Eat, Sleep, Play: Quebec City

By Erin MacNeil - 00:14

I mentioned in my last Montreal post that I spent my last morning in Montreal reading in a little park. It was a nice time, and I think it put me in the right mindset for my next adventure. At 1:00 that afternoon I was on my very first train ride, and en route to Quebec.

I stayed three nights in a hostel called Auberge de la Paix (its name translates to Peace Hostel - how cute?!).  Let me just say: the location of this hostel is fantastic. It is so close to so many historical areas and Old Quebec, as well as to fantastic restaurants and shops. And, despite its proximity to those tourist-y things, it isn't loud. In fact, the hostel is on a little side street. You take a quick walk down a quiet street onto the main road leading to everything you might want to see. The hostel also felt homey and cozy, you feel like you're in a hostel in the best way possible.

I made an effort in Quebec to eat somewhat properly (something I did not do in Montreal). My first meal in Quebec was fantastic. And! It was at a restaurant literal steps away from Auberge de la Paix! How handy is that? The restaurant is called Chez Temporel. The space is adorable, the food is delicious, the staff was super nice and friendly, and it was just such a great experience. I had a pretty simple meal - a personal-sized Margarita Pizza - but it was so freaking fantastic (which I think says a lot, the simple food does need to be as good as the more complicated meals, after all!).

In keeping with tradition, I also found a place to make me a club sandwich (it was on the menu, I didn't just ask for one out of nowhere). Beclub Bistro Bar is also on a side street, so inside it was a bit quieter than some other restaurants might have been. Their vibe is rustic but also sophisticated, I think. They smoke their own meat, they serve meals on wooden trays, they serve wine... Hipster might, actually, be a good description. My club sandwich was fantastic, truly. And, if it's any indication, a woman came in a little after me and mentioned that she had eaten there another day and just had to eat there again before she left the city.

One of the biggest suggestions I have for activities in Quebec City is to wander about Old Quebec. There are tons of historic and historic-style buildings housing shops, restaurants, cafes, museums... You could spend your whole day in Old Quebec, seriously. It's too cute. One of my favourite parts of Old Quebec was seeing all of the store-front displays. Everything was so decorative and eye-catching, it was impossible to not like them.

Another must-do in Quebec City is to take in the Chateau Frontenac and walk along the Terrasse Dufferin. The Chateau Frontenac is beautiful, and the Terrasse Dufferin provides a beautiful view of Old Quebec and the Saint Lawrence River. Plus, the boardwalk itself is pretty gorgeous - a wide, open space with benches and gazebos. From there you can climb some stairs to the Governor's Promenade which takes you along the perimeter of the Citadel, and connects to the Plains of Abraham. It's a lot of walking, so I'd suggest it on fresh legs, but it really is a beautiful, scenic walk.

Finally, I also really want to suggest going into some shops. There are so many interesting specialty shops in the tourist area. I also found that a lot of the shops were independent (and if they weren't independent they certainly had that vibe). There is a bookstore on Rue Saint-Jean that I really enjoyed - they had a small English language section, and some cute cards and novelty things. Rue Saint-Jean also has a Crocs store, so, you know. Thrills. Seriously, though, if you want a non-traditional souvenir I think you could have a very easy time in Quebec.

I left Quebec seriously wishing I had had more time here. That said, I think I got quite a lot of great things in during my short stay. I would definitely like to some day see more of the modern areas of the city, but the historic area has a strong place in my heart.

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