Best Things to do in Quebec City, Canada
#3 in Best Places to Visit in Canada - Québec City, the cradle of French civilization in North America is known for its beautiful landscapes, cultural and historical attractions, and outdoor activities and, of course is the capital of Quebec. There is no place like Quebec City in North America which has old world Europe feel to it. Quebec City is one of the most fashion conscious cities in the country. Québec City is the only fortified city of the colonial era in North America.
Old Quebec is a historic district of Quebec City. Old Québec is made up of 2 parts – the Upper Town, fortified by ramparts, castle (citadel), and other defensive works; and the Lower Town, which developed around the Place Royale and the harbour. Notre-Dame des Victoires church is in Lower town. Old Quebec is a wonderful place to walk around; the little shops, the market, old port, architecture, historic houses, stone buildings and several restaurants.
Montmorency Falls (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency) is located just a few minutes from Old Quebec. It is open year-round and the view of the falls in winter is truly breathtaking. There is Manoir Montmorency at the top of the cliff that houses a fine dining restaurant called Kent House Café bistro. Montmorency falls are 90 feet higher than Niagara Falls but not as wide though. There are different ways to discover Montmorency falls; you can take the staircase, which is on one side of the falls or the suspension bridge or a cable car that takes you all the way from the bottom of the falls to the top. It’s an amazing attraction for all ages. Lots of parking spots both at the base of the park and up at the top of the park are available. The falls is surrounded by the provincial park. In winter, the freezing spray sent by the falls builds a mountain of white ice at the base called the pain de sucre (sugarloaf), which sometimes grows as high as 98 feet.
- Address: 2490 av. Royale, Beauport, QC, G1C 1S1
- Cost: Cable car CAD $10.36 round-trip; Parking CAD $9.75
- Hours: Open year round. Cable car Apr 6 – June 23 and Aug 27 – Oct, daily 9am – 6pm ; June 24 – Au. 26, daily 8:30 am – 7:30 pm, Dec 26 – Apr 5, weekends 10 am – 4pm
Quartier du Petit Champlain is a historic district in Quebec City, which is the oldest commercial district in North America. This area should not be missed. The boutiques, restaurants, cafes, shops, art galleries on Rue du Petit Champlain are absolutely beautiful and the view of St Lawrence River from the top of the street is spectacular. This narrow cobble stone street has a charm of its own.
Sainte Anne de Beaupre Basilica is architectural brilliance along St. Lawrence. This church was constructed in the 17th century. The structural design of this church is opulent. Quebec City has many historical churches but this one is the best. It is a beautiful testimony to craftsmanship. Bronze statutes, copper engravings, wood carvings inside the church are impressive.
Dufferin Terrasse is located in the upper town adjacent to the foot of the Citadel. It consists of a giant wooden boardwalk above the Cap Diamant in the historic district of Old Quebec, overlooking St Lawrence River. It’s a nice place to walk with family. You can see the St Lawrence River and Le Chateau Frontenac from Dufferin Terrace and watch the street performers.
Basilique Cathedrale Notre-dame-de-Quebec was built in the 17th century. This church was rebuilt in 1920. This church is located in the heart of Quebec City. The inside is gorgeous; the stained glass, marbles, incense smell and the candles.
Winter things to do in Quebec City
Winter Carnival is held in Quebec City. The Carnival is the star of winter in Quebec. You can see ice and snow sculptures and join in the spectacular festivities. Some of the major events in the carnival include an amusement park with attractions such as snow sledding, skiing, and rafting. The festival is usually held in February. There are various outdoor sport races like, hockey, dog-sledding, snowboarding in the city at the time. Every year ice palace is build which is nothing but a castle-like structure made of ice. All restaurants and bars set up a patio made of ice in front of their establishment and all main streets are decorated.
Ice Hotel (Hotel de glace) is located a few kilometres north of Quebec City. Ice hotel is built every in December and is open to public in January. The hotel is brought down in April. It is the first ice hotel in North America. The hotel has around 80 beds made of ice that are lined with deer furs and covered with mattresses. People can actually spend a night at the hotel and sleep on ice beds in arctic sleeping bags. You can even hit the outdoor hot tubs before bedtime. Only the bathrooms in the ice hotel are heated and are located in a separate insulated place. There is also a chapel made of ice that is built where weddings are celebrated. All furniture is made of ice and drinks are served in ice glasses. The experience is breathtakingly beautiful. This place is only for winter people. If you love winter sports, activities and don’t mind the cold this place is truly magical because everything in there is ice cold.
Other things to do in Quebec City
Shopping is big in Quebec City since it is possibly the most European city in North America. The local champion is Simons. Laurier fashion centre is the second largest mall in Canada. Shoppers, boulevard Laurier is a must see place for its 3 fabulous fashion centres – Laurier, Place de la Cité, and Place Ste-Foy.
Nearby things to do in Quebec City
Tadoussac is a village in Quebec and is not too far away from Quebec City. It’s about 3 hours drive from Quebec City and the drive is amazing. It is a tourist destination and is known for its facilities for whale watching. This place is totally a family holiday destination. Whale watching is an amazing experience and going on a zodiac tour makes the experience even better because you go very close to the whales than the big boat. It’s easily a day tour from Quebec City. It is a breathtaking experience; the incredibly pristine water, the view of the village from the boat, the whales, the beautiful landscapes, caves and forests you discover on your boat ride. Visit things to in Tadoussac to know more specifics.