Quebec City is one of the most enchanting places in Canada. Some would even describe it as straight out of a fairy tale, with its dreamy architecture, views of the river and surrounding mountains. Here you will find a thriving gastronomic scene, an impressive collection of art museums and galleries, relaxing Nordic spas, fantastic nature-filled getaways, and much more!
Things to do in Quebec City
1. Take a walk through Old Quebec
Upon arrival in Quebec City, run, do not run to catch a tour of Old Quebec, the historic center of the city. It is full of centuries-old buildings that will make you feel like you have been transported to 19th-century France. The neighborhood is a World Heritage Site with hundreds of years of history, so touring with a guide is the perfect way to enjoy all the sights while learning about the city’s beginnings.
Sure, you can browse the area on your own, but starting a tour is a great way to get your bearings and take note of the places you want to spend more time on. This two-hour walking tour takes you to some of Old Quebec’s most famous landmarks, including the pristine Notre Dame Basilica and even the antique shops at St.Paul Street.
2. View the Dufferin Terrace
You’ll likely find yourself on Dufferin Terrace as you explore Old Quebec, and it’s worth spending some time here to check out the incredible views. The terrace was once the site of Fort Saint Louis, but today it has one of the best views in the city. From here you can reach the St.Lawrence River and the Chateaux National Historic Site, among many other prominent landmarks.
3. Take a ride on the cable car in Parc De la Chute Montmorency…
Parc De La Chute Montmorency is a must-visit as it is the site of a 272-foot waterfall and is surrounded by nature. The park is only about 15 minutes from the city, but it remains closed, and feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of Quebec.
If you are visiting in winter, you should not miss a ride on the cable cars, on which you can float over the waterfalls and admire the Rolling White Hills of snow. The views are spectacular and definitely worth the extra cost. Another option for a panoramic view is to climb the 487-step staircase, but only if you like the not very cold winter weather.
4. …or zipline over the falls in the warmer months
Visiting Quebec City in the summer? This is easily the best time to pump up your adrenaline with a daring zipline ride over Montmorency Falls. It is 300 meters long, promises a fulfilling ride with unforgettable views. Book your zipline adventure here.
5. Eat your way through the Île d’orléans
It’s no secret that Quebec has a thriving culinary scene. From poutine to maple-flavored delicacies and mouthwatering French favorites like pancakes and steak fries, Quebec has plenty of options to make any traveling foodie happy.
Île d’orléans is a small island on the St.Lawrence River is known for its rural quality preserved through the years. This is a particularly ideal place to dive into Quebec’s food scene, as you’ll find handmade products, locally made plonk, and shops selling artisan blackcurrant sweets. Consider this Island of Orleans Taste Trail tour, which will take you to some of the best places.
6. Discover the city by bike
Quebec City has more than 200 kilometers of bike paths, making it a dream destination for cyclists. Even if you’re not super into cycling, renting a bike is a fun way to explore the city. Plus, most of the trails are flat and easy to navigate.
Consider a guided bike tour if you want to learn about the city while cycling. If you are not into the idea of the tour, you can easily rent a bike for the whole day and go the trails on your own.
7. Treat yourself to a Nordic spa experience
Nordic spas are very popular in Quebec. If you haven’t been to one, this is the perfect opportunity to pamper yourself for a day! Offering hot tubs, steam saunas and thermal and Nordic baths, Strøm Nordic Spa is one of the best in town. It overlooks the River St.Lawrence en specializes in thermotherapy, a wellness ritual that uses water therapeutically. Book your spa experience here.
8. Discover the art scene at the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec
Art museums have a special place in my heart, because I believe that they allow us to get such an interesting look into the soul of a new city. The Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec is a must-stop for anyone who feels the same, as it offers an impressive collection of art dating back to the 17th century and stretching through time to the present day. Exhibitions range from Inuit sculptures to a historical exploration in Quebec’s sanatoriums, to an exhibition of ephemeral artwork, blending art, history, and science beautifully.
9. Visit the Brass Art Albert Gilles Museum
Walking around the city, you will notice that many historical buildings have copper accents. Especially in churches, Copper Art is a prominent form of decoration here, and one of the defining features of the city of Quebec. The Albert Gilles Museum features copper works of art by the Gilles family, who are masters of the craft. Here you can see works by various members of the family over the centuries, as well as modern copper works of art by the five women who continue the tradition.