During Memorial Weekend, hubby and I spent a few days up in Quebec City. I know, I know…some of you might be thinking: “Quebec? Over Memorial Day? How un-American!” Well, just so you know, I was born in Montreal and didn’t move to the US until I was 13 and still have family north of the border. So a Canadian visit is always warranted!
This time, we decided to piggyback onto our family trip and add Quebec City so we could have alone time. I can’t believe that after all these years, this was my first time there!! I fell in love with the European feel and charm, the little side streets, the cobblestone sidewalks, and all the great French food. Oh, and the poutine! ALL the poutine!
In this post, I put together a quick guide on how to spend 2 whole days in Quebec City. You can obviously spend more time in this city but I think that you can hit all the major spots in just 48 hours.
Day 1 Morning – Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)
- Visit Château Frontenac! I mean, this is a no-brainer. It’s the most prominent building in this entire city so you can’t miss it at all. Pictures don’t do it justice as it’s SO much bigger than you can capture on your camera. You can always try though! I also recommend coming back at night to see it in a completely different light.
- Walk to La Citadelle de Quebec. From the bottom of the Château Frontenac, you can walk the entire length of the boardwalk towards the Citadelle. Make sure you have your walking shoes though; you’re going to be climbing lots of steps. All the walking in Quebec City is great for you though because you’re also going to eat a lot. (You’ll see!)
- Have lunch anywhere in Old Quebec. There are countless of restaurants that you can choose from! We ate at Le Cochon Dingue, which is known for its pork sandwich. It doesn’t disappoint!
- If you’re like me, you’re also going to want to fit poutine in your trip any which way you can. Check out Le Chic Shack near the bottom of Château Frontenac. They put their own twist on the traditional poutine. Try it out for yourself!
- Now that you’ll need to walk off that poutine, go towards Maison de la Littérature. It’s a reformed Gothic church turned into a modern-day library; it’s got a really cool Scandinavian-slash-Ikea feel to it. Plus, you can take some really cool pictures for your Instagram feed :P.
Day 1 Afternoon – Rue Saint-Jean
- At this point in time, you might be a little tired of walking around the entire city. So why don’t you take a load off and have a few drinks? We stayed on Rue Saint-Jean and honestly, we probably could’ve spent our whole stay on this street if we wanted to! Le Bar Sacrilège has its own patio oasis, with church pews as chairs, cute mosaic tables and trees to shade you from the sun. Ninkasi St-Jean also has its own outdoor terrace. This is a great place to hang out in if you want to relax and play some games. Fou-Bar is another fun, little bar. Go here if you like to listen to live music in a cozy bar. I think what I’m trying to say here is this: go to any bar on Rue Saint-Jean and you will enjoy it!
- For dinner, we chose to go to Hobbit Bistro (no relation whatsoever to Lord of the Rings…sorry to disappoint!). If the pork belly dinner special is still on the menu when you go, you MUST get it! According to my husband, this falls on his Top 10 Best Meals Ever list!
- If you’ve still got a little room left in you for dessert, head to Tutto Gelato for…you guessed it: gelato. I can never turn down ice cream or gelato!
Day 2 Morning – Day Trip Outside Quebec City
- Before you head out for the day, you’ll need a good breakfast! If you love crepes, you might want to try out Le Billig. This place tends to fill up though, so make sure to make reservations ahead of time or be there as soon as the doors open. You might want to pad in extra time for this too because when we went, the service was a tad slow. Just being honest! But those crepes though, mmm.
- Drive to Montmorency Falls; it’s only a 15-minute drive from Old Quebec. Did you know that these falls are higher than Niagara Falls? Neither did I! FYI – Be prepared to walk up and down a lot of steps here as well!
Money saving tip #1: Parking at the Falls costs $12CAD. If you pass the parking lot entrance and park in the smaller lot past the light on the left, they only charge $5 there.
Money saving tip #2: Buy or make sandwiches ahead of time and eat them at the Falls. There is a big grassy area there where you can have a picnic.
- From the falls, drive over to Île d’Orléans, which is only 10 minutes away. This island has gorgeous scenery, so many charming stone houses, wineries upon wineries, and tons of farms. It’s a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Quebec City downtown area. Also, it’s much larger than we expected; over three times the size of Manhattan!
- Stop by Vignoble Ste-Pétronille for wine samples. If it’s a nice day, buy yourself a bottle of wine and enjoy it on their terrace!
- In Saint-François, make a pit stop at the observatory to look back at Quebec. Again…lots of steps here! Your calves will be feeling it after your trip!
- If you can find it, go to Érablière Boily for a quick maple syrup tour and samples. This might be the cheapest place for you to buy maple syrup products!
Day 2 Evening – Back to Old Quebec
- Once you make it back to Quebec City, you might want to have another snack (aka poutine). I really enjoyed Poutineville because you can either customize your poutine exactly the way you want it, or stay basic and go with the classic dish. You can’t lose.
- Head back into Old Quebec and wander the streets there. It’s fun to get lost around this part of town!
- For dinner, hubby and I really enjoyed Le Lapin Sauté. As the name suggests, everything on the menu here has lapin, meaning rabbit. Try it out even if you don’t think you’re a rabbit fan! You only live once!
- If you’re looking for a night cap and a fun atmosphere, Bar 1608 inside the Chateau Frontenac is where it’s at! And while you’re inside, you’re definitely going to want to look around; it’s absolutely stunning! Some would even call it ornate (this was a word that my husband really wanted me to include in my post, so here you go, honey!).
Money saving tip #3: Watch out for their “shrub” drink. I kind of didn’t realize that 1) there was no alcohol in it, and 2) there was definitely vinegar in it. Blech! Don’t make the same mistake I did – don’t get all fancy and order a “cocktail” you’ve never tried before!
And there you have it! Two days have come and gone, your legs are totally sore and your tummies are completely full. That’s how I like my vacations to be! Is Quebec City on your bucket list now?
Ta-ta for now – see you next week!