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Your guide to Québec City
Welcome to Quebec City
French Canadian landmarks and a beguiling cultural scene blend in this little marvel of a metropolis. At first, it’s the European ambiance of Quebec City’s compact historic core that charms you. This is one of the only walled cities in North America with its centuries-old fortifications still intact. In magical Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can chase the past through a romantic maze of cobblestone streets — popping in and out of tiny shops and gazing in awe at icons like the Citadelle, where you can witness the traditional changing of the guard.
Venture outside the colonial district and you’ll encounter eclectic neighborhoods that define the cosmopolitan edge of this provincial capital. You’ll find cafes and markets in Saint-Jean-Baptiste, trending bars and galleries in the revamped Saint‑Roch, and verdant parks for picnicking in laidback La Cité-Limoilou. When you want to play in the outdoors, plenty of the province’s coolest adventures await mere minutes from the city center: think paddling trips on the St. Charles River, farm and vineyard visits on the agrarian Île d'Orléans, and screaming along epic ziplines over the waterfall at Montmorency Falls Park. “C’est le fun,” as the Quebecois say.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Québec City
This is a city of festivals, with summer and winter being high times in Quebec City for cultural and culinary celebrations. Summer brings major international music acts to Festival d'été de Québec, the capital’s marquee music event typically hosted in July. Performers dressed in historic garb descend on Old Quebec in August for the New France Festival. Dozens of celebrations dedicated to the culinary, visual, and performing arts mean there’s something happening nearly every weekend from June to September.
During winter, the height of the holiday season in December draws crowds to the German Christmas Market and New Year’s Eve revelries. February’s Quebec Winter Carnival is one of the main attractions on the winter calendar. Fall and spring are noticeably quieter — prime times for exploring the region’s outdoors or strolling postcard-perfect streets without all the foot traffic.
Top things to do in Québec City
Quartier Petit Champlain
Wandering through the narrow streets of Quartier Petit Champlain — among the oldest commercial districts in North America — feels like stepping into a history book. This compact area of central Quebec City exudes centuries-old French Canadian character in its well-preserved stone buildings with gabled roofs, most filled with small cafes, independent shops, and pubs. The cobblestone Place Royale, lined with restaurants and the continent’s longest-standing church, marks the site of the first French settlement in the region.
Montmorency Falls Park
Hop aboard a cable car to reach the top of a cliff, where you’ll take in views of the tallest waterfall in the province of Quebec. At 272 feet (82.9 meters), Montmorency Falls stands nearly 100 feet (30 meters) taller than Ontario’s famous Niagara Falls. For a bigger adrenaline rush than snapping pictures of the misty falls, you can speed along a zip line across the cove.
Wrapping around Château Frontenac, the castle-like icon towering over Old Quebec, Terrasse Dufferin is a Victorian-era boardwalk with stellar views. Perched above the St. Lawrence River, it’s a scenic spot for a sunset stroll, when you’re also likely to see a few street performers competing for your attention. Come winter, the terrace turns into a snowy playground, complete with a toboggan slide dating back to the late 19th century.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is the weather in Québec City?
Québec City experiences four distinct seasons. Summers can be warm, with temperatures reaching 77°F (25°C), while winters are profoundly cold and snowy, with temperatures often below 10°F (-12°C). This makes the city a perfect destination for both summer and winter activities.
What are some of the best things to do in Québec City?
Explore the historic charm of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage site, or walk along the scenic Terrasse Dufferin. For those interested in art, visit the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. In winter, embrace the season by ice skating at Place D'Youville or partaking in the Winter Carnival.
What is the best time of year to visit Québec City?
Québec City is frequented year-round, but summer and winter are particularly popular. Summer visitors may catch the Festival d'été de Québec, a vibrant music event. Winter attracts a crowd with the Québec Winter Carnival, one of the largest winter events worldwide.
What are the best places to stay in Québec City?
Old Québec, with its historic buildings and cobbled streets, is a popular area to stay. Saint-Jean-Baptiste is known for its hip vibe and eclectic boutiques. Those seeking a more tranquil setting might enjoy Sainte-Foy, surrounded by parks and nature.
What are the best places to visit in Québec City?
Explore the fortified walls of the Citadelle of Québec, and visit the iconic Château Frontenac. Don't miss the vibrant Petit Champlain district, known for its European charm and quaint shops. The Plains of Abraham park is another frequently suggested site.
What are some hiking trails in Québec City?
The trails of Jacques-Cartier National Park, just 30 minutes (48 km) from Québec City, are often recommended. Locally, the Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière offers a network of paths with waterfall views. In the heart of the city, the Plains of Abraham has several picturesque trails.
What are some family activities to do in Québec City?
Families often enjoy visiting the Aquarium du Québec, home to more than 10,000 marine animals. The interactive Musée de la civilisation has exhibits that captivate both children and adults. For outdoor fun, Montmorency Falls Park provides a stunning backdrop for a family picnic.
What are some of the best day trip ideas in Québec City?
Take a trip to Île d'Orléans for a taste of rural Québec and locally produced treats. The stunning Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré is another popular destination. More adventurous spirits might enjoy a day of whale watching in the nearby Charlevoix region.
What types of vacation rentals are available in Québec City?
Uncover the perfect home-away-from-home with our diverse selection of vacation rentals in Québec City. From over 1,230 apartment rentals, over 270 house rentals to over 260 condo rentals, we've got you covered. For even more variety, explore our Airbnb Categories to find the ideal space for your getaway.
Are there vacation rentals with a dedicated workspace in Québec City?
Yes! Work meets play with ease at over 1,230 vacation rentals in Québec City featuring dedicated workspaces. Stay connected and productive in your home away from home.