27 Best Things to Do in Quebec City | 2024 (with Photos)

Nataša Obradovic

Nataša Obradovic - Travel Writer

Published: July 26, 2023

Hey! How’s it going? I’m Natasha, a passionate travel enthusiast with a deep love for exploring beautiful destinations. Discover the top recommendations and hidden gems that Quebec City has to offer through my personal experiences and captivating photos. Let's make your trip unforgettable!

Best Things to Do in Quebec City for an Authentic Experience

Quebec City in Canada is a destination like no other. With its rich history, unique culture, and stunning architecture, Quebec offers visitors an authentic and unforgettable experience.

From exploring the charming streets of Old Québec to admiring the breathtaking views from the Ramparts of Québec, there is something for everyone in this vibrant city.

We've compiled a list of the 27 best things to do in Québec for an authentic experience so that you can make the most of your visit and discover all that this amazing city has to offer.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Old Quebec

Top Choice Hotel

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Légende par La Tanière

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Dagobert Nightclub

Best Time to Visit

Summer: vibrant festivals, pleasant weather, and lively atmosphere.

Average Temperature

Cold winters, mild summers, unpredictable spring and fall.

Transportation Options

Buses, taxis, bicycles, walking, ride-sharing, car rentals, ferries.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Quebec City, Canada offers a charming blend of heritage and beauty. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Old Town, where picturesque architecture and historical landmarks await at every turn.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Quebec City by indulging in traditional French cuisine at one of the many local bistros, or take a leisurely walk along the scenic promenade overlooking the St. Lawrence River, breathing in the fresh air and soaking up the city's breathtaking views. Explore the iconic Château Frontenac, a majestic castle-like hotel that offers stunning vistas of the city, and don't miss the opportunity to visit Montmorency Falls, a natural wonder just outside the city limits. Experience the joie de vivre of Quebec City firsthand, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Warm clothing for cold winters and cool summers.
  2. Comfortable walking shoes for exploring the city.
  3. A travel guide or map of Quebec City.
  4. A camera or smartphone for capturing memories.
  5. Money or credit cards for expenses.
  6. Travel-sized toiletries and personal items.
  7. Adaptor plugs for electronic devices.
  8. Any necessary travel documents, such as passports or visas.
  9. Medications or prescriptions, if necessary.
  10. A sense of adventure and curiosity.

What Not to Miss

  1. Old Quebec - historic neighborhood with beautiful architecture and charming streets.
  2. Montmorency Falls - impressive waterfall near the city.
  3. Plains of Abraham - iconic park, perfect for a stroll or picnic.
  4. Quartier Petit Champlain - picturesque area with boutiques and cafes.
  5. Citadelle of Quebec - historic military fortress with stunning views.
  6. Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Basilica - beautiful basilica located near the city.
  7. Quebec City Wall - well-preserved fortification surrounding the Old Quebec area.
  8. Museum of Civilization - informative museum exploring Quebec's history and culture.
  9. Parliament Building - impressive architectural landmark.
  10. Observatoire de la Capitale - observation deck with panoramic views of the city.

What to Avoid

  1. Tourist traps
  2. Overpriced restaurants
  3. Rush hour traffic
  4. Pickpockets in crowded areas
  5. Unlicensed tour guides
  6. Ignoring local customs and etiquette
  7. Taxis without meters or fixed fares
  8. Non-reputable accommodations
  9. Unfamiliar street vendors
  10. Drinking tap water without filtering or boiling it.

1. Visit Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Old Quebec

There is no better place to start this guide to the best things to do in Quebec City than Old Quebec. 

Old Quebec City, also known as Vieux-Québec, is a historic district located in the heart of Quebec City. This site is the only walled city north of Mexico and is known for its charming cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, and picturesque squares.

Here, you can explore landmarks like the Chateau Frontenac, the world's most photographed hotel, and the Plains of Abraham

Old Quebec City is also home to numerous museums, galleries, and boutique shops. With its rich history and vibrant culture, Quebec City's old town is a must-visit for anyone looking for a unique travel experience.

2. Explore the Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site

Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site

Cartier-Brébeuf is the site where French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew wintered in 1535-1536 during their exploration of the St. Lawrence River. 

This National Historic Site offers visitors the opportunity to learn about the interactions between the French explorers and the local indigenous population.

The site features a reconstructed longhouse, which provides insight into the daily lives of the indigenous people who inhabited the area. 

You can also enjoy scenic walks along the river and take part in guided tours and educational programs. This is one of the most interesting things to do in Quebec City.

3. Take a Trip to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré


Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is a village on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, about 20 kilometers east of Quebec City. 

It is known for its magnificent basilica, a significant pilgrimage site for Catholics from around the world.

The basilica is an architectural masterpiece, adorned with exquisite mosaics, sculptures, and stained glass windows, and is dedicated to Saint Anne, the grandmother of Jesus. 

The basilica also houses a museum, which is one of the more popular things to do in Quebec City.

4. Stop by the Parliament Building

Parliament Building

The Parliament Building in Upper Town Quebec is an iconic landmark. 

Located in the heart of the city's historic district, the building is an impressive sight, with its striking neoclassical architecture and towering central dome.

You can take a guided tour of the building, which offers an up-close look at the history and inner workings of Quebec's government. 

The tour includes visits to the Chamber of the National Assembly, the library, and various other areas of the building.

5. See the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

The Chateau Frontenac Hotel is a world-renowned hotel, which opened its doors in 1893. It is considered to be the most photographed hotel in the world. 

Its stunning castle-like architecture and breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River make it a truly unforgettable destination.

The Chateau Frontenac Hotel has hosted many famous guests throughout its history, including Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. 

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a historical adventure, the Chateau Frontenac Hotel is a must when visiting Quebec City.

6. Enjoy the Views from Observatoire de la Capitale

Observatoire de la Capitale

Visiting the Observatoire de la Capitale is one of the most iconic things to do in Quebec City. Located on the 31st floor of the Marie-Guyart building, it offers a stunning 360-degree view of the city and its surroundings.

From this height, visitors can see the St. Lawrence River, the Laurentian Mountains, and the historic district of Quebec City. 

The view is particularly stunning at sunset when the city is bathed in a golden light, and at night when the city lights up.

7. Take Part in the Quebec Winter Carnival

Quebec Winter Carnival

The Quebec Winter Carnival is a big winter festival and a must-visit event for anyone traveling to Quebec during the winter months. 

This 17-day festival is a celebration of Quebecois culture and offers a wide range of fun winter activities that appeal to visitors of all ages.

The Quebec Winter Carnival has attractions such as ice sculptures, live music and performances, ice skating, and snowshoeing. One of the most popular events of the carnival is the night parade

The carnival also features a wide range of food stalls, offering everything from poutine to maple taffy and the traditional Caribou cocktail.

8. Shop Around at the German Christmas Market

German Christmas Market

The German Christmas Market in Quebec City is a must-visit destination during the holiday season. 

The Christmas market on a winter weekend brings a traditional European atmosphere to the city with its charming wooden booths, twinkling lights, and delicious food.

The German Christmas market also features a variety of German and local food and drinks, including mulled wine, sausages, gingerbread, and more. 

The Christmas market is located in the Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, one of the most holiday-cheer-filled plazas in Quebec.

9. Explore the Quartier Petit Champlain in Lower Town

Quartier Petit Champlain in Lower Town

The Quartier Petit Champlain in Lower Town Quebec is a charming neighborhood and one of the city's oldest parts, with narrow streets, and colorful buildings. 

You can explore the area on foot, enjoying the architecture and vibrant street art, including the famous Rue de Petit Champlain.

The charming Rue du Petit Champlain is lined with historic buildings, shops, and cafes, making it the perfect place to stroll and soak up the unique charm of Quebec City. 

The Quartier Petit Champlain is also home to a variety of cafes, restaurants, and art galleries, offering a range of traditional cuisine and international fare.

10. Take the Cable Car at the Montmorency Falls

Cable Car at the Montmorency Falls

The cable car at the Montmorency Falls in Quebec offers panoramic views of one of the province's greatest natural wonders. 

The Montmorency Falls are an impressive 83 meters high, making them taller than Niagara Falls, and the cable car provides an exciting way to experience the falls up close.

The ride takes visitors on a 300-meter journey from the base of the falls to the top with breathtaking views of the falls and the surrounding landscape. 

Once at the top, you can explore the many walking trails, observation decks, and suspension bridges that offer even more stunning views of the area.

11. Visit the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires


A must-visit destination for anyone interested in Quebecois history and culture, The Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church in Quebec is a historic landmark. The church, which was constructed in the 17th century, is considered the oldest stone church in North America.

Visitors can explore the interior of the church, which features stunning stained glass windows and a beautiful altar. 

In addition, the church is located in the charming Place Royale neighborhood, which is home to many other historic buildings and attractions.

12. Explore Place Royale

Place Royale

Place Royale is the historic neighborhood where Samuel de Champlain founded Québec. 

As this was the first permanent French settlement in North America, it is considered to be the birthplace of French Canada. Exploring Place Royale is one of the most interesting things to do in Quebec City.

You can explore the cobblestone streets and quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants that line the square. 

The neighborhood is home to many historic buildings, including the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church and the Maison Chevalier, which dates back to the 18th century.

13. Explore the Plains of Abraham

Plains of Abraham

The Plains of Abraham in Battlefields Park is regarded as one of the most important historical sites in the country. 

This scenic park, which covers over 100 hectares, is the site of one of the most significant battles in Canadian history, which took place in 1759.

Today, the park is a popular destination for visitors who come to enjoy its picturesque landscapes, historic monuments, and cultural events. 

You can explore the park's many trails, gardens, and monuments, including the Joan of Arc Garden, the Martello Towers, and the Plains of Abraham Museum.

14. Take a Cruise on the Saint Lawrence River

Saint Lawrence River

The Saint Lawrence River, which stretches over 1200 km from the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the most important waterways in North America and home to a wide variety of wildlife, including whales, seals, and seabirds.

A cruise along the Saint Lawrence River offers you a unique perspective on Quebec's natural wonders and historic landmarks, such as the Chateau Frontenac, Montmorency Falls, and the Quebec Bridge. 

You can enjoy onboard entertainment and gourmet dining along the way, making this one of the most fun things to do in Quebec City.

15. Visit Notre-Dame de Québec

Notre-Dame de Québec

Notre-Dame de Québec in Quebec's Upper Town is a stunning cathedral, which was originally built in the early 17th century and has been reconstructed several times over the years.

You can marvel at the cathedral's intricate Gothic Revival architecture, which is a stunning example of Quebec's unique style of architecture. 

In addition to its architectural significance, the cathedral is also an important religious site, with a long and storied history that is closely intertwined with the city's history.

16. Go ice skating at Place d'Youville

Ice skating at Place d'Youville

Place d'Youville, located in the heart of Old Quebec, offers visitors a magical skating experience surrounded by the city's historic architecture and stunning winter scenery. This is undoubtedly one of the most fun things to do in Quebec City.

The rink is open to the public and offers skate rentals and refreshments, making it an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike. Skating at Place d'Youville is a quintessential Quebec winter activity that is not to be missed when visiting Quebec City.

17. Walk Along the Ramparts of Québec

Ramparts of Québec

The Ramparts of Québec is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Quebec City. These walls were constructed in the 17th century by French military engineer, Vauban. 

These are the only fortified city walls in North America and are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visitors to Quebec City's Ramparts can take a stroll along the top of the walls and enjoy panoramic views of the city and the St. Lawrence River. 

The Ramparts also offer a glimpse into Québec City's military past, with several historical sites and artifacts on display.

18. Explore Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier

 Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier

Parc National de la Jacques-Cartier is a gorgeous natural park located just 30 minutes away from downtown Quebec City. 

It is home to stunning landscapes of steep-sided valleys, glacier-fed rivers, and the majestic Laurentian Mountains.

Visitors to the park can enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, camping, canoeing, and wildlife watching. Some of the most popular hiking trails include the Les Loups and the La Jacques-Cartier, both of which offer amazing views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.

19. Try Some Maple Taffy

Maple Taffy

Maple taffy is a popular treat in Quebec that is made by pouring hot maple syrup onto fresh snow, then rolling the sticky syrup onto a wooden stick to create a taffy-like texture. 

This simple but delicious treat is a must-try for anyone visiting Quebec, especially during the winter months when maple syrup is in season.

Maple taffy has a sweet, caramel-like flavor with a distinct maple taste that is unique to the region. Sampling the maple taffy is one of the most iconic and popular things to do in Quebec City during the winter months. 

Many street vendors and sugar shacks throughout Quebec offer maple taffy during this season.

20. Visit the Grand Théâtre de Québec

Grand Théâtre de Québec

For those of you looking for more cultural highlights of Quebec, The Grand Théâtre de Québec is a must-visit destination. This state-of-the-art cultural center hosts a diverse range of performing arts shows throughout the year, including theater, dance, music, and comedy.

The Grand Théâtre is home to several performance spaces, including a 1,900-seat main theater, a 500-seat hall, and a smaller, more intimate studio space. 

The theater's modern design and superb acoustics make it an ideal venue for a wide variety of events.

21. Enjoy the Amazing Quebec City Food Tours

Quebec City Food Tours

If you're looking for memorable things to do in Quebec City, look no further than a food tour. 

Quebec City food tours take visitors on a culinary adventure through the city, offering the chance to try a range of delicious local specialties and discover some of the best foodie hotspots in the area.

From traditional Quebecois cuisine to contemporary fusion dishes, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

These tours are so much fun and are a great way to meet new people, learn about the city's culture and history, and of course, eat some incredible food while visiting Quebec City.

22. Visit the Musée de la Civilisation

Musée de la Civilisation

A must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and culture, The Musée de la Civilisation is located in Quebec City. 

The museum showcases the rich cultural heritage of Quebec and features a variety of exhibits on topics such as archeology, folklore, and contemporary issues.

You can explore interactive displays and multimedia exhibits that showcase the diversity of Quebecois culture, as well as temporary exhibits that cover a range of topics from around the world. 

The museum also offers educational programs and events that allow visitors to engage with the exhibits and learn more about the history and culture of Quebec.

23. Check out the views from Terrasse Dufferin

Terrasse Dufferin

Terrasse Dufferin is a magnificent boardwalk that stretches along the cliffs of Upper Town in Quebec City. This pedestrian promenade is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike, as it provides a unique perspective on the city's architecture and natural beauty.

You can stroll along the wide walkway, take in the panoramic views, and admire the ornate ironwork of the railings and lampposts. 

Terrasse Dufferin is also home to several historic landmarks, including the iconic Chateau Frontenac Hotel and Quebec City's Parliament Building.

24. Go Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

There are many places to go cross-country skiing in Quebec, ranging from urban parks to remote wilderness areas. Some popular destinations include Mont-Tremblant National Park, Gatineau Park, Jacques-Cartier National Park, and the Laurentian Mountains.

These locations offer a variety of groomed and ungroomed trails for skiers of all skill levels. Other famous areas for the popular winter sport include Forêt Montmorency, Parc National du Mont-Saint-Bruno, and Parc National des Grands-Jardins.

25. Spend a Night at the Ice Hotel

Ice Hotel

A night at the Ice Hotel Quebec (Hôtel de Glace) is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that offers a truly magical stay in Quebec City. The Ice Hotel is entirely made of ice and snow and is the perfect place for a Quebec City winter trip.

The rooms feature intricate ice sculptures and ice beds covered with cozy furs. The ice hotel features an ice bar, where visitors can sip on cocktails served in ice glasses, adding to the immersive experience. 

The location of the Ice Hotel is known for its breathtaking scenery and the chance to see the Northern Lights.

One of the most awe-inspiring things to do in Quebec City is witness the Aurora Borealis, and this is a great place to try your luck.

26. Visit the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec

Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec

A must-visit destination for art lovers, The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec is located in Battlefields Park. The museum features an impressive collection of works by Quebec artists, as well as Canadian and international artists.

One of the highlights of the museum is its extensive collection of Inuit art, which includes sculptures, prints, and textiles. 

Visitors can explore the various galleries and exhibitions that showcase the diversity and richness of Quebecois art and culture, from contemporary works to historic pieces.

27. Where to Stay in Quebec City

Where to Stay in Quebec City

When looking for an authentic experience in Quebec, it's important to consider where to stay in Quebec City. For a truly immersive experience, Old Quebec is the perfect neighborhood to explore.

One great option is the Auberge Saint-Antoine, a boutique hotel in the Upper Town. Other options are the Hotel du Vieux-Quebec, a budget-friendly hotel in a historic building, or Hotel Clarendon, a classic hotel in the heart of Lower Town

Quebec Lower Town is great for those who want to explore the city's culinary scene and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere.

With so many things to do in Quebec City, every neighborhood has its perks, so do some research and see which one speaks to you.

Let's also explore some frequently asked questions related to attractions in Quebec City.

Is Québec City worth visiting?

Yes, Quebec City, Canada, is definitely worth visiting. As the capital city of the province of Québec, it is rich in history and culture and offers various tourist attractions. The city offers a unique blend of French and North American influences, making it a truly one-of-a-kind destination.

What are three things you can do in Quebec City?

Visit the historic Old Québec neighborhood, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and explore the Quartier Petit Champlain neighborhood; take a stroll along the picturesque Plains of Abraham, and visit the Musée de la Civilisation, a museum that showcases the history and culture of Québec.

Is 2 days enough in Québec City?

Two days is definitely enough time to get a feel for the city and see some of its major sights. With two full days, you could visit Old Québec, take a stroll through the Plains of Abraham, and explore some of the city's other neighborhoods and attractions.

What are things Québec City is famous for?

Quebec City is famous for its historic Old Québec neighborhood, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The old city features beautiful architecture, charming shops, and famous landmarks like the Château Frontenac.

The city is also known for its strong French heritage, with French being the official language of the province, and its Winter Carnival, which is the largest winter carnival in the world.

Summing Up: Best Things to Do in Quebec City

With so many amazing things to do in Quebec City, you are going to have a packed itinerary when you visit Quebec City. Whether you're looking for a winter getaway or a summer adventure, Quebec City has something for everyone.

Stroll down Rue du Petit Champlain, the oldest shopping district in North America, go ice skating at Place d'Youville, and sample the delicious local cuisine that Quebec City is known for. Once you have visited Quebec City, the memories will last a lifetime.

Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or a winter sports enthusiast, there is so much fun to be had in Quebec. So why wait? Book your stay in Quebec City and discover all that this incredible place has to offer.