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

Historical murals in the lower town

How do you best experience Quebec Canada?

We want to get to know Quebec Canada. The city of Quebec is also called Ville de Quebec or Quebec City, in contrast to the province of which it is the capital. It is the second largest city in the province of the same name. Visiting Quebec in Canada is a journey into Quebec history. The province of Québec is Canada's francophone part of the country. Quebecers speak French. The Canadian city is on the St Lawrence River, where the Rivière Saint-Charles meets the Great River, and has access to the Atlantic. The river narrows near Quebec, contributing to its strategic location. Quebec rises on a hill above the river at the point where Jacques Cartier encountered the Iroquois village of Stadacona in 1543. The real history of Quebec, however, only began under Samuel de Champlain, who established a trading post here in 1608.

Visit Quebec City

If you are planning a trip to Quebec, 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. Is it because its heritage is strongly reminiscent of cities in Europe or because the 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


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



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.



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Canada off the beaten path
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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.


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'Orleanswhich supplied 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 market in Quebec's port area. To this day I be known for Quebec City 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.



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

General James Wolfe meets us again a few steps further. In the library of the Center Morrin, his statue still shows the way. As we learn, the statue itself apparently did not always know the direction. After all, she has had an odyssey through the whole world. A few years ago she was discovered by chance in a junk shop in England. There it was recognized as a representation of James Wolfe and it was brought back to Québec, where it was once made. Nobody knows how she got to England.


Maison Dauphine
Maison Dauphine


Learn about the defenses of Quebec Canada

Our way leads us past the Maison Dauphine. We see the old fortifications of the city that surround old Québec to this day. The French had surrounded their city with a rampart for protection. The ramparts are difficult to recognize as such from the outside. They contain a deep ditch on the land side, which should keep enemies away. Even so, the facilities did not help defend the city. General Montcalm ordered his soldiers to face the attackers under James Wolfe in the decisive battle in 1759 on the Plaines d'Abraham outside the city gates. Why he did this is still unclear to this day.


Model of Old Quebec
Model from Old Quebec in Canada


Visit the Park de l'Artillery

In the Park de l'Artillerie we look at the model of the city with its defenses and ramparts. Again, we have 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 fate of the city changed. Quebec has been under British influence since then. The motto of the province and the city is still: "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 town we see more defenses with their cannons. These point outwards over the defensive walls. Just a few steps away we can see how little they helped the city by a Celtic cross. This is reminiscent of the Irish immigrants in later years. These hired themselves mainly in the docks at the harbor and earned their daily livelihood in a hard way.


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


With these tips you are well prepared to really get to know the old town of Quebec. Take enough time for the Lower Town and the Upper Town, and explore the city once off the beaten track. The best way to just drift and go with open eyes through the city. This is how it best opens up to the visitor.

Quebec Canada Questions and Answers

What language do they speak in Quebec?

French is spoken in Quebec Canada. In the two major cities of Montreal and Quebec City, you can always find someone who also speaks English, although the chances are less in Quebec City.

Why should you travel to Quebec?

Quebec City is Canada's city that has most strongly preserved its European roots. Strolling through the old town gives the impression of walking through a city in France. Outside the city walls there are also modern districts.

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 restaurants in Quebec City that serve Quebec specialties with game, berries and hearty home cooking.

What to do in Quebec in winter?

Even if the winter in Quebec is cold, one enjoys it. You can experience it for example at the Winter Carnival and watch the Quebecers crossing the frozen river in boats. Museums and other sights are worth a visit. The Ice Hotel is located just a few kilometers outside of Quebec City. You can go ice fishing or go dog sledding.


Quebec City on other travel bloggers


Travel Arrangements:

Parking at the airport

Here you can reserve your parking space at the airport.

Check in:

Arrival by plane, bus or train*. Quebec City also has its own airport.

Rental car:

Cheap Car Hire - Book Fast and Easy! *


Accommodations in and around Quebec City * You can book through our partner

Trips :

There is much, what to do in and around Quebec City *, Through our partner Get Your Guide you can book your excursions, city tours and city passes online.


Do you like to travel to Quebec Canada by motorhome?

  • Do you want to rent a mobile home? Then you will find information here and on top of that a selection of booking options.
  • 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 an RV park in town at the port: RV Overnight Parking, 105 Rue Abraham Martin #155, Quebec City, Quebec G1K 8N1, Canada.


Quebec City Canada
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Source: own research on site. The trip took place at the invitation of Tourism Québec. 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 Food and Slow Travel blog  TravelWorldOnline. They have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Their topics are trips to Savor, wine tourism worldwide and slow travel. During her studies Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she - partly together with Petar Fuchs - traveled to the USA and Canada and spent a research year in British Columbia. This intensified her thirst for knowledge, which she satisfied for 6 years as an adventure guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as a tour guide for Studiosus Reisen around the world. She was constantly expanding her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: "What's beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do they eat in this region?" As a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), she is now looking for answers to these questions as a travel writer and travel blogger in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is among Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021. Find more Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs here.