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express are widely accepted and can also be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Telephones
To call Quebec from abroad you first dial 00, followed by 1, the local area code and the local number. The main area code in Quebec is 418. If you want to call abroad from Quebec you need to dial 001, followed by the international calling code for your particular country and then the local number.

Post Office
Quebec’s central post office is the Postal Station B at 59 rue Dalhousie.

Tipping
The amount depends on the quality of the service but the usual tip is an average of fifteen percent and a minimum of ten. This also applies to hairdressers and taxi drivers. Porters, bellhops and similar staff at hotels, airports and railway stations are usually paid one dollar per item of luggage carried.

Public Holidays
It is worth noting what the public holidays are before you travel to a country as the majority of businesses, banks and shops usually shut for the day. In Canada they take place on January 1st, Good Friday, Monday on or before May 24th, July 1st, September 3rd, October 8th, November 11th and December 25th. It is a good idea to check the particular region too as certain towns and areas also shut down during special events

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