The Best of Québec City

Québec City Four days is the perfect length of time to visit Québec City, allowing you to dedicate enough time to experience the city’s historic center with a few side trips.

Day 1

Drop off your luggage at your hotel in Vieux-Québec’s Upper Town, then head directly to Café-BoulangeriePaillard for some fresh croissants. Browse the shops and historical buildings on Côte de la Fabrique until it brings you to TerrasseDufferin in the shadow of Château Frontenac. Snack on a beaver tail pastry as you stroll the promenade and look out over the St. Lawrence, then head into the château for a guided tour.

Tour the historic Citadelle and then wander through the winding streets and alleys of Upper Town.

For dinner, take your pick of the restaurants along rue St-Louis or splurge at Le Champlain. After dinner, walk along Les Fortifications and finish the night at a boîte à chansons, such as Le Pape-Georges, or with a nightcap at the cozy Bar Ste-Angèle.

Day 2

After breakfast at Crêperie Le Billig take L’EscalierCasse-Cou or ride the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec down to one of the oldest streets in North America, rue du Petit-Champlain. Browse the independent boutiques and follow the cobblestone lanes, which will eventually lead you to Place Royale. Take a peek at La Fresque des Québec City and see if you can point out the famous characters. Whether you fail the test or not, head to the Musée de la Civilisation and brush up on your history. If the weather is nice, head up the external stairs of the museum and take a quiet moment to relax on the rooftop terrasse.

L’EscalierCasse-Cou, or the Breakneck Stairs
Château Frontenac viewed from Lower Town

After visiting the museum, head west along rue St-Paul to browse antiques stores. Or skip the stores and take the well-hidden rue Sous-le-Cap until it brings you to Galerie Madeleine Lacerte. Check out the latest exhibit and then cross the street for a drink at TaverneBelley and watch the locals playing petanque.

On your way to Saint-Roch, stop to admire the graffiti murals on the highway overpass, then head for a bistro dinner at L’AffaireEst Ketchup. Cap the night off with a show at Le Cercle.

Day 3

Have a hearty breakfast at Le Petit Coin Latin, then head to the Fontaine de Tourny and take a trip around the statues at the Hôtel du Parlement. Stroll the rolling hills of the Parcdes Plaines d’Abraham and make a stop at the Tours Martello. Continue through the park all the way to the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. After seeing the latest exhibit, grab lunch at Morena on avenue Cartier.

Follow Cartier south, down the sloping hill, and take a right on rue St-Jean, where you can spend the rest of the afternoon popping in and out of stores and drinking coffee at the many cafés. Don’t miss J.A. Moisan, the oldest grocery store in North America, or the quiet shade of St. Matthew’s Church and Cemetery.

While you’ve got the European vibe going, why not continue with a French wine and regional cuisine at Le MoineÉchanson. After your meal, head over to La Grande-Allée for a taste of sophisticated nightlife at Le Charlotte Ultra Lounge.

Day 4

Head down to Cyclo Services and rent bikes for the day. Pack your bags with sandwiches, goodies, and perhaps a bottle of wine from the Marché du Vieux-Port and then take the Corridor du Littoral, heading northeast 12 kilometers to the impressive Chute Montmorency.

Visit to Québec City
Chute Montmorency as seen from the suspension bridge over the falls

Leave your bike and follow the path closest to the falls and cool off in the mist. Climb the stairs to the top for a view of the falls and mythic Îled’Orléans. After you’ve taken in the view, go for lunch on-site at La Terrasse du Manoir, then get back on your bike and return to the city.

Ride about nine kilometers southwest and make a stop at the historical DomaineMaizeretspark. Unwrap your picnic dinner and enjoy it among the ancient trees and lily-pad ponds. Then, get back on your bike and ride another three kilometers back to the city. Once there, leave the bikes at the rental place and head for a late-night stroll around the Vieux-Port. Finally, treat yourself to a pastry or gelato at a shop in Lower Town—you’ve earned it.

Head back to your hotel for a good night’s rest before leaving the next morning.

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