Splendid view of Old Québec, Québec City

Splendid view of Old Québec, Québec City.

Photograph courtesy Québec City Tourism.

Québec City

Just imagine the setting: a fortified city, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure, centuries-old ramparts, a majestic river, an iconic chateau that dominates Cap Diamant, cobblestones steeped in history and a way of life that is quintessentially French.

Every neighborhood is a revelation: the old-style grocery stores, vintage fashion boutiques, and lively bistros in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste district; the trendy eateries and nightclubs along Grande Allée street; the cobblestones of the Petit-Champlain neighborhood; a stroll along the wharves of the Old Port; the historic streets of Old Québec at cocktail hour; and the cultural offerings in its hip new neighborhoods. Québec City becomes the destination, the beginning of a journey into the heart of romance, rooted in the past but resolutely forward-looking.

Québec City is all this and more! On every corner, you can sip an espresso and enjoy a hot croissant. Every terrasse is a temptation to stop for a bite to eat. And there are outstanding restaurants—some with established chefs, others with young up-and-comers—that serve up delectable fare with boreal flavors and accents of France.

Québec City is all about celebration. Music abounds. At Summer time, the streets and public squares teem with festivities, as people flock to the Festival d’été de Québec (July 3 to 13, 2014) and the Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France (August 6 to 10, 2014). In winter, it’s only natural to take full advantage of the northern climate and go play outside.

Just minutes from downtown, the mountains beckon. Nature overflows with delights for outdoors enthusiasts, from hiking and climbing to whitewater rafting and kayaking on the St. Lawrence River. Everywhere you go, there’s that little je ne sais quoi that makes Québec City a unique, must-see destination.

Québec City is all this: European charm, the accents of our ancestors and our boundless, inimitable joie de vivre. Québec City: so Europe, so close! soeuropesoclose.com