Quebec City: Exploring the Heart of French Canada

Discover Quebec City

Traveling to Quebec City is like stepping into a living, breathing piece of history. As one of the oldest cities in North America, its cobblestone streets, fortified walls, and charming architecture transport visitors back in time. Immerse yourself in the city’s French heritage by savoring delectable cuisine, exploring quaint boutiques, and conversing with locals in their native tongue. Whether wandering through the picturesque Quartier Petit Champlain, admiring the grandeur of La Citadelle, or marveling at the majestic Montmorency Falls, every moment in Quebec City is an adventure steeped in culture, history, and unparalleled beauty.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Three Fun Facts About Quebec City


Oldest Walled City in North America

Quebec City is the only walled city north of Mexico, making it the oldest fortified settlement in North America. Its walls are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


French Influence

Quebec City is one of the most French-speaking cities in North America. French is the official language, and the city’s culture, cuisine, and architecture reflect its French heritage.


Maple Syrup

Quebec produces over 70% of the world’s maple syrup, and the province is famous for its maple syrup products. Visitors to Quebec City can enjoy maple taffy (tire d’érable) made by pouring hot maple syrup onto the snow and rolling it onto a stick.


Must See Attractions

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Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec)

Historic Attraction

Wander through the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and marvel at the well-preserved 17th and 18th century buildings. Don’t miss landmarks like Place Royale, Château Frontenac, and the city walls.

Château Frontenac

Historic Hotel

This iconic hotel dominates the Quebec City skyline. You can visit the interior to appreciate its grandeur and enjoy stunning views of the city from its terraces.

Dufferin Boardwalk

Shopping & Dining

Stroll along this boardwalk, located just below Château Frontenac, for breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area.

Montmorency Falls

Nature & Parks

Just outside the city, Montmorency Falls is a spectacular natural attraction that is taller than Niagara Falls. You can admire the falls from various viewpoints and take a cable car or staircase to the top for more stunning views.

Quartier Petit Champlain

Shopping & Dining

Discover charming boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants in this picturesque neighborhood, known as one of the oldest commercial streets in North America.

Île d’Orléans

Nature & Parks

Consider exploring nearby attractions such as Île d’Orléans, a picturesque island known for its agriculture and charming villages.

Lakes Near Quebec City

Lac Beauport

La Jacques-Cartier Regional County Municipality, Quebec G3B 1K5

Surrounded by lush forests and rugged peaks, this pristine lake offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. With its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Lac Beauport beckons visitors to swim, sunbathe, and relax along its shores during the warm summer months. Boating enthusiasts can explore the lake’s calm waters by kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, while anglers can cast their lines in search of various fish species.

Distance from Quebec City: 22 kilometers
Water sports, hiking, picnicking

Lac Delage

26 Rue du Pied des Pentes, Lac-Delage, quebec G3C 5A2

Lac Delage, situated just a short drive northwest of Quebec City, is a tranquil oasis nestled amidst the majestic Laurentian Mountains. Known for its serene beauty and pristine waters, Lac Delage offers visitors a peaceful escape into nature’s embrace. The lake’s shores are adorned with lush forests, creating a picturesque backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities year-round.

Distance from Quebec City: 29 kilometers
Boating, swimming, hiking, picnicking

Lac des Roches

Lac des Roches, Québec

Lac des Roches, nestled in the heart of the Laurentian Mountains near Quebec City, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by dense forests and rugged cliffs, this pristine lake offers a secluded retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Its tranquil waters provide the perfect setting for a variety of recreational activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing.

Distance from Quebec City: 18 kilometers
Fishing, watersports, relaxing

Secret Fishing Destinations Near Quebec City

Lac Saint-Augustin

Lac Saint-Augustin, Québec

This serene lake is located just a short drive from the city. This pristine waterbody offers excellent opportunities for anglers to reel in various species of fish, including bass, pike, and perch, amidst stunning natural surroundings.

Fishing: Shoreline, boat, dock, kayak
Bass, pike, perch

Jacques-Cartier River

Îlets Jacques-CartierCap-Santé, Quebec

Jacques-Cartier River is renowned for its pristine waters and scenic beauty. Tucked away in the Jacques-Cartier National Park, this river teems with brook trout, offering a rewarding fishing experience away from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Fishing: Shoreline, kayak, boat
Brook trout, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, Arctic char

Sainte-Anne River

Sainte-Anne RiverLes Chenaux, Quebec G0X 2J0

Sainte-Anne River provides a secluded haven for fly fishing enthusiasts. This picturesque river, located northwest of Quebec City, boasts crystal-clear waters and an abundance of Atlantic salmon during the spawning season, making it a coveted destination for anglers seeking a challenge.

Fishing: Shoreline
Brook trout, brown trout, Atlantic salmon

Best Hiking Trails Near Quebec City

Saint Charles River Linear Park

St-Charles Park, Duberger sector, Unnamed Road, Québec G1P 3A6

This linear park follows the scenic Saint Charles River, providing a tranquil oasis for walking, jogging, cycling, and leisurely strolls. Lined with lush greenery, trees, and native vegetation, the park’s well-maintained pathways wind alongside the river, offering stunning views and opportunities for wildlife spotting.

Distance: 12.2 kilometers
Point to point
Elevation Gain: 
115 m
Time to Complete:
3 hours

Belair Ourdoor Center Marsh Trail

Base de plein air La Découverte, 10 Rue de la Découverte, Québec G3K 1W6

The Belair Outdoor Center Marsh Trail offers a captivating journey through one of Quebec City’s hidden natural gems. Located within the expansive Belair Park, this trail winds through a pristine marsh ecosystem teeming with biodiversity and tranquility. As visitors meander along the well-marked pathways, they are treated to stunning views of lush wetlands, towering trees, and vibrant flora.

Distance: 8.5 kilometers
Out & back
Elevation Gain:
 192 m
Time to Complete:
2.5 hours

Samuel de Champlain Walk

Sent. des Grèves de la Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, Québec, G1W 4V4

The Samuel de Champlain Walk is a scenic journey through the footsteps of one of the most influential explorers and cartographers in Canadian history. Named after Samuel de Champlain, the French explorer who founded Quebec City in 1608, this walk offers a captivating glimpse into the early days of European exploration in North America. With each step, walkers are transported back in time, gaining a deeper appreciation for Champlain’s pioneering spirit and his profound impact on Canadian history.

Distance: 13.8 kilometers
Point to point
Elevation Gain: 
153 m
Time to Complete:
3 hours

Best Golf Courses Near Quebec City

Club de Golf Royal Québec

65 Rue Bédard, Boischatel, Quebec G0A 1H0

Located in Boischatel, just a short drive from Quebec City, Club de Golf Royal Québec offers two 18 hole championship courses: La Tempête and La Vallée. Designed by renowned architect Graham Cooke, these courses feature pristine fairways, challenging greens, and stunning views of the Laurentian Mountains.

Holes: 32
Graham Cooke

Visit their website for more information

Club de Golf Le Montmorency

2700 Av. du Sault, Québec G1C 2L2

Located in Beauport, just a short drive from Quebec City, Club de Golf Le Montmorency is a scenic 18 hole course overlooking the majestic Montmorency Falls. Designed by renowned architect Darrell Huxham, this course features tree-lined fairways, challenging elevation changes, and panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Holes: 18
Darrell Huxham

Visit their website for more information

Club de Golf Lorette

12986 Rue Monseigneur-Cooke, Québec G2A 3B6

Located in Loretteville, just a short drive from Quebec City, Club de Golf Lorette offers a scenic 18 hole course nestled amidst rolling hills and forested landscapes. With its challenging layout and pristine conditions, this course provides an enjoyable golfing experience for players of all abilities.

Holes: 18
Graham Cooke

Visit their website for more information


01 / Mont-Sainte-Anne

Situated just a short drive from Quebec City, Mont-Sainte-Anne stands as one of Eastern Canada’s premier ski destinations. Boasting breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and a diverse range of terrain suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, Mont-Sainte-Anne offers an unparalleled winter experience. The resort features meticulously groomed trails, modern lifts, and extensive snowmaking capabilities, ensuring optimal conditions throughout the season.

young active snowboarder in bright sportswear jumping up on a mountain slope 1 1

02 / Stoneham Mountain Resort

With a rich history dating back to the 1960s, Stoneham boasts a charming alpine village atmosphere and a wide range of terrain catering to skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. From gentle slopes ideal for beginners to challenging runs and terrain parks for more experienced riders, there’s something for everyone at Stoneham.

young active snowboarder in bright sportswear jumping up on a mountain slope 1 1

03 / Le Massif de Charlevoix

Renowned for its stunning panoramic views and impressive vertical drop, Le Massif attracts skiers and snowboarders seeking adventure in a breathtaking natural setting. The resort’s terrain is characterized by steep slopes, glades, and challenging runs, making it a favorite among advanced riders. However, Le Massif also offers plenty of options for beginners and intermediates, ensuring a memorable experience for skiers of all levels.

young active snowboarder in bright sportswear jumping up on a mountain slope 1 1
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Tips on Renting a Vacation Property in Quebec City

Research the Location

Choose a vacation rental that is conveniently located near the attractions and neighborhoods you wish to explore. Whether you prefer the historic charm of Old Quebec or the vibrant atmosphere of Saint-Roch, selecting the right location will enhance your overall experience.

Set a Budget

Determine your budget for accommodation and look for vacation rentals that align with your financial plan. Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities.

Consider Your Group Size

Choose a vacation rental that can comfortably accommodate your group size. Whether you’re traveling solo, with family, or with a group of friends, ensure that the property has enough bedrooms, bathrooms, and living space to suit your needs.

Check Reviews and Ratings

Before booking a vacation rental, read reviews from previous guests to get insights into their experiences. Look for properties with positive reviews and high ratings for cleanliness, communication with the host, and overall satisfaction.

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Jet Skiing

Traveling to Quebec City offers a captivating journey into the heart of French Canadian culture and history. As one of North America’s oldest cities, Quebec City enchants visitors with its charming cobblestone streets, historic architecture, and picturesque landscapes. Nestled along the majestic St. Lawrence River, the city’s UNESCO-listed Old Quebec quarter transports visitors back in time with its well-preserved colonial buildings, fortified walls, and iconic landmarks such as the towering Château Frontenac, a symbol of Quebec City’s grandeur.

Exploring Old Quebec, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a highlight of any visit to the city. Wander through the narrow streets of Petit-Champlain, one of North America’s oldest commercial districts, lined with boutiques, cafes, and art galleries housed in 17th-century buildings. Discover Place Royale, the birthplace of French civilization in North America, and admire its charming square surrounded by historic stone buildings and the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church.

Beyond its historic core, Quebec City offers a wealth of cultural attractions and outdoor activities. Explore the Plains of Abraham, a vast urban park where the pivotal Battle of Quebec took place in 1759, and enjoy scenic views of the St. Lawrence River. Visit the Musée de la civilization to delve into Quebec’s rich heritage through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays, or stroll along the Dufferin Boardwalk for panoramic vistas of the river and city skyline.

Immerse yourself in Quebec City’s vibrant culinary scene, renowned for its delicious French-inspired cuisine and local specialties. Indulge in traditional dishes such as poutine, tourtière, and maple syrup treats at cozy bistros and upscale restaurants throughout the city. Don’t miss the chance to sample artisanal cheeses, pastries, and chocolates at the Marché du Vieux-Port, a bustling market showcasing the best of Quebec’s culinary traditions.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Quebec City offers a range of recreational activities year-round. In the winter, hit the slopes at nearby ski resorts like Mont-Sainte-Anne and Stoneham, or go ice skating at Place D’Youville in the heart of the city. In the summer, explore the scenic countryside on hiking and cycling trails, or take a leisurely cruise along the St. Lawrence River to admire the region’s natural beauty.

No trip to Quebec City would be complete without experiencing its vibrant arts and cultural scene. Attend a performance at the historic Théâtre Petit Champlain or catch a show at the Grand Théâtre de Québec, showcasing local and international talent in music, theater, and dance. Be sure to check the city’s event calendar for festivals and celebrations throughout the year, including the Quebec Winter Carnival, one of the largest winter festivals in the world.

Accommodations in Quebec City range from charming bed and breakfasts in Old Quebec to luxurious hotels overlooking the river. Whether you prefer the intimate ambiance of a boutique inn or the amenities of a modern resort, there are options to suit every taste and budget. Consider staying in a historic hotel like the iconic Château Frontenac for a truly memorable experience in the heart of the city.

Getting to Quebec City is easy, with convenient access by air, train, or car. The Jean Lesage International Airport serves the city with flights from major Canadian and international destinations, while VIA Rail offers frequent train service from Montreal and other cities in the region. Driving to Quebec City is also a popular option, with well-maintained highways connecting it to major centers like Montreal and Ottawa.

Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, vibrant culture, or stunning natural scenery, Quebec City captivates visitors with its timeless charm and French-inspired allure. From exploring its historic streets to savoring its culinary delights and outdoor adventures, a trip to Quebec City promises an unforgettable experience filled with discovery and delight.

Frequently Asked Questions about Quebec City

The best time to visit Quebec City is during the summer months from June to August when the weather is warm, and outdoor festivals and events are in full swing.

Must-see attractions in Quebec City include the historic Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec), Château Frontenac, Place Royale, Petit-Champlain District, and the Plains of Abraham.

Quebec City is accessible by air, train, and bus. The Jean Lesage International Airport serves the city, and VIA Rail and intercity buses provide transportation from Montreal and other Canadian cities.

Yes, French is the primary language spoken in Quebec City. However, many residents also speak English, especially in tourist areas and establishments.

Recommended day trips from Quebec City include visiting Montmorency Falls, Île d’Orléans, Mont-Sainte-Anne ski resort, and the Charlevoix region.

Yes, Quebec City hosts several cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the Quebec Winter Carnival in February, Festival d’été de Québec (Quebec City Summer Festival) in July, and Christmas markets in December.

Traditional Quebecois dishes to try include poutine (fries topped with cheese curds and gravy), tourtière (meat pie), maple syrup treats, and local cheeses like squeaky cheese curds.

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