Vieux-Québec (Old Québec) is a charming little city with 400 years of history embedded in its cute cobblestone streets, antique buildings and churches, and fortified city walls -- making it a UNESCO World Heritage site and the only walled city north of Mexico.
Visitors can choose between different sightseeing options to learn about the city's rich history and culture, including bike tours, double-decker bus tours, and horse-drawn carriage tours. Even without a formal guide, I enjoyed exploring Old Québec in the springtime on my own. Equipped with comfortable walking boots, a leather jacket, and my favorite fuzzy hat, I set out to discover on foot many of its photo-worthy sites.
Gare du Palais
Old Québec's train station, served by Via Rail Canada. Check out their site every Tuesday for reduced ticket prices and special promotions!
Le Château Frontenac
The city's famed castle houses the most photographed hotel in the world, the Fairmont Château Frontenac. Sitting on top of Dufferin Terrace and overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the Île d’Orléans, it dates back 120 years.
A few steps to the right of Le Château Frontenac is a set of steep stairs that lead down to Rue du Petit-Champlain, one of the oldest commercial streets in North America and a truly picturesque gem, even in the rain. Lined up with pubs, cafés and gift shops, here you can taste local favorites such as ice cider (look for La Cidrerie et Vergers Pedneault's tasting room), poutine (traditional dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy) or, if you're feeling more adventurous, go for a deer burger. After checking out Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church, built in 1688, a short ride on the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec will take you back up to Terrace Dufferin.
Built in 1694, Porte Saint-Louis is the stone gateway to the old walled city of Québec. A stroll on Rue Saint-Luis from la porte to Le Château Frontenac is a good way to immerse yourself into the city's old-world charm.
Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville
The Hôtel-de-Ville isn't a hotel -- it is Québec City's Town Hall -- and the area right in front of it is an open-air plaza that features very cool sculptures, benches, and in the summer months, free entertainment.
St. Lawrence River and the Île d’Orléans from Dufferin Terrace
A stroll along St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace was a great way to breathe in the crisp air of this sunny day. Until the next time!
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