Turning 25 in Old Quebec City (travel guide)

I haven't gone on many trips with just my mom. Turning 25 a few years ago I saw a chance to do just that. We wanted to go somewhere drive-able so we packed the car and drove the 8.5 hours to Quebec City in Quebec. A city teeming with history and European architecture it was the best way to spend my birthday! I want to share some of my photography and highlights from the trip.

What I used:

Most of these photos were taken on my film Canon AE1. I also brought my Moment tele lens attachment for my iPhone. 

Our guidebook to prep and lead us around the city was the Fodor's Travel guide to Montreal & Quebec City. 

What we did:

We had 5 days (Mon-Fri) and spent 2 of those days driving. My birthday was on the Tuesday so that gave us Tues-Thurs to explore the Old City. We found it plenty of time and managed to see everything we wanted to (and more!). It's a small area but packed with a lot to see and do. 

Day 1: Toured the Lower City including the stops and stores, Place Royale (one of my favourite places), and the Musee de la Civilisation. 

Day 2: Toured La Citadelle (an active military base and saw the changing of the guards), and the Plains of Abraham (the museum and did the bus tour). We also walked the Parc Jeanne d'Arc and (briefly) toured the Tours Martello. We were starving and ended up leaving the Old City upon recommendation to seek out Chocolat Favoris - the best chocolate store we've ever seen! In the evening we watched the Firework show that was being run that year.

Day 3: Toured the Upper City focusing on the spiritual and Christian sites. Highlights were seeing the Musee des Ursulines (seeing how the Ursuline nuns lived) and the Basilique Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Quebec (I went in the crypt as well). 

Where we stayed: 

Hotel Jardin du Gouverneur.  I LOVED our hotel. For the price and location and what it offered it was absolutely perfect. It was right behind the Chateau Frontenac and was on the corner of the park. So peaceful and relaxing. In the heart of the city but felt quiet and peaceful. For my mom and I it was an ideal match for space and price. They served breakfast each morning and the staff were incredibly kind.  

These photos are shared in categories and are a mix of locations. 

Walking the city:

Although I did some research before we went, I didn't expect the amount of walking we would do. The Old city is actually pretty small in space but because it's situated on a cliff, there's so much walking up and down hills. I'm grateful to have packed comfy shoes because we got a LOT of steps in each day. 

Just walking around the streets I fell in love with the cafes, the store fronts, and the European architecture. My mom kept teasing me about taking so many photos of doors and windows - but the window boxes were incredible. I mean, why not? 

The Citadel and Plains of Abraham: 

I love history and of course wanted to see everything. Some things were absolutely worth seeing and others I could have skipped. Because Quebec City is the only forted city in North America and is still an active military base (and such a hotspot for Canadian history), the Citadel was an incredible place to see. It's just a beautiful place with incredible views. 

Churches and Religious Sites: 

My mom was less interested in touring these places so I ended up seeing them mostly on my own but that was okay. Even though much of the faith history in Old Quebec is Catholic, it was really interesting to hear and learn about the Ursuline nuns shipped from France, and see the church architecture.  I learned at lot! And it was a nice break from seeing tourist shops.

Le Chateau Frontenac and Terrasse Dufferin: 

Loving routine, everyday afternoon we walked on the Terrasse Dufferin, grabbed Starbucks and walked the street performers in front of the Chateau Frontenac. My mom didn't understand the allure of them but I hadn't seen them before. Standing on the boardwalk I loved seeing the mountains in the distance. I climbed the hill beside the Citadel to get a better view of the city and the Frontenac - it was so worth it.