How To Spend 48 Hours in Quebec City
Quebec City is one of those places that is often overlooked, or even unheard of, when people are discussing where to travel within Canada.
This was the case for myself, up until this past spring when I decided to head out on a road trip from my hometown outside of Toronto. There is so much to see in Canada, and if Quebec City was any indication of what the rest of the country has in store, I better start packing! The city did not disappoint, and should definitely be on your radar for Canadian gems. Here’s my guide on how to make the most of only 48 hours in this beautiful city.
Day 1, 10AM - Old Quebec
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the atmosphere of Old Quebec is unlike anything else in Canada. Walking the quaint, cobblestone streets left me with a similar vibe to my time traveling around Western Europe. Filled with lively bars, cafes, and souvenir shops, this part of the city is bound to keep you entertained for most of the morning and into the afternoon.
Make sure to stop and grab lunch at one of the famous restaurants on Rue de Petit Champlain. It is known as one of the oldest commercial districts in the entire of North America.
Day 1, 3PM - Château Frontenac and La Terrasse Saint-Denis
Now that you’re full from lunch, it’s time to climb some stairs and work off those calories.
Make your way to the “upper” part of Old Quebec, and you’ll be able to witness the iconic Château Frontenac. This Fairmont hotel truly is a sight to see, and I was blown away by the sheer size of the building. If you’re willing to splurge, treat yourself to a night or two in one of the most famous hotels in Canada.
Next, stroll along the nearby boardwalk. You can take in the beautiful views overlooking the St. Lawrence River, with the neighbouring city of Levis on the other side.
Just when you think the views can’t get any better, make your way to the top of La Terrasse Saint-Denis for an unforgettable panoramic view. I stumbled upon this park by chance, but it ended up being a highlight of my time in the city.
Day 1, 8PM - Dinner and Drinks on Rue Saint Jean
Centrally located, Rue Saint Jean is full of hustle and bustle, any time of the day. During the summer months, this street closes to vehicle traffic, which allows us tourists to roam wherever we wish and it helps to create an atmosphere of community.
There’s no shortage of restaurants and pubs here, so the only problem you’ll have is trying to choose which one. Find a patio, kick back, and relax. It’s time to gear yourself up for another full day of adventuring tomorrow.
Day 2, 10AM - Plains of Abraham
Even if you’re not a history buff, a visit to the Plains of Abraham is worth your time.
Once a battle site for the Seven Years’ War between the French and British, this area is now recognised and known for its stunning greenery, lush flowers, and views overlooking the St. Lawrence. The park is also home to many cultural festivals, which you may be lucky enough to take in during your time in the city. With loads of walking trails throughout, you’ll have your choice of how to experience this important site for North American history.
Day 2, 1PM - Saint-Roch Neighbourhood
A part of Quebec City that is often missed by tourists, Saint-Roch is highly frequented by locals and deserves a lot more praise than it’s awarded.
Still within walking distance of Old Quebec, this neighbourhood is full of hipster cafes, craft breweries, and excellent options to enjoy the famous poutine. For those of you unfamiliar with this culinary masterpiece, poutine is known as Canada’s national dish, and more specifically, a French-Canadian meal. Local restaurant Poutineville is the perfect joint to have your first, second, or tenth poutine. I can almost guarantee it will be one of the best you’ve ever had.
Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring more of Saint-Roch, or relax in the Jean-Paul-L'Allier Garden. You may need a rest after indulging in your fair share of poutine!
Day 2, 7PM - Final Evening on Grande Allee
I only happened to stumble upon this street when I was making my way to the Plains of Abraham.
When I was walking by, all the bars and restaurants were setting up their patios for the evening ahead. Returning later in the night was a no brainer. Located just outside the walls of Old Quebec, Grande Allee is a bustling street full of both locals and tourists alike. With plenty of dining options available, you’re likely to find whatever you happen to be craving at the time. Many of the restaurants feature live music early in the evening, with bars and nightclubs taking over the street later into the night.
It truly is a great spot to end your time in Quebec City.
There’s your look into how I would choose to spend a short 48 hours in the entertaining and picturesque Quebec City. Have more time? Consider taking a day trip to Île d'Orléans, or visit Parc de la Chute-Montmorency to witness the incredible waterfall which stands at 84 meters tall.
For now, take care of yourself - and remember, adventure is out there.