One of North America’s oldest settlements, Quebec City retains its old-world flavor with historical buildings, stone ramparts, and cobbled streets. Because of its manageable size—the UNESCO World Heritage–listed area of Old Quebec is easily walkable—it is possible to see loads in just one day. Here’s how to maximize 24 hours in Quebec City.
Start with a walking tour of Old Quebec to learn about the history of New France, seeing key sights such as Place Royale, the Fortifications of Quebec, and the Citadel of Quebec (La Citadelle de Québec). Old Quebec is hilly, so if you want to save your leg muscles, try a sightseeing bus tour, a hop-on hop-off bus tour, or an e-bike tour instead.
While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Château Frontenac. With its copper turrets, spires, and towers, this hotel is an architectural triumph. You can explore the interior during a guided tour.
Make the short journey outside of town to one of the natural highlights of the Quebec City region: the 272-foot-high (83-meter) Montmorency Falls. Ride the cable car to the top of the cascade, walk over the suspension bridge, or zipline over the rushing water. Guided bus tours will get you from Quebec City to Montmorency Falls in just 15 to 20 minutes, and may include commentary from a guide. For another perspective on the falls, soar over them—as well as Old Quebec, the St. Lawrence River, and Orleans Island (Île d’Orléans)—by helicopter.
Seeing as you have only one night in Quebec City, make it memorable. That might mean an evening cruise along the St. Lawrence River, soaking up views of Quebec City, Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant), and the Laurentian Mountains while enjoying a sit-down dinner.
If you’d prefer to stay on dry land, opt for a gourmet food tour, which will introduce you to a handful or so of Quebec City’s best restaurants in one evening. And if you’ve still got energy to burn, join a guided pub crawl: hop from bar to bar enjoying free and discounted drinks deals with fellow crawlers.