The Citadel (La Citadelle)

#6 in Best Things To Do in Quebec City
The Citadel (La Citadelle) picture1 of 3
The Citadel (La Citadelle)2 of 3
© MTOQ/Olivier Lavigne-Ortiz

Key Info

1 Côte De la Citadelle

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.4

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

Québec City's Citadel (La Citadelle, in French) is the largest British-built fortress in North America; it took 30 years to construct. This military site has been active since 1850 when it housed British troops and the Canadian artillery. Today, the Citadel is occupied by the only Francophone infantry contingent of the Regular Canadian Armed Forces – the Royal 22e Régiment – who have called this structure home since 1920.

You can learn more about the Canadian Armed Forces at the on-site museum, which contains a notable collection of military artifacts. And if you visit around 10 a.m. between the end of June and the first Monday of September, you can witness the traditional Changing of the Guard ceremony.

Although this Canadian National Historic Site still functions as a military base, tourists are welcome to participate in guided tours hosted by soldiers in the Royal 22e Régiment. And while it's not cheap, recent visitors said the experience of touring the grounds is worth the ticket price. Admission costs CA$16 for adults (roughly $12.70) and CA$6 for children 17 and younger (about $4.75); entry includes a guided tour, museum entrance and access to the traditional ceremonies.

You'll find the Citadel sandwiched between the southern end of Old Québec near Battlefields Park. The site is open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. May through October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. between November and April. Visit the Citadel website for more information.

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Old Québec (Vieux-Québec)1 of 14
Battlefields Park (Parc des Champs-de-Bataille)2 of 14
Type
Time to Spend
#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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