Last summer, Guido and I headed over to Canada’s eastern coast for our big annual trip. We really wanted to get to know more of our own country, since we had never been to anywhere further east than Toronto! Our first stop was Montreal, then Old Quebec City, and finally Nova Scotia and P.E.I. (check out that travel guide here if you haven’t had the chance to yet!). We had so much fun visiting all of these places, so I wanted to share our must-sees and favourite restaurants in each city! 🙂
If you’re planning a trip to Old Quebec City (the historic centre of Quebec City), I would plan for about 3-4 days. That’s how long we stayed and it felt like the perfect amount. It was plenty of time to get to see all the sights! The summertime is also a great time to visit, as the weather is lovely – warm but not too hot!
Things to do:
- Visit the Citadel – The Citadel is an active military base, so you can watch the changing of the guards with the famous goat! You can also stand next to the British guards that don’t crack a smile – you know what I’m talking about! 😉 To visit, you have to take a tour around the grounds, where they show you the canons and tell you stories about Canada’s history and battles.
- Visit lower town – One of my favourite parts of the Old Quebec City was the lower town! On the boardwalk, outside of the Fairmont, you can take the funicular down to the lower town. The view from this little tram ride is gorgeous! We spent an afternoon walking through the small cobblestone streets, exploring the neighbourhood, and popping into the little shops. Everywhere we turned had so much character, it was almost like stepping back in time!
- Walk along the boardwalk – Beside the Fairmont Frontenac, there is a huge boardwalk with an amazing view of the St.Laurence river! You can walk up and down, sit on the benches, and enjoy the ambiance.
- Tour the Artillery Park – We took a tour of this historic area and it was so interesting! I loved learning about the history of Canada, seeing the places where the soldiers lived and fought, and hearing all the interesting stories!
- Tour the original castle – Underneath the boardwalk, you can tour the remains of the original castle (what existed before the Fairmont Frontenac). We were able to see the ancient stones that made up the castle’s kitchen, maid’s quarters, food storage areas, all while learning about the history of Quebec City!
Places to eat:
- Chic Shack – Guido and I stopped here for burgers and milkshakes one night, and it was so good! Since we were in a bit of the rush (we had tickets to the music festival where we saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers!), and because there was a wait to be seated, we ordered our food to go. We took it to the boardwalk and ate it there on one of the benches! Insiders tip – the milkshakes are SO good, definitely a must-have!
- Panache – This was one of the pricier restaurants on our trip, but it was well worth it! The food is beautifully presented, and the ambiance is lovely with big, plush chairs, large windows, and exposed beams. We were also treated with a few “amuse-bouches” before our main course, which were all delicious!
- Fou Du Bio – This is a small little market with various food, dried goods, and artisanal products. We popped in while exploring the streets of the lower town and were amazed by all the goodies!
- 1608: Wine and Cheese Bar (Fairmont Frontenac) – After walking around the Fairmont hotel (which really is like a castle), we stopped into this bar – wow! It’s in one of the round towers and is just stunning! And of course the cheese and drinks do not disappoint!
- Paillard – We had breakfast here on our last morning, and the bakery was full of mouth-watering pastries! They also have other breakfast options like sandwiches, and tons of bread made in-house!
- Chez Boulay – On our first morning, Guido and I had brunch here, and I had these potato waffles with smoked salmon and a dill whipped cream cheese – delicious! The ambiance is lovely, and the rest of the menu looked yummy too!
- Delices (Maple Goodies) – One evening after strolling through the town, we stopped for some maple ice cream here, but they have any and all kinds of maple goodies! Delices has a few locations (including Montreal and Vancouver), and it’s very Canadian! The maple syrup, treats, and ice cream are delicious! 😉
Where to Stay:
- Hotel Clarendon – This is a beautiful, historic hotel right in the middle of Old Quebec City. We had a room with an incredible view of the St.Laurence River and city below us, and we really enjoyed our stay!
I absolutely adored Old Quebec City! If you’re looking to visit eastern Canada, I highly recommend this amazing, historic city! I would love to go back in the winter when the city is all covered in snow! There are so many activities (like a luge and ice hotel) that you can only do in the wintertime, and I’d love to take advantage of that! I can only imagine it’s just magical! 🙂
What about you, have you ever been to Old Quebec City? What was your favourite part?