My original plan was to take a day trip to New York as it is only over an hour plane ride from Montreal. However, because of the snow season, I decided to stay in Canada in fear of getting stranded in New York- and I am very glad I did. My friend Claire wanted to take me to Quebec City because she knew I would love it there, so we went there for a day trip instead. It was a pleasant 3 hours drive from Montreal. The weather was good albeit very cold. It was -18 degrees when we arrived in Quebec City but the cold didn't bother me as I was excited to explore the city I knew so little about.
Our first destination was Parc de la Chute-Montmorency because they wanted to show me the famous waterfall in Quebec City. Little did they know that I am scared of heights. It all went fine, but I definitely refused to cross the suspension bridge. The waterfall was unfortunately half-frozen, but still beautiful. The surrounding views didn't disappoint either.
Then we drove straight to Old Quebec City. The narrow cobblestone street of Quartier Petit Champlain transported me back to Europe in an instant. The little cafes, restaurants and shops adorned with Christmas ornaments, and the colourful doors and windows were so picturesque- I could seriously walk up and down there all day. For a second, I forgot I was still in Canada. It was also a good thing that I visited in the winter as there were not many tourists. Apparently, it can get very busy over there in spring and summer. Saying this, it would also be nice to experience Old Quebec during these times of the year.
Of course I have heard of Quebec City before, however, I didn't know much about it. Then I came across an instagram post by a famous celebrity in the Philippines- Anne Curtis, who is an avid fan of the Korean Fantasy Drama, Goblin. She posted filming locations of the famous K-drama, which happened to be in Quebec City. Although I have never heard of Goblin before, I was inspired to haunt the famous locations just for the sake of it, as I was in Quebec City anyway. It turned out that two of the filming locations are actually tourist destinations, so I wouldn't have missed it either way. As expected, there were people, mostly Asians queueing up to take a photo of the famous red door in Quartier Petit Champlain. I was lucky I got there first, so I had the door to myself. :)
Another place to visit in Old Quebec City is the majestic Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, which apparently became a National Historic Site in 1981. The chateau was also apparently featured in Goblin.
The Old Town in Quebec City is not as big as I thought, however it has so many charming places to explore, like the very pretty Place Royale. I could really feel the Christmas spirit when I was there, with the big Christmas tree in the square and the loud Christmas Carol playing in the background. It was such a pleasant experience walking through the snow covered cobblestone street. Also, there is a huge 20 year-old mural near Palace Royale in Cote de la Montagne that is a must-see.
Where we ate:
Le Lapin Saute - 52 Rue du Petit Champlain, Quebec City
- It was a safe choice if I were to be honest. We read reviews of a few restaurants in Petit Champlain, but Lapin Saute had the most credible reviews in our opinion, so we opted for it. Despite being located in a touristy area, this restaurant is very far from a trap. The interior is quite quirky but cosy. The waiter was very accommodating and friendly. The service was quick and seamless. I loved the fact that the restaurant was almost empty when we went in. It was a lot busier when we left. The food didn't disappoint either. I wanted to try a proper rabbit dish (plenty on the menu), but I ended up having the Quebec Discoveries ($26) instead. The platter was a combination of smoked duck breast, smoked salmon, rabbit rillettes, cheese, olives and pickled vegetables.
My trip to Quebec City was indeed a worthy three-hour drive. I was very happy to be there and I really enjoyed the company of my friend Claire and my new found friend AJ. I am very thankful for these two because if it weren't for them, I wouldn't have experienced the beauty of Quebec City.