I went to Québec City, Canada, earlier this year, a historic city with a European feel.
Then I visited four European countries for the first time: Germany, Italy, Austria, and Switzerland.
After visiting Europe, I thought Québec City felt a lot like it with similar streets and buildings.
On a recent train trip through Canada, I spent 24 hours in Québec City, a 400-year-old French-Canadian city.
Founded by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Québec City is full of cobblestone streets, European-inspired architecture, and a primarily French-speaking population, as Insider reported. These elements give the town a European feel, according to the same source.
I hadn't explored enough of Europe at the time to decide if I really thought Québec City felt like other countries across the Atlantic. But after I visited Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany for the first time this fall, I immediately understood the comparison for myself.
Perched on a hill overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Québec City is 400 years old, making it the oldest city in Canada, according to the city's website.
Source: Villa de Québec
Québec City is on the eastern edge of the Canadian province of Québec. A flight from my home in NYC would take less than two hours — a lot shorter than a trip to Europe. My direct flight from NYC to Berlin was nearly eight hours long.
I spent most of my time in Québec City in Old Québec, a neighborhood with preserved French and British colonial architecture, according to the city's website. I spotted many of these simple, rectangular buildings with decorative shutters during my visit.
Source: Ville de Québec
I wandered down old Québec's photogenic streets and spotted rows of colorful colonial-style buildings. A few months later in Zurich, Switzerland, I saw blocks I thought looked similar to those in Québec City.
Many of the streets in Old Québec were made of cobblestone, much like roads I saw in all four European countries I visited.
During my walk through Old Québec, I also noticed most signs were written in French. That's because 85% of the population of Québec speaks French, according to the Government of Canada.
Source: The Government of Canada
English wasn't the primary language spoken in any of the European countries I visited, either. Most of the signs I saw abroad were written in German or Italian.
While some streets in Québec City were wide, others were quite narrow. Later in Rome and Venice, Italy, I stumbled upon alleys that reminded me of the narrow streets in Québec.
After my trip to Europe, I also realized my hotel in Québec City, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, was similar to those I saw abroad. I thought it was the most stunning building, which makes sense as it's known as the most photographed hotel in the world, according to World Atlas.
The hotel opened in 1893 and was inspired by romantic architecture and French castles, according to the Québec City's website and the Canadian Encyclopedia.
I thought the hotel looked like a fairytale with dramatic landscaping and old-world architecture. I had a similar feeling while strolling through gardens next to historic buildings in Vienna, Austria.
Inside, I thought my hotel room was small, but the view out the window was grand. I perched on the windowsill and marveled at the European architecture surrounding me.
I also saw Québec City Hall, which was inspired by the Second Empire, built with a European style with prominent rooftops, according to the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation and the Government of Canada.
I saw the same style of architecture, also known as Second Empire Baroque, according to Britannica, on Viennese buildings like Schönbrunn Palace.
Additionally, old-world cathedrals in Québec City, like Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, reminded me of those I later saw in Europe. This one has a Neoclassical style, with towers and stained-glass detailing, according to Québec City's website.
Source: Villa de Québec
I saw a lot of Neoclassical architecture all around Rome, too, like at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.
After visiting both Québec City and Europe, I found that they're not exactly the same, but if you're looking for a European adventure that's closer to home without the jet lag, I think Québec City is a good alternative.
Read the original article on Insider