Things to do in Quebec City
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the modern-day capital of its province, Quebec City gives its visitors ample opportunity to explore Canada’s present and past. No list of things to do in Quebec City would be complete without a stroll through Old Town. Its Old World architecture and cobblestone streets remain largely intact from the 18th century and still act as a hub for the city’s unique Franco-Canadian culture. Travelers can get a closer look at 400 years of Québécois history and culture with in-depth exhibits at the Museum of Civilization and the National Museum of Fine Arts. They can also explore Quebec City’s early military history with visits to its Citadel and the Fortifications of Quebec National Historic Site.
In the winter months, there are plenty of things to do in Quebec City. Lace up your skates for a turn around the Place d’Youville’s ice rink, and then warm up with hot toddies at one of the area’s first-rate restaurants and bars. End-of-year visitors can also take part in one of Quebec City’s most colorful 21st-traditions, its Annual Winter Carnival. The two-week festival features snow sculptures, parades, horse-drawn sleigh rides and even ice canoe races.
Sitting like a five-pointed star among The Plains of Abraham and just above Terrasse Dufferin, La Citadelle de Québec is a still-active military base (home to the French-speaking Royal 22nd Regiment) and a complex of buildings and fortifications built circa 1820.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec houses Canada’s largest national art collection. Set inside three Battlefield Park (also known as "The Plains of Abraham") buildings, the museum includes almost a dozen permanent collections and world-class traveling exhibits.
Known for its immense diversity, the Musée de la Civilisation (Museum of Civilization) combines permanent historic displays with rotating, interactive exhibitions about everything from dragons to the evolution of hats.
La Barberie is not a place for a haircut, but a longtime microbrewery at the crossroads of the Saint-Roch district and the entrance to Lower Town.
Le Paingrüel is one of the most popular boulangeries in Quebec City. Located in the heart of the St.-Jean-Baptiste district, the bakery is housed in a red-brick building with a wood-and-glass storefront on the first floor.
The Plains of Abraham is one of Canada’s most scenic monuments, as well as hallowed ground for French and British soldiers who fought and died there during the 1759 Battle of Quebec. Overlooking the wide St.
Benjo is an innovative children’s toy store in the lively Saint-Roch neighborhood. Located directly across from L’Église Saint-Roch and with a green Art Deco-like metal arch, Benjo beckons kids and adults alike.
The oldest grocer on the continent stocks English teas, French soaps, and picnic fixings (our favorites: wild boar sausage and a wedge of locally made Cumulus cheese).
Terrasse Dufferin, which is perched just below the iconic Fairmont Château le Frontenac, is a public park with sweeping vistas of the St. Lawrence River.
Quebec’s answer to American Apparel—a source for eco-friendly basics like perfectly fitting tees and baby-soft hoodies, all made in the province.
De Retour caters to collectors of 1950's and 60's modern furnishings, lighting, and objét d’art. The shop, located on Rue Saint-Paul, is one of about a dozen antique retailers on what is referred to as Antiques Row.
In the heart of St.-Roch, this warehouse-like restaurant morphs into a dynamic performance space after dark. Events range from poetry slams, film screenings, and DJ sets to concerts by folk and indie bands from around the country.
Boutique aux Mémoires is a Lower Town antiques store for both the serious collector and those who are curious about Quebec’s decorative past. Since 1970, this boutique has occupied the ground floor of a Colonial-style brick building along lively Rue Saint-Paul.
Rising from a bustling plaza in the center of Upper Town, this impressive cathedral belongs to the oldest parish in North America. Rebuilt twice since its completion in 1647, the Neoclassical structure retains its original bell tower and portions of the 17th-century walls.
The skating rink at Place d'Youville, in windswept Upper Town, is always packed.