Québec City has to be one of the prettiest (if not the prettiest) cities in all of Canada. Located on the Saint Lawrence River, the capital city of the province of Québec is one of the oldest European cities in North America. With cobblestone streets intricately weaving throughout the historic quarter of Old Québec, beautifully lining colourful restaurants and shops filled with Canadian artwork and traditional goods, it’s no wonder the place is a magnet for photographers and visitors alike.
Between the historic district, iconic sites of the city, and the Laurentian Mountains across the Saint Lawrence River, there exist all the components for an Insta-worthy capture. So, without further ado, here are your top 10 places to photograph when visiting this magical Canadian destination:
1. La Citadelle de Québec
Let’s start with the location which will provide you the best view of the city from above. The Citadel is a short hike up from Terrasse Dufferin and provides breathtaking views of the Saint Lawrence River, Laurentian Mountains, and the city’s most iconic landmark, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
2. Terrasse Dufferin / Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
Terrasse Dufferin is a wide and beautiful terrace that wraps around the historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac which provides picturesque views from every angle. You simply can’t go wrong.
3. Place d’Armes Square
This charming square which was once known as the ‘Grand Square’ under the French regime, was previously used as a prime location for military parades and public speeches. Now, however, you will commonly find buskers sharing their talents and visitors taking in the beautiful views and architecture.
4. Québec Parliament Building and the Fontaine de Tourny
Located on Québec City’s Parliament Hill, you’ll find the city’s parliament building and Fontaine de Tourny. The fountain itself actually spent over a century in France before making the move to Québec City. Originally created by French sculptor Mathurin Moreau, the Fontaine de Tourny received a gold medal at the 1855 Paris World’s Fair. No wonder the details of sculpted faces, figures, and jets draw such attention!
5. Rue St. Louis
One of the most photogenic streets in the city, Rue St Louis takes you from the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac all the way to Porte Saint-Louis, a historic gate through the original wall of Québec City. Enjoy the beautiful architecture, vibrant restaurants, and maybe you’ll even be lucky enough to witness a horse and carriage trotting down the quarters!
Fun Fact: Did you know that Québec City is the only walled city in North America?
6. Place Royale
There’s a reason Place Royale is reminiscent of France. This is because it was actually the birthplace of French civilization in North America. It was here that in 1608, Samuel de Champlain chose to fortify “abitation” which was New France’s first permanent settlement. Wander through the shops and admire local artisans and Canadian-made goods, including those nostalgic of the fur trade. You may even see characters in period costumes throughout the square.
The Old Québec Funicular (Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec) is a funicular railway covering a total distance of 210 ft. The railway provides transportation from Haute-Ville (Upper Town) to the Basse-Ville (Lower Town). The ride will cost you $3.50CAD each way, but it provides some pretty spectacular views from above including those of the colonial-era Notre Dame des Victoires church, the historic Petit Champlain district, and the Museum of Civilization.
8. Quartier Petit Champlain
My favourite area of the city, Quartier Petit Champlain is a commercial shopping district in the Lower Town of Québec City. It is claimed to be the oldest commercial district in North America. With small, cobblestone streets lined with twinkle lights, greenery, and boutique shops and restaurants, it’s a great place to grab some traditional food like a crêpe or poutine and people watch! This site is an absolute must-see in Québec City.
9. Rue du Cul-de-Sac
A small street tucked between period houses, this quaint area of the Petit Champlain District currently has a colourful installation that will be around until October (2019). This is yet another wonderful locale to enjoy bistros, bars, and boutiques!
10. View from Rue du Marché-Champlain
This street in the Lower Town of Québec City is located by the St. Lawrence River harbour. With an incredible view of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, colourful and historic housing, and the streets of Québec City, you’re sure to capture a postcard-worthy memory (and shot for the ‘gram).
And there we have it — my top 10 Instagram spots in Québec City! I truly found this city to be one of the most beautiful I’ve been to in all of North America and already cannot wait to plan my return visit to experience the city in a different season. With every corner of the Old City uncovering beauty, history, and culture, I hope your visit leaves you with as many amazing memories (and photographs) as it did for me!
Have you ever been to Québec City? Where were your favourite locations to explore and photograph?
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read Top Things to do in Québec City at Christmas Time | Complete Travel Guide.
Until next time,