A Guide to Quebec City, Canada

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I vacationed in Canada.  We spent 7 days visiting Montreal and Quebec City in Quebec.  Since we had so much fun stuff to share with you, I split it up into two parts.   If you missed Part 1, click here, where I shared all about our adventures in Montreal.

Today I’m sharing where we stayed, what we did, and what we ate in Quebec City.  This is our 4th visit (so obviously we love it there). I blogged about our last visit in 2016. Click here to check it out. FYI, the hotel from our 2016 visit was purchased by another brand since our visit so we don’t know if it’s still a good place to stay. I love Quebec City so much that I wanted to talk about it again with you, even if it’s some of the same things that I shared back in 2016.

Here’s our itinerary and a list of our recommendations from our recent visit…

Where to stay:

I have always wanted to stay at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and we finally did so on this vacation. Boy, was it dreamy. Fair warning, it’s expensive but if you can fit it in your budget then I definitely recommend it. It’s ideally located in old Quebec City, so it’s in walking distance to anything you’d like to see. Plus, the grandeur and history of the hotel itself is an amazing experience. You can take a guided tour through the hotel (whether you’re a guest or not). We did that on our first visit (about 10 years ago) and that was pretty cool.

What to do:

Old Quebec. There is so much to explore in old Quebec. Government buildings, restaurants, shops, you name it. We hit all the spots that we’ve seen before because it truly never gets old. (Even though technically it’s almost all really old.) I love and admire these streets no matter how many times we’ve seen them.

There is an upper and lower area to Old Quebec. In fact, we completely missed the lower area on our first two visits (I have no idea how). You definitely don’t want to miss any of it.

I think the below picture is my favorite. This is taken from the lower area with our hotel up the hill in the background.

Petite Champlain (located in the lower area) is probably my favorite site. I don’t think pictures do it justice. The beauty, the history, the feel, it’s all just amazing.

I love how they decorated for Fall. We sat outside Le Maison Smith (which I talk more about below) and enjoyed the gorgeous views of the Place Royale. This place is so picturesque. I felt like I was on a Hallmark Channel movie (and if you know me then you know that I was living a dream).

This visit is the first time that we explored more of the Old Port and I’m glad that we did. We saw more local life, like schools and residents. The buildings are still old, dating back centuries. The next street was just as beautiful and fascinating as the last. If you keep going you get to the area where the cruise ships dock.

For the first time we rode the Old Québec Funicular, which is a tram that takes you back and forth between Petite Champlain and Dufferin Terrace (i.e. the lower and upper areas of old Quebec). I loved seeing the streets lit up in the evening. It’s not often what we walk around in the dark in a foreign destination (for safety’s sake), but we feel comfortable doing that here in old Quebec. Of course you should always still be aware of your surroundings.

Whether it is night or day, rain or shine, Dufferin Terrace offers stunning views of the city.

One of my favorite shops was Le Boutique de Noel, an entire shop dedicated to all things Christmas. I’m pretty sure that they had every ornament that you could ever imagine.

Speaking of Christmas, I saw our hotel advertise special deals for coming back during the holidays. I would just LOVE to see everything decorated for Christmas. I’m also pretty sure that I’d freeze my butt off walking around, and may get stuck in the snow trying to get there, so that’s a tough call.

You can’t miss the Rue Saint-Jean Street. It’s another street in old Quebec lined with restaurants and shops. If you start around the Fairmont Le Cheatue Frontenac (whether you are staying there or not) and walk far enough down the street then you’ll reach the Place D’Youville, which is an arch that leads you to the new parts of the city. Again, the streets are full of restaurants, shops and other commercial establishments.

We walked all over the city. We turned down streets just because it looked like an area that we’d never seen before. Walking hand in hand with my love and thinking about nothing but the moment was priceless. (Oh gosh, I’m starting to sound like a Hallmark channel movie. 😉 )

I think I took a picture about every 10 steps. (Sorry, love.)

Looking at these photos makes me excited about going back again. (And I know we will since we seem to be on a roughly three year cycle.)

Parliament Hill is a gorgeous building built in the late 1800s. The Fall foliage around adds more beauty.

We missed visiting Parc de la Chute-Montmorency because we weren’t feeling well when we had planned to go. (Getting sick on vacation rules.) We’ll definitely go next time. Until then, you can click here if you want to read about our experience there from our 2016 visit.

Where to eat:

We enjoyed lovely breakfasts at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. They offer a full buffet breakfast at the Place Dufferin. That’s a restaurant inside the hotel overlooking the boardwalk.

We loved La Maison Smith and Sapristi from our last visit so we ventured to them again. We still love and highly recommend them both.

In fact, we went to La Maison Smith twice this time! Their macaroons are the best.

Every time we visited Quebec City, we thought about stopping at Le Chic Shack and this time we finally did. They have uh-mazing burgers, fries and shakes. It’s also a testament to the fact that they’re still there even after 10 years. Many restaurants that we’ve been to and loved are gone. It’s rare to find a place that lasts a long time in the cutthroat competition of a tourist town.

If you love popcorn then you must stop at Mary’s Popcorn shop. You can watch them make the various flavors in their little shop. You can smell the delicious aromas from blocks away. I like caramel popcorn but could pass in general, however, this caramel popcorn was out of this world. We had just come from eating pizza and cookies, but we made room for this because it’s that good. We weren’t the only ones that thought so either, because in the lower part of town practically everyone you see is carrying around a bag of the stuff.

Departing Quebec City, we drove to Whitefield, New Hampshire. Unfortunately, we had both caught colds on our last day in Quebec City, so were were not feeling well enough in New Hampshire to do much of anything. We plan on going back because we skipped Portsmouth entirely since we knew it would be a waste of time to be there and to just hide in the hotel being sick.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about our vacation to Montreal and Quebec City, If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.

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