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
    | Reply

    Wow! What a picturesque part of town!

  2. Daniel Gross
    | Reply

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

  3. Sumit Surai
    | Reply

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

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      Thanks so much! The fresco was really lovely!

  4. 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

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      We were definitely in love!

  5. 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!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      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
    | Reply

    Looks very European, I love it!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      It does, thank you!

  7. 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!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

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

  8. 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?

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      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
    | 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!!

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

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

  10. 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.

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

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

  11. Michael Huxley
    | Reply

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

    • Lauren | Justin Plus Lauren
      | Reply

      The mural is awesome!

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