Putting together an itinerary for seeing all the best sights this vacation? Perhaps you've got a few hours to kill between business meetings, and want to know the best stuff to see. Either way, our 10Best list should have you covered. While there are always great things to experience, there are typically things you wish you would have passed on as well. Place Royale located in the Vieux Quebec area is among our top picks for sightseeing in Québec City.


Sainte-foy / Sillery

Dating from 1852, the Université Laval was founded by the Seminaire du Québec. After outgrowing its campus, Laval moved to Sainte-Foy in 1949. Today, the 1.2 square kilometer campus offers several beautifully landscaped public areas and 30 pavilions, all linked by a tunnel network that covers more than 20 kilometers. Buildings of note include the neo-Gothic Louis-Jacques Casault Pavilion and the ultra-modern Desjardins/Maurice-Pollack Building, the university's newest addition.

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Experience the culture and heritage of Québec's first residents, the Huron Nation. Visitors can take guided tours through the village and watch as tribal members demonstrate skills that were being practiced long before the days of Champlain. The on-site restaurant, NEK8ARRE, serves traditional Huron food like caribou, mountain trout and deer. Before leaving, make sure you stop by the gallery and souvenir shop to pick up a unique little something for the folks back home.

Read more about Onhoüa Chetek8e (Site traditionnel Huron) →

Françoise de Laval founded the Séminaire de Québec in the 1660s, making it one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in North America. Over the years, the original institution grew and, in 1852, was awarded university status. Guests are invited to join a guided tour and explore the campus's two beautiful chapels, the Olivier Briand Chapel and the Congregational Chapel. The popular Musée de l'Amérique Française, which preserves Québec's French heritage, is located on university grounds.

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Vieux Quebec

Few views in Québec are more breathtaking than that from the Dufferin Terrace, located just east of the Citadelle. From here, you can enjoy spectacular shots of Château Frontenac, the St. Lawrence River and Lower Town. In the warmer months, you'll want to take a stroll down the Promenade des Gouveneurs, which extends all the way to the Plains d'Abraham.

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If you visit Québec during the day-time, you'll be remiss if you don't make your way to the Promenade des Gouveneurs, a breathtaking boardwalk extending down the cliffs from Dufferin Terrasse, past the belvedere overlooking the St. Lawrence River, and on to the Plaines d'Abraham. If it's clear, expect to see the distant Laurentines to the north. If you want to capture that perfect photo of Québec, this may be just the place to take it.

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Sainte-foy / Sillery

Opened in 1919, Pont de Québec was the first bridge to connect the north side of the Saint Lawrence (at Sainte-Foy) with the south (at Charny). It also happens to be the longest cantilever bridge in the world: of its total length of 987 meters, 549 meters (1702 feet) is a single suspended span. During construction, the suspended span collapsed twice, killing over a hundred workers. Originally it carried only rail traffic, but today the bridge has a railway line, three automobile lanes and one pedestrian lane. If you'd like more information, contact the Coalition pour la sauvegarde et la mise en valeur du Pont de Québec at 418-641-6411.

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This eye-catching trompe-l'oeil mural shows the history of the Cap-Blanc neighbourhood starting in the 1700s. In addition to illustrating the courageous individuals who lived here, the mural also depicts some of the more notable disasters that have befallen the area. Posters of the mural and guide books describing the significance of virtually every detail are sold at most of the surrounding shops.

Read more about Fresque du Petit-Champlain →

There are several large-scale murals in Québec, but this is usually considered the finest. In stunning trompe-l'oeil detail, it depicts 15 historically important Québecers and notable buildings over a space of 420 square meters. A nearby sign explains the significance of most of the details.

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Vieux Quebec

Once a town market booming with activity and commerce, Place Royal's activity began to decline in the late 1800s, and by 1950, the area had become rather seedy. In the 1960s, the square was wonderfully restored, as was the historical Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in Québec. An Interpretation Centre is on the square, and many outdoor activities take place here in the summer.

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Vieux Quebec

Interested in 18th century architecture? Stop to view Maillou House, whose foundation dates from 1736. The house is a fine example of a traditional, urban house of the period. A significant feature, the unique, metal shutters flanking the windows, dates back to the days of the British army's occupation. Currently, the Québec Board of Trade and Industry has established residence in this historical structure. The home is not open for tours.

Read more about Maison Mailloux →