Welcome to Quebec City, a historic heritage delight of 400 years old

Every year, millions of tourists are attracted to this city for its rich history, charming 17th-century European architecture, and savory local cuisines.

Now, let’s take a virtual tour to discover why this city was rated the # 1 destination in Canada and # 2 in North America according to Expedia travelers.


A brief history dated back to 16th century 


In 1608, Samuel de Champlain, a French explorer and navigator, reached the site of present Quebec City discovering that two indigenous tribes, the Innu and Algonquins, were the inhabitants of the place. By that time, the Algonquins had named the land Kébec with the meaning “where the river narrows” in reference with the narrowing of the Saint Lawrence River. Champlain established a New French settlement as a permanent trading post and kept the Algonquin name “Quebec” for the place.

Source: Société historique de
Québec – «Le Magasin pittoresque», 1843, p. 288., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Old Quebec – the cradle of French civilization in Canada 


The historic district of Quebec City is known as Old Quebec. There is no other place in Canada that has such a rich history squeezed into one small site like this city. It is the only North American city that have well preserved its defensive works such as ramparts, bastions and gates.

In 1985, Old Quebec was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its historical heritage and the remarkable degree of preservation of the heritage.

Old Quebec has two parts, the Upper Town and the Lower Town. The Upper Town is situated on the Cape Diamond hilltop. The Lower Town is at the foot of the Cape Diamond, below Château Frontenac stretching out to the banks of St. Lawrence River

Credit: Wilfredor, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Upper Town has remained the military and administrative center of both the province and the country for much of its 4-century history.

Top things to do for tourists include taking a guided tour of the most photographed hotel in the world, Château Frontenac; strolling around the fortification and the Plains of Abraham; contemplating the vast landscape of St. Lawrence River and the countryside from Dufferin Terrace; and taking a selfie at the Fontaine de Tourny.

Credit: Wilfredor, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Lower Town was a prosperous trading port in the colonial period. Although falling into a decline from the late 1800s through the 1960s, the town was restored to retain its French sophistication in the 1970s.

Walking around the historic districts of Place Royale, PetitChamplain, and Old Port, tourists would feel like they have traveled back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Small streetside shops sell products and souvenirs made by local artisans. Museums recreate 400 years of Quebec history through thousands of exhibits from the Champlain period. Restaurants treat visitors with local delights mixing indigenous, French, Irish, and British cuisines.

Are you now excited about a vacation in Quebec City? Join an activity you shouldn’t miss: explore the city on an open-top tour bus.

Old Quebec Tour on an open – top bus
Credit: Le Monde en Vidéo, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Old Quebec Virtual Tours

Tourist Guide

Upper Town

Lower Town

Parliament Hill & Plains of Abraham

Inside Quebec City’s Wall

Place Royale

Quartier Petit Champlain

Old Port