Visiting Quebec City is akin to immersing oneself in Canada’s enchanting and remarkable history. With many activities to engage in, Quebec City truly feels like a European escape within North America. Whether travelling alone, as a couple, or with children while staying in a vacation rental, the captivating beauty of the city is undeniable.
Quebec City, founded in 1608, is stunning and rich in history. Perched on an elevated plateau, the city offers breathtaking views of the magnificent St. Lawrence River. Its blend of old-world charm and modern tastes makes Quebec City a highly coveted destination worldwide.
Quebec City is an ideal location for exploring by foot. Many of the city’s attractions are situated in the densely packed area of Old Quebec City. However, there are some activities that necessitate the use of public transportation or personal vehicle.
Fortunately, the city also has a reliable public transportation system for those who cannot rent a car. So here are some of the top historical things to do in Quebec City that you won’t want to miss!
Why Is Quebec City so Amazing?
Quebec City provides a unique glimpse into the old world within the Americas, unmatched by any other North American city in terms of its European style and atmosphere. As the capital of Quebec province, it is the only region in Canada where French is the primary official language.
The city’s location on the cliffs above the St. Lawrence River made it an ideal defensive position during early conflicts with British and American forces, while the walled Old Quebec City offered protection for businesses and residents near the water.
But don’t let its old-world charm fool you – there’s much more to explore and experience in this vibrant city. Quebec City is a year-round destination, attracting visitors in the winter for its world-renowned Carnival.
It also offers an entirely different experience in the summer with its comfortable temperatures, sunny days, and long hours of daylight. This allows tourists to enjoy various activities during the day and relax in the evening inside a cottage for rent with a private spa.
Attractions and Activities in Quebec City
Explore Old Quebec
Old Quebec is an incredible destination to experience Canada’s rich history. In the summer, the area comes alive with horse-drawn carriages navigating the cobblestone streets while the sidewalks bustle with cafes, art displays, and hidden sculptures depicting Quebec’s diverse past.
A must-visit spot is Parc Montmorency, located between Cote de la Montagne and Rue Port-Dauphin. This was home to the Parliament of Lower Canada and Quebec from 1791 to 1883. Additionally, the oldest house in Canada can be found here, dating back to 1675.
This charming red-roofed building on rue Saint-Louis has since been converted into a restaurant called Aux Ancien Canadien. For an even more immersive historical experience, it is highly recommended to dine in lower Quebec.
Historical Battles on the Plains of Abraham
Some of the most significant and monumental battles in Canadian history took place in Quebec City. The 1759 battle on the Plains of Abraham, for example, was a crucial moment in the seven-year war between Britain and France.
While many historical battlefields have been converted into farmland or paved over, the Plains of Abraham have been preserved as a 243-acre city park. This park serves as a central location for both the winter Carnival celebrations and large summer music festivals.
The Plains of Abraham offer beautiful scenery for walks, hikes, picnics, and simply enjoying the atmosphere of Quebec City, including the chance to see some of the ancient cannons that were once used there.
To learn more about the history of the Plains of Abraham, visit the Discovery Center, where you can delve into the rich past that shaped Quebec City and the province of Quebec. The Plains of Abraham are as important to Quebec City as Central Park is to New York City, and Hyde Park is to London – a place where the city comes together to celebrate, mourn, and unwind.
Walk Around the Citadelle of Quebec
The Citadelle of Quebec, also known as La Citadelle de Quebec, is a must-visit attraction for those seeking incredible experiences in Quebec City. This historic fortress offers stunning views of the city and Chateau Frontenac and is an active military base and an official residence of Canada’s Lieutenant General.
Inside its walls, you’ll find an intriguing museum showcasing the local regiment’s history across various wars, including WWI. Guided tours are available through the military base, providing breathtaking panoramas of Old Quebec from atop the fort walls. Moreover, visitors can marvel at the enormous cannons intended to defend the city from assaults along the St. Lawrence River.
Quebec City is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. With so many exciting attractions and events to explore this summer, it’s the perfect time to plan your visit to Canada’s historic center. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Quebec City. And if you plan to stay a couple of nights in Quebec, you should also check out the beautiful scenery from the windows of a cottage rental near Quebec.
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