One of North America’s oldest settlements, Quebec City is an incredible place to get away for a weekend and soak up some Canadian history - and really get in touch with the beating heart of the French-Canadian identity. The Old Town is a UNESCO Heritage Site, and visitors love the ambiance of taking a stroll through its cobbled streets and down to the edge of the St Lawrence river. Often described as the most European of Canadian cities, Quebec City is a perfect place to spend a weekend filled with history and culture (perhaps before heading to Montreal, the province’s second major city, for a taste of the new Quebec style).


Enjoy Traditional Canadian Fare At Fabrique Du Smoked Meat

Smoked meat may be a Canadian dish more closely associated with Montreal than Quebec City, but this cheap and cheerful family-run place has an incredible smoked meat sandwich that visitors should not miss. The walls of the restaurant are charmingly cluttered with vintage photos, street signs, and dozens of signed photos of hockey players. Maple syrup pie, poutines, pea soup, and smoked meat combos are also on the menu, with many of the most straightforward dishes under fifteen bucks. Fabrique Du Smoked Meat is ideal for anyone looking to sample some unpretentious and classic Quebec cuisine for a lunch or quick snack.

Gaze Out Over The Montmorency Falls

While there are some stunning green spaces within the city itself, such as the Parc Lineaire de la Riviere Saint Charles and its walking trail, or the historic Plains of Abraham. But, if you take a drive out of the city for a short while, you can discover this stunning waterfall. The Montmorency Falls are actually taller than Niagara Falls, and the park around them is packed with things for visitors to do, from a gondola to a zip line, and plenty of hiking trails to various viewpoints above, around, and even at the base of the falls themselves. Pack your hiking boots and get ready for those perfect Instagram-worthy photos.

See The Birthplace Of Quebec City At Place Royale

This little square may not be as obviously stunning as some of the major tourist attractions in the city, like Chateau Frontenac or the Parliament Building, but it is here that Quebec City was founded back in 1608. The square is also home to the oldest stone church in North America, Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires. To experience a little more of the oldest part of the city, take a walk up the Breakneck Steps, built in 1635. Although steep, the steps aren’t a difficult climb. At each level you will find bars and restaurants should you want to take a quick break.

Experience Truly Local Food At Legende

Locally sourced food is the heart of the menu at Legende. Chef Émile Tremblay is dedicated to making sure that his menu is designed with the culture of Quebec in mind. All the ingredients are Quebecois, and Legende’s website boasts that the dining experience there is "A thought on our culinary history, from the first nations to the present day." The reviews back it up, too. Legende won the Best New Restaurant award when it opened in 2014, and coming from the impressive background of its sister restaurant, the famous Taniere. With tasting menus and dishes sized for sharing, this is definitely a dinner you can’t miss while in the city.

Quebec City is a beautiful place to visit year round – although it’s much easier to walk the battlements of this walled city on a bright summer day, don’t underestimate the charm of stepping into one of the amazing bars, restaurants or museums while the snow piles up on the cobbled streets outside. In warmer seasons, you can also take a ferry away from the Old Port and discover more of what the region has to offer, but a trip to the historic district is always a great place to start. Don’t forget to hit the Chateau Frontenac, the Musee Des Beaux Artes, and the other major attractions of Quebec City. What are your favorite lesser-known things to do while visiting here? Comment and let us know.

NEXT: Toronto, Canada: Your Essential Weekend Itinerary