Quebec City attractions reflect the rich past that makes this city unique and so significant in North America. Just strolling the Old Town, you'll see bastions, fortifications and architecture that dates back to as early as the 1600's.
But Quebec City attractions are more than a history lesson, eating in Quebec City is an attraction in itself; be sure to partake.
The star-shaped fortress is one of Quebec City's most distinctive features. Dating back to 1820, the citadel is a relic of British occupation and today serves as official residences of the Royal 22e Régiment and the Governor General of Canada
, a museum and popular tourist attraction. During the summer months, visitors can watch military traditions, such as the Changing of the Guard.
The site of many French / British battles, including the pivotal 1759 Battle of Quebec
, the Plains of Abraham sit high at the edge of the St. Lawrence river. The 108-hectare green space was christened National Battlefields Park in 1908 and today serves as both a historic site - with informative tours and historic monuments - and green space to enjoy.
Located at the southwest end of the Plains of Abraham, the Quebec National Museum holds the most important collection of paintings and sculpture by Québécois artists. The museum comprises works from three main eras: early religious, European-influenced modernist through the mid-1900s, and figurative and abstract art from the mid-20th century onward. Inuit and sculptural works supplement the museum's collection.
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Quebec City's Museum of Civilization is a gorgeous and fascinating complex of buildings in the heart of the lower city. Three permanent exhibitions focus on life in the province of Quebec through its centuries of European habitation, pay tribute to the province's First Nations peoples, and explore the Qeubecois' relationship to the land by way of a National Film Board of Canada production.
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This small but picturesque plaza is famous as the birthplace of French America
. Two-thousand years before Europeans even landed on Canada's shores, Amerindians would stop here to trade fur and copper and fish eel. Place-Royale remained a hub of activity into the 1800's, though was worse for wear from fire and war. Today, it is restored and one of the Quebec City's most visited and photographed attractions.
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Eugène-Étienne Taché (1836-1912) took his inspiration from the Louvre in Paris
in designing the Parliament Building in Quebec City. The quadrilateral building that surrounds an inner courtyard is home to Quebec's elected government representatives. Visitors have the chance to attend parliamentary proceedings, join a free guided tour or eat at Le Parlementaire Restaurant.
Photo © Scott McLean
Sitting majestically over Old Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River, the Chateau Frontenac has been beautifully restored over the years to highlight its exquisite 19th century architecture. Even if you don't stay at the Chateau, pop by for a look around, cocktail or tour.
Erected in the early 1600s, the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica Cathedral (Our Lady of Quebec City) is part of the oldest parish in North America. Like so many of Quebec's architectural treasures, the cathedral was ravaged by battle and fire throughout the centuries and has been rebuilt twice. Visits are free and guided tours are offered for a small fee from May to October or by reservation at other times during the year.
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Sitting high on the St. Lawrence, at the foot of the Chateau Frontenac
, the Dufferin Terrace offers gorgeous, airy views across the waterway to Levis and of Old Quebec. In summer, the terrace is alive with performers and artists and in winter, it leads to a gigantic ice slide that is not for the faint of heart.
Québec City is the only remaining fortified city in North America, which has led to its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
. Guided walking tours of the three-mile (5km) long city wall surrounding the old city of Québec give insight into the city's military history.