If you’re looking for the perfect weekend getaway Quebec City is the one of the most suitable place for you. In our article on Top Rated Attractions in Quebec City – we will discuss about the second largest city in the province of Quebec after Montreal. This beautiful city is known for being the only fortified city in the north of Mexico.
Along with its mesmerizing French and British architecture it has unparalleled luxury, comfort and views. You can experience its rich historical past by walking down Old Quebec or attending it’s summer heritage celebrations. Not only does Quebec have a rich cultural and religious heritage but is also surrounded with lush green evergreen forests which offers a variety of activities from hiking to sightseeing.
Apart from being the oldest city in Canada the Flight Network ranked Quebec city as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Quebec has a myriad of churches making it an extremely rich religious heritage site. It is a combination of old architectural designs along with modern skyscrapers and should definitely be one of the places you visit while in Canada. Quebec is one of the most favorite tourist destination and I will list some of the most important and famous tourist spots in Quebec city and also some super exciting things to do during your stay which will make your entire stay memorable.
Being the oldest city in Canada, Quebec has a rich past. It’s history is also very complex due to the same reason. The word Quebec is derived from an Algonquian word which means narrowing of the river. Quebec City was officially founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. Jacques Cartier was a French Explorer who was the first European to reach the St.Lawrence Gulf and claimed it to be the “New France”. His crew visited a place called Stadacona which is a site located in the present day Quebec City. During the Seven Years War in 1759, the British troops won the war and took control of the city. During the times of the American revolution thousands of revolutionary troops marched towards Quebec city to liberate it and amalgamate it into the United States of America. They lost the war which is known as ‘The battle of Quebec’ and thus Quebec remained a part of Canada. The city of Quebec hosted the second Fathers of Confederation Conference in 1864 and three years later it became Canada’s first three original provinces. In the 20th century Quebec saw a shift from the agriculturalists type of society to an industrialized one.
Geography and Climate
Quebec is the largest province in Canada and is covered by the Canadian shield which is a level landscape .Quebec City is located on the top of the Cap-Diamant which is a Cape formed by the confluence of the St.Lawrence River with the St.Charles River. Since it is so close to these water bodies most of the area is flat and low-lying.
The North of the city has the Laurentian Mountains which elevate some part of the city. Quebec City’s total area is around 1.5 million km2. It was built on the north bank of St.Lawrence River. The St.Lawrence seaway is one of the major shipping lines on the Canadian east coast. Quebec shares it’s borders with three different places which are New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Ontario. The St. Lawrence river is the most populated place in Quebec City due to the fertile lands and vicinity to the water body. The plains are located on the south-eastern side of the city. There are large patches of evergreen forests that have numerous lakes and countless rivers.
The city is known to have a humid continental type of climate throughout the year. However the overall climate of the city is considered to be variable. The summers in Quebec are mild, wet and comfortable with the average temperature of 77°F. The summers can be described as being hot and humid with the nights that can get fairly . This makes it the most favorable time for most of the tourist to visit this beautiful and glorious city.
In July one can expect a five week heat-wave which causes tropical like days and nights. It starts to become relatively cooler in the following months, the winters in Quebec are extremely cold and very often windy. The average temperature in August and the following month drops to 40-50°F. Quebec has rainless winters but in January one can expect the average temperature to be as low 0.6°F. The city experiences one of the highest amounts of snowfall in all of Canada, the average yearly snowfall in the city of Quebec is around 124 inches.
Flora and fauna
Quebec has an amazing flora and fauna and it offers many hikes, trails etc to explore the same. The city has large patches of evergreen forests and numerous lakes and rivers flowing all throughout the city. The city has Boreal forest which is the most extensive forest which has a variety of species of different plants and animals. The wolves, beavers, grey owls and bears are all to be commonly seen in the forests. The Laurentian mountain ranges are one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world that are dated back to 540 million years which are situated in the northern part of the city. They are snow laden for most parts of the year and offer mesmerizing views from the peaks. There are an array of activities that one can indulge in these mountain ranges, from provisions for skiing to mountain climbing to kayaking down the river.
Best attractions in Quebec City
Quebec city has hundreds of places to visit and activities to indulge in, I will list some of the most famous and interesting places to go and things to do while you are in Quebec City. This city offers amazing views of nature and also offers modern luxury. One can visit the various museums to learn more about the past of Quebec and one can also take various hikes and nature trails. Make sure to make the most of your trip to Quebec and visit all these places.
These falls should definitely be on your list. This is a large waterfall on the Montmorency river. These falls have a total height of 84m and they are mesmerizing to look at. Tourists can use the suspension bridge that is made to get a closer look of the falls.
There are many staircases leading up to the fall along with the provision of a tram which goes from the bottom of the falls to the top. These falls are in the Montmorency Falls Park which is 12km from the heart of the old Quebec City. These falls are even higher than the Niagara falls!
These falls usually look like they are from one river but surprisingly three rivers combine together to make these enormous and magnificent falls.
La Citadelle of Quebec
La Citadelle is this beautiful star shaped fortress that was constructed in the 1800s to prevent the city from invasions. The idea of building a fort was first proposed to the French Government due to the location of Quebec City which made it vulnerable to invasions. The French Government rejected the proposal as they found it to be too costly and of little importance.
After British gaining control of the city James Murray the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec proposed to build a fort but due to the lack of support from the government in the terms of fund a small wooden citadel was built. Only after the War of 1812 was the citadel completely built, when the government realized the importance of building a fort at such a location. It contains the oldest military building in all of Canada. It is currently a military installation and also the home to the Governor general of Canada and also the Canadian Monarch. It is situated on the top of Cap Diamant which is adjoining to the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. The Citadelle is located in the old Quebec and is a World Heritage Site. Hundreds of thousands tourists visit this beautiful site each year.
The Old Quebec is the only fortified city in the north of Mexico and is considered a UNESCO Word Heritage Site. It contains historic landmarks and beautiful museums. It contains fort and the grand and luxurious Château Frontenac hotel which is known for its architectural beauty. It was founded in the 17th century by the French explorer Champlain. Old Quebec was the capital of New France and later was also of the new British Colony. It covers a total of 135 hectares of area.
Old Quebec is divided into two parts which are the upper town and the lower town. Upper town has a citadel and various fortifications along with churches, convents and other monument making it more like a religious centre while the lower town has the harbour and the Place Royale. The upper town rests on a cliff which provides a magnificent view of the St.Lawrence River and the countryside that stretches for miles beyond. It remained the city’s administration and military centre for a long period of time due to its position on top of Cap Diamant.
The lower town has Basse-Ville which is the first original neighbourhood of the city with ancient shops and street and buildings. The old town elaborately shows the stages in the European settlement. During the 19th century there was a movement to abolish the fortifications of the Qld Quebec and destroy the old buildings to pave the way for urban development and modernization but Lord Dufferin was the one who successfully persuaded the citizens to preserve the rich heritage of the place. This place is often known as old Europe on American soil. After being named as the UNESCO World Heritage Site this place has been beautifully maintained by the government.
The Qld Quebec city is made for walking with tiny ancient and winding streets so the best way to enjoy this beauty is to spend a day or two walking around and exploring the entire town.
Museum of Civilization
Museum of Civilization of Musee de la civilisation is a museum that is located in old Quebec near the St.Lawrence River. It was formerly known as the Canadian museum of civilisation .The museum attracts around 14 million visitors annually which makes it one of the most visited museums in all of Canada. It was designed by Moshe Safdie and it was opened for the public on December 19, 1988.
There are temporary and permanent exhibitions that are held at this museum and most of them are focused on the topic ‘humanities’. This museum has various things one can indulge in to gain more knowledge about this history of Old Quebec and it’s aboriginals and the history of the world. It has guided reference tours, a virtual centre, hands on activity stations, multimedia presentations, shows etc. One can also purchase souvenirs from the museum gift shops or sit in one of its cafes.
Quartier Petit Champlain
This is the oldest commercial district in the whole of North America. It is located near Palace Royale and the Notre Dam des Victoires church. It is a small but beautiful and an essential shopping district in Quebec City. It has over 45 boutiques and restaurant that are open all year round for the tourists to visit. It also has many events that the tourists can go for.
Quartier Petit Champlain has art galleries, jewellery shops , clothing and food shops along with many restaurants. The most beautiful time to visit this place is during Christmas. One can also check out the breakneck stairs which are the oldest set of stairs in Quebec City which was built around 1635.
Quebec City has many other attractions that one can go to from the Battlefields Park to the Musee Des Ursulines. Quebec City is a very fun and exciting place to visit especially if you love cities with historical significance and amazing architecture. It definitely makes to a must visit destinations in Canada. Planning ahead according to your preferences is advisable, so that you can enjoy all that the province has to offer and busk in the tranquil leisure of the quaint place.