10.27.2022 – 10.29.2022 || Quebec City| Quebec
After four nights in Montreal we got a rental car and drove for three hours to Quebec City where we planned to stay for two nights to round out the week in the Quebec Province. Quebec City is also mostly French-speaking and is the only walled city north of Mexico and has castle like architecture and cobblestone streets along the Sant Lawrence River. It was even more charming in person than I imagined.
Where we Stayed:
The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac commonly referred to as Château Frontenac is located within Old Quebec in the Upper Town of the walled city. It overlooks the Saint Lawrence River and is a focal point whether you are staying there or just passing through to get a view of the river. We booked our stay through Souvenir & Far and were lucky enough to receive another upgraded room and view. There are certainly other lodging options in the walled city and slightly outside but this was an experience that I will remember for a long time – from the architecture to the décor to the hotel gift shops, to the breakfast buffet with views of the Saint Lawrence River, to the proximity to the shops and restaurants, the hotel was more than just a place that we stayed.
Where to Eat:
Chez Temporal: Located on a quiet street in the Upper Town this is a long-standing French focused restaurant that was recommended to us for a lunch spot. All salads should have goat cheese toasts on top, right?
Le Cafe du Monde: Located on the river in the Lower Town came a recommendation from my Dad who dined there while in Quebec City on a business trip a few years ago. Pictured below is the before and after of a really good French onion soup. Melted cheese apparently is what’s for lunch in QC.
Izakaya Hono: Located outside of the walled city is a Japanese shared plate concept that came recommended to us as well. My favorite dishes that we ordered were the shiitake tempura (top left) and the leek yakitori (bottom left). If you aren’t feeling shared plates, they have a ramen restaurant next door.
Le Continental – A splurge worthy classic French restaurant located in the Upper Town steps away from Château Frontenac was a very memorable meal that came recommended to us years ago by Anthony Bourdain’s stop in Quebec City and just about everyone else who has every been to this city. It was a two and a half hour meal featuring table side preparation of a cesar salad flambé preparation of a filet mignon, while my scallops were prepared in the kitchen. When in Quebec City, it is another memorable experience.
Where to Grab a Drink:
1640 Bistro: Located in Upper Town across from Château Frontenac was a great find within the L’Auberge du Trésor Inn. There is a bistro and an attached wine bar with fun champagne cocktails.
1608: Located in the Château Frontenac and named for the year that Quebec City was founded, this is a great place to get a view of the Saint Lawrence River. The façade was under construction during our stay so we couldn’t actually see out the windows but it was a good place to watch part of the Phillies vs Astros World Series game.
What to Do:
Explore Upper Town by walking along the Dufferin terrace that overlooks the Saint Lawrence River.
At the end of the Dufferin terrace, climb up the stairs to walk all the way around the Citadel, an active military installation, for great views of the Saint Lawrence River, the city, and Château Frontenac.
Explore the cobblestone streets and boutiques of Lower Town.
Head 20 minutes outside of the city to explore the Montmorency Falls, which are 83 m (272′) tall, a full 30 m (99′) higher than Niagara Falls. There are a few viewing options depending on how adventurous you are and your mobility. A short distance from the parking lot you first approach a view platform that is slightly below and next to the falls (top row, pictures 1-2). After a few photos you make a short climb to the bridge that crosses the falls, this is where I got a little scared and would not let go of the railing (top row, pictures 3-4). While I was focusing on making it across, RJ got a couple of great shots looking down and over (bottom row).
Safely across the bridge we had a clear shot of Quebec City in the distance and the Saint Lawrence River.
You can choose to go in reverse to your car or keep going and walk down a lot of stairs and walk across a bridge down below to take a gondola back up to the parking lot. We chose to keep walking so that we could see the waterfall from all angles. This was less scary to me than walking over the waterfall.
That is how we spent two days in Quebec City. I think that is plenty of time to explore the upper and lower parts of the walled in city at a leisurely rate and still make a trip to the falls. Add on another day or two if you plan to do any river cruises or spend more time exploring other parts of Quebec City outside of the walled in section that we mostly stayed in.
Question: This part of the trip was nearly all recommendations, what else do you think we should do next time in Quebec City?