Discovery Walk


A self-guided complementary tour!

and Work-in-Progress Project



Would you prefer to go with a tour guide?

Our guides are storytellers providing historical contexts,

connecting the dots between different Old Québec sights

and giving local insights on present-day challenges!

Click here!



Our Itinerary in 5 Maps!










To further explore the historic district on your own!

To provide further information related to our tours,

most of the itinerary not being part of a typical tour.



To put our guests into action from day 1!

Can be done before or after the guided tour(s).



Discover off-the-beaten-path areas where most first-time visitors wouldn’t go.

Visit 3 must-see zones: the Old Port, the Plains of Abraham and

the World Heritage fortified city.



Loop itinerary around the historic district, from lower to upper town.

Starts at Musée de la civilisation / Auberge Saint-Antoine.

Ends at Champlain Monument / Dufferin Terrace.

Starting and ending points are only 5 minutes away.



1.5 to 2 hours with a few quick stops.

2.5 to 3 hours if you take your time, recommended!

Up to 4.5 hours if you include the whole Plains of Abraham Park.



No more than 20 minutes away from starting point at all times.

Add 20 to 30 minutes if ending at the Plains of Abraham Trail!



Québec City is very safe.

Lowest violent crimes among top 20 largest Canadian cities.







Québec 1608 provides a list of 32 landmarks to discover.

Many are located along our Discovery Walk.
Click on bird’s view image below to explore 400 years of

Old Québec’s history, culture and architecture!






It is now time to experience Old Québec

in 5 maps and more than 50 points of interest!



Map 1

Musée de la civilisation / Auberge St-Antoine in Lower Town


Rue McMahon near Hôtel-Dieu Hospital in Upper Town



Note: The words “rue” translates to “street”, and “côte” to “hill”.


1.    Starting Point: Musée de la civilisation / Auberge St-Antoine (ASA)

2.    Cross rue Dalhousie to walk along the covered parking to the St. Lawrence River

3.    Walk along the wharfs to the NAVAL MUSEUM  (Stanislas Déry Museum) (A)


Things to discover…

·     Québec City, an important North American CRUISE SHIP destination.

·     MONUMENT to the memory of the Canadian merchant seamen.

·     CENTENNIAL MURAL on exterior walls of the Naval Museum.


4.    Walk to the PORT OF QUÉBEC OASIS in Bassin Louise Marina – yes! you can swim there! – and turn left to reach rue Quai-St-André (link in French only)

5.    To cross the street safely, reach nearby Dalhousie / Quai-St-André intersection

6.    Walk to rue St-Paul and turn right

7.    Walk to Sault-au-Matelot and turn left behind the fountain (LA VIVRIÈRE)

8.    Take the narrow alley between 77 and 79 rue Sault-au-Matelot (B)


Things to discover…

·     Walk to 67 Sault-au-Matelot and discover HISTORICAL PLAQUES on nearby rue de la Barricade, about the 1775 FAILED AMERICAN INVASION TO CANADA.


9.    Walk to rue Sous-le cap and turn right

10.  Walk to the narrow alley Passage de la Demi-Lune and turn right to front street (see below)


11.  Turn left on rue Saint-Paul and walk to cobblestoned Côte du Colonel-Dambourgès (C)

12.  Turn left and walk uphill to Côte de la Canoterie and turn left


Things to discover…

·     Before going uphill, optionally walk about 200 feet downhill to next street (rue Saint-Thomas) to see the historical plaque on the corner of the building: BENEDICT ARNOLD was wounded here on December 31, 1775!


13.  Walk uphill to rue de la Ménagerie and turn right


Things to discover…

·     Before crossing to rue de la Ménagerie, see the two nearby 32-pounder British cannons. The cannonball weigh is indicated on the cannon base.

·     The 3-foot high wall and bastion were as tall as 20 feet high before the 1871 Treaty of Washington was signed, ending conflicts and resolving all continental issues between the Americans and British Canadians.


14.  Walk to rue Hébert and turn right


Things to discover…

·     Before turning on rue Hébert, look at the last 2 houses on your right: they date from the French period of Canada. Some hand-hewn window frames are definitely not at right angles!


15.  Cross rue Ste-Famille, rue Hébert becomes rue Couillard

16.  Walk on Couillard to rue Hamel and turn right


Things to discover…

·     MAISON BÉTHANIE at 14 rue Couillard was an orphanage operating from the 1850s till the 1970s. In the 1800s, a lot of sailors would meet lovely local girls in the 3rd busiest port in North America, and for a while, the world’s largest timber port…

·     CHEZ TEMPOREL, a nearby bistro at 25 rue Couillard may be a fun stop! Have you ever heard about the Louise Penny’s novel BURY YOUR DEAD? Some action took place here!

·     FRANÇOIS-XAVIER GARNEAU – first Canadian national historian – resided at 14 rue Saint-Flavien. From the 1840s, he undertook the writing of history of Canada from scratch; his work was completed by his grandson Hector.


17.  Walk on Hamel to rue des Remparts and turn left

18.  Walk to 77 rue des Remparts and enter the MONASTÈRE DES AUGUSTINES property (D)


Things to discover…

·     Before entering the Monastère, see the four 24-pounder British cannons within the small bastion on your right.


19.  Go to the main door, walk into the building and go upstairs to reach the back door…


Things to discover…

·     Before going upstairs, do not forget to see what their gift shop and museum offer! The Augustinians settled the first hospital in North America, continuously operating since 1639! Today, Hôtel-Dieu de Québec is a major oncology center in the region.


20.  Exit building through back door and property through gate then turn right on rue Charlevoix

21.  Walk to Côte du Palais and turn right (downhill)

22.  Walk to traffic light and cross to rue McMahon (E)





Map 2

Hôtel-Dieu Hospital  TO  Parlement de Québec




23.              Starting Point: rue McMahon and Côte du Palais intersection (E)

24.              Walk to the Celtic cross (after 12 McMahon) and take the trail into the ARTILLERY PARK behind the cross. In winter, you may want to keep walking on the sidewalk.


Things to discover…

·     You are crossing the historical Irish district. See an interpretive panel on the sidewalk near rue Carleton before the cross. Across the street, see the 1832 Saint-Patrick Irish Catholic church - now part of the oncology center – built the same year cholera hit Québec City the first time killing 12% of its population. The same year, a quarantine island named GROSSE-ÎLE was open in the St. Lawrence River east of Québec Cit. 100 000 Irish immigrants arrived in the Port of Québec in the summer of 1847, at the peak of the Potato famine. Many Irish descendants now live in SHANNON.


25.              Walk by Redoute Dauphine, a whitewashed military barrack built during the Queen Anne’s War (F) then exit the Park through nearby McMahon / D’Auteuil intersection that you cross diagonally

26.              Walk in the next section of Artillery Park, then follow the path between the cannon base warehouse (left, sandstone building) and the WWII arsenal (right, red bricks) (G)


Things to discover…

·     Parks Canada displays in the WWII arsenal a large SCALE MODEL of Old Québec in 1810, shipped to Woolwich Royal Military Academy during the Napoleonic Wars. Back here only since 1981. Maquette Duberger is a unique 3-D historical document!


27.              Walk to rue St-Jean and exit the walled city through Porte St-Jean (St-John Gate)

28.              Walk diagonally through the square (Place d’Youville) between LE CAPITOLE and the PALAIS MONTCALM, the heart of the entertainment district! In winter, you will find a skating ring in the middle of the square (H)

29.              Walk uphill in front of the Marriot Hotel  (850 rue d’Youville), use stairs at the dead-end street to reach the traffic light at nearby Dauphine / Honoré-Mercier intersection

30.              Cross rue Dauphine and keep walking uphill a few hundred feet to the next traffic light to use the pedestrian crossing to the Parliament grounds across Honoré-Mercier (I)





Map 3

Parlement de Québec  TO  Plains of Abraham / Citadelle



31.  Starting Point: traffic light at Honoré-Mercier / René-Levesque pedestrian crossing (I)

32.  Cross rue Honoré-Mercier, walk 70 feet from the intersection on René-Levesque sidewalk to the stairs on the left

33.  Walk upstairs to René Levesque monument (J)


Things to discover…

·     RENÉ LEVESQUE was the Premier of the Province of Québec from 1976 to 1984. In 1980, he offered the Québécois a referendum about the secession of Québec from the rest of Canada. The population said NO to both 1980’s and 1995’s referendums.


34.Keep walking upstairs behind the statue – passing by the INUKSHUK   to front of the Parliament building (Assemblée nationale) to appreciate its French Renaissance architecture and to commemorate QUÉBEC AND CANADIAN HEROES


Things to discover…

·     The Assemblée nationale offers FREE GUIDED TOURS in French, English and Spanish, as well as self-guided visits. After going through security, you need to show a valid IDs to go further.

·     The 3 plaques in front of the central tower describe the Hôtel du Parlement, the building and its architecture, the ASSEMBLÉE NATIONALE, the parliamentary institution since 1792 and finally the  motto of the Province of Québec, Je me souviens (I remember). These plaques are in French only, due to the fact that French has been the only official language of Québec since 1974.


35.  Keep walking to Grande-Allée on left side of Assemblée nationale and use the pedestrian crossing to the PLAINS OF ABRAHAM also known as the Battlefield Park (K)


Things to discover…

·     Near the Park gate, you see 1970s brutalist architecture buildings. These Government buildings are nicknamed the Radiator or the Toaster by the locals!

·     In winter (*), the Park access may be an issue (too much snow!). Then, you have 2 options:

a) Go to the CITADELLE (O Map 4) via rue St-Louis, St-Louis Gate and Côte de la Citadelle (P)

b)  Go to the PLAINS OF ABRAHAM MUSEUM (L Map 4) via Grande-Allée and Place George V est 







Map 4

Exploring the Plains of Abraham / Citadelle




36.  Starting Point: Entrance of the Plains of Abraham or Battlefield Park on Grande-Allée (K)


Things to discover…

·     Nearby SACRIFICE CROSS is to commemorate WWI, WWII and Korean War soldiers of the Royal 22nd Regiment (R22R), whose home is the Québec Citadelle.


37.  Here you have 4 route options:

·     Go to the PLAINS OF ABRAHAM MUSEUM to enjoy a 60 to 90-minute visit (L)

·     Go to the JARDIN JEANNE-D’ARC (Joan of Arc Garden) (S)

·     Go to the CITADELLE (CIT) through the ditch bridge (N) and pedestrian entrance (O)

·     Skip Map 5 to end the tour earlier heading directly to DUFFERIN TERRACE by reaching the southern end (Q) of the PROMENADE DES GOUVERNEURS, a boardwalk along the Citadelle cliff (R)


38.  Optionally explore off Map 4 (left of S), adding 60 to 120 minutes to the tour (if you read every panel!), without even counting the 2 Museums visit times:

·     The MNBAQ (Fine Arts Museum) is 0.5 mi passed the Joan of Arc Garden (S)

·     The PLAINS OF ABRAHAM TRAIL begins 0.25 mi passed the MNBAQ and is 0.25 mi long, that is, a total of 0.5 mi round walk (back and forth on same trail).

39.  Exit the Plains of Abraham / Citadelle area through Côte de la Citadelle (P)






Map 5

Plains of Abraham / Citadelle  TO  Champlain Monument



40.  Starting Point: Côte de la Citadelle near St-Louis Gate within the walls (P)

41.  Cross rue St-Louis carefully to the Churchill-Roosevelt monument on the other side


Things to discover…

·     The CHURCHILL AND ROOSEVELT MONUMENT commemorates the 1943 and 1944 QUÉBEC CONFERENCES to plan the Operation Overlord that took place on the D-Day, that is June 6, 1944 in Normandy, France.


42.  Walk down rue St-Louis and turn left on rue D’Auteuil; optionally cross Esplanade Park diagonally. Discover the Poets Lane (l’Allée des poètes, in French)

43.  Walk to rue Dauphine and turn right. At the intersection, see Kent Gate, the Jesuit Chapel, la Maison Dauphine (behind the chapel downhill) and the Jesuits home at 14 rue Dauphine


Things to discover…

·     MAISON DAUPHINE – the Jesuit mission - is a shelter for the young population facing homelessness and addiction issues. Jesuits left Québec when British took over but were allowed to come back to the city in the 1850s.


44.  Walk to LA MAISON DE LA LITTÉRATURE, a major component of the Québec City public libraries network (V). You can walk in and discover a fully renovated old Wesleyan church. Across rue Dauphine, discover the MORRIN CENTRE (W), heart of Québec City’s Scottish district and home of the only English library depicted in Louise Penny’s novel BURY YOUR DEAD

45.  Exit Morrin Centre grounds taking your left on rue Sainte-Anne to nearby “not-right-angled” intersection with rue Cook, take your right and walk to rue Des Jardins.


Things to discover…

·     Appreciate the corner stone of the EDIFICE PRICE at 65 rue Sainte-Anne. It was inaugurated on October 29, 1929, the Black Tuesday at NY Stock Exchange. The Price family lost their sawmill and paper pulp mill empire – built over 4 generations – at the very beginning of the Great Depression. The family now owns AUBERGE SAINT-ANTOINE, the CHIC SHACK and MUSÉE DU FORT.


46.  At Des Jardins and Sainte-Anne intersection, discover Palladian style Holy Trinity church, the 1st Anglican Cathedral built outside the British Isles 20 years after the 1783 American Independence.

47.  Walk up rue Des Jardins, keep your right on rue Donnacona. Appreciate the monument on  PLACE DES TOURANGELLES: a tribute to Nuns Orders that educated girls from 1639.


Things to discover…

·     The nearby MONASTÈRE DES URSULINES was inhabited by the Nuns until October 2018. The Ursuline Nuns are known as the first female missionaries and girl educators in both Canada and USA. They arrived in Québec City in 1639 – along with the Augustinian nuns – and later in New Orleans in 1727. Their MUSEUM offers self-guided and guided tours. Today, l’École des Ursulines is a co-ed private school for kids from 6 to 11 years-old.


48.  Walk up rue Donnacona to rue Du Parloir then to rue Saint-Louis where you turn left.

49.  Walk down Saint-Louis to rue Haldimand and turn right. You need to cross rue Saint-Louis.


Things to discover…

·     At 34 rue Saint-Louis, see the oldest house in Old Québec, a 1677 home built by M. Jacquet – originating from Normandy – carpenter at nearby MONASTÈRE DES URSULINES. The ANCIENTS CANADIENS restaurant offers French Canadian cuisine.


50.  Walk uphill to rue Mont-Carmel, keep walking straight ahead on rue De La Porte to rue Saint-Denis. Total of 3 blocks from Saint-Louis to Saint-Denis.


Things to discover…

·     You will cross rue Sainte-Geneviève before reaching rue Saint-Denis uphill. Sainte-Geneviève is the Patron Saint of Paris and Saint-Denis a Parisian neighborhood 1 mile north of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.

·     Do you know where you can find the highest density of old French colonial architecture in present-day USA? STE. GENEVIEVE MISSOURI!


51.  Walk the lawn slope upward or turn right on Saint-Denis to get to TERRASSE PIERRE-DUGUA-DE MONS (also called Terrasse Saint-Denis) (Y). Outstanding view of the « narrowing of the river » (kebek in algonquian language), the Port area and South-Shore of Québec (LÉVIS) as well as the bridge and western tip of ILE D’ORLÉANS.

Things to discover…

·     In 1604, Pierre Dugua De Mons founded ACADIA, the present-day Maritime Provinces of Canada. In 1608, he was appointed Lieutenant General of New France and commissioned Champlain to settle a fur trade post at Québec in the St. Lawrence valley. For this reason, he is now recognized as the co-founder of Québec City, Canada’s first permanent settlement.


52.  Exit Terrasse Dugua De Mons using the few steps to reach either the nearby wooden stairs (at the end of rue Saint-Denis) (Z) or the steep downhill paved path.

53.  Walk on Terrasse Dufferin from the toboggan ramp – a 1884 structure – to the other end of the boardwalk where the SAMUEL DE CHAMPLAIN STATUE is located.


Things to discover…

·     TERRASSE DUFFERIN was inaugurated in 1879, twelve years after the creation of the Dominion of Canada. Here we’ve been celebrating for more than 150 years Canada, shaped in the wake of the American Civil War. Discover symbols, structures, institutions, heroes that are well known all across Canada.

·     Samuel de Champlain, from Brouage France, sailed the St. Lawrence River in 1603 where he made durable alliances with some First Nations (Algonquians, Innus, Hurons…not the Iroquois!). He settled his fur trade post in lower town. He fought the Iroquois Confederation in 1609 around Lake Champlain, triggering a conflict that will last until the 1701 Great Peace of Montreal. In 1635, Champlain died here in FORT SAINT-LOUIS.


Unlike most of the other sites introduced during this walk, Terrasse Dufferin is typically part of our walking tours!












“The impression made upon the visitor by this Gibraltar of America…”  

(Charles Dickens, American Notes, 1842)