things to do in Quebec City

Quebec City: 13 Fantastic Places to Visit

Visiting the city of Quebec was on my bucket list even before I arrived in Canada!

On my first travel from Montréal to Kingston, I met a wonderful and talkative lady from Quebec who convinced me and made me promise to visit the city before returning home.

So I did! And it was definitely worth the visit! I believe Quebec is the most European-like city you can find in North America and at the same time the most charming.

The perfect time to visit Quebec is around Christmas. The lovely decorations, the layer of snow and the cozy Christmas market give the city something quite enchanting, like a fairytale.

But what exactly do you visit in Quebec? I did a lot of research before I went but I want to save you the work and give an overview of all things to do in Quebec City in this post!

If you’re thinking of visiting Quebec City on your own, you might also want to read my Quebec City solo travel guide!

Note: this post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of these links I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). For more info, read my disclosure policy.

The must-sees in Quebec City!

Basse-ville

Lower village of Quebec city
Quebec’s lower village

The old part of Quebec city is split by a cliff into a lower and higher level. The two parts are connected by a staircase and the Funiculaire (which costs 3.50 CAD one way).

For me, the lower village was the most romantic part of Quebec. If you intend to visit the city, please start in the Rue du Petit Champlain and walk all the way to the place royale! It is simply enchanting!

I arrived right before Christmas, it was snowing, the street was decorated with lights and there was a choir singing… It was perfect! If you go around Christmas and look well you might as well see Santa Claus!

Haute-ville

View over Saint-Lawrence
The view from the balcony

This is the upper part of Quebec, which gives you a magnificent view over the lower city and the Saint-Lawrence river! Here, you can find many (coffee) shops, the Notre-Dame de Québec, the castle and plenty of other things to visit!

Start your visit to the Haute Ville with a walk along the balcony and enjoy the view! In winter, you can see ice floating over the river!

Les Plaines d’Abraham

Staircase Plaines d'Abraham
The stairs to ‘les Plaines d’Abraham’

This is a public park on a plateau with a lot of history. A few centuries ago, the French and the British fought a war over the city of Quebec, which has eventually been captured by the British.

Right now, it is a large park where you can enjoy a walk or hike. (Disclaimer: it can be very cold up there in winter!)

La musée de la civilization

If you want to know more about the history of Quebec, First Nations or any topic in general, this is the museum where you should be!

I recommend the expositions about the history of Canada and Quebec and the First Nations. They also set up other expositions related to our modern society. I, for example, visited the exposition about technology too.

The entrance fee for the Museum of Civilization is 11 CAD (if you’re under 30). Be sure to clear your schedule for the whole morning/afternoon, because it takes quite a bit of time to go through.

La musée National des Beaux-Arts de Québec

Another museum worth a visit is the Musée National des Beaux-Arts de Québec. Any art you can think of you’ll find here!

I strongly recommend going to the exposition of Inuit art since I believe this is a form of art that is simply beautiful in an atypical way. Furthermore, they have a lot of modern art but also an overview of historical art over the centuries.

General admission is 22 CAD (including taxes), but they have reductions for children (only 7 CAD), people under 30 (only 12 CAD) and seniors (20 CAD). They also provide special discounts for families!

The Augustinian Monastery

Since it was very cold to walk a whole day outside in Quebec I decided to visit the Augustinian Monastery.

It was not just that kind of monastery you might think of. No, this monastery decided to do something completely different than any monastery in the world: they became a place to rest and destress in a modern way!

Besides guided tours of the monastery with a historical explanation of how the nuns used to live, they offer overnight stays, yoga, massages, good food etc. Thus, if you didn’t already find a place to stay in Québec, I would certainly consider this! Although not cheap, a very stylish and pleasant place to stay!

General admission for a guided tour (they also provide self-guided tours) is 16 CAD (including taxes) but they also offer reductions for children, students and families.

The German Christmas Market

German Christmas market Quebec
The German Christmas market

Every year around Christmas (around can be interpreted very broadly), you can find the European tradition of Christmas markets in Quebec. Although it started as a small happening, it is now quite a big event!

Be prepared to walk around the different stands and taste local products or a hotdog with fondue!

The Notre-Dame de Québec

Notre-Dame de Quebec
Inside the Notre-Dame

A city isn’t a real city without a cathedral of course! I certainly recommend visiting this one, which is located next to the German Christmas market.

Thus, if you need to warm up a bit after your walk through the Christmas market don’t hesitate to stop here. The inside is simply beautiful!

La boutique de Noël de Québec

Christmas store in Quebec city
Inside the Christmas Boutique

If you want to stay in the Christmas vibe, go visit this store! You will find here any Christmas decorations you are looking for! And if you’re not looking for anything, just go inside and enjoy this little shop!

The Parliament Building

Parliament Building of Quebec city
The Parliament Building

Looking for a more educational experience in Quebec? Go visit the Parliament building! It is just outside the city walls but still within walking distance.

You can get guided as well as self-guided tours of the Parliament Building and Library or you can attend a parliamentary committee sitting if you’re really curious ;).

If you are walking to the Parliament Building from the old city, please notice the old city gates, which are quite monumental themselves.

Gate city of Quebec
One of the gates

The Fort Museum

A building you will definitely notice when visiting the upper city is the fort! This historic building is now partly a hotel, but there is also a museum. Do you like history and battlefields? Then you should definitely visit the Fort Museum!

General admission is 8,50 CAD (taxes included) but they offer reductions for students, groups, seniors and children.

The Citadelle of Quebec

Don’t you have enough with one museum about warfare in Quebec? Don’t hesitate to visit the Citadelle! It is located between The Plaines d’Abraham and the upper village and you can reach it on foot if you like a walk.

General admission is 18 CAD (taxes included). They also offer reductions for students, children, seniors and groups.

Wellness Strom Spa Nordique

A little part of the wellness

Are you not just in Quebec city for a cultural experience, but do you want to relax a bit as well?

There is a beautiful wellness a bit outside the city centre, right down the riverside! It is called Strom Spa Nordique and offers you everything from saunas to massages and delicious food!

This is the perfect place to be if you are in desperate need of relaxing and prefer a nice view! I certainly recommended doing this in winter when it is very cold!

You can experience the basic thermal experience for as little as 54 CAD (without taxes)! They have a wide range of other treatments, so if you’re interested take a look at their website!

Airbnb experiences

Poutine
Poutine

Last but not least I want to inform you about Airbnb Experiences. You might know their usual experience of renting spare rooms but people can now offer experiences as well.

You will most likely find photoshoots, hikes or even a Poutine class (which I took!). It is the perfect way to enjoy Quebec while meeting a local and other tourists!

But if you don’t get there, I have good news! The professional cook (also called The Potato Chef) who taught me the recipe in Quebec City decided to share his secret on my blog!

Check out his recipe for a perfect Poutine here!

Of course, you might also want to book a cooking class yourself with Sammy, check out his poutine cooking class here!

Where you should stay

When in Quebec City, I decided to book an Airbnb since this is often a cheap option. But that is not the only reason why I love Airbnbs!

You have the option to either rent a whole apartment or just a room in someone’s house. The latter is perfect for when you’re travelling solo!

I was in Quebec on my own and stayed in the apartment of a lovely lady. She made me breakfast every morning (yes this is an option too!) and I even participated in a pizza night with her and her neighbour!

The room was very wonderful (with waaay too many pillows on the bed) and due to the connection I made with her I never felt alone!

Below I’ll share my Airbnb affiliate link with you, so you can take a look at what I’m talking about! The location was also perfect within walking distance from the old city and with a bus stop in front of the door!

Check the accommodation I’m talking about out here!

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed this information and got some inspiration for things to do in Quebec City out of it! Don’t hesitate to share your experience of Quebec or any questions in the comments below!

Interested in visiting more in Canada? Visit my blog post about the best city trips in East-Canada!

Related: top Quebec road trip destinations to add to your itinerary

visit Quebec City

3 thoughts on “Quebec City: 13 Fantastic Places to Visit”

  1. This looks like an amazing place to visit. I love your pictures too. I wouldn’t have thought to visit in the winter but you make it look like so much fun! Thank for sharing your trip.

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