Quebec City is the beating heart of French Canada - its virtually intact
European appearance and ooh-la-la ambience leave Montreal and New Orleans
looking pretty patchy. The entire old section of town is North America's only
walled city, and has been designated a UN World Heritage site. With its
cliff-top position overlooking the St Lawrence River, its old stone buildings
and narrow streets, its citadelle and old port, it's no wonder Quebec City is a
must-do town. The city is divided into Upper and Lower segments. The walled
Old Upper Town is dominated by the fort and its parklands, and has a
bunch of museums documenting the city's military and cultural history. The busy,
narrow streets of Old Lower Town are reached by break-neck staircases or
a funicular from Upper Town's heights. Place Royale, the lower town's hub, is
surrounded with restaurants, galleries, cafes and the Church of Notre Dame des
Victoires - dating from 1688, it's the oldest stone church in the
Battlefields National Park
Better known as the Plains of Abraham, this is one of Quebec City's most popular
parks and historical attractions. Commemorating the daring 1759 attack in which
Quebec fell to the British under the leadership of General Wolfe, the park
features two striking Martello Towers offering rotating displays and great views
over the St Lawrence River.
The Quebec version of the famous Swedish Ice Hotel is sure to be one of the most
unique hotel experiences you are likely to encounter: everything is made from
ice or snow. Guests can choose from five suites, keeping warm in luxurious
hotel-provided sleeping bags, which are laid across deer pelts in
individually-designed rooms. Those too warm-blooded to spend the night can have
a vodka in the incredible bar.
This collection of buildings and narrow streets was born in 1608, when explorer
Samuel de Champlain established a secure fur trading post. It changed hands
between the British and French, surviving fires and battles, and eventually
became Quebec City's version of "downtown." After a complete restoration, Place
Royale is now the city's most picturesque place, sporting restaurants and cafes,
as well as many tourist attractions.
Montmorency Falls Park
This park offers a multitude of activities for the entire family. In the summer,
walk across one of two suspension bridges or through miles of parkland trails
before enjoying a gourmet meal at the Manoir Montmorency.
Winter can be just as relaxing, though daredevils can take an ice climbing
course on the frozen waterfall wall of ice and snow.