When to visit
- Very Favourable
What to do
- Worth the detour
- Must see
Quebec City is the birthplace of French culture in North America.
Perched on the cliffs of Cap Diamant and overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Quebec is proud to be a living museum and the only fortified city in North America.
WHAT TO DOQuebec City can be divided into 3 districts: Upper Town, Lower Town and Grande-Allée–Parliament Hill.
* = Interesting ** = worth a detour *** = worth a trip
Quebec City is small enough that the best way to explore it is on foot.
Rue du Petit-Champlain**
In summer and winter alike, this small cobbled street is a hive of activity, with its many cafes, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries.
A visit to place Royale is like a step back in time to the early days of New France. It was here that Samuel de Champlain founded the first settlement in 1608. It later became a market square.
Take the time to admire historic Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church*, the oldest stone church in North America.
Musée de la civilisation**
The most popular museum in Quebec City invites visitors to reflect on their values and traditions in relation to those of other cultures and civilizations.
Learn all about Quebec with the following 3 permanent exhibitions: Territories, People of Quebec... Then and Now and Encounter with the First Nations.
Discover Quebec through 4 wide themes: Le Great North, human occupancy, leisure and resources.
2- People of Quebec... Then and Now
Visit the major events that shaped Quebec's history, from the early days of the settlers to the present.
3- Encounter with the First Nations
Discover the history and culture of Quebec's First Nations through artefacts and videotaped oral histories.
85, rue Dalhousie 418-643-2158
Quebec City–Levis Ferry*
The ferry between Quebec City and Lévis offers excellent views of the Old Capital. A trip aboard the ferry means a relaxing and delightful ten-minute ride, and the chance to take some amazing photos! The ferry terminal is near Petit-Champlain, in the heart of Old Quebec. The ferry runs daily all year long, with departures every 30 minutes during the day.
The iconic Château Frontenac is Quebec City's landmark and the most photographed hotel in the world. It was named after Louis de Buade, Count of Frontenac, who was governor of the colony of New France from 1672 to 1682 and 1689 to 1698.
Built in 1893 by the railway to ensure luxurious accommodations for train passengers, Château Frontenac has been named a National Historic Site of Canada. Step inside to admire its entry hall, the Verchères room, the Champlain dining room and the reception area. A jewel of Canadian architecture!
The Quebec Citadel and Observatoire de la Capitale offer splendid views of Château Frontenac.
1 rue des Carrières 418-692-3861
Rue du Trésor*
You won't want to miss taking a stroll down this colourful pedestrian alley where local artists display their artwork. Who knows: you may pick up an original souvenir or an addition to your art collection!
Originally constructed in 1650, the cathedral has been rebuilt twice, after being destroyed by British troops in 1759 and gutted by fire in 1922. Named a National Historic Site of Canada in 1966, it represents more than 300 years of Quebec architecture.
The lively and popular Rue Saint-Jean is one of the oldest streets in the city. Bustling with boutiques and restaurants, this is Old Quebec's ultimate shopping destination.
Dufferin Terrace is a 430-metre long clifftop boardwalk just below Château Frontenac, with spectacular views** of the St. Lawrence River, Lower Town and the surrounding area. The Terrace has public benches, street performers, vendors and even ice slides in winter.
Promenade des Gouverneurs*
An extension of Dufferin Terrace, Promenade des Gouverneurs runs along the Quebec Citadelle to the Plains of Abraham (Battlefields Park). This multi-level walkway offers panoramic views of the surrounding areas.
The Citadelle is a fortress built between 1820 and 1832. Designed in a star shape characteristic of the time, it was never used to defend the city. Today, the city of Québec is the sole surviving example of a fortified city in North America.
The Citadelle is home to the Royal 22nd Regiment Museum, which displays a collection of historical military artifacts from the 17th century to the present. Don't miss the view of Quebec City from the Citadel.
1 Côte de la Citadelle 418-694-2815
Observatoire de la Capitale (Marie-Guyart Building)*
Admire Quebec City from its highest point, 221 metres up on the 31st floor of the Marie-Guyart Building. Observatoire de la Capitale offers a 360° view of Quebec City and the surrounding area.
1037 Rue de la Chevrotière 418-644-9841
Artillery Park is a group of historic buildings that bear witness to more than 250 years of French, British and Canadian military history. Visit the site's welcome and interpretation centre where you will discover military artifacts, the remains of a powder magazine with its protective wall, and a magnificent scale model of Quebec City built in the early 19th century.
In summer the site offers many activities for visitors including free musket-shooting demonstrations.
2 Rue d’Auteuil 418-648-7016
Built between 1877 and 1886, the Parliament Building is home to the Quebec National Assembly, the organisme qui détient le legislative power of the province since 1867.
Some rooms are open to visitors, including the entry hall, the Presidents' Gallery, the National Assembly Chamber, the Flag Room and the Legislative Council Chamber. A piece of photo ID is required. Guided tours are offered in summer.
1045 Rue des Parlementaires 418-643-7239
Created in 1908 for the 300th anniversary of Quebec City, this vast park commemorates the bloody clashes between the French and English during the British conquest from 1759 to 1760.
A green oasis of plains, wooded areas and English-style gardens, Battlefields Park is to Quebec City what Central Park is to New York. With its extensive pathways and views of the St. Lawrence River, the park is an ideal setting for a stroll or a family picnic. Also known as the Plains of Abraham.
Located between the river and the cliffs, Montmorency Falls Park is just a few minutes from Quebec City and is accessible all year round. Its main attraction, the spectacular Montmorency Falls, are 83 metres tall. You can discover the falls on foot or take the cable car to the top. The entire cove is illuminated after dark.
Île d'Orléans is located in the St. Lawrence River just east of Quebec City. A beautiful island that will capture your heart, it is home to more than 600 historic buildings and stone houses dating back to the French Regime. Be sure to visit Saint-Pierre Church: built in 1717, it is the oldest church on the island. The island is known for its many local delicacies and award-winning products.
Where to eat
WHERE TO EATCHEZ VICTOR ($)
Chez Victor is known for its gourmet burgers, such as the brie and red pepper burger and the merguez burger with goat cheese. Victor's is also famous for its poutine, a Quebec tradition. There is even duck confit poutine!
300 Rue Saint-Paul 418-781-2511
LE COCHON DINGUE ($$)
Located in the heart of Petit-Champlain, Le Cochon Dingue is a local institution known for its bistro cuisine, attentive service and relaxed European atmosphere. House specialties include the steak and fries, mussels and smoked ribs.
46 Boulevard Champlain 418-692-2013
AUX ANCIENS CANADIENS ($$)
At Aux Anciens Canadiens restaurant, you will enjoy a taste of traditional French Canadian cuisine, in the warm ambiance of a magnificent historic 1675 home. Try the famous Saint-Jean tortiere and pea soup and, for dessert, one of the maple classics: maple syrup pie or maple syrup crème brûlée.
34 Rue Saint-Louis 418-692-1627
LE SAINT-AMOUR ($$$)
Renowned Chef Jean-Luc Boulay will be happy to welcome you to his fine dining establishment for a culinary experience of pure pleasure. Allying tradition and innovation, his team of culinary professionals offer refined selections honouring the best products from our local producers. An adventure to remember!
48 Rue Sainte-Ursule 418-694-0667
CHÂTEAU FRONTENAC (Le Champlain) ($$$$)
Le Champlain, the principal restaurant of the historic Château Frontenac Hotel, serves French and Quebec specialties featuring the highest quality local products. Its celebrated new chef, Stéphane Modat, is developing a whole new philosophy of Quebec cuisine.
1 Rue des Carrières 418-692-3861
- Very Favourable