Top 10 Reasons Why Most Cities In The World Are Envious Of Quebec City – St. Lawrence River

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Port of Quebec, Quebec City, Canada

Next to Port of Montreal, Port of Quebec is the 2nd largest seaport of Quebec province here in Canada. This is also an inland port along St. Lawrence River in Quebec City which provides the shortest route by sea between Europe and the Great Lakes. Port of Quebec welcomes at least 1,130 commercial vessels that transship $20 billion worth of goods a year to the center of North America.

Sometime in the 19th century Port of Quebec was one of world’s busiest ports which played a major role in both Quebec City‘s and Canada‘s development. Now at millennial times, this port is connected with more than 300 seaports throughout the world specifically with those in Asia, Europe, South America and Australia.

An Overview of Quebec City:

The oldest town in Quebec province, it was discovered by French explorer Samuel de Champlain in 1608 and thereafter fur traders and missionaries arrived to establish a colony. However the British were persistent to displace the French and although the colonists of Nouveau France built forts to protect their city, UK‘s naval supremacy defeated them in 1759. British soldiers subdued the French in a combat at a narrow cow path known later as the Battle of the Plains of Abraham which ended the rule of New France and the start of British Canada.

British rule was a boom for the city of Quebec especially in fishing, fur trading, ship building and timber industries. The constitution of 1791 established it as the capital of Lower Canada until 1840 when it went to Montreal, then in 1867 when the country was created under the Act of Confederation, Quebec City has been named as the capital of Quebec province. These days, this metropolis is known for its illustrious history, impressive beauty, amazing food scene and its friendly locals that are often mentioned in the “top” lists of travel magazines all over the world.

Map showing the location of Quebec City.

Today I’ve decided to reveal everything and share with you the secrets of Quebec City which I’ve discovered on October, 2001 aboard the M/T Knock An. This is a kind of place where it’s not about what you see but it’s on how the attractions make you feel. They delight and amaze you as you admire the city’s impressive heritage – its cobblestone streets and other landmarks that have stood the test of time, the top reasons why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec City.

1. Its Basse-Ville (Lower Town) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Basse-Ville, a.k.a. Lower Town is Quebec City‘s oldest part which contains the biggest concentration of historic buildings and major sights, a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of it. Highly recommended for every first-time visitor, Basse-Ville is the original quarter founded along the banks of St. Lawrence River and where Samuel de Champlain established a successful fur business in 1608. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Lower Town and it will make you feel like being transported back to Medieval Europe.

2. Haute-Ville or Upper Town offers impressive views to St. Lawrence River and beyond.

Perched on a hill overlooking St. Lawrence River that give an amazing view to the countryside, Haute-Ville or the Upper Town is another top reason why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec City. When Samuel de Champlain built a fort at this area 400 years ago, it was just a desolate cape, today this neighborhood which is surrounded by ancient walls is a site to behold where picturesque homes and other historic buildings with steep streets are concentrated, accessible only by staircases or the furnicular.

3. Quartier Petit Champlain is the oldest shopping district in North America.

Quartier Petit Champlain with a view to the Upper Town via the furnicular.

You know, as a shopper you can’t really resists Quebec‘s affection to history as Quartier Petit Champlain is the oldest shopping area in North America, a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of this city. In this part shops and cafes brim out from heritage homes, in fact one of the buildings once belonged to Louis Jolliet, the French-Canadian explorer who discovered the Mississippi River. And while you’re at Quartier Petit Champlain don’t forget to walk up the famous Escaliar Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps) or ride in the furnicular for an unforgettable experience of Old Quebec.

The Escalier Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps) connecting Lower Town to Upper Town from Quartier Petit Champlian in Old Quebec.

4. Parc des Champs-de-Bataille (Plains of Abraham) had locked the fate of Canada.

Canada‘s foremost national historical park, Plains of Abraham was the site of a combat between British and French soldiers. On September 13, 1759 British forces climbed the steep cliff of this former cow meadow and defeated the French soldiers in a surprise attack, ending French control in a matter of 30 minutes and the start of British rule in Canada the following year. These days, the Plains of Abraham is famous as the venue of most of Quebec’s cultural events as well as an ideal spot for a leisurely walk, bask under the sun or just sit and relax..a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of this city.

5. Experience miraculous healing at Basilique du Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre.

Exquisitely designed like a jewel with Gothic stained glass, St. Anne’s Basilica (Basilique du Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre) is well known for its healing powers especially with the disabled. Located on the outskirts of the city, it is believed that sometime in 1888, as 3 worshipers passed by the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, they claimed to have witnessed the eyes of the Virgin opened suddenly. Since then, millions of pilgrims came to visit this Church to worship and experience healing, so make it a point to stop by Saint Anne’s Basilica and admire its breathtaking interior as well, a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec.

The image of Saint Anne(mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary) inside Basilique du Sainte-Annde-de-Beaupre.

6. Snap a selfie at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, the most photographed hotel in the world.

A part of Old Quebec’s Lower Town with Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac directly above it.

Be one of the other travelers taking their selfies with the grand Chateau Frontenac as background, the most pictured hotel on the planet and a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec City. Sitting high on top of Cap Diamant (Cape Diamond), this is arguably the best icon of Quebec‘s history and architecture which earned its title as National Historic Site of Canada in 1985. Built to encourage travel during the era of railway boom in Canada to serve as a luxury accommodation for affluent tourists in that period, Frontenac has evolved today as one of the world’s prominent hotel destination of the international jet set with the likes of HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Paul McCartney, Leonardo di Caprio, Angelina Jolie..among others. As much as a lodging as it is a tourist attraction, you can visit this imposing hotel via a guided tour where you can admire artifacts in glass cases displayed at the lobby.

7. Visit Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) in winter, the only one of its kind in North America.

One of the rooms in Quebec‘s Ice Hotel.

Imagine yourself waking up one winter morning with snowflakes floating gently into your hotel room from a hole at the ceiling…cool isn’t it? Well, if you want this unique experience, then Hotel de Glace is the place to be, an ice hotel, the only one of its kind in North America and a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec City. Located in Valcatier which is a 20-minute ride from the city, Hotel de Glace is a glittering masterpiece of snow and ice complete with ice beds, an ice bar, ice sculptures and even an ice chapel as well. Open from January to April, Ice Hotel is indeed a winter wonderland to experience that should be added to your bucket list.

8. Explore Montmorency Falls.

One of the most striking wonders of Quebec City, no doubt about it – Montmorency Falls, stretching upward at 84 meters and 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls, a top reason why most cities are envious of it. Just 15 minutes away from the city center, this natural attraction is also a good site to challenge your adrenaline because aside of having a quiet walk in the area you can also hitch a ride up to its summit via a cable car or cross the full width of Montmorency on a suspension bridge the water thundering below your feet.

9. Indulge with poutine or tourtiere, some of Quebec’s iconic foods.


And since Quebec was a former French settlement and ruled by France until 1763, they had a lasting influence on the city’s culture and cuisine. Don’t forget to try its signature foods like poutine and tourtiere, top reasons why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec City. Poutine is a pile of French fries with a gravy and lots of cheese curds while tourtiere is a meat pie, Quebec style.

10. And of course, don’t forget to discover Tim Hortons.

Canada‘s version of Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks combined and a top reason why most cities in the world are envious of Quebec. This 50-year-old coffee plus doughnuts chain maybe an international business now but it remains very Canadian by heart. Indeed Tim Horton, one of Canada‘s famous hockey players who founded this coffee and pastry chain in 1970 is a proud symbol of the country and its values. If you’re in Quebec for a visit and not going into Tim Hortons, then something is really wrong with you since their hot chocolate, Nutella croissant, double-double or Boston cream are hard to resist.

These are the attractions of Quebec City where the feeling of being there is more powerful than what the eyes see. An underrated city in Canada where you will certainly fall head over heels in love with its charm just what it has done to me, a great stress reliever.

Reference: Wikipedia