The capital city of Canada’s Quebec province has enough charm and culture to entertain any type of traveler. If you can tear yourself away from the impossibly quaint cobblestone streets in the Old Quarter, the Saint Lawrence River, delicious French bistros and pastry shops, and historical sites await.
Experience French-Canadian culture, culinary delights, and any one of the numerous activities that cosmopolitan Quebec City has to offer. Discover what Quebec is known for and get ready to be inspired for an incredible metropolitan escape.
This historic and charming section of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a pure treat to stroll. Feel like you’re in Europe as you walk the cobblestone streets and lanes, allowing yourself to get lost in the side alleyways and browse the boutiques. You may happen upon the outdoor art installations, or find yourself wandering into an old church, appreciating the architecture. If you’re looking for souvenirs or other goods, head to rue de Petit Champlain, the main street for shopping.
The famous Umbrella Alley art installation on Rue du Cul-de-Sac will wow you, as will the Place Royale plaza, lined with shops and cafes. Walk the well-known Escalier Casse-Cou, the city’s oldest (and steep!) staircase. Visit the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, a 17th-century church in the heart of the old city. This beautiful section of the city is one of the top things that Quebec is famous for.
Read: What Is Canada Known For
In Quebec, you’ll find a fascinating culture unlike anywhere else. Evidence of the connection between Europe and North America is found throughout the city. The Francophone culture can be unearthed simply by diving into local life.
Tasting your way through the city is by far one of the best ways to learn about and absorb the culture of Quebec. Try local dishes, sip drinks particular to the region, and let yourself indulge in all the delicious cuisine.
The city streets serve as an open-air museum. Stroll around and you’ll discover works of art, colonial architecture, and historical points of interest without even trying. Visit local markets, shop in the small boutiques, chat with the people who live here, and you’ll understand the Quebec “joie de vivre” that fuels the atmosphere.
Tasting your way through the city is a fantastic method of diving into the French-Canadian culture of Quebec City. The city restaurants pride themselves in sourcing local ingredients from regional farms to produce their French-infused dishes.
Perhaps the most well-known culinary delight in this region is poutine. This famous french fry meal topped with cheese curds and gravy can be found in numerous spots throughout the city.
If you’re looking to try other local delicacies, Montreal smoked meat, tourtiere, maple syrup, and grands-peres (a dessert made with maple syrup) are some of the iconic foods to taste. For breakfast, branch out and try fèves au lard, a baked beans dish with Quebec flair. And we can’t forget the croissants, of course.
For fine-dining, head to the Old Port section of the city. For bistros and bakeries, the Petit Champlain district has you covered. The Saint-Roch district is on the rise too, with opportunities to try new restaurants in an up-and-coming area.
You’ll need something to pair with all that delicious food, and what better than Quebec wine? This region of Canada is slowly emerging as a wine destination, with some unique varieties produced in the area. Due to the northern climate and unique soil, winemakers have created some varieties particular to the region using the hardy and semi-hardy grapes grown here.
Most well known in the region is icewine. This dessert wine is made from grapes that froze while still on the vine and harvested while still frozen, making it a truly unique drink typical to Quebec. Another interesting variety to sample while in Quebec is black currant wine.
Visiting a vineyard in the countryside surrounding this city is a fantastic way to get the full wine experience unlike anywhere else. Île d’Orléans is an idyllic destination nearby with several vineyards to choose from. A few popular wineries to consider are Vignoble Isle de Bacchus, Vignoble Domaine des 3 Moulins, and Vignoble Ste-Pétronille.
For a dose of nature, you don’t have to travel too far outside of the city. The thundering Montmorency Falls, a 272-foot cascade set within a park of the same name, is one of the attractions that Quebec is known for.
Board a cable car to the top, where you can view Mother Nature’s splendor from above. A suspension bridge allows you to cross in front of the powerful falls for an up-close and personal vantage point. Stretch your legs by climbing 487 steps to one of the most impressive observation platforms, where you’ll be greeted with sprawling views of the falls and surrounding park.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try the onsite zip line or one of the three via ferrata climbing routes. The visitor interpretation center is the perfect place to learn about the history of the park and falls.
Visiting museums is one of the best things to do in Quebec City. Art enthusiasts will swoon over the Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, which holds over 35,000 works of art. Most pieces are from Quebec, making the collection unique to the region. There are many other artists featured within this four-building complex as well, with a large mix of old and modern art. An onsite restaurant extends the experience for visitors looking to enjoy a meal, too.
The Musee de la Civilisation is another top choice for museum-goers in Quebec City. This family-friendly museum offers interactive exhibits suited to any age group. Learn about the Indigenous peoples of Quebec, as well as the first settlers and history of the people that have inhabited Quebec over time.
History buffs will be excited to visit the Musee du Fort, where you can learn about the story of the famous six sieges that took place in the city. A 30-minute show complete with light and sound details these battles. You can explore the 1750-era city model housed at the museum as well.
Plains of Abraham
This National Historic Park of Canada is an iconic urban park destination within the city. The Plains of Abraham is a portion of the larger Battlefields Park, created to commemorate the 300th anniversary of when Quebec was founded. It was also the site of the Battle of Quebec, which took place in the mid-1700s, and the onsite museum is a great way to learn more about this historic event.
The Plains of Abraham is a popular spot for outdoor recreational endeavors like walking, picnicking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. A walk through the park will gift sweeping views of the city and the St. Lawrence River. Many art and music events take place here as well, making it an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without having to travel too far.
Situated just three miles from the city center, you’ll feel transported to another world on this countryside island filled with farms, wineries, restaurants, and views. Each of the six parishes on the island offers its own character.
Absorb the scenery where farmland and river meet as you sample the food and beverage delights of Île d’Orléans, like jams, maple syrup, and cheese. In the summer months, picking your own berries is a must-do activity.
With over 70 vineyards, you’ll have your choice of wineries to visit; however, if beer or cider is more up your alley, breweries and cideries are options too. To top it all off, bakeries and chocolate shops are abundant. Just make sure you go hungry!
The New Grand Market
The best way to get an idea of the flavors of a place is to visit a buzzing public market. You’ll maximize your time at Le Grand Marche, browsing amongst almost a hundred vendors selling gourmet selections of food and drink all in one place.
Smells of freshly ground coffee and just-baked bread will lure you in, as will the beautiful display of carefully curated flower bouquets. High-quality meats and freshly plucked seafood will make you want to cook a gourmet meal. If that’s not possible, you can always choose crafted chocolates and other souvenirs to bring a taste of Quebec home with you.
In addition, the market offers a calendar filled with activities and classes for all ages that can have you learning the art of baking to uncovering new varieties of wine. The Grand Market is the one-stop shop for everything fresh, and definitely shouldn’t be missed when visiting Quebec.
Located in the heart of Old Quebec, the funicular is one of the things Quebec is famous for. It’s a fun way to gain a different perspective of this charming part of the city and a popular form of transportation from the upper section of the neighborhood to the lower section.
Linking Dufferin Terrace to the Petit Champlain district, you’ll be rewarded with views from above of some of the most well-known and historic buildings, as well as the picturesque St. Lawrence River. The funicular travels along the cliffside for a little over 200 feet at a 45-degree angle and will save your legs from the staircases that connect the two parts of town.
Quebec’s location is in close proximity to ample outdoor activities, perfect for a city break to enjoy the scenery in the fresh Canadian air. At Jacques Cartier National Park, you’ll find an amazing mountain and lake playground. This glacial valley is a prime spot for hiking, kayaking, bird watching, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
At the impressive Mont-Sainte-Anne Canyon, you’ll find adventure in the form of rock walls, a giant waterfall, and suspension bridges. Hiking, ziplining, and the thrilling via ferrata climbs are popular activities to enjoy at this park.
Ready to explore the incredible culture of Quebec? On a luxury cruise to Quebec, you’ll discover the top things that Quebec is known for. From quaint restaurants and shops lining narrow city streets in the Old Quarter to nearby natural wonders, this destination has something for everyone.
Browse itineraries on our website and prepare to experience the culinary, historical, and outdoor delights that await.