Formerly known as New France, Quebec City is still very similar to how it was over four hundred years ago. It is an iconic city filled with cobblestone streets, horse drawn wagons, and narrow houses. It is the official capital city of the entire province and it’s also one of the oldest settlements in North America. Quebec City is one of my all time favorite places that I’ve ever been to so here are some few helpful tips and everything else you need to know before visiting this beautiful city.
Where To Stay
The N Hotel
Located about 10 minutes away from the center of Old Quebec, this hotel is a great value for what you’re getting. It’s a very clean and friendly place with very spacious and comfortable rooms. For a more in depth review of this hotel refer to my hotel review for the N Hotel here.
Set in the heart of Old Quebec, the Chateau Bellevue is the perfect mix of old European and modern day. It is close to all of the main attractions that Quebec City is known for such as the Plains of Abraham and the Quartier Petit Champlain. Read my full review of the Chateau Bellevue for more details.
The Chateau Frontenac is one of Quebec’s most well-known monuments and it is one of the most photographed hotels in the world. It stands tall with about 600 rooms spread over a span of 18 floors. It sits on the Terrasse Dufferin and overlooks Old Quebec and the St-Lawrence River. Though this hotel is definitely one of the more expensive options in the city, the stunning look and feel of this hotel is well worth the price.
Places To Grab A Bite To Eat
Sapristi offers some of the best pizza and pasta in the whole city. Some examples of dishes that can be found on their menu include Greek flatbread pizza, nachos, and five cheese and bacon macaroni, all at reasonable prices too. The restaurant’s upstairs bar and patio area is also a popular hang out spot during the spring and summer seasons.
Le Chic Shack
Le Chic Shack is a restaurant located right beside the Chateau Frontenac. It offers up dishes such as poutines, salads, milkshakes, and homemade sodas. The great thing about this restaurant is that all of their dishes are prepared using only the freshest, local ingredients. The prices are also very reasonable for the quality of the food. The decor of the place is very inviting and modern with a touch of Old Quebec.
With a menu consisting of dishes such as salads, steaks, and seafood pot pies, the Cochon Dingue has something for even the pickiest of eaters. Located in the popular Petit Champlain district of the city, it’s a great place to grab a bite to eat then wander through the many shops in the area.
For authentic Quebec cuisine and some of the best breakfast in the city, La Buche is the place to go. This restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and the options are endless. The whole restaurant is also decorated with traditional Quebec decor and the staff are very friendly. One of my favorite dishes on the menu are the sweet crepes with caramel and creamy sugar on top.
Things to Do & Places to See
Quebec City is packed with activities to enjoy and things to see. Here are just a couple of my favorite things to do in the city.
For more ideas of things to do in Quebec City, read also ‘ 40+ Things To Do In Quebec City‘
Explore Petit Champlain
Quartier Petit Champlain is an entire street dedicated to pedestrians that is filled with boutiques, restaurants, art exhibits, and cafes. This shopping district does not have the normal hustle and bustle of a regular shopping mall but instead has a much more intimate feel to it. It’s also a great place to pick up some authentic Quebec souvenirs and to experience some of the city’s culture. This iconic shopping area is located at the foot of the famous Chateau Frontenac.
Observatoire de la Capitale
The Observatoire de la Capitale offers up 360 degree views of the city from 725 feet up. The viewing platform is located in the Marie-Guyart building on the 31st floor and is the highest skyscraper in all of Quebec City. Guests can marvel at unobstructed views of both the upper and lower ends of town as well as the St-Lawrence river and the Laurentian mountains in the distance.
Attend One of the Many Festivals
Quebec City sure knows how to throw a party which is probably why the city puts on tons of festivals throughout the year that cater to the interests of just about everyone. There are music festivals, historic festivals and winter carnivals to be enjoyed. Some examples of festivals that happen in Quebec City include the Quebec City summer festival, the Carnaval de Quebec and the New France festival.
Ride The Quebec-Levis Ferry
Sometimes in order to get the best views of a city you need to step away from it for a little while to experience the rolling hills and stunning skylines that can be found in Quebec City. Even though the city itself is beautiful, the best views of this place can be seen from the middle of the St-Lawrence river. The ferry runs from 6 am to 2 am all year long and brings visitors from Quebec City to the neighboring town of Levis. This offers up a great vantage point to get some great shots of the city. Consider riding the ferry in the morning or at sunset for even better views. The whole journey takes about 10 minutes, which leaves you with plenty of time left in your day to experience more of the city.
Places To Shop
Any time I visit a new place, I tend to look up the best shopping areas before I leave for my destination. I love shopping around in new cities and discovering stores that we don’t have back home. I’m also a sucker for cute little souvenirs, so for the shopaholics like myself out there, I’ve included some of my favorite stores that can be found in Quebec City.
La Boutique de Noel de Quebec
I’m not usually a huge fan of anything Christmas related, but the magic of this shop is not to be ignored. La Boutique de Noel offers up everything from nativity scenes, ornaments, and other Christmas collectible items. Regardless of the fact that this store sells only strictly Christmas related items, it is open all year round. The store is also conveniently located in the heart of Old Quebec, close to all the other main attractions.
Le Marche du Vieux Port
The Marche du Vieux-Port is located near the city’s old port and is a great place to buy locally grown, fresh food. The market is open all year round. Some of the things that can be purchased here include produce, fish, prepared meals, flowers, fine herbs, and maple products. This is a great place to procure all sorts of things and the atmosphere here is very friendly and inviting.
Magasin General P.L Blouin
This traditional Quebec City souvenir shop lies at the heart of Old Quebec and has been since 1890. This shop has the perfect mix of items that will bring a blast from the past as well as traditional Quebec themed souvenirs such as mugs, pins, and post cards. Even if you don’t end up purchasing anything from here, it is still a great place to photograph as the whole shop is modeled after early-century general stores.
Have you ever been to Quebec City? If so, where are some of your favorite places or some of your favorite things to do? Let me know in the comments below.