The title may be controversial but read up on Montreal and you will see why.
Quebec City is the capital of the Quebec region and is the beginning of where the Saint Lawrence River narrows. Quebec is even translated to ‘Where the river narrows’, what a coincidence. The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site and a city which should be on your list of Canadian cities to visit.
Situated on the top of a hill and towering over most of Quebec is the Chateau Frontenac. Prices start from $190 CAD per night for the basic room. It is also famed to be the world’s most photographed hotel and even has a Guinness World Record to prove it. I decided to add to the statistic, along with everyone else walking about and take a snap of the grand building.
The Chateau Frontenac was not always the building looking down over Quebec. Over the course of time, the French and the English had castles and houses perched on the cliffs edge. This is now covered over by the Terrasse Dufferin and is open to the public. Below the boardwalk you will find the old fortifications, now managed by Parks Canada. The ticket sales office is located at the Post Office end of the boardwalk. I would recommend doing the tour of the old fortress along with the in depth tour of what makes Quebec a UNESCO site and how it was protected by the wall. Here you will follow the wall around the citadel and end up at the artillery museum. Both tours will cost $13.80. They are in English and French and will include free entry into the artillery museum.
Mentioned previously was the Citadel. This was the former fortification and major protection of the walled city. It is still in use by the Canadian Military today but does provide tours around the complex. Adults are $16. On the city side of the citadel, you will be able to look over the Saint Lawrence river, the harbour and the old city. This spot is a great place to watch the sunset and see the sun light up the red bricks.
Located on Rue Saint Jean, outside the city walls, you will find the Erico chocolate museum. Six chocolates will set you back $7.50. The museum is in French but has some good pictures to look at. There is a window in which you can see the chocolate being made and moulded. The chocolate is very tasty, but don’t eat them all at once. Resist the temptation. Open from 10.30 am to 6pm most days.
Quebec has been under control of four different nations since the 16th century. During 1759, Quebec was about to go through one of those changes. The French were in rule of Quebec, but the British had decided it was there time to pounce and rein control. This lead to a battle on what is known today as the Plains of Abraham. Today the area shows only a few signs of a battle which played out with memorial boards and a few lookout towers. The area is open and a great place to walk around or even have a picnic. It is also home to many festivals and re-enactments throughout the summer.
Located 12km’s from the city centre is the Montmorency Waterfalls Park. The waterfalls are 83 meters in height and the park provides many vantage points to see the sheer power of the water. The mist from the falls goes up about 40 meters and constantly displays rainbows making it the perfect place for some great photography. To get to the falls, you can either drive and pay for parking or catch the 800 bus on the RTC. Tickets are $3.25 each way (no change is given so have the exact fare). It will take about 25 minutes on public transport. When you arrive, you can walk around the parks and even grab a bite to eat at the Manor. The food is good quality and is relatively cheap.
For the adventurous, you can see the falls from a different angle. A new attraction is the zip line. It travels from one side of the valley to the other, crossing in front of the falls. It will set you back $20. The other option is to jump on a Via Ferrata tour. Via Ferrata translates to’ iron path’ in Italian and it gives you the experience of rock climbing but without the skill and strength needed. There are a few different paths to choose from and start from about $21 per person up to $47 and last about 2 and a half hours. Make sure you don’t have a fear for heights. Check out the video below to see what all the fuss is about.
Quebec is a major stop for Cruise ships and thus does make it an expensive place to eat out. You can find some cheaper places off the busy touristy roads. One place was Chez Temporal located on 25 Rue Couillard. They do excellent coffee, large meals and serve local beer for a cheap price. If you visit in any season, you will be mesmerised by the European influenced architecture from throughout the years.
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