If you read my blog you know that I love travelling and on our bucket list was a visit to Quebec. We have now ticked that off the list when we visited Quebec City, which is the capital of the provence of Quebec and UNESCO World Heritage listed. We were taking a cruise of Canada/New England and decided to spend three days in Quebec before the cruise commenced. It was mid October so the weather was very cold, however despite the cold we had a fabulous time.
Perched on top of rocky cliffs where the Saint Charles and St Lawrence River meet, Quebec City is a mixture of the Old Town and the New. It is French Canadian at its best and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the heart of France, with the cobblestone pathways, historic stone buildings, French restaurants and of course the French language.
I would recommend staying in the Old Town within the Fortification walls to really get the feel of this beautiful city. We spent our days wandering through the Old Town and soaking up the atmosphere. I soon developed a taste for hot chocolate as my afternoon treat – it was delicious!
We stayed in the Hotel Champlain which was reasonably priced (we were actually upgraded to a spa room which was nice), the staff were very helpful and it was centrally located.
Top 10 things to do in Quebec City
1. Chateau Frontenac
This is the most photographed hotel and has beautiful views of the St Lawrence River. Although very exclusive you can take afternoon tea or enjoy lunch or dinner.
2. Rue du Tresor
Like Montmartre in Paris, there is an Artists Alley called ‘Rue du Tresor’, where you can wander and see artists at work and perhaps pick up an original to take home.
3. City Walls
We wandered into the newer area however the magic is in the Old Town which is surrounded by 4.6 kms (3 miles) of fortified wall which you can walk around if you are feeling energetic. Quebec is the only fortified city in North America north of Mexico.
4. Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
If you don’t feel like walking, there are quaint horse-drawn carriages (like Central Park in New York) where you can see the city sights in comfort.
5. Petit-Champlain District & Place-Royale
Take a funicular ride down to the Lower Town and visit the Petit-Champlain District which has beautiful shops, art galleries, antiques and sidewalk cafes along cobbled stone pathways. You will also walk through the Place-Royale where Samuel de Champlain chose as a trading port in 1608 and is considered the birthplace of French America.
6. Parliament Hill
A visit to the National Assembly you will discover a beautifully architectural building plus the Fontaine de Torney which has a surprising history.
7. Plains of Abraham
Not far from Parliament Hill are the Plains of Abraham which are beautiful parklands and also the scene of the 1759 battle between Generals Wolfe and Montcalm
8. Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral
This beautiful Catholic Cathedral is in the Old Town was originally built in 1647, athough it has been rebuilt several times. When I first saw it, I wasn’t overly impressed but once inside you see the magnificence of the architecture and design. It has one of only seven Holy Doors in the Catholic World which was constructed to celebrate the 350 year anniversary of the Cathedral in 2014. It was opened in 2013 for one year and then would be sealed until 2025.
9. Montmorency Falls Park
Further afield are the Monmorency Falls. They are not far from the city, however, we ran out of time unfortunately. These falls are actually higher than Niagara Falls (83 metres) although not as expansive, however from what I have heard they are impressive.
10. Dinner in a French Restaurant
Of course a visit to Quebec City cannot be complete without a delicious French meal and there is no shortage of excellent restaurants and cafes to choose from. We dined at Pain Beni in the Old Town and the meal was delicious.
Quebec was a fabulous city to visit and I would love to revisit one day. Although English is the second language, it was fun trying to use my schoolgirl French to communicate with the locals.
I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful city.
Have you been to Quebec? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Let’s Keep Sizzling!
This post was originally published in May 2015 but has since been updated.