Quebec City was a city that I always felt drawn too. Coming from a family who immigrated from Europe, and having visited Europe many times growing up, Quebec City seemed to have the magic that Europe only has. This summer I had the chance to go and it definitely had it all – history, romance and adventure.
Quebec City is famous for being one of the oldest cities in North America. Founded in 1608, it is now over 400 years old. And the fascinating thing about Quebec City, in particular Old Quebec, is that most of the buildings, cobblestone streets, and fortified walls, are largely preserved from so long ago. You literally get the chance to turn back time and take a step into the glories of the past.
I stayed at the Hilton in Quebec, which was right next to the parliament building in the city. It’s a lovely hotel that had just been newly renovated and we had a beautiful view of Old Quebec and the St. Lawrence River. Since there is so much about Quebec City out there, I figured I’d stick to listing some of my favorite points of interest.
Chateau Frontenac is a historic hotel in Old Quebec that is famously considered the most “photographed hotel in the world.” One can see why this castle-like structure can stake this claim. It was built in the 1800s and has had many famous visitors over time including various US Presidents, European royalty and various celebrities. It is definitely the place to check out and take a picture in front of it. You can also take a look inside and see the incredible design of the lobby and pathways.
Quartier Petit Champlain
This cobblestone street is lined up with shops, boutiques and restaurants. It is considered the oldest shopping district in North America, with all the buildings still standing from the 1600s. It gives you Old Europe vibes and is a super quaint spot to visit. There are flowers lined up everywhere and it is a very romantic place. I had a really great gelato here.
Place Royale is a town square, completely preserved from the 17th century. It is flanked by little shops and galleries, and there are some great cafes. The pedestrian street is completely cobblestone and there is a church from the 1600s right in the middle of the square. If I remember correctly, this square is considered the “the cradle of French civilization in North America.” The famous French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, helped settle this place. Sitting down here while having a cup of coffee was one of the best things I did in Quebec.
Parliament Building of Quebec
The parliament building in Quebec City is an amazing structure. It reminds me so much of Europe, in its stunning design and details in its architecture. It was built in the 1800s and has beautiful gardens on the outside with a pretty water fountain. I love all the life-sized statues of important historical figures that are lined up outside the building, from top to bottom. It is free to take a tour of the Parliament building, and learn about Quebec and see the building from inside.
Notre-Dame Basilica Cathedral
This church in Quebec City, is probably the coolest and largest one in the heart of Old Quebec. It is officially the oldest church in Canada and was constructed by Samuel de Champlain in the 1600s. As a woman of Christian faith, this church fascinated me, to see how they built churches back in the day. The interior designs were so detailed and beautifully crafted with golden sculptures and stained-glass windows. Definitely worth a stop.
There are so many other places to see in Quebec City, but these were the highlight of my short time there. I will definitely revisit it one day. ||