Founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Québec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America and a treasure trove of unique architecture and culture found nowhere else in the New World. Travelers looking for a European destination without a trans-Atlantic flight and the price that comes along with it will find everything they’re looking for in this beautiful city, the capital of La Belle Province.
Regardez le paysage
For the best views of 17th-century architecture, focus your visit on Vieux-Québec, Québec City’s historic district. Just a ten-minute walk from the Gare du Palais train station, you’ll know you’ve crossed the boundary into Vieux-Québec thanks to the ramparts that surround the Upper Town.
Make your way towards the St. Lawrence River to explore Le Quartier Petit-Champlain, a charming neighborhood full of shops and restaurants brimming with 17th-century buildings. From Le Quartier Petit-Champlain, you’ll be treated to incredible views of Le Château Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world. To get to Le Quartier Petit-Champlain from Upper Town, you’ll need to take the famous Escalier Casse-Cou, the Breakneck Steps. Those who don’t want to brave this steep staircase, believed to be the oldest in the city, can opt to take the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec for a small fee.
From Le Château Frontenac, take a walk down the Promenade des Gouvernours and take in views of the St. Lawrence River on your way to La Citadelle de Québec and the Plains of Abraham. This historic area was the site of the battle between the British and the French that decided which colonial power would rule in North America. There are a few different museums in this area with exhibits in both English and French for history buffs eager to learn more about the battle and Québec’s role in Canadian history.
A short walk down Côte de la Citadelle will bring you to to Parliament Hill, where you’ll find l’Hôtel du Parlement du Québec, the province’s legislative building. There are parks surrounding the building full of beautiful gardens and statues of historic Québecers, as well as the gorgeous Fontaine de Tourny.
Goûtez les saveurs
No trip to Québec City is complete without sampling the local cuisine. Thanks to its French heritage, Québec has specialties you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Many restaurants along Rue Saint-Jean feature traditional Québécois dishes, including Snack Bar, a local favorite that specializes in poutine. For a more refined meal, try Le Lapin Sauté in Le Quartier Petit-Champlin or Aux Anciens Canadiens on Rue Saint-Louis. For the best pastries in the city, including croissants, Paillard on Rue Saint-Jean is the place to go. Québec City has magic hidden in every corner waiting to be uncovered as you wander its twisting streets. These suggestions are just a starting point for your adventure in this enchanting destination.…