Québec’s historic waterfront has been extensively renovated and features museums, restored buildings and a market selling fresh regional produce.
During the 19th century, Old Port Québec was one of the busiest ports in North America. Hundreds of ships were built here and timber was received, stored and shipped to Europe. Today, the marine and its surroundings are a popular tourist attraction where you can view old buildings, walk along the river, dine out in fine restaurants and sample fresh produce at a market.
Wander along the quays and among the wharves to explore the area’s maritime heritage. Start your excursion on the promenade that overlooks the St. Lawrence River. This was the landing site for European ships that brought supplies and settlers to the country. Stop to admire the beauty of the old Customs House, a two-story building with a symmetrical facade. Make your way over to the castle-like Gare du Palais to appreciate the train and bus station’s architecture.
Learn more about the port’s shipbuilding and lumber-trade past with a visit to the Old Port of Québec Interpretation Centre. This exhibition space has audio-visual presentations, hands-on activities and actors dressed in period costumes. While you are here go to the observation platform for fine views of the Old City, St. Lawrence River and the Laurentian Mountains.
See models of ancient ships and destroyers and collections of marine artifacts at the Naval Museum of Québec. The exhibitions cover the naval history of St. Lawrence River during times of war and peace.
Sample some regional specialties at the daily produce market or buy ingredients for a family lunch in the market’s picnic area. There is a nice selection of candy, cheese, maple products and baked goods to choose from. For up-to-date information about this market, visit the official website of the Old Port Market (Marché du Vieux-Port).
Stop for refreshments in nearby Rue Saint-Paul, Québec’s antiques hub with stylish cafés, collectables shops and galleries.
The Old Port Québec is a short walk from Place-Royale and Petit-Champlain. If you are arriving by car, there is parking available for a fee along the riverfront. The nearest public transport hub, Gare du Palais, is within walking distance.