A château designed by Bruce Price as part of a series of luxury château style hotels (Banff Springs Hotel, Château Lake Louise) by the Canadian Pacific Railway company, Château Frontenac stands tall on a cape overlooking the St. Lawrence River and is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world.
The question is, where are the best places to capture postcard pretty shots of Château Frontenac?
Pierre-Dugua-de Mons Terrace
One of the more popular photograph spots, it’s best to visit Pierre-Dugua-de Mons Terrace in the morning before 9:00 a.m., or after mid-evening as the crowds are almost non-existent that those times. There are a couple ways to get here:
- Walk along the path that runs atop the outer walls of the citadel
- Walk to the end of rue des Carrières and take the steep path or the stairs on the right
- Walk down Avenue Saint-Denis (heading towards the St. Lawrence River)
The tree lined path to Monument de la Foi (one of my favourite fountains in Québec) in Place d’Armes Square is a popular spot in spring, summer, and autumn (high season) and offers a beautifully framed view of Château Frontenac. This viewpoint is from rue Sainte-Anne, in front of 1640 Restaurant. If you want a photo without the crowds, arrive early in the morning (before 9:00 a.m.).
On the corner of rue Port Dauphine and Côte de la Montagne, this viewpoint of Château Frontenac is at the far southwest corner just past the Cartier monument. A wonderful spot when the leaves are on the trees!
Boat Docks [rue du Marché-Champlain and rue Dalhousie]
Another favourite, this Château Frontenac vantage point is from the docks near the Québec-Lévis ferry where rue du Marché-Champlain turns into rue Dalhousie. While this is a lovely vantage point in spring and summer, the best time is in the fall when the trees are changing colour. Simply spectacular!
A benefit to this vantage point is that it’s easy to set-up a tripod without getting in the way of cars or pedestrians. This is an idea location for night shots (think lit château above, and light trails below!).
If you’re hoping to get a shot of the Château Frontenac and the rest of the old city skyline, the best vantage point is from the top deck of the Québec-Lévis ferry while it’s in port in Lévis. A roundtrip ferry ticket costs $6.70 per adult, a steal when you score the perfect shot. This best time for this shot is early morning before the sun gets too high, or after 3:00 p.m. **If you’re doing night shots get off the ferry as the vibration of the boat motors will make it difficult to get a crisp shot.
This vantage point is highly recommended no matter what the season!