Place-Royale#5 in Best Things To Do in Quebec City
- 3.5Food Scene
To the unknowing eye, this small section in Old Québec may just seem like a pretty place to shop or to grab a cup of coffee. But it is so much more than that: Place-Royale is widely considered to be the birthplace of the French colony and the French-American community. During the 17th and 18th centuries, this area of Old Québec acted as the French colony's center of business and industry, supporting a thriving marketplace and housing many wealthy merchants. While exploring this quaint area, you'll come across several notable tributes to its French Colonial past, including a striking bust of Louis XIV (one of France's most famous kings), the Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America, as well as the Fresque des Québécois, which illustrates 400 years of the city's history. Recent visitors call the area charming and unique and recommend spending time wandering around to take in the sights.
You'll find Place-Royale just north of the Museum of Civilization along Rue Dalhousie. You can visit day or night free of charge, but keep in mind that many of the shops and cafes – as well as the Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires – operate on their own hours. For more information, check out the Québec City Tourism website.
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#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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