Québec City, Canada is the perfect way to get a taste of France without having to travel so far. Between the winding cobblestone streets and towering cathedrals and the smell of fresh-baked bread, cheeses, croissants, and lattes from the bakeries and bistros, you’ll feel like you’re right in France while visiting the Canadian capital. The city is full of a rich heritage and it shouldn’t be overlooked for more popular neighbors like Montreal and Toronto when visiting Canada. Here’s your guide to Québec City.
Best Time to Visit
The best times to visit are June through September and December through February. Summer’s the most popular time to visit due to the festivals. June through September has lows of 45 F and highs of 77 F. During the spring and fall shoulder seasons, the rates are lower and there are perks like maple syrup and beautiful fall foliage.
How to Get Around
The best way to get around the city is by foot as most things are within walking distance. Other options include biking, the city’s Métrobus shuttles, and funicular which is a steeply sloping railway. If you’re staying in Québec City you don’t need a car.
Where to Stay
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, a 5-star hotel, has amazing views of the St. Lawrence River and the architecture from the Old fortified city. The location of this hotel can’t be beaten as it’s super close to the city’s top attractions. There’s also a spa and fitness center and four dining options.
This 4.5-star hotel is in Québec City’s Old Port and part of its charm is its elegant decor which features hundreds-year-old artifacts as well as modern accents. The hotel has a private movie screening room, a fitness center, a private spa, and three dining options.
Hotel 71 is a 4.5-star hotel that’s housed in a centuries-old neoclassical building that was once the headquarters for the National Bank of Canada. The stylish accommodations include hardwood floors, high ceilings, and red decorative accents. One of the highlights of the hotel is its proximity to the city’s main attractions. The hotel also has wine and spirit dispensers, a gym, a salon, an espresso lounge, and a restaurant.
What to Do
Old Québec is known for its narrow, winding streets and stone buildings. The historic neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it’s home to the city’s best tourist attractions including Citadel, the Quartier Petit-Champlain, and the Notre-Dame Basilica.
Battlefields Park (Parc des Champs-de-Bataille)
Battlefields Park is rich with colonial history and the 267-acre strip of land is where the Battle of Québec happened. You’ll find historical elements like cannons and perfectly manicured gardens.
Montmorency Falls Park (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency)
Along the St. Lawrence River, you’ll find Montmorency Falls Park which has a 272-foot waterfall. The waterfall is one and a half times taller than Niagra Falls. Enjoy the hiking trails, playground, bike paths, snowshoeing, ice climbing, and double zip line at the park.
What to Eat
Meat Pies (Tourtière)
Meat pies, known as Tourtière, are filled with seasoned minced pork, veal, or beef and potatoes, and they’re a staple in the city. They’re also a traditional Christmas and New Year’s Eve meal.
This traditional French food is super popular in the city and there are both sweet and savory options. Make sure you try both while visiting!
Probably the most famous cuisine in Canada is poutine, which combines French fries with gravy and cheese curds. It’s a must-eat while in Québec City.