There are so many points of interest and monuments around Quebec City that it could easily be seen as an open-air museum. Getting lost in the narrow streets of the Old City will lead you to discover historical houses and sites identified by plaques that tell curious passers-by all about the sites’ history. Some of the best discoveries can thus be made without visitors having to spend a penny: just choose a sunny day, put your walking shoes on, and be your own tour guide! To learn even more about the region, its history, and many other topics, you can, of course, also visit the numerous museums located in the heart of the city. Each of them has its own personality, housing works of art and installations that will fascinate children just as much as art lovers. These are places you’ll love getting lost in when the weather turns too cold to wander outdoors.
Musée de la Civilisation
The Musée de la Civilisation is in no way a museum to be admired passively. It has opted for innovative, interactive exhibits to immerse visitors via multimedia presentations and hands-on activity stations. In addition to temporary exhibits that change annually, two permanent exhibits tell the history of Quebec and the aboriginal tribes that inhabited the region before Europeans arrived. Workshops and tours are organized especially for children.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec
Located right on the historic Plaines d’Abraham, the stately Musée National des Beaux-Arts fascinates visitors both with its art as well as with its setting. The three pavilions of the museum house fascinating permanent exhibits—including one featuring Inuit art with over 2,500 works—and popular temporary exhibits organized in collaboration with other major international museums. Set to open in late 2015, a brand new modern pavilion will nearly double the museum’s exhibition space.
Musée de l'Amérique francophone
This museum is devoted to the history of French-speaking North America and is part of the historical Québec Seminary, dating back to 1663. In this peaceful place with an almost sacred atmosphere, you can discover a series of artworks collected by seminary priests, including many works by renowned Quebec artists.
Musée de la Place Royale
Overlooking the very place where Quebec City was founded in 1608, the Musée de la Place Royale unveils the history of New France through the lives of its inhabitants over the centuries. Themed guided visits and a 3D film reveal surprising facts about the city and its history.
Morrin Centre is housed in Quebec City’s first prison, built over 200 years ago. Tours explore the site’s dark but fascinating history, but the star attraction of the center is its beautiful Victorian library—the city’s only English-language library counting some 20,000 books—where traditional afternoon tea is served in the summer.