The winding cobbled streets lined with ancient looking patios, where stylish Quebecois sip coffee and play chess with their compatriots, have a distinctly rustic feel by day; by night, the soft amber glow of the gorgeous city lights feel like a scene from a Van Gogh. Quebec City is a delightful slice of the Old World, the heart of French culture on the continent, and the only walled city in America north of Mexico.
The crowds in the summer create a buzzing urban vibe, but the city never loses its composure; the polished proprietors of the many cosy cafes effortlessly maintain a level of laid back, slick sophistication for which many others strive and fail. The food is refined and full of subtle, French flavours and you could be dining in Bordeaux or Paris for all you knew. And because this is Canada, Quebec City manages to do all this and still feel as fresh and invigorating as a mountain breeze.
Where to stay
Auberge Sant-Antoine, housed in a beautiful building in the old city, has a superbly warm and comfortable feel complimenting an award winning customer service team. Château Bonne Entente is slightly further out but no less inviting, with particularly beautiful grounds.
Where to eat
Laurie Raphaël is the place to go for the finest in Canadian cuisine; Initiale is another foodie paradise with a more distinctly French feel to the menu. The Cafe du Monde has a classic Parisian bistro feel but with a far more convivial, Canadian ambience.
What to see
World Heritage Old Quebec, founded in 1608, is a magical slice of Old World charm with more than a hand of the Paris of yore. The 18th century citadel, on the highest point inside the city limits, is another impressive site, with great views from the ramparts too.