Old Quebec Walk (Self Guided), Quebec City

Called the city of New France, Quebec City shows its beauty through its cultural and historical places. The old part of the city offers magnificent old European architecture and traditions. Use the following list to discover the most popular attractions in Old Quebec.
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Old Quebec Walk Map

Guide Name: Old Quebec Walk
Guide Location: Canada » Quebec City (See other walking tours in Quebec City)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 Km or 2.4 Miles
Author: susan
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Hotel de Ville
  • Price Building
  • Old Quebec Funicular
  • Théâtre du Petit-Champlain
  • Centre d'Interpretation de la Vie Urbaine de la Ville de Quebec
  • Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church
  • Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale
  • Musée de la Civilisation
  • Gare du Palais
  • Musee des Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec
  • Morrin Centre
  • Palais Montcalm
  • Place d'Youville
  • Artillery Park Heritage Site
1
Hotel de Ville

1) Hotel de Ville

The City Hall of Quebec City (Hôtel de ville de Québec) is located in the heart of Old Quebec. It was inaugurated on September 15, 1896. The building slopes downward as it was built on a hill and was once home to the Jesuit College (Jesuit Barracks) from the 1730s to 1878. The city hall was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1984. The building is also located within the "Arrondissement historique du Vieux-Québec" (Historic District of Old Quebec), a district that was designated under provincial heritage legislation in 1963 and listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985. Located on rue des Jardins and designed by architect Georges-Émile Tanguay (1858-1923), it is the second permanent city hall for the old city. From 1842 to 1896 City Hall sat at home of British Army Major General William Dunn at rue Saint-Louis and rue Sainte-Ursule. Prior to 1842 the city government sat a various sites. The formal city council was established in 1833.
2
Price Building

2) Price Building

The Édifice Price (Price Building) is an 18-floor (originally 16) skyscraper in Quebec City. Built in 1930-1931 amid controversy for Price Brothers ltd., it is the tallest building in the Old Quebec historical district, and one of the oldest skyscrapers in Canada. The building is the property of the Quebec City municipal administration, but is leased to and used by the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. A memorial is attached to the building. In 2001, it became the location of an official residence for the Premier of Quebec, which occupies two of the upper floors.
3
Old Quebec Funicular

3) Old Quebec Funicular

Old Quebec Funicular is an historic railway, opened in 1879. This cable-car ride connects the Terrasse Dufferin with Lower Town at a 45 degree angle. The funicular offers spectacular views over the city, especially over the Notre Dame de Victoires church and the Historic District of the city. The attraction also features a gift shop and a cafe.
4
Théâtre du Petit-Champlain

4) Théâtre du Petit-Champlain

This club named of a theater is one of best places to listen to jazz music. Besides the leisure time, this is also a place of music. Here come Québécois and French singers to alternate with rock and jazz groups. This roomy place in Lower Town is the place to have a drink before the show. Usually the performances take place Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm.
5
Centre d'Interpretation de la Vie Urbaine de la Ville de Quebec

5) Centre d'Interpretation de la Vie Urbaine de la Ville de Quebec

This interpretation center was built in 1752 to show appreciation and understanding of the urban life of Quebec City. The thematic exhibitions will take you back to the city’s old times. It also offers educational programs and discovery circuits. This is one of the best opportunities to visit the town’s past.
6
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church

6) Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church

This is one of the oldest churches in Quebec City, built of stone in 1690 but not completed until 1723. The name was given in 1711 with many changes made to its surroundings afterward. Considering the history of the church and the city itself, it has a very rich interior with paintings and sculptures from various centuries. This monument of religion and art should certainly be on your list of places to visit!
7
Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale

7) Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale

This is one of the most popular attractions in this area, offering guided tours, educational activities, a multimedia show, permanent exhibits and an exclusive archaeological collection. It was opened in 1999 to educate its visitors about the first settlements in North America. Make sure you take time to explore all this attraction has to offer.
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
8
Musée de la Civilisation

8) Musée de la Civilisation (must see)

A museum where the building itself is an attraction, Musée de la Civilisation is a mix of modern architectural design that has been built upon remnants of the pre-existing building it was built on. At the same time, it offers several thematic temporary and permanent exhibitions both for adults and for children. One of the exhibits, Le Temps des Quebecois, details the past and present of the Quebec people and offers great insight into the history of the city. The museum covers lots of different other topics, such as women in history, pets, computers, wildlife, the Industrial Revolution and much more. It is a very large expansive area, capable of holding hundreds and hundreds of people so you never feel cramped. Moreover, the on-site Creaform Lab is fabulous for the kids. Robotics, basic programming, and introduction to electrical circuits – they could spend hours there.

Why You Should Visit:
There's something for everyone, regardless of age and specific interests. Many exhibits offer a "hands-on" experience.
Although you can take both English and French tours, you can also just walk through and visit on your own.

Tip:
If you arrive at 4pm for the last hour, you can get in at HALF the price – but do note that to see the core exhibits you should give yourself at least 3 hours.
Alternatively, you can get a discount if you go to this museum and the Musée National des Beaux-Arts on the same day.
To find lovely streets with good shopping, consider exiting out the back.

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 10am-5pm
9
Gare du Palais

9) Gare du Palais

Gare du Palais is a chateau style structure built in 1915. From 1976 to 1985 the station had no rail service for passengers. The best known features of this architectural masterpiece are the fountain in front of the station and the entrance hall. The outside walls are made mostly of red bricks and inside is a glazed vaulted ceiling.
10
Musee des Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec

10) Musee des Augustines de l’Hôtel-Dieu de Québec

This museum hosts the history of the first hospital in North America, which was opened by nuns in 1639. The Museum itself started in 1958 showing a large collection of ethnology, pewter, art and ethnology artifacts, embroideries, paintings, Augustines’ own vocation objects, silver and a special exhibition of medical instruments evolution starting 17th century.
11
Morrin Centre

11) Morrin Centre (must see)

One of the most famous cultural landmarks in Quebec City, the Morrin Centre is dedicated to showcasing the history of English speaking Quebec and all of the hardships that came along with speaking English during the old days. In this centre, you will find a rich English language library, with over 20,000 books, a small collection of archives, manuscripts, films and videos, electronic records, nearly 800 artifacts, plus the Stephens collection of decorative items and teaware related to the English families of Quebec City.

Visitors to the Morrin Centre can take a guided tour of the building in either English or French, learning about its heritage and importance within the city. The building was home to Quebec City's first jail, and on the tour, see the dark dank cells where prisoners spent their sentences for crimes ranging from drunkenness to murder to stealing tea! There is also an original darkroom that may be the oldest existing darkroom in the world.

Why You Should Visit:
Any place that can boast having been a prison, a college, and a library, is worth the time.
Staff is really friendly and helpful, and the library a very nice place to relax – with free Wi-Fi.
The place is really interesting and the guided tour is worthy; you can learn about jails and a little bit about the history of Quebec.

Opening Hours:
[Administration] Mon-Fri: 9am-5pm
[Library] Tue: 12-8pm; Wed-Fri, Sun: 12-4pm; Sat: 10am-4pm
12
Palais Montcalm

12) Palais Montcalm

This large old theater has been entertaining its guests for over 70 years. Its design gives it dynamic acoustics, perfect for special evenings of jazz, blues and other musical acts. Craft fairs and other activities are held here as well. The concert hall seats 979 guests and the recital hall seats 125. It is an architectural masterpiece dating back to 1932 that was renovated and enlarged in 2007.
13
Place d'Youville

13) Place d'Youville

Place d'Youville is one of the most popular squares in Quebec. It houses a wide range of specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafes and street performers. The place is famous for its Skating Rink, located in front of Palais Montcalm. The rink is equipped with a refrigeration system that ensures an excellent skating surface at all times. Place d'Youville features possibilities for activities like walking, in-line skating and skateboarding.
14
Artillery Park Heritage Site

14) Artillery Park Heritage Site (must see)

A monument to more than 250 years of history, the Artillery Park holds the stories of the British, Canadian and French military. Until 1960 it functioned as a munitions factory. The place is not large, but there are quite a few exhibits. The unique architecture and animation exhibitions are worth seeing. You can visit the inside of the industrial buildings and the barracks. There is also a schematic of all of Quebec's fortifications to visit, and the order in which to do it starting at this location.

Why You Should Visit:
While walking around the park is itself an enjoyable activity, the museum is charming and well-presented.
With lots of billboards and displays, it is easy to understand and appreciate the history of the area.
There are even period dress-ups for the kids and a green screen for them to take pictures in a period setting.

Tip:
Get the self-guided audio tour. It takes about 2 hrs to go through the entire complex, and you can pace yourself.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-5pm (May 18-Nov 3)

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