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Historic Château Frontenac.

Discovering the French influence in Quebec City (2024)

Quebec City is a charming historic destination established on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. Also known as the birthplace of French culture in North America, it transports visitors directly into the past. The roots of Quebec City are associated with French culture, and one can observe how deeply the influence is still present in the area.

Quebec City’s French influence is unmistakable, right from its food to its architecture. While walking across the city, one can observe the prevalence of the French language. It is quite noticeable as locals use French interchangeably with English. The entire city, especially the initially settled section, is lined with ornate buildings reminiscent of the architecture. The visuals for a minute will make you forget if you are truly in North America and not in Europe.

People from all across North America visit Quebec City also for its food offerings. It, in fact, is a very popular destination for Francophiles. Anyone who appreciates the French culture or is keen on its history must add Quebec City to their itinerary. Every single day here is highly appreciable and enjoyable, and the experience only adds to memories. That said, here is All you can do in Quebec City, the cradle of French America. Have a look:

Discovering the French influence in Quebec City

1. Stay at the Historic Château Frontenac.

Immerse yourself into the rich French culture of Quebec City by planning your stay at the Château Frontenac. This historic hotel sits atop a hill overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Its stunning castle-like structure offers a historic and cultural French experience like none other. Just by stepping inside, one can observe the elegant and luxurious décor of the hotel, and it will simply export you to the bygone era. It is a world of French elegance and sophistication with modern comfort. Not just its stay but the French-style spa and beauty segment, the taste of traditional French cuisine, and more such features add to one’s experience. The hotel’s location in the city’s heart also allows guests to easily access charming cafes, cobbled streets, and quaint shops. For anyone looking to immerse in the cultural and historical significance of French in Quebec City, a stay at Château Frontenac is a must.

2. Attend Festival De Cinéma De La Ville De Québec

For film and performing art lovers, Festival de cinéma de la ville de Québec is the charm of Quebec City. The festival organizes every year in the month of September or typically during the Fall season. It last for typically 10 days featuring a range of films from around the world of both independent and international cinema. In addition to the film screening, the festival also features live events and activities for visitors to enjoy. Festival de cinéma de la ville de Québec focus on different venue across Quebec city, including theaters, galleries, and other cultural spaces. Besides enjoying art, festival attendees can also involve in Q&A sessions with filmmakers, workshops, and parties.

3. Visit the Citadelle of Quebec

The Citadelle of Quebec is an active military installation and a top-rated attraction for history buffs in Quebec City. This grand fortress is nestled on the top of Cap Diamant, adjoining the Plains of Abraham. The fortress was built back in the early 19th century (from 1820 to 1850) and is the largest British fortress in North America. The grand stretch boasts a rich history, and from here, one can enjoy stunning views of Quebec City. It, in fact, is the highest natural point in Quebec city as well. Visitors to the Citadelle of Quebec can take a guided tour of the fortress. While exploring the site, one can go through a range of exhibitions showcasing the area’s military past. Besides the guided tour, the most amazing experience here is the changing of the guard ceremony. This spectacle event takes place only during the summer season and is truly an experience on its own

4. Spend An Afternoon Or An Evening At The Place Royale.

Place Royale is Quebec City’s historic square located in the Lower Town area. For discovering the French influence in Quebec City, look no further than the Place Royal. This picturesque cobblestoned square is lined with a range of historic structures, restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and other places to engage. Place Royale is there in the city since the early 17th century, and the iconic 1688 Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church building is a marvelous example of the same. It, though, operates as a commercial center, but the cultural and historic influence is a must of its charm. From shopping to eating some French delicacies and visiting the nearby Museum of Civilization, there’s a lot to do at Place Royale.

5. Attend Carnaval de Québec

Reportedly one of the largest winter carnivals in the world, Carnaval de Québec is something you cannot miss in Quebec City. The carnival attracts visitors from all across the world. The highlight of the event is the night parade. It is when floats, dancers, and performers add vibe and light to the entire streets of Quebec city. In addition, what attract attendee here the most are adventurous outdoor activities like ice canoe racing, ice skating, snowboarding, and more. The festival also includes ice sculptures, live music performances, and a lot of traditional food options. For individuals who want to enjoy local culture and adventurous winter vibes, Carnaval de Québec is a must-visit.

6. Spend Some Time at Musée De La Civilisation

Musée de la civilization is a must-visit museum in Quebec City. A visit here allows individuals to enjoy insights into the history and culture of Canada. The museum is home to a range of exhibits, and the most popular of them all is the First Peoples exhibit. It focuses on Canada’s indigenous tribe’s history and culture. The museum also hosts exhibitions relating to the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Greece and the traditions of Quebecois society. Apart from its engaging exhibits, the museum also hosts a range of events and activities annually. Visitors can attend lectures and workshops or be a part of cultural festivals. Once done with them all, check out the several on-site shops and restaurants to refresh and rejuvenate.

7. Indulge in Some Shopping Time at Quartier Petit-Champlain.

Quartier Petit-Champlain is a charming shopping destination in Quebec City. This small commercial zone is extremely popular amongst tourists and is known for its colorful buildings and quaint shops and restaurants. Visitors can enjoy local and international cuisines, indulge in sweet treats and shop for everything from locally made to thrift and branded. Besides shopping, the area is also home to popular tourist landmarks, including Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church and the Place Royale. The unique blend of European charm and Canadian hospitality here is truly amazing. Once done with all the possibilities in the area, take the cable car trip up and down the steep hillside. These activities allow participants to enjoy spectacular views of the St. Lawrence River and its surroundings.

8. Spend Some Time Of Peace At Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec.

Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Quebec City. This stunning cathedral is the oldest church in Canada and, thus, a must-visit. Built back in 1647, the cathedral went under several renovations and changes before being elevated to the rank of a minor basilica by Pope Pius IX in 1874. It is, in fact, the first church to experience this upliftment. Anyone visiting Quebec city can enjoy impressive artwork, the stunning mural of the Ascension, stained glass windows, and the intricate details of the altar. Whether sitting down for prayer or joining the guided tours of the cathedral and learning about its religious and cultural heritage. In any Quebec City itinerary, the cathedral is undoubtedly an unforgettable stop.

9. Stroll Around the Rue Saint-Jean

Rue Saint-Jean is a pedestrian-only street in the heart of Quebec city’s Old Town. It is a popular landmark amongst locals and tourists alike, gathering considerable crowds throughout the year. This historic street is lined with colorful and picturesque buildings that operate in the form of restaurants, cafes, and shops. Individuals simply enjoy walking around and soaking into the truly local vibe of the area. Or, as night comes alive with music and entertainment, the street transforms into a celebrative venue. The area is also popular for its vibrant farmer’s market, Marché du Vieux-Port. A visit here allows for exploring antique shops, art galleries, and samples of local produce and artisanal products. For adult gatherings, Rue Saint-Jean also hosts a range of lively bars. 

10. Walk or Stroll Around La Promenade Samuel-De Champlain

La Promenade Samuel-De Champlain is a 2.6-mile picturesque park in Quebec City that gathers tourists and locals alike. Located on the bank of the St. Lawrence River, it offers some stunning water views. The park features a playground for children, and picnic areas, along with walking and cycling paths. It is also home to a range of sculptures and murals, the art installation that dictates about history and culture of the region. Throughout the year, people gather here to enjoy public art performances and cultural events. As people start gathering at La Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, one popular choice of activity is to climb the Observation tower. The provides panoramic views of the river, and the city skyline from here is truly breathtaking. If for none of the above, this public park is also a great place for an escape from the city’s loud and fast life.

11. Attend Festival d’été de Québec

For music lovers, attending the Festival d’été de Québec in Quebec City is a must. This impressive 11-day festival organizes every year in the month of July in various indoor and outdoor venues throughout the historic district of Quebec City. The festival gathers an impressive lineup of over 300 artists from different parts of North America. The unique and picturesque setting for the performances and exciting acts captivate a large crowd, including both locals and tourists. Not only does the festival gather music lovers but also individuals who are interested in cultural and artistic activities. The event also includes food and drink vendors, which makes it a gathering place for friends and family.

12. Attend Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France

Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France is an annual festival that celebrates the history and culture of Quebec’s French colonial past. The event will be organized in early August in and around the historic district of Old Quebec. A visit to the festival will allow individuals to enjoy live music, historical reenactments, and street performances. It also allows attendees to explore the city’s charming Old Town, where one can enjoy museums, galleries, and many other landmarks. Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France also hosts a range of traditional food and drink vendors along with colorful costumes, music, and dance at every turn. For a fun and festive experience, Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France is a must-visit event for all.

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