Quebec City is the capital of the province of Quebec in Canada. This city is home to well-preserved historical districts and architecture, which has made it one of the top tourist destinations in Canada. You may have heard about the beauty and majesty of Quebec City upon seeing it in the latest blockbuster or some other form of media. The city has featured in numerous action, romance, and comedy movies because of its stunning architecture, quaint charm, and rich history.
You’ve also likely heard from friends that Quebec City is a great trip to make, and you shouldn’t miss on visiting it while you’re in Canada. But, what are the top attractions in Quebec City? This guide shares the top 5 attractions based on their popularity and location in Quebec City.
What are the best attractions in Quebec City?
Quebec City abounds with attractions that will keep you entertained throughout your stay:
- Old Quebec
- Montmorency Falls Park
- Jacques-Cartier National Park
- National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec
1. Old Quebec
Pleasantly walk through the oldest streets in North America! The fortifications surrounding Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are still standing to share the history of the capital of Nouvelle-France. Take a guided walking tour and visit places that bear witness to history: Petit-Champlain, Place Royale, the Plains of Abraham, and the Parliament Building.
What is phenomenal is that all these sites are within walking distance from downtown Quebec City, where the Best Western Plus is located! You can’t say you have been to Quebec City without visiting the following landmarks.
The Château Frontenac
Being the emblem of Quebec City par excellence, this castle is also the most photographed hotel in the world. It was built to popularize train traveling back in the 19th century.
The Dufferin Terrace
Lively in summer and winter, enjoy a breathtaking view of the St. Lawrence River and the Château Frontenac during a walk on the immense Dufferin Terrace. Named after Lord Dufferin, a governor-general of Canada who loved Quebec City, the terrace is so popular that it has been expanded twice in its history. Kill two birds with one stone by visiting the remains of the Forts-et-Châteaux-Saint-Louis, which lie beneath this iconic site.
City walls and Gates
Did you know that Quebec City is the only fortified city north of Mexico City? The fortifications and the 4 gates that surround the old city will give you the impression of traveling back in time.
This charming pedestrian street is sure to charm you with its many local businesses and its enchanting atmosphere in all seasons. Also considered an excellent spot for art galleries and good bistros, the Petit-Champlain is a real souvenir factory.
A true historical jewel, Place Royale is the official site of the founding of Quebec City. Its unique architecture bears authentic witness to the French and British influences that have shaped the city’s urban planning.
Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral
Located in the heart of Old Quebec, the Notre-Dame de Quebec Cathedral Basilica was the first Catholic parish church north of the Spanish colonies. Its history is as important to the heritage as its exceptional architecture.
The Plains of Abraham
On September 13, 1759, the site of the Plains of Abraham was the scene of the famous battle of Quebec that decided the fate of America. It was at the end of this battle that the French surrendered the city to the British.
The Citadel of Quebec
At the top of the famous Cap Diamant is the most important British fortress in North America. Built between 1820 and 1850 by the British to defend the city, the Citadel of Quebec is an exceptional military heritage. It includes the Royal 22e Régiment Museum where you can learn all there is to know about its history.
2. Montmorency Falls Park
The Montmorency Falls Park is a favorite of many locals, but it’s also an excellent stop for Quebec City visitors due to its proximity. By cable car, by the panoramic staircase, or from the suspension bridge, experience the full force of the Montmorency Falls, a striking natural phenomenon only 15 minutes from downtown Quebec City or from Saint-Anne-de-Beaupré. Plus, it’s 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls!
At the top of the waterfall, it is possible to walk along the cliff from the Montmorency Manor to access the suspension bridge. Witness the power of the waterfall by crossing it on the suspension bridge. From there, you will hear it roar under your feet! To get to the top you have the option of a cable car or steps. These 487 steps may make you sweat, but you will be able to enjoy several impressive viewpoints.
3. Jacques-Cartier National Park
Explore one of the most beautiful glacier valleys in Quebec and its vast mountainous plateau interspersed with deep valleys and rivers. On the hiking trails of Jacques-Cartier National Park, you may have the chance to see animals such as moose, deer, or beavers in their natural habitat. It has more than 100 km of hiking trails where you can enjoy the richness and beauty of the territory. In the fall, the vibrant colors of the landscape are spectacular.
Camping enthusiasts will be delighted to learn that the park has several intimate sites where you can set up for the night. It is also possible to opt for a ready-to-camp formula in yurts or small wooden chalets. Furthermore, canoeing and kayaking will allow you to discover the valley in the manner of the first explorers. On the waves of a river, sometimes calm, sometimes tumultuous, you will be impressed by the immensity of the cliffs.
4. National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec
Marvel at the works of the largest art collection in all of Quebec! Proud of its immense collection of Quebec art, which includes more than 40,000 works, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) offers a vast panorama of the history of Quebec art from the 17th century to contemporary times.
The MNBAQ has permanent exhibitions where you can admire the works of the greatest Quebec painters as well as an impressive collection of Inuit art. A favorite of Instagrammers, the Lassonde Pavilion is an attraction in itself. With its large glass windows, walkways, and stairways bathed in light, this architectural monument impresses Quebec City visitors every time.
Discover the ancestral traditions of the Huron-Wendat heritage in a phenomenal environment. Only a few minutes from downtown Quebec City, discover the culture of the Huron-Wendat Nation of Wendake. Dance performances, as well as myths and legends, will transport you into the heritage of this people with an immense history.
Discover the traditional know-how of this nation through a visit to the Huron-Wendat Museum and the authentic craft stores that surround it. Then, complete the experience by tasting the most refined northern cuisine where game and corn are honored!
The Huron-Wendat Museum is the ideal place to discover the rich history, culture, and way of life of the Huron-Wendat from yesterday to today. Warmly seated by the fire in a longhouse, you can hear the myths and legends that populate their imagination. Following this meeting, participate in a craft workshop at the Huron Traditional Site Onhoüa Chetek8e. Discover the Amerindian culinary universe by stopping at the La Traite restaurant.
Where to stay in Quebec City
The Best Western PLUS is the best place to stay in Quebec City! We offer spacious, fully equipped rooms with free Wi-Fi and 24-hour front desk service. The hotel is conveniently located near Old Quebec. Guests can also enjoy a great restaurant and bar!