A Quick Guide to Quebec City
By: L. Mores
Situated on the predominantly French speaking province in eastern Canada, Quebec City is a historical wonder taken straight out of a fairytale. With its vibrant paintings splattered onto brick-lined walls, it is simply impossible not to be mesmerized by how well preserved the city is. Quebec itself is divided in two; the low city, and the high city. We'll start off, weirdly, with the high city:
The high city is the old part of town – Vieux-Quebec, in French. It's a relatively compact area, meaning that it's easy to get to know the area on foot (you'll see that it's quite hard to navigate around with a car since the streets are very narrow). You can start your day by walking around the 'Fortifications of Quebec '; large walls built to protect the city. In fact, they are so large you can walk on them easily and, if you'd like, even go around town this way. These walls will take you to the 'La Citadelle', a fortress where during the summer, a change of guards occurs. It's quite an entertaining spectacle which you simply cannot miss.
You can then stroll through the "Terrasse Dufferin", a promenade built in 1879 along the St. Lawrence river. It has a great view of the city and is smack in front of a great symbol of Quebec: the "Chatêau Frontenac". This hotel was used in 1944 to plan the invasion of Normandy, a significant event which brought the First World War to an end.
Afterwards, you can walk on the prominent "Rue St-Jean", which is closed for vehicles all summer. There, you'll find great restaurants, such as "Chez Boulay", my personal favorite. If you decide to eat there, be sure to order the soup as a starter - it's spectacular!
After having a pleasant meal, you can then visit the "Hôtel Du Parlament" or the "Hôtel-de-ville", which is open to the public and can be toured freely during weekdays. Its interior is luxurious and minimalistic. In addition, the visit allows you to get to know more about the political administration of Canada (and Quebec, of course).
Starting from the "Terrasse Dufferin, you'll be at a cliff where there the high city is situated, and you can then start to weave your way down to the low city easily. You have two options; taking the funiculare or taking a walk.
Once you get to the low city, make sure to check out the "Quartier Petit-Champlain", an adorable area considered one of the oldest commercial neighborhoods in North America. The streets are narrow, built with cobblestones and filled with the most enchanting shops in Quebec. If you wish to buy a souvenir, that's definitely the right spot.
After you finish touring the low city, or if you have some spare time, do not miss out on the "Chute-Montmorrency" park, where there is an absolutely stunning waterfall only a few minutes from the center of town. A suspended bridge will lead you to the 80m attraction, and during the summer you can see the water flowing right below the bridge. Inside the park, there is also the "Manoir-Montmorrency", a space which is used as a restaurant and for lounging. It is easily accessible by bus or by car.
If you do go to the park, make sure to visit the "Île d'Orleans". Situated in the St. Lawrence river 5km east from the center of Quebec City, it's one of the best kept secrets from the region. There are so many beautiful strawberry plantations scattered about and, if you're lucky, you might stumble across one that might let you pick strawberries straight out of the bushes. Also, do visit the "Cassis Mona & Filles", an incredible restaurant which sells their homemade cassis, strawberry jams and liquors – amazing gifts for friends and relatives.
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