Québec City's Top 20 Sights
Collected by John Newton , AFAR Contributor
The cultural and political capital of the province of Québec is a compact, historic city. For any traveler interested in culture—or simply looking for a few days in a Canadian city with European flair—Québec is an enchanting must-visit.
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...
Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC G1R 5J5, Canada
Overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the Terrasse Dufferin (Dufferin Terrace) runs along the top of a cliff, some 200 feet above the Lower Town, and is presided over by the grande dame hotel Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. The terrace was...
16 Rue du Petit Champlain, Québec, QC G1K 4H4, Canada
The distance separating Québec's Lower and Upper towns is not that formidable—about 200 feet—and if you have the time and are not deterred by a little effort, you can easily walk between the two along Old Québec's...
Saint-Jean-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, QC, Canada
Just downriver from Québec City, less than a half hour by car, the Île d'Orléans is the source of much of the bounty that you'll find in the city's farmers' market, the Marché du Vieux-Port. The island's farms and orchards grow apples, berries,...
160 Quai Saint-André, Québec, QC G1K 3Y2, Canada
Just to the north of Old Québec, on the Louise Basin marina, Québec City's farmers' market showcases the best produce grown in the region—you can expect an abundance of apples and berries, in season at least. It's a good place to pick up gifts...
636 Rue Saint-Jean, Québec, QC G1R 1P8, Canada
One of the oldest streets in the city, Rue Saint-Jean begins in the heart of the Upper Town, not far from the Hôtel de Ville (city hall). It was laid out in the 17th century to connect a country estate to the city; now it connects old Québec City...
1105 Avenue Cartier, Québec, QC G1R 2S6, Canada
A little beyond the city walls, and just a few blocks from the Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Québec and the Plains of Abraham, Avenue Cartier offers a different shopping experience than what you'll find in Old Town. This is a part...
29 Rue Notre Dame, Québec, QC G1K 4E9, Canada
On your visit to Québec City, there is no reason you need to settle for a buffalo-plaid fleece or a stuffed moose toy when you are shopping for gifts to take back home. Old Québec has countless boutiques, crafts stores, and galleries highlighting...
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...
2 Côte de la Fabrique, Québec, QC G1R 3V6, Canada
If you happen to be French, French Canadian, or simply of French descent, the Musée de l'Amérique Francophone (Museum of Francophone America) in the heart of Old Québec will be of special interest—the interactive...
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...
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...
12 Rue Donnacona, Québec, QC G1R 3Y7, Canada
Located in Upper Town, Musée des Ursulines de Québec (the Ursulines Museum) 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...
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...
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...
835 Avenue Wilfrid-Laurier, Québec, QC G1R 2L3, Canada
Just south of the historic center of Québec City, the Battlefields Park is one of the most important historic sites in Canada. Here, the dream of New France—a more than 200-year-long project by the French to colonize North America—was dealt a...
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 Hôtel du Parlement (Parliament Building) is where Québec's National Assembly meets. Statues of French and Québecois explorers and military figures decorate the facade of this grand and...
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...
31 Rue des Jardins, Québec, QC G1R 3Y9, Canada
Québec City has two cathedrals, both in Upper Town: the Roman Catholic Notre-Dame and the Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, a block away. When it was consecrated in 1804, Holy Trinity had the distinction of being the first Anglican cathedral...
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