Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica#10 in Best Things To Do in Quebec City
Although the church itself has been rebuilt several times, the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica has stood on the same spot in the heart of Old Québec since 1647, making it one of the oldest cathedrals in North America. The exterior may seem a bit dull (especially compared to the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica just northeast of town), but the bold neo-Baroque interior is breathtaking. Notre-Dame de Québec is gilded in shimmering gold leaf, historical religious paintings and treasures that date back to the French-colonial period. And if you don't mind adding a little spook to your visit, tour the crypt. This part of the facility is the resting place of more than 900 people, including archbishops, cardinals and governors.
Many recent travelers recommended visiting Notre-Dame during Mass, while others recommend tagging along on a guided tour of the basilica and the crypt; visitors said that the volunteer tour guides are like fountains of information.
Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica is open every day, although hours may vary depending on the season and the religious services schedule. In general, it is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the summer, it is open every day until 7 p.m.
General admission is free, but admission to the Notre-Dame de Québec Museum costs CA$5 (about $4). To learn more, visit the cathedral's website.
More Best Things To Do in Quebec City
#1 Old Québec (Vieux-Québec)
Clustered around the city's harbor on the banks of the St. Lawrence River are the quaint stone buildings and narrow, winding streets of Old Québec. This historic neighborhood (and UNESCO World Heritage site) houses some of the city's most notable attractions, including the Citadel, the Quartier Petit-Champlain and the Notre-Dame Basilica. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time here: You'll find it difficult to resist popping into one of Old Québec's artisan shops or stopping to warm up with an aromatic cup of coffee at one of the many charming cafes.
Many Québec City visitors cite the neighborhood's atmosphere as the primary draw, with many saying it feels just like being in Europe thanks to its cobblestone streets, stunning architecture and friendly locals.
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