Communications

DESTINATIONS Quebec communications-62

TRAVEL TIPS

Communications

Internet

Most hotels—even several B&Bs—now have Wi-Fi either in-room or in-hotel. If you're looking for a cybercafé, head to the area around McGill or Concordia universities.

Contacts

Cybercafés. More than 4,000 Internet cafés worldwide are listed. www.cybercafes.com.

Language

Although Canada as a whole has two official languages—English and French—the province of Québec has only one. French is the language you hear most often on the streets here; it’s also the language of government, businesses, and schools. Only in Montréal, the Gatineau (the area around Hull), and the Eastern Townships is English more widely spoken. Most French Canadians speak English as well, but learning a few phrases before you go is useful. Canadian French has many distinctive words and expressions, and it's as different from the language of France as North American English is from British English.

Phones

Calling Within Canada

As you'd expect, pay phones are scarce these days. Phone numbers appear just as they do in the United States, with a three-digit area code followed by a seven-digit number. The area codes for Montréal are 514 and 438; in Québec City, it's 418.

Calling Outside Canada

The country code for the United States is 1.

Mobile Phones

If you have a multiband phone and your service provider uses the world-standard GSM network, you can probably use your phone abroad. Roaming fees can be steep, however: 99¢ a minute is considered reasonable. It's almost always cheaper to send a text message than to make a call, since text messages are often free or have a very low set fee (usually less than 5¢).

If you just want to make local calls, consider buying a new SIM card (note that your provider may have to unlock your phone for you to use a different SIM card) and a prepaid service plan in the destination. You'll then have a local number and can make local calls at local rates. If your trip is extensive, you could also simply buy a new cell phone in your destination, as the initial cost will be offset over time.

Contacts

Cellular Abroad. 800/287–5072; www.cellularabroad.com.

Mobal. 888/888–9162; www.mobalrental.com.

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