I’d been to Old Quebec City as a kid, but never really got to know it until Darren took me there for my birthday.
It looks so unlike the rest of Canada. So wonderfully old and European. With rustic food and lifestyle it was like being cuddled in a warm blanket on a cool day. I could explore those streets, that architecture, for days…
While Montreal will always hold a special place in my heart, Old Quebec City was love at first sight. And bite.
Plan ahead. We were there in the fall when the place is flooded with tourists from cruise ships hoping to catch a glimpse of the autumn colour. And pretty much everywhere was booked, solid. So much so that the first few nights we ended up renting a great, simple apartment across the river in Levis.
Les Quartiers du Général – Les Quartiers du Général in Levis is nice, clean, and quiet. Great for a good night’s rest, not so great for grabbing a late dinner on foot. But close to the ferry for easy access directly into Old Quebec City.
Hôtel Le Cavalier du Moulin – During the last half of our stay we were able to book a room at the Hôtel Le Cavalier du Moulin in the middle of Old Quebec City. What it lacks in amenities it totally makes up for with location. And the innkeeper is an absolute doll, so helpful with all our questions.
Château Frontenac – Though I’ve yet to stay here because there was no availability during our visit, it’s definitely high on my list of places to stay. It sits overlooking the St Lawrence river where you can watch cruise ships go by, and is walking distance to everywhere you want to be. This classy hotel definitely feels like an old world castle, so if you like Downton Abbey, this is the place for you.
Paillard – We started pretty much every single day with pastries and hot chocolate from Paillard. I’m sure their coffee is great too, but we’ve never been coffee drinkers. They’ve got more sweet treats than I could ever dream of trying in one trip, even as a birthday girl.
Casse-crêpe Breton – Ever since our trip to Greece I can’t pass up a crêpe. Sweet, savoury, they’ve got them all, which makes it a great place to stop for lunch, then pop in again later for a snack. And I love an open kitchen. I don’t know what it is about watching other people cook that I find so mesmerizing…
Aux Anciens Canadiens – This was my absolute favourite restaurant of our whole trip. I recommend it to everyone that goes. Heck, we even recommended it to passersby on the street. They specialize in rustic Quebecois fare. So cozy and homey and satisfying and everything you think a traditional meal should be. I fell hard for their meat pies, and I’ve been trying to replicate them at home ever since. Go. Just go.
Petit-Champlain District – The oldest commercial district in North America sits down near the port and is a mix of one-of-a-kind boutiques with a few tourist shops. Take a walk down the charming narrow stone streets and pick yourself up a wool sweater or thrummed mittens.
Pub Saint-Patrick – Go for a drink and stay for the atmosphere. This place is amazing. The walls are stone and keep the place cool, so it’s the perfect stop on a hot summer day. So full of history, it’s not a place you’ll soon forget.
Hôtel de Glace – This is one really great reason to visit in the winter. Though not actually in Old Quebec City, I would really have loved to check out this ice hotel. And if you’re not up for a nordic overnighter, you’re still welcome to visit for a guided tour.
Walk – Grab your camera and stroll the streets for a day, take in the ornate architecture, stop for wine and cheese, and enjoy Quebec life.
Fortified Walls – Get a lovely perspective of the old city from atop the wall that partially surrounds it. I highly recommend grabbing a warm beverage and walking the wall at dusk, just as the city starts to sparkle.
Château Frontenac – We may or may not have snuck into Château Frontenac to see what it was like. Then we may or may not have been so taken with it’s charm that we explored many of the floors in search of a window that looked out over the city.
Bon voyage darling!