Start with a stroll on rue Saint-Jean! Although it is very touristy, it hides some lovely cafes, restaurants and little gems that are worth the detour. The Claire-Martin Library located inside an old church is a good example. Walk to the end of rue Saint-Jean, turn on Côte de la Fabrique, and then rue Buade, you will see the famous Frontenac Castle, and will be a few steps from the Terrasse Dufferin, which offers breathtaking views of the St-Lawrence River.
Ready for dinner? Try Le Moine Échanson on rue Saint-Jean for a complete Old Quebec experience. This friendly wine bar will allow you to enjoy the liveliness of the neighbourhood, and avoid tourist traps. For desert, head to the reputed Tutto Gelato, for a delicious Italian ice cream! If you are not ready to end the evening here, make your way to Bar le Sacrilege (photo below), an institution in the city. The narrow passage on the left side of the main entrance will bring your directly to the backyard and a fantastic patio!
Start the day with a coffee and a croissant at Paillard and head to l’Île d’Orleans for a day trip. This island in the middle of the St-Lawrence is only 20 minutes away, and truly deserves to be seen. Chemin Royal will take your around the island, through orchards, wineries and strawberry fields. Make sure to check out the scenic route du Mitan, that connects Sainte-Famille and Saint-Jean. On your way back to Quebec City, stop for lunch at Cassis Monna & Filles for a taste of their blackcurrant products, and enjoy their beautiful garden, wine cellar and boutique.
Once you’re back in the city, stay in Quebec’s Lower Town and explore Limoilou (below). This effervescent neighbourhood, especially 3rd avenue, has changed quite a bit in the last few years and is now home to pretty boutiques like La Folle Fourchette, or third wave cafes such as Nektar. Afterwards, walk along the Saint-Charles River, or head towards the Old Port and Petit-Champlain.
For your last day, you have to try the amazing brunch at Chez Boulay - Bistro Boréal. Afterwards, a 30 minute walk by Grande-Allée will bring you to the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (photo below) and the new Pierre-Lassonde wing. You may want to visit it for the collections, but also for the architecture, which is truly impressive! If the weather is cooperative, make sure to stop by the Plains of Abraham Park: a historic site and an amazing green space in the heart of the city.
WHERE TO STAY
Photo Credits : Jean-Philippe Bergeron, Bar le Sacrilège