Getting to Know Quebec City

Québec City was the first significant settlement in Canada, and today is the capital of the massive province of Québec. The old city is the only walled city in North America and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Québec City is almost entirely French in feeling, especially with 95 percent of the population speaking French.

Quebec CityQuébec City is Canada’s most historically rich city and has a commanding position on the St. Lawrence River. It features an 18th to 19th century upper city with cobbled streets and shaded squares, and a restored lower 17th century town.

Place Royale is a beautiful plaza that serves as the heart of Basse-Ville. Here, you’ll find the Eglise Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in Québec built in 1688 and restored in 1763 and 1969. The Musée de la Civilisation is one of the most fascinating spots in Canada and boasts a dramatic atrium-lobby. Also worth seeing is La Citadelle, a partially star-shaped fortress that took 30 years to build.

Mont Ste-Anne lies 40 kilometers northeast of the city and serves as a breathtaking getaway, offering the best skiing opportunities near Québec City as well as a range of blood-pumping outdoor activities such as golf, mountain biking, hiking, and paragliding. The stunning Montmorency Falls are just 11 kilometers away from the city and rise to a height of 30-83 meters above Niagara Falls. On summer nights, the falls are illuminated providing a spectacular sight. Alternatively, the twin city of Montréal is just three hours away.

Parc des Champs-de-Bataille (Québec’s Battlefields Park) covers 108 hectares and is home to grassy hills, sunken gardens, monuments and fountains. It is the perfect place to escape the bustle of the city and have a quiet picnic in the pristine surroundings. Although the nightlife here is not as busy as in Montréal, there is still plenty on offer. The strip of the Grande-Allée between place Montcalm and place George V, near the St-Louis Gate, is delightfully lined on both sides with cafes, making cafe-hopping a popular pastime.