Visit Québec City
Québec City, always enchanting and filled with history, offers you a typical European ambiance brimming with romance and joie-de-vivre.
You are sure to fall under its spell. A fortified city bustling with activity and culture, Québec City will charm you with its boutiques, landscapes, people and countless culinary delights. Surrounded by nature's majestic beauty, this city boasts a safe and exceptional quality of life.
Founded in 1608, by Samuel de Champlain, Québec City is the cradle of French civilization in America and remains the only fortified city north of Mexico. Over the years, this city has preserved and developed its rich heritage. Old Québec has in fact been added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1985. There is no place like it in North America!
Live a unique, unforgettable and memorable experience!
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Year after year, travel magazines continually rank the Québec City Area among the world's top destinations.
Things to do in Québec City
Have you ever visited a new place only to find out that you had missed the best of it when you got back home? You have already been in Québec but would like to step off the beaten path and discover something new? If so, you will find below a list of activities and walking tours to do while you are in town. You can also visit the Québec City tourism office pages here.
Le Festival d'Été du Québec (FEQ)
If you arrive early in Québec City, take part in one of the largest music festival in Canada!
The Quebec City Summer Festival (FEQ), one of the oldest and most important music festivals in North America, offers one of the best cultural experiences on the continent. Every evening, French-speaking artists rub shoulders with the world's greatest music stars in an electrifying atmosphere. With more than 250 concerts spread over ten stages in the heart of Old Quebec, festival-goers are spoiled for choice. With its international stars, rising stars and emerging artists from a wide range of styles, the Summer Festival has something to appeal to all tastes and all ages.
Le Bus rouge (Double Decker)
Discover Québec City from an open-top bus!
The best excursion to discover and explore Québec City you have been looking for. Historical, romantic, fashionable, fun and shopper friendly. Hop on and hop off the red loop as often as you please and see Québec City on your own time and at your own pace. Enjoy fantastic views from the open top deck, it’s unique, it’s le Bus rouge! 14 stops at Québec City's top tourist sites.
Hop on and off all day long!
June - October: Departures every 20-30 minutes: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
The duration of one loop is 1h45 - 2h00.
Guided St-Lawrence Cruise
Discover Québec City from the river and weigh anchor for a fascinating guided cruise on the St. Lawrence River Cruise from Old Québec to the Montmorency Falls and Île d'Orléans and enjoy breathtaking views of the Château Frontenac. With a fascinating costumed guide, learn more about the only walled city in North America!
Boarding: 11h00 am, 1h30 pm and 3h45 pm
Departure Point: Chouinard Pier
Strøm Nordic Spa Old Québec
Strøm Nordic Spa offers a variety of services including massotherapy, beauty treatments, and healthy dining, providing a unique relaxation experience in an exceptionally beautiful natural setting. Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Old Québec, their facilities offer an incomparable atmosphere promoting complete rejuvenation. Also, Strøm Nordic Spa Old Québec City architectural building won the Audience Award for the 30th Architecture Excellence Awards of the Order of Architects of Québec.
Observatoire de la Capitale
Located in the heart of the city and offering a breathtaking panoramic view at 221 meters of altitude over 360 degrees, the Observatoire de la Capitale is a must-see during your stay! This unparalleled experience will introduce you to more than 400 years of history in its highest viewpoint.
The Dufferin Terrace is by far the most visited tourist attraction in Québec City. You can see the water slowly run to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and you will have a breathtaking view on the South Shore, the Île d'Orléans, the Old-Port and, of course, the Fairmont Château Frontenac.
All summer, the terrace is animated by musicians and street artists like mimes or magicians, to name only those! You can also see the remains of the forts and castles of Saint-Louis located under the terrace and the cannons that were used to defend the city more than once. Take the opportunity to stop by the Samuel de Champlain monument as well as the one dedicated to generals Wolfe and Montcalm, both of whom died during the famous battle of the Plains of Abraham.
The fortifications surrounding Old Québec are close to 4.6 km in length. As you walk the walls, you'll learn about the defence system of North America's only remaining fortified city. Take a guided tour of Québec City's fortifications and admire the views. Visit the Frontenac kiosk on Dufferin Terrace as well as Artillery Park and its unique building interiors near the Saint-Jean Gate.
More than just the vestiges of military art of war, the Fortifications of Québec bear witness to the era of fortified cities between the 17th and 19th century.
When within Québec's defence system, one can sense that the military's presence dominated the city. The parade grounds, esplanades, military arteries, casemate, and warehouse, in which munitions and artillery paraphernalia were stored, are remnants of a city's past that was punctuated by the beat of the war drum.
Nicknamed the "Gibraltar of America", the Citadelle was built between 1820 and 1850 and is the largest British fortress built in North America. It is located atop Cap Diamant, the highest natural point in the area. Find out about its critical role in the city's defence system.
Why did Québec City have to have a fortress? What explains its shape, like a star when seen from above? What goes on within its walls today? These and other questions will be answered along the way.
Visit the Citadelle, an active military base where visitors can watch the changing of the guard or explore the Governor General’s official residence.
The Plains of Abraham (Battlefields Park)
The Plains of Abraham was the site of many clashes for supremacy between the French and British Empires, the park is the scene of the 1759 Conquest, which changed the fate of North America. Apart from its historical past, the park is to Québec what Central Park and Hyde Park are to New York and London: a city park of outstanding value, the lungs of the city. One hundred and three hectares of meadow and grassy knolls, decked with flowers or covered with snow, are there for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The Plains are perfect for all kinds of activities (walking, cycling, picnicking, cross-country skiing, and more) or simply meeting up with friends.
Donation of the Québec government to the capital during the celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Québec in 2008, this large natural park of 4.3 km runs along Champlain Boulevard, but also the beautiful St. Lawrence River. This important achievement has given Quebecers access to this mighty waterway.
The Promenade Samuel-de-Champlain offers a contemporary art park, an observation tower, and thematic gardens. On foot or rollerblades, by bike, or even on snowshoes in winter, this is the ideal place for active people who like to stop off here and there to check out the contemporary art or learn a little something on the interpretive paths.
Enter the fascinating world of the Huron-Wendat First Nation and embark on a history tour that will take you back to the 17th century. The ancestral site of Wendake is a window onto aboriginal culture! Dance shows and legends will whisk you deep into these people's imagination, while Musée huron-wendat and various craft stores invite you to learn more about the nation's culture and traditional know-how.
A short walk through scenic natural surroundings leads visitors to Kabir Kouba Falls by Rivière Saint-Charles, and sampling the game featured in traditional Huron cuisine is the perfect way to round out your voyage of discovery.
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier
Large mountainous plateau of 670 km2 interspersed through deep valleys surrounded by steep wall soaring up to 550 m in height! More than 100 km of hiking trails allow you to admire the most spectacular landscapes of the park. Sometimes at the edge of the river, sometimes in the heart of the forest, the trails will give you access to exceptional views.
With hiking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing and camping all available in breathtaking surroundings, it's no wonder that the Jacques-Cartier region is known locally as Québec City's “green crescent.”
Beautiful Montmorency Falls Park is just a few minutes from downtown Québec City. The waterfalls are 83 m (272') tall, a full 30 m (99') higher than Niagara Falls. Groomed footpaths throughout the park lead past several lookout points. You can admire the view from the cable car, suspended bridge or stairs climbing up the side of the cliff. Three via ferrata routes are located near the falls. At the Montmorency Manor, you will find a restaurant, gift shop and interpretation centre. A snack bar is located in the cable car station. It is open year-round.
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Proud of its reference collection of Québec art, the Musée has an abundant collection of more than 38,000 works that offers a vast survey of the history of Québec art from the 17th century to today. Located in Québec City, a world heritage city, it has four pavilions: the Pierre Lassonde pavilion, devoted to contemporary art, the Charles Baillairgé pavilion (the former Québec City jail), devoted to modern art, the Gérard Morisset pavilion, the temple of historical art, and the central pavilion, home to the Family Gallery. Major international exhibitions are also presented there, as well as numerous cultural activities. Restaurants, a café and boutique round out the visitor’s experience.
Musée du Fort
The Musée du Fort takes you on an extraordinary journey in time with a sound and light show that recounts the military history of Québec City. A giant model helps bring this story alive with the help of spectacular special effects. In 30 minutes, you will learn the importance of the unique geography of the region and the military strategies that made Québec such a sought-after city. A wonderful activity that will be enjoyed by all ages! Right in the heart of Old Québec, just a few steps from the Château Frontenac, Musée du Fort starts off your visit to Québec City with a bang!
Musée de la civilisation
Set in Old Québec, Musée de la civilisation is a leading cultural experience for every family in the area and a top tourist attraction for visitors on vacation. A place of knowledge and ideas, Musée de la civilisation takes a fresh and often unexpected look at the human experience. With original and bold exhibitions, the Museum will transport you into the great cities of the world, fascinating ancient civilizations, significant sociocultural movements and the heart of Québec society.
Aquarium du Québec
Get transported to the heart of the ecosystems of the St. Lawrence River and Canadian waters to discover the northern flora and fauna. During this breathtaking journey to the North Pole, you will meet 10,000 marine animals representing 300 different species that inhabit the Aquarium: fish, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates and marine mammals. Among them, polar bears, walruses, and seals will make you live unique moments. Attend their meal or training: a fascinating experience for everyone! Covering 16 hectares, the vast site is very well laid out both indoors and outdoors. It is the only aquarium in Québec City, open all year.
Click on the images below for a better view of the attractions that are awaiting you in Québec City!