Quebec City is the capital of Canada’s predominantly French-speaking province, Quebec. It is the second largest city in Quebec, after Montreal, and is the seventh-largest metropolitan area in Canada. Quebec City is modern metropolis overflowing with Old World charm and over 400 years of history. It is a beloved capital that will entice you with its arts, culture, history and natural beauty.
We have put together a 24-hour itinerary to best experience what Quebec City truly has to offer.
Step Back in Time in Place Royale
A visit to Place-Royale is like traveling back in time to the early days of New France. It was here where Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City back in 1608 and is the oldest French settlement in North America.
Here you can admire the historic Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church. The church was built in 1688 making it the oldest stone church in North America.
Don’t miss the Fresque des Quebecois Mural, which displays over 400 years on Quebec’s history. If you look closely you’ll be able to find 15 historic figures and nearly a dozen of Québec’s leading writers and artists hidden throughout the mural. It is a truly spectacular piece.
Visit One-Of-A-Kind Boutiques in Petit Champlain
Located at the foot of the cliff beneath the Chateau Frontenac, and recognized as one of Quebec City’s most beautiful and charming areas, Petit Champlain is an excellent shopping experience. The street is lined with cobblestone streets and bursting with one-of-a-kind boutiques and bistros. Its narrow pedestrian streets offer a romantic atmosphere year-round, but it is especially magical during the winter months.
Stroll Along Terrasse Dufferin
Situated 60m above the St Lawrence River, this 425m-long boardwalk is a wonderful place for a stroll with spectacular, panoramic views.
During the summer months, Terrasse Dufferin is scattered with street performers and buskers and is a terrific place to walk while viewing the St. Lawrence River.
During the winter months, Terrasse Dufferin attracts thousands of visitors to ride unique toboggan slides. The slides overlook the St. Lawrence River and sit beside the world-famous Château Frontenac.
The walkway continues quite some distance along the St. Lawrence River, and if you don’t mind the walk, there is also a walkway into the Plains of Abraham.
Have Lunch at The Chateau Frontenac
The Chateau Frontenac is world renowned for being the world’s most photographed hotel so it wouldn’t be right to leave it off the list. The massive castle-like hotel is even more impressive in person.
Bistro Le Sam is located inside the hotel and offers spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River, casual lunch and dinner fare, and delicious cocktails.
Sail Across the St. Lawrence on the Quebec City-Levis Ferry
To experience the best possible view of the Quebec City skyline you actually have to leave Quebec City. The Québec City-Lévis ferry is an extremely affordable ($3.55 each way) and provides spectacular views of Old Québec while crossing the St. Lawrence River. The ride takes about 20 minutes and offers an excellent vantage point for taking gorgeous photographs of the skyline. The views from the ferry are beautiful all day long but are especially breathtaking at sunset.
Visit North America’s Only Ice Hotel
The enchanting Hôtel de Glace is a stunning work of art that is entirely built of snow and ice. Each and every winter, this unique hotel is completely redesigned and rebuilt so no year is exactly like the last. It is the only hotel of its kind in North America, but you don’t have to stay at the hotel to experience its beauty.
Access packages to the hotel are offered, that allow you to view the rooms and sculptures and even have a cocktail served in an ice glass without paying the hefty price of actually staying the night there.
Located only 4 km from the north end of Québec City, the Hôtel de Glace is a must-see attraction.
Thrill Seek at Montmorency Falls
Open year-round, the beautiful Montmorency Falls Park is just a few minutes from downtown Québec City and is a nature lovers dream. The waterfall is 275 feet high and 150 feet wide, making it the highest waterfall in all of Quebec, and even more impressively, is nearly 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls.
There are a few different ways to enjoy views of the waterfall. It can be seen from down at the base of the waterfall, from several staircases beside the waterfall, and from a suspension bridge over top of the falls.
The park offers great hiking and boasts a 300-meter-long zip line across the falls, perfect for thrill seekers.
Feast on Some Traditional Canadian Cuisine
If you’re a foodie, having poutine in poutine’s birthplace is a must. Poutine is a carb infested highly caloric combination of crispy French fries, cheese curds, and gravy, and it is delicious. Try Le Chic Shack for milkshakes and some delicious gourmet poutine.
Experience Quebec’s Winter Carnival
If you are traveling to Quebec City during the winter months be sure not to miss the Quebec Winter Carnival. From late January-February Quebec City transforms into one of the world’s biggest winter carnivals, it attracts thousands of visitors each year.
The Quebec Winter Carnival hosts a giant list of activities for all ages, including ice canoe racing, night parades, snow slides, giant foosball, snow sculptures, shows, and skating, and is fun for the whole family.
Quebec City is a perfect travel destination year-round, boasting unique experiences during both the winter and the summer months.