Proudly showcasing its French-Canadian identity, Québec’s capital abounds with European charm. From the cobbled streets of the Old Town, a UNESCO world heritage site towered over by the magnificent Château Frontenac, to the bustling street-side cafes offering all manner of French-tinged delicacies, the city’s year-round carnival spirit lends Québec City an inviting warmth, even when temperatures drop.

And while you should certainly take in the classic sights, the city holds many hidden gems to discover as well. Here are a few of our favourite attractions on the road less travelled.

2 Saint Roch Neighbourhood
A trip to Tiny Brooklyn is a must. Credit: Office du tourisme de Québec/​Jeff Frenette Photography.

Immerse yourself in the Saint-Roch neighbourhood

A short walk from Old Québec lies the Saint-Roch neighbourhood, tellingly known as Tiny Brooklyn. This up-and-coming area has seen an influx of foodie types, artists and independent stores in recent years, but retains a refreshing authenticity.

Immerse yourself in the neighbourhood vibe at Le Cercle, a restaurant, bar and performance venue where you’ll find a variety of edgy music acts and DJs. Explore the onsite gallery and indulge in the dainty gourmet dishes served up all day. There’s a discovery menu to sample if you’re new to the establishment, featuring a zingy salmon tartar.

Creativity flows freely in this part of town, demonstrated by the exquisitely made crafts and boundary-pushing art found around every corner. We recommend your wander down to Galerie 3 which showcases contemporary Canadian art, some of which you can even buy, and browse the boutique at Materia for hand-crafted treats like pottery and jewellery.

4 Galleries On Rue Saint Paul
Enchanting art galleries are aplenty in Québec. Credit: Getty Images.

Unearth treasures on Rue Saint-Paul

Stroll westward along the docks to Rue Saint-Paul, a historic treasure trove of antique shops filled with curiosities. While all of the shops along this cozy, narrow cobbled street are worth browsing, do make sure to stop off at Bolduc Antiquités. Its ever-changing collection, often numbering over 600 items, is curated by second-generation antique specialists and most definitely worth a visit.

History isn’t just confined to the antique shops here. Many of the buildings themselves date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, so there’s plenty of impressive architecture to admire if you only fancy a lazy wander. Cozy tearoom Le Packwood awaits when you need a little pick-me-up and a quick browse of the eclectic range of hand-made arts and crafts sold in store.

5 Wendake Settlement
See how the indigenous Huron-Wendat tribe lived at Wendake settlement. Credit: Office du tourisme de Québec/​Francis Gagnon.

Explore Canada’s indigenous heritage at the Wendake First Nations reserve

Wendake (meaning the land apart’) is the historic reserve of the Huron-Wendat people, an indigenous, matriarchal tribe. A short bus ride will take you from Québec city to the reserve, where an exciting variety of activities await. Visit the Wendake Museum to view the permanent exhibition Territories, Memories, Knowledge’ and learn about the history, culture and art of the Wendake people. Later, take in the beauty and power of the nearby Kabir Kouba waterfall, which cascades in a 42 metre deep canyon. You can take in the sights at your own pace, or book a tour for further insight into the area.

Finally, wind down at the reserve’s Nation Sante Spa, which aims to provide a multi-sensory experience with an indigenous flavor’. There is an extensive range of massage therapies available, as well as the nature spa’, offering an immersive relaxation experience in a natural setting.

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