Québec City has been a favorite destination for decades, with its many attractions and European flavor. Below, we break down some of the coolest things you can do in the capital of la belle province!
1. Stay At The Château Frontenac
Even if you’ve never heard of the Château Frontenac before, you’ve likely seen it in pictures. It define’s the city’s skyline, and it’s a time-honored tradition for tourists to snap a picture of it. The Château has won a Guinness World Record for ‘Most Photographed Hotel,’ so you know we’re not making this up! Get your camera ready and prepare to add to the record.
The Château is one of the gems of Québec, an impressive edifice visible from across the city; not only is it the tallest building in town, but it’s built on top of a cliff. Apart from its brilliant Victorian architecture brilliant, the hotel treats guests to multiple on-site restaurants, 5-star amenities, and top-notch service.
Whether you decide to stay the night or just pop by for a visit, the Château Frontenac is probably the most beautiful building in Québec, and it’s worth seeing up close.
2. Musée du Fort
Located at the foot of the Château Frontenac, this wonderful little museum celebrates the military history of Québec City, a strategically vital junction and the only fortified settlement in North America. Using a 400-foot model of Québec as it existed in 1750, visitors are treated to a half-hour light and sound show that recapitulates the six sieges the city has faced, from its founding to the failed campaign of Benedict Arnold.
3. The Hotel Made Of Ice
There’s more to talk about where Québec City is concerned that just the hotels, but there’s no way we could fail to mention the feat of innovation that is Hôtel de Glace. Made entirely of snow (15,000 tons) and ice (500,000 tons), it is indeed a work of art, even more so because it has to be rebuilt every year after it melts away in the warmer months.
The hotel is built in roughly a month and a half, and it’s operational for about four months during the winter months. With the novelty factor it offers, Hôtel de Glace is a popular choice for visitors. But it’s not just a bit of fun: it really is a full-service hotel with 85 rooms, a chapel, an art gallery, and a nightclub.
Prepare to dress warmly, though, because there’s only heat in the outdoor hot tubs and a handful of bathrooms. Even the furniture is made from ice! It’s all softened with blankets to make it comfortable, but we still recommend bringing a warm pair of socks and some long johns!
4. Cross The St. Lawrence River By Ferry
Visiting Québec City in the warmer months comes with its fair share of perks as well, like taking the ferry across the St. Lawrence to the nearby city of Lévis.
The passage of the St. Lawrence grants passengers with some sensational views of the capital and the seaway, and it’s a great way to spend a warm summer’s afternoon.
5. Try The Local Cuisine
The Québec City culinary culture has evolved into a dynamic scene with countless options. Some standouts include Sapristi, Le Lapin Saute, Laurie Raphael, Le Clocher Penche, and Chez Boulay, but there are also food tours that will take you to a string of five noteworthy restaurants that have distinctly different styles.
The Old Québec Food Tour is one of the best. Check it our if you’re hungry enough for nearly 3 hours of blissful eating.
6. Visit Authentic Quebec City Neighborhoods
When I’m visiting a new place, I usually want to get outside the tourist bubble and take in some authentic local culture. While areas like Petit-Champlain are gorgeous, they’re flooded with visitors. But lesser-known areas like the Montcalm Quartier des Arts also have a classic Québec vibe to them and a ton of fun activities to engage in.
The streets beg to be walked with a coffee in hand, and the architecture throughout the area is a marvel. Cartier Street has a wide assortment of food markets, cinemas, and shops to visit, and the Plains of Abraham have a long history too – as you’ll learn if you visit the aforementioned Musée du Fort.
7. Explore The Prison Turned Library
If you love books and history, you should make sure to stop at the Morrin Centre. This English-language library houses over 200-years of history and used to be a prison. It preserves the stories of the inmates who were once held there, but it also houses an immense collection of over 25,000 books.
Afternoon tea sessions can be booked in advance, all served in character by people in Victorian-era attire.
Québec City is like North America’s Europe. It combines rich history, impressive architecture, and a refreshingly unique culture. We know you’ll fall in love with it, even more so after you check out everything on this list!