A magical winter wonderland of Fun
Designated a World Heritage treasure by UNESCO, Old Québec is the only walled city north of Mexico. As the cradle of French civilization in North America, it’s a living history lesson with a remarkable mix of architecture, heritage, art, and culture.
Historic Old Quebec
Walk around history
Old Québec immerses you in an unforgettable journey through time. Stroll through the historical districts, all within walking distance from each other. This eminently walkable historic neighbourhood offers up an incredible mix of wow-inducing winter scenes and Old World charm.
An iconic symbol for over a century
Château Frontenac, the world’s most photographed hotel, has stood overlooking the St. Lawrence River and Dufferin Terrace for over 100 years. Perched atop the headland, the landmark establishment has become a veritable icon of the Old City. Construction of the hotel began in 1892. Since then, it has been expanded several times, including in 1924, when a central turret was added, and again in 1926 after fire destroyed part of the building.
No matter where you stand on Dufferin Terrace, you’re rewarded with breathtaking views: the icebound St. Lawrence, Ile d’Orléans all frosted with snow, and the city of Lévis and Quebec City’s Lower Town beneath their mantel of white. The 671-metre-long wooden boardwalk is a popular year-round gathering place—and the perfect spot for snapping some pictures.
Charming surroundings, just outside your hotel
The narrow streets leading to Dufferin Terrace and Chateau Frontenac are oozing with charm and cachet, and are well worth taking the time to explore. Rue Saint-Louis and Rue Sainte-Anne are lined with renowned restaurants and delightful shops. They make a great place to warm up before exploring some more.
Place Royale & Petit Champlain
A little square with a whole lot of history
The site of the first permanent French settlement in North America, Place Royale is steeped in history. It was here that Samuel de Champlain chose to erect his “Abitation,” which served as a fort, storehouse, trading post, and residence after his arrival in 1608. Place Royale is also home to Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America, built in 1688. With its enchanting surroundings, the square feels like a real-life time capsule!
The French influence is evident everywhere you look in Place Royale and along Rue du Petit-Champlain, one of the oldest commercial streets in North America. The two- and three-storey plastered stone homes with their dormer windows, gabled roofs, large chimneys and firewalls rising above the rooftops make it hard to believe you’re not in France.
For many visitors, Place D’Youville’s imposing Porte Saint-Jean is the gateway to Old Québec—and to a sector of the city where culture, heritage, and festivities come together to forge a unique and eclectic atmosphere.
Shop, Boutiques, Restaurants and Cafe's Await
Rue Saint-Jean is a must on pretty well every visitor’s to-see list. From the superb skating rink in Place d’Youville, the shops, restaurants, concert halls, and historic buildings along the celebrated street offer plenty of opportunities to warm up and take a timeout.
Quebec City’s rich religious heritage is most apparent in this part of the city. Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, a national historic monument of Canada, is the oldest Catholic parish in North America. The Basilica-Cathedral stands on the same site it has occupied since 1647 and features the only Holy Door outside Europe.
An important crossroads
Place de l’Hôtel-de-ville has long been a focal point for religion, politics, and education in the city. Québec City’s City Hall was built here on the former site of a Jesuit college and opened its doors in 1896. The building, a national historic site of Canada, is where city council meets. The grounds and public square beside City Hall house the Jura Clock, a gift from its namesake Swiss canton on the occasion of the city’s 400th anniversary, and are also a popular gathering place and venue for various events throughout the year.
Plains of Abraham
Across the centuries, the breathtaking Plains of Abraham have always been at the heart of the action in Quebec City.