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Québec City Travel Guide

Lower Town

Seeing all the bustle and upscale commerce here, it’s hard to imagine that forty years ago, this area was run-down and looking for a new lease on life. Today, after exploring Place Royale and its cobblestone streets, you can walk along the edge of the St. Lawrence River and watch the sailboats and ships go by, shop at the market, or kick back on a terrasse (patio) with an ice cider.

Rue Petit-Champlain also has charming places to stop and listen to street musicians, and the scene near the Old Port starts buzzing as soon as the sun goes down.

If there's a cradle of French civilization in North America, you're standing in it when you visit Lower Town. In 1608 Champlain chose this narrow, U-shaped spit of land sandwiched between the frigid waters of the St. Lawrence River and the craggy heights of Cap Diamant as the site for his settlement. Champlain later abandoned the fortified abitation (residence) at the foot of Cap Diamant and relocated to the more easily defendable Upper Town.

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