Dominating the southern section of Vieux-Québec, the massive star-shaped Citadelle can only be visited on one of the worthwhile guided tours. The tour de force of Québec City’s fortifications, the Citadelle occupies the highest point of Cap Diamant, 100m above the St Lawrence. This strategic site was first built on by the French, but the British constructed most of the buildings under orders from the Duke of Wellington, who was anxious about American attack after the War of 1812.

The complex of 25 buildings is the largest North American fort still occupied by troops – being home to the Royal 22nd Regiment, Canada’s only French-speaking regiment. Ranged around the parade ground are various monuments to the campaigns of the celebrated “Van-Doos” (vingt-deux), as well as the summer residence of Canada’s governor general and two buildings dating back to the French period: the Cap Diamant Redoubt, built in 1693 and thus one of the oldest parts of the Citadelle, and the 1750 powder magazine, now a mundane museum of weaponry and military artefacts.

In addition to the guided tours, the admission price includes the colourful Changing of the Guard (late June to early Sept daily 10am), which you can catch at the end of a 9am tour (otherwise arrive by 9.45am), and the Beating of the Retreat tattoo (early July to early Sept Fri–Sun 7pm, at the end of the 6pm tour).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Canada features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Road trip Canada: 5 of the best routes

Rugged and vast, Canada has much to explore and enjoy. Driving gives you freedom to travel at your own pace, allowing you to pull over and appreciate scenery al…

05 Dec 2016 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
15 awesome images of Canada

15 awesome images of Canada

Canada is has vast and varied landscape, from beautiful beaches to glassy mountain lakes. It's difficult to capture the country's real beauty in a photograph, b…

09 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

8 reasons Vancouver is cooler than you think

Vancouver sometimes gets knocked for being a bit dull – and while it’s true that its residents can be earlier to bed than in the rest of North America, thi…

05 Sep 2016 • Rachel Mills insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month