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How to Spend a Romantic Weekend in Québec City

For a short, romantic getaway, Québec City is considered one of the most romantic cities in North America. The winding cobblestone streets, classic New France architecture, and overall charming ambience have a tendency to bring out the amorous side in visitors. But nothing seems forced about it—instead, it carries its romantic status quite naturally.

plaza with shops and people milling about
Place Royale, known as the birthplace of Canada. Photo © Andrea Bennett.

Day 1

Check into your suite at the plush Auberge Saint-Antoine and then go exploring along the cobblestone streets of Quartier du Petit-Champlain. Stop for a coffee or a cool drink on the corner terrace of Lapin Sauté and be charmed by the traditional music of street performers. Head to Place Royale and check out the small but beautiful chapel in Église Notre-Dame-des-Victoires.

Browse antiques and galleries on rue St-Pierre and rue St-Paul. Stroll among the boats and quays of the Vieux-Port, then head to Quai Chouinard and board the Croisières AML boat Louis Jolliet for one of their many cruises—ranging from a 1.5-hour sightseeing cruise to a four-hour, five-course meal cruise featuring fireworks.

From the river, enjoy views of Chute Montmorency, Île d’Orléans, and the city, perched on Cap Diamant. If you didn’t opt for a dinner cruise, toast to your good health with some bubbles at the on-board bar.

a couple walking along a boardwalk with an historic hotel in the background
The Terrasse Dufferin, with great views of Fairmont Château Frontenac, Lower Town and the river. Photo © Andrea Bennett.

Day 2

Breakfast at Chez Muffy and then take the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec to Terrasse Dufferin. Snap the requisite shots of Château Frontenac before taking the stairs at the far end to the Parc des Plaines d’Abraham. Stroll through the park to the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec. After browsing the largest existing collection of Québec art, pick up some gourmet treats at Les Halles Cartier, then grab a cab to Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge. Picnic overlooking the St. Lawrence River, then wander the grounds, and don’t miss the arboretum close to the shore.

Hail a cab back to Upper Town and shop the independent boutiques along rue St-Jean. Freshen up back at the hotel and cab it to your reservation in the glass dining room at Le Saint-Amour. After dinner, take a moonlight walk through the streets of Upper Town, stopping to admire the view at the Parc du Cavalier-du-Moulin. Then grab a cozy nook at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac’s 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar for a nightcap.

ambiant lighting overhangs a bar with stools
The 1608, located at the Fairmont Château Frontenac, is ideal for date night. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Château Frontenac.

Day 3

Rise early and drive to the base of the Chute Montmorency, about 20 minutes outside of Québec City, where you’ll board the Train de Charlevoix for a leisurely trip upriver. Take in the stunning views of the Charlevoix region and the St. Lawrence from this luxury locomotive. Disembark at Baie-Saint-Paul, check out the modern and ecofriendly hotel Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa before exploring the town’s cultural heritage at the many galleries and artisanal shops. If all that walking makes you thirsty, grab a local microbrew at Le Saint-Pub.

Hop back on the train, heading 40 minutes farther north to the majestic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu in La Malbaie for an overnight stay. Located on the banks of the river, it’s one of the prettiest spots in the region and a perfect place to kick back for the night. When you’re settled in your room, relax next to the outdoor pool and get a massage at the in-house spa.

In the evening have dinner at Vices Versa, and get a taste of the local cuisine.

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