Quebec City, located in the province of Quebec, Canada, is a charming and historic destination that offers a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. As one of the oldest cities in North America, it is rich in history, culture, and stunning architecture. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Quebec City:
1. Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec)
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Explore the heart of the city in Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This historic district is divided into Upper Town (Haute-Ville) and Lower Town (Basse-Ville). Stroll along the cobblestone streets, admire the beautiful architecture, and visit landmarks like the iconic Château Frontenac, the imposing Citadelle of Quebec, and the historic city walls.
2. Plains of Abraham (Battlefields Park)
This large urban park is not only a green oasis but also a site of significant historical importance. It was the location of the 1759 Battle of Quebec between the French and British forces. Today, it’s a perfect place for picnics, leisurely walks, and enjoying breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River.
3. Montmorency Falls Park
Just outside the city, you’ll find the impressive Montmorency Falls, which are higher than Niagara Falls. Take a cable car or hike up the trails for spectacular views from different vantage points. In winter, the falls freeze, creating a stunning natural ice sculpture.
4. Quartier Petit-Champlain
This charming and picturesque neighborhood in Lower Town is one of the oldest commercial streets in North America. It’s lined with quaint shops, art galleries, restaurants, and cafes, making it an excellent place for shopping and dining.
5. Musée de la civilisation (Museum of Civilization)
Delve into Quebec’s fascinating history and culture at this modern and interactive museum. It features engaging exhibits that showcase the province’s heritage, art, and innovations.
6. Observatoire de la Capitale
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For breathtaking panoramic views of Quebec City, head to the Observatoire de la Capitale located in the Marie-Guyart Building. From the 31st floor, you can get a 360-degree view of the city and the surrounding landscape.
7. Île d’Orléans
A short drive from Quebec City, this island is a haven of rural charm and agriculture. Explore the picturesque villages, taste local products like maple syrup and apple cider, and enjoy the scenic views of the St. Lawrence River.
8. Winter Activities
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If you visit during the winter, embrace the city’s winter wonderland with activities like ice skating at Place D’Youville or on the Plains of Abraham, skiing at nearby resorts, and participating in the Quebec Winter Carnival, one of the largest winter festivals in the world.
9. Food and Cuisine
Quebec City is renowned for its culinary scene, especially its delicious French-inspired cuisine. Be sure to try traditional dishes like poutine, tourtière (meat pie), and maple syrup treats. Also, explore the city’s vibrant restaurant scene, offering a variety of international cuisines.
10. Ghost Tours and Evening Walks
Discover the city’s spooky and mysterious side with guided ghost tours through the historic streets. Alternatively, enjoy leisurely evening walks along the promenade, illuminated by the warm glow of street lamps and the historic buildings.
11. Quebec City Summer Festival (Festival d’été de Québec)
If you visit during the summer, don’t miss the Quebec City Summer Festival, a major music event that attracts artists from various genres and thousands of attendees. This multi-day festival features concerts, performances, and a vibrant atmosphere throughout the city.
12. Parliament Building (Assemblée nationale du Québec)
Take a guided tour of the majestic Parliament Building to learn about Quebec’s political history and witness its stunning architecture. The building’s exterior and interior are adorned with beautiful artwork and sculptures.
13. Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
A short drive from Quebec City, this religious site is famous for its healing miracles and impressive religious artwork. The basilica’s grandeur and spiritual significance make it a significant pilgrimage site for Catholics.
14. Place Royale
Situated in the heart of Lower Town, Place Royale is a historical square surrounded by charming buildings that reflect the city’s French heritage. This picturesque square is a great spot for taking photos and learning about Quebec’s early colonial history.
15. Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec)
Art enthusiasts will appreciate the extensive collection of Quebecois and Canadian art displayed in this museum. From classic to contemporary, the exhibits offer a comprehensive overview of the region’s artistic expression.
16. Saint-Roch Neighborhood
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This trendy district is known for its artistic flair, with a mix of hip cafes, art galleries, boutiques, and a vibrant nightlife scene. Saint-Roch is an excellent place to experience Quebec City’s modern cultural scene.
17. Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area
For nature lovers and birdwatchers, Cap Tourmente offers a chance to observe migratory birds, especially during spring and fall. The area’s diverse ecosystem, including marshes and forests, provides a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
18. Québec-Lévis Ferry
Take a short ferry ride across the St. Lawrence River to the town of Lévis. Enjoy stunning views of Quebec City’s skyline from the water and explore the quaint streets and parks of Lévis on the other side.
19. Local Markets
Experience the city’s vibrant local culture by visiting its markets. The Marché du Vieux-Port (Old Port Market) offers fresh produce, artisanal products, and regional delicacies. The Marché du Vieux-Québec (Old Quebec Market) is a great place to find unique souvenirs and crafts.
20. Outdoor Activities
Quebec City offers a plethora of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and canoeing in the surrounding nature parks and along the St. Lawrence River. Parc de la Chute-Montmorency and Parc des Moulins are great locations for nature enthusiasts.
21. Funicular Ride
Enjoy a fun and scenic ride on the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec, a cable railway that connects Upper Town and Lower Town. This short ride offers stunning views of the city and the St. Lawrence River, making it a convenient and picturesque way to move between the two parts of the city.
22. Fontaine de Tourny
Admire the beauty of the Fontaine de Tourny, a magnificent fountain located in front of the Parliament Building. This elegant and grandiose fountain was a gift to Quebec City from the city of Bordeaux, France, and adds a touch of European charm to the surroundings.
23. Domaine de Maizerets
This historic park and gardens offer a peaceful retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle. Explore the lush greenery, serene ponds, and well-maintained walking trails. It’s a great place for a leisurely stroll, a family picnic, or simply unwinding in nature.
24. Festivals and Events
Quebec City hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating music, arts, culture, and more. Besides the Quebec City Summer Festival, you can also look out for events like the Festival d’opéra de Québec, the New France Festival, and the Québec City International Festival of Military Bands.
25. Local Breweries and Cafés
Embrace Quebec City’s vibrant café culture and craft beer scene by visiting local breweries and cafés. Sample some of the region’s finest craft beers and try specialty coffees in cozy, unique settings.
26. Helicopter Tour
For a truly memorable and breathtaking experience, consider taking a helicopter tour over Quebec City. This aerial adventure offers panoramic views of the city’s landmarks, the St. Lawrence River, and the surrounding countryside.
27. Ice Hotel (Hôtel de Glace)
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If you’re visiting during the winter months, don’t miss the chance to explore the famous Ice Hotel, a stunning structure made entirely of ice and snow. Marvel at the ice sculptures, sip on cocktails served in ice glasses, and experience a one-of-a-kind overnight stay in an ice room.
28. Parc des Champs-de-Bataille (Battlefields Park)
This sprawling urban park is another great place to enjoy the outdoors in Quebec City. It offers well-maintained walking and biking trails, open green spaces, and beautiful gardens, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing day amidst nature.
29. Explore the City by Bicycle
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Quebec City is a bike-friendly destination, with numerous bike lanes and paths. Rent a bicycle and explore the city at your own pace, taking in the sights and stopping at various points of interest.
30. The Island of Orleans
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Take a leisurely drive along the scenic Route de l’Église on the Island of Orleans, just a short distance from Quebec City. The island is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming villages, and fresh produce markets.
Places and Things To Do