Itinerary: 1 Day in Québec City

On a warm summer evening, visitors stroll along Saint-Jean Street, near Saint-Jean Gate.
Jeff Frenette Photography

What to see in Québec City in one day? Well, exploring the city’s history should be at the top of everyone’s list–this is generally why people come to Québec City–quickly followed by a hot and gooey bowl of poutine! Here is how to catch Québec City's top highlights in one day.

  • Day 1
  • 1

    Place Royale and Petit-Champlain

    At the site of the first settlement of New France (now known as Québec City), wander the cobblestoned streets of this small neighbourhood, stopping by Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church which stands on the site of the first home and trading post of Samuel de Champlain when he established the first colony in 1608. As you reach the end of Rue Sous-le-Fort you’ll spot the Breakneck Stairs (Escalier Casse-Cou) on your right. To your left, Rue du Petit-Champlain, one of the oldest shopping streets in North America. Today, the cobblestone street is flanked by boutiques, artisan shops and restaurants. Charming (and busy!) during the day, this area is also quite beautiful at night. When you’ve had your fill of Petit-Champlain, walk back towards to Breakneck Stairs and ride the funicular to the top of Cap Diamant.

    0.40 km
  • 2

    Dufferin Terrace & Château Frontenac

    A ride on the funicular offers a lovely view of Petit-Champlain district, Place Royale and the St. Lawrence River. When you exit the funicular hut, you will be standing on Dufferin Terrace, facing Château Frontenac and a monument dedicated to Samuel de Champlain (the city’s founder). Spend time admiring the views from the terrace and the majesty of the château and stop by Au 1884 to buy an ice cream cone.

    Lunchtime

    There are quite a few restaurants to choose from in Old Québec. But there are also amazing sites to make a memorable picnic.

    0.32 km
  • 3

    Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral

    This impressive church hosted the first Catholic parish north of the Spanish colonies. It is also the home to the only Holy Door outside Europe. Its interior is even more gorgeous than its beautiful exterior architecture.

    0.26 km
  • 4

    Fortifications of Québec

    With 4.6 km of ramparts and two majestic gates, this site is not to be missed. Thanks to its almost intact fortifications, Old Québec represents the best preserved and most complete example of a fortified colonial city on the continent north of Mexico.

    1.32 km
  • 5

    Citadelle de Québec

    You can enjoy a spectacular view of Old Québec and the St. Lawrence River from the largest British fortress in North America. Don't forget to have your picture taken with a guard!

    1.52 km
  • 6

    Plains of Abraham

    This huge urban park is steeped in history. It is the exact site were the English army won against the French in the famous battle of the Plains, in 1759.

     

    1.77 km
  • 7

    Admire the Lighted Buildings

    After a full day of walking around the city and experiencing all that it has to offer, maybe you'd want to eat at one of the restaurants that showcase Québec's traditional food or at one of Old Quebec's fine dining restaurants If you are a lover of craft beer, you'll have plenty of choice in Saint-Roch Neighbourhood. 

    Evenings in Québec City tend to be more quiet and laid back, a good time to wander through the streets and admire the lighted buildings.

    The secret to having the best day in Québec City is to indulge in the things you love most. Open your eyes and your heart. Make time to stop in a café for a coffee and pastry, try speaking French (the locals love it when tourists make an effort, no matter how bad that is) and take a lot of photos! After you spend the best day exploring Québec City you will likely want to come back for more (and stay longer as well!).

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Editorial Team

As proud ambassadors of our beloved city, we’re delighted to be sharing the things and places we love most in the Québec City area. What a joy for us to help you discover everything this vibrant and welcoming city has to offer!

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