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Things to see in Quebec City

Tourist Offices

Tourisme Québec

Address: Haute-Ville (Upper Town), 12 rue Sainte-Anne, Old Quebec, G1R 3X2
Telephone: +1 877 266 5687.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700 (1 Apr to 20 Jun); daily 0900-1900 (21 Jun to 31 Aug); daily 0900-1800 (1 Sep to 31 Oct); daily 0900-1700 (1 Nov to 31 Mar).

Website: http://www.quebecoriginal.com

Tourisme Québec runs the provincial Centre Infotouriste de Québec offices where you can get information, guides and maps on Québec City and the surrounding area. The main office is located across from the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. There are also temporary summer offices located throughout the surrounding areas. From mid-June to early September, Tourisme Québec bilingual service agents buzz around town on their mopeds. Look for the scooters decorated with a bright blue question mark and flag them down for advice and help about your visit.

Kiosk Frontenac on Dufferin Terrace is operated by Parks Canada (+1 418 648 7016; www.pc.gc.ca) and offers information on the national historical sites and parks in the city and surrounding areas. Parks Canada is responsible for the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site, Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site.

Attractions

Vieux-Québec: Haute-Ville (Old Quebec's Upper Town)

Haute-Ville (Upper Town), where the towering Château Frontenac is located, is one of Quebec City's major draws. This hotel was built in 1893, although the tower that gives it its distinctive appearance was added in the 1920s. The iconic building sits between Place d'Armes (a central square famed for its Gothic fountain) and the Dufferin Terrace (a wide wooden boardwalk offering a terrific view of Ville de Lévis, on the opposite shore). It's filled with street entertainers and visitors milling around visiting the popular Kiosk Frontenac booth or promenading past cannons that predate Château Frontenac. Nearby, the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville is dominated by the Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Québec, the city's main Catholic cathedral.

Address: Haute-Ville (Upper Town), 2, rue D'Auteuil, Old Quebec, G1K 7A1
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Vieux-Québec: Basse-Ville (Old Quebec's Lower Town)

Lower Town, the oldest part of Old Quebec, is clustered on the narrow streets between the ramparts of Upper Town and the Old Port, linked to Upper Town by the funicular, the escalier casse-cou (breakneck stairs) and the steep Côte de la Montagne road. At its centre, Place Royale has been faithfully restored to its former glory, the 17th- and 18th-century houses surrounding the one-time market square now in pristine condition. Located in the historic Hazeur and Smith houses, the Musée de la place Royale has exhibits illustrating the area's history, while the historic Maison Chevalier recreates domestic scenes from the 17th century. One block over, rue du Petit Champlain is a lively and romantic cobblestone street full of shops and restaurants.

Address: Basse-Ville (Lower Town), 27, rue Notre-Dame, Old Quebec, G1K 4E9
Telephone:
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Fortifications de Québec (Quebec Fortifications)

The unique 4.6km (2.9-mile) rampart encircling Old Quebec, makes Quebec the only walled city in the Americas that's north of Mexico. Walk along the top of the fortifications for sweeping views of the city and the Saint Lawrence River. An historic exhibit on the ramparts' construction can be found at the Interpretation Centre, located at Porte St-Louis (one of the four surviving city gates). Clockwise from the centre, the walls adjoin Artillery Park, which was built by the French to defend the city before becoming a garrison for British officers until 1871, when it was turned into a munitions factory. Tours to the Arsenal Foundry, the officers' barracks, and the Dauphine Redoubt are also offered at the park.

Address: Haute-Ville (Upper Town), 2, rue D'Auteuil, Old Quebec, G1K 7A1
Telephone: +1 418 648 7016.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/qc/fortifications.aspx
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

La Citadelle de Québec (Quebec Citadel)

The 1820 Citadel is one of Quebec City's most distinctive features and a legacy of the British occupation. On the heights of Cap Diamant, the star-shaped fortress was built to withstand attacks on the city from across the Plains of Abraham to the southwest. Nicknamed the 'Gibraltar of the Americas', visitors can see inside as part of a one-hour guided tour. A visit to the Musée Royal 22e Régiment is included, showcasing the history of the Van Doos, Canada's only Francophone armed forces unit. The Changing of the Guard takes place each summer morning at 1000 with the Regimental Band and Batisse, the Citadel mascot and regimental goat. The pomp continues on selected evenings, when the Van Doos perform 'The Retreat' as part of the flag-lowering ceremonies.

Address: Haute-Ville (Upper Town), 1 côte de la Citadelle, Old Quebec, G1R 3R2
Telephone: +1 418 694 2815.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700 (May-Oct); Daily 1000-1600 (Nov-Apr).

Website: http://www.lacitadelle.qc.ca
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (Quebec National Museum of Fine Arts)

The Musée National des Beaux-Arts houses the most important collection of work by Québécois artists. Housed in the 1933 Gérard-Morisset Pavilion, the collection follows three main periods: the beginnings of Québécois art (largely influenced by religion), the European-influenced modernist period up to 1945, and the period of figurative and abstract art from the mid-20th century onward. There is also the outstanding Brousseau Inuit art collection and a permanent exhibition by the famous Québec painter and sculptor Jean-Paul Riopelle. As a nod to its former life as a prison, one cellblock has been turned into an exhibit, and the southwest end of museum, close to the Plains of Abraham, is dotted with sculptures. The museum also host notable temporary exhibits.

Address: Montcalm District, Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, Quebec City, G1R 5H3 
Telephone: +1 418 643 2150.
Opening times:

Tue 1000-1700, Wed 1000-2100, Thu-Sun 1000-1700 (early Sep-May); Thurs-Tue 1000-1800, Wed 1000-2100(Jun-early Sep).

Website: http://www.mnbaq.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

With its ornate neo-baroque décor, its ceiling of painted clouds, touches of shimmering gold leaf, luxurious paintings, lavish stained-glass windows and rich ecclesiastical objects (including a chancel lamp from Louis XIV), Notre-Dame Basilica is a shining example of the role religion played in Quebec's history. This is the oldest Catholic parish north of Mexico and parts of the cathedral, including the bell tower, date back to 1647. Most of the exterior is from the 1771 reconstruction, while the interior was rebuilt in 1922 after a fire. More than 900 people are buried in the crypt including many of the founding governors and bishops. Guided tours of the crypt are available.

Address: Haute-Ville (Upper Town), 16, rue de Buade, Old Quebec, G1R 4A1
Telephone: +1 418 692 6464.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0700-1700, Sunday 0730-1700 (autumn-spring); Mon-Sat 0700-2030, Sunday 0730-2030 (summer).

Website: http://notredamedequebec.org
Admission Fees:

No (except crypt tours)

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Parc Aquarium du Québec

This 16 hectare (40 acre) aquarium swells with sea life. Divided into seven sectors, Parc Aquarium du Québec focuses on the Saint Lawrence River ecosystem and northern Canadian maritime regions as far as the north pole. There are 10,000 marine animals on show including fresh and salt water fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and sea mammals in an open-air environment. Tropical fish and other delicate creatures are housed indoors. Polar bears, walruses and seals are the main stars though and visitors can see them being feed or trained. There's also an aerial hebertism trail designed for children. Daily shuttles leave from the Laurier Shopping Centre.

Address: Sainte-Foy- Sillery-Cap-Rouge, Exit 132, Highway 73 (next to Quebec City entrance bridges), Quebec City, G1V 4J9
Telephone: +1 418 659 5264.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1700 (Jun-early Oct); daily 1000-1600 (early Oct-May).

Website: http://www.sepaq.com/ct/paq
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Parc des Champs-de-Bataille Nationaux (National Battlefields Park)

Southwest of the Citadel, the National Battlefields Park occupies the 108-hectare (267-acre) Plains of Abraham. It was the site of the decisive battle of 1759, when the British, led by General Wolfe, defeated General Montcalm's French forces. Today, it's a wide green space with a classic French garden, popular for summer concerts and outdoor activities. For those with a taste for history, the Discovery Pavilion (in the same building as the tourist office) has a large diorama of the site and the Odyssey historical multimedia exhibition. Midway through the park, Martello Tower No 1 has costumed guides who explain the role of these defensive structures (summer only). Abraham's Bus connects the sites, with the driver providing commentary as it winds through the park daily from late June until mid-September.

Address: National Battlefields Park, Montcalm District, 390, avenue De Bernières, Quebec City, G1R 2L7
Telephone: +1 418 649 6157.
Opening times:

Daily 24 hours.

Website: http://www.ccbn-nbc.gc.ca
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilisation)

One of the city's most entertaining museums, the Museum of Civilisation is easy to spot with its dramatic glass and limestone façade at the foot of the cliff. It hosts temporary exhibits alongside its permanent collections. The 'People of Québec... then and Now' gives a historical overview of political history and events that shaped Québec into a unique society. Another permanent exhibition, 'This Is Our Story: First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century', showcases 11 aboriginal nations using artefacts, works by indigenous artists and videotaped oral histories.

Address: Basse-Ville (Lower Town), 85 rue Dalhousie, Old Quebec, G1K 7A6
Telephone: +1 418 643 2158.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 1000-1700 (5 Sep to 23 Jun). Daily 1000-1700 (24 Jun to 4 Sep).

Website: http://www.mcq.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Observatoire de la Capitale (Capital Observatory)

Enjoy a 360-degree view of Quebec City from 221m (725ft) above the city on the 31st floor of the Marie-Guyart Building. Huge windows offer spectacular panoramas of the city and surrounding areas, including the Citadel and defensive fortification. On a clear day you can see beyond the Laurentian Mountains on one side and past the bridge to Ile d'Orleans on the other. Multimedia displays with interactive touchscreen terminals, sound booths and 3D imagery bring key people and places to life.

Address: Downtown, 1037, rue De La Chevrotière, 31st floor, Quebec City, G1R 5E9
Telephone: +1 418 644 9841.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1700 (Feb-mid-Oct); Tues-Sun 1000-1700 (mid-Oct-Jan).

Website: http://www.observatoire-capitale.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

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.