When I say girlfriend getaway what are the first few thoughts that come into your mind? For me it’s shopping, spa, cocktails and appetizers. Lots of appies! When planning the ultimate girl’s getaway, you need a destination that’s ticks all the right boxes without breaking the bank. Expedia.ca reached out to me with their Quebec travel guide, but asked me to take it a step further to customize the perfect itinerary for a girlfriend’s getaway in Quebec City.
Fairmont Chateau Frontenac is one of the world’s most photographed hotels. (Photo credit: Olivier Lavigne Ortiz)
Overflowing with chic restaurants serving up gourmet food and drink, not to mention quaint shopping streets, planning the perfect gal’s getaway in Quebec City couldn’t be easier. Here’s a few ideas to get Quebec City on every lady’s radar:
Place Royale delights all visitors. (Photo credit: credit: Stephane Audet)
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Shopping in Quebec City
Could there be anything better than sussing out the shops with your squad, nipping into quaint stores, galleries and bistros at whim? I’ve found heaven and it’s called Quartier Petit-Champlain. This district takes you back to 17th century New France, where cobbled streets are lined with charming period buildings. It’s touristy for sure, but not in a souvenir T-shirt kind of way. Worth the calories is a sinfully rich hot chocolate and french pastry best enjoyed at an outdoor cafe.
Make the pilgrimage to the mother ship.
Simons is best department store you’ve never heard of. Situated on Côte de la Fabrique in the old town, it’s flanked by adorable boutiques you’ll want to pop into. But don’t get too distracted. You’ll want to budget serious time for Simons if you’ve never been. This Canadian department store is super cool. So cool, you’d think it was European, but then it would be H&M, except Simons is way better and surprisingly cheaper.
Rue Saint Jean has lots of good shops, too! (Photo credit QTC/Guy Lessard)
St. Joseph Street, in the Saint-Roch district is also worth hitting up. The street offers a ton of fashion shops like Mango and Benjo, one of the country’s best independent toy shops.
Best spas in Quebec City
SKYSPA is a chic urban spa situated on the 17th floor of the Complexe Jules Dallaire. Treat yourself to a massage or facial before plunging into their thermal experience. Release those toxins in a sauna, hit the California baths or catch up with your pals in their funky relaxation areas. The best part? The Bistro is licensed, so you can nurse a glass of beer or wine between treatments to quickly get to zen.
Go from one outdoor pool to the next at this nature spa. (Photo credit: Quebec Region)
A few minutes out of town lies Siberia Station Spa. This is a true nature spa and if you’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing the outdoors in such a tranquil way, well, you’re missing out. Spa-goers weave their way through the woods slipping into steam rooms and saunas, before cooling off in either the river or outdoor plunge pools. There’s no spa police, so if you can’t handle the transition, opt to chill out in one of the wonderful heated pools or inside a relaxation chamber. Filled with hammocks, wood burning stoves and juicy magazines, these relaxation zones are sublime spots to bond with girlfriends or perhaps grab a few winks.
Quebec City hotels
You’re feeling amazing, you’re with your besties, that leaves you no choice but to stay at one of the most glamorous hotels in North America: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.
Nestled inside the historic walls of Old Quebec, this recently renovated hotel is splurge worthy for it’s prime location, European ambiance and superior service. Fall out of bed and explore the historic old town or cozy up inside and prepare to be pampered like royalty.
If you’re in Quebec City for just the weekend, you want to do it right. If you’ve only got 48-hours in Quebec City, you could stay at the Chateau, walk around the old town a little bit and still feel like you’ve soaked up the ambiance of this historic city.
It’s no wonder this is the word’s most photographed hotel. (Photo credit: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts)
Where to eat in Old Quebec
If you’re looking for atmosphere with a capital A, you’ll find it at Restorante Il Teatro. This has to be one of prettiest restaurants in town and it’s conveniently attached to the Le Capitole Theatre in case you want to catch a show (like Cirque!). The elegant eats are Italian inspired and they often run specials like two glasses of wine and two pasta dishes sub $30. Hello! There’s lots to swoon over on the menu, but I was quite partial to the scallops and risotto, as in, licked the plate clean. You can walk here from the old town, but valet parking is free. P.S. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear a fancy dress and heels here.
I dare you to find a more atmospheric restaurant. (Photo credit: Quebec Original)
Looking for something quick? Perhaps a hangover cure? Chez Ashton isn’t fancy, but it’s the place for poutine. A savoury melange of fries made from local potatoes, fresh cheese curds and a succulent gravy, poutine is one of those local delicacies that’s gotta be done.
Nightlife in Quebec City
When it comes to nightlife, Maurice Nightclub is where you want to be. On the second floor is Charlotte, the place to see and be seen. This swish cocktail lounge offers eclectic VIP areas, allowing your troops just the right amount of privacy. It’s located on Grande Allee, where you’ll find many more bars, nightclubs and restaurants.
Looking for something a bit more sophisticated? Head to 1608 Wine & Cheese Bar inside Fairmont Le Château Frontenac for signature cocktails and stunning views of the St. Lawrence. Naturally they have an excellent wine list, but 1608 also offers one of the largest varieties of Quebec cheeses in the world, sourced from their very own cheese room!
Have you ever visited Quebec City? I’d love to know your favourite shops, restaurants and activities to hit up there.
Thanks to Expedia for helping me tell stories like this one! As always, all content and opinions are my own.
I’m a freelance writer with bad hair, a loud mouth and a serious case of wanderlust. Whether it’s luggage, time or just life, I cram as much as possible into small compartments. Warning: Contents may shift during flight. My life is one bumpy ride! Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.