Capital of French Canada with centuries of history, Quebec City is a cultural hotspot for artists, chefs, artisans, and micro-brewers. Did you know that it is also home to the world’s most photographed hotel and the only fortified city north of Mexico? There’s no other place like this in North America!
A place where European and American traditions live in harmony, to experience Quebec City’s uniqueness, stop by the famous Chateau Frontenac, grab a souvenir at a local art shop or catch a show at one of the storied theater clubs. Dine with a breathtaking view on a Saint Lawrence River cruise and have your first bite of the delicious poutine.
Founded by a French explorer in 1608, you can’t help but notice the influence it has had on this city, from the architecture to the dialect to the food to the culture! It’s alluring to say the least.
Whether you prefer to explore the charming Old Town and the historic Île d’Orléans or witness the natural wonder of the Montmorency Falls, take a look at the whole list because there is no shortage of fun things to do in Quebec City!
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1 – Go back in time in Old Quebec City
One of the first things you’ll want to do is head to Old Quebec City, which is the only completely fortified town in Canada. The architecture here is steeped in history. During Old Quebec City tours, learn more about its past, dating to the start of the 17th century, from your expert guide!
Make sure you check out the shops on Rue de Petit-Champlain, where you’ll be able to ride the Old Quebec Funicular cable-car, and don’t forget to stop by the Plains of Abraham and Parliament Hill.
As the birthplace of French North American culture some 400 years ago, the old town is officially a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s further divided by the Upper Town and Lower Town parts with paramount monuments and iconic landmarks bountiful.
An exciting way to explore this part of La Vieille Capitale is with an Old Town Quebec Outdoor Escape Game! The entire family will love this one!
2 – See the massive fortifications that surround the city
Old Quebec City is Canada’s only fortified city, and it is truly spectacular to view the 400 year old walls first hand. Originally constructed in 1690 to protect the Upper Town of Quebec City (now Old Quebec City), what you see today are the remains of the original 17th-century ramparts.
The fortifications circle the Upper Town for 4.6 km in the city’s Historic District, with ornate gates built into them. The original four still exist, and others have been added throughout the centuries.
Don’t miss an opportunity to snap a photo with these magnificent walls! Or, take a guided tour!
3 – Visit the beautiful religious art at Basilique-Cathedrale Notre-Dame-de-Quebec
Restored a number of times over the last few centuries, the beautiful Basilique-Cathedrale Notre-Dame-De-Quebec is the primatial church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Quebec. It’s home to a number of beautiful works of religious art.
A number of holy figures are laid to rest here, including all the bishops of the diocese of Quebec.
Its origins date to 1647 when the church was built, however, over the years, it has seen reconstructions due to wars, bombings and fires. Today, stepping inside the catholic church, marvel at its neoclassical features, stained glass windows, and gorgeous angel sculptures.
4 – Walk over the waterfalls at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
One place you’ll definitely want to visit while you’re in Quebec is Parc de la Chute-Montmorency, or Montmorency Falls Park. There’s a full promenade for you to walk over the majestic falls, which are considerably taller than Niagara Falls, Canada’s other famous waterfall.
It’s just a 15-minute drive outside the city until you reach the 83-meter tall cascades – so there’s no need for strenuous hikes to reach this reward.
While you’re at the park, don’t forget to ride the cable car and check out the zip line, if you’re not too faint of heart!
5 – Climb to the highest point in the whole city at Observatoire de la Capitale
The Quebec City Capital Observatory is the highest point in the whole city — soaring 221 meters into the sky. From here, you’ll not only get a clear view of Parliament Hill and the rest of the city, but you’ll also see the gorgeous nature that surrounds it in the Saint Lawrence River, Island of Orleans, Appalachian Foothills, and the Laurentians.
They also offer quite a few activities on site that will help you learn more about Quebec’s history and culture.
Explore the observation tower’s ‘The Horizon Experience’ — an immersive walk-through exhibit chronicling the history of ‘the four faces of the city,’ topped with two video projections.
6 – Visit the massive (and massively famous) Château Frontenac Hotel
The Fairmont Chateau Frontenac is probably one of Canada’s most famous hotels, and it’s often cited as one of the most photographed hotels in the world. Constructed between 1892 and 1893, the five-star hotel appears like some sort of Disney castle, especially when lit up at night!
For over a hundred years, the Chateau Frontenac has played host to people from all over the world, and its storied history is on display for visitors to admire. It’s, for sure, one of the best things to do in Quebec City!
Guided tours are always available, but who wouldn’t want to stay at the same hotel as names like Sir Paul McCartney and Charlie Chaplin?
7 – Visit the Gorgeous Basilica in Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre is a small town close to Quebec City that has a lot of beautiful attractions to visit, including the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupre Basilica and Shrine.
There are a lot of reasons to visit the Basilica, like a full replica of the Scala Santa of Rome, the staircase Jesus ascended on his way to Pilate’s praetorium, or the thousands of votive candles that burn day and night in remembrance.
Don’t forget to check out the memorial chapel where French pilgrims stayed hundreds of years ago! Located in the Quebec region, the town is a 25-minute drive from the city.
8 – Visit the Quebec National Assembly at the Parliament Building
If you’ve ever wanted to see where Quebec’s laws are debated, then you’ll want to pay a visit to the Quebec National Assembly at the Parliament Building. Constructed between 1877 and 1886 in what is known as Parliament Hill, the entire Parliament Building is an eight-story structure.
The words “je me souviens,” which is Quebec’s motto and translates to “I remember,” were carved above the main entrance over a hundred years ago.
They offer tours of the building and gardens to the public, and they also have a regular rotation of activities and programs.
9 – Take to the Saint Lawrence River on a boat tour
The Saint Lawrence is one of Canada’s most beautiful rivers. There are plenty of tours that depart from Quebec City’s Old Port and take you along the water to various key parts of the city like Chateau Frontenac, as well as the majestic Montmorency Falls.
Tours generally last about an hour and come with live commentary from an expert local guide.
Stretching on for 1,197 kilometers, this important body of water is divided into three parts. Running from Lake Ontario through to the Quebec city outskirts, the river flows into the St. Lawrence estuary (between Quebec and Anticosti Island) and further on into the Atlantic Ocean.
10 – Visit the Plains of Abraham at Battlefields Park
Calling all history buffs and those with an obsession and interest in wartime, make your way to the Battlefields Park. Visit the site of the infamous battle of the Plains of Abraham which took place at this very spot on September 13, 1759, as well as a number of other historic skirmishes between the French and the English. Also here is the smaller Des Braves Park, a green oasis littered with historical monuments.
Learn why this spot served as a pivotal turning point in the Seven Years’ War. They do full historic reenactments, complete with costumes and fake firearms.
11 – Visit the quaint villages that make up Île d’Orléans
Ile d’Orleans is special because it was one of the first parts of Quebec to be colonized by French settlers. It’s split into six small villages that are all connected by a 67-kilometer road.
Around the island, you’ll find four wineries (one of the best places for wine tastings in Quebec City), the remnants of a shipyard that once produced hundreds of rowboats, a 300-year-old mansion, and plenty of other things to see and do.
Choose to venture to the historic isle on your own (the drive between the city to here is roughly 30 minutes), or join one of the epic tours to and around Ile d’Orleans; from foodie experiences to wine tastings to bike expeditions, there are even epic scooter tours in Quebec City to this magical destination.
12 – Catch these special Candlelight Concerts
Are you traveling to Quebec on a romantic couple’s retreat? Or perhaps you’re simply hunting down a culturally-enriching experience to blow your socks off? Whatever your case, these Candlelight Concerts are quite special — to say the least!
Set up inside a specifically-chosen, unique locale, you’ll enter a venue decked with hundreds of glowing candles, adding all the ambiance in the world. Then take your seat and enjoy the one-hour musical show.
When it comes to these concerts, Quebec City has a range to choose from, varying in genres as well as setting.
13 – Go from one tourist attraction to another on a hop on hop off bus
As one of Canada’s oldest cities, Quebec City has tons of important historical sights to see. Luckily, the city offers a number of bus tours with flexible itineraries and numerous locations to hop on and hop off.
You’ll be able to get from the fortified neighborhood of Old Quebec to Place Royale and still have plenty of time for sightseeing!
With a designated 14 stops, leave the double-decker at your leisure and explore more than 30 attractions such as Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, Palais Montcalm, Martello Towers, Fontaine de la Place d’Armes, the Quartier Petit Champlain and plenty more!
14 – See the birthplace of French Canada, Place Royale
Place Royale is one of the oldest and most important spots in Canada. Often considered to be the birthplace of French America, this popular public square showcases the unique and complex history of Quebec and its place in Canada.
Much of the original architecture is still intact, so you can see the influence of both British and French colonizers over the centuries.
Wander around the cobbled streets of the former Market Square (originally known as ‘Place du Marché’ when the trading space was first established in 1608), snapping endless photographs. Constructed in 1688, the famed stone Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church is here too.
15 – Ever seen a black bear in person? Go on a forest excursion to find them!
Sure, the city has its delights; but head out into the woods, and you just might get the thrill of seeing live bears on the move! Fun Canadian fact: The black bear (Ursus americanus) is found in every province and territory in Canada — except Prince Edward Island! But don’t worry, they live out in the wild, typically in wild forested areas and mountains.
Just half an hour from the capital, you’ll enter the hushed forests around Saint-Joseph Lake, the natural home of these amazing creatures.
Along the way, you may catch a glimpse of their neighbors as well, including beavers and wolves!
16 – Check out the indigenous art collection at the MNBAQ
The Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (the National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec) prides itself on being the “living memory of Quebec’s art and its artists.”
It boasts a collection of over 42,000 unique pieces, including an impressive collection of Inuit art. Their exhibits are always on rotation, so make sure you check out their calendar of events before paying them a visit.
The museum is split into four spaces: the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion (the Librairie-Boutique is here where you can buy art, crafts and related books); the Gérard Morisset Pavilion; the Charles Baillairgé Pavilion, and the Central Pavilion.
17 – Stop by local shops and markets on a bike tour
Quebec City is so scenic and full of history that a tour is practically a must, especially for a first time visit. The city offers a number of bike tours with expert guides that will take you from Old Quebec, along the Saint Lawrence River, through Lower Town, and everything in between.
You’ll also get the chance to stop at shops and markets and mingle with the locals. Excursions range from one to two to three to four-hour adventures, and if you’d prefer to explore a different side of the town, there are other options, too. For example, take a bike tour from Quebec City to Montmorency Falls.
18 – Visit the Royal 22nd Regiment at La Citadelle de Québec
Home of the Royal 22nd Regiment (the infantry regiment of the Canadian Army), La Citadelle de Quebec is both a national historic site and an active military base. Investigate the Citadel and the Museum, or join one of its epic tours!
Known as “The Gibraltar of the Americas,” it’s housed French Canadian soldiers through three centuries of proud history. They offer regular tours of the facilities, and there are permanent exhibitions as well as a regular rotation of special displays. For something extra special, consider its night-time tours!
You can even witness the Changing of the Guard!
19 – Try poutine on a food tour
Quebec is famous for many of its regional dishes, including pate chinois, pea soup, and a whole slew of maple syrup-themed delicacies.
Its most well-known dish is definitely poutine, though. This simple but delicious combination of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy has put Quebec on the culinary map.
You’ll be able to try all of these and more when you embark on one of the city’s numerous food tours.
20 – Learn about Quebec’s major battles at Musee du Fort
If you’re looking to learn about the history of Quebec’s military, the Musee du Fort, near the Chateau Frontenac, is where you’ll want to make your first stop. They chronicle major battles in Quebec’s history, like the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, with a booming sound and light show that’s guaranteed to be anything but boring.
They also do historical reenactments, and they boast a large scale model of the area complete with an interactive quiz experience.
There’s an on-site bookstore stocking both historical French and English paperbacks, or pop into the Souvenir Store and purchase a pack of plastic soldiers (kids love these), wooden muskets and other military-related items.
21 – Admire the views across the Saint Lawrence from Terrasse Dufferin
Terrasse Dufferin is a picturesque terraced-off boardwalk with hundreds of years of history to its name that sits alongside the Saint Lawrence River and Chateau Frontenac. At 425 meters long, it’s an idyllic spot to take a city breather while admiring the vistas of the Chateau or meditating on the river’s slow rhythm.
During summer and winter, both tourists and locals flock to this popular spot. There are all kinds of things to do and see, including an archaeological crypt beneath the Terrasse. In the winter, there are wooden sledding runs for tobogganing when the wooden boardwalk becomes covered in snow.
22 – Spend a day shopping at Quartier Petit-Champlain
If you love shopping, you’ll want to visit Quartier Petit-Champlain. The narrow streets and century old architecture of this district house dozens of adorable boutiques just waiting to be perused. Discover 45 merchants covering categories such as fashion, art, entertainment and food! And yes, there is some fab dining here, too.
Chronicling its thoroughfare back to the 17th century, it wasn’t until the 21st that it really took off as a hotspot for tourists and locals alike.
Quartier Petit-Champlain is lit up all year long, and it’s especially beautiful around Christmas time. It’s located in the Vieux-Québec–Cap-Blanc–colline Parlementaire neighborhood.
23 – Experience a winter wonderland while snowshoeing
Proving that cold weather need not deter your plans, these invigorating treks bring you through the heart of the wilderness, silenced and transformed by the fallen snow.
Wander through the stunning Jacques-Cartier National Park, passing through strands of pines and jaw-dropping overlooks where the whole wintry world unfolds before you!
24 – Tick whale-watching off your Bucket List
Every Spring, hundreds of whales make their way to the Charlevoix coast and other Quebec areas to frolic and feast on krill. There are quite a few whale watching expeditions that leave from the Old Port in Quebec City and take you all the way up to close to more than 6 different species, including the mighty blue whale.
Heading out further along the Saint Lawrence River in the direction of Baie-Sainte-Catherine, this is where the bulk of the spottings are, and excursions last a full day.
These tours fill up quickly, so make sure you check availability often and book in advance!
25 – Get your specialty caffeine-fix from the artisanal coffee shops
Calling all you coffee snobs and connoisseurs; if you’re wondering where the best coffee shops are to refuel in the city, look no further.
From drips to fudge brews, enjoy a delicious cup of coffee (or buy a bag of their in-house roasted beans) from Nektar. And inspired by the simplicity of Nordic spaces, Mælstrøm cafe is a specialty coffee house — with its own cocktail counter if you’re in the festive mood.
Another serious roaster is Cafe Saint-Henri and the setting of this micro-roastery encourages all feelings of zen — with damn good coffee of course! Coffee training is available on-site.
Whether you’re in the mood for a Vietnamese banh mi sandwich or famous bubble tea, Café Pekoe has a diverse menu, paying a nod to parts of Asia.
26 – Take a quick ride on the Quebec City Ferry
Wondering what the name of the town is across the river from Quebec City? There’s one way to find out! A ride on the Quebec City Ferry is dirt cheap and only lasts about 12 minutes, and you’re unlikely to get a better view of Old Quebec from the Saint Lawrence River.
Running on a dedicated route, the ferry crosses from Quebec to Lévis (the name of the town). You’ll have just the right amount of time to pull out your camera and snap photos of landmarks.
The ferry is open summer and winter, and seeing Old Quebec lit up from the water is especially magical during the holidays.
27 – Learn about the Huron culture at Wendake
The native Huron-Wendat culture continues to be preserved and promoted at the Wendake Indian Reserve in Quebec. This village acts as an open-air living museum. They offer tourists many different ways to connect with the first peoples of Canada including learning about local legends and crafting Huron implements.
Walk through the traditional Ekionkiestha longhouse and the Tsawenhohi house, and see the Huron-Wendat Fresco. Join in on workshops like a traditional jewelry or talking stick handicraft workshop.
Veer into nature and check out the 28-meter-high Kabir Kouba Falls, or go canoeing around Canots Légaré. There are also delicious restaurants and luxurious hotels for extended stays.
28 – Go for the full thermal experience at a spa
Like most major cities, Quebec City has a number of great spa options for tourists and locals to relax and unwind. Strom Nordic Spa in Old Quebec, located right next to the Saint Lawrence River and one of the city’s most popular spas, offers a relaxing thermal experience you won’t want to miss.
More incredible options for a thermal spa day are Spa Algua-Sulis and Siberia Station Spa. What could be better when it’s snowing outside?
Or, feel super fancy at the gorgeous SKYSPA Quebec day spa, topped off with rooftop jacuzzis to unwind after treatments. The views over the city from here are insane!
29 – Walk beneath a glass tunnel with sting rays above you at the Quebec Aquarium
The Quebec Aquarium is an aquatic paradise for both kids and adults. They’ve got all kinds of animals. Some you can touch, like starfish and horseshoe crabs, but we don’t recommend getting too close to the polar bears!
Home to over 10,000 animals and 300 native species, the different aquarium spaces are set up both indoors and outside. Check out the mesmerizing jellyfish display or watch rays glide by at the Deep Sea Pavilion.
One of its latest additions is the IMMERSION projection – a digitized display of animated animals up close. They also offer a number of educational programs and there are water-based obstacle courses and games as well.
30 – Visit the library at the Morrin Cultural Arts Centre
The Morrin Cultural Arts Centre is worth a visit for one very simple reason: it is over 150 years old. This gorgeous, well preserved literary sanctuary boasts a vast collection of books both old and new.
They even boast that stepping into the room will likely remind you of fantasy adventures like Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast.
For the serious bookworms; take a deep dive into the Victorian library’s past, learning of its history through the center’s guided ‘Discovery Tour.’ A former prison; explore the once-used jail cells and old chemistry lab after the prison was converted into an educational institute until 1901.
31 – Go kayaking on one of Quebec’s beautiful lakes and rivers
The province of Quebec is practically covered in beautiful lakes, rivers, and forests. Much of it is protected land, but there are plenty of places to rent or buy a kayak and hit the open water.
You could even go kayaking along the Saint Lawrence River and get beautiful views of Old Quebec City and its walls.
Oaring over to Orleans Island is well-favored during kayak adventures. If you’ve opted for an expedition with a tour guide, all equipment is provided for during your three-hour water escapade, including a double-sea kayak, paddle, lifejacket and even a waterproof bag.
32 – See the city from the sky on a helicopter tour
Climbing from Lower Town to Upper Town to try and see all of Quebec City can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are a number of helicopter tour options available to give you an aerial view of this storied Canadian city.
Flights range from 15-minute to 30 to 45-minute excursions, and the longer options navigate directions past the city outskirts.
If you’re looking for unique things to do in Quebec City, this one is for you! Don’t forget to bring a camera to take pictures of the fortified walls around Old Town from up above!
33 – Get an adrenaline rush at KCR Karting Chateau Richer Inc
Snatch closed those helmets, rev your engines and get ready to tear up the tracks at KCR Karting Chateau Richer Inc — a premier go-karting venue open since 1999, also hosting the global SODI World Series event.
Racing around the outdoor course is the closest thing you’ll find to feeling like a professional Formula 1 driver in Quebec. Revel in all of the adrenaline-inducing moments as you whizz around the 1.4-kilometer open circuit designed with inclined curves and top-quality curbs.
Special karts are available for younger kids too. Lit up at nighttime so you can race here in the evenings, the track closes at 10 PM.
34 – See a hockey match or concert at Videotron Centre
Whilst many of the buildings in the French-influenced city date back decades, dripping in time and history, the Videotron Centre is one of the more modern feats, and the venue is one of the premier places to watch a live concert or hockey game!
An impressive feature is its glass entrance corridors, which provide a lot of bright, natural light.
It is the home of the Quebec Remparts ice hockey team and you can often catch a live game in action here. Apart from the sporting, the massive arena is transformed to host music events and gigs.
The Colisee Desjardins is another spot repurposed for major events, but it predominantly hosts ice hockey matches — as the home of the Victoriaville Tigres. Apart from game days, exercise addicts can use the top of the bleachers for running practice between September to April, and ice skating is available at the rink.
35 – Try food made of “chemistry and poetry” at Laurie Raphaël
This high-end Quebec City restaurant describes its food experience as “chemistry and poetry.” Inspired by the produce of Quebec, this gastronomic experience is a celebration of local flavors! The plates of food are beautifully presented (and on gorgeous dinnerware), showcasing bold refinement!
The overall ambiance of the interiors is stylish, setting the tone for this fine dining-establishment They set themselves apart from other restaurants in their niche by also functioning as a workshop and boutique, highlighting work from local artisans and designers.
Laurie Raphael has become an internationally recognized name, and they now have a sister location in Montreal.
36 – Test your skills and courage FIX with a bit of ice climbing
If you really want to make the most of the winter season, suit up, grab a pickaxe, and start climbing up a waterfall – yes, you read that right! The frigid temperatures turn flowing water into impromptu ice sculptures, whose unique angles and crevices make for an irresistible climb.
Or make your way up steep ice fields nearby, where the combination of elements and terrain creates an outdoor playground like few others! To figure out where the best spots for ice climbing are near Quebec City (ditching the online research), a guided tour is a sure way to go — not to mention, super safe!
37 – Sharpen your skating skills
Time to indulge in some Canadian-style fun! And by that, we mean ice skating and hockey at the Centre de glaces Intact Assurance — home to two Olympic-sized ice rinks and a 400-meter oval speed skating track!
No matter your skating ability, this ring will welcome you to take a few laps – and as the largest indoor rink in North America, there’s plenty of room to try out tricks!
You can even try some unique options, like the thrill of speed skating, or that most iconic of sports… ice hockey! Even if you’re visiting in the peak of summer, the rink is open all year long!
38 – Go hiking at Jacques-Cartier National Park
Jacques-Cartier National Park is one of Canada’s many protected nature reserves. In the Summer, it’s a great place to go picnicking, hiking, or even mountain biking. When the snow falls, it transforms into a beautiful terrain for cross-country skiing and snowmobile.
Enshrouded by the Laurentian Mountains, the landscape changes with the seasons. The trees turn varying shades of deep reds and rich oranges in autumn; the lakes freezing over in winter with snow-capped hills rolling around you. From the Visitors Centre, you can rent out water sport equipment like kayaks, canoes and tubes.
It’s about a 30-minute drive from the city.
39 – Learn all there is to know about anthropology at Musée de la Civilisation
Musee de la Civilisation in Quebec City showcases everything you’ve ever wanted to know about anthropology. They offer tours, activities, and a rotating schedule of exhibitions that cover from ancient Mayan culture to the study of human senses.
Its permanent expo is titled ‘This Is Our Story,’ centering on the “First Nations and Inuit in the 21st Century.” There are super cool interactive features like the Voie libre concept (located in the museum’s collective Green Space). Jot down your own ideas onto the wall, sharing your project!
When you’ve had your fill of human history, stop by for a delicious meal at their restaurant, Cafe 47!
40 – Have an exhilarating round of Laser Tag
After operating for more than 25 years, Laser Game Evolution is ready to prove that the game of Laser Tag is more than just a silly game for kids. Their modern and lightweight technology means the game is both comfortable and as accurate as possible, and their animation team is dedicated to making every experience entertaining for everyone. They have quite a few locations in and around Quebec.
At the Sainte-Foy location, there are three multi-level labyrinths to play! A typical round lasts 20 minutes, but you can book a session for up to 2.5 hours.
41 – Catch a show at one of Quebec City’s theater halls
Quebec City is not only one of the oldest cities in Canada, but it’s also one of the most populated, which means it has a number of beautiful theater halls and concert venues to host the best local and international entertainers.
While you’re visiting, check out the event calendars at the Grand Théâtre de Québec (an example of Brutalist architecture) and the Théâtre Capitole (open since 1903). Both are staples of the city’s nightlife and always have exciting artists ready to take the stage.
42 – Go ziplining at Arbraska Chauveau Adventure Park
Chauveau Park is Quebec City’s largest nature park, full of gorgeous trees and hiking trails. In the middle of the park is a series of adventure courses run by Arbraska Adventure Park.
From zip lines and suspended bridges to Tarzan swings and much more, there are plenty of activities to discover with your friends and family. The best part is that there are courses tailored for people of all ages and ability levels.
For example, there’s a Treetop Trail for little ones over the age of five years old. Or, for a thrilling option for adults, why not try out the three-hour Night Course?
43 – Enjoy summer fun all year long at the Village Vacances Valcartier waterparks
Speaking of aqua-themed adventures, while you’re in Quebec, you’ll want to visit the Village Vacances Valcartier resort complex which has both an indoor and an outdoor waterpark!
Themed as a Polynesian-style park, make a splash on the 14 water slides at the indoor Bora Parc, or play among the outdoor waterpark’s 35 slides, two themed rivers and wave pool.
They also have an expansive winter playground for the colder months as well as a full aroma spa. If you’re looking to stay the night, you can do so in the luxurious Valcartier Hotel, or you can try the ultimate Canadian experience and stay overnight in a hotel made entirely of ice.
44 – Work your way through the city solving clues in a scavenger game
Quebec City is a very old city, and it can sometimes feel like a maze. That makes it the perfect place for a scavenger hunt!
There are so many distinct neighborhoods to discover, from the centuries of history in Old Town to the cafes and theaters of Montcalm. Work your way through them as you solve puzzles and find clues, and learn everything there is to know about French Canada along the way!
Powered by a mobile app, you have to crack the city riddles one by one. There’s no time limit, but the game typically lasts around two to 2.5 hours.
45 – Zoom through the powder on a snowmoblie
Like a landbound jet ski, snowmobiles provide endless hours of entertainment – and adrenaline! As you fly over the landscape, you can get further into the wilderness than ever before, and enjoy the speed and power of your vehicle as you discover amazing sights and watch for wildlife.
Of course, you can’t go snowmobiling around the streets of Quebec City, and these adventures usually kick off in Duchesnay (just over half an hour away). Driving through the Duchesnay sanctuary, stop over at a stunning viewpoint and pause to further appreciate your surroundings for a moment.
It’ll certainly take your breath away… and not just because of the cold!
46 – Take the kids to spend a day at RécréOFUN
RécréOFUN is a giant entertainment complex in Quebec City designed entirely for kids, so it’s a great option for families traveling with children. They’ve got trampolines, a ball pen, slides, a full arcade, the works.
Filled with obstacles, mini zip lines and climbing nets, its Giant Maze is bucket loads of fun!
Other dedicated areas include the Toddler Zone designed for children from 0 to three years old, the 7D Cinema (which the entire family will enjoy), and the immersive VR Maze.
They also offer summer camps and do birthday parties, so they pretty much cover all of your toddler needs.
47 – Go dog sledding!
Winter in Canada offers all kinds of opportunities to try things you probably never thought you’d never get the chance to – and dog sledding is definitely one of those things. Travel to Mont Lac-Beauport, Lac Saint-Joseph, or one of the other small towns around Quebec, hop on a sled, and let the friendly huskies give you the ride of a lifetime.
Over the next 1.5 hours, lap up the snow-laden scenery of the Great White North. You can even get the chance to drive the sled yourself, with mandatory driving training beforehand.
Most dog-sledding facilities are multi-purpose and also offer other winter activities like snowmobiling and ice-fishing.
48 – Cross bridges 60 meters above waterfalls at Canyon Sainte-Anne
Observation points, trail walks, suspension bridges and waterfalls … How incredible does Canyon Sainte-Anne sound? Dug out into a 1.2-billion-year-old rockery (!!!), this canyon is a true oasis — and is only a 30-minute drive from Quebec City!
Multiple trails lead visitors through the gorge and to the star of the show: the waterfall! Flowing from the Sainte-Anne-du-Nord River, the cascade has a 74-meter drop. En route, pitstop at the various observation viewpoints, crossing three suspension bridges in total.
Another adrenaline-inducing way to experience the ravine is with its exciting AirCANYON ride, flying 50 kilometers per hour over the abyss at 90 meters above the ground.
49 – Try something new like ice canoeing — a totally surreal experience!
Did you know that ice canoeing has been a mode of transport between the islands and the Saint Lawrence River for centuries? However, it’s only been in recent years that this has been converted into a sport, hailing from right here in Quebec City!
It’s basically the same as your standard river or ocean canoeing, but of course, the waterbody is frozen over! You’ll board the five-seater canoe in an area where the floating glaciers have broken up, creating a pathway for you to navigate between.
Once you’re suited up in your special snow gear and have learned the basic techniques, board your canoe from a boat ramp outside the city on the Saint Lawrence, and then it’s adventure time.
50 – Put your problem solving skills to the test with Cabinet Mysteriis’ Escape Games
If escape rooms are your thing, Cabinet Mysteriis is ready to put your problem solving skills to the ultimate race against the clock. The games they offer have been internationally recognized for their quality.
They offer a number of different puzzle rooms, but they book up fast, so make sure you check their availability often!
Locked inside a themed room, you have just 60 minutes to crack the clues and try to make your grand exit! Can you survive a new world post-Apocalypse? Do you have what it takes to work for the Dreamwalkers? Or can you save a miniature cow from alien abduction? It’s all up to you…
51 – Walk from one side of the city to the other on La Promenade des Gouverneurs
La Promenade des Gouverneurs is a boardwalk that spans the distance from the Plains of Abraham all the way to the Chateau Frontenac Hotel, and is approximately 0.8 kilometers long. It runs parallel to the fortifications surrounding Old Quebec City as well as the Saint Lawrence River, so you’d be hard pressed to find a better vantage point.
Unlike some of the other pathways in the city, this one doesn’t get snow shoveled, so take caution in winter.
The boardwalk also provides access points to quite a few other important sites other than those already mentioned. To reach the wooded pathway, descend about 300 steps that lead here.
52 – Spend a day at the beach on Baie de Beauport
Located on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River, Beauport Bay is a gorgeous beach that offers all kinds of summer activities. They have a full volleyball court and soccer field, rent out kayaks and canoes, windsurfing lessons and even yoga sessions.
There’s also a water park for the kids and, on special occasions, the area becomes a venue for international concert acts.
If you’re cycling along the Corridor du Littoral bike trail, this is also an awesome spot for a cool down — when swimming is allowed — and you can veer straight off the track to the beach. On that note, sometimes, when the conditions are rough, swimming is prohibited.
53 – Have a spooky time on a Ghosts & Crimes Tour
There are parts of Quebec City that are hundreds of years old, and the streets are full of ghost stories. Take a tour of the city that involves interactive street theater and live some of the area’s grisliest crime stories firsthand. During these spooky excursions, encounter ten ghosts (actors) of past criminals! But beware, they may just pop out at any corner …
Hear the horrific tales of the 16th century, from executions to infamous arrests!
This is a really fun activity if you’re looking to get to know Old Town a little better. Tours are offered as 1.5 or two-hour expeditions.
54 – Book a table at the other great restaurants
Quebec isn’t short of incredible places to wine and dine, and thanks to its rich French culture, there’s an amalgamation of cuisines that comprise the foodie scene.
With a menu comprising the freshest, seasonal, organic ingredients, Bistro L’Orygine wows over the crows with its contemporary bright plates of food (that match its setting).
Inspired by French classics and produce and flavors from the local region, Chez Rioux & Pettigrew is a warm, ambient and romantic locale, and the dishes are presented beautifully.
For all our plant-based eaters and vegetarians, Don Vegan is one of the best places for it. Incredible cocktails, an imaginative all-vegan menu and a super funky setting, what more could you ask for?
55 – Spend a night at the Ice Hotel
Live the ultimate Canada winter experience when you visit the Ice Hotel in Quebec City, a hotel that is literally made almost entirely of ice, beds and all. Enjoy a luxurious evening with dinner, spin on the skating rink, and a dip in the sauna, then retire to your beautifully sculpted room. Sleep comfy next to the fireplace in your sleeping bag, which sits atop a heated mattress.
Each of the rooms is themed and shaped differently, with 30 options to choose from. There are your standard one or two-bedroom rooms, suites go up to three sleepers, premium suites with private hot tubs and breathtaking themed options featuring insane sculpture work!
56 – Join a workshop and create copper art at the Albert Gilles Copper Art & Museum
Are you searching for totally unique things to do in Quebec City? How many times can you say you’ve visited a museum entirely dedicated to the art of copperwork? Well, get yourself straight to the fascinating Albert Gilles Copper Art & Museum!
Founded by artist Albert Gilles, today, the museum and its creations are headed up by his children.
This is so much more than just a museum. There’s also a boutique shop selling all sorts of items made from copper, from jewelry to magnets to bookmarks, crests, religious creations, clocks, mirrors, decorative trays, and and and!
Take part in an interactive copper workshop and spend a good hour marveling over the exhibitions.
57 – Travel back in time to the beginning of Quebec with a Virtual Reality experience
Sure, you can use your imagination to envision what Quebec looked like hundreds of years ago, but with the VR experiences in Quebec City, you’re literally transported centuries back in the most real way possible!
All you need is a pair of special virtual reality goggles and you’re set!
Headed up by Immersion Quebec, the activity is 40 minutes. Once your VR headset is firmly placed, here comes the time travel!
It begins with the first foundations of Quebec City upon the arrival of Samuel de Champlain. Witness famous battles, historical events and “meet” key figures from this French-speaking city’s past.
58 – From terraces to patios with a view, pull into the best pubs
After long days exploring on your feet and adventuring around Quebec City, unwind with a cold one at the best pubs in town. From a 17th-century brick cellar into a modern-day tavern full of ambiance and traditional charm, Pub L’Oncle Antoine is iconic!
All you have to do is look out for the Irish flags lining the exterior of the quintessential Pub St-Patrick, and you’ll know you’re in the right spot!
59 – Perfect your backswing and golf amid stunning landscapes
Quebec City has quite a few popular golf courses. There’s the Royal Quebec, which is one of North America’s oldest golf courses, or La Tempete, which also offers world-class golf lessons through its academy. Club Golf Montmorency is another fantastic option.
Visiting one of these golf courses in the autumn is especially magical as you’ll be able to play your 18 holes surrounded by the gorgeous colors of the changing leaves in the trees.
Some other great options just outside of Quebec City are the two courses in Lévis (a short ferry trip away). These are Club de Golf Lévis and the Golf De L’Auberiviere.
60 – Hit a lucky strike when bowling, then show off your victory dance moves!
A very American pastime, while you’re across the border in the North, get your fix of bowling at Quillorama Frontenac. Whether young or old, you’ll enjoy this bowling arena … sporting over 20 playing lanes!
Open until super late (Sunday to Wednesday until 11 PM, Thursday to Saturday until midnight), there are three bars to satiate your thirst (and give you a bit of Dutch courage), and in the evenings, the bowling Quillorama Frontenac transforms into a bowling dance floor — funky beats included!
Sessions are available as one, 1.5, two and three-hour slots, and tickets include bowling shoe rentals.
61 – Have a summer drink at La Cour Arrière du Festibière
Operated by the same team that puts on the annual Festibiere, which is the Quebec City microbrew festival, La Cour Arrière du Festibière is a huge terrace that sells microbrews from all over the city.
Open all summer long, the terrace is right in the heart of Old Quebec and it’s one of the city’s best spots to go and socialize. Aside from microbrews, they also offer an exclusive menu of tacos as well as wine, sangria, and hard alcohol.
Perched literally on the water’s edge, the views are unbeatable — especially around sunset Happy Hour. One of the newest features of the two-level terrace are its splash pools, perfect for a dip!
62 – With its own ice rink and indoor rides, have hours of fun at Méga Parc
From your classic rides to more modernized attractions, come rain or shine, spend the day playing at Méga Parc — an indoor theme park situated inside the Les Galeries de la Capitale shopping mall.
Little ones love the classic carousel, the Condor flying planes and the Centrale jungle gym playground. Feel all the thrills on the giant spinning pendulum or Télégraphe aerial roller coaster.
Plus, there are plenty of interactive attractions, such as the Arsenal firing balls, the immersive Cortex 4D experience, test gravity on Force G, or make it out of the labyrinth of laser beams.
Boasting over 20 rides, kids and teens love it here and thanks to its (clever) location, leave the children with dad whilst you go shopping.
63 – Take a stroll along Grande Allée
Once thought of as Quebec City’s high-class neighborhood, this storied street has become the heart of Quebec City’s nightlife. Take a stroll down Grande Allee and stop by any of the trendy bars, microbreweries and restaurants, and you’re guaranteed to have a good time. If you want to show off your dance moves, there are a few cool nightclubs down the 19th-century strip!
Grande Allee is also known for its gorgeous Victorian architecture, and it’s close by to quite a few key tourist attractions, including the Plains of Abraham.
On summer weekends, the road closes off to vehicles and becomes a pedestrian-friendly thoroughway.
64 – Bundle up and take part in the Quebec Winter Carnival
For anyone who really wants to get a taste of just how magical Canadian winters can truly be, the Quebec Winter Carnival is a necessary experience. This winter festival attracts tourists from all over the world, and for good reason.
See incredible ice sculptures, unique art exhibitions, and parades, and sample winter themed food and drinks the way they can only be made in Quebec. Examples of the exciting snowy zones to play among include The Slide City, the Scotiabank Sculpture Garden and the Winter Beach with its Snow Racer Tri-Skis Trail.
Running since 1894, this annual celebration is usually a ten-day affair and takes place typically at the end of January and into mid-February.
How to get to Quebec City?
Most travelers arriving in Quebec City will land at Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. Remove the extra stress of worrying about how to get from the airport to your stay when opting for pre-organized airport transfers in Quebec City.
Booking a private ride before you depart ensures your transport is all taken care of, so once you’ve collected your luggage and are ready to leave, all that’s left to do is hop into your private vehicle.
For travelers arriving by boat or cruiseliner for the day, consider one of the shore excursions in Quebec City while docked at the Port of Québec.
Where to stay in Quebec City?
Ensure you have a world-class time in Quebec City and stay at some of the very best accommodation spots that the city has to offer.
Feel as if you’re waking up in a fairytale at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, and the five-star resort has it all.
Fusing old-world charm with modern-day features, the Auberge Saint Antoine is a stylish option, well-loved for its location.
If you prefer an entire stay all to yourselves, the apartments and lofts from Les Lofts Dorchester by Les Lofts Vieux-Québec are clean, spacious and pop with color.
Boasting floor-to-ceiling glass views of the twinkling city below Le Capitole Hotel is a luxe option and rooms are well-appointed with marble top finishes, for example.
Fussy sleepers look no further, and thanks to the extra comfy beds at the Hotel le Priori, easily fall into a peaceful slumber.
Step back in time at the super authentic, richly decorated Auberge J.A Moisan — great for couples!
Where to go next?
Considering your next options once your time in Quebec City is up? Here are some of the best places to visit in Canada.
The closest city is another French favorite, and there are many other things to do in Montreal. Reachable via car in two hours and 45 minutes, you can do this as a day trip, but it’s best to savor the city over a weekend.
You can reach Ottawa in 4.5 hours where some of the country’s top museums and galleries are found. A visit to Parliament Hill, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica are a few unmissable things to do in Ottawa — the capital city of Canada!
A melting pot of cultures and activities, Toronto is one of the coolest cities in Canada up there with Ottawa. From its markets to microbreweries, you’re spoiled for things to do in Toronto. The flight from Quebec to Toronto is 1.5 hours.
Don’t miss out on exploring one of our world’s natural wonders; Niagara Falls. You can even zipline or take a helicopter tour over the iconic landscape! It’s a 1.5-hour flight from Quebec side or a nine-hour drive. Of course, the waterfalls are the main draw-in, but there are loads more things to do in Niagara Falls!
Dripping in unique culture, historical buildings, ancient architecture and a fabulous food and wine scene, fall in love with the French-influenced Canadian city the moment you arrive.
Have you ever traveled here before? What are some of your top things to do in Quebec City, must-eat restaurants or iconic landmarks that you learned about? Share with us in the comments.
As always, happy and safe travels.