Stroll European-style cobblestone streets lined with artisan boutiques and popular bistros in this picturesque district beneath the Upper Town.
Visit the Petit-Champlain to shop. The picturesque neighbourhood is one of the most well-known areas in Québec thanks to its cobblestone streets, handicraft boutiques, art galleries and restaurants. Buy leather goods, pick out unique jewellery and take home one-off designer garments all made locally.
Look out over the area from the Côte de la Montagne, accessible via the Escalier Casse-Cou. Translated as “Breakneck Steps” because of their steepness, the 59 steps can be daunting. You won’t regret the climb once you reach the top, as the views are spectacular. Come at night to look out over a sea of lights.
Stop by 102 Rue du Petit-Champlain to see the trompe l’oeil mural painted on the side. It depicts pivotal events in the city’s history, such as battles and natural disasters like landslides. Try to name the famous figures that are painted in the windows, including Samuel de Champlain, who founded Québec. The beauty of a trompe l’oeil is it makes you feel as though you could step inside the painting.
Walk down to number 16 to see the house where explorer Louis Jolliet once lived. He is famous for having mapped the Mississippi River. Today the house is used as the lower terminal of the cable railway connecting Old Québec’s Lower and Upper towns.
The Petit-Champlain lies just beneath the cliffs and the Château Frontenac. The pretty neighbourhood is pedestrianised. If you come by car you’ll need to pay to park in nearby streets and then explore on foot. Public transport stops at the nearby Gare du Palais.
Petit-Champlain is busy during mealtimes. If you want to avoid the crowds, come in the early morning or after dinner. Check individual shop and restaurant opening hours online or by phoning ahead.