If you want to visit a city with European charm within Canada, Québec City is the place for you! We’ve listed a few “must-see” attractions for visiting this iconic city that highlight the charm, history, and gorgeous scenery this city holds.
Visit Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec)
Old Québec is a historic neighbourhood in Québec City and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cobblestone streets and fortified walls transport you back in time with cobbled alleyways, 18th-century townhouses, and pretty squares. Old Québec boasts a rich history, character, and a proud French identity for over 300 years. There isn’t a place in Canada quite like Old Québec City!
Montmorency Falls Park (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency)
Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is a breathtaking historic park with a waterfall higher than Niagara Falls at the height of 83 meters! The falls are 15 minutes from Old Québec and boast stunning views throughout the year! Walk along the suspension bridge to see the waterfall from the top. There are multiple activities to do in the park:
- Ziplining: This thrilling experience will take you over the falls and provide a unique view you can’t find anywhere else!
- Gondola ride: the cable car will take you across the stunning waterfall and give you magnificent views of the St Lawrence River, Île d’Orléans, and Quebec!
- The Manoir Restaurant and Terrace: take a break from exploring the falls and enjoy a delicious meal with panoramic views of the falls.
Citadel of Québec (Citadelle de Quebec)
The Citadel of Québec is a military heritage site built between 1820-1850 and is still an active military installation. Step inside the largest British fortress in North America and explore 300 years of history through daily guided tours. The Royal 22nd Regiment Museum also showcases the fortress’s history up to the modern-day. The Citadel offers spectacular views of Québec and the St. Lawrence River from the summit of Cape Diamond.
Quebec Museum of Civilization (Musée de la Civilisation)
The Musée de la civilization is one of Québec’s famous interactive museums! The museum hosts a wide range of current and historical workshops and exhibitions focusing on Québec and international topics. There are two permanent exhibitions people can see year-round. The “People of Québec …Then and Now” exhibit traces this historic city’s history and events. The second permanent exhibit is “This Is Our Story,” created with eleven Indigenous nations to present their contemporary cultures and perspectives. The museum is a must-see attraction for adults and kids alike!
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
One of the most famous photographed hotels, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, is a Québec City icon. The hotel is on Cape Diamond hill overlooking Dufferin Terrace and the St. Lawrence River. You can take a tour of the Chateau or stay the night; either way, it is well worth the stop! As mentioned above, the Chateau looks over Dufferin Terrace, a boardwalk with fantastic views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area. The path is popular with local residents and tourists alike!
Place Royale is where the city was founded in 1608 and is a must-see spot for anyone visiting Québec City. The buildings around the area have a mix of French and British influence, making them perfect for a photo op! Place Royale is considered the “cradle of French North America” because it was the first permanent French settlement. The square also hosts the oldest stone church in North America, the Notre-Dame-Victoires church. Constructed in 1688, the church has a rich history and was built on the ruins of Samuel de Champlain’s first home. It still holds services on Sundays, which are open to the public.
The Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré lies along the St. Lawrence River. It is the oldest pilgrimage site north of Mexico and one of five national shrines in Québec. The basilica has magnificent architecture dating back to the 17th-century, with the vault decorated in mosaics recalling the life of Saint Anne. It is known as an important Catholic sanctuary with miraculous abilities of healing.
Village Vacances Valcartier
If you’re looking for a fun day out, the Village Vacances Valcartier is the place! It is the largest theme park in Eastern Canada and can be enjoyed in the summer and winter. It is an outdoor waterpark in the summer, and in the colder months, it turns into a winter playground with tubing and slides. Make sure to check out the new indoor water park that is open year-round called the Bora Park. The Ice Hotel is open from January to March and is a unique experience worth checking out! Whether you go for the night or just for a drink at the ice bar, this hotel made entirely out of ice and snow should be on your travel list.
Day trip to Île d’Orléans
For a trip away from the city, we recommend taking a day trip to Île d’Orléans. This island will take you back in time to 18th-century rural Quebec with heritage sites and over 600 historic buildings! You can drive around the island and see five of Quebec’s prettiest villages with century-old churches, homes, and vineyards. Île d’Orléans has several local artisans, gourmet shops, and vineyards if you’re looking for a unique souvenir to remember your trip.
Plains of Abraham
This massive urban park is known for the famous Battle of Québec. On September 13, 1759, Canada’s fate was determined when the French lost the city to the British. Today, it hosts guided tours and an interactive museum experience to learn about the battles there. It is an outdoor recreational site with cross-country skiing in the winter. It hosts outdoor concerts and beautiful picnic spots in the summer.