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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > Canada > Quebec > Quebec City

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Local time Quebec City

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Shopping in Quebec City

Quebecers love shopping so much they invented their own verb for it: magasiner. It means 'go shopping' and in Quebec City, browsers, bargain hunters and big-money buyers get the best of both worlds: charming boutiques with a distinctly European flavour and mega shopping centres with big brand stores.

Key areas

Old Quebec’s Lower Town offers atmospheric shopping along pedestrian-friendly cobblestone streets. Historic homes along Quartier Petit Champlain have been turned into decorative art shops and high-fashion boutiques. Along rue Saint-Paul, 400-year old buildings house boutiques, bistros, art galleries and antique shops. In Old Quebec’s Upper Town, rue Saint-Jean has the most European vibe with a mix of original boutiques, bakeries, cafes and toy stores.

Only a 15-minute walk north of Old Quebec is the ultra-hip Nouvo Saint-Roch district with innovative designers, cool indie boutiques and avant-garde art spaces. In downtown, vintage stores line Saint-Joseph Est while locals shop along Avenue Cartier in Montcalm district which is known for its lively atmosphere of gourmet food shops, fashionable boutiques, sophisticated restaurants and bars.

Markets

Rue du Trésor is an open-air art gallery in a narrow alley just off Place d’Armes. The public market in the Old Port, Le Marché du Vieux-Port, sells local fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheese and meat.

Shopping centres

To the southwest of Quebec City, in the suburb of Sainte-Foy, is one of the largest shopping complexes in North America. Made up of three adjoining shopping malls (Place Laurier, Place Sainte-Foy and Place de la Cité), there are over 600 shops between them.

Opening hours

Most shops in Quebec City open daily between 0930-1000 and close around 1730 on most days but extend the opening hours to 2100 on Thursdays and Fridays. Shorter opening hours are common on Sundays.

Souvenirs

Look for edible local products that include maple syrup, ice cider and wildberry jams. Quebec designers are known for their distinct style, especially with ready-to-wear and outdoor winter wear. Local artisans create unique jewellery, paintings, sculptures, blown glass and ceramics. Aboriginal arts and handicrafts include Inuit soapstone carvings.

Tax information

The 5% federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and 9.975% provincial Quebec Sales Tax (QST) are levied on most products and services.

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Featured Hotels

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Le Clos Saint-Louis

The lavish attention to detail in these joined mid-19th-century townhouses makes staying here a treat. Gorgeous antiques feature in the elegant parlour and dining room (where a free continental breakfast is served in low season), and they make an appearance in the 18 bedrooms as well, where area rugs soften the hardwood floors, and televisions are hidden away in armoires to preserve the romantic Victorian atmosphere. This hotel is a gem! But don't just take our word for it: thousands of travellers on the Tripadvisor website once voted it Best Hidden Gem in Canada.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

The grandest of Quebec City's hotels is the city's chief landmark, a red-brick, mock-medieval tower topped by a steep copper roof and perched on the edge of the cliff overlooking the St Lawrence. Its 611 rooms have benefited from a multimillion dollar refurbishment project; each stately and grand in appearance if occasionally a bit small, but that's made up for by the prime location, with its gastronomic Le Champlain restaurant and Le Café de la Terrasse overlooking the scenic Dufferin Terrace promenade.

Le Manoir des Ramparts

This hotel, located in the heart of Old Québec, might not win any prizes for design, but it offers very reasonable accommodation at a very decent price, and some rooms have an exceptional view of the St Lawrence River and Laurentian Mountains. Most of the 34 bedrooms have a private bathroom, television and telephone, but eight budget rooms have shared shower and toilet facilities. Continental breakfast is included in the price.

Hotel Le Cavalier du Moulin

This 19th century property in Old Québec is blessed with historic character and charm. Located just a stone's throw from many of the city's most iconic sights, some of the rooms come preserved with their original stone walls and fireplaces, and all are equipped with air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi.

Hôtel Le Germain-Dominion

The 60 loft-like rooms in this warmly minimalist boutique hotel are full of nice touches like blown-glass basins lit from beneath, chunky wooden blinds (revealing terrific views over the St Lawrence River from the upper floors) and home comforts like down duvets and bathrobes. Breakfast (included in the price) is served at large communal tables, a reception area and two meeting rooms cater to business needs and there's a complimentary cappuccino/espresso bar. The staff provide discreet, impeccable service.

Hôtel Manoir Victoria

This comfortable 4-star hotel, just up the hill from the train station, is tucked discreetly behind the main shopping street in the Old Town and is handy for exploring the sights. Low-key lighting and thick carpets give a hushed feel and the 156 well-appointed rooms and suites, done up in earth tones, are a good size. For relaxing there is a pool, sauna, fitness room and spa treatments.