Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec, Canada. Within a 2 hour train or bus ride from Montreal, a visit to Old Quebec is an excellent day trip (or weekend getaway). It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site that cannot be missed! Here are a few other reasons why you should add Quebec City to your bucket list.
1. The Walls
The city’s walls are the only remaining fortified walls in North America that is north of Mexico. Protected with canons, the walls surround majority of Old Quebec and it is well-preserved. It was used for protection of the city and was refortified by the British after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759.
2. Chateau Frontenac
Like the Colosseum is to Rome, Chateau Frontenac is the symbol of Quebec City. It is named after Louis de Baude, Count of Frontenac, who was the governor of New France during 1672-1698. This iconic property was built in 1893 by American architect Bruce Price for the Canadian Pacific Railroad and was used as a residence for the French and British governors. Today it functions as a hotel owned by the Fairmont chain. Many celebrities and politicians have stayed there including King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Ronald Reagan, and Alfred Hitchcock.
Quebec City has a funicular! Funiculaire du Vieux Quebec is a great way to go between the Lower and Upper Towns, especially if your feet are tired of walking along the hills. It goes from la Place des Armes in the Upper Town and le Quartier du Petit Champlain in the Lower Town. Tickets are about two dollars each way or you can use The Breakneck Steps (L’Escalier Casse-Cou), a semi-steep staircase to get up and down the hill. It’s really not as bad as it sounds!
There is so much art on almost every corner. One in particular is at the foot of Escalier Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps). Fresque du Petit-Champlain is a mural that shows the history of Quebec City’s New France beginnings. Also check out the very large Fresque des Québécois at Place Royale on Côte de la Montagne – it’s incredible!
5. European Charm
Quebec City has a European atmosphere. There are cobblestone streets, cute shops, great people watching and cuisine that is magnifique! French is spoken widely by the locals but many of them also know English so don’t let the language difference stop you from exploring this incredible city. Your visit to Quebec will make you forget that you are still in North America.
The province of Quebec is a wonderful destination to add to your wander (or travel) list. We enjoyed the visit not only because it was a hop, skip and jump away by plane from home – but it was like we landed in Europe. It was such a wonderful escape!