Bordered by the St. Lawrence River, Old Québec or Vieux-Québec is the historic heart of the modern day City of Quebec. Divided into two distinct parts, the Upper Town and Lower Town, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gateway into the history of the province. The Upper Town is set atop the Cap Diamant and is the city's historic administrative and military hub. Its most iconic landmark, the Citadelle with its star shaped design is an arresting edifice while the Chateau Frontenac is a mesmerizing vision of Victorian grandeur. The Upper Town is also one of the sites of the Carnaval de Quebec, considered to be among the largest winter festivals on the globe. The Lower Town, at the base of the mount, is the livelier of the two with a bustling market and vibrant Old Port. Amid hundreds of historic buildings, tourist attractions, pubs and restaurants lie dozens of boutiques, galleries, souvenir shops and other distinctive establishments. The Church of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is another of Old Québec's many treasures.
This most beautifully preserved area of Vieux-Québec is also one of the city's cherished shopping districts. Quartier Petit Champlain is certainly heavily thronged to and many establishments cater to the visiting hordes. There are, nonetheless, many unique boutiques to be unearthed. Quebec fashion designers are featured heavily on the rue du Petit-Champlain, including Oclan, Point de Mire, Les Vêteries and Zazou. Numerous art and crafts galleries provide everything from souvenirs to high-end housewares; well-known stores include Brin de folie and the Galerie d'Art Bégin and Pauline Pelletier. High-quality jewelry is on offer at the magnificent Pierre Vives and Louis Perrier Jewelers. The district abounds with cafes and restaurants.
Let the kids run wild with their imagination at this veritable wonderland of toys that spans 2322.6 square meters (25000 square feet). Established in 2004, Benjo is widely considered to be one of the best toy stores in the region, with an exhaustive selection that spans numerous genres and age groups. Going beyond the traditional concept of a toy store, the shop has numerous activities to pique children's curiosity. A ride throughout the store aboard the electric train is a favorite with the children. Besides this, there's a restaurant as well as a crafts corner for the kids to unleash their creativity. Check website for more.
While in Quebec, don't miss Le Marché du Vieux-Port, this open air market located within the Old Port Market. It is open every day of the week. The products on sale are all grown by locals. Everything from fruit and vegetables to cheese and bread are fresh from the farm. And even if you do not buy, you can always taste these, the vendors are ever obliging.
Galeries de la Capitale is more than just a shopping mall, it is also an indoor amusement park with, among other things, a roller-coaster, bumper cars, a skating rink and IMAX Le Theatre. Over 250 stores feature a variety of women's, men's and children's clothing, accessories and jewelry. The mall is home to a few Quebec chains, too, like San Francisco, l'Officiel and Simon's, an upscale, trendy department store.
It's no secret that Quebec City, with its long history of fur trade is haven for those in love with fur products, and Les Fourrures Du Vieux-Port is one of its finest purveyors. The family-owned business has been operating for decades now and remains a staple for luxurious fur products. Choose from their extensive collection of coats, jackets, caps and other accessories. For label-enthusiasts, there's a restrained selection of designer fur coats as well. The expansive store, with warm lighting accents makes for a comfortable browse. Check website for more.
A chain of wine shops, SAQ is a favorite among the wine connoisseurs of Canada. This particular store located at Boulevard Charest Ouest, lies in close proximity to downtown Quebec City. With a range of wines brands and varieties, the shop houses everything that is expensive as well as cheap. Stop by, to pick up the favorite spirit of your choice, or order online from their website.
A supermarket chain, Metro is located in downtown Quebec City. Just like any other mega mart, this one too has everything from a safety pin, to fresh produce of vegetables and meat. Crowded with locals, Metro is the one stop shop, for everyone in the neighborhood.
Epicerie L Hébert is a small supermarket and grocery store, located in the Saint Sauveur neighborhood of Quebec City. Visited mainly by locals in the area, it stocks up the regular share of vegetables, meat and fruits. Apart from this, there are other small things of daily use that are also available at the store. Call ahead to known their hours of operation.
A chain of supermarkets across Canada, Provigo is like the local store for Quebec citizens to run errands. Located between the neighborhoods of Montcalm and Saint Sacrament, it lies on Boulevard René Lévesque Ouest. A convenience store, it stocks up everything from fresh groceries and bakery products, to daily essentials and household items.
A massive departmental store, Acces Electronique is known to stock up the best, in the world of electronics and technology. Located at Boulevard Charest Ouest, it lies in the Montcalm neighborhood of Quebec City. With a huge space, the store features everything from home appliances like TV, refrigerator, washing machine and microwave to gadgets like cell phones, tablets, laptops and music systems. Drop by at their store to check out the latest collection, or simply log on to their website to do online shopping.
A convenience store, Couche-Tard is located on Avenue de Bourlamaque. The store is a one stop shop for a lot of foodstuffs including chips, sodas, wine, chocolates, sauces, bread etc. Apart from being a store, it is also a great option to have breakfast. Serving some yummy sandwiches and coffees, in a relaxed setting, it proves to be a great hangout place for locals. See their website for more.