Looking out across the St Lawrence River from its clifftop location on Cap Diamant, Quebec City’s Upper Town (Haute-Ville) is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Vieux Quebec. Famous for its French and British-built fortifications, many of Upper Town’s perfectly preserved buildings date back to 19th century, and some even go as far back as the 1600s.
The jewel in Upper Town’s crown has to be the iconic Château Frontenac hotel. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway company in 1893 as a way of enticing railway passengers to Quebec City, today the chateau is a National Historic Site of Canada that’s said to be one of the world’s most photographed hotels. If you’re not staying overnight, you can always enjoy a drink at one of hotel bars which look out to the Laurentian Mountains in the distance.
Stuffed with boutiques, restaurants and hotels, Upper Town’s narrow cobblestone streets are where most visitors spend the majority of their time while in Quebec City. Sights of particular interest include the Ursulines Convent and Augustinian Monastery, and parks like the Esplanade and Montmorency. At the base of the Château, the Dufferin Terrace boardwalk is a popular place to catch the sunset.
Perched 200 feet above the St Lawrence River, Lower Town is accessible from Haute-Ville via the nearly 30 staircases that link the two historic districts.