Sometimes you have to see a city in a rush. Whether it’s because you have a connecting flight or are only visiting between road trip destinations, it’s something that everyone will experience. On this occasion, I was visiting the amazing Quebec City on a cruise and only had a limited amount of time to see everything.
Of course, anyone that wants to see a city in a day would simply get a bus tour. They’re quick, easy and not too expensive. But to truly get a feel of a city you have to soak in the atmosphere, which you can’t do on a bus full of tourists. I started my trip in Quebec City on foot and began by visiting the fortifications.
Quebec City is the only fortified city north of Mexico and has almost 3 miles of wall to explore. Having started out as a basic defense against threats from the river around 1690 it grew in size to the wall that stands today. You can’t walk around all of it, but there are a number of areas which are accessible and give a great view of the different cobbled streets.
Despite the wall holding a great history I had only a limited time to spend in Quebec City, and I wasn’t going to ruin it by looking at a wall. No matter how cool it is. My next stop was to see the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Shrine.
Located only a walk away from the city, it’s hailed as North America’s oldest pilgrimage site and still has a large number of visitors each year. It’s easy to see why, this beautiful location hosts some outstanding stained glass windows and valuable works of art. Here is a place to lose yourself and forgot about your worries. Though I couldn’t forget for too long, otherwise I’d be at the shrine all day.
Depending on how you visit the city, a trip across the Saint Lawrence River is one that not many tourists make. While it doesn’t take long, it does give you another great view of the city and during the winter, when the water is frozen, it offers an experience that many cities can’t equal. Having ventured to Quebec City on one of my cruise holidays I chose not to take the trip, but know that if you have time, it’s worth the visit.
After feeling as though I’d rushed around the city without really taking in the general vibe, I slowed down and relaxed. Some people may not agree that this should be on a list of things to do, but there are too many cafes and bars in great destinations to simply forget it.
But sitting back and enjoying a coffee in Quebec City isn’t the fun part, finding the place to drink is. With a European style, this North American city has a different feel to the others and gives you more little walkways and cobbled streets to get lost in. There will be somewhere to relax not far away, so keep walking and before you know it you’ll have found the perfect spot.
As the day draws to a close there will be some of you that are looking for the Quebec City nightlife. And though it can be a fairly quiet place to stay, the Grande-Allee E offers some of the best places to drink in the city. With a wide range of bars, restaurants and clubs to visit, this energetic area of Quebec City is a must for ending your day.
For me, the end of the day came when I ventured back onto a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. But for those of you staying in hotels and other accommodation, the city is amazing at night. The streets hold romance on every corner and is a great place to talk a walk in the evenings, if it isn’t too cold. So no matter how long you spend your time in this glorious city, be sure to experience everything it has to offer and include some time to yourself, because there is nothing quite like relaxing in Quebec City.
This article was written by Matthew Challis, a freelance writer on his Life Experiences blog and an avid cat fan.