How to spend 48 hours in Quebec, Canada

The city break… Quebec: From vibrant history to a breathtaking waterfall, see it all in 48 hours

  • Here’s our guide on how to spend the perfect weekend in Canada’s Quebec City
  • Check out the vibrant history in Old Quebec where you take a 2.5 hour cycle tour
  • Travel up to nearby Montmorency Falls via cable car or brave the zipwire across

Quebec City has a unique place in Canadian history, having been the capital under both French and British rule. 

You may be surprised by how distinctively French the architecture and the food remains today, but language won’t be a barrier as most people speak excellent English. 

If you want to enjoy a slice of its culture, start your journey here…

Majestic: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel overlooking St Lawrence River

Majestic: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel overlooking St Lawrence River

Day 1

Morning

The city’s vibrant history is best seen in Old Quebec. This was the capital of New France in the 17th Century before it was captured by the British in 1760.

Historically, it was split into Upper Town and Lower Town – residents of Upper Town had glorious views of the St Lawrence River, while those in Lower Town contended with the reclaimed land that sprawled from the city walls.

A cycle tour of Lower Town is the best way to get a sense of how the city has grown over the centuries. Cyclo Services (cycloservices.net) offer a 2½-hour tour. If you prefer to see the area on foot, the most interesting spots are around the Breakneck Steps – the city’s oldest stairway. Le Lapin Saute (www.lapinsaute.com) is recommended for lunch.

Afternoon

Take the funicular to Upper Town and you’ll find yourself at Monument Samuel De Champlain, which offers glorious views of St Lawrence River. Behind you is the majestic hotel Fairmont Le Château Frontenac but don’t stop for too long – you’ll want to visit the Notre-Dame de Quebec and prison-turned-library Morrin Centre before they close.

Book a table at Bistro Le Sam (bistrolesam.com/en/) and watch the sun go down over supper.

Day 2

Morning

Breathtaking: Montmorency Falls (above) is 99ft higher than Niagara Falls

Breathtaking: Montmorency Falls (above) is 99ft higher than Niagara Falls

Hire a car or take a bus to visit nearby Montmorency Falls. It is 99ft higher than Niagara Falls, but you can’t get nearly as close to the plunging water unless you take the zipline across.

There’s also a cable car that will carry you up and a bridge that runs parallel to the falls.

Afternoon

For lunch, cross over to Ile de Orleans, an island in the middle of the St Lawrence River. The ever-popular Cassis Monna & Filles (cassismonna.com/en/) offers an array of blackcurrant wines and liqueurs to enjoy with a hearty lunch. Ile de Orleans is well known for its apple products and chocolate and nougat makers.

For dinner, back in Quebec City, take your pick along the bustling Grande Allée E. Popular chain Chez Ashton (chezashton.ca/) has a branch here or try Auberge Louis-Herbert (louishebert.com).

  • quebecregion.com

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