I was recently in Quebec City for a couple days. It was my first time there and I have to say it is a very cool city. Holds a lot of the history in Canada’s earlier days.
I arrived in Montreal on a Friday morning, rented a car, and drove from Montreal to Quebec City. It took around 2 1/2 hours and was a nice drive. We took Highway 20, which runs along the south side of the St. Lawrence River.
Where We Stayed
We stayed at a nice little hotel that was around 15 minutes from Old Quebec called Hotel Sepia. I wrote a review on it in “Hotel Sepia in Quebec City”. Bear in mind that this was 15 minutes without bad traffic. We hit bad traffic more than a couple times while we were there. There seemed to be construction going on almost everywhere we turned that weekend.
Parking was impossible to find for free. Unless you are there later at night, you have to either pay in some of the lots (which can upwards of $16) or find a meter.
In upper Quebec City we found a gravel parking lot for $12/day that had a parking attendant there. It worked quite well. It is just north of the Citadel. If you were to drive through the old city walls on the south most street into Old Quebec City, take your first or second right I believe and it will take you right past it.
This was super cool. Very old buildings, tons of little restaurants, and lots to walk around and see. There was the lower town and the upper town as it is on the cliffs along the St. Lawrence. We usually parked in the lower town at some of the meter parking along the road.
The first night we walked around the lower part of Old Quebec and ended up eating at Cochon Dingue. A very nice restaurant with a large menu. Make sure to get there early and get a reservation though, this played filled up fast and it is a very large restaurant. There sugar pie was simply awesome and they have a good choice of “set menus” that included appetizer, meal, drink, and dessert for reasonable prices.
In the upper part of Old Quebec you can find a lot of interesting things. Chateau Frontenac stands up on the hill like a castle and looks amazing. There are the parliament buildings, numberous restaurants and stores, and a Simons if you like to clothes shop like my wife does.
Lower Old Quebec Looking Up Chateau Frontenac
Plains of Abraham and the Citadel
This is along Old Quebec city as well. The citadel is a massive fortress that was built but never really used on the cliffs of Old Quebec City. Heading back west from it is the gian park that includes a portion of the original Plains of Abraham. There are various statues and information you can find showing the spots where Montcalm was mortally wounded and Wolfe was killed.
Plains of Abraham
Along side it there is an interpretive centre. There are presentations and scale model of the Plains that you can look at. It was around $8 for an adult to view the multimedia presentation about the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. If you just have a few questions, the staff working there was really friendly and eager to fill you in on a few details of history.
The legislature buildings are in Old Quebec as well. The building looks quite neat, so stop by for a photo if you are walking by.
Outside of Quebec City
There were a few neat things to see outside of the city, but you probably need a car or be willing to make your way on a bus.
This is a town to the east of the city. The cathedral there is huge and looks amazing. Take a walk inside and look around. It supposedly has “healing powers” and there are a couple of pillars on the inside where crutches are hanging when they were “left behind”. Again, if you haven’t seen churches in Europe, then check this out.
Lac Des Isles
This is an island in the St. Lawrence with a bridge out to it. You can go to one of the quaint little restraunts, take a drive by all the little acreage houses, or tour a maple farm.
Chutes de Montmorency
These are waterfalls just to the east of the city as well. Rather large and there are a number of different vantage points. A set of stairs descends the cliff on the one side to get an up close and personal view if you feel like getting a bit wet. There is free parking in a few places around it, you just need to drive around.
Chutes de Montmorency