We had a record-breaking heat wave the entire week that we were there. The daily high temperatures were about 35 Celsius (95F). With humidity it felt like 45 Celsius (113F) but we kept cool and carried on. We did most of our sightseeing either early in the morning or later in the afternoon into evening, and stayed indoor during the day. Coincidentally, Canada's 151st birthday and the Festival d'Été de Québec (FEQ) were on in the same week so we enjoyed great celebrations and music as well.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Quebec City or Ville de Québec is the capital city of the Canadian province of Quebec, on the Atlantic side of Canada. It's about 800 km (450 miles) north east of Toronto. You can get there by planes, trains, automobiles, or boats as the city is right by the St Lawrence River. The airport code is YQB.
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT QUEBEC CITY:
- Quebec City is a walkable walled city with a unique European feel and is incredibly well preserved after 400 plus years. It's the only walled city north of Mexico.
- It's a mostly French-speaking city with visible signs of French culture, architecture, and cuisine, including the quintessential poutine. Want French patisserie and boulangerie? Check! Enjoy un petit café? Check! If you don't know French, no worries, as staff in the tourism industry are bilingual in English and French or multi-lingual.
- Charming Old Town Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage site, perfect for me to wander, browse, and admire several national historic landmarks in a compact space.
- It's a city where I feel like a kid, excited to walk along the ramparts, touch huge cannons, climb uphill to the Plains of Abraham to get a good view of the St Lawrence River below, listen and watch the street artists perform under the statue of Samuel Champlain, or take a peek at the artisan shops. The combination of hills and river offers some spectacular scenery (plus good workouts for the legs and lungs!). Oh, if you're not into hills or walking, no worries, there are funiculars and horse-drawn carriages which are attractions on their own.
- It's so Europe and so close that I can visit and enjoy without leaving Canada.
HISTORIC LANDMARKS: Too many historic landmarks to list here, however, every time I go to Old Town Quebec, I always visit Le Château Frontenac hotel (dated back to 1893), Dufferin Terrace, the Plains of Abraham, the Citadel, and the various gates such as Porte Saint-Jean, Porte Kent, Porte Saint-Louis that are part of the fortifications.
|Le Château Frontenac celebrating its 125th year|
|Dufferin Terrace and St Lawrence River|
|Plains of Abraham and the Citadel|
|Porte Saint-Louis, part of the fortifications|
|View of Porte St-Jean Tower|
|Cannons along the rampart|
|Grande Allée Drill Hall completed in 1887|
|Notre-Dame Basilica Cathedral dated back to 1647|
|Notre-Dame Basilica Cathedral interior|
STREET VIEWS: There are plenty of eateries, art galleries, and shops along Grande Allée Est, rue Saint-Jean, avenue Cartier, all the small streets in the Old Town, and rue du Petit-Champlain in Lower Town. Quebec City is also dotted with welcoming greenery, fountains, art statues, and flower beds.
|Grande Allée Est lined with eateries|
|avenue Cartier and its funky street lamp shades|
|rue du Petit-Champlain from Escalier Casse-Cou|
|Hilly rue Sainte-Ursule towards rue St-Jean|
|Parkette across from Hotel de Ville|
|Tree-lined sidewalk along Grande-Allée Ouest|
|Splash pad in Old Town Quebec|
|Another tree-lined sidewalk with old lamp posts|
|Pretty summer flowers|
FESTIVAL D'ÉTÉ de QUÉBEC (FEQ): Quebec City summer festival is an annual 11-day music festival. This year, it's on from July 5 to 15 with a great line up of performers at various stages in the city. We were able to join in some of the performances and let me tell you, this city knows how to celebrate!
All in all, I've again had a wonderful time in Quebec City and another amazing trip this year. I'm now back at home enjoying summer in my city, and plotting my next adventure.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about Quebec City.