One of my favourite places to hang out, in the Old Quarter of the city, is Place Royale—where Samual Champlain founded the city back in 1608. And when you look at the accompanying photos, you will understand why. The place is steeped in history, and crowded with historic buildings (yes, some are renovated) but it’s also filled with some of the best places to eat and drink, in the city, with spectacular views of the river and the Chateau Frontenac.
You can easily spend a couple of hours watching the crowds pass by, as you sit out under the bright sun, sipping your cafe au lait, eating a fresh croissant or pastry. And let me tell you, as someone who knows first hand, they are always delicious and fresh here.
Sat in the centre of Place Royale is a monument to Louis XIV or, as we like to call him, Lovis. Yes, it’s an in joke for locals, but he was the reigning king of France at the time the city was established.
Surrounding this square are a museum, art galleries, Maison Smith for great coffee, and quaint boutiques and shops. Plus one of the oldest stone churches in North America: Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church (1688). There are also the historical ruins of early buildings to explore, plus a building-sized mural on one wall that will have you craning your next.