Traveling to Quebec City was like coming home – well, a little, because even though we speak the “same” language, it’s different and I was still confused most of the time. Nevertheless, the city charmed me with its colorful streets and friendly people. Here are my top things to do in Quebec City!

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1. Be amazed by the powerful Montmorency Falls

Montmorency Falls in Quebec City

How to get there: take the bus line 800 in direction of Terminus Chute-Montmorency (Est) and ride it to Des Rapides (30mn), you’ll then have to walk for about 3mn
Cost: $3 for the bus ticket + $5.74 for 18 years and over and $5.22 for 65 years and older> free for kids under 17

The last thing I did, and the first thing I’d recommend, because it’s the one that impressed me the most during my stay in Quebec City. The power of the water you feel as soon as you cross the bridge and its impressive height make this site a must on your travel itinerary. Oh, and Montmorency Falls are actually 30 m higher than Niagara Falls, just saying.

You can see them from many vantage points and get as close as possible without getting too wet. There’s also an option to go zip-lining ($30) or discover climbing via ferrata ($39.50).

2. Try poutine

Poutine in Quebec City
Photo de @withlovefromchile

I have to admit, I was a little scared to try it at first. All I could see was how greasy it was, but since I love fries, I couldn’t resist for long and finally gave in to my rumbling stomach.

Long story short, poutine is fries, gravy and cheese curds, and it became my favorite snack while exploring Quebec City. Yes, you read that right, a snack, because even though it’s high in calories, I think it’s addictive and I always seem to have room to eat it!

You’ll find plenty of restaurants serving it, since it’s the city’s specialty, some with their own version of the original recipe, but just as good. You should go to Casse-Croute Chez Gaston or even Chez Ashton, as they know their classic and do it very well.

Now you know where to go to satisfy your poutine cravings!

3. Stroll through Quartier Petit Champlain

Quartier Petit Champlain in Quebec City

I couldn’t miss this part of Quebec City because, in addition to the stores and its artistic and architectural beauty, I also wanted to see one of the filming locations for a Kdrama that I love. Maybe some of you have heard of it, but if not, you should check out Goblin. Even more so if you like romantic TV series, you’re welcome!

Anyway, fan girl mode off!

Street in Quartier Petit Champlain in Quebec City
Photo of Quartier Petit Champlain in Quebec City

This neighborhood in Old Quebec is definitely a gem, where many local crasftmen have set up store. What’s more, if you’re planning a visit at Christmas, the streets exude a magical, fairy-tale atmosphere that will take you back to childhood.

4. Get into the Christmas spirit even in summer

Christmas shop in Quebec City

There’s a magical place in Quebec City called “La Boutique de Noël” where, whatever the time of year, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into Santa’s workshop.

It’s the best store in town for all your festive needs and decorations. Of course, I wouldn’t recommend pushing open the door if you don’t like Christmas, as you’re liable to have a panic attack.

5. Enjoy maple syrup

Maple syrup in Quebec City

Located in the Quartier Petit Champlain, let me introduce you to this fun and free activity. As I was strolling through the winter wonderland in the snow, cold and shivering, I suddenly noticed a crowd of people. Like a true tourist, I approached and saw what looked like a maple syrup tasting.

Almost drooling and craving something sweet, it was the perfect treat at the right time. The maple syrup lollipop is made by rolling hot taffy in ice: an absolute delight!

6. Fill up on history at Plains of Abraham

Plains of Abraham in Quebec City

Once a military site, the Plains of Abraham has been a magnificent park since 1908, where numerous activities are organized throughout the year. Whether you’d like to learn more about the historic battle of the Plains of Abraham between French and English troops, or simply take a stroll along the city’s famous ramparts, you’ll want to make this part of your trip.

In winter, you can attend/participate in the pentathlon or go ice-skating, and in summer, when the sun finally shines and the weather is pleasant, the Plains become a favorite spot for a picnic on the grass.

7. Visit Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City

Although my budget doesn’t allow me to stay in a 5-star hotel, that didn’t stop me from enjoying the beauty of this iconic location. Known around the world as one of the best hotels, you might like to know that the castle is also reputed to be haunted. Maybe I’ll forget about sleeping there…

Château Frontenac in Quebec City
In front of Château Frontenac in Quebec City

With its panoramic view of the St. Lawrence River, it’s the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Old Quebec’s stores and narrow cobblestone streets.

Oh, and there’s even a unique attraction just behind the castle (Terrasse Dufferin): a toboggan slide going up to 70 km/h available in winter, which is a fun and unforgettable experience to do alone, with friends or family! Tickets cost $4.

Toboggan slide in Quebec City

The city’s oldest attraction, hold on tight and enjoy the view and the ride!

8. Unwind at Lac Gauthier

Lac Gauthier in Quebec City
Photo by Ali Kazal on Unsplash

A 2.5-hour drive from Quebec City, this lake is the ideal place to relax and refresh. When you look at the scenery, you feel like settling into a cottage right here, don’t you? Well, I do!

Getting around Quebec City

The best way to get around is on foot. All the best places and attractions are within walking distance. And if you’re coming in winter and you’re too cold to walk around Quebec City – which I totally understand, by the way – you should know that the RTC bus system is pretty reliable and efficient.

Best time to visit

I’d say it depends very much on the type of activities you want to do and your ability to stand the cold.

  • Spring: it’s still quite cold and sometimes snowy, but you can enjoy maple taffy on snow, Montmorency Falls in all its splendor, blooming flowers and other activities.
  • Summer: the best temperatures, sunshine, water sports and festivals.
  • Autumn: for nature lovers, watch the leaves take on vibrant colors as temperatures begin to cool.
  • Winter: if you love snow and Winter wonderland, this is the season for you. Christmas, carnival, skiing…

In a nutshell

Want to learn more about French-Canadian culture, take in colonial architecture and enjoy the world’s best poutine? Look no further and book your ticket to beautiful Quebec City!

Interested in learning Quebecois? Here’s my post on the subject!

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19 Comments

  1. Great post. it was like a trip down memory lane. I stayed at the Chateau Frontenac in the mid 80’s. Class trip. No idea how a group of 11 year old’s got to stay there. But we did. I am afraid to look up how much a stay would cost today.

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