11 reasons why a trip to Quebec City will cure your European travel itch (PHOTOS)

May 20 2022, 11:23 pm

So you’re pining for a trip to Europe, but don’t want to pay an arm and a leg. Have you considered Quebec City?

Interest in travel to Europe has increased nearly 2,000% since last year according to RATESDOTCA. The UK is at the top of the list of places people want to check out, France is third.

Many travellers romanticize and dream about a trip to Europe. Whether it’s Paris, France, Greece or Italy, there’s something dreamy about heading that way.

But, you can have that romantic, artistic and historic experience right here in Canada.

When Canadians think about travelling to Quebec, Montreal is probably what initially comes to mind. Quebec City is a very different experience.

While both cities offer their own historical significance, there’s something enticingly exotic about Quebec City. It has historic influences from both France and Great Britain. It also helps that the city is bilingual.

Whether it’s the monuments, streets, or cannons left behind from wars of yesteryear, there are parts of Quebec City that feel like you’ve travelled through time. But don’t let that fool you into thinking it isn’t still super modern and hip.

Robyn Elliott

From award-winning restaurants and bars, to best-in-class coffee shops and roasters, to spa experiences you won’t find anywhere else in Canada, there are a plethora of reasons to head to Quebec City.

Direct flights from Vancouver


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The first reason to go is a matter of ultimate convenience.

As of the first week of May, Air Canada is doing direct flights between Vancouver and Quebec City three times a week, and the flight will get you there in under five hours.

You can find roundtrip deals for under $600 if you’re planning on heading out this summer.


If you travel for food, there are a few one-of-a-kind experiences you literally will not and cannot find anywhere else.

Restaurant Tanière³


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A one-of-a-kind experience is exemplified by Restaurant Tanière³.

It’s not just a dining experience, it’s an adventure for your senses.

The journey you take at Tani√®re¬≥ is described as an immersive experience, and it features between 15 and 20 courses. The experience lasts approximately three hours, as you’re taken through different settings, each offering its own ambience, decor and taste.

If you’re heading to Quebec City, this has to be on your list.

Le Don

quebec city

A stunning wall of art at Le Don. (Robyn Elliott)

Plant-based foodies also have a stellar option in Quebec City called Le Don.

The interior is a smorgasbord of colour and design, featuring a mix of a retro diner aesthetic, and a more modern graffiti street art vibe.

The roots of this establishment are also fascinating and the name Le Don actually provides some clues into its history.

Le Don is Quebec City’s first 100% vegan restaurant.

Le Clan

If you’re looking for an evening of blissful indulgence, Le Clan is where you want to make your reservation.

Featuring multi-course meals with exquisite wine pairings, you will feel like you’re floating on a cloud by the time your night at Le Clan is over.


There’s something about the cafe experience in Quebec City that is both whimsical and romantic.

Sure, you’ll find your a Starbucks here, or a Tim Hortons there, but there are some cafes and coffee shops in Quebec City that embody the spirit and vibe of the city perfectly.

Cantook Micro Torréfaction

Cantook is a coffee shop and roaster in Quebec City.

The neighbourhood of their flagship store feels fresh and vibrant, with a very relaxed and care-free atmosphere. We saw people hanging out on the roomy sidewalks, with plenty of space for pedestrians to pass by.

Then there was the coffee. Long story short Cantook knows what they’re doing so don’t miss it.

Café La Maison Smith


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Caf√© La Maison Smith is a chain of coffee shops that are spread throughout Quebec City. It felt sort of like Quebec City’s JJ Bean, except slightly more upscale and chic.

They offer delicious coffee, sweet treats and savoury eats.


Buttery croissants, yummy sandwiches on warm freshly baked bread and sweet pastries.

What more could you want? Oh, potato salad?

Paillard has all of the above and more.

“Bread is who we are,” reads the description on the Paillard website. If you love bread, don’t miss out on Paillard. Just be warned, it can get pretty busy.

Je Me Souviens

Robyn Elliott

Written on Quebec license plates is the phrase Je Me Souviens which translates to I remember.

Quebec’s unique history is a sense of pride for the Quebecois, and Old Quebec celebrates it.

Old Quebec is a part of the city that’s surrounded by architecture that dates all the way back to the 17th century.

If you want to learn about a unique part of Canadian history and how Canada intersected with both France and Great Britain, Quebec City is a great place to do it. The glorious architecture has a distinct European feel.

While you can still find many of the modern touches we mentioned like cafes and coffee shops nearby, walking around Old Quebec will connect you to the past.

Historic architecture


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You don’t have to be religious to appreciate historic architecture, and one thing you’ll notice plenty of in the region are churches unlike anything you’ve seen in BC, some built as far back as the 1600s.

Quebec City

Robyn Elliott

It’s hard not to be in awe of some of the architecture which has done a tremendous job of withstanding the test of time.

Robyn Elliott

Le Grand MarcheŐĀ de QueŐĀbec

Quebec City has its own Granville Island Public Market style destination called Le Grand Marché de Québec, or the New Grand Market.

Here you’ll find your artisan meats, cheeses, delicious coffee and other goodies.

Historic hotels

Robyn Elliott

With all of its rich history, Quebec City has many hotels that have also withstood the test of time.

One of them is the award-winning Auberge Saint-Antoine.

This hotel celebrates Quebec City’s rich history, featuring trinkets and artifacts of the past which they’ve kept in immaculate condition.

Their rooms feature a variety of different views to Quebec landmarks, including one that has a terrace with a breathtaking look at Le Chateau Frontenac, and another that gives you a gorgeous view of the St. Lawrence River.

Strom Spa Nordique


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After an abundance of strolling around the historic streets of Quebec City and sightseeing, your legs could use a break.

Strom Spa Nordique is the best place to do it. Featuring various relaxation rooms, saunas, hot tubs and more, you will find bliss at this particular spa.

They even have a pool in a dark room that emulates the Dead Sea, so you lay on your back, close your eyes and forget all your worries.

There’s a lot more to discover in Quebec City. Whether it’s other cultural attractions, restaurants or bars, this really is just scratching the surface of an awe-inspiring experience.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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