Discover Old Quebec: What's the best way to experience Old Quebec?

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Historical murals in the lower town

 How do you best experience Quebec Canada?

We have been to Quebec City several times. Monika came here often as a tour guide, but only saw the highlights of the city. As travel bloggers we want to get to know Quebec Canada better and also explore the city's lesser-known sights. Our goal is to introduce you to Quebec City in an independent and honest way. Therefore, we only report on places that we have visited ourselves.

In contrast to the province of which it is the capital, the city of Quebec is also called Ville de Quebec or Quebec City. It is the second largest city in the province of the same name. Visiting Quebec in Canada means a journey into the history of Quebec. The province of Quebec is Canada's francophone part of the country. Quebec residents speak French. The Canadian city is located on the St Lawrence River, where the Rivière Saint-Charles flows into the great river, and has access to the Atlantic. At Quebec the river narrows, contributing to its strategic location. Quebec rises on a hill above the river at the site where Jacques Cartier encountered the Iroquois village of Stadacona in 1543. However, the real history of Quebec only began under Samuel de Champlain, who founded a trading post here in 1608.



Visit Quebec City Canada

If you are planning a trip to Quebec City Canada, you will see that there is a lot to do there. You can explore the city's historical sights, enjoy great food, and participate in outdoor activities.

Discover the sights and attractions of Quebec

Québec City is a city that never fails to attract us. Whether it's because its heritage is strongly reminiscent of cities in Europe or because that Cityscape of the old town is very well preserved? The city is definitely one of the oldest in the province Quebec. Is it possibly that Essenthat is served in town? Perhaps the reason is simply that you can feel the savoir vivre of France particularly intensely here? Anyway, we want to Quebec City Get to know each other as well as possible and take a few days for the city on the Sankt Lorenz River. A good decision as it turns out. These tips will help you explore the city and discover its different sides.


Quebec Lower City in Quebec Canada
Quebec Canada Lower City

Taking time for the Lower City of Quebec Canada

The old town of Quebec City is spread over two levels: the city areas, which lie directly on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, and whose narrow streets nestle between the river and the cliffs of the Cap Diamant, on which the noble hotel of the city, the Chateau Frontenacraises. The suburb of the river, the lower city, is the oldest area of ​​Old Quebec. Below the cap In the year 1608 Samuel de Champlain built a palisade village together with French settlersfrom which you can find traces of excavations around the Place Royale until today.


Notre Dame de la Victoire in Quebec Canada
Notre Dame des Victoires in Quebec City Canada


We take half a day to explore not only the main streets of the lower city on our tour - the church Notre Dame des Victoires, the Place Royale with the bust of Louis IV, the Rue Sous le Fort, by the battery on the banks of the river Funiculaire, or the Rue du Petit-Champlain, which runs from there through the historic buildings at the foot of Cap Diamant.


Chateau Frontenac from the Place d'Armes in Quebec Canada
In Quebec Canada, the Chateau Frontenac is located on the Place d'Armes


Book your hotel in the lower town *

You can find three good hotels in the lower town here:

1. Auberge Saint Antoine*: A boutique hotel that combines luxury with a private cinema room, a wellness center and a highly rated restaurant. It honors Quebec's 17-year history with numerous artifacts from the 400th century.

2. Hotel 71 *: A boutique hotel in a historic building that was formerly a bank. It impresses with its distinctive contemporary design and offers facilities such as a library, an espresso lounge and a popular Italian restaurant.

3. Hotel Le Priori*: Located in a historic 1734 building on a picturesque pedestrian street. Guests appreciate the authentic interior with brick and stone walls, as well as the gourmet breakfast included with their stay.

We already know the hotels Saint-Antoine and Hôtel 71 from our own stays. We can recommend both hotels for a stay in Quebec City.


A visit to the Maison Chevalier

We spend a lot of time on our stroll through the oldest district of Old Quebec and visit the Maison Chevalier, where we learn more about life in the city. The building, which consists of three parts, is now part of the Musée de la Civilization and impresses with its imposing size. When 1752 was built by Jean-Baptiste Chevalier as a residential and trading house, it stood directly on the banks of the Anse-aux-Barques, a bay created by the St. Lawrence below Cap Diamant. It is worth seeing mainly because of its architecture, which shows how to build City in early Quebec. To date, the old cellar vaults of the house are preserved.

Travel Guide to Eastern Canada and Quebec

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The story of Quebec Canada on a house wall

Our way leads us through the hidden side streets away from the sights. If you leave the Place Royale to the east, you pass a building with a monumental mural on which personalities from the history of the city look down on passers-by from the Trompe d'oeuil windows. John Cabot watches us from a window as we take pictures of the house. From another, two Ursuline women look down upon us, who gave training to the girls of the French colony. On the sidewalk below the city gate, Félix Leclerc, a popular singer from Quebec, performs his ballads, while only a few steps away from him Samuel de Champlain seems to set out on his voyages of discovery.


Balconies in Old Quebec
Balconies in Old Quebec


Stroll the streets of Quebec Canada

Just a few steps further on we reach a narrow lane where, like in a labyrinth, balconies and bridges run over our heads in a dense mess. Our companion Marie von Tour of Voir Quebec explains to us that we are here on a street where mainly Irish immigrants settled in the 19th century. "In a quarter that was flooded every year by the spring floods of St. Lorenz," she explains to us and points to the strikingly high door frames. “There is a reason why the doors are so high here. So you could keep the flood out of the house in spring. Only when you left the house did you have to wade through the floods. ”


What must be in the suitcase?

  • In Quebec Canada you will walk a lot on cobblestones. Hence are sturdy and comfortable shoes important for sightseeing.
  • Are for dinner in one of the restaurants in town Pumps however, the better choice.
  • A proven during the day Backpack for city trips. You can store everything you need for the day in it.
  • Quebec City is a city that offers many photo opportunities. Therefore, a camera should also be in the backpack. We recommend the Nikon D3500*that we work with. It is light, which makes it ideal for sightseeing.

If you purchase via a link marked *, we receive a commission, which we use to run this blog.


Chateau Frontenac
Chateau Frontenac in Quebec Canada


Enjoy the Upper Town of Quebec Canada

Even for the younger part of Old Quebec, which is located on the cliffs of Cap Diamant, you should plan at least half a day - we take our time for our leisurely stroll through this part of the city, which we can easily take the funiculaire, the cogwheel train , which leads from the former home of the fur trader and explorer Louis Jolliet up from the lower town. From above we have an all-round view of the Sankt Lorenz Stream, which from here steadily widens until it flows into the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf of Sankt Lorenz. In winter, the river almost freezes over here. Discover what you can do in Quebec City in winter .


We look over at the Ile d'Orleans, which provided fresh fruit and vegetables to the early settlers, a tradition that continues to this day. Fresh apples, wine, peaches, apricots, tomatoes, eggplants, potatoes and other agricultural products are still brought daily from the island to the Grand Marché de Quebec. To this day I Quebec City is known for enjoy your meal. The nickname "Island of Bacchus" describes the role of this elongated island, which sits like a plug at the point where the river pours out of its narrow bed towards the ocean.


Book your hotel in the Upper Town of Quebec *

You can find a selection of good hotels in the upper town here:

1. Hotel du Capitole*: A completely renovated hotel with impressive contemporary decor and panoramic city views from the seventh floor. It is popular for culture enthusiasts thanks to its concert hall and restaurants​​.

2. Hotel Palace Royal*: Known for its lush inner oasis with a huge garden and indoor pool. It is ideally located at the entrance to the walled city.

3. Quebec City Marriott Downtown*: Offers spacious, modern rooms and is perfect for exploring Quebec City on foot or by car thanks to its underground parking lot


Place d'Armes
Place d'Armes in Quebec Canada


Have a coffee in one of the bistros on the Place d'Armes

We enjoy the beautiful view of the central square of the upper town of Old Quebec and listen to the sounds of the trumpet player who takes us with his music to the Paris of the fifties. In the bistros below the square you can take a break and enjoy a lunch or a cup of coffee while passing by.


Rue Tresor
Rue Tresor in Quebec Canada


Artists meet in Rue Trésor

In Rue Trésor, just around the corner, we watch the painters paint their works: watercolors of Quebec in all seasons - with flowers, inviting street cafes, in winter with snow and, of course, Château Frontenac from all possible perspectives. If you are looking for a souvenir that evokes memories, you will find it at the painters in this small side lane that goes from the Place d'Armes towards basilica leads, certainly find. However, we are not tempted by the paintings this time, but are on the search for Québec off the usual tourist routes.


Bistros at the Place d'Armes
Bistro on Place d'Armes in Quebec Canada


Discover Quebec Canada off the beaten track

Since we know Old Québec already from previous visits, we let ourselves drifting this time and choose the streets in Québec's old town, through which the tourist crowds do not flow. Just past the town hall, we follow Rue Sainte-Anne and pass the oldest Scottish church in Quebec, the Presbyterian Saint Andrews Church. Nevertheless she is one of the younger ones Churches of Quebec. The community can trace its origins back to the Scottish Fraser Highlanders in Wolfe's army who conquered Québec City in 1759. On our tour we quickly realize that in this part of the city we are much more confronted with the historical developments of the city after it was conquered by the British.


Quebec Activities - What to do in Quebec Canada?

Don't miss these activities in Quebec:


James Wolfe
James Wolfe at the Center Morrin in Quebec Canada


James Wolfe meets at the Center Morrin

We meet General James Wolfe again a few steps further. His statue still shows the way in the Center Morrin library. As we learn, the statue itself apparently didn't always know the direction. She has had an odyssey through the whole world. A few years ago they were discovered by chance in a junk shop in England. There it was recognized as a depiction of James Wolfe and brought back to Quebec, where it had once been made. However, no one knows how she came to England.


Maison Dauphine
Maison Dauphine


Learn about the defenses of Quebec Canada

Our path takes us past the Maison Dauphine. We see the city's old fortifications, which still surround old Quebec today. The French had surrounded their city with a fortification wall for protection. The ramparts are difficult to recognize as such from the outside. They contain a deep ditch on the land side that was intended to keep enemies out. Nevertheless, these facilities did not help in the defense of the city. General Montcalm ordered his soldiers to confront the attackers under James Wolfe in the decisive battle in 1759 on the Plaines d'Abraham outside the city gates. However, why he did this is still unclear today.


Model of Old Quebec
Model from Old Quebec in Canada


Visit the Park de l'Artillery

Finally, in the Park de l'Artillerie we see the model of the city with its defenses and ramparts. Again, we get no answer as to why the city was lost to the British. What is certain is that both General Montcalm and James Wolfe lost their lives in this battle. From then on, the city's fortunes changed. Since then, Quebec has been under British influence. To this day, the motto of the province and the city is: “Je me souviens” (I remember). The battle at the gates of the city is still present in the minds of the city's residents.


Irish cross
Irish cross in Quebec Canada


Follow in the footsteps of Irish immigrants

On our way back to the lower city we see more defenses with their cannons. These point outwards over the defensive walls. However, we can see how little they helped the city just a few steps away from a Celtic cross. This is reminiscent of the Irish immigrants in later years. These mainly worked in the docks at the harbor and earned their daily living in a hard way.


Flowers balcony in Quebec old town
Flowers balcony in Quebec old town


With these tips you are definitely well prepared to really get to know the old town of Québec. Take enough time for the lower town and the upper town and explore the city off the beaten track. The best thing to do is to just let yourself go and walk through the city with your eyes open. This is the best way for visitors to see it.

On this map you will find the lesser-known sights of Quebec

Places mapped by Wanderlog, a trip planner on iOS and Android


What other travelers recommend

We asked other travelers to Quebec City what other lesser-known places they recommend.

Le Diamant

Max Woolf by PhotoAiD suggests a performance at Le Diamant: “This offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in the cultural vibrancy of Quebec City through avant-garde performing arts. Created by Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil, Le Diamant presents a diverse range of performances, from contemporary circus acts to theater and dance, all housed in a state-of-the-art venue that is an architectural marvel in itself.”

The Onhwa' Lumina Experience

Giacomo Piva by RadicalStorage Recommends the Onhwa' Lumina Esperience: “Located just outside of Quebec City, I would also recommend the Onhwa' Lumina Experience for a night walk. This spectacular forest trail features innovative and creative lighting displays, video projections and sound effects that celebrate the indigenous Huron-Wendad Nation. It is an inspiring and unique experience that can also be enjoyed with children. The path is about 1 km long and not paved, but not difficult to walk.”


Have you been to Quebec City?

How were your experiences? Did you have any special experiences? Or have you discovered other sights that are less well known? Maybe you've eaten at a special restaurant that you can recommend to other travelers? Share your experiences in Quebec City in the comments to this blog post. Our readers will appreciate your tips.

Quebec Canada Questions and Answers

What language do they speak in Quebec?

French is spoken in Quebec Canada. In the two big cities of Montreal as well as in Quebec City you can always find someone who speaks English, although the chance is lower in Quebec City.

Why should you travel to Quebec?

Quebec City is the city in Canada that still retains its European roots. When you stroll through the old town you have the impression of walking through a city in France. There are also modern districts outside the city walls.

What should you know about Quebec?

The population of this province speaks French. Quebec City is the capital of the province. The parliament is located at the gates of the old town.

What to eat in Quebec

One of Quebec's most famous specialties is poutine. There are also many in Quebec City Restaurant, where Quebec specialties with game, berries and hearty home cooking are served.

What to do in Quebec in winter?

Even if the winter in Quebec is cold, you can still enjoy it. You can experience it, for example, at the Winter Carnival and watch the Quebecers cross the frozen river in boats. Museums as well as other sights are worth a visit. The ice hotel is located just a few kilometers outside of Quebec City. You can also go ice fishing or go on a dog sled tour.


Quebec City on other travel bloggers


Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Getting to Quebec Canada:

Compare and book flights here*. Quebec City also has its own airport. You can then rent a rental car there or continue your journey using public transport.

Car rental from Quebec Canada:

Cheap Car Hire - Book Fast and Easy! *

Hotels in Quebec Canada:

Accommodations in and around Quebec City * For example, you can book through our partner One Accommodation in Quebec City for slow travelers However, you can find it here.

Trips :

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Do you like to travel to Quebec Canada by motorhome?

  • Do you want to rent a motorhome? Then you will find information here, for example, as well as a selection booking options.
  • Be sure to check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
  • There are definitely several campsites in the Quebec City area. There is also an RV park at the port in town: RV Overnight Parking, 105 Rue Abraham Martin #155, Quebec City, Quebec G1K 8N1, Canada.



Quebec City Canada
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Do you know this?


Source: own research on site. The trip took place at the invitation of Tourism Québec. We would definitely like to thank you very much for this. However, the opinions in this article remain our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photo: © Copyright by Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright by Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Discover Old Quebec: What's the best way to experience Old Quebec?

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn

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