Quebec City is an intoxicating mix of old world elegance and modern culture. Founded in 1608, it’s one of the oldest cities in North America, and boasts the continent’s only remaining fortified city walls north of Mexico. And with its French-speaking citizens, narrow cobblestone streets and lovely old stone buildings, Quebec City also has a very European flair.
This charming city, which sits on a bluff overlooking the scenic St. Lawrence River, is a magnet for awards. In 2016, Quebec City topped Travel & Leisure’s list of The Best Cities in Canada, and won Cruise Insight Magazine’s “Best Destination Experience” award.
In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler readers voted it as one of the 20 world’s best cities for food. If awards aren’t enough to convince you, here are nine of the top reasons you must visit.
Old Quebec is considered the “cradle of French civilization in North America” and as such, it has been designated an UNESCO World Heritage site. A stroll through this well-preserved Old Town and along its fortified walls will give you the feeling that you’ve been transported back 400 years in time.
During the summer months, the streets of Old Quebec become a stage for street performers and actors dressed in period costumes. This city also hosts numerous festivals, including the Quebec Winter Carnival, which has been held intermittently since 1894 and is one of the largest winter carnivals in the world. Quebec City also hosts an 11-day Summer Festival, which attracts approximately 1.5 million music fans from around the world.
While in Quebec City, walk along Dufferin Terrace, a wooden boardwalk located outside the castle-like Chateau Frontenac for absolutely stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area.
Are you a fanatic for uploading photos to Facebook, an Instagram addict? Here inspiring photo opportunities abound giving you plenty of time to perfect your shots.
One of the best destinations for shutterbugs? Rue du Petit-Champlain, which was recently named Canada’s most beautiful street.
You know the saying, “You can’t see the forest for the trees“? Well, you can’t fully appreciate the overall beauty of Quebec City unless you get outside of the capital to view it from a distance. One of the best ways to do this is by hopping aboard a ferry so you can drift slowly by Quebec City.
Old Towns and picturesque views are probably not going to thrill the youngest members of your family. Fortunately, Quebec City also boasts the largest four-season resort in Eastern Canada, Valcartier Vacation Village. During the winter, Valcartier Vacation Village offers a slew of fun activities, including snow tubing and an indoor waterpark.
In the summer months, Valcartier Vacation Village turns into a huge waterpark with a slew of fun activities, including 35 heated waterslides and a wave pool.
If you love microbrews — and it seems like nowadays, everyone does — you’ll want to check out Quebec City’s craft beer scene, which is centered around the St-Roch neighborhood. As of 2016, there were approximately 17 microbreweries in and around Quebec City, including INOX, which opened in 1987 and was the city’s first craft brewery.
Quebec City’s breweries are known for making very authentic Belgian ales. Plus, visiting St-Roch comes with an added bonus — this neighborhood is ground zero for the local foodie scene, which means that you can tuck into delicious and innovative dishes while checking out the latest new brew.
Well, maybe not the one you’re probably thinking about, which is actually in Paris. But Quebec is home to the stunning Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, the authority church of Canada.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica was also the site of a rare Catholic ceremony, the opening of the Holy Door. During this ceremony, which was held in December 2013, the Catholic archbishop of Quebec knocked three times on a bronze Holy Door and then passed through it when it was opened. Even though the ceremony has occurred since the 1400s, this was the only time that the Holy Door opening has occurred outside of Europe,
A city as old as Quebec City is bound to have more than its fair share of spooky tales. So why not learn about them by taking a ghost tour, which is a fascinating way to get to know the darker side of Quebec City.