I first came to Quebec City in the summer of 2015. I was in the middle of a 3 weeks tour around North America; I just visited Boston and New York and was about to explore Montreal and Toronto before heading back home. I had had an incredible time so far and couldn’t imagine that it could get even better, but as soon as I started walking in the old Quebec streets I had a real crush for that place. The 2 days I spent there were so perfect that I was a little worried to come back this year and realise that maybe it wasn’t as good as I remembered. But it was! Quebec is definitely in my top 5 cities from around the world. Here are 7 reasons why.
1. Because it looks like home far away from home
Quebec is unique in North America. It’s one of the oldest cities of the continent (founded in 1608) and the Old Quebec area is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its architecture is very special: you can’t find similar winding streets and stone houses anywhere else nearby, but it reminds me so much of Brittany where I come from that it’s definitely something that makes me appreciate this city. Travelling so far away from home to find a place that looks exactly like it: pretty cool isn’t it?
2. Because it’s small but there’s so much to see
It’s easy to do everything by foot in Old Quebec; the only difficulty is climbing from the Lower to the Upper Town (steep stairs!) but apart from that, walking from one side of the city to the other doesn’t take very long. Yet there’s still a lot to see: the famous Château Frontenac of course, but also the lovely Petit Champlain district, the Citadelle and the historic ramparts… and so much more!
More pictures of Quebec City in my gallery here.
3. Because I’ve only been there in summer
I guess it’s probably easier to fall in love with a city when it’s sunny and warm than during the very cold Canadian winter when temperatures drop below -30°C… The pictures of Quebec City under the snow are very beautiful though, so if one day I have the opportunity to come back in January or February, I’ll let you know if my opinion changes or not!
4. Because of the street artists
It’s a tradition in Quebec City: there are a lot of street artists. But not the random artists that you might find everywhere else in the world, sometimes more annoying than interesting. Here the people performing in the streets do really have a lot of talent and there are a few open stages especially for them. During the summer months, there is also a free circus show on a big stage next to the harbor: the quality of the performance that I saw early September this year was breathtaking. Quebec City is the place to be to enjoy street art!
5. Because of the “crème molle”
I didn’t eat in enough restaurants to be able to judge the gastronomy of the city; all I know is that you can taste a delicious “poutine” (the traditional Canadian meal) in a great restaurant called La Bûche, where I went with two friends of mine who lived nearby. But I can tell you that the “crème molle” is the best ice cream ever. It’s not a specialty from Quebec City, but I only had it here so for me it’s related to my great time in this town. It consists of Italian style vanilla ice cream dipped into melted chocolate. Soft inside, crispy outside, yummy! Add a delicious coffee to it and you’ll be ready for more explorations!
6. Because it’s so close to gorgeous natural sites
The first of them is just outside the city, accessible by bus: the 83m high Montmorency Fall, perfect for a day tour.
Further on the North side of the St. Lawrence, the Saguenay fjord is just a few hour drives away. At its end Tadoussac is the best place to go for a whale watching tour.
7. Because of that view
I could have started with that: this picture alone can explain why I love Quebec City so much. Then I wouldn’t have needed to write a full article…
And you, what are you favourite cities around the world and why?