A Stroll Down the Governors Promenade Quebec City

posted in: Blog, Canada, Quebec, Quebec City | 29

The Governors Promenade (Promenade des Gouverneurs) is a giant boardwalk in Quebec City that connects the Plains of Abraham Park to the Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin). The Dufferin Terrace is close to the famous Chateau Frontenac hotel, the Funicular, and the Breakneck Stairs that connects Upper Town to Lower Town. The elevated promenade stretches along the Citadel with the fortification wall on one side, and a gorgeous view of the St. Lawrence River on the opposite side. You can start at either end of the boardwalk. This is a great free activity where you can get some exercise, enjoy the scenery, and make your way from one destination to another.

We really didn’t plan it this way, but we started at the Plains of Abraham. This is kind of like cheating in a way. Walking the Governors’ Promenade usually ensures that you climb a whole bunch of uphill staircases and steps – at least over 300. However, since we started at the Plains of Abraham side after walking around the Fortifications & the Citadel, we ended up walking down the stairs the entire time! It doesn’t really matter what you do. If you’re into completing the full stair climbing experience, start at Chateau Frontenac! If you’re there more for the view and less for the exercise, start at the Plains of Abraham. No matter which way you end up going, it is guaranteed that when you visit Quebec City, you’re going to end up climbing a whole lot of stairs anyway – it’s an extremely hilly city with many stairways!

The Plains of Abraham, our starting point.

We found the Governors’ Promenade where the Citadel meets the Plains of Abraham park along the cliff edge. The Battle of Abraham was fought here many years ago; now, the area is a sprawling park with many picnic tables and trees. The Plains of Abraham is a great place to relax or have a picnic in the sunshine.

View of the city from the Plains of Abraham

We walked down the boardwalk and enjoyed the views of the river. We could see straight across to the island of LΓ©vis as we slowly sauntered along, fully absorbing our surroundings. We saw many people jogging and walking, mostly in the opposite direction than we were going! The path really wasn’t very busy. We walked at our own pace stopping many times for photos. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day outside and the sun was shining brightly.

The view behind us where someone is jogging up the steps.

And we arrived back at the Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin), a giant boardwalk with many shaded pavilions. It is where Chateau Frontenac is located, and where you can travel between Upper Town and Lower Town using the Funicular car or the Breakneck Stairs.

29 Responses

  1. Ryan O'Rourke
    | Reply

    Another enlightening post about Quebec City! What strikes me as crazy, besides how beautiful this promenade is, would be the cost of maintaining all those wood boards. I’m guessing it’s not exactly brand new, but it still looks like it’s in great shape! Our deck at home gets fairly scratched up and weathered every few yearsβ€”and it’s not exactly cheap to re-stain. Couldn’t even imagine how much it would cost the city of Quebec to maintain this bad boy! Beautiful photos πŸ™‚

    • You’re right, I totally didn’t even think about that! I think I read that it was built in 1960 or something like that. I imagine they replace a lot of the boards fairly often or maintain them quite well! It was an incredibly clean path and didn’t notice any of the boards out of place or anything!

  2. CarmensTravelTips
    | Reply

    What a nice promenade to go for walks or jogging. I would imagine with the weather in Canada it must take a lot of maintenance to keep those walkways weatherproof.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      I could imagine so! With all of the fluctuating temperatures, lots of snow, etc..I’m sure they do lots of maintenance! We didn’t see anyone working on it though while we were there.

  3. Claudia Luxembourg
    | Reply

    I like it when cities have big parks you can go to and feel completely in a different place!

  4. Alli Blair
    | Reply

    Ahhh this looks familiar! I did the same thing last summer with my boyfriend. It really is a city where you can remain super active. There are cyclists just everywhere, but walkways like these are never ending! πŸ™‚

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      I didn’t feel bad about eating huge plates of pasta or anything since we would be walking around everywhere, up and down those stairs, and everything! I’m sure you can relate – there was lots of walking involved in this trip!

  5. Antonette Spaan
    | Reply

    Seems like a great stroll. Quebec City is such a nice place, wish I’d had more time than 4 hours when I was there…

  6. The Crowded Planet
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    Looks fantastic. You get to do some exercise and enjoy great views, what a win-win. And it’s free! Loving this Quebec series, so cool!

  7. megan_claire
    | Reply

    I actually really love boardwalks as an introduction to a city! Such a cool concept for tourists πŸ™‚

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      It was great to walk along this boardwalk, to get from point A to point B, but also to see the city, views of the river, and everything!

  8. Angela Travels
    | Reply

    Looks like you had a great day for a stroll. Lovely pictures of Quebec.

  9. Hannah Logan
    | Reply

    Haha I love that you mentioned all the stairs! When I visited in February 2013 we could only go so far because it was so icy! Would love to go back in warmer weather…though I would definitely prefer going down then up πŸ˜‰

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      I imagine that some of the staircases could get pretty icy there in the winter. I hope you get to return for a different feel in the summer (and likewise, I’d like to return in the winter!)

  10. Mytanfeet
    | Reply

    Ooh so pretty! Haha a little bit of work is always required to get a great view but it’s definitely worth it!

  11. Jenna
    | Reply

    I think you made a good choice going down the stairs even if it was an accident! πŸ™‚ Looks like a great path with some beautiful views of the city!

  12. Chris Boothman
    | Reply

    Really cool guys! I am loving how many things you are adding to our Quebec City bucket list…the more you add, the more likely we are to return there to check them out for ourselves. One thing that I loved about our time in Quebec City was how many high points there are in the city that provide breathtaking views both over the city and surrounding areas, across the St. Lawrence River.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      I’m glad that we are adding things to your possible future itinerary for Quebec City! You will have to let me know if you end up returning! Also – if you guys ever come up to Toronto, let me know and we’ll meet up!

  13. East Meets West Veg
    | Reply

    So beautiful! I see why my husband keeps telling me that I need to see Quebec!

  14. Mary Solio
    | Reply

    What a beautiful day for a lovely stroll at this promenade. I have really enjoyed seeing all your Quebec posts and the variety of things you’ve shown us. I’m sure exercise here is a welcome change. Those boardwalk looks awesome and so clean!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      Thanks!! Yes, it is a city where you can get lots of exercise, but in the best way possible as there are always nice things to look at, it doesn’t really feel like exercise much of the time!

  15. […] a leisurely walk and enjoyed the scenic views of the river. For more information, please check out our complete article with plenty of […]

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