Quebec City: A French-Canadian Charm Offensive

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I enjoyed visiting the city of Montreal in the summer of 2014 but, truth be told, I never quite fell in love with it. I went in hearing how French it was, and I guess I pictured sort of a rural France, super charming village feel. What I found instead was a bustling, modern city – which is fantastic, but just not what I was expecting.

As it turns out, Quebec City had exactly what I was looking for in Montreal: it’s smaller, more walkable, and oh-so-quaint. It seemed like delights were around every corner: flowers hanging everywhere, buildings with brightly painted shutters, and rows and rows of appealing little shops.

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The weather was gorgeous the weekend I visited Quebec, with the skies a beautiful shade of blue almost the entire time.

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One thing I had loved about Montreal, despite my slight disappointment with the city, was the food. Thankfully, there were plenty of yummy options in Québec City, too. On the recommendation of a friend, I booked a dinner at Aux Anciens Canadiens, which serves super traditional, hearty Québécois food. It was fantastic (and one of my favorite meals of 2015).

Aux Anciens Canadiens

And at Le Cochon Dingue, I had a tasty plate of fish & chips (plus some sangria to wash it all down). Sidenote: Quebec City seemed obsessed with sangria; it was everywhere!

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Quebec City’s old town is divided into an upper and lower town, with a convenient little funicular connecting the two. Both upper and lower towns are worth exploring! (You can also hoof it, if you wish, but there are plenty of opportunities to walk in the city, so I’d recommend saving energy for those).

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The church of Notre-Dame de Québec had a stunning interior. Make sure to climb up to the second floor, where you can get an even better look at it.

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The Québec City mural dominates a square in lower town – quite literally, as it takes up the entire side of a five-story building.

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Around the edges of Old Town Québec, you can still see the remains of the old wall. I thought “walking the ramparts” sounded like a fun activity, but once we got up there it was clear there wasn’t a ton left to walk. Ah well, you can’t win them all.

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As proof of my earlier statement about sangria, I offer two more examples. Whenever we got tired of walking, we’d find a nice restaurant, sit down, and relax with a pitcher of sangria. Not a bad way to spend a summer day (and yes, I am blogging about this months after the fact).

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There’s nothing really left on my “must do” list for Québec City, but I find myself plotting a return trip there nonetheless. It’s just such a lovely, walkable city – one that would be perfect for a relaxing weekend break.

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