Quebec City

Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec, has been called the most beautiful city in North America and it is easy to see why with “Old Quebec City” providing a picture perfect center on top of cliffs and spilling onto the waterfront below in “Basse-Ville”. Quebec City is located very close to the mouth of St. Lawrence River just a short distance north of the western reaches of New Brunswick.


Not a lot of people speak English very well though for the main tourist sights you should be alright. Attempt to speak some French, it will help.

Getting Around

There is a good bus service throughout the city but driving is easy and parking plentiful with a highway directly into the middle of the Old City where you can then walk around the area quite easily…even with the cliffs. Walking from the Old City at the top of the cliffs to the bottom is possible via a series of staircases or you can take the “Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec” (vertical railway) that goes from Place d'Armes to the heart of the touristy but quaint “Basse-Ville” (there is a small fee for the 1 minute ride).

Not to be missed is the promenade that runs all along the top of the cliffs from Place d'Armes all the way to the Plains of Abraham on the far side of “La Citadelle de Québec”. In the winter there is a toboggan run here and the wooden walkway offers great views of the river and the town of Lévis on the far side.

To see the sights, there is a “Hop On Hop Off” service Québec Tours taking in sights not only in Old Quebec but other areas in central Quebec City.

A regular ferry service operates between Basse-Ville and Lévis but there is also a free bridge just a short distance south-west of Quebec City (highways 73 and 175).


I have only visited for a few days in April 2019 but the following are a few things I enjoyed when I visited…

Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilisation)

The Museum of Civilisation (see official site at; 85 Rue Dalhousie, Québec, QC G1K 8R2) is a wonderfully interactive and contemporary museum close to the river in Basse-Ville (Old Quebec at the base of the cliff). The modern building houses the permanent exhibitions “People of Québec…Then and Now” which is very well done and gives the visitor a great understanding of the history and culture of Quebec as well as “This is Our Story” which is an exhibition telling the history of the native first nations people.

There is an admission charge as well as additional charges for some temporary exhibitions and the cloak room. There is a café and a souvenir shop.

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec)

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (see official site at; 179 Grande Allée Ouest, Québec, QC G1R 2H1) is an amazing art gallery spread over three pavilions (buildings) connected via an underground concourse. There is an admission charge.

The “Pierre Lassonde” pavilion is the building with the main entrance to the museum off of Grande Allée with striking modern architecture - Wide winding staircases, glass walls and clean, large modern gallery spaces with unusual shapes. The three story pavilion houses many contemporary works and has a café on the ground floor beside the main entrance as well as a free cloak room.

The “Charles Baillairegé” pavilion is a former prison building (on the second floor you can see some of the original cells) over five floors with a narrow, tall central atrium. The floors have smaller galleries featuring the works of specific modern artists (Alfred Pellan, Jean Paul Lemieux, Jeap-Paul Riopelle, and Fernand Leduc) along with the tremendous David Moore piece “aLomph aBram” at the very top of the building with it's human figures coming through the surrounding walls. There is a café on the ground floor.

The “Gérard Morisset Pavillion” features “historical” art over three floors though does often stray into the modern realm.

Dining Out

Here are some reviews of restaurants we visited in Spring 2019 during our visit to the city. We found several nice cafés but also some inexpensive restaurants on Avenue Cartier in Montcalm (check out the nifty street lights!).

Just Outside the City

Chutes Montmorency (Montmorency Falls)

The Falls

Montmorency Falls (see official site at is located a short 20(ish) minute drive northeast of Quebec City and is well worth a visit though perhaps not for those with fear of heights. There are car parks at the bottom and top of the falls for which a fee is charged. This provides access to the base of the falls, the suspension bridge at the top and a “panoramic staircase” (in the summer) that winds down the cliffs to the base of the falls. There is a cable car and, in the better weather, a “Via Ferrata” and zip line (where you can get MUCH closer to the cliffs around the falls), a fee is also charged for both.


The “Manior Montmorency” at the top of the cliffs has a restaurant, souvenir shop and a small museum that provides fascinating insight into the history of the site. There is another small café and souvenir shop at the base cable car station.

Île d'Orléans (Orleans Island)

This large island is located just East of Quebec City on the Lawrence River and provides great views of Quebec City but it also has a number of quaint small villages, mostly just collections of picture-perfect houses evoking Maine and other eastern areas.

Crossing over a small two-lane suspension bridge with a 50 km/hr speed limit begins to settle your mind for the quiet and peaceful island. A small road runs around the exterior of the island that is great to cruise and soak in the country-side feel despite being only a 20 minute drive from the city.

Street Art Slideshow

A few pictures showing street art we saw in Quebec City…


Further Information