48 Hours In Quebec

by Travelbag on 09 April 2015, 17:04PM

European in look, style and feel, Quebec City, known as the cradle of French civilization in North America, is truly beautiful and charming. At 407 years old, Quebec is a city that transcends time. Teeming with beautiful architecture, quaint villages, historical sites and a deeply-rooted and distinct culture – there is so much to explore, even if you’re only there for just for 48 hours. 

A quintessential Quebec experience includes a stay at the famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac – an enduring symbol of the city – as well as a tour Old Quebec and a sampling of the city’s haute cuisine. A trip during February is especially memorable, during the city’s largest and most celebrated festival, Carnaval du Quebec. However, any time is a great time to experience the charm and joie de vivre in Quebec.

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Day One

Tasting Flight 

Quebec’s food scene is incredible. With opportunities galore to sample traditional French fare and local delicacies, there will never be an empty stomach. Fill up on the iconic French breakfast – the crepe – at either Crêperie-bistro Le Billig or Crêperie le Petit Château. With so many different flavour profiles and combinations, it’s impossible to try just one. 

Soaring above the Falls

Located just 15 minutes outside the city centre is Montmorency Falls Park. The 83m high falls are quite spectacular. Some of the most picturesque views can be observed from the cable car and suspension bridge. Adventure seekers enjoy the Via Ferrata expedition which combines rock climbing and hiking, while the zip line is a much more liberating experience. Savour the thrilling experience and spectacular views with an equally impressive lunch at the Manoir Montmorency. 

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Bucolic Country

Next, head across the bridge to Île d’Orléans. The unspoilt countryside, with its historic churches, farms and heritage homes is full of rustic charm and reminiscent of what life would have been like in the 19th century. While travelling from one village to another, stop by the roadside stalls to visit artisans selling ice cider, terrines, apple butter and various local delicacies. Or visit a local farm to pick some of the islands famous apples and strawberries. 
With plenty of souvenirs and treats in hand, go back across the bridge towards the city centre to the Terrasse Dufferin. The expansive boardwalk promenade features breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and the Laurentian Mountains.

Fine Dining

Perched atop Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond) is the famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. The copper-topped, castle-like hotel is one of the most photographed in the world. Grab some drinks at the hotel’s St. Laurent bar before indulging in its four-diamond restaurant. Night CapLargo on rue Sainte-Joseph in the Saint-Roch district is the go-to place for cocktails and dinner. The refurbished building, with vaulted ceilings and elegant chandeliers is the ideal place for grabbing some drinks and listening to live jazz. Alternatively, check out Bar Les Voutes Napoleon. The café, reminiscent of a cave, is known for its late-night music scene.

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Day 2

Breakfast al Fresco

The café culture in Quebec is like that in Paris. Weather permitting, snag a prime people-watching spot and while enjoying breakfast at any one of the cafes along rue Sainte-Anne. Or, opt for another French favorite, the croissant. Café-boulangerie Paillard has some of the best and is just ten minutes from the Fairmont.

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A Walk Through History

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Old Quebec’s alluring charm and historical significance make it worthy of the title. The impressive, star-shaped Citadelle is the city’s highest perch and the largest fortified base in North America. The tour, which includes viewings of historical sites, a museum and a cannon lasts about an hour, while the ceremonial changing of the guard occurs daily at 10:00. 

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Head to the Musée de la Civilisation. Then, check out the charming square of Place-Royale. As this is where the city was founded, it is considered to be the heart of Basse-Ville (birthplace of French America). The Basilique Notre-Dame is also quite impressive. The Gothic Revival style church is the oldest Christian parish north of México. While many parts have been demolished and renovated, the bell tower is the original one from 1647.

Lunch in the Village

Take some time to explore the historical architecture and quaint shops of the romantic Petit-Champlain District. Don’t miss the Petit-Champlain fresco mural which depicts the district’s origins. Grab some lunch at one of the many cafes and restaurants and then indulge in some retail therapy in the area’s trendy boutiques and shops. Form more unique antique goods, try rue Saint-Paul. 

Afternoon Refresher 

Wander through the Plains of Abraham. Once the scene of its namesake battle in 1759 (a pivotal battle in the Seven Years War), this now peaceful park – considered the heart and lungs of Quebec City – is full of beautiful walking paths and bicycle trails. In the winter, the park’s vast spaces lend themselves to a bounty of cross-country skiers. 

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Dinner Outside the City

The streets outside the walls of Old Quebec are just as alluring. Formerly a bank, Le Clocher Penché restaurant in the trendy neighbourhood of Saint-Roch is a local favourite. While the menu changes constantly, the ingredients are always fresh and locally sourced.

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