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There’s nothing quite like a trip to Quebec City for its history, charm, and culture. I spent a proper long weekend this month exploring all the best things to do in Quebec City. What I found was an enchanting city, full of stunning architecture, a booming food scene, and so much to love.

Quebec City, the capital of the province of Quebec, Canada, is one of North America’s oldest and most beautiful cities. Founded in 1608 by French explorer Samuel de Champlain, Quebec City was the first permanent French settlement in what is now Canada. Despite many different influences, Quebec City has retained its distinct French character, where the official language today is French. You’ll quite literally feel transported to Europe here.

The city’s historic district, Old Quebec, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, renowned for its well-preserved 17th and 18th-century buildings, cobblestone streets, and the iconic Château Frontenac. Throughout all of these storied streets, you’ll find yourself enjoying even more-so what are the local businesses today.

During my trip, I had planned for no snow, but low and behold, a last winter storm had arrived. So I spent the majority of my time looking for the very best things to do — any time of the year. So whether you arrive in summer or winter, sun or snow, I’ve put together the ultimate list.

If you’re planning your trip to this French-Canadian city, these are the best Quebec City things to do.

(This post is sponsored by Quebec Cite. As always, all opinions and recommendations are my own.)

Planning a Trip to Quebec City? Here Are My Top Picks for the Best Hotels and Things to Do:

Hotels

  1. Hôtel 71, for the best boutique hotel
  2. Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, for the best luxury hotel

Things to Do

  1. Join a hiking tour in Jacques-Cartier National Park
  2. Take a Walking Tour of Old Quebec

16 Best Things to Do in Quebec City

Things to Do in Quebec City

1. Spend the Morning Strolling Petit Champlain

There is no better place to start a trip in Quebec City than in the historic quarter. I loved my time exploring along Rue du Petit-Champlain, and over to Place Royale. Along the way, there aer a few sites you have to see like Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church north of Mexico and the Royal Battery.

One of my favorite finds was Café La Maison Smith Notre-Dame, which sits right in front of Place Royale. I came in twice as I loved the view and the coffee was great. From there, see the shops and consider taking the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec (opened in 1879) which will transport you up to Dufferin Terrace.

2. Try Poutine At a Microbrewery

Poutine is one of those things you’ll probably want more than once when in Quebec. Poutine is a dish of french fries, topped with fresh cheese curds and gravy. My favorite poutine of the trip was the local microbrewery, Brasserie Artisanale La Korrigane in the hip Saint-Roch neighborhood.

There was a wide selection of seasonal, house-crafted beers and a tasty menu to choose from. Their poutine had two options, a classic, and then a chimichurri version with a beer gravy topped with bacon, fried onion, and grilled corn.

3. Stay in A Boutique Hotel in the Old Quarter

To be footsteps from it all, book yourself into Hôtel 71, a Preferred Hotels & Resorts property. The chic hotel is perfectly located to explore city, it sits right in front of the Musée de la civilisation. Inside, it’s a boutique property with a small lounge and dining room for breakfast. The rooms are spacious, modern, and have wonderful amenities like in-room Nespresso machines. Book the best rates here.

4. Spend the Morning at Strøm Nordic Spa

One of the best things to do in Quebec City is to take a trip to the iconic Strøm Nordic Spa. It’s well-known around Canada, and their Old Quebec location is unlike any other. You’ll want at least 3 hours here (could spend more) to enjoy the expansive spa with views of the St. Lawrence River.

There are thermal baths, Finnish saunas, a salt scrub room, relaxation spaces, North America’s largest flotation bath, and more. It’s in the top three spas I have ever been to. After you’re done at the spa, I’d stop into their Le Nord restaurant for a bite to eat as well.

5. Take a Walking Tour of Old Quebec

Things to Do in Quebec City

I find that diving into the history of a city is best done by a walking tour led by a knowledge, local guide. Meet HQ Services Touristiques, a women-owned small business in the heart of Old Quebec. Her team offers private and group walking tours, which I joined a private tour one of my mornings.

I had the chance to learn much more about the roots of Québec City itself, and get a bigger picture of all of the influences over the generations. Our tour started in the Old Quarter, stopping by Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, a historic church in North America. I learned more about why the Old Town is a fortress in North America (and the only one north of Mexico) and so much more along the way to Porte Saint-Louis. I highly recommend booking one in advance.

6. Taste Quebec’s Exciting Food Scene

Quebec has so much to offer right now in terms of incredible dining — the restaurant scene is booming. And if there is one place to get a taste of this, it’s at the reservation required, Le Clocher Penché. An intimate, airy restaurant in Saint-Roch, works with local producers to create incredible dishes. Order the fresh oysters on the half-shell with house-made granite, the endive salad, and any of their protein mains.

7. Enjoy the Views from Montmorency Park

Things to Do in Quebec City

One of the prettiest viewpoints of the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is from Montmorency Park. It is also a historical park as well, so good for a short walk where you can see statues and more. There are also views that span out over the St. Lawrence.

8.Take a Day Trip to Jacques-Cartier National Park

There are many ways to get out in nature in Quebec, and I have to say my favorite was in Jacques-Cartier National Park. It’s about a 30-minute drive (either rent a car, join a snowshoe tour, or a hiking tour ), to get out to the park. It’s an all-seasons park, which you means you can enjoy it whether there is snow or sun. In the winter, go by snowshoes to explore the trails, and by summer, hiking and kayaking is in full force.

9. Explore the Neighborhoods

While it can be temping to stay the whole time in Old Quebec for its charm, there are other neighborhoods to explore. Start in the hip Saint-Roch for local coffee shops like Café Saint-Henri and Café Pékoe, and stroll along Rue Saint-Joseph. Another neighborhood I enjoyed was Cartier, for a more local feel near the Museé national des beaux-arts du Québec. I stumbled upon Café Olive, a small coffee shop just a few blocks away.

10. Tour a Former Prison, Now Library

Things to Do in Quebec City

Stop into Morrin Center to step back in time and to tour a stunning library. The nationally recognized heritage sites has roots that date back 200 years. As a former prison, you get to walk through the old prison cells, learn about Quebec’s first prison. But today, it also houses one of the most stunning libraries which you’ll have a chance to see more of. Every day there are a guided tour offered which you can book in advance.

11. Partake in a Quebecois Brunch

Come the weekends, brunch is a definitely a big thing in the city. I tried my hand at it, at the local packed Chez Boulay bistro boréal. Their brunch menu had a few different selections, all showcasing Quebecs northern cuisine with local ingredients. You’ll definitely want to make a reservation in advance here.

12. See Montmorency Falls

Things to Do in Quebec City

Montmorency Falls, towering at an impressive height of 83 meters, higher than Niagara Falls, is a magnificent natural wonder located just a few minutes from Quebec City, Canada. This breathtaking waterfall, surrounded by scenic beauty, offers a variety of activities year-round, from hiking and picnicking in the summer to ice climbing on the frozen cascade in the winter. Getting to Montmorency Falls from Quebec City is relatively straightforward and can be done in several ways, either by car or even by riding a bike.

13. Enjoy All Seasons at Dufferin Terrace

Things to Do in Quebec City

Also known as Terrasse Dufferin, this is the spot to come at least once to soak in the action. Stop into Au 1884 for a coffee right in front of Fairmont Le Château Frontenac or even pop into the hotel for afternoon tea. On the terrace, soak in the views and go for a stroll. And if you’re there in winter, do ride the Dufferin Terrace Toboggan Slide — a toboggan run you can’t miss.

14. Stroll the Plains of Abraham

Things to Do in Quebec City

The Plains of Abraham, also known as Battlefields Park, is a historic area located in Quebec City, Canada. This site is renowned for being the location of the pivotal Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1759, where British forces under General James Wolfe defeated the French troops led by General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm, leading to British control of Quebec. As one of the largest green spaces, you can stroll any time of year as they plow the main roads in the winter.

15. Have a Cozy Dinner on Rue du Petit-Champlain

If you’re looking to tuck into one of the most cozy restaurants in town, head to Le Lapin Sauté. And you probably guessed it, the specialty of the house is rabbit. So many ways to try their mouthwatering dishes, I’d go for either the cassoulet or the classic “râble de lapin farci” which is rolled rabbit stuffed with mushrooms duxelles. *Reservations required

16. Visit the Museé national des beaux-arts du Québec

Things to Do in Quebec City

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, located in the heart of Quebec City, is renowned for its vast collection of Quebecois art. The art here ranges from 17th-century historical works to contemporary masterpieces. Its striking architectural building, set within the picturesque Battlefields Park, offers a unique blend of historical and modern design and is well worth a visit.


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Things to Do in Quebec City

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

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Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

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Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

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Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

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Xx,
Jessica

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