Top Attractions in Québec City
Top Attractions in Québec City
Drenched in history, Québec city's charming setting on the rocky spur of Cape Diamond gives it a strong defensive position which is snuggled by the rivers on both sides. A city dating back to 400 years, it summons a history saturated with the grisly fights of the First Nations, military battles and investigation. This hotbed of historical significance has built a character on its thriving French culture, economic growth and transformation into an important commercial center. A pocket of Europe in the North American continent, you will find the traces of its centuries old past in its dialect, festivals and at various historic sites. The walled fortifications, the historical buildings, renowned festivals and the presence of nature at its door have all earned this city an acknowledgement of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From chaotic streets packed with patio restaurants and cozy cafes in summer to natural destinations that host outdoor activities in winter, Quebec goes to great lengths to charm you with an atmosphere of its own.
Divided into Upper Town and Lower Town, Old Quebec is the place where the original settlers of the fortified city resided. A hotbed of historical significance, this quaint little town is home to various historical sites and buildings, and is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. Wander around the century-old dwellings of the town as you stumble upon fascinating streets like Sous-Les-Cap and Petit Champlain that are cramped with antique shops, cozy cafés, galleries and more. If you wish to feel the true European flair, ride a horse-drawn carriage and explore the fortifications, citadel and other historic sites. Visit Place Royale, the nucleus that gave birth to the city, during summers to watch street performers show off their skills or in winter to be stupified with illuminated fairy lights and ice sculptures.
This majestic waterfall, located a few minutes away from old Quebec City, captivates nature lovers with its 83-meters of cascading waters along the Montmorency river. A full 30 meters taller than the Niagara Falls, the Montmorency Falls attracts sightseers in winter who come here to witness the frozen waterfall forming an exquisite sugar loaf. Reach the base of the falls through the cable car from Manoir Montmorency or just stand at the suspension bridge located at the crest of the falls as you treat yourself to some of the most spectacular views of these sublime waterfalls. Nudge your adventurous side as you climb the staircase beside the falls or zip over the falls with your partner through the double zipline.
La Citadelle de Québec:
Dig deep into the history of Quebec city at La Citadelle de Québec (Citadelle of Quebec City), the largest British fortress of the continent. Explore the "Gibraltar of America" which took nearly 30 years to be constructed. The fortress narrates fascinating stories as it unfolds 300 years of history before you. The impressive star-shaped structure was declared a National Historic Site and is home to Quebec's Royall 22e Regiment. The Citadel also houses an on-site museum that depicts military artefacts and the history of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Battlefields Park & Plains of Abraham:
Considered to be the first national urban park, the Battlefields Park covers an area of about 267 acres of lush green peaks. Wander around the park as you come across the popular Plains of Abraham, a place where the iconic battle between the British and French army was fought in 1759. A place where nature blends with historical elements like the ornamental cannon, monuments and commemorative plaques, this park is a perfect setting for nature lovers and history buffs. Today, it serves as a favorite picnic spot for families along with various recreational options like skating, jogging, skiing and snowshoeing. The park also hosts the Winter Carnival festivities and open-air summer concerts.
Aquarium du Québec:
Interact with over 10,000 aquatic animals at the Aquarium du Québec, a huge water space stretching over 40 acres. A safe haven for about 300 different marine species including exotic fishes, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, this aquarium lets you indulge in an experience of being up close and personal with the life under water in a massive 350,000-litre tank. On land, you are greeted by polar bears, walruses and seals, all trained and harmless. The water and rope activities captivate the attention of people of all ages.
Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site:
Brush up on the history of the city dating back to 3 centuries at the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site, a 4.6-kilometer long wall with imposing gates that was built by the French to strengthen its defense system against the British and the Americans. Gain an insight into the evolution of the defense system of the only surviving fortified city of the continent as you admire the stunning rampart that surrounds old Quebec. Today, the fortifications make for a good walk, especially during summers, as it is the starting point for numerous walking tours.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac:
Proudly standing as the city's icon for over a century, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is deemed to be the most picturesque hotel in the world. Built in 1893 atop the Cape Diamond, this hotel enchants its visitors with a splendid architecture complemented by a long trail of history right in the heart of old Quebec. Known for offering astounding views of Dufferin Terrace and the St. Lawrence River, this legendary castle is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been graced with the presence of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, President Franklin D Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, William Lyon, Mackenzie King, and many other dignitaries.
Hotel De Glace:
Also known as the Ice Hotel, this is one of the most iconic hotels across the entire of Canada. Entirely made up of ice and snow, Hotel de Glace is a must-see attraction that impresses the visitors from all over the world, by its dazzling décor, its huge snow vaults, crystalline ice sculptures and 44 rooms and suites.
Sanctuaire de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré:
Established in 1658, Sanctuaire de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is known for making jaw-dropping first impressions with its architectural beauty. Honoring the patron saint of the city, the church features a central vault that is completely adorned with mosaic while the stunning exteriors feature around 240 stained glass windows that bathes it in different hues. The worshippers from all over come here to pray to the patron Saint Anne and witness its miraculous healing powers.
Note: The basilica might charge an entry fee.
Quartier Petit Champlain:
The oldest shopping neighborhood of the continent, Quartier Petit Champlain is swamped with fashion boutiques and cozy bistros. Situated at the bottom of the cliff under Chateau Frontenac, this magical pedestrian street is among the most romantic areas of Quebec. Offering a personalized experience with all kinds of products and services including handicrafts, home décor items, jewelry, body care and more, Quartier Petit is a great place to gift yourself with a souvenir. Winters here are a magical experience with thousands of illuminated lights decorating the streets.