There’s nothing we love more than planning an itinerary, packing a suitcase, purchasing a train ticket, and embarking on a new adventure!

This year, we’re partnering with Canada’s VIA Rail in celebration of their 40th anniversary. As the season change, we’ll introduce you to other vibrant cities and communities across Canada through this #VIARail40 collaboration. You can take the journey with us on our blog and through social media.

Our next stop, Quebec City, is known for its gastronomic offerings and incomparable landscapes — if you’re planning a day trip to this French-Canadian city, we’ve outlined a brief itinerary that will give you a good introduction to this beautiful region.

What to see

Quartier Petit Champlain

Our team was charmed by this collective of long-standing shops, restaurants, and quaint architecture that bordered the city’s waterside. 

Strolling along the flower-basket laden streets gave us the opportunity to appreciate Quebec City in all of its springtime glory, and we were delighted to find that many of the shops belong to local artist cooperatives, so don’t feel bad about picking up a few souvenirs — shopping locally benefits the community. Keep an eye out for bars serving local delicacies, restaurants serving poutine, and shops with some of the city’s finest products.

Château Frontenac

No visit to Quebec City is complete without a trip to Château Frontenac, one of Canada’s finest railway hotels, located across from the Saint Lawrence River. The château is the most photographed hotel in the world, but our familiarity with its beautiful facade made it no less impressive to see in person.

Our team found the scale of the building staggering, but full of visual surprises as you walk around it. If you get a chance to visit, be sure to glance up to view the stunning facade and rooftop — we were glad we all had our cameras in tow!

What to do

Take a Food Tour Through St Roch Quebec

Quebec City is known for its rich array of both French and international foods. Embark on a tour through St. Roch Market with an educated local to explore various gastronomic delights — we did and were surprised by how much we learned. From local cheese artisans that craft an array of unique products from raw milk, to vegan purveyors who are incorporating Quebec City’s most beloved ingredients in new and innovative ways, the food tour was the perfect introduction to — and taste of — Quebec City.

Take the Funicular

After traversing the city on foot, we were happy to sit and let the city’s funicular do the heavy lifting. Linking the Haute-Ville (Upper Town) to Basse-Ville (Lower Town), the funicular provided stunning views. One of our team members pointed out that from this vantage point, the city feels as though it’s staggered on two stories, giving it a rich and textured appearance. The funicular runs at a 45-degree angle, and it climbs a total of 210 feet. Initially opened in 1879, the car was used to climb between the city levels and help Québécois enjoy the view of the city — our team certainly did!  

What to eat

Buffet de l’Antiquaire

When we heard of the offerings at this tiny neighborhood staple, we knew we had to visit. Located on Rue Saint Paul, Buffet de l’Antiquaire is a tiny, cozy space with a big heart — and menu. Whether you’re more interested in hearty, traditional breakfast fare or fresh offerings and produce from the market, Buffet de l’Antiquaire has it all. We congregated on the restaurant’s shady terrace over classic Québécois breakfasts, coffees, bread, and fresh jams.

Café Saint-Malo

Café Saint-Malo has graced Quebec City since the early ‘80s, and its popularity endures today. Named for a fishing village in Brittany, France, the cafe’s two head chefs produce a variety of Quebec’s favorite dishes, often from their own family recipes. Café Saint-Malo is focused on seasonal ingredients and locally sourced products, and you can’t go wrong with anything you happen to order off the menu. Plus, the cafe is a hop, skip, and a jump from the city’s Rue Saint-Paul district, so you can have a leisurely breakfast before setting out to explore the antique district.

Have you ever visited Quebec City? Now’s your chance! The sights, sounds, tastes, and history of this French-influenced city is just a train ride away.