Things To Do in Quebec City

Nestled along the picturesque St. Lawrence River, Quebec City offers a captivating blend of Old World charm, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, food lover, or nature explorer, here’s how to make the most of your visit to this enchanting Canadian gem.

Step Back in Time in Old Quebec

Begin your journey in the heart of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage site brimming with centuries-old architecture, cobblestone streets, and a palpable sense of history. Start at Place Royale, where Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City in 1608, and soak in the ambiance of this historic square lined with charming cafes and boutiques.

Wander through Quartier Petit Champlain, North America’s oldest commercial district, where artisanal shops and galleries beckon with unique crafts and local artwork. Don’t miss the towering Château Frontenac, an iconic landmark offering panoramic views and a glimpse into Quebec City’s grand past.

Cultural Delights and Artistic Treasures

Immerse yourself in Quebecois culture at the Musée de la civilisation, where interactive exhibits delve into the region’s heritage, from Indigenous traditions to contemporary Quebecois life. Explore the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec to admire works by renowned artists like Jean-Paul Riopelle and gain insights into Quebec’s vibrant artistic scene.

Stroll down Rue Saint-Jean, a lively street lined with bistros, bakeries, and specialty shops offering a taste of Quebecois cuisine. Indulge in local delights such as savory poutine, delicate crepes, or artisanal cheeses paired with Quebec’s famous ice cider or craft beer.

Natural Wonders and Outdoor Adventures

Escape to nature at Montmorency Falls Park, just a short drive from downtown Quebec City. Marvel at Montmorency Falls, which cascade 83 meters into the river below, and take in spectacular views from the suspension bridge or the panoramic lookout points. For an adrenaline rush, try ziplining across the falls or hiking along scenic trails.

Explore the historic Plains of Abraham, a sprawling park where the pivotal Battle of Quebec took place in 1759. Today, it’s a tranquil oasis offering walking paths, gardens, and commemorative monuments, perfect for picnics and reflecting on Quebec City’s rich military history.

Explore Unique Neighborhoods and Hidden Gems

Venture beyond Old Quebec to discover vibrant neighborhoods like Saint-Roch, known for its hip cafes, street art, and eclectic shops. Visit the picturesque Saint-Jean-Baptiste district, where Victorian homes and trendy boutiques blend seamlessly with historic landmarks and lively cultural venues.

Experience Quebec City’s winter magic at the Ice Hotel, a stunning structure crafted entirely from ice and snow each winter. Explore its intricate ice sculptures, enjoy a cocktail in an ice glass at the ice bar, and even spend a night in a cozy ice-themed room for a truly unforgettable experience.

Celebrate Festivals and Local Traditions

Join in the festivities during Quebec City’s vibrant festivals, such as the Winter Carnival, where elaborate ice sculptures, night parades, and outdoor concerts bring the city to life in the midst of winter. Experience the Quebec City Summer Festival, featuring renowned musicians, street performers, and cultural events against the backdrop of historic venues and scenic waterfront stages.

The Quebec funicular
View of the funicular in Quebec

Savor Quebecois Cuisine: A Culinary Journey

No visit to Quebec City is complete without indulging in its rich culinary traditions, where French-inspired cuisine meets local flavors and artisanal craftsmanship. From iconic dishes to hidden gems, here’s your guide to experiencing the best of Quebecois food.

Poutine: Quebec’s Signature Dish

Start your culinary adventure with poutine, Quebec’s beloved comfort food. This iconic dish features crispy fries topped with cheese curds and smothered in savory gravy. Sample classic poutine at La Banquise or try creative variations with toppings like pulled pork, foie gras, or smoked meat at Chez Gaston.

Maple Syrup: Liquid Gold of Quebec

Explore Quebec’s maple syrup heritage at a sugar shack, where you can savor maple taffy on snow or indulge in a traditional sugar shack meal featuring pea soup, maple-glazed ham, and fluffy pancakes drizzled with warm maple syrup. Don’t miss a visit to a local market or artisanal shop to bring home authentic maple products, from syrup and candies to maple-infused spirits.

Farm-to-Table Delights and Local Markets

Discover fresh flavors at Marché du Vieux-Port, a bustling market offering seasonal produce, artisanal cheeses, and locally sourced meats. Sample Quebecois specialties like tourtière (meat pie), cretons (pork spread), and artisanal cheeses paired with crusty baguettes from nearby bakeries.

Gastronomic Gems and Culinary Experiences

Indulge in a fine dining experience at Légende par la Tanière, where Chef Louis Pacquelin showcases Quebecois ingredients with a modern twist. Enjoy tasting menus featuring wild game, foraged mushrooms, and sustainable seafood paired with Quebec wines and craft beers.

Street Food and Hidden Culinary Gems

Explore food trucks and outdoor markets for casual bites like bison burgers, smoked meat sandwiches, or crispy beaver tails sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. Join a food tour to uncover hidden culinary gems, from authentic boulangeries serving flaky croissants to family-run bistros offering hearty comfort dishes like duck confit and cassoulet.

Sweet Endings: Quebecois Desserts

Indulge your sweet tooth with Quebecois desserts like tarte au sucre (sugar pie), buttery kouign-amann pastries, or decadent chocolate truffles infused with local spirits. Pair your dessert with a rich espresso or a creamy latte at a cozy cafe overlooking Old Quebec’s cobblestone streets.