Experiencing the Charm of Quebec City as a Wheelchair User

For years, I have admired photos of Quebec City on Instagram and Facebook, and thought that it looked beautiful. It gave off the impression of a charming old European city, but was actually located in North America. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to visit until very recently, but when I finally did visit, it was everything that I had dreamed of.

Despite being an older city with some cobblestone and steps into many buildings, there were plenty of things that I could do. And luckily, Canadians are some of the nicest people on the planet, so they were always willing to lend a helping hand. From exploring the Old Town to staying in an incredibly accessible hotel, here is what all I did in Quebec City and why I loved it –

 

 

My visit to Quebec City started at Hotel Le Bonne Entente, a stunning and luxurious hotel located just a short drive from the main part of the city. I, along with my mom, our driver Thierry, and our tour organizer Julie-Anne, met up with our city guide, a nice lady named Elyse Busque, at this hotel. Elyse was lively and excited to show us around her city. We also checked into this hotel later on, but I’ll talk more about the accommodations in a bit. After all, you’re ready to hear about the city, aren’t you? That’s what I thought…

We all loaded into our accessible rental van and hit the road. Our rental van was from a company in Montreal called Location Légaré. It was a Dodge Grand Caravan with a side-entry ramp. I was also able to sit up front in the passenger seat spot, and there were tie-downs for my chair. It was a nice rental van and made it easy to get around Quebec.

 

Our rental van

Our rental van

 

 

What I Did in Quebec City

The first stop on our action-packed day tour was Saint-Michel de Sillery Church. From the parking lot of the church, we had a remarkable view of the Saint Lawrence River, which flows through the city. The word “Quebec” actually means “where the river narrows” and refers to the Saint Lawrence River. This river, as you can probably imagine, plays a big part in the lives of the people of Quebec, and they believe that there’s no better place to be than on the river (I agree).

 

Saint-Michel de Sillery Church

Saint-Michel de Sillery Church

 

We took in the views for a while and then made our way over to the National Battlefields Park, which is Canada’s first national historic park. This park is quite large and contains the Plains of Abraham, where the 1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham took place. This battle was the defining confrontation between the French and British Empires in North America.

While the park has a lot of history attached to it, the people of Quebec use it mostly for recreation today. It is to Quebec what Central Park is to New York City. On the day that I visited, it was packed with families biking, running, having picnics, and just enjoying the sunny day. There are paved trails around the park for wheelchair users as well.

 

 

The next area that we went to was the one that I was most excited for: the Old Town. Quebec City is the only walled city north of Mexico in North America and the Old Town is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’ve been following my travels for a while, then you know that I’m a sucker for UNESCO sites.

As we drove into the Upper Old Town (AKA Haute-Ville), it looked exactly like everything that I had imagined. It was historic, charming, and very European. I felt like I had been transported to France.

 

 

Our driver dropped us out on the main plaza beside the Chateau Frontenac. Chateau Frontenac is one of Canada’s most iconic landmarks. It also happens to be a hotel. Of course, it’s quite expensive, but if you want to indulge then this would be a fantastic place to do it. Celine Dion and all of the A-listers stay here when they’re in Quebec. I didn’t go inside the Chateau Frontenac, but I enjoyed admiring its exterior.

 

Chateau Frontenac

Chateau Frontenac

Photo courtesy of Kéroul

Photo courtesy of Kéroul

 

Since the Chateau Frontenac is in a prime location, I was able to roll to some other sights in Upper Quebec. Right beside the hotel is the Champlain Statue, a monument devoted to Samuel Champlain, who founded the city in 1608.

 

Champlain Statue

Champlain Statue

 

There are loads of restaurants and shops in the area as well, but many of them had steps to get inside. On a nice summer day, you could eat on the terrace outside though, or just call ahead to the restaurants of your choosing to check their accessibility. You can also check to see which restaurants in Quebec City are accessible by clicking here. Another good thing about Quebec City’s accessibility is the fact that there are curb cuts on most sidewalks. This made it easy to get around.

 

 wheelchair accessible quebec city

Photo courtesy of Kéroul

 

One other area I’d recommend visiting in Upper Quebec is Rue Du Tresor, better known as Artist Alley. Dozens of artists occupy this alley with their artwork on display and for sale. I loved strolling through the alley and checking out the beautiful artwork. It was all extremely impressive!

 

Artist Alley

Artist Alley

 

I know it sounds like Upper Quebec has it all, but there’s a whole other side to the city down below in Lower Quebec. To get down to Lower Quebec, I rode the wheelchair accessible Funiculaire. The Funiculaire is an incline elevator with glass walls, giving you optimal views during the short ride. From the Funiculaire, the views were stunning!! I could see the Saint Lawrence River and much of Lower Quebec. This was probably my favorite experience in Quebec City, and at just $3 per person it’s a steal.

 

View from the Funiculaire

View from the Funiculaire

 

Once we got down to the lower part of the city, I immediately noticed that it was more upbeat than Upper Quebec. There were street performers, kids dancing, and it just had a more European feeling. Upper Quebec definitely had a strong European vibe, but down here it was more palpable for some reason.

 

 

There were various souvenir shops and restaurants, but pretty much all of them had a large step to get inside. I still liked rolling through Lower Quebec though and looking at the famous murals. I got to see a couple different murals that were on the sides of buildings. They were deceiving to the eye because they looked so realistic. The attention to detail was just unbelievable.

 

 wheelchair accessible quebec city

Photo courtesy of Kéroul

Photo courtesy of Kéroul

 

While seeing the murals and street performers was nice, the highlight of Lower Quebec for me was trying some maple taffy. It was cold and sticky, but so delicious! During my time in Canada, I kept hearing about how great their maple was, and some maple taffy was a perfect introduction to this Canadian food staple. Seriously, if you see some maple taffy, get it immediately. You won’t regret it.

 

 

Now that we had seen a lot of Quebec City and been touring all day, we worked up an appetite. We had dinner at Cafe du Monde. This restaurant is located at the Cruise Terminal, which was a very short walk/roll from Lower Quebec. The food is French, but there is a good variety of options. I had salmon for my main course, but we also got to try blood pudding as an appetizer. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the blood pudding, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected to have the word “blood” in the name of it. Overall, Cafe du Monde was a great restaurant and the location was perfect. We had stellar views of the Saint Lawrence River while we ate.

 

Fish and chips at Cafe du Monde

Fish and chips at Cafe du Monde

 

To see my experience in Quebec City’s Old Town, watch this short video –

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Where I Stayed in Quebec City

As I mentioned earlier, I had the pleasure of staying at Hotel Le Bonne Entente while in the city. This hotel was only a 5-10 minute drive from the Old Town and was absolutely gorgeous. As soon as I saw the exterior, I knew that I was in for a treat.

I stayed in a wheelchair accessible room and it was one of the most spacious rooms I’ve ever stayed in. The living area and bedroom were separate from each other, and the living area had a flat-screen television, a desk, couch, and more.

 

 

The bedroom was spacious as well, and the bed was a good height for me. If you’ll need to transfer yourself into bed, you might want to request that the bed be lowered a bit. It wasn’t overly tall, but it was higher than other beds I’ve used.

 

 

The restroom is split into two rooms; one with the toilet and another room with the roll-in shower and sink. The roll-in shower was fantastic and there was a fold-down seat beside the handheld shower sprayer. I took my Go Mobility travel shower chair and used it, but this shower really had an ideal setup for anyone.

 

 

In addition to the gigantic room, the 5 star Hotel Le Bonne Entente also had a pool, multiple restaurants, and a spa. You could easily spend an entire day lounging and enjoying all of the amenities that Bonne Entente offers.

*Check prices at Le Bonne Entente by clicking here.

 

wheelchair accessible quebec city

Photo courtesy of Kéroul

 

Even though Quebec City might not be the most wheelchair accessible city in the world, it offers plenty for anyone visiting. I absolutely loved its charm and while I wasn’t in the city for an incredibly long time, I had so much fun. I can’t wait to go back and see what else Quebec City has to offer.


*Thanks to Keroul and Quebec City Tourism for organizing this trip. While some experiences were complimentary, all opinions are authentic and my own. This post includes affiliate links. When you click on a link, I may receive a small compensation, which will help this blog grow into a better resource for disabled travelers.

wheelchair accessible quebec city

 

 

wheelchair accessible quebec city

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