Quebec City

History and tradition glitter in the birthplace of French Canada

Built on a sheer cliff called Cape Diamond, Québec City’s a genuine gem. In the old town, uncover its European roots on Place Royale square. Then wander along Rue du Petit Champlain – it bubbles over with bars and bistros that serve everything from rustic pub grub to nouvelle cuisine.

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Things to Do in Quebec City

Grande Allée

Popular Areas

This street has upscale sensibilities. For proof, count the number of sports cars that stand outside its eccentric Victorian mansions. Yet, the restaurant terraces of Grande Allée are social hotspots for all locals. Try relaxed Taverne for rustic pub grub, or sip a cocktail in glammy bistro-bar Savini. At Louis-Hébert, sample classic duck dishes. Vive la difference!

Accommodations near Grande Allée
  • Grande Allée, G1S 1E1
Plains of Abraham


In 1759, this sprawling green space was the scene of clashes between French and British forces. Nowadays there are no battle cries, just the sound of joy and laughter. In summer, outdoor concerts boom across “Les Plaines”, and picnickers spread their blankets on grassy knolls. During winter, hardy locals swish around ski trails that overlook the icy Saint Lawrence River.

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Fortifications of Québec


These 17th-century ramparts are in remarkable shape. Sprouting out either side of the Citadel fort, the grey stone defences loop around Old Québec. A brisk walk leads you to three of the four remaining city gates. Start at Porte Saint-Louis and follow the wall northwards along Parc de l’Esplanade, to Porte Kent and Saint-Jean. Here, a dedicated museum recounts their origins.

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Citadel of Québec


It’s ironic that this military base is home to Canada’s only French-speaking army regiment – it was built by the British Army in the 19th century. Set atop Cape Diamond cliff, the star-shaped fort is a great vantage point for vistas over Old Québec and the harbour. In the museum, browse a raft of artefacts: from dusty 17th-century muskets to cherished collections of WWI medals.

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Terrasse Dufferin

Popular Areas

The views from this boardwalk are anything but “duff”. This walkway straddles the upper and lower old town. Hop on the city funicular, and zip up to the promenade. Stroll in sync with the St Lawrence River, from the famous Château Frontenac hotel to the Citadel – the home of Governor General Dufferin, who commissioned the terrace. Once there, spot the cornerstone he laid in 1878.

Accommodations near Terrasse Dufferin
  • 6 Place Terrasse Dufferin, G1R 4N5
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac


Kings, presidents, movie stars. They’ve all stayed here. Perched high on Cape Diamond, this hotel’s castle-like turrets dominate the skyline. Frontenac’s hosted everything from Alfred Hitchcock film sets to Allied leaders’ meetings during WWII. Sample first-class fare in the opulent Champlain Restaurant, or nibble on top-notch cheeses in the wine bar that overlooks the river.

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Quartier du Petit Champlain

Popular Areas

This charming neighbourhood looks like a snapshot of Europe. From the upper town, slowly descend what locals call the “Breakneck Steps”, or take a whistle-stop ride on the old-time funicular. In the shadow of Cape Diamond, amble down Rue du Petit Champlain. It’s a slender street of 17th-century stone buildings that house arty boutiques and pastry shops.

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Place Royale


This cobbled square is the birthplace of French Canada. In 1608, explorer Samuel de Champlain opened a trading post here and founded Québec. Nowadays, the square’s quaint stone buildings house antique and craft shops. Wander the narrow streets until the bells of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church ring. Then retire to Lapin Sauté to savour their rabbit stew and old-world ambiance.

Accommodations near Place Royale
  • 1-17 Place Royale, G1K 4G6
Parc Aquarium du Québec


Tucked away amid oak forests, this aquarium houses 300 species of marine animals. In the main building, tunnel through the “Awesome Ocean” – it’s an underwater exhibition that harbours everything from seahorses to jellyfish. Catch a show to see if polar bears or walruses make the biggest splash, then take a breather by the riverside picnic tables.

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Montmorency Falls Park


Poet John Keats once wrote about this park’s “monstrous steep”. In sheer height, Montmorency Falls topples the more famous Niagara Falls by thirty metres. Flanked by cliffs of evergreens, the cascade’s copious flow is felt from all angles. Ramble the park’s panoramic trails, take a cable car cruise, or traverse the suspension bridge above the falls’ rumbling waters.

Accommodations near Montmorency Falls Park

Accommodations and Hotels in Quebec City

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1383 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 1 Rue des Carrieres, Old Quebec, Quebec City
Hôtel Sainte-Anne

8.7 Excellent

Score from 1170 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 32 rue Sainte-Anne, Old Quebec, Quebec City
Hôtel Le Concorde Québec

8 Very good

Score from 2721 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 1225 Cours du Général-de Montcalm, Old Quebec - Upper Town, Quebec City
Hotel Le Saint-Paul

8.5 Very good

Score from 852 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 229 rue Saint-Paul, Centre-Ville, Quebec City
Hotel Clarendon

8.5 Very good

Score from 1113 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 57 Rue Sainte-Anne, Old Quebec, Quebec City
Best Western Plus Centre-ville/City Centre Québec

8.3 Very good

Score from 1237 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 330 Rue de la Couronne, Centre-Ville, Quebec City
Hôtel Manoir de l'Esplanade

8.8 Excellent

Score from 799 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 83 rue d'Auteuil, Old Quebec, Quebec City
Chateau Repotel Henri IV

8.5 Very good

Score from 3420 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 2500 Avenue St-Jean-Baptiste, Les Rivières, Quebec City
Hotel Relais Charles-Alexandre

8.6 Excellent

Score from 425 ratings.


Average price per night
  • 91 Grande- Allée E., Centre-Ville, Quebec City
Discover Quebec City

Popular Neighborhoods in Quebec City

Old Quebec - Lower Town

19 properties

This area’s cobbled and slanted streets lend it the air of an Alpine village. Québec’s first French settlers made their home here. See their faces in the eye-catching murals found at either end of cute Rue du Petit Champlain. Peruse the Old Port Market for maple syrup and artisan cheeses. At snug Café St-Malo, curl up by the fire and sip on fine wine.


19 properties

In 1541, explorer Jacques Cartier settled this green stretch of the St Lawrence River. Now, it’s colonised by students who attend esteemed Laval University, Canada’s oldest college. The cool kids hang on Shack Bar’s lively terrace and boogie late in Club Maurice. For old-school vibes, relive the revelry of medieval taverns at La Chope Gobeline.

Les Rivières

14 properties

This riverside borough is a sleepy, middle-class suburb. Or is it? At weekends, it bursts to life with locals and day-trippers alike. Monster mall Les Galleries de La Capitale is the big draw. Join the carousel of shoppers in stores like Gap, Sears and Toys R Us. Then, get your skates on around Méga Parc’s ice rinks, arcades and ferris wheels.

Old Quebec - Upper Town

9 properties

This historic hub has seen epic battles on the Plains of Abraham and glitzy guests at Château Frontenac. In 1759, the British scaled Cape Diamond and took Québec – today, a quick funicular trip takes you up. At Citadel Fortress, dig into its military history and see the changing of the guards. Toast the day’s end at “1608”, Frontenac’s river-view bar.


9 properties

Rejuvenated Saint-Roch, oh how it sparkles! This blue-collar quarter’s gone from rough gem to polished diamond in no time. Ramble along prettily-lit Rue Saint Joseph to find the hippest vintage shops and most-bearded bars. Le Cercle serves up gourmet food, industrial-chic décor and thumping DJs. For beers and bonhomie, try La Barberie microbrewery.

Local Tips for Quebec City

Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France
by Melissa

Browsing bookshops and experiencing the change of the seasons are Melissa’s city picks.

You can take a unique journey back to the 17th and 18th centuries at this summer festival, which celebrates the city’s origins as the capital of New France. It's the perfect opportunity to step back in time and dress up in period costume, right in the heart of Old Québec.

  • 5 Rue du Cul-de-Sac, C.P. 128, succ. B, G1K 7A1
  • The festival takes place every year in August. Check website for details.
Les Promenades Fantômes (Ghost Tours)
by Kim

Kim likes to spend her time satiating her passion for books and delicious food.

For a unique way to spend an evening, take a creepy after-dark tour through the winding streets of Old Québec. Your ghostly guide will share spooky stories and gory details about the darker side of the city’s history. Tours leave from outside the Morrin Centre – join in if you dare!

Rue du Trésor
by Myriam

An avid baker, Myriam enjoys cookery classes and creating sweet treats for her co-workers.

I’d recommend heading to this small, charming street for the chance to see local artists displaying their work. An original painting of the city from Rue du Trésor makes a great souvenir to take back home with you.

Complèxe Capitale Hélicoptère
by Marc

Thrillseeker Marc is passionate about adventure sports, from rafting and climbing to skydiving.

I’m always on the lookout for exciting new experiences, and I certainly got one at Québec City’s Complèxe Capitale Hélicoptère. This interactive helicopter museum offers flight simulators, helicopter rides and even the chance to be a pilot for the day – unforgettable!

See all traveler recommendations

Best of Quebec City

Quebec is a city rich in history. It's blend of local Canadian national history, as well as it's rich ties to France and England, make it a hot bed for interesting landmarks. asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Quebec City for food?

There are many good restaurants which includes getting outside the walled Old City

I took a carriage ride with the love of my life. It was not inexpensive but it was the singularly most romantic thing I have ever done in my life and well worth it.

There is a reason that the famed Canadian friendliness is so often mentioned, and that is because it is very accurate. The people are warm, despite the climate. While their native language is French, the vast majority of the population is fluent in English as well. They're willing to help with directions as well as advice on what to see.

Will take your breath your breath away, literally, at -28C, and figuratively!

Take a walk around old Quebec. It has a unique feel that blends together French culture and Canadian pride. It is unlike any place in North America, but will remind the seasoned traveler of it's original patron-country, France.

Lobster burger and fries at Le Chic Shack

We enjoy exercise and we walked if you stay in the Old-Town area, everything is within reasonable walking distance.

Poutine, and other french dishes are amazing...


Quebec City Transportation

Air - Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport

Situated 11 km from the city centre, Québec City Airport is easily reached by taxi. Cabs stop directly outside the terminal – vehicle type varies but all should have a clearly displayed ‘TAXI’ sign. The drive to the centre takes around 20 minutes, depending on traffic, and has a fixed price of CAD 34.25. Alternatively, 3 buses run to Les Saules bus terminal between 16:05 and 17:35, Monday–Friday only. A one-way ticket costs CAD 3.25, payable in change on board.


Trains don’t run within Québec City itself, but are very handy for visiting nearby cities. The rail network is well organised, schedules are convenient and trains are comfortable. The city’s main station is Gare du Palais, while Sainte-Foy is a smaller station located next to the Aquarium. Tickets are sold online or at machines and counters inside the stations. Prices depend on the destination, with a one-way economy class ticket to Montréal costing around CAD 85.


Québec City’s efficient bus network covers the whole city and suburbs. A single ticket within the city costs CAD 3.25. You can pay on the bus in exact change, or buy tickets from selected convenience stores ("dépanneurs”). Timetables vary from line to line, but most buses run from roughly 07:00–23:30. On Friday and Saturday nights, night buses also cover key routes. Detailed schedules are available online – in winter, be aware that buses may be late due to snow.


Québec is a very bike-friendly city, with over 400 km of cycle paths. Most of them lead to La Route Verte, a multipurpose trail network which criss-crosses the province. The city centre is safe and accessible for cyclists, apart from the steep hills of Old Québec’s Upper Town. There is no public bicycle hire service, but many hotels have free bikes available to their guests. Several private companies also offer bike rentals, including Cyclo Services and Ecolocyclo.


Driving is probably the easiest way to get around Québec, although a car really isn’t necessary if you are only visiting the city centre. Car rental agencies can be found both at the airport and within the city. Parking can be hard to find at busy times, particularly in Old Québec. Metered on-street parking is limited to stays of either 2 or 5 hours, depending on the zone, and generally costs around CAD 2 per hour. On public holidays, parking is free.


Regular ferries cross the St. Lawrence River from Old Québec to Lévis, a historic town with wonderful views of Québec City. Boats make the 10-minute crossing between 06:00 and 02:00, with varying prices for foot passengers, cyclists and motorists. A standard adult ticket for a foot passenger or cyclist costs CAD 3.50, payable on board. The ferry terminals on both sides have good public transport links and easy access to cycle paths along the riverbank.

Food in Quebec City

Top Restaurants in Quebec City

Cheap Eats
La Belle Excuse
  • 1622 Chemin Saint-Louis, G1S 1G7
  • Open Monday-Friday 08:00-17:00, Saturday-Sunday 08:00-18:00.
Cheap Eats
Épices de l'Inde
  • 1114 Avenue Cartier, G1R 2S5
  • Open Monday-Friday 11:30-14:00 and 17:30-22:30, Saturday-Sunday 17:30-22:30
Upscale Dining
Bistro B
  • 1144 Avenue Cartier, G1R 2S5
  • Open Monday-Friday 11:30-23:00, Saturday 06:00-23:00, Sunday 10:00-23:00
Cheap Eats
Café au temps perdu
  • 867 Avenue Myrand, G1V 2V8
  • Open Sunday-Wednesday 10:00-00:00, Thursday-Saturday 10:00-00:30
Mid-Range Fare
South African
La Calebasse
  • 969 Avenue Myrand, G1V 2W6
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 11:00-20:00, Thursday-Saturday 11:00-22:00, Sunday 11:00-20:00
Upscale Dining
L'Affaire Est Ketchup
  • 46 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 3A6
  • Open Tuesday-Saturday 06:00-23:00
Upscale Dining
Le Café du Clocher Penché
  • 203 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 3B1
  • Open Tuesday–Friday 11:30–14:00 and 17:00-22:00, Saturday 09:00-14:00 and 17:00-22:00, Sunday 09:00-14:00
Upscale Dining
Le Cercle
  • 228 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 3A9
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 11:30-01:30, Thursday-Friday 11:30-15:00, Saturday 15:00-03:00, Sunday 10:00-01:30
Cheap Eats
La Boîte à Pain
  • 289 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 6A8
  • Open Monday-Saturday 06:30-20:00, Sunday 06:30-17:30
Cheap Eats
Le Nektar
  • 235 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 3B1
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 07:00-19:00, Thursday-Friday 07:00-21:00, Saturday-Sunday 08:00-19:00
Cheap Eats
Le Bureau de Poste
  • 296 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 3B1
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11:00-03:00
Cheap Eats
Phil Smoked Meat
  • 275 Rue Saint-Vallier Est, G1K 3P5
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 11:00-20:30, Thursday-Saturday 11:00-21:00
Mid-Range Fare
Le Billig
  • 481 Rue Saint-Jean, G1R 1P4
  • Open Monday-Friday 11:00-22:00, Saturday-Sunday 10:00-22:00
Cheap Eats
Brûlerie Saint-Roch
  • 375 Rue Saint-Joseph, G1K 3B3
  • Open Sunday-Thursday 06:30–22:00, Friday-Saturday 06:30-23:00
Cheap Eats
La Brûlerie de Café de Québec
  • 575 Rue Saint-Jean, G1R 1P5
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 07:30-20:00, Thursday-Friday 07:30-21:00, Saturday-Sunday 09:00-17:00
Upscale Dining
Le Moine Échanson
  • 585 Rue Saint-Jean, G1R 1P7
  • Open Monday-Sunday 16:00-23:00
Mid-Range Fare
Bistro Le 330
  • 330 Rue de la Couronne, G1K 6E6
  • Open Monday-Friday 07:00-11:00 and 17:00-22:00, Saturday-Sunday 07:00-12:00 and 17:00-22:00
Mid-Range Fare
  • 395 Rue de la Couronne, G1K 7X4
  • Open Saturday-Sunday 07:00-12:00 and 17:30-22:00, Monday-Tuesday 06:30-10:30 and 17:30-22:00, Wednesday-Friday 06:30-10:30 and 11:30-14:00 and 17:30-22:00
Mid-Range Fare
Cosmos Café
  • 575 Grande Allée Est, G1R 2K4
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 07:00-22:00, Thursday 07:00-23:00, Friday 07:00-00:00, Saturday 08:00-00:00, Sunday 08:00-22:00
Cheap Eats
Mia Pasta
  • 450 Boulevard Charest Est, G1K 3J1
  • Open Sunday-Wednesday 11:00–21:00, Thursday-Saturday 11:00-22:00
Mid-Range Fare
  • 441 Rue Du Parvis, G1K 9L6
  • Open Wednesday-Sunday 16:30-03:00
Mid-Range Fare
Pub du Parvis
  • 481 Rue Saint-Joseph Est, G1K 3B6
  • Open Monday-Friday 11:00-00:00, Saturday-Sunday 09:00-00:00
Upscale Dining
  • 432 Rue du Parvis, G1K 6H8
  • Open Monday-Wednesday 11:30-21:30, Thursday-Friday 11:30-22:30, Saturday 17:00-22:30, Sunday 17:00-21:30
Cheap Eats
La Petite Boîte Vietnamienne
  • 281 Rue de la Couronne, G1K 6E2
  • Open Tuesday-Friday 11:00-22:00, Saturday 16:00-22:00
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Taverne Grande Allée
  • 585 Grande Allée Est, G1R 2K4
  • Open Monday-Tuesday 15:00-03:00, Wednesday-Friday 11:00-15:00, Saturday-Sunday 13:00-03:00
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