Quartier Petit Champlain in Quebec City

Quartier Petit Champlain is a historic neighbourhood in the Lower Town area of Old Quebec. We woke up bright and early from our hotel after our first night in Quebec City and set out on the town. Quartier Petit Champlain is a quick walk from Place Royale, the historic town plaza of Old Quebec. We walked past Place Royale and continued towards Rue du Petit-Champlain, the iconic central street of the district.

Visiting Quartier Petit Champlain

The main attraction of Quartier Petit Champlain was walking around, taking in the sights, and admiring all of the heritage buildings and scenery. The area is incredibly photogenic, so we really enjoyed walking around and taking plenty of pictures. We were fascinated by the narrow alleyways, wrought iron staircase, impressive art murals, and brightly painted doors and window frames. Of course, most people frequent the area for the shopping! There are lots of stores 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 – you might be able to find some of the local specialty items elsewhere for less money. I did end up purchasing a couple of small hand-carved wooden cats at Sculpteur Flamand – one that looked like our cat, Chickpea, and another that looked like my sister’s cat. I gave my sister the one that looked like her cat as a little present when we returned! I didn’t end up seeing any carved wooden items like these anywhere else, and we did see the shop employees even carving some things by hand while we were there!

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There was a film shoot happening while we were there!

Fresque du Petit-Champlain

We came across a huge mural on the side of one of the buildings on Rue du Petit-Champlain. This fresco illustrates the milestones of the Quebec working class people that have lived in Cap-Blanc (the waterfront neighbourhood) 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

Parc Félix-Leclerc

There is a small park alongside Rue du Petit-Champlain called Parc Félix-Leclerc. It is a lovely shaded spot with many trees and flowers, and also lots of park benches. Some of the ghost tours gathered here in the evenings with the tour leaders performing a small show (or, at least that’s what we thought was happening…we saw people with their faces painted acting a little bit scary in front of a group of people.) By daylight, people sat with a newspaper, or chatted with friends at this cute, little park.

Parc Félix-Leclerc

When to Visit

We found that when we walked through earlier in the day, the area was generally less busy. After spending our first day walking all over Quebec City and returning to Quartier Petit Champlain in the afternoon, it was significantly busier. With that said, we walked through her after dinner one evening, and it wasn’t very busy at all. So, I would stick with the mornings and evenings if you get the opportunity. When the cruise ships stop in Quebec City on specific days in July and August, this area would likely be packed with people. If you’re able to plan ahead, you can check this website to see the vessel schedule, so you’ll know if you will be visiting on a day when a cruise ship is in port.

Most shops appear to be open from 9:30am to 9:00pm, with the exception of Sunday when the shops close at 5:00pm.

Quartier Petit Champlain in the afternoon – way busier than in the morning!

64 Responses

  1. Chris Boothman
    | Reply

    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!

    • 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!!

  2. megan_claire
    | Reply

    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!

    • 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!

  3. Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    | Reply

    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.

    • 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!

  4. CarmensTravelTips
    | Reply

    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.

    • 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!

  5. slightly astray
    | Reply

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

  6. Alli Blair
    | Reply

    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! :)

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

  7. Dale_anglo
    | Reply

    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!

    • 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!

  8. Axelle Lot
    | Reply

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

  9. Claudia Luxembourg
    | Reply

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

  10. Hannah Logan
    | Reply

    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.

  11. Dave
    | Reply

    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!

  12. 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!

    • 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!

  13. 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.

    • 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!

  14. Noel Morata
    | Reply

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

  15. Antonette Spaan
    | Reply

    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!

    • 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!

  16. Tripper
    | Reply

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

  17. Linda
    | Reply

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

  18. Elaine
    | Reply

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

  19. Charli & Ben
    | Reply

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

  20. Outbound Adventurers
    | Reply

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

  21. Michael Huxley
    | Reply

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

  22. Pedro Freire
    | Reply

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

  23. Els Mahieu
    | Reply

    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!!

  24. Baskets Life Travel
    | Reply

    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?

    • 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!

  25. Jessica Janoski
    | Reply

    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!

  26. Brianna @ The Casual Travelist
    | Reply

    Looks very European, I love it!

  27. Mary Solio
    | Reply

    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!

    • 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 :)

  28. What do I travel for
    | Reply

    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

  29. Sumit Surai
    | Reply

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

  30. […] may have saved one of the best spots for last on our trip to Quebec City. After a busy few days wandering the city streets, marveling at the fortified walls, and exploring the sites of this historic UNESCO site, we […]

  31. Daniel Gross
    | Reply

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

  32. […] Champlain with Rue du Petit Champlain. You can’t miss it while you’re exploring Quartier Petit Champlain. It looks so pretty between the old, stone buildings, all decorated with […]

  33. […] known as the Quartier Petit-Champlain and it’s here where you can find some of the oldest buildings in the city as well as enjoy […]

  34. […] you walk a little further, you will come across a very popular and cute neighbourhood in town, Quartier Petit Champlain. You’ll notice tons of souvenir shops, clothing stores, and local artists selling their […]

  35. Saskia
    | Reply

    Wow! What a picturesque part of town!

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