If you’re looking for things to do in Quebec City and want to experience French Canada, then you can’t go wrong here in the province’s capital.
There are so many unique things to do in Quebec City, Canada. Get ready to fall in love with the rich history, picturesque streets, and vibrant festivals that happen all year long!
This European-inspired city is located along the Saint-Lawrence River, just a few hours’ drive from Montreal.
While not as busy as Montreal, Quebec City is far more walkable – so long as you don’t mind a bit of snow!
If colder temperatures don’t make you squeamish, try to plan your visit in the winter to take advantage of the unique festivals the city is famous for.
Here are some of the reasons you should visit Quebec City and what to do when you’re there!
Wander Through Old Quebec
No visit to Quebec would be complete without experiencing Old Quebec, the historic heart of the city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The neighborhood of Old Quebec City, or Vieux Québec, is the only city north of Mexico City to have preserved walled ramparts. Now is your chance to glimpse what it was like to live inside a fortified city centuries ago!
When you’re done with your siege re-enactment, take a walk along the streets of Upper Town and gaze over the cliff for a stunning view of the Saint-Lawrence River. You can take a guided tour of Old Quebec or explore on your own.
Old Quebec City is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Château Frontenac, the Citadelle, and the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral.
Here are some other things to do in Old Quebec City.
Explore the Quartier Petit Champlain
The Quartier Petit Champlain is a charming neighborhood located in Old Quebec City. It is known for its narrow cobblestoned streets, colorful houses, and vibrant atmosphere.
Quartier Petit Champlain is a great place to shop, dine, explore, or simply grab a coffee as you walk between the historical monuments and beautiful churches sprinkled throughout the area.
Stroll Along the Terrasse Dufferin
The Terrasse Dufferin is a beautiful boardwalk that offers stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding landscape.
It is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike and is a great place to relax and take in the views.
Appreciate the Architecture
You can’t walk through the streets of Quebec City and not notice its distinct blend of French and British heritage.
Beautiful architecture is everywhere, from mundane row homes to grand buildings and churches. If you had to narrow it down to three buildings, you must visit:
- Le Chateau de Frontenac
- The Basilica de Notre Dame
- Maison de la Littérature
We recommend you brush up on your reading at the Maison de la Littérature. The library blends contemporary design with neo-Gothic architecture and is often called the heart of Quebecois literature. Its stunning interior is a popular picture location. Just make sure you are respectful of others using the library.
Visit the Basilique Notre-Dame de Québec
The Basilique Notre-Dame de Québec is a stunning cathedral located in Old Quebec City. It is known for its beautiful architecture and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can take a guided tour of the cathedral or attend mass to experience the beauty and grandeur of the church’s interior.
Visit Chateau de Frontenac
Chateau de Frontenac in old Quebec City is probably one of the world’s most photographed hotels and always appears in city skyline images.
The Chateau was designed in the 19th century and has been considered a National Historic Site of Canada since 1980.
Experience The Winter Festivals
Quebec City is known for being a festival destination, but the most famous is, hands-down, the Carnaval de Quebec.
The Carnaval takes place every winter and lasts a couple of weeks from late January to mid-February so weather-appropriate clothing is a must.
Many activities will keep you occupied, from the sleigh and canoe races to snow sculptures, food, and fireworks.
Make sure you sample some iconic Canadian maple taffy! This dessert is popular at Canadian winter festivals and is made by spreading hot maple syrup in the snow, where it instantly cools and thickens before rolling it on a stick.
Quebec City is known for its delicious cuisine, and a food tour is a great way to sample some of the local specialties. Some popular dishes worth trying include poutine, tourtière, and tarte au sucre.
Stay at The Ice Hotel
Ever wanted to spend the night in an upscale igloo? Well, now is your chance!
Located only minutes from downtown Quebec City is the Hôtel du Glace (Ice Hotel), and it’s an unmissable experience! The hotel sits on the slopes of the Laurentian Mountains and is made from 30,000 tons of snow and 500 tons of ice.
Beds are constructed on a solid ice base with a wooden box spring and mattress placed on top. Don’t worry. They have lots of blankets, and guests sleep inside arctic sleeping bags, but interior temperatures still average 23°F to 26°F (-5°C to 3°C).
Has an overnight stay lost its appeal? No problem. There are tour and day packages available too. If you’re feeling romantic, you can tie the knot inside the hotel’s ice chapel!
Come Experience Quebec City with Caravan Tours!
For nearly three-quarters of a century (since 1952), Caravan Tours has remained a family-run tour company based out of Chicago IL.
We use only very knowledgeable local tour guides for all of our tours including tours in the United States and Canada, plus in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, and Mexico.
Our two newest tours, including our Montreal Tour and Quebec City, will be offered to the public very soon. In the meantime, our guests can book the following Canadian tours:
If you still have questions about our upcoming Quebec City tour or any Canadian tour we offer, or to book one of our USA or Central American tours, please:
Quebec City FAQs
Is Quebec City the capital of Quebec?
Quebec City is the capital of the French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada.
What Time Is It in Quebec City?
Quebec City is Eastern Standard time which is the same Time Zone as the New England States and New York.
What language do they speak in Quebec City?
French is the primary language of Quebec City and English is their second language.
How far is Quebec City from Montreal?
Quebec City is 262km (163 miles) from Montreal Canada.
How Far Is Quebec City from Toronto?
Quebec City is 806 miles (1,297km) from Toronto, Ontario.
How Far is Quebec City from Ottawa?
Quebec City is 276 miles (444km) from Ottawa, Ontario.