The Best of Québec City ❤️

I ❤️ Québec City, it was a dream.

Our second stop was Québec City. From Montréal we took the more scenic route up the 132 rather than autoroute 20, and were very glad to be able to take it slow on very quiet road while we got used to the car [1], and of course driving on the right had side of the road.

Here are my highlights for Québec City!

The Gnomes at Parc écologique Godefroy

This was one of those happy accidents! I’m plugged in this as a good distance for a rest stop en-route to Québec City and I had no idea that this lovely little park had hidden gnomes in the forest! They added a bit of whimsy to our leg stretch and bathroom visit!

Le Château Frontenac

This might have been the peak of the entire trip for me, it was almost a shame it was so early on as nowhere else we stayed could compare! Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is iconic, they say it is the most photographed hotel in the world, and we actually got to stay in it for 3 nights!

It is gorgeous inside and out, all the staff were really friendly and the whole stay just felt magical.

I’d go back! If you ever get the opportunity, book a room and you won’t regret it.

You can also get a guided tour of the hotel (whether a guest or not) and learn about its interesting history, not least its role in World War II and Project Overlord (aka D-Day). I had no idea about any of that until I found myself in the very room where Churchill and Roosevelt met to plan!

Chez Jules

We had the most incredible meal at Chez Jules on our first night, and honestly I still think about the lemon sole (so buttery!) and that crème brule. It really helped me click into holiday mode after I’d been carry a lot of anxiety about the drive up!

Walking Tour

There are lots of walking tours to chose from, and I’m sure they are all great! Our guide was Robert who had grown up in the area and was very passion about his city. It was also, memorably, incredibly bloody windy so we all did a lot of ducking and hiding behind walls to shelter from the wind while he spoke! The 32c degrees of our first day had dropped to more like 20C with chilly gusts!

I learned about the interesting history of the city from its Native name [1] founding to the French and then British colonial rule, and the Canadian Pacific Railway building the grand hotel to draw visitors.

MASSIVE Almond Croissant from Smiths

This thing was ridiculous and delicious, and very much enjoyed sitting in the clear morning sun in Old Town to enjoy breakfast on our second day.

Super Relaxing River Cruise

It was a gorgeous sunny morning – to contrast the wind the previous day – and made for a perfect cruise up the St Lawrence, to Montmorency Falls (from a distance), and back. The views of the city were amazing, tour guide on that was very good too (I was quite fascinated by seeing the ports and all the silos!), and we really enjoyed some Sortilège whiskey crème liqueur!

That big red ship is an ice breaker! Pretty cool.

Delicious French Onion Soup at Pub de L’Oncle Antoine

I’ve never had french onion soup before and I may never have it again this one was so good. So cheesy and messy.

Wandering Old Québec

It’s so dreamy and a little surreal to see such European style buildings, with architecture from London and Paris right next to each other, and even a little bit of New York art deco.

We went down really early (also in June and the off season) so it was nice a quiet and perfect to take some crowds-free photos.

French Canadian food at Aux Anciens Canadiens

This was a little pricey – and the portions were way too big! – but it was delicious. I’m not usually one for fancy French food (tends to be too rich for me) but I did enjoy the beef dish I had and we shared a blueberry pie. This was also where I finally tried poutine (really should have got it somewhere less fancy but time was limited, this was my opportunity!) and enjoyed that too. The gravy to me was a mid point between UK chip shop gravy and chip shop curry sauce. Not bad at all!

The View of the St Lawrence from 8th Floor

Every time we got in or out the lifts for our hotel floor we had to pause and take in the view out the hotel windows. That gorgeous roof and then the river was so magical!

Next up: Mont-Tremblant!


[1] I’d never driven a manual car, and a Toyota RAV 4 is also about 4x the size of anything I’ve ever driven before! Add to that driving the wrong side of the road, and everything being in French! [back]

[2] It sounds Frenchy but Québec (pronounced in French: ke-bec) is a native Algonquin word meaning ‘narrow passage’ and so called for the narrowing of the St Lawrence River. [back]

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