Quebec City could be a town straight out of Old France, with cobblestone streets and centuries-old houses. This is the capital of Quebec, but markedly smaller and less bustling than Montreal. There is much to do in the enchanting city, though. And the Old Port, where the ships anchor, is home to former merchant residences that now house a collection of antique shops, galleries, and boutiques.
What We Love
Montmorency Falls Park: Trails crisscross this picturesque park popular with hikers and picnickers. For the best views, ride the cable car up the cliffs to the footbridge.
The Restaurants: You can sample French cuisine (bien sûr), as well as First Nations food like sagamité (a game, squash, and bean stew) and traditional Quebecois specialties, such as poutine (fries with cheese curds) and tartes au sucre (sugar tarts).
Best Known For
Old Quebec: The city's historic quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is simply alluring, especially under a blanket of snow. Don’t miss Place Royale (including the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church) and an amble along Rue St.-Jean.
Citadelle of Quebec: The museum houses interactive exhibits of Quebec’s military history, and a changing of the guard takes place daily at this British fortress with views of the St. Lawrence River. Fun fact: The ceremony includes the Royal 22 Regiment’s mascot, Batisse the Goat.
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Who It's Best For
Europhiles: This fortified city has retained Old Europe’s traditional charms that are frequently lost in modern-day cities.
History Buffs: Quebec has a storied past, and its landscape is punctuated by monuments and landmarks as evidence. Prime examples are the 19th-century Parliament Building, the hilltop Chateau Frontenac, and the Champlain statue on Dufferin Terrace.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
French Is the Primary Language: Quebec is officially bilingual, but English is definitely a second language here. Practice your conjugations (or download a translation app).
Winters Can Be Frigid: Snow is frequent, and temperatures often drop below zero in the coldest months.
Lisa Cheng is a New York-based writer for ShermansCruise who also writes for Travel + Leisure.