Québec City is the only walled city in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s also the capital of Québec Province and has a strategic location atop steep cliffs overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Established in 1608 and originally called Place Royale (Royal Square), it quickly became an important administrative center and today remains a commercial hub for Francophone Canada.
The Upper Town, also known as Haute-Ville, is an intricate network of villages and towns that was originally developed for its military advantage. The Citadel, along with the Château Frontenac and City Fortifications form some of Quebec City’s most iconic landmarks. The oldest part of the city is Lower Town (or Basse-Ville). It is known for its narrow streets and historic stone buildings.
Quebec City is a wonderful place to visit. There are many things to do, including taking a ferry to Levis or climbing up to the Old Port. There are many attractions, including the Museum of Civilization and the bustling Petit Champlain neighborhood. The upper and lower districts are connected by winding streets and a few steep staircases. There is also a Funiculaire that takes you around.
Québec City is a historic city that attracts tourists with its beautiful architecture and rich culture. It is known for its shopping, restaurants, and bars. The city’s top draws are the Château Frontenac, the Citadelle of Québec, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and the Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec.
1. Wander through Place Royale
Quebec City, Canada, is known for its French heritage. It was originally founded in 1608. It grew into a capital of French America. Its name is Place Royale because it was named after King Louis XIV. The place features the statue of the king’s bust. It’s the largest surviving ensemble of 17th- and 18th-century buildings in North America.
The Notre-Dame des Victoires is a pretty stone church built in 1688 and famous for its clock and astronomical dial. It sits facing a cobbled square and across from the Chevalier House, which is part of the Museum of Civilization. Next to the Place Royale, this little battery was built in 1691 and protected by walls and fences.
2. Explore La Citadelle de Québec
Rising from the west bank of the St. Lawrence River, Cap Diamant reaches 100 meters high and commands a panoramic view facing the river. It is topped by Québec’s star-shaped Citadel, which was built in 1832. It is protected by thick walls, ramparts, and ditches.
The Citadel is still an active military base. It’s also used as an officer’s quarters, a generals’ residence, and a summer home for the Governor General of Canada.
The building has a very interesting past. It was once a military headquarters. It was also a military headquarters in the First World War. In that war, the soldiers did many amazing things, including fighting at the Battle of the Somme and later in Korea.
A summer visitor can watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony every morning and visit the military museum, which is located in a powder magazine from the mid-18th century.
3. See the Plains of Abraham (Champs de Bataille)
Québec City is famous for its rich cultural and historical heritage. It’s also the site of an important battle that took place in 1759, when the British defeated the French in a landmark event that led to British rule over North America. The Plains of Abraham Museum exhibits this history, including the struggle to resist the British invasion.
Québec’s famous park is home to two Martello towers, which are found in many other places in Canada. The Joan of Arc Garden is a beautiful garden that features flowers throughout the year.
If you visit the museum with children, they’ll find interactive exhibits to play with. This will encourage them to become engaged with history. Also, there’s a family treasure hunt in the park. It encourages exploration and discovery for both children and adults.
4. Visit Musée de la civilisation
One of the most architecturally interesting museums in Québec City is the Musée de la civilisation. It’s a three-part institution that covers the history of French America, from its establishment to modern times, and it is located in Basse-Ville near the Old Port. The main museum is designed by well-known architect Moshe Safdie.
The permanent collection draws from civilizations around the world, as well as exploring the Québec experience.
The Musée de l’Amérique Francophone (French America Museum) is housed in the historic Séminaire de Québec in Upper Town. The museum deals with all aspects of the history of French people in North America.
Québec City is the largest city in the province of Québec, Canada. It was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. The first permanent French settlement in North America, it is also home to a museum that showcases Québec’s history.
5. Château Frontenac
Now one of the city’s most prominent landmarks and a highly-esteemed hotel, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac was built in 1894 for the Canadian Pacific Railway. This architectural gem is a permanent fixture on the skyline and is especially impressive at night.
The view from the hotel is stunning. It offers a view of the Laurentians to the north and the Plains of Abraham to the south. The Promenade des Gouverneurs leads away from the Citadel. Stunning views are not all that this promenade has to offer, however. Underneath it lies old Fort St-Louis, which was built by early settlers as a residence for the governor.
The Château Frontenac is also historically significant for the Québec Conference in August 1943. It was there that the Allied Powers – Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, William L. M. King, Vice-Admiral Lord Mountbatten, the U.S. Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall, and others – planned for the D-Day landings in Normandy (June 6th 1944).
6. Stroll throught Quartier Petit-Champlain
Once the bustling heart of New France, Quartier Petit-Champlain is now home to a wide variety of shops, services, and entertainment. The pedestrian-only streets are perfect for strolling, meandering, and lingering. This is a truly lovely area year-round.
If you’re a tourist in Québec, be sure to look up. You might see an enormous mural on the side of a building. It’s a giant picture that shows Québec’s history. It’s really cool! If you’re hungry, there are tons of restaurants and bars. Try the Québécois cuisine, or get something sweet! There are so many chocolate shops, bakeries, and ice cream shops, you’ll feel like you’re in heaven.
7. Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement) & Parliament Hill
In the heart of the city, there is a provincial government district that evokes the grandeur of Parisian architecture. The Parliament Building, completed in 1877, was modeled after some of the most famous buildings in France. However, it has been added to over time .
The National Assembly and the Legislative Council are two government buildings in Paris, both of which are open to the public. They are both beautiful, ornate, and impressive. If you wish to visit either of these buildings, you should make a reservation beforehand.
Nearby, you will find a theatre for plays, concerts, and symphony performances. There is also a large shopping and entertainment complex where you can spend your time.
8. Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Québec is home to Sainte Anne, the patron saint of the province. Sainte Anne is credited with many miracles of healing the sick and disabled. The stunning Catholic basilica in Beaupre, northeast of Québec City, attracts half a million pilgrims each year. The present-day church was built in 1926, but the first chapel was erected here in 1657.
Canada has another beautiful basilica. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec is a Catholic cathedral in the city of Quebec that was built in the 1800s. This building has many impressive features, including stained-glass windows that are very pretty.
9. Observatoire de la Capitale (Capital Observatory)
The highest building in Quebec City is a great place to look down on the city. Interactive exhibits help you learn about the history of the city. The kids section is designed especially for children, so they can learn about the history of the city too. The view extends beyond the old walled city to Levis, the St. Lawrence, and Île d’Orléans.
Québec City is a hilly city, so it’s no surprise that travelers need help getting from the lower town to the upper town. The funicular, a combination of a tram and a cable car, provides a gentle ride up the steep hills. It runs from Petit-Champlain in the lower town to Château Frontenac in the upper town.
The London Eye was first built in 1879. In 1998, glass-enclosed carriage pods were added. It’s been carrying millions of people every year at a 45-degree angle.
10. Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site
Québec has many different walls, cannon, and other weapons to protect itself. They can be seen on a one-hour walk around the city. Québec was the former French colony that was built to be protected by these weapons.
Completed in 1832, the four and a half kilometers of ramparts were constructed on the west flank of the Old City; these defensive walls were made of granite and sand and remain the only fortifications in North America. Hundreds of thousands of weapons remind us of Québec’s troubled past.
11. Old Port (Vieux Port)
The 19th century Old Port in Quebec City is a national historic site. It was once a lively commercial hub, but it fell into disuse. Now you can learn about the 19th century at the Interpretation Center and through the stunning visuals and sound of Le Moulin à images during summer.
Also on the waterfront, a public market offers a wide variety of goods and services. You can find a lot of local products there, as well as bicycle rentals.
12. Québec-Levis Ferry
On the Quebec side of the St. Lawrence River, this ferry provides a practical and affordable way to cross the water and see some sights. With its view of the city skyline, it’s also a nice way to get between Québec City and Levis.
Take the ferry at night and you’ll be able to see the Château Frontenac, Price Building, and other historic structures. You can easily reach the waterfront from Lower Town by taking a bus or a taxi.
13. Grande Allée
The city begins outside the walled area. The central area is most interesting for tourists: here, an abundance of restaurants and nightlife venues bring both locals and visitors.
Québec City’s most well-known street, Grand Allée, used to house the city’s richest citizens. Attractions on this street include the Grande Allée Drill Hall, Battlefields Park, and the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec.
14. Carnaval de Québec
Québec’s Carnaval de Québec is a huge winter carnival held during the coldest days of the year. The first Carnaval was held in 1894, and since 1955 it has been an annual event. The festival is led by a giant snowman mascot named Bonhomme Carnaval, who lives in a beautiful castle made of ice.
Two snow sculpting competitions take place every year at the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City, Canada. Visitors can watch the artists working on their creations and then vote for their favorites. Judges are also present to choose the best sculptures.
The city’s residents host an incredible amount of traditional events, with some of the most zany ones including snow swimming in bathing suits, snow sledding, snow skiing, and snow dancing.
Many of the events are free and open to the public, while others require the purchase of a pass that allows entry to the rest of the events.
15. Pont de Québec
The Pont de Québec is a suspension bridge that spans the St. Lawrence River. It is one of the largest in the world. It was completed in 1917 after a construction period that lasted more than a decade and had two major accidents that claimed the lives of a total of 83 workers.
The Pierre Laporte Bridge is named after Québec’s former Vice-Premier, Pierre Laporte. He was killed during the famous October Crisis of 1970, when the Québec Liberation Front kidnapped him. The bridge opened in 1970 and was the longest suspension bridge in Canada at the time, with a 1,040-meter (3,400-foot) span.