Quebec City is the charming French-Canadian capital of the province of Quebec. The city is an amazing getaway that’s full of culture, historic sites, and a ton of really great restaurants and bars. There’s no shortage of things to do and see, perfect for a long weekend or a romantic trip. If you’re visiting in the winter, don’t miss the “Carnaval de Québec,” the largest winter festival in the world.
Stay at the Chateau Frontenac
The Chateau Frontenac is a grand hotel opened in 1893 that perches above the city like a fairy-tale castle. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, the sumptuous hotel has six hundred rooms, a café, a high-end restaurant, a spa, and fitness center. Elevated 177 feet above the city on the cliffs above the St. Laurence River, the Chateau Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world and has been featured in some iconic movies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s “I Confess” in 1953. If you don't stay at this iconic hotel, be sure to visit.
Visit Notre-Dame de Quebec
The Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec is one of the preeminent churches in Canada and the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec, the oldest diocese north of the Spanish colonies in Florida and New Mexico. Located in the old city, the church was founded in 1647 and rebuilt several times after it was destroyed by devastating fires. The church contains the first “holy door” outside of Europe, a sacred site for Catholic pilgrims. It was opened from 2013 to 2014 before it was sealed shut until 2025!
Wander Old Quebec
Old Quebec is the historic quarter of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the buildings date back to the 19th century, and some elements of the antique construction are from the 17th and 18th centuries including monasteries and fortifications. There are also beautiful and well-manicured parks, which are great for exploring or enjoying a bucolic picnic. If you’re looking to go shopping, there are some commercial streets in Old Quebec such as Saint-Jean, Sainte-Anne, and De Buade streets.
Explore the Citadelle
The Citadelle of Quebec is the official residence of the Queen and the Governor-General of Canada. It’s the oldest military building in Canada and forms part of the fortifications of Quebec City. Every day they fire two cannons, one at 12:00 sharp, marking noon, and then again at 9:30 in the evening, the traditional curfew for the soldiers in the city. The citadel is open to the public, and the historic site offers free tours of the state rooms throughout the year, as well as educational tours for students.
Visit the Parliament Buildings
The “Hotel du Parliament” is a palatial building in Quebec that is home to the Parliament of Quebec, just outside the parameters of Old Quebec. The Parliament Buildings were constructed in the Second Empire style inspired by the Louvre in Paris, an elaborate design that was popular in Europe and the United States at the end of the 19th century. The “Hotel du Parliament” is very similar to the Philadelphia City Hall built around the same time. Anyone visiting from outside of the province should take the opportunity to explore the rare and beautiful architecture as the interiors are decorated with chandeliers, sculptures, friezes, and columns.
Check out these top sites and explore the rich history, magnificent architecture, and French charms of Quebec City—perfect for a romantic trip in the summer months or a magical winter getaway.