The best things to do in Quebec City include top attractions in one of the oldest cities built by European settlers in North America. The original French settlement dated back to the early 17th century and has left many historical buildings around the picturesque Old Town.

    From the impressive, majestic Montmorency Waterfall to the lively Petit-Champlain neighborhood, and from Dufferin Terrace to Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, the capital city of the Province of Quebec offers a true trip back in time. Meanwhile, gourmands will certainly enjoy local food specialties like poutine and maple syrup grandfathers. Take a look at what else Quebec City is famous for.

    What are the best things to do in Quebec City?

    1

    Place Royale

    Step back into history in a lively square

    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    Place Royale is a cobblestone square that offers you a journey back in time as it’s the place where Samuel de Champlain founded New France in 1608. Lined with vintage stone buildings housing shops, bars and restaurants, the square is also home to Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest church in North America. While you’re here, don't miss the stunning eye-deceiving mural known as La Fresque des Québécois – the Quebecer’s Fresco – which retraces the history of Quebec City.

    Location: 2-4 Rue des Pains Bénits, Quebec City, QC G1K, Canada

    Map
    2

    Lower and Upper Old Quebec

    Wander around a historic French town in North America

    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    Old Quebec is the place where everything started in Quebec and Canada. Established in the early 17th century, Old Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage site split into the Upper Town and the Lower Town and connected by a funicular. Filled with quaint boutiques, bars and restaurants, the narrow, cobblestone streets of the Old Town are also home to many attractions, like the Fort Museum, the Dufferin Terrace, and many other. Spice up your visit with a tour of the Old Town on a horse-drawn carriage.

    Location: Vieux-Québec, Quebec City, QC, Canada

    Map
    3

    Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

    The most extravagant hotel in Quebec

    • History
    • Photo
    • Luxury

    Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is one of the most iconic in the collection of luxury Québécois hotels. Constructed in 1893, this stately Neo-Château-style landmark sits atop the Cap Diamant escarpment, peering down on the Upper Town.

    Some say it’s the most photographed hotel in the world – and upon admiring its fairytale-like turrets and towers, it’s not hard to see why. Even though it was recognized as a National Historic Site in 1980, it’s still a privately operated hotel.

    Location: 1 Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC G1R 4P5, Canada

    Map
    4

    Dufferin Terrace

    See Quebec City from above

    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    Overlooking Old Quebec and the Saint Lawrence River, Dufferin Terrace is one of the most popular vantage points in Quebec City. Dominated by the magnificent Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the wooden terrace gives strollers plenty of space to wander, meditate or relax on a bench while enjoying the views. In winter, do not miss the rush ride downhill on the slides, which are open from mid-December to late March.

    Location: Rue des Carrières, Québec, QC G1R 5J5, Canada

    Map
    5

    Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral

    Wander through 4 centuries of devotion and memory

    • Budget
    • History
    • Photo

    Erected in the heart of Old Quebec, Notre-Dame de Quebec is a 17th-century Basilica-Cathedral that’s listed as a National Historic Site of Canada. One of the oldest churches in North America, it’s richly ornamented and features a splendid Neo-classic façade. Don’t forget to visit the attached museum and the crypt, which houses the graves of New France governors and Quebec bishops.

    Location: 16 Rue De Buade, Québec, QC G1R 4A1, Canada

    Open: Weekdays from 7 am to 4 pm, Saturdays from 7 am to 6 pm, Sundays from 8 am to 5 pm

    Map

    photo by Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0) modified

    6

    Promenade de Champlain

    Take a walk along the Saint Lawrence River

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Photo

    Stretching for 2.5 km alongside the Saint Lawrence River, Promenade Samuel de Champlain is a very pleasant place for a stroll. Established on a former industrial wharf, the promenade features 5 distinct areas: the Cageux Station, the Tequenonday Wood, the Sports Station, the Shore Trail and the Quay Station. Art and nature meet at Promenade de Champlain, which is also a cool spot for nature photography. Do not miss the view from the observation tower at the southern end.

    Location: 2795 Boulevard Champlain, Québec, QC G1T 1X9, Canada

    Map

    photo by Gilbert Bochenek (CC BY 3.0) modified

    7

    Petit-Champlain neighborhood

    Soak in the vintage décor and atmosphere of Old Quebec City

    The Quartier Petit-Champlain, as it’s known in French, is a lively shopping area at the foot of Dufferin Terrace in Old Quebec. You’ll find quaint boutiques selling quality crafts, clothes, jewels and more here. You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy pleasant pauses during your shopping spree as the area is home to a lively dining scene. It’s a great place to take a leisurely walk and just soak in the vintage décor and atmosphere of Old Quebec City.

    Map
    8

    Plains of Abraham

    Relax in a massive park

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History

    The Plains of Abraham is a historic park area with plenty of tranquil green space as well as a rich history dating back centuries. While the park was established in 1908, the area is best known historically for the Battle of the Plains of Abraham back in 1759.

    When you visit the park, you'll find what is effectively the opposite of a battlefield. Its massive 240 acres of space are notably relaxing and well-maintained, though you'll still find room for sports and festivals if you're looking for something a bit more lively than a stroll. You can get to the park just south of downtown and it's located close to the riverbank.

    Location: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

    Open: 24/7

    Phone: +1 418-649-6157

    Map
    9

    Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

    Discover a majestic natural area just north of Quebec City center

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Budget
    • Adventure
    • Photo

    Located 10 km north of the city center, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is a great place for a first encounter with the spectacular and extensive natural environment of Canada. One of the most visited sites in Quebec, it has a waterfall that’s 30 meters taller than the famed Niagara Falls. Easy to get to by bus from the city center, the site features many observation platforms offering great photo opportunities. Zipper-lining and rock climbing are 2 activities at hand for thrill-seekers, and a restaurant offers a cool spot for a pause, especially on its terrace. Entrance to the park is free.

    Location: 2490 Avenue Royale, Quebec City, QC G1C 1S1, Canada

    Map
    10

    Quebec Citadel

    Tour an active military installation built in the early 17th century

    • History
    • Photo

    Quebec Citadel is the oldest army building complex in North America, and remains an active military base to this day. Established in the early 17th century, the star-shaped complex is home to the monarch's and Governor General of Canada's residence, and to the Royal 22nd Regiment Museum. Like at Buckingham Palace in London, the changing of the guard ceremony is one of the main highlights of Quebec Citadel. Take the guided tour to make the most of this National Historic Site of Canada.

    Location: 1 Côte de la Citadelle, Quebec City, QC G1R 3R2, Canada

    Map
    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

    Start planning your trip

    Back to top

    Maps