Quebec City: A Travel Feature -
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
Globetrotting Planning Articles

Globetrotting Traveling Articles

Globetrotting Lodging Articles

Globetrotting Touring Articles
A Day Trip to Kaua'i from Aulani
A Day Trip to Maui from Aulani
A Day Trip to the Big Island from Aulani
Activities at Aulani
Bergen, Norway
Berlin, Germany
Blue Horizons
Burgundy, France
Camping in Florida
Chateau de Chambord
Cologne, Germany
Cruising Alaska
Discovering Dollywood
Discovering Peru
Discovering Peru
Disneyland Paris In A Day
Enjoying Life In Lyon
Full Circle Moments at the Disney Archives Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry
Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland
Hong Kong Part 2
Island Hopping While at Aulani
Key Largo and Islamorada
Kings Dominion
Kyoto, Japan
Legendary Tibet
Lighthouses on Lake Huron
Mercedes-Benz Museum
Miami, Florida
Mont St. Michel
More of the Mediterranean
Morikami Museum
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Newfoundland, Canada
Nickelodeon Cruise
Our Very Own Amazing Race
Pin Trading
Planning a First Trip to Disneyland Paris - Part 2
Planning a First Trip to Disneyland Paris - Part 3
Planning Your First Visit to Disneyland Paris
Portland, Oregon
Quebec City
SeaWorld Orlando
St. Helier
The Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, Florida
The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride
The Jersey War Tunnels
The Walt Disney Family Museum
Those Tokyo Disney Shows
Tokyo DisneySea
Universal Orlando
Unlocking the Magic of the Florida Keys
Unlocking The Magic of The Florida Keys
Visiting NASA
Zoos of the World

Globetrotting Dining Articles
'AMA'AMA Restaurant at Aulani
Aunty's Character Breakfast at Makahiki
Dining In New York City
Dining In New York City
The 'Bounty of the Island' Buffet Dinner at Makahiki
Walt's American Restaurant

Globetrotting Making Magic Articles

Globetrotting General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF
View Photos
Visit Forum
Read Comments on This Article

Quebec City: A Travel Feature

by Julia Elzie, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 03-09-2011

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!

Filed in Articles > International Travel > Touring  

Quebec City has been described as a little bit of Europe in North America. Its French heritage is evident on every corner, from the gabled buildings to the cobblestone streets to the magnificent cathedrals. French is the primary language of business and of Quebec City’s residents, but Quebec is distinctly French and Canadian, and fiercely proud of its heritage and independence.

Quebec City is located along the St. Lawrence River and was first founded by the Iroquois, followed by French explorer Jacques Cartier in 1535. It became a fur-trading post around 1608 with Samuel Champlain’s arrival to the area. The fur trade made Quebec City into a major trading center and control was sought by the French and English. The quest for control led to several military battles at the Plains of Abraham and the Citadel, located around Quebec City. Finally, French Canada fell under English control in 1759 after the conflict at the Plains of Abraham, became an independent colony and ultimately, a part of the sovereign nation of Canada.

Quebec City is a pedestrian-friendly city and with good shoes, it can easily be toured on foot. The old fur-trading city, Basse Ville, is along the river, and offers a beautiful tour of the history and development of Quebec City. The oldest buildings are closest to the river and as the fur trade expanded, the city was built and expanded back from the river. The architecture changes in style and sophistication as one moves back and away from the river. The rooftops are at a steep slant to allow Quebec’s snowfall to slide off in the winter. Window panes are smaller than usual, reflecting the practical need to avoid breakage during the transatlantic crossing from France. The people of Quebec City are proud of their history and cultural diversity, reflected in a stunning mural on the side of one of the buildings near the main shopping area of Quartier Petit Champlain. The fur trade, influence of the Catholic faith, the four distinct seasons and the French, English and First Nations residents are depicted in the mural. Walking through the streets of Basse Ville is a journey through history.

After Basse Ville had expanded to the Cliffside, the residents began to build into the upper city of Quebec (Haute Ville). Guarded by tall, stone walls, Haute Ville is the only European-style fortified city in North America. Quebec City has stunning views and one of the best ways to enjoy them is by riding the funicular elevator from the Basse Ville up the steep side of the cliff, arriving to the Terrasse Dufferin, outside of the castle-like Chateau Frontenac - one of the hotels the Chateau in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot is designed to resemble. The hill is steep, so take the funicular up the hillside and take the very steep, but manageable “Breakneck Stairs” on the way back down to Basse Ville. The Chateau Frontenac is arguably the most photographed landmark in Quebec City and most people see its picture in their mind’s eye at the mention of Quebec City. With its gables and turrets, the Chateau Frontenac is spectacular. It is worth a visit to see its breathtaking magnificence and to have lunch or afternoon tea at the very least.

For the best introduction to Quebec City, splurge and enjoy a carriage tour with a friendly, knowledgeable driver and guide. The drivers are warm and outgoing and a wealth of information about Quebec City. While these tours are somewhat pricey, it is an once-in-a-lifetime experience and the best way to get to know the main areas of the city. Afterwards, consider a guided walking tour or simply pick up a self-guided walking tour brochure from the Visitors Center.

Quebec City has some of the best museums in Canada. There is Quebecois history at the Musee de la Civilisation, regional art at Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, a historical show with sounds and light at Musee du Fort and French culture at the Musee de l’Amerique Francaise. Children will enjoy the three-dimensional history lessons at the Quebec Experience. The Citadel, overlooking the river, was built by the British Army and holds military memorabilia from the various battles for control over Quebec City. In addition, spectacular cathedrals, especially the Notre Dame du Quebec, are tributes to the influential clergy members who contributed to the growth of Quebec City. Historical museums are also available as tributes to the nuns and priests who have spent generations educating First Nations and French Canadian children. After time inside museums, children and adults will enjoy outside time at the Cartier-Brebeuf National Historic Site, which was the location of explorer Jacques Cartier’s 1535 winter camp. It is close to the main areas of Quebec City and offers a glimpse of an Iroquoian longhouse, plenty of grassy and open space to stretch legs or burn energy and wonderful storytelling sessions. Another fresh air alternative is taking the ferry from Quebec City to the town of Levis, directly across the St. Lawrence River, for spectacular views of the city and especially, Chateau Frontenac.

All of this learning and sightseeing can build an appetite and Quebec City has a myriad of restaurants and cuisine to suit every taste. It has some of the best and most sophisticated food in North America. Be sure to try as many French Canadian dishes as possible, such as wild fowl or game (try cipaille, a pie with meat and vegetables or toutiere, a meat pie), and poutine (French fries with cheese curds and gravy). Seafood is also delicious, with choices such as seafood bisque or pot-en-pot, a dish with seafood and potatoes. For dessert, try maple pie, also known as sugar pie or tarte au sucre or trempette, which is maple syrup soaked bread, topped with whipped cream or crème fraiche. Of course, quiche, crepes and croissants with a café au lait are also delicious and widely available at cafes and bistros throughout the city. [Editors Note: Summertime visitors shouldn't miss the fresh strawberries when in season. They're grown just miles away, and are quite delectable.] A leisurely meal provides the opportunity to sit, enjoy the beautiful scenery and European ambiance and watch people throughout both Haute Ville and Basse Ville.

Shopping is wonderful and plentiful in Quebec City. After leaving behind the more “touristy” shops, visit the local boutiques and art galleries for memoirs of Quebec City. Some of the most authentic handicrafts will be available at the farmer’s market at Marche du Vieux Port along with beautiful produce. The Quartier Petit Champlain in Vieux Quebec is among the oldest shopping districts in North America. Vieux Quebec’s Rue (Street) St. Paul and Rue St. Jean offer art galleries, many filled with First Nations handcrafts. In addition to the gorgeous handcrafts and arts, maple syrup and maple syrup products are sold, along with Inuit (Eskimo) carvings. All will bring back happy memories of Quebec City.

With its history, cultural sights, magnificent food and French language, Quebec City is a beautiful taste of Europe in North America.

About the Author:
Julia Elzie is a travel consultant with Andavo Travel and specializes in family travel. For more information, please visit her web site at, contact her by phone at 208-362-6789 or by e-mail at

Related Links:
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009
The Seas With Nemo And Friends - In Love With The Living Seas last updated 4/23/2009

Reader Comments:

     PassPorter News on May 12, 2006 @ 8:54 am
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)

Updated 03-09-2011 - Article #594 

Read additional articles from

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  



We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by

Winnipeg, Canada
by Ashli
9 Dec 2014 at 2:51pm
Now that the draw for the Women's World Cup 2015 has happened, I know I'll be spending 7-10 days in Winnipeg next June. Anyone been there before and...
(click title above to view replies)

Does anyone take a vacation to somewhere just because flights are cheap?
by Huntermom
26 Nov 2014 at 8:40am
A client just told me she was able to get fares to INdia from Boston for $700./00 round trip. It makes me want to plan a ytrip even though I...
(click title above to view replies)

North West- any must see's or travel tips?
by B.M.
23 Nov 2014 at 1:40pm
This coming summer, we will be traveling to the North West. I've been planning this trip for quite some time.... and now the time has come to...
(click title above to view replies)

Should I consider it?
by Huntermom
19 Nov 2014 at 5:20pm
My brother in law will be speaking at a conference in China this year. My sister will be going along with him and they invited me to join them. I...
(click title above to view replies)

Total Visits: 2507

PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
News & Updates
Message Boards
Concierge Desk
Books & E-Books
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.