Quebec City is one of those magic places that you could easily spend a week visiting. But, if you only have time to spend one day in Quebec City I can assure you that you can still cover a lot of ground. I will highlight a fun filled itinerary from one of my my favorite day trips.
Before I moved out to Portland, Oregon I used to live in Vermont, my home state. I lived north of Burlington, and taking day trips to Montreal as well as Quebec City was very doable.
If you are traveling from farther away you have time to spare, I suggest spending a weekend with one day in Montreal and the other in Quebec City.
If driving up from Vermont or New York, I suggest stopping at some of the wineries (yes Canada has wineries) along the way. I did this a few years ago with my mom and it was so much fun, check out that post titled The Canadian Wine Region Your Missing Out On.
Get the day started off by getting your heart racing with an urban hike around the beautiful Montmorency Falls.
Montmorency Falls is one of the top attractions in Quebec City and should definitely be on your bucket list when visiting.
Located just eight miles from the old part of Quebec City, getting here is just a quick drive from downtown and easy to incorporate into your one day in Quebec City itinerary.
The waterfall is 272 feet tall, that is higher than Niagara Falls which stands at 167 feet.
One of the best ways to explore Montmorency Falls includes hiking on a trail with a loop of nearly 500 steps. You will also get to walk across a suspension bridge that sits directly above the waterfall.
If you complete the entire loop you will get the opportunity to stand at the base of the falls. This is one of the coolest parts. As you stand below and watch the water surge down and flow into the St. Lawerence river you will find that you need to talk a little louder as it is so loud.
The bottom of the waterfall it is also very wet. In the picture below you can see the mist. But if you are visiting on a hot summer day like I was this will be heaven!
The views from the top of the waterfall will have you reaching for your camera because they are breathtaking. You can see the walled portion of old Quebec City as it sits on the St. Lawrence river.
There is a also a gondola cable car and a zip line available for visitors to experience. While I did not do this on my visit I think it would be a fun way to see the falls from a different vantage point.
Lunch In Old Quebec City
I highly recommend having lunch in the old part of Quebec City for the ultimate Quebecois experience!
There are so many cute independent restaurants to choose from in Old Quebec City, but we just happened to stumble upon Cafe de Paris and had the perfect lunch.
Nathan, my mom and I all ordered the same thing. Purred carrot soup and steak frites!
Exploring & Shopping in Old Quebec City
The downtown city center of old Quebec City is one of my favorite places. It is a stone walled city that honestly feels as though you are walking around Paris.
I suggest spending a few hours strolling through the shops, getting an espresso, and enjoying the view of the St. Lawrence river.
Ride the Funiculaire
The Funiculaire de Vieux-Quebec is a fun experience. It has been in operation since 1879 and connects the upper part of old Quebec City to the lower area. For $3.00 each way this can be a pricey mode of transportation but it is a fun experience.
Upper Old Quebec City
Located on the higher ground area of old Quebec City sits one of the most stunning hotels, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Even if you are not staying the night, a walk by this enchanting hotel is highly recommended.
It is listed as a national historic site in Canada. Built back in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this structure has 18 floors and 661 rooms.
Visit the Statue of Samuel de Champlain
Pay homage to the french explorer Samuel de Champlain by visiting the statue located at the top of the funiculaire. Back in 1608 he settled the area that is know today as Quebec City.
This location is a highly pedestrian traffic area where street artists perform and visitors take in the view of the St. Lawrence river below
Final Thoughts On Quebec City
Quebec City is a fantastic city to visit. Honestly I can’t wait to go back. While they do speak french in the provence of Quebec, all citizens speak fairly good english as well. Since Canada has two official languges, french and english, all citizens are taught both.
Bring comfortable shoes. As you can most likely tell from my photos, the old part of Quebec City is a very hilly area. You will not only need comfortable walking shoes for getting around the city, but also for the hike at Montmorency Falls.
I hope you have enjoyed this list of places to visit for spending one day in Quebec City! It truly is a beautiful place. The old part of Quebec City is just as beautiful as the nature of Montmorency Falls.
While you can certainly see a lot in one day in Quebec City, I recommend spending a weekend or more if you have the time.