It’s been a year that my family and I travelled to Québec City, Québec. We’ve lived in Canada my entire life and have travelled a lot, but never to another destination within our own home country. We were looking for a quick little getaway; nothing too expensive, not too relaxed nor too adventurous. We had always been interested in visiting Québec so we booked the flight and left! I was so excited to just be going on a plane for the first time in a couple years that I really didn’t care where we went.
A common phrase throughout the trip was “I can’t believe we’re not in Europe!” It was so hard to believe that we were still on Canadian ground because we felt like we were across the sea. We stayed in downtown Québec but travelled into Old Québec everyday. Since we had a rental car, we made our way to the outskirts of the city here and there to see what else the province had to offer.
The entire trip did not disappoint. The hotel, the architecture and the food were all remarkable. ‘Till this day, my family still agrees that it was one of the best vacations we’ve been on. The mix of adventure while still having a sense of security (thank you Canadian currency) made the trip that much more enjoyable.
Instead of a day-to-day guide, I’ve included a majority of the must see attractions, restaurants and tips when travelling to Québec City.
● Umbrella Alley – Calling all my fellow Instagrammers! Umbrella Alley makes for a great picture, however, I recommend getting there early as it is surrounded by shops and restaurants crowded with people.
● Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec – Think of this as a giant elevator that you get to ride to the top of the mountain. Get ready for some great views!!
● Escalier Casse-Cou – Also known as the “Breakneck Steps”; these steps are the oldest in Québec and make for great pictures and a hefty workout.
● Québec City Mural – One of the most beautiful murals I’ve ever seen.
● Montmorency Falls – This one is for the adventurers! About an hours drive away but definitely worth the experience. You’ll get the chance to climb hundreds of stairs to the top of the mountain and walk across a bridge right over the waterfall.
● Videotron Center – Not a typical tourist attraction, except if there’s a concert you’re going to see or there’s an event going on – keep reading to learn why this made the list!
● Paillard St. Jean – This classy buffet had all the French classics: croissants, macarons, eclairs and so many more that are sure to make your mouth water.
● Les Trois Garçons – To be honest, this place was a little disappointing for me because I had been craving authentic French crepes. Unfortunately, when I received them, they were cold and super thick (I like my crepes paper thin, anybody else?). Despite that, it was still a good experience and the inside was super cute with subway tile walls and red leather booths.
● Rôtisserie St. Hubert – “The Québec equivalent to Swiss Chalet” – that’s what I had been told multiple times. As SC is one of my favourite restaurants, I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Luckily for them (and me), the food was great!
● Pub St. Patrick – The BEST poutine I’ve ever had!! Québec is famous for poutine and let me just say, this place did not disappoint. The food was amazing and the service was great. All round definitely 5 stars.
● Casa Calzone – This tiny hole in the wall made the absolute best calzones I’ve ever had (and I come from an Italian family with superb cooks). We stumbled across this place and boy am I glad. The food and the atmosphere made for a very memorable dinner. Fun fact about this place: at the end of the meal, the waiters hand out markers and invite you to write your name on the wall.
● Buffet de L’Antiquaire – Fresh eggs and bacon, lightly salted potatoes and the fluffiest homemade bread. Need I say more? If you’re looking for a quaint place to grab a morning bite, Buffet de L’Antiquaire will satisfy your cravings without a doubt.
● Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine – If you want a view of Old Québec while overlooking the water, this is the perfect place to go. The giant hill acts as a telescope for the historic buildings and bright blue water. If you’re lucky, you might even see a cruise ship come in.
● La Citadelle de Québec – Filled with hills and trails, the Citadelle overlooks a good portion of the city. You’ll come across statues and plaques teaching you the history, and if you’re an animal person, keep your eyes pealed for the horses. With that being said, try to glance down every now and then to avoid stepping in any unwanted piles.
● Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec – You’ll exit the Funiculaire through one of the oldest and most beautiful hotels – Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Get ready for some amazing views of the quaint city.
● Make sure to walk down the alleyways because you never know what may be hiding around the next corner. We saw some of the most interesting and abstract artwork hiding in plain sight.
● Ask your hotel front desk or concierge about events going on in the city that may not be common knowledge for many tourists. Our hotel staff was so great at always letting us know when exciting things were going on! We went to a firework show (on a Wednesday night) that literally lasted close to an hour. We also went to a free outdoor circus happening about half an hour away! Both were such great experiences because they were happening right in the middle of the city.
● Be present. Take in the historic buildings and cobblestone streets. You will truly forget that you’re in Canada and not Europe.