Exploring Quartier Petit Champlain, Old Quebec’s Pretty Shopping Street

Quartier Petit Champlain

Quartier Petit Champlain is a historic neighborhood in the Lower Town area of Old Quebec. Located in Lower Town of Old Quebec, it’s right beneath the escarpment and just a quick jaunt from Upper Town (whether you take the nearby funicular or the “Breakneck Stairs”).

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Where is Quartier Petit Champlain?

Essentially, Quartier Petit Champlain is located on Rue du Petit-Champlain, as well as the nearby streets of Boulevard Champlain, Rue du Cul-du-Sac, and portions of Rue du Marche Champlain, Rue Notre-Dame, and Rue Sous-le-Fort. It’s the entire city block surrounding Rue du Petit-Champlain. If you continue any farther to the east beyond Quartier Petit Champlain, you’ll reach the historic city square, Place Royale.

What to Do at Quartier Petit Champlain

Quartier Petit Champlain in Old Quebec

Primarily, you’ll want to walk up and down these historic streets, admiring the heritage buildings and scenery. We like to snap many pictures because the neighborhood is extremely photogenic. The narrow alleyways, wrought iron staircases, and brightly painted windows and doors are so pretty.

Narrow alleyways and staircases of Old Quebec
Pretty staircases of Old Quebec

Quebec City’s Prettiest Shopping District

Most visitors frequent the area for its bustling shops, cafes, and restaurants. There are many shops selling souvenirs, specialty items by local artists and craftspeople, jewelry, clothing, items for the home, and so on. Keep in mind that this is a very touristy locations, so many stores will be selling their wares at a premium price. You might be able to find some of the local specialty items elsewhere for less money.

Wandering down Rue du Petit-Champlain

I purchased a couple of small hand carved wooden cats at Sculpteur Flamand, a boutique dedicated to wooden sculptures. It’s owned and operated by Quebec City native, Alain Flamand. He opened the shop in Quartier Petit Champlain over 35 years ago. He’s crafted items out of wood since his childhood, and everything is completely handmade by Flamand. As for the wooden cats, I bought one for us that looks like our cat, Chickpea, and another that looks like my sister’s cat as a gift for her. We didn’t see any other wooden sculptures quite like the ones available at Sculpteur Flamand, so you can be sure that you’ll find authentic, handmade gifts there.

Sample Local Treats

There are many local sweets and treats to sample in Quebec City. You can find many of them in historic Quartier Petit Champlain. Stop by La Petite Cabane à Sucre de Quebec to sample yummy maple products, including a year round tasting of maple taffy. And don’t forget to try a Beavertail pastry at Queues de Castor. It’s a vegan-friendly fried dough pastry with various sweet toppings (don’t worry, no beavers are harmed!).

Parc Félix-Leclerc

Parc Félix-Leclerc, Quebec City

Parc Félix-Leclerc is a small park on Rue Petit-Champlain. It is a lovely place with lots of flowers, shaded by many trees. There are several park benches where you can relax. Some of the ghost tours gather here in the evenings where the tour leaders perform a little show. We stumbled upon some people with their faces painted acting a little bit crazy and scary, so hopefully it was part of a ghost tour! By daylight, it’s a cute little park where people sit to read a book or chat with friends.

Parc Petit-Champlain

Parc Petit-Champlain, Quebec City

At one end of Rue du Petit-Champlain, you’ll find the funicular. At the opposite end of Rue du Petit-Champlain lies Parc Petit-Champlain. This is another small city park. When we visited Old Quebec in the summer, an exhibit from the outdoor public art festival, Passages Insolites was at Parc Petit-Champlain. I’ll always think about the giant pigeons and soup cans whenever I see Parc Petit-Champlain from now on!

Visiting in the Winter

Winter in Quartier Petit Champlain, Quebec City

When we visited Quartier Petit Champlain in the wintertime, it looks straight out of a snow globe or a Christmas card. There are holiday lights everywhere, garlands draped across the streets, and decorations all around. Just before Quebec’s Winter Carnival, there were ice sculptures all over Quartier Petit Champlain that were carved with great attention and detail.

Old Quebec in the winter
Old Quebec in the winter

Fresque du Petit-Champlain

Fresque du Petit-Champlain is a giant mural on the side of a building on Rue du Petit-Champlain. This fresco illustrates the milestones of the Quebec working class people that have lived in Cap-Blanc (the waterfront neighborhood) throughout history. The mural is painted on the side of 102 Rue du Petit-Champlain, a building currently owned by the Coopérative des artisans et commerçants du Quartier Petit Champlain.

Fresque du Petit-Champlain

When to Visit

Quartier Petit Champlain is open in every season, every day of the week. Most of the stores are open from 10:00-17:00 daily, with the exception of Thursday and Friday where they’re open until 21:00. You can also walk around the streets anytime you like.

Quartier Petit Champlain from the Breakneck Stairs, Quebec City

When we visited during the summer, this area became significantly busier in the afternoon. It was far less busy in the morning and in the evening. When cruise ships stop in Quebec City on specific days in July and August, it gets very busy. You can check this vessel schedule to see when cruise ships will be docked in Quebec City so you can plan accordingly.

Planning a trip to Quebec City? Check out our Quebec City 3 Day Itinerary to help plan your travels and inspire your next vacation.

Where to Stay in Old Quebec

Justin and I have stayed at two beautiful properties in Basse-Ville (Lower Town) of Old Quebec. We highly recommend both of these hotels as they’re both lovely in their own way.

Le Saint Pierre Auberge Distinctive

Le Saint Pierre Auberge Distinctive Quebec City

Book Your Stay | Read Our Review | Read More Reviews by Fellow Travelers

Le Saint Pierre Auberge Distinctive is an enchanting boutique hotel that will make your stay extra special. Located inside a historic building, this property feels like its straight out of Europe. I really loved the exposed brick walls and preserved structure of the room. As this building used to be owned by an old insurance company, our bathroom had an interesting layout. It used to be the room that held the insurance company’s safe. I love little interesting details like that.

Book Your Stay | Read Our Review | Read More Reviews by Fellow Travelers

Hotel 71

Hotel 71 Quebec City

Book Your Stay | Read Our Review | Read More Reviews by Fellow Travelers

Similarly, Hotel 71 is relatively close to Le Saint Pierre Auberge in Lower Town, Old Quebec. The building itself is an old architectural gem, once home to the National Bank of Canada. However, the design and decor of Hotel 71 has a modern flair. We adored the contemporary elegance of our room and the views of the St. Lawrence River from our room. It’s also wonderful to always have access to delicious coffee, both in the room and downstairs in the public seating area.

Book Your Stay | Read Our Review | Read More Reviews by Fellow Travelers

Map of Quartier Petit Champlain

If you’d like to get your bearings around town, here’s a map of the neighborhood so you can see where it’s located within Old Quebec.

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What’s your favorite shopping street in the world?

60 Responses

  1. Saskia
    |

    Wow! What a picturesque part of town!

  2. Daniel Gross
    |

    Being a merchant in the Place-Royale, petit-champlain area, I find that your blog does justice to the area.

  3. Sumit Surai
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    What a lovely and colourful place. And the images are wonderful! I liked the fresco best

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Thanks so much! The fresco was really lovely!

  4. What do I travel for
    |

    Lovely pictures! It looks like such a charming place that there’s no way one wouldn’t fall in love. The Fresque du Petit-Champlain is just impressive. I enjoy places with such street art. :D

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      We were definitely in love!

  5. Mary Solio
    |

    I have seen pictures of Quartier Petit Champlain in all seasons but the summer blooms and sun is by far my favorite. I would love to walk these streets someday soon and can probably wander around for hours. What a beautiful area and it does look very European. Beautiful photos!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I know that Quebec would be so much fun to visit in the Winter, but I don’t think you can really beat the Summer months! Especially in a city that you really need to be able to walk around in to explore, at least if you wanted to do that! Although I wouldn’t mind being cozy near a fireplace with pretty snow around in Quebec :)

  6. Brianna @ The Casual Travelist
    |

    Looks very European, I love it!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It does, thank you!

  7. Jessica Janoski
    |

    What an adorable quarter! As I mentioned before, I really need to make a visit to my northern neighbors, Quebec seems amazing! Cute top, too :) Cheers!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      You really should take a trip up here, lots to explore, see and do!

  8. Baskets Life Travel
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    This place looks too cute – my parents were there in their RV but we have not been! I love that building Fresque du Petit-Champlain with the awesome paintings. The whole town looks great! How did you find the people?

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I hope you get to go sometime! Well, the people that were visiting were mostly all speaking French around us, though I think everyone can speak English too. We didn’t have too much chance to interact with others except for the people working at establishments, and some people that were visiting places with us that were also tourists…but everyone seemed very, very nice! Polite and helpful!

  9. Els Mahieu
    |

    How quaint! It looks like a village on its own! I really have to make it to Quebec or somewhere in Canada for that matter, I keep hearing nothing but good about it!!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I really hope you can go sometime, it’s really great!

  10. Pedro Freire
    |

    Very charming quarter! There picture with steps that even reminds Lisbon. Quebec will be definitely on my list for a visit to Canada.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Wonderful! I would highly recommend visiting here, it’s lovely and it’s got it all pretty much!:)

  11. Michael Huxley
    |

    Such a charming place, it looks amazing! I loved that mural on the side of the building!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      The mural is awesome!

  12. Outbound Adventurers
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    Can’t wait to visit Quebec! Absolutely beautiful photos and great post! :)

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Can’t wait to read about your journeys when you do visit! :)

  13. Charli & Ben
    |

    That mural is incredible, what a great way to highlight the history of the region. Love the colourful streets of Quebec.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I loved that there were brightly painted shutters, flowers everywhere, very vibrant and pretty!

  14. Elaine
    |

    Wow Quebec is stunning, looks much more European than I was expecting! I hope to make it there soon!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It was very European looking in many areas!

  15. Linda
    |

    It looks so european! I can’t believe this is in Canada

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I know! :) It’s fabulous!

  16. Tripper
    |

    Beautiful place. I’m in love with the Fresque du Petit-Champlain.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Me too. It was a very awesome place!

  17. Antonette Spaan
    |

    Such a colorful place! When I was visiting it was much greyer (also because of the weather) and with less people, however not less impressive. Would love to go back one day!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It would be great if you could return! We did have one dreary day when we were there, but thankfully a few nice days to balance it out in our favour! Less people is always good, too!

  18. Noel Morata
    |

    Wow it is clean and colorful, all the buildings are so cute and well presented….I’ve always wanted to visit

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I hope you get the chance to visit!

  19. Mindi Hirsch @ 2foodtrippers
    |

    You definitely had a better experience that us, as it rained non-stop the entire time that we were in Quebec City. We loved it anyway.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Aw, I am sorry to hear that! You just have to make the most of those days. It rained for one of our days, too!

  20. Annika -Live Laugh Explore
    |

    Ohh Québec city..I love the Old Town. I went to university in Québec city so I would often just wander around the Old Town just for fun. Not many cities are as pleasant to just enjoy the feel of the city. But Québec City, never fails. Even winter suits this city!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Oh how wonderful! I would love to live there for a short period of time, really get to know the place all year around! I would wander around all over the place, for sure!

  21. Dave
    |

    I remember liking this part of Quebec City quite a bit when my wife and I visited a few years ago. There was a really charming Provencal restaurant where we had a great dinner our first night in town. It was in the spring, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves! You captured it very nicely with your photos, thanks for helping me relive a fun few days!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      That sounds so wonderful! I’m glad that you got to relive Quebec City through my blog posts! :)

  22. Hannah Logan
    |

    I LOVE your photos! It looks so different than when I visited (ahem snowstorms in February- but Carnival was a blast!) I would love to go back in the summer.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I could imagine it would look quite different! I’d like to go back in the Winter for Carnival!

  23. Claudia Luxembourg
    |

    It looks so charming! i have never even considered going to Quebec City. Maybe I should?

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Yes, you should!! :)

  24. Axelle Lot
    |

    Looks so cosy and romantic! How idyllic! Thank you for sharing this :)

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It’s really charming, great to go for a stroll! Very romantic! :)

  25. Dale_anglo
    |

    Looks like you had a lovely time, and your pictures really show why you chose to go as it’s got that historical town look that I love to see rather than the big city.

    You should have jumped in to the filming and got your fifteen minutes of fame!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It definitely has a small town feel in a big city…many places in Quebec City seem to feel that way! There are a few neighborhoods that are equally as charming! Actually….we may have been in one of the shots! I doubt we’ll ever know what movie it is though!

  26. Alli Blair
    |

    Gorgeous photos. I love the photo of the yellow shutters in particular. I loved all the art displayed both publicly and also in all the shops when I visited. Thanks for bringing me back! I wish I had taken such great photos like you guys did! :)

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      I kept taking pictures of that building as I loved the yellow shutters, too! It was fun to walk around the shops and explore!

  27. slightly astray
    |

    Such a cute little town!!! I really love that picture with the bright yellow shutters! It’s just so happy and sunny!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It was a really bright and sunny place in general! :)

  28. CarmensTravelTips
    |

    I love these types of historical neighborhoods. It looks like streets of old Europe . A very colorful, pleasant and interesting place. Love the artwork on the mural.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It was a really interesting and pleasant place to walk around! We walked through here on several occasions as it was close to our hotel, at day and at night, it was really cool!

  29. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    |

    It’s been ages since I was last in Quebec City, and clearly it has been far too long because I don’t remember it being nearly so adorable. Then again, I’m pretty sure I visited in the winter when, undoubtedly, it was beautiful but so very, very cold! Summer looks like a much lovelier time to visit.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      Perhaps a future getaway for you guys, to return there! :) As long as you don’t mind 8 hour road trips lol. Or you could fly I suppose, or go by train!

  30. megan_claire
    |

    Love historic neighbourhoods like this! We
    usually try and get up bright and early as well to miss all of the hustle and
    bustle of the middle of the day. Quartier Petit-Champlain sounds super fun!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      It was definitely better in the morning – by afternoon it was busier, and then it settled down again in the evening! Even when it was busy, it wasn’t THAT busy that I was annoyed or anything!

  31. Chris Boothman
    |

    It’s so cool reading a post about somewhere that we just were a couple of months ago! That mural on the wall was awesome, we stood there and gazed in awe for several moments as several local Quebecois musicians were playing their instruments perfectly providing the European style atmosphere and ambience. The maple syrup ice-cream from one of the local cafes was to die for but just wandering around those streets of the Quartier du Petit-Champlain was awesome! That is definitely one spot that I can’t wait to go back to!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      |

      This must be really cool for you to re-live your experiences, or see things in a different aspect! We saw some street performers there too, particularly when we were sitting in Place Royale enjoying some Sangria, we heard some Quebecois music being played and felt like it set the scene pretty perfectly :) I hope you get to return sometime!!