By Azure Lee
Quebec City, the only walled city in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site is strategically situated atop sheer cliffs that look out over the St. Lawrence River. In the site of the current Place Royale, a fur trade colony was established in 1608. It swiftly developed into an administrative hub and is now the capital of the province of Quebec and one of Canada's most picturesque cities.
In this article, we will take you to explore some of the top places to visit in Quebec City that you shouldn't miss while you explore the city's rich history, culture, language, and natural surroundings.
Best Places To Visit In Quebec That Will Leave You Spellbound
The history, welcoming atmosphere, and plenty of attractions throughout the year make Quebec City a standout tourism destination. Every season has its own unique special events and breathtaking vistas. This list of the best places to visit in Quebec City will leave you spellbound and have a memorable experience.
One of the most famous places to visit in Quebec is its first and largest. Old Quebec (or Vieux-Québec, as the locals call it) isn't so much a single remarkable site as it is a group of attractions that are all concentrated in a single historic location. The ideal day trip is to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. In just a few hours, you can view magnificent churches and chapels that highlight the province's rich religious history, as well as centuries-old architecture. Of course, if you're not a big history fan, the neighborhood is bursting with leisure options, from exquisite dining and shopping to art and music. Truly, Quebec City has a must-see location.
The heart of the city, Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The opulent Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, built-in 1894 for the Canadian Pacific Railway, is now one of the top attractions in Quebec City. This old building is clearly visible from a great distance and is especially beautiful at night.
The Terrasse Dufferin in front of the hotel offers breathtaking views of the Laurentian Mountains to the north, while the Promenade des Gouverneurs leads to the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham to the south. The original location of Fort St. Louis, the governor's residence during colonial times, was this vantage point. Underneath the promenade, there are remains that visitors can see.
Additionally, this opulent hotel, which is frequently referred to as the most photographed hotel in the world, provides more than simply opulent lodging. Enter to take in the lavish decor, dine at one of the on-site restaurants, or just enjoy the expansive views of the St. Lawrence River from the Dufferin Terrace.
Plains of Abraham
When mentioning places to visit around Quebec City, one cannot help but mention the Plains of Abraham. It stretches green land outside the city walls to the west of the Citadel.
Nowadays, depending on the season, you can see people cycling, picnicking, cross-country skiing, or snowshoeing on any given day. Le Festival d'été du Québec, a sizable music festival held every summer and featuring acts like The Rolling Stones, The Foo Fighters, and Lady Gaga, to mention a few, is also held on the Plains of Abraham.
Families bringing their children to the museum will discover interactive displays that aim to stimulate younger visitors' interest in history. Additionally, young kids can enjoy a family-oriented "treasure hunt" within the park, which encourages exploration and the joy of discovery.
You can read more about Tips For Traveling To Canada Before You Go
When mentioning places to visit around Quebec City, one cannot help but mention the Plains of Abraham
Quartier Petit Champlain
The Quartier Petit Champlain is considered the most picturesque part of the city, having once served as New France's thriving capital. You get the impression that you are in the center of an ancient European city as you wander the tiny alleyways that wind between the antique buildings.
Nowadays, a diverse range of stores, services, and restaurants are housed in the stone buildings that border the pedestrian-only lanes. This is a wonderfully beautiful region all year round and is the ideal destination for wandering and wondering.
Tourists can discover artisan stores, bistros and restaurants serving Quebec cuisine, art galleries, and a wide range of confectioneries selling everything from handmade fudge and nougat to a chic Crêperie. Unique items can be purchased in the local clothing boutiques, which range from those that sell just alpaca products to others that display the newest styles.
Basilica Cathedral Notre-Dame de Quebec
Basilica Cathedral Notre-Dame de Quebec is among the places to go in Quebec. The first Catholic parish north of the Spanish colonies was housed in this basilica cathedral, situated in the center of Old Quebec. Its outstanding architecture reflects its significant role in the city's history and is a destination for half a million pilgrims annually.
Basilica Cathedral Notre-Dame de Quebec is among the places to go in Quebec
Considered to be one of the popular Quebec sightseeing places, it owes its popularity to its scenic beauty. The Montmorency Falls, which are 272 feet tall, are breathtaking to view both from within the city and up close in Montmorency Falls Park (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency in French). If you want to experience the mist on your face, hang out near the base, or take the gondola to the top for a breathtaking panorama.
More daring visitors might decide to zip line across the falls or trek one of the three Via Ferrata paths, stopping at vistas along the way for some Instagram-worthy photos. Of course, once you get to the top, you can relax and unwind while having a delicious meal or a few drinks to celebrate at the opulent Manoir Montmorency.
Wander through Place Royale
This is tourist hub in Quebec, both for the history and for the modern-day atmosphere provided by the restaurants, patios, and stores that have been added to the original structures.
Place Royale is built on the original site of Québec, where in 1608, Samuel de Champlain established a fur trading station that evolved became the capital of French America. Place Royale, named for Louis XIV, whose bust it houses, is North America's greatest surviving ensemble of 17th- and 18th-century structures.
Notre-Dame des Victoires, a lovely stone church, facing a cobbled plaza, as does Maison Chevalier of the Musée de la Civilisation. The tiny Batterie Royale was built in 1691 next to Place Royale, staring out over the river and surrounded by strong walls and palisades.
La Citadelle de Quebec
Last on our list of the top places to visit in Quebec is La Citadelle de Quebec. Cap Diamant, a 100-meter-tall mountain that rises abruptly from the west and faces the St. Lawrence River, commands a vast and varied vista. The huge, star-shaped Citadel of Québec, constructed in 1832 and guarded by high walls, ramparts, and ditches, sits atop this. The Citadel, which is still a functioning military outpost, serves as the Governor General of Canada's summer home as well as military housing for generals, officers, and service members.
The military museum, which is housed in the powder magazine from the middle of the 18th century and is situated in the southern corner of the Citadel, is open all year long and welcomes visitors throughout the summer months.
Last on our list of the top places to visit in Quebec is La Citadelle de Quebec
Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Sainte Anne is the patron saint of Québec and is attributed with several healing miracles. This beautiful Catholic church, located northeast of Québec in Beaupre, attracts half a million people each year. The current church was erected in 1926, but the first chapel was established here in the 17th century.
The Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Quebec, constructed by architect Baillairgé and finished in 1844, is another well-known Catholic basilica. Notre-Dame de Québec's interior is stunning, with a gorgeous altar, Episcopal canopy, and stained-glass windows.
Grande Allée is the city's spine beyond the city walls. Tourists are most interested in the area around Parliament Hill. A plethora of restaurants, patios, and entertainment venues draw both local and visiting visitors. The enormous 19th-century houses on the Boulevard originally housed the city's elite class. Other Québec City tourist attractions on Grande Allée include the Grande Allée Drill Hall, Battlefields Park, and the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec.
Quebec National Historic Site
Over its 300-year history, Quebec has had a variety of fortifications, all of which can be explored on a one-hour circular walk. Fortresses, walls, towers, gates and numerous ancient cannons show how well protected this former French colony was. Completed in 1832, the four-and-a-half-kilometer-long defensive wall on the west side of the Old Town is made of granite and sand and is the only fortification of its kind in North America. The countless weapons are a constant reminder of Quebec's turbulent past.
How To Make The Most Of Your Visit To Quebec Tourist Attractions
By following these tips, visitors can make the most of their visit to Quebec tourist attractions, ensuring a memorable and enriching adventure in this charming Canadian destination.
Purchase Tickets in Advance
For popular attractions like Montmorency Falls, it's a good idea to purchase tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. This can save you time and ensure you don't miss out on visiting these must-see places.
Embrace Local Cuisine
Quebec City is renowned for its culinary delights. Make the most of your visit by trying local dishes like poutine, tourtière, and maple syrup treats.
Capture the Moments
Don't forget your camera or smartphone to capture the beauty of the city. Quebec City's architecture, landscapes, and vibrant streets are ideal for creating lasting memories.
Stay Informed About Events
Check for any local events, festivals, or exhibitions happening during your visit. Attending such events can provide unique cultural experiences and a chance to interact with the local community.
Apply for a Canada eTA
If you plan to visit Quebec or any destination in Canada, remember to apply for a Canada eTA before you arrive. This is a mandatory requirement for most travelers. Contact Canada Immigration Services now to make your travel dreams a reality. Or click here to start your Canada eTA application today and embark on an unforgettable journey in the Great White North!