Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour, Quebec City

Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour (Self Guided), Quebec City

Cresting a cliff above the St. Lawrence River, Québec City (French: Ville de Québec) is the soul of the province of Québec – a place all its own; a country within a country with its own traditions, architecture, and French-speaking population.

The Algonquian people had originally named the area Kébec, which means "where the river narrows", because the Saint Lawrence River narrows proximate to the promontory of Quebec and its Cape Diamant. French explorer and diplomat Samuel de Champlain, also known as "The Father of New France", founded a settlement here in 1608, and served as its administrator for the rest of his life.

The name "Canada" refers to this settlement. Up until the late 18th century Québec was the most populous city in present-day Canada. In 1867, it was confirmed as the capital of the newly created province of Quebec, three years after the Quebec Conference on Canadian Confederation took place in the city.

Quebec City is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. The self-proclaimed "Capitale Nationale", it has a fortified colonial core, with stone buildings and narrow streets. The ramparts surrounding Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec) are the only fortified city walls still existing in the Americas north of Mexico. This area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as the "Historic District of Old Québec".

The city's key landmarks include the imposing Citadelle of Quebec, a Canadian Forces installation and the federal vice-regal secondary residence, and the nearby massive Château Frontenac hotel, perched on top of Cap-Diamant, dominating the skyline. During World War II, two conferences were held at these buildings, attended by Churchill and Roosevelt, during which a large part of the D-Day landing was planned.

Near the Château Frontenac is Notre-Dame de Québec Cathedral, mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec. Alongside the Château is the Terrasse Dufferin, a walkway along the edge of the cliff offering views of the Saint Lawrence River. The terrace leads toward the nearby Plains of Abraham, site of the battle in which the British took Quebec from France. The Parliament Building, seat of the province's parliament, is also near the Citadelle.

The Upper and Lower Town are linked by numerous stairs such as the Escalier “casse-cou” ("breakneck stairway") or the Old Quebec Funicular on the historic Rue du Petit-Champlain, where many small boutiques are found. There are in total 37 National Historic Sites of Canada located in Quebec City and its enclaves. To see the most notable of them and other prominent landmarks, take this self-guided introductory walk.
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Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Quebec City Introduction Walking Tour
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: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Place Royale
  • Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain)
  • Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Quebec)
  • Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin)
  • Chateau Frontenac
  • The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)
  • Notre-Dame de Québec
  • Rue du Trésor
  • Ramparts of Quebec City
  • Citadelle of Quebec (La Citadelle de Quebec)
  • Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement)
  • Plains of Abraham / Battlefield Park
  • Capital Observatory (Observatoire de la Capitale)
  • Grande Allée
Place Royale

1) Place Royale (must see)

It's not often one can visit an area in North America with a 400-year history. The birthplace of French-Canadian civilization, Place Royale is the original site of Samuel de Champlain's fort that he built on the shores of the Saint Lawrence in the early 1600s. The footprint of that building is marked with black tile on the cobblestones and is particularly noticeable just in front of the stone church on the square – the oldest of its kind in N America, known as Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. At the door to the church is a bronze plaque commemorating said event, though it's unfortunately just inscribed in French.

Place Royale is quite small as it was built in the late 1600s by orders of the French "Sun King", Louis XIV, whose bust visitors can still see. What gives the square its charm, however, are probably the 2-3 story grey fieldstone row houses, all restored to their French colonial appearance with small windows, wide brick chimneys, steep roofs, and firewalls to prevent the spread of fire. Window shutters and doors are painted in cheerful colors (rose, yellow, blue, green), while plentiful window boxes are planted with colorful annual flowers. The ground floors of these homes, once owned by wealthy merchants, have shops offering art, clothing, and souvenirs.

Stop at Place Royale for some attractive photos, briefly visit the church, look at the tiled outline of Champlain's fort, and browse the shops. Not far away is one of the most stunningly beautiful murals in town called Fresque des Québecois, a three-dimensional landscape featuring landmarks and figures of Québec City's history.

Why You Should Visit:
To escape the crowds in a charming part of town. Not only beautiful but equipped with nice shops and restaurants. Feels more like Europe than anything else.

La Maison Smith on the square here is a wonderful place to watch people go by with a cup of coffee and croissants. From there you can also easily walk to Petit-Champlain, which is a row of wonderful shops.
Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain)

2) Petit-Champlain Street (Rue du Petit-Champlain) (must see)

A charming narrow street at the base of Cape Diamond, known as Rue du Petit-Champlain, serves as the heart of the quaint neighborhood sharing its name. This area pays homage to Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer credited with founding Quebec City back in 1608.

Stretching a mere 814 feet (or 260 meters) in length, Petit-Champlain, translating to "Little Champlain," should not be confused with Champlain Street further to the west, located in the Cap-Blanc district. These two streets were once connected until a rockslide in 1889 separated them.

Towards the southern terminus of Petit-Champlain, you'll come across a sizable trompe-l'œil mural adorning the side of a three-story building at No. 102. This mural vividly recounts the neighborhood's history, encompassing significant events such as the 1759 bombardments, landslides, and numerous fires that have plagued the area over the years.

At the opposite end of the street lies the renowned Breakneck Staircase, aptly named for its steepness, offering a picturesque view of the surrounding area.

Just beyond the staircase awaits the lower entrance to the Old Quebec Funicular, known as the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec. Operating since 1879, this electric cableway navigates Cape Diamond at a sharp 45-degree angle, covering a total distance of 64 meters (210 feet).

In 2014, Petit-Champlain received recognition as "the most remarkable street" in Canada, a title bestowed upon it through public and professional polls conducted during an event organized by the Canadian Institute of Planners.
Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Quebec)

3) Old Quebec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Quebec) (must see)

The Old Quebec Funicular, known as the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec, is a cable railway that connects the Upper and Lower Towns of Old Quebec. It runs between Dufferin Terrace and Petit-Champlain Street.

Besides its speed and convenience, this mode of transportation holds historical significance. The funicular was originally established in 1879. Initially, it operated using a hydraulic system that required the transfer of water between reservoirs before it could function. However, in 1907, it underwent a conversion to electricity.

In 1945, a significant fire damaged the structure, necessitating its reconstruction, which was completed within a year. Subsequent renovations in 1978 and 1998 made both cabins fully autonomous, essentially operating as elevators. From a technical standpoint, it's now more of an inclined lift than a traditional funicular.

Despite its small size, the funicular provides a remarkable way to enjoy the scenery. When traveling uphill, you enter through the Louis Jolliet House and, after obtaining your ticket (which usually takes about 10 minutes on a summer afternoon), ascend 64 meters (210 feet) at a 45-degree angle. During the ride, you can take in stunning views of the Lower Town, the Saint Lawrence River, and the iconic Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac).

Being here offers a one-of-a-kind experience that you're unlikely to find in many other places around the world. Although the ride itself is short, the enjoyment it provides is long-lasting!

For added enjoyment, there is an on-site gift shop and café.
Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin)

4) Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin) (must see)

The Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin) is a wide, wooden boardwalk wrapping around the front of the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac) towards the Citadel of Quebec. The abundance of gazebos and benches here, not to mention the panoramic views of the Saint Lawrence River, the South Shore, and Orleans Island (Île d'Orléans), makes this place an equally loved leisure spot by both locals and tourists.

Remarkably, the use of wooden planks gives this whole thing an “air of summer”, even in the middle of winter when the famous Terrasse Dufferin Slides, a huge (150-metre/490-foot) toboggan on the south end of the terrace, is open during the Quebec Winter Carnival (Carnaval de Québec), from late January to mid-February.

The promenade was built in 1838 and was first known as Durham Terrace. It was enlarged in 1854 and then remodeled, in 1878-1879, under the direction of the then Governor General of Canada, Marquess of Dufferin, whose name it now bears. Each of the six gazebos found on this boardwalk has a name – going north-south, it is Frontenac, Lorne, Princess Louise, Victoria, Dufferin, and Plessis.

Underneath the terrace is the archaeological site of Saint Louis Fort and Castle (Château Saint-Louis), featuring the remains of the former seat of power occupied by the French and British governors of the territory from 1620 to 1834 (when it was destroyed by fire) – it is now open for viewing through the three specially built-in peek-a-boo windows.

Also, at the southern end of the terrace is the entry to the Governors' Promenade, a walkway to the Plains of Abraham built into the cliffs below the Citadel. Nearby, a few old guns recall the strategic position of the place once guarded by artillery batteries.
Chateau Frontenac

5) Chateau Frontenac

One of the most astonishing buildings in Quebec, renowned for its fortress-like architecture and majestic location – sitting on top of the Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant) ridge, the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac) proudly holds the title of the "most photographed hotel in the world".

Opened in 1893, this was one of the first grand railway hotels built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the country, whose 18-floor grandness, augmented by the 54-meter (177-foot) elevation that it sits at, rivaled any European hotel of the day and grabbed the attention of travelers visiting the city.

The Châteauesque style of the building was later replicated in other grand railway hotels erected throughout Canada from the late 19th to the early 20th centuries. American architect Bruce Price drew inspiration from Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian architecture, incorporating into his design such elements as turrets from Scottish castles and bastion towers of French châteaus. The hotel was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981 and expanded on three occasions, most recently in 1993.

The building is named after Louis de Buade de Frontenac, who served twice as the Governor General of New France, and it sits on the site previously occupied by Saint Louis Castle (Château Saint-Louis). The remains of this former seat of the French and later of the British governors of the territory now lie in front of the hotel as an archaeological site.

Over the years, the Frontenac Castle has welcomed many guests of honour among whom were the likes of Queen Elizabeth II, Charles Lindbergh, and other dignitaries and celebrities. Alfred Hitchcock used the building as the setting for his 1953 drama "I Confess", however, the most memorable historic events associated with the hotel are the two Quebec Conferences, held in 1943 and 1944, during which U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King discussed Allied strategy for WWII including plans for the invasion of Normandy.

If you ever book a room here, ask for a high floor – the 18th floor offers a particularly stunning city view!
Consider taking a hotel tour, offered every day, as there are some good anecdotes and stories to hear from the hotel's history.
The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)

6) The Fort Museum (Le Musee du Fort)

Situated in a historic house in the shadow of the Château Frontenac, this is a "museum" in the loosest sense: there is precisely one theater, a small shop in the waiting area, and a few timeline pictures on the walls of the staircase up to the main attraction.

What is the main attraction, you might ask? A 30-minute multimedia presentation of the city that recreates its six sieges and the Battle of the Plain of Abraham – a formative event in the making of Canada as we know it. Revolving around a diorama with lighting effects and audio narrative, these are probably the best 30 minutes for a quick history lesson about QC as a gateway to the American Continent. You will watch the multimedia presentation on a wide screen above a large-scale model of ancient QC and the surrounding rivers and islands, in a small 50-seat theater where the seats vibrate with each gun battle! LEDs in the models and well-placed synchronized projections onto the rivers and the model's terrain give an excellent audio-visual experience.

Short but packed with information, this is definitely a must-see for history buffs and those who only have a few hours to spend in Québec City. Included among other highlights is a small exhibit of weapons, uniforms, and military badges.

Why You Should Visit:
Filled with passion for storytelling, the daily shows as well as the information about the museum itself is extremely intriguing. Québec does not have much of a military history, but this presentation sure tries to make it exciting! Included in (the very fair) admission is a discount coupon to Le Chic Shack and a number of other attractions.

The show is given in French and English, so make sure that you go to the right one. In English on the hour and in French on the half hour (but double-check).
Notre-Dame de Québec

7) Notre-Dame de Québec (must see)

The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Quebec City (Notre-Dame de Québec) is the oldest church in Canada. It sits on the site of the former chapel of Our Lady of Recovery (Notre Dame de la Recouvrance), which was built by Samuel de Champlain in 1633.

This is also the first church in Canada to be ranked as a minor basilica – by Pope Pius IX, in 1874.

Over the years, the cathedral has been destroyed twice by fires: the first time during the Siege of Quebec, in 1759; and then in 1922, gutted by arson by the members of the Canadian faction of the Ku Klux Klan.

The church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1989. Inside, you will find a chancel lamp donated by Louis XIV and impressive adornments such as stained glass windows, paintings of the Virgin Mary dating back to the French colonial regime, the old bishop's throne, and a stunning gold-plated baldaquin canopy suspended above the altar.

From 1654 to 1898, some 900 people were buried in the church crypt; among them four governors of New France and twenty bishops of Quebec, including François de Laval, Quebec's first bishop. It is also rumored that Samuel de Champlain himself is buried somewhere nearby; archaeologists have been searching for his grave for decades.

In 2014, when the cathedral celebrated its 350th anniversary, a holy door – a special entrance portal traditionally located within the Papal major basilicas in Rome – was installed here, being the only one of its kind in North America and one of eight across the entire world.

See the basilica during the day, but consider the laser light show in the evening. The line to get in is very long, so buy your tickets online and pick them up at the office the night of the performance. Not the cheapest 30 minutes, but well worth it if you want to see the magnificent building shine in a whole new way.
Entry is free for self-guided visits; it is also possible to visit the crypt on a guided tour, for a charge.
Rue du Trésor

8) Rue du Trésor

The cobblestone street linking the Frontenac Castle (Château Frontenac) and the Our Lady of Quebec (Notre-Dame de Québec) Cathedral-Basilica is one of the oldest streets in Quebec City, dating back three centuries. During the French colonial regime, colonists used to come to this street to pay their dues at the Royal Treasury that was located here, hence the name – Treasury street (rue du Trésor).

More recently, this quaint little street, with a distinctive European cachet, has become especially atmospheric thanks to the open-air art gallery established here in the 1960s. It started off with a group of art students deciding to exhibit their paintings. Other artists, interested in displaying their works to tourists and amateur art lovers, soon followed suit. In time, the street became so popular as a venue for selling art that a designated association (the Association des Artistes de la Rue du Trésor) was founded to promote and supervise business activities on the site.

The gallery operates all year round. To handle the flow of visitors, the artists are often present here until 9 pm every day, from mid-May to mid-October, but are free to set their own hours. During the rest of the year, some of them are also present on holidays, as well as weekends, when large crowds are expected.

If you're looking to buy a souvenir, this could be just the right place. Here, you can find pretty much every form of graphic media – from picturesque watercolours of local scenes to oil paintings, engravings, reproductions, and abstract etchings of something completely indefinable. The artists may talk to you all day long, but there is no pressure to buy. And since the prices are good, you can actually find a little something to take home.

Crossing Treasury street at its upper end is yet another artistic hub in its own right – Saint Anne street (rue Sainte-Anne). Here, numerous caricaturists and portraitists practice their craft in a picturesque setting. The art can be hit-or-miss but the street itself is well worth checking out.

Do not take photos of the displayed items, as the artists are very protective of their work being copied, and rightfully so. Note: not all vendors take credit cards.
Ramparts of Quebec City

9) Ramparts of Quebec City

Thanks go to Lord Dufferin for not knocking down the 17th-century fortification walls around Quebec City – the only ones remaining in North America. Built by the French and augmented by the British several centuries ago, the Canadian Government spends millions to refurbish them and keep them pristine.

There are several places where visitors can view the walls for free and investigate their construction. One of the best places to view the high stone wall, the earthworks, and two city gates (Porte Saint Louis and Porte Kent, dating back to 1694 and 1879, respectively) is in the area of the Parliament Building. Visitors can walk on the green earthworks pushed up against the wall or climb up to the bridge on the city gates to see the thickness and height of the encircling walls. Particularly at Porte Kent, there are several black cannons on view. The defensive wall continues to the Citadel where there is an admission charge to visit the fort.

Why You Should Visit:
If you are used to living in the modern city with all the skyscrapers, this makes for a nice change. The views from the top are flabbergasting.

Wear good walking shoes, bring water and some goods along, and try to avoid midday in summer as it can be hot and sticky.
Do also try to get a guided tour of the site, and be sure to climb up and walk along the top of the wall for great views.
Citadelle of Quebec (La Citadelle de Quebec)

10) Citadelle of Quebec (La Citadelle de Quebec) (must see)

The Québec Citadel (La Citadelle de Quebec) has stood proudly atop Cape Diamond for nearly two centuries. Originally constructed by the British army as a precaution against a potential attack that never materialized, this fortress reflects the typical design of 17th-century French fortifications. Presently, the Citadel serves as an active military base and serves as the home of the Royal 22nd Regiment, the sole French-speaking regiment within the Canadian army.

In terms of size, the Citadel reigns supreme in North America. Since 1831, it has perched atop Cape Diamond, serving as a last-resort refuge for the garrison of Québec City in the unlikely event of an enemy incursion. Due to its strategic location and sheer magnitude, it has earned the moniker "The Gibraltar of the Americas."

The fort consists of a star-shaped stone wall with four bastions, enveloping several structures such as barracks, hangars, an armory, and a powder magazine, all designed to ensure self-sufficiency during a siege. In 1840, a hospital was even added. Interestingly, two of its buildings, the Cap-aux-Diamants Redoubt (constructed in 1693) and the powder magazine (built in 1750), date back to the French colonial period.

In 1871, peace was established with the United States, leading to the departure of British troops from the city. Subsequently, the artillery school of the Canadian militia took up residence within the Citadel. Lord Dufferin, the Governor General of Canada at the time, chose the Citadel as his official residence, a distinction it continues to hold as the governor general's secondary residence after Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The Royal 22nd Regiment assumes the role of guardian of this remarkable military heritage. Its members continue to uphold certain traditions, including the summertime changing of the guard, when visitors have the opportunity to witness the regiment parading in full ceremonial dress, featuring a red tunic and distinctive bearskin cap. Inside the Citadel, a museum showcases a collection of weapons, uniforms, and artifacts that bear witness to 300 years of military history in the city.

Why You Should Visit:
To take beautiful panoramic photos of Quebec with a clear view of Château Frontenac and Saint-Laurent river.
The grounds tour is quite informative and the museum has a diversity of memorabilia from various battles and wars.
The World War II exhibit is impressive given it has something most have never seen – since all similar items were destroyed.

Be advised that the location is an active military installation and you can't just wander away during the tour or stay behind for extra picture taking after the tour is over.
If possible, go for the Changing of the Guard – you'll see a beautiful procession including the fort's mascot, a goat. The ceremony is held from June 24th to Labour Day, daily at 10am.
Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement)

11) Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement) (must see)

The Parliament Building, house of the National Assembly of Québec, is one of the most impressive buildings in the province's capital city. Located on one of the highest spots of Upper Town, just outside the city walls, the quadrilateral building was constructed between 1877-86 by the French architect Eugène-Étienne Taché. Inspired by the Louvre in Paris, the style of building, Second Empire neo-French Renaissance, is unique in North America. The front of the building also features a pantheon representing the province’s rich history.

Incensed by the Durham Report, in which the British lord said that the French-Canadians could not be civilized because they had no history, Taché included 15 statues depicting important figures in the province's history, to show that they did indeed have a strong past. Figures include Samuel de Champlain, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, James Wolfe, the Marquis de Montcalm, and, at the very top, an indigenous family. As the province's political life continues to grow, so does the number of statues; there are 26 statues featured on the building's facade and more scattered across the grounds.

Since it is still a functioning government office, the only way to see the interior of the building is to take a free guided tour. At 45 minutes long, the tour provides a great opportunity to appreciate the unique architecture of the building, as well as gain insight into Québec's history and political scene. Make sure to have a photo ID with you, however; otherwise you won't pass the security check. In the summer, outdoor tours are also given to discover the surrounding gardens, which highlight the many trees and flowers of Québec and also give an overview of the many sculptures. All tours leave from the visitors center.

Why You Should Visit:
The building is just bursting with history. The architecture, paintings and stained glass windows are simply breathtaking.
The free tour (English/French) is conducted very well, giving one a good understanding of how the government operates.
The restaurant is outstanding and honors Quebec cuisine, with many of the ingredients being grown in the Parliament’s garden. Good prices, too!

Note that you must have reservations to eat at the restaurant serving the Provincial Assembly when in session.
Plains of Abraham / Battlefield Park

12) Plains of Abraham / Battlefield Park (must see)

On the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759, the French fell to the British, forever changing the course of North American history. After Champlain's arrival in 1608, there were skirmishes on and off with the British, who at the time were fighting for control of the North American colonies against the French, but it wasn’t until 1759 that the real battle took place. It was all over in 15 minutes, and five days later, Québec capitulated.

The peculiar name Plains of Abraham can be traced as far back as 1635, when Abraham Martin, a pilot of the Saint Lawrence and a friend of Samuel de Champlain, was given 12 acres of land in the area. Today there is little trace of the battle on the rolling green hills of the plains that border the cliff above the river. The grandiose stone building set back from the Plains houses the park's museum and interpretation center, which offers a multimedia exhibit of its history, from the battle to its popularity with prostitutes in the 19th century and as a choice spot for duels, hangings, and the Stanley Cup playoffs. The park itself was part of the 300th anniversary celebrations and was designed by Frederick Todd. Many of the cannons that line the park were gifts from other nations to remind people that this was once a battlefield.

If you're interested in doing more than just strolling and picnicking in the park, you can head to the Plains of Abraham Museum, where you can visit the Battles 1759-1760 exhibit, which features first-hand soldiers' accounts, battle paraphernalia, and immersive video.

Why You Should Visit:
The park is expansive and very well maintained. You can walk yourself around the battlefields without taking a guided tour as explanatory signs are everywhere.
There are all sorts of activities during the summer and holidays, as well as many quiet areas to just relax and enjoy the solitude of the area.
The museum offers a variety of exhibits and a short film about the famous battle – all worth seeing.

Combine your visit with the Joan of Arc Garden and the Citadelle, and make sure to explore all the streets and shops nearby.
Capital Observatory (Observatoire de la Capitale)

13) Capital Observatory (Observatoire de la Capitale)

It might not look like much on the outside, but on the 31st floor of the building is one of the best views of the city. Perfect for a general overview of Québec, at 221 meters high the "observatoire" is the highest spot in Québec and offers 360-degree views of the city and its environs.

As you look out over the city at various vantage points, you will see important buildings and monuments, pointed out and explained on the easy-to-read plaques that adorn the windows. Sights like the far-off Québec Bridge are easily seen, along with the Laurentian Mountains and the Saint Lawrence River. Alongside points of interest, the Observatoire de la Capitale also gives you information on the province and its history, such as the destruction of Chinatown, which took place to make way for highways to the suburbs. Temporary exhibits, including photographs of local sights, are also on view, or you could check out other interactive informational items like 3D-glasses and modern chairs associated with headphones which introduce important historical figures.

When you get in the building the ticket office is on the right-hand side. Then you will take an elevator up to the 31st floor where you will be greeted, and then you can go at your own pace around the top floor. They have it set up that everyone goes in one direction. Restrooms are available and kids are free, which is a big plus.
Grande Allée

14) Grande Allée

Québec City isn't just famous for its historical landmarks, it also boasts a vibrant nightlife scene. While the revitalization of the Saint-Roch neighborhood has introduced new venues and intriguing bars, La Grande-Allée remains the heart of the city's nightlife. This area is brimming with historic buildings that have been transformed into bars and dance clubs. Situated along the Saint Lawrence River, atop the hill of Quebec, La Grande-Allée is renowned for its restaurants and stunning architecture, reminiscent of the prestigious residences that graced the area in the early 20th century.

In 1871, following the departure of the British Imperial garrison from the Citadel and its vicinity, significant changes were made to Grande Allée. This included the removal of military structures like the Hope, Prescott, and Palais gates. There was even consideration of demolishing the city walls, had it not been for Lord Dufferin, the Governor-General of Canada at the time. In 1877, the Parliament building was erected in this area.

Towards the late 19th century, the road underwent expansion and development to create a pleasant and healthy living environment, attracting the bourgeoisie as residents. Many prominent citizens settled here, and today, some of the grand residences house cafes, clubs, and restaurants.

For years, Quebec City has hosted vibrant New Year's Eve celebrations on Grande Allée with rides, music, fireworks, and fun for tourists and locals alike. Year-round, La Grande-Allée offers a lively atmosphere with neon lights and music, ideal for young adults, as Quebec's legal drinking age is 18. For LGBTQ-friendly fun, visit Le Drague, the city's top gay club.

Walking Tours in Quebec City, Quebec

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Create Your Own Walk in Quebec City

Creating your own self-guided walk in Quebec City is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Houses Walking Tour

Historical Houses Walking Tour

Quebec City, particularly evocative of Europe in its atmosphere, is often referred to as the cradle of New France. The city boasts one of the richest architectural heritages in North America, though most of its buildings had to be adapted to harsh winters and the lack of specialized workers and materials in the colony. As such, the majority of local houses were designed as simple and efficient...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Qucbec City's Historical Churches Walking Tour

Qucbec City's Historical Churches Walking Tour

The first religious buildings in Canada were established by the Récollets and Jesuits, in 1615 and 1625, respectively, when they first arrived in New France. Later on, the French colonists brought along their culture and architectural traditions, and the establishment of British and evangelical society triggered further major developments in Quebec City.

Over the course of the 17th and 18th...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles
Old Quebec Walk

Old Quebec Walk

The historic part of Quebec City known as Old Quebec (French: Vieux-Québec), sometimes also referred to as the Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin), is the neighborhood centered around Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant), located on the eastern edge of Quebec hill promontory. The area comprises Upper Town (Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (Basse-Ville) and is currently listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles