Province/Territory: Quebec

Celebration of things French, maple, and winter.

  • 22 museums from maple to art to military history
  • 04 city gates
  • 398 steps on city's longest outdoor staircase

Immerse yourself in a place often compared to a European village, yet distinctly Canadian. Pretend to be royal when sleeping in a hotel that seems like a castle: the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac defines Québec City’s skyline. Try a wintery kind of sleep in a hotel made of ice. Locals celebrate winter, and so do you whether you stay snug inside your mittens and parka, or strip to a bathing suit for the annual snow swim, one of dozens of ways the Quebecois play during Winter Carnival. Spread melted maple sugar on snow, roll the cooled taffy onto a stick and pray your fillings hold.

In any season, stroll along the old city roads of the old city. Mix old with new during a horse-drawn carriage ride down cobbled streets lined with contemporary public art and sidewalk cafés filled with the bohemian, friendly locals. Wander to the park-like Plains of Abraham to hear the echoes of battles between French and English that helped define today’s Canada.

Urban adventures

  • Enjoy a carriage ride through cobblestone streets.
  • Linger at dusk in the evening lights in historic Place Royale, the cradle of French civilization in North America.
  • Bring your walking shoes to explore this compact city.
  • Search the unique shops for fashion finds.
  • See the city from the water on a ferry crossing to Lévis.

Arts & Culture

  • Explore the walled city: the only standing fortified North American city walls outside Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Watch the Battle of the Plains of Abraham unfold in a 30-minute diorama.
  • Consider your place on the planet at the Museum of Civilization.
  • Experience fine creativity at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Quebec, including the largest collection of Quebec art and an extensive Inuit art collection.
  • Learn about the region's original inhabitants and eat a meal or stay in a room inspired by First Nations culture at a First Nations museum.

Food & Drink

  • Indulge your palate on a food tour.
  • Shop for gourmet delights at North America's oldest grocery store, J.A. Moisan.
  • Taste North America's original cheese, plus ciders, fruits, wines, and more on nearby ÎIe d‘Orléans.
  • Dine on bistro fare under a leaning steeple at acclaimed Le Clocher Pencher.
  • Learn all about maple at a nearby "sugar shack".
  • Savour the restaurants and nightlife on the Grande Allée.
  • Sample French Canadian cuisine with a bird's eye view at L'Astral revolving restaurant.

Events & Festivals

  • Celebrate everything cold and taste local treats at Winter Carnival.
  • See more than 400 shows over 11 days, including world music, street art and jazz at Québec City’s Summer Festival.
  • See a procession of up to 50 vibrant “Giants” (100-lb figurines) and celebrate French Canadian history at Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France.

Accommodation & Relaxation

  • Sleep like royalty in the iconic and historic Fairmont Chateau Frontenac.
  • Snooze on ice -- or at least tour the fantasic Ice Hotel.
  • Golf, dine, spa, and relax at the Chateau Bonne Entente.

Weather

  • Summer months are warm and pleasant, with temperatures averaging 20°C. It’s the perfect time to explore the Plains of Abraham and other local parks.
  • Autumn means lovely coloured trees. Temperatures gradually fall, eventually to freezing—it’s a popular time for leaf viewing on land and from cruise ships.
  • Winter can be snowy, with temperatures generally well-below freezing. Bring your skis or snowboard to play at the area's several resorts, and don't miss Winter Carnival!
  • Spring sees temperatures rise and flowers begin to bloom in Québec City parks like Joan of Arc Gardens.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Quick facts

Area: 454.26 sq km
Population: 516,622 (city) 765,706 (metro)
Official Language: French & English (French predominant)
Status: Founded in 1608, Québec City is one of the oldest cities in North America and the capital of the province of Quebec

When to go
Getting Here
Getting around
  • Québec City is great for walkers.
  • Taxis are always available.
  • Rent a car for a day trip to ÎIe d‘Orléans.
  • View Québec City public transit information.