On a very cold day...
Only a few hours away from Montreal stands an old charming city. We have explored Quebec City multiple times by taking the short drive and it has become one of our favourite cities to visit. It's basically our home away from home.
There's nothing like coming for the view, enjoying a few good meals and returning back all in the same day. The wonderful part about this city is that it's beautiful year-round. If you can bare the cold, we believe Quebec is at its most charming in the wintertime. They do also host one of the largest winter festivals in the world "The Quebec Winter Carnival" . We have discovered many of Quebec City's neighborhoods and we're eager to share them with you. For now, enjoy a day in beautiful Old Quebec.
Even if you don't recognize it by name, chances are you have already seen the world's most photographed hotel on a postcard. The iconic Château Frontenac is truly the symbol of Old Quebec. If you plan on staying for one day in Quebec City, this is definitely the place to book a room. The 100 year-old hotel stands on the top of the hill overlooking the Saint-Lawrence River. You can get a spectacular view from above and really capture the beauty of the city and the regions surrounding it.
If you can't stay in one of the rooms since they can be pricey, that doesn't mean you can't stop by and snap a picture outside of the hotel. In addition, you won't be hassled if you decide to step inside as well. Experience the hotel that has entertained guests like Queen Elizabeth, Alfred Hitchcock, Céline Dion and a ton of other celebrities. In addition, the World War II Allies' Conferences were held at the Château as well. Legendary leaders like Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt and William Lyon Mackenzie King discussed strategies here at the height of the war in 1943.
In the winter, Terrasse Dufferin offers a cool toboggan ride down the hill that's fun for families. The area is busy with tourists and street entertainment. You can also see the fortifications that surround the Château, which include large cannons that used to defend the Old City.
The rest of upper town includes many historical sites to visit like La Citadelle and Plaines d'Abraham.
The Funicular will take you down to the heart of Place-Royale at a nominal fee. A quick way to avoid the many steps!
There's nothing like the charm you will find at this 400 year-old area. Found below the Château Frontenac are some of the most well preserved buildings. It was the first French settlement in 1608 and people are still drawn to it today. True it's packed with tourists, but somehow it remains comforting as you look at the beautiful lights and seasonal decorations.
The oldest stone church in North America is located in the center of Place Royale. This small church survived bombardment during war and was fully restored thereafter. Take the free tour to see the sanctuary and relics.
Take a stroll along the narrow paths and don't forget to snap a picture from the "Breakneck Stairs". There are many gathering spots with fire pits that we thoroughly enjoy and the ambiance is great. The old architecture really does feel like a taste of Europe!
SHOPPING IN QUARTIER PETIT-CHAMPLAIN
We can't help to buy at least one item every time we come here. Touring Petit-Champlain cannot be complete without shopping local brands. A vast selection of specialty shops and artisans offer many original items that you won't find anywhere else. If you're looking for souvenirs, clothes or home decorations, they're all here. Shop among our favourite stores like Amimoc (handmade mocassins) and Charlevoix Pure Laine (handmade wool accessories).
Rue Couillard is slightly off the beaten path, yet another charming Quebec street nonetheless. The curved street is filled with colorful buildings and old architecture to admire.
Sweettraveler tip: Enjoy breakfast or lunch at the cozy Chez Temporel restaurant.
ANTIQUE SHOPPING ON RUE SAINT-PAUL
On this famous street, you will find many antique shops, art galleries and a great choice of 5-star dining.
Stroll through this thin back alley lane only 3 meters wide. The street runs behind the buildings along rue Saint-Paul and is known as the oldest and narrowest street in Québec City. It's fun, quiet and picture-worthy!
Sweettraveler Tip: A Quebec City must for all foodies. Stop at Buffet Antiquitaire for an all-day breakfast, traditional Quebec cuisine or their famous breakfast poutine (which was to die for!)
STROLL ON RUE SAINT-JEAN
Only walking distance from the Chateau Frontenac, this interesting long street is very vibrant day and night. Lots of cafés, pubs, restaurants, independent stores like antique shops and clothing stores are located on the most touristic street in Quebec City. If you get cold, almost every couple of steps offers a place to either sit, shop or simply warm up!
Sweettraveler Tip: You must stop by at Quebec City's most famous bakery Paillard for hot chocolate and pastries. Our trip can never be fulfilled without stopping here for their delicious croissants.
We hope this can fulfill your next day trip!