A fairytale city of Chateaus and cobblestone streets, with breathtaking views of green parkland and the blue St. Lawrence river, Quebec City is filled with warm hospitality and European charm. Here are some of the top things to do in Quebec City to ensure you have a perfect trip.
This is a city that’s built for walking. Step back in time and visit the historic sites while stopping by charming cafes and bistros on the way. With plenty of places to visit and activities to do no matter the season, Quebec City will always have you coming back for more.
Want to feel like you’re in Europe without stepping out of North America? Then Quebec City is the place to be. Start in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the soaring churches, quaint homes, and fortifications of the only walled city north of Mexico. In the summer, skip down the stone staircases to La Citadelle, a 19th century fortress, and watch the daily changing of the guard before relaxing with a picnic on the lush green grass of the Plains of Abraham. And if you’re not one to follow the regular tourist route, read our article about the Top 5 Local Secrets in Quebec City. Join some active locals in biking the 100 km of marked trails in Vallée Bras-du-Nord, or try their hand at canyoning in Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier.
Quebec City’s food scene is defined by its European roots, but its French-Canadian personality shines through at every turn, from celebration of its local cheeses, bread, and produce at the farmers’ markets, to the rich cassoulet, poutine, and crepes served in the inviting restaurants and warm cafes. If you’re looking to enjoy your dinner on a beautiful patio, head to Grande Allée where countless cafes, bars and restaurants line the streets. After dinner, make sure to catch a street performances held at the public squares in the city. And while you’re in Quebec, don’t forget to stop by one of the many dessert shops and stands to grab some maple flavoured treats. Maple syrup aside, you can try maple doughnuts, whiskey, and even maple beer.
If you’re up bright and early, make sure you don’t miss the talented artisans of Quebec City selling their work at the open-air gallery nestled in the Rue du Tresor. Cobblestone streets and charming street lamps line the many shops at Quartier Petit Champlain. Take your time and stroll through these boutiques and local shops unique to Quebec City. One of the best spots to grab some souvenirs and goodies for the folks back home is at Marché du Vieux-Port. Here you can find maple flavoured everything and crafts made by local artisans. And if you’re looking for things to do in Quebec City with kids, a trip to Benjo Toy Store is a must. Check out our Quebec Shopping Guide if you want some more local tips and hidden treasures.
‘Tis the Season
In the winter, Quebec City’s romantic atmosphere dials up to eleven with a blanket of soft snow and brilliantly lit streets. Browse the old-world Christmas markets with a hot chocolate, or spend the new year at Carnaval de Québec, with snow carvers, dog-sledding, Bonhomme the mascot, and a hot alcoholic tipple called Caribou. Quebec City truly looks magical during the Winter time, which is great if you want to add some impressive photos to your Instagram feed. If you have time for a day trip or short getaway, one of Canada’s top ski resorts, Mont Tremblant, is about a four hour drive away. While this may seem long for most, trust us when we say it’s worth the scenic drive. The slopes and the fantastic ski village are truly a sight to see. Interested? Read up on our guide to to get the insider’s scoop.