Visit Quebec City and enjoy its gracefully blend of European charm with the North American spirit creating a unique destination and a vibrant city in the province of Quebec. Although from a glance, Quebec City might look like a very pretty, bohemian, and picturesque town, once you step outside its fortified walls, you’ll discover a lively and modern city that gravitates around art and entertainment.
Overlooking the majestic Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City has that certain old-world French nonchalance and a touch of melancholy that accompanies your steps along the tiny cobblestone streets of Old Quebec, while admiring 400-year-old stone buildings, and when you’re discovering vintage boutiques and chic cafes. Once you’ll spot the 19th-century carriages meander through the streets below the Château Frontenac, you’ll know that you’ve just entered a fairytale Canadian land.
Embrace the majesty of the Upper Town
Start your discovery journey of Quebec City with an incursion into the fascinating Upper Town. Fortified and grandiose, the Upper Town awaits proudly atop Cap Diamant offering superb views over the city. This part of Haute-Ville is under the spell of the towering Château Frontenac, a hotel dating back to 1893, situated between the Place d’Armes and the Dufferin Terrace. While Place d’Armes is dominated by the presence of a splendid Gothic fountain, the Dufferin Terrace enchants visitors with a memorable view of Ville de Levis.
The Upper Town is invaded by street entertainers eager to capture the visitors’ interest. Stop for a while to discover Place de l’Hôtel de Ville where proudly and undisturbed awaits the Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, a neo-baroque masterpiece with a bell tower that dates back to 1647. The quaint streets at night make a visit Quebec City the perfect choice for a romantic walk!
Breathe in the old charm of the Lower Town
The Lower Town of Quebec or Basse-Ville as the locals call it is a spectacular maze of petite alleyways tucked away between the ramparts of Upper Town and the Old Port. Upper Town awaits just a funicular ride away from the Old Town. Place Royale, the heart of the Lower Town, has been restored and is now as grandiose and enchanting as it was back in the 17th and 18th centuries.
If you’re eager to learn more about the area’s history, visit the Musée de la Place Royale housed inside the lovely Hazeur and Smith houses. For a quick trip back in time, stop at the historic Maison Chevalier where you’ll witness domestic scenes from the 17th century. Afterward, head to the romantic and, of course, cobbled rue du Petit Champlain to enjoy some French cuisine with a twist at one of the many restaurants there.
Conquer the Quebec Fortifications
The Old Quebec is still surrounded and guarded by a fabulous 2.9-mile rampart. Walk along the top of the fortifications to capture breathtaking views of the city and the Saint Lawrence River and visit the Interpretation Centre for more information about the rampart’s construction. Stroll along the walls and you’ll eventually find the Artillery Park, built by the French to defend the city.
History buffs will also love a tour of the Quebec Citadel, a legacy dating back to the times of the British occupation. Looking down to the city from the top of Cap Diamant, the star-shaped citadel invites visitors to discover its story and visit the Musee Royal 22e Regiment that illustrates tales about Van Doos, Canada’s only Francophone armed forces unit. Want to add a “show” to the experience? Be there at 10 am sharp! This is when the Changing of the Guard takes place. The event is accompanied by the Regimental Band and Batisse, as well as the Citadel mascot and the regimental goat.
Pamper your taste buds with a myriad of flavors
Considering its strong French influences, it’s no surprise that Quebec is a foodie paradise. You should try as many contemporary French, French Canadian or simply French specialties you can during a visit to Quebec City. Whether you choose to book a table at some of the most sophisticated restaurants in town, like Laurie Raphaël, where the menu abounds in contemporary French dishes, or the Panache, to discover a mixture of French and Canadian touches in a spectacular interior, your culinary experience will be memorable.
Want to join a food tour of the city? Choose the Saint Roch Quebec Food Tour. The tour delights visitors with an off-the-beaten-path culinary experience and an abundance of food and drinks and is garnished with tales and fun facts to keep you curious and fascinated with Quebec City’s history. If you’re a beer fan, don’t miss a tour of the local craft beer scene. Most of them await in the Saint-Roche neighborhood so you can combine a food tour with a beer-tasting experience.