There is so much to see in Quebec City that it can be tempting to hire a private guide to show you around. However, since the city is so easy to navigate and there is so much information about all the sights, you can easily take yourself on a self-guided tour.
Not only will a self-guided visit save you money, but it means that you can explore the city at your own pace. You can choose the sights to see based on your own interests, so there is no chance of you getting bored like most people do on long tours with tour guides.
Can you walk around Quebec City?
Yes, Quebec City is an extremely walkable city. Old Quebec is known as the walled city as it is the only fortified city north of Mexico. Its streets are lined with history and character. Not only is Quebec City walkable, but it is recommended that you walk around the city to get a true sense of the community and the beautiful city itself.
The perfect walking tour of Quebec City
Since Quebec is so easy to get around, you can easily show yourself around the city, hitting the best sights along the way. To help you craft your itinerary, we put together the perfect walking tour of Quebec City.
It is impossible to go on a walking tour of Quebec City without seeing the Chateau Frontenac. Widely considered one of the most picturesque hotels in the entire world, this hotel is ideal for taking pictures. Standing atop Cap Diamant, the Chateau looks over the entire old town, giving you immaculate views of Quebec. Make sure you have your camera with you because you do not want to miss the opportunity to capture these views.
Following on from Chateau Frontenac, you should make your way along Dufferin Terrace. The terrace runs along the St Lawrence River so you get beautiful views of the river as you walk along. The terrace is especially pretty in the winter when the snow has settled, and you can see Chateau Frontenac in the distance.
There are a few different points of interest along the terrace. The most popular is the monument Samuel de Champlain. The creator of the sculpture, Paul Chevré, won a contest in 1896 for the best-proposed statue of Samuel de Champlain. He then made the statue with the help of architect Paul Alexander le Cardonnel and the statue was finally placed on the terrace in 1898. Today, it is a key symbol of Canada’s history.
As you leave the Dufferin Terrace, get ready to enter a hidden gem of Canadian military history. At the center of the gardens is a monument honoring General James Wolfe & Marquis de Montcalm. James Wolfe was a British troop and Marquis de Montcalm was a French soldier in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, one of Quebec’s most famous battles from the 18th century.
Once you have reached the monument, you can walk up a narrow hill to rue Haldimand. If you are a fan of architecture, or just like pretty houses, we recommend taking a leisurely stroll up this road. It is lined with charming houses that date back to 1823, and they each have their own special characteristics.
The next part of your tour will take you to the Plains of Abraham. By the Plains is the Citadelle, which is a must-see for anyone visiting Quebec City. It is an active military base and also the second residence of the Canadian Monarch, which is currently King Charles II.
It is an essential part of the fortification of the city walls. There are numerous points of interest within the Citadel including its own museum. Whilst you could spend a few hours at the Citadel, we recommend stopping by at either 10 am for the changing of the guard or at 6 pm on Saturday for the beating of the retreat.
Once you have taken everything in at La Citadelle, you can make your way to Rue Des Jardins to see the Cathédrale Holy Trinity. Built in the early 19th century, this extraordinary site is the first Anglican church to be built outside of Canada. The church is extremely impressive. Both the inside and the outside are a work of architectural genius.
We couldn’t set you off on our self-guided tour without directing you towards the perfect spot for lunch. By the time you’ve visited the sites listed above, you are going to be ready for a bite to eat. La Maison Smith is the perfect place to stop for a quick bite to eat in between all your exploring. They have an extensive menu and offer a variety of hot and cold coffees, as well as smoothies to quench your thirst. If you are hungry, they have salads, sandwiches, pastries, and cakes… ideal for a lunch on-the-go.
A few minutes’ walk from La Maison Smith is Place Royale, the ideal spot to start your sightseeing after lunch. Place Royale is a spot you have to visit when in Quebec City because it is the exact place the city was founded all the way back in 1608. The square is a charming location where you can admire the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, the oldest North American stone church. Our favorite time of year to visit the Place is during winter as the snow gives it a truly magical feeling.
On from the Place Royale is Rue Du Petit Champlain, a bustling street in the heart of one of the oldest neighborhoods in Quebec. The cobbled streets are lined with a rich history that has been updated to appeal to a modern audience, yet its original sense or charm remains.
The street has a lot of boutiques, selling merchandise from some extremely talented local Quebecois artists and creators. This makes it the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs to take home. The perfect place for shopping in the area is Quartier Petit-Champlain. The area is also known for its gourmet restaurants, and cafes as well as some truly impressive murals that are painted onto the side of some of the bigger 3-story buildings.
Where to stay in Quebec City
With so much to see in Quebec City, is essential that you stay somewhere close to the action. The Best Western Plus located in Downtown Quebec is ideal for all your needs. We provide luxury rooms as well as a whole host of additional services designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible. We also have a state-of-the-art bar and delicious restaurant on-site, perfect for some relaxation after your long days of exploring the city.