In July, my wife Sherry and I travelled to Québec City for the second part of our Canadian honeymoon vacation. We had previously visited Montréal in December 2018 and we loved La belle province so much we had to come back in the summer to experience one of the oldest and most romantic cities in Canada.
We arrived at Jean Lesage International Airport on a Sunday after eight hours in travel – which included a stopover in Toronto – and promptly made our way to the Hotel Le Clos Saint-Louis, situated inside the historic walls of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Billed as a romantic hotel for couples, this intimate hotel has the look and feel of a 19th century Victorian house, blending both British and French decorative styles. We stayed in the Maid’s Room on the fourth floor; it was a cozy room with a comfortable bed and historical ornaments. As a hotel maintaining its historical look, it had no elevators – we definitely got a workout walking up and down a winding, circular staircase every day during our stay!
Québec City is definitely a city which values its cultural and historical role and influence on Canadian and international affairs. The city served as the capital of New France, the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, a fortress defending against America during the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. It was also a venue for important conferences such as planning out Canadian Confederation and coordinating World War II operations. Its streets are lined with statues from French, Canadian and Québécois history, from explorers Samuel de Champlain and Jacques Cartier to the Québec soldiers fighting in wars abroad.
Compared to Montréal and Seoul, Québec City is a much smaller city, with many of its attractions in or within walking distance from Old Québec. We spent time in different parts of the city, each of which had its own unique, romantic charm. We browsed the local crafts at the artisan markets in the Lower Town, checked out the historic buildings of the Upper Town, walked along the waterfront in Lévis, strolled the laid-back area of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, ate delicious food in the trendy district of Saint-Roch, and drove a rental car up to the idyllic Île d’Orléans. We also visited many landmarks around the city: touring the residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle, strolling the historical Plains of Abraham, critiquing art at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and viewing the city from the Observatoire de la Capitale, the city’s tallest skyscraper.
Unlike our previous outings this past year, we resolved to take it easy during our visit, free from transiting between stations on a subway or travelling long distances from one attraction to another. Early on in our trip, we promptly got ourselves a couples’ massage and enjoyed afternoon tea at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, one of the world’s most photographed and iconic hotels! We also resolved to go to a mix of both touristy and local-only restaurants and bars. Old Québec had no shortage of fantastic restaurants, such as Le Continental, L’Omelette and Tournebroche. In Saint-Roch, we lucked out when we visited the Maelstrøm – the bartender there gave us a list of great places we had to visit, such as Sardines, La Buvette Scott and MacFly Bar Arcade. All these venues provided memorable moments and amazing food during our honeymoon!
Québec City is both the cradle of French civilization in Canada and one of our best and relaxing vacation destinations. For the last leg of our honeymoon, we couldn’t have asked for a more romantic and intimate setting. Québec City felt like a world away from the hustle and bustle back home where we could enjoy each other’s company over delicious food, beautiful surroundings and charming locals.