Quebec City Travel Guide
Quebec City © Rennett Stowe
Small cafés and cosy restaurants, charming boutiques, lively terraces, elegant squares, theatres and museums, street buskers and mimes all contribute to the charm and ambience of historic Old Quebec, the cradle of French civilisation in North America and still notably European in spirit. Perched on top of Cap Diamant, overlooking the St Lawrence River, Quebec City was first settled by the French in 1608, named for a native Algonquin word meaning 'where the river narrows'. The ambience, lively spirit, high safety rating, and a comfortable blend of past and present make this provincial capital city worthy of its status as one of the top cultural destinations in the world.
Despite having been ceded to the British in 1759, the city's population of more than half a million are today 95 percent French-speaking, lending a definite 'joie de vivre' and French elegance to the atmosphere. About four million visitors are drawn to Quebec City each year, to savour this unique charm, the famed Quebec gourmet scene, and the beauty of the historic Old City where winding cobbled streets are lined with 17th and 18th-century stone houses and churches, bewitching parks, elegant squares, and numerous monuments. The city is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List and is one of the only fortified cities in the Americas.