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Best activities to do in Quebec City in the summer

Are you planning a trip to Quebec City this summer? Then chances are you’re looking for some activities to do in the city. Quebec City isn’t just beautiful; it’s also fun to visit year-round. In this article, we share a list of some of the best things you can do while visiting Quebec City during the summer months.

What makes Quebec City so incredible?

Quebec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec. It’s one of the oldest cities in the country, founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. Today it’s a popular tourist destination, with a vibrant nightlife and plenty of boutique shopping opportunities.

There are several distinguished museums and theaters to visit and it’s impossible to visit Quebec City and not be impressed by its architecture. You’ll find many examples of French colonial design, along with some newer additions that fit seamlessly into the rest of the cityscape. 

The main attraction for tourists is the Chateau Frontenac, which overlooks the Saint Lawrence River from atop Cap Diamant. It’s one of Canada’s grand railway hotels built between 1893 and 1922, making it over 120 years old. It has hosted celebrities such as Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II in August 1944. Queen Elizabeth II stayed there as well on her royal visit back in 1964 when she declared that the hotel had “the most beautiful view in the whole world”.

Don’t miss these incredible things to do in Quebec City

Quebec City is so beautiful that it looks like a fairytale. Cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and breathtaking views – it’s a city that’s hard to forget. 

Here are the best things to do in Quebec city:

  1. The Citadelle de Quebec
  2. Wander in Old Quebec
  3. Château Frontenac
  4. The Plains of Abraham
  5. Ferris wheel at Place D’Youville

1. The Citadelle de Quebec

Get a taste of military history at the Citadelle de Quebec. This fort was built in the early 1800s to protect the city from American attacks. The architecture is stunning and a great example of British strategic design during that period.

2. Wander in Old Quebec

The walled city of Quebec is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top attractions in the province of Quebec. This open-air and living museum of French and European history is a beautiful old town with cobblestone streets, fascinating museums, art galleries, cafes, boutiques, and more.

3. Château Frontenac

This imposing hotel was built in 1893 by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company and has since been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is now part of the Fairmont chain of luxury hotels.

Take a stroll around the Château’s manicured grounds and admire its beautiful French Renaissance-inspired architecture. Stay overnight at the hotel or enjoy afternoon tea with scones and sandwiches in the sumptuous lobby for an extra treat.

4. The Plains of Abraham

The Plains of Abraham was the site of a decisive battle in 1759 between French forces and British forces. Today it is a large park with walking trails and great views of the St. Lawrence River and the city. During summer there are concerts held here regularly, and they are free!

5. The Ferris wheel at Place D’Youville

Place D’Youville is a square in the lower town that offers fantastic views of the upper and lower town along the St. Lawrence River. In the center of Place D’Youville is a giant Ferris wheel that provides visitors with a 360 view over Old Quebec City.

5 activities to do in winter for free in Quebec City

5 incredible things to do near Quebec City

The city of Quebec is home to world-class museums, shopping, and gourmet cuisine but there’s plenty to do outside the city limits as well. Nestled along the St. Lawrence River banks, it’s easy to get out into nature from there. 

Here are five fun things to do near Quebec City:

1. Île d’Orleans

It would be remiss not to mention this lovely tiny island that’s been nicknamed “the Cradle of French Civilization in America”. You can drive around the whole island in under an hour but you’ll want to stop at several points along the way to visit a farm or winery, shop at local boutiques, or enjoy a picnic on a grassy hillside overlooking the river.

2. Mont Sainte-Anne

For skiing in winter or hiking in summer, Mont Sainte Anne, located just 30 minutes east of Quebec City, offers amazing scenic trails and ski runs for adventurers of all skill levels. There are over 100 marked hiking trails with varying difficulty levels so you can rest assured that you’ll have your fill of physical activity.

3. Montmorency Falls

Montmorency Falls is an incredible sight to see! These falls are taller than the iconic Niagara Falls, and it’s possible to see them up close on the suspension bridge that crosses over them. If you have a fear of heights, you can simply admire the water crashing down while standing on solid ground. The mist of the fall is incredibly refreshing on a hot summer day!

Where to eat in Quebec City

Quebec City has some of the best restaurants the whole country has to offer.

​​1. La Gueule de Bois

This restaurant, located in the heart of the Saint-Roch district, offers a relaxing French atmosphere and gourmet dishes to stimulate your taste buds. Located in the east end of Quebec City, La Gueule de Bois guarantees a meal in a relaxing atmosphere and exceptional service. You can taste a flank of wild boar with chestnuts accompanied by pearl barley, green peas, butter, and fresh vegetables. This restaurant is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 5 pm.

​​2. La Bûche

If you love poutine and any other typical French Canadian food, La Buche is the place to go! This cozy restaurant took the initiative to bring the rustic feel of maple shack to its tables in the city. They also have great coffee and some excellent homemade hot chocolate! The staff is friendly and will make you feel right at home.

​​3. Chez Muffy

Chez Muffy you’ll find a quaint and heartwarming ambiance where you’ll be able to eat a fabulous meal while sipping on one of their 750 labels of wine. Set in a historic maritime warehouse dating back to 1822, every course is delicious, from the gnocchi appetizer to the strawberry shortcake dessert.

​​4. Pizzeria chez Ashton

The pizzas at this regional chain are phenomenal, but what makes them unique is their butter-based crusts. It may not sound like much, but it makes a surprisingly big difference. They also have some delicious salads. This location has a great view of the St. Lawrence River from its top floor dining room!

​​5. Au Petit Coin Breton

If you get a craving for crepes while in Quebec City; this casual creperie is a good choice for lunch or dinner. Their crepes are made to order and come with savory meats or sweet ingredients.

6. Le 330 

You surely have to visit Le 330, a beautiful breakfast restaurant located in St-Roch, right in the center of Quebec. This popular spot serves mouth-watering food that has been voted the best in Quebec City.

The 16 best restaurants in Quebec City

Where to stay in Quebec City

Best Western Plus Hotel is located in Old Quebec and overlooks the Saint Lawrence River. It’s an amazing luxury hotel that has a spa, sauna, and indoor pool. It also has a rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the river and city. Guests can choose from multiple dining options, including a fine dining restaurant serving French cuisine.

Book a room 

Tips to visit Quebec City with kids

Quebec City is a fantastic place for kids, with lots to see and do. The city is walkable and has excellent public transport, so it’s easy to get around with kids.

1. Get outside

One of the most fun things to do with kids in Quebec City is exploring the outdoors. The city has many parks, playgrounds, beaches, and forests to discover. You can rent or bring bikes and rollerblades to explore the scenic waterfront bike paths or race down toboggan slides in the Battlefields Park. There’s even an amusement park with rides and games at Parc de la Plage-Jacques-Cartier!

2. Ride the ferry

Ride the ferry across the St. Lawrence River to Lévis for a spectacular view of Quebec City and the Château Frontenac views. There’s also a playground at the ferry terminal in Lévis and a nature park with forest trails and picnic areas next door. Ferries depart from both sides every 15 minutes or so throughout the day until late evening (it’s free for children between 0 and 5 years old!).

3. Visit the Museum of Civilization

It’s big, it’s fun, and it has everything from archaeology to contemporary Canadian culture, including an exhibit on Quebec history that is partially in English. Kids can run around, discover and learn freely. Bring your stroller because it’s enormous!

4. Walk up to the Plains of Abraham

This is the perfect activity right before sunset to get your kids to sleep soundly for the next day of adventure to come. Just make sure to have a water bottle around to stay hydrated!

5. Go to the Aquarium du Québec

This kid-friendly aquarium, with penguins, belugas, and other marine life native to Quebec (and a few exotic species) will captivate your little ones. Pick up some food pellets as you enter to feed the birds when the opportunity arises!

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