International Visitors

Bars, Casinos and Purchasing Alcohol

You must be at least 18 years old to enter bars, pubs, nightclubs and casinos, as well as to purchase or consume alcohol (be prepared to produce ID if asked). Wines and spirits are sold through the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), the provincial liquor board. Beer is available at grocery and convenience stores, which also stock a limited selection of wines.

Currency Exchange

There are numerous exchange offices in Québec's main urban centres. Airports also offer exchange services. Some businesses accept American money, but tend to offer a less competitive rate than the exchange offices.

Driving in Québec

Since Canada uses the metric system, speed limits and distances are posted in kilometres per hour (km/h) and gasoline is sold by the litre (l). It is illegal to transport or use radar detectors in Québec. Use of a cell phone is prohibited while driving.

Drugs and Driving

This Act introduces a zero-tolerance principle when it comes to drugs and driving by prohibiting anyone from driving a vehicle if there is a detectable presence of cannabis or any other drug in that person's saliva. Offenders are subject to an immediate 90-day suspension of their driver's licence. The new legislation also includes other measures, such as the prohibition from consuming drugs (cannabis or any other drug) in a road vehicle, on an off-road vehicle or on a bicycle.

Winter tires

From December 1st to March 15, all taxis and passenger vehicles registered in Québec must be equipped with winter tires. This requirement also applies to rental passenger vehicles in Québec.

Road conditions

For information on road conditions or other aspects of trip-planning, call 511 or 1 888 355-0511, or visit quebec511.info.

Tourist routes

The official tourist routes are clearly marked with blue signs. They are designed to highlight the attractions of the regions through which they pass, and to enable visitors to discover the extent of Québec's natural and cultural treasures. quebecoriginal.com/tourist-routes.

Tourist signage

In Québec, tourist regions and directions to services, attractions and activities are indicated by blue road signs. For more information, visit panneaubleu.com and tourisme.gouv.qc.ca/signalisation (in French only). 

Voltage

In Québec, the standard voltage is 110 volts/60 cycles, as it is throughout North America. Since the outlets cannot accom¬modate European plugs, you will need to bring or buy an adaptor.

Canadian Currency

The legal currency in Québec is the Canadian dollar (CAD), which is divided into 100 cents. Bank notes are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 dollars, and coins in denominations of 5, 10 and 25 cents as well as 1 and 2 dollars. Bank cards and major credit cards are also accepted almost everywhere. It's always best to convert some of your money before leaving home. While in Canada, you will generally enjoy better rates when you change money at a recognized financial institution.

Tipping

Tipping is customary in restaurants, bars and taxis. The amount, which is not included in the bill, is generally equivalent to 15% of the total bill before taxes. For quick tip calculations, Québecers normally add up both taxes. Tipping bellhops or porters is at your discretion (generally, $1 per bag).

Taxes

Québec has two taxes : the 5% federal goods and services tax (GST), and the 9.975% Québec sales tax (QST). An accommodation tax of 3.5% of the room price per night also applies in our region.

Passports and Visas

International visitors to Canada must carry a valid passport to enter or transit through Canada. Visitors from certain countries require a visa to enter or transit through Canada. For more detailed information about admission criteria, visit Canada International's Website.

For resident from United States

Since June 1, 2009, anyone, including U.S. citizens, entering or re-entering the United States by land and sea will need to have a passport or other appropriate, secure document.

For current information on international travel, frequently visit the U.S. State Department Website.

Units of Measure

Keep in mind that distances are measured in kilometres and speed limits are posted in metric as well. The metric system is also used for most grocery products.

Temperatures are measured in Celsius; a very simple comparison to remember is that 20 °C is about 70 °F, and that average daytime summer temperatures in Les Îles de la Madeleine are 23 °C

Useful Informations