A few photos and words about our time from October 22nd to November 3rd 2018 in the capital of Québec, the centre of the French-Candian language usage - also readable as a travel guide. Tips for the walk through the historic town centre, for exploring the sorrundings and the visit of a really good spa. We also give away the name of our favorite café, the restaurant where you can indulge in vegan Poutine and the places from which you have the most beautiful views of the City.
Québec City not only is the Capital City of the Province of Québec, it also is one of the oldest European cities in North America. The French colonie was founded by the famous Samuel de Champlain in 1608. Since then it has grown into the second largest city in Québec with a population of 531.000. Amoung historic buildings, there are a lot of different modern buildings and companys which make the whole city a little bit more international and younger . However, if you would like to work here, you should bare in mind that Québec City is the French-Canadian capital and you do better, if you speak French.
You can start your Québec City adventure on the other site of the saint Lawrence river in Levis. The view from here is amazing and you can take some really beautiful pictures from the famous historic hotel Fairmont Le Château Frontenac and the historic town center. If you like to spend some more time before you take the ferry to the other side, you should visit the small Café Bonté Divine Lévis and enjoy some good coffee and pastries with a lovely harbour view.
After you enjoyed the short ferry trip you can mount your bicycle again and ride along the waterfront to enjoy the scenery of the old town buildings and the harbour with it’s massive cruiseships. It seems to us, that Quebec City is kind of bicycle friendly, but you should know, that some parts of the city, like the district of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, are build on a mountain and the streets that are leading you up there are very steep and long!
The main part of Québec City isn’t that big and you can get around easily on your own two feet. It took us approx. 20 min to go from our AirBnB to the old town with it’s spacious walkway along the Terrace of Dufferin, which stretches all the way in front of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac to the Old Citadelle. In comparison to the thousands of tourist that come to Québec City for a day or weekend-trip, we didn’t have to rush to discover all parts of the old city. We discovered Quebec City street by street and coffee by coffee.
The old town is divided in the upper and lower part. To get into the lower part you can use stairs or you take the funicular. Either way you’ll get to one of the most beautiful streets in Québec, the "Rue du Petit-Champlain“. It is crowded, but you can still try to enjoy it. You can escape the hustle by escaping to the waterfront or you walk up to the upper town using the Rue Remparts. From there you can visit the historic school yard of the old priest school and look at the old sundial which says, that our days on earth are only a shadow „DIES NOSTRI QVASI VMBRA”. If you need something for your soul after this upcheering message, you should enjoy a traditional Canadien meal: poutine! The Restaurant Chick Shack has a lot of variations to offer even a vegan one!
Heavy but happy we left the old town over the Rue Saint-Jean. If you want to enjoy a good coffee in a nice atmosphere you should go to Coffeehouse La Maison Smith. We really enjoyed it to sit at the big window and look at the many people walking up and down this busy street.
If you want to have a more quiet time you should definitely go to Québec City's Central Park, the Plains of Abraham. Once Battlefield between the French and English, it now is the green lung of the city and a historic site for the Canadien government. You can enjoy a nice long walk and many beautiful views from here. If you are lucky to be in Québec City around Halloween, you can even enjoy some horror stories from Quebec City and around.
If you enjoy going to spas you should check out the Siberia Station Spa just outside of Quebec. It is pricy but the spa is beautifuly build in a forest and you can enjoy cooling down in a river that runs through the spa.
We would have loved to stay longer in Québec City and enjoy more of the view over the lower parts of the city with its flickering lights by night or the beautiful view over the river but we needed to find work and Winter was coming so we decided to travel further to Montréal.