Useful tips

The following short headings present the information you’ll find most useful when planning your stay in Québec. Don’t hesitate to consult our FAQ as well for other questions concerning accommodations, attractions, activities and more.

Customs and immigration

Visitors from the United Kingdom and all other countries must carry a valid passport. Visas are also required for residents of Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Russia and certain other countries. For more information, visit Citizenship and Immigration Canada online or contact your country’s Canadian embassy or consulate.

Personal effects not subject to any specific restrictions are tax exempt but must be declared to Canadian customs. Visitors who are at least 18 years of age may bring into Québec 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 200 g of tobacco, as well as 1.14 litres of liquor or 1.5 litres wine or twenty-four 355-ml cans or bottles of beer. There are restrictions on imports of food products, plants and firearms, so you are advised to contact the Canada Border Services Agency prior to your departure.

Generally speaking, pets (cats and dogs) from rabies-free countries may be admitted into Canada if they have a rabies vaccination certificate written in French or English and issued by a veterinary official from the country of origin. Cats and dogs entering Canada from countries other than the United States are subject to inspection fees. Pets must be accompanied by their owner at all times. The full regulations are available on the Canada Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Web site.

If you would like to live in Québec, contact the ministère de l'Immigration, de la Diversité et de l'Inclusion du Québec for information.

Business hours

Stores, shopping malls and most businesses are generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Wednesday; from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday; from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Some establishments (e.g. pharmacies and grocery stores) open earlier in the day and close later in the evening. A few malls stay open weeknights until 9 p.m.

Statutory holidays and school breaks

In Québec, most businesses, government offices, banks and stores are closed the following days:

  • New Year’s Day (January 1)
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Journée nationale des patriotes (patriots’ day, the second-to-last Monday in May)
  • National holiday (June 24)
  • Canada Day (July 1)
  • Labour Day (first Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving (second Monday in October)
  • Christmas (December 25)

Many tourist sites remain open on statutory holidays. However, it’s always best to check with the site in question before setting out.

College and university students enjoy a weeklong break in November and another one in March, while elementary and high school students only get a break in March. (The exact name and dates of the break may vary between education levels and regions.) In addition, nearly one-quarter of Québec’s workers go on holiday during the last two weeks of July, a period traditionally known as the “construction holiday.” Certain tourist sites are much busier during these periods, so keep this in mind when planning your vacation!

Alcohol and bars

You must be aged at least 18 to enter bars, pubs and nightclubs 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.

Taxes and tipping

Two taxes—the federal goods and services tax (GST) and the Québec sales tax (QST)—are added to the selling price of most goods and services. Several tourist regions also charge a specific tax on accommodations. The amount is $2 or $3 a night, or 3% or 3.5% of the price of the room per night, before GST and QST.

In Québec, tipping is de rigueur in restaurants, bars, taxis and hair salons. The amount, which is not included in the bill, generally represents 10% to 15% of the total bill before taxes. For quick tip calculations, Québecers normally add up both taxes (GST and QST), the sum of which equals approximately 15%. Tipping bellhops or porters is at your discretion (generally, $1 per bag carried).

The tax on lodging applicable in certain regions ($2 or $3 a night, or 3% or 3.5% of the room price) is non-refundable, since it goes entirely toward regional tourism development. GST and QST are calculated on top of this tax, which does not apply to campsites.

  • Questions about Québec?
  • Contact us now!
    1 877 BONJOUR (266-5687)
  • Find us on:
    Facebook Twitter Youtube
  • Subscribe to our free online newsletter.
Logo Logo Logo