Discover the 10 best things to do and see in Old Québec. A stay is not complete without visiting these must-see attractions.
Step Into Historic Petit-Champlain Street, a Living Christmas Card
Content partner: Quartier Petit Champlain
Nuzzled along the base of Cap Diamant, just below the fortifications of Old Québec is Petit-Champlain, a small neighbourhood steeped in history, with cobblestoned streets, charming restaurants and original boutiques.
A Bucket List Stop Like No Other
The 18th and 19th-century French architecture add to the neighbourhood’s charm and aesthetic, giving many the impression they are walking through a historic village in the heart of Europe. Beautifully preserved, this small corner of the historic district of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage site, shines even brighter in winter when Christmas trees stand guard at every door, strings of white lights criss-cross above the street, and everything is snuggled under a fluffy blanket of fresh white snow. The magic and wonder that encompasses Petit-Champlain in winter gives one the sense of walking through a living Christmas card.
400 Years of History blanketed in Snow
One of the oldest shopping streets in North America, rue Petit-Champlain is also beside the beautiful neighbourhood of Place-Royale, the site of the original settlement of Samuel de Champlain in 1608. Both neighbourhoods have played key roles in making Québec City what it is today. Tucked in a corner near the funicular are the escalier Casse-Cou (breakneck stairs) which steeply climb to the top of Cap Diamant, connecting the upper and lower parts of Québec City. Standing guard over Petit-Champlain and the rest of Old Québec, is the Fairmont Château Frontenac, the city’s iconic landmark.
As the holiday season approaches, Parc Félix Leclerc, situated in the heart of Petit-Champlain, comes alive with festive lights, a fire pit for warming your hands and visits from Santa. Everything is blanketed in snow and the feeling of walking through a Christmas village comes alive.
Local Artisans at Your Fingertips
A historic shopping street is hardly complete without an array of gifted local artisans. Take a break from the beauty of the snow-capped historic buildings and immerse yourself in the small shops and boutiques. It is here that you will find treasures for everyone on your shopping list, including yourself!
Shop for works of art by local artisans. Indulge in high-quality Québec terroir (locally made products) such as iced cider, artisanal maple syrup and delicious preserves. Impress your friends with clothing created by Québec designers. Petit-Champlain is the number one place to go for distinctive quality souvenirs.
Gastronomic Indulgences That Warm the Belly and the Heart
Warm your belly and your heart with a delicious meal at one (or more!) of Petit-Champlain’s restaurants. Step into the delightful French bistro, Cochon Dingue with its traditional French decor and menu (the poutine is delish!). Surround yourself with the warm ambience of exposed stone walls at Le Pape Georges and its ancient vault. An ideal spot for a light meal and a drink or two. Treat yourself to the elegance and comfort of Lapin Sauté, a dining experience you will rave about for months after you return home.
If you’re in the mood for the comfort of pasta and fine wine, dine at Sapristi. And if you are looking for a cozy atmosphere with a warm fireplace, go at Bistro Sous Le Fort. Sports fans and those wanting something lowkey will find the ambience of Q-de-sac Resto-Pub a welcome refuge from the chilly winter air.
Year-round Living History
This charming neighbourhood is alive with history and culture, a place of wonder and discovery. Shops and boutiques are open year-round, and the neighbourhood changes with the seasons. In spring and summer, the streets come alive with music and performances by local artists. In autumn the trees turn brilliant shades of gold and rust and red. In winter it’s like walking through a European Christmas village.
From November to March is the perfect time to admire the lights and decorations that help to transform the neighbourhood into a magical winter wonderland. Make time to meet Santa or stop and listen to a local choir before the Holidays. In February, during Québec Winter Carnival, check out the ice sculptures and activities, try some maple taffy and meet Bonhomme.
Quartier Petit Champlain
61, rue du Petit Champlain
Québec City, G1K 4H5
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