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Few visitors to Québec City leave without being overwhelmed by its stunning old town and distinctly French charm. This extremely tourist friendly city has deservedly earned itself a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Haute Ville - the Upper Town, is dominated by the enchanting fortifications of La Citadelle , started in 1750 by the French and finished by the English. Among the ancient buildings and streets is the military museum. Stretching southwest of the fort is the enormous Parc des Champs de Bataille (Battlefields Park), providing an easily accessible respite from the city. The highly recommended Musée du Québec, is also located here. Other attractions in the precinct include; the Musée des Augustines, 200 year old Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and Le Château Frontenac &endash; a glorious landmark hotel with a stately medieval tower. Nearby Terrasse Dufferin, is a popular cliff-top esplanade.
A series of famously steep and winding streets connect the area with the Lower Town (Basse Ville). The Centre of this old suburb is the 400-year-old Place Royale, swamped with tourists and packed with pricey tourist shops. The 350-year old Église Notre Dame des Victoires (church) is also remarkable, but simply wandering the narrow streets of the lower town is treat.
The Old Port (Vieux Port) has been transformed into a trendy new development of exclusive apartments, mini malls and recreational/entertainment facilities. The City's famed Musée de la Civilisation, dominates the area. Some of the old character has remained in the form of antique shops along the charming Rue St Paul.
To escape the tourist bustle try wandering among the enchanting St Jean Baptiste and St Roch districts, which retain their ‘old world’ character with terraced houses. There are also good entertainment options along the Grande Allée.
Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport receives flights from many US cities, a number of Caribbean airports and limited European centers. It’s located 10kms southwest of the city and has regular bus and shuttle rides into the CBD.
Québec City is surprisingly ill-equipped with land travel options to the US, but has Canadian VIA trains leaving from the renovated Gare du Palais, heading mostly for Montreal and Toronto, or to the east coast.
The bus trip between Québec City and Montreal takes three hours after which you have to connect if you wish to go anywhere further than Toronto. The Québec City bus terminal is on Rue Abraham Martin, in the section of Lower Town to the west of the Old Port. There are plenty of local departures and services to the east coast, though distances are large and this option can be somewhat uncomfortable.
Navigating the roads in the city are somewhat tricky, on account of the topography, layout and river, but once out of the CBD, good highways spirit you away to Montreal and other southern cities, as well as the east coast. The network is well developed, safe and free of congestion.