The Best of Quebec City
Collected by John Newton , AFAR Contributor
A weekend getaway guide to Quebec City filled with local-approved recommendations for first-timers. What are the main sights? Where should you eat? What are Quebec City's best kept secrets? Use this easy-to-follow guide to Montreal's stunning little sister to plan your trip.
3 Place Royale, Québec, QC G1K 4G3, Canada
The Place Royale in the Lower Town is a modest cobblestoned square lined with some souvenir shops and restaurants, in restored buildings that span the 17th to 19th centuries, as well as Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, which dates from 1688 (making it...
61 Rue du Petit Champlain, Québec, QC G1K 4H5, Canada
Even in a city with picturesque scenes around every corner, the Petit Champlain area, located along the waterfront in the Lower Town, stands out as an especially charming corner of Old Québec. The heart of the neighborhood is the Place...
1 Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC G1R 4P5, Canada
Set high above the St. Lawrence on Cap Diamant, overlooking Old Québec, this imposing yet inviting landmark is as much a lodging as it is a tourist attraction, borne out of its reputation as the most photographed hotel in the world. Opened...
12 Rue Donnacona, Québec, QC G1R 3Y7, Canada
Located in Upper Town, the Ursulines Museum (Musée des Ursulines de Québec) sits next to the order's complex of buildings, many constructed during the 17th century. Much of the history of New France is tied to religious orders, and the Ursulines...
16 Rue du Petit Champlain, Québec, QC G1K 4H4, Canada
A steep escarpment divides Old Québec into two parts: Lower Town, where the port was located, and Upper Town, where the wealthier residents lived and the site of most of the important civic and religious buildings. Fashions change, of course, and...
44 Chaussée des Écossais, Québec, QC G1R 4H3, Canada
Today, Québec City is decidedly francophone. While 50 percent of Montreal's residents describe their mother tongue as only French, the figure is 95 percent for Québec City. This was not always the case, and for much of its history the city had a...
32 Rue Sous le Fort, Québec, QC G1K 4G7, Canada
The first church to stand in the middle of the Place-Royale was built in 1688. After being severely damaged during the British siege of the city in 1759, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires was reconstructed on the same site. It has been remodeled and...
5300 Boulevard Sainte-Anne, Québec, QC G1C 1S1, Canada
Under 20 minutes by car from Québec City (or, if you are feeling ambitious, less than an hour by bike, with most of the ride on a well-maintained path), Chute-Montmorency (Montmorency Falls) is the area's most impressive natural wonder. If...
10018 Ave Royale, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré, QC G0A 3C0, Canada
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré (Sanctuaire de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré) lies about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Québec City. The soaring Gothic structure you see today was completed in 1926, but the earliest chapel to Saint Anne at the site...
1 Côte de la Citadelle, Québec, QC G1R 3R2, Canada
Atop Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond), at the city's highest point, the Citadelle overlooks Old Québec, the St. Lawrence River, and the Plains of Abraham. There have been defensive structures here as early as the French period—in fact, the location of...
1045 Rue des Parlementaires, Québec, QC G1A 1A3, Canada
Just outside the old city walls, the Parliament Building (Hôtel du Parlement) is the meeting place for Québec's National Assembly. Statues of French explorers and military figures decorate the facade of this grand Second Empire edifice. While you...
1037 Rue de la Chevrotière, Québec, QC G1R 5E9, Canada
A good start to your visit to Québec City is a stop at the Observatoire de la Capitale, just past the Parliament Building. The observation deck on the 31st floor of the Marie-Guyart Building stands 725 feet high and offers 360-degree views...
206 QC-138, Beaupré, QC G0A 1E0, Canada
Just over a half hour from Québec City, the Canyon Sainte-Anne offers a taste of the wilder side of the province. The principal attraction in this deep, forested gorge is the 74-meter (243-foot) Sainte-Anne waterfall. Suspension bridges and...
Lac-Beauport, QC G3B 0W4, Canada
The forested Laurentian Mountains north of Québec City have long been popular with skiers and hikers. Get a quick look at the region by taking a half-hour drive to Lac-Beauport, the name of both a town and the lake it sits on. The easygoing town...
179 Grande Allée Ouest, Québec, QC G1R 2H1, Canada
This sprawling museum is located in four buildings near Battlefields Park—the most recent of them, the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, opened in 2016 and was designed by starchitect Rem Koolhaas's OMA. The 25,000 works in its permanent collection...
2 Côte de la Fabrique, Québec, QC G1R 3V6, Canada
If you happen to be of French descent, this museum will be of special interest—the interactive displays will help you trace your family heritage. But it's worth a visit even if you don't have French ancestors. Exhibits trace the history of...
85 Rue Dalhousie, Québec, QC G1K 8R2, Canada
Located in Old Québec, not far from the St. Lawrence River, the Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilization) is an enormous (for Québec City, at least) museum with lofty ambitions. Exhibits cover just about every culture...
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