What are the five best things to see and do in Quebec City?

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Tucked away on a historic rampart, Quebec City is historic, medieval and lofty — a place of mellowed stone buildings and weathered cannons, horse-drawn calèches, ancient trees and narrow, steeply angled streets. Separated into Upper and Lower towns, this francophone city is bursting at the seams with exciting things to see and do. Here’s our list of five not to miss:

1. March to La Citadelle. This unique, star-shaped structure is the largest British-built fortress in North America. Erected on Cap Diamant, the highest natural point of Old Quebec, this fort is really a sight to see. These days, it’s home to the Royal 22e Régimen (which just so happens to be the only Francophile infantry in Canada) and the governor general of Canada. Check out the British-inspired changing of the guard during the summer months.

2. Admire the arts. Located on the Plains of Abraham, a historic battleground-turned-public park, the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec offers a crash course on Québécois art. You can ogle at an array of art, featuring everything from early religious paintings to Inuit works.

3. Discover Place-Royale. Encompassing the earliest vestiges of French civilization in North America, Place-Royale is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Once a marketplace and the city’s social center, Place-Royale was recently restored to its original, historic appearance. Embrace the distinctly European feel of its stone buildings, winding and narrow streets, street performers, restaurants and plenty of shops.

4. Explore Old Quebec. Founded in 1608, the old part of the city is now known as Upper Town (Haute-ville) as it was built high on a cliff. With 18th-century fortress-like walls and gates encircling it, Old Quebec is the only fortified city in North America. Stroll through the historic streets and the Governor’s Promenade, offering unrivaled views of La Citadelle, St. Lawrence River and the city of Levis.

5. Hop Aboard the Funicular. Dating back to 1879 in Quebec City, this unique tram transports you from Lower Town to Upper Town. The only funicular in Canada, it travels at a 45-degree angle for more than 200 feet, providing you with some of the most spectacular views of the city. Of course, it sure beats the heck out of walking.

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