Panoramic view of Quebec City skyline and Saint Lawrence river

Things to do in  Quebec

French flavors in the great north

Most people know that Québec is Canada’s francophone province and home to the thrilling metropolis of Montreal, but fewer realize that the sprawling province is also filled with charming small towns, rugged national parks, and stunning natural wonders. Québec beautifully blends urban cosmopolitanism and boundless wilderness, Europe and America, and French and English (plus multiple other languages). It is also home to dozens of Indigenous communities who can offer yet more perspectives on the land they’ve long called home. From whale-watching in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to strolling through Old Town Québec, this is a place that offers endless adventure.

Top 15 attractions in Quebec

St. Joseph's Oratory of Mount Royal (L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal)

St. Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal (L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal) located in Montreal’s Westmount neighborhood, is Canada’s largest church and a registered National Historic Site. Started as a small chapel in 1904, the Roman Catholic basilica has grown to contain a cryptic church, a museum, gardens, a 56-bell carillon, and one of the largest church domes in the world.More

Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal)

Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal) charms visitors with its picturesque squares, grand architecture, and winding cobblestone streets. Whether in the Old Port or walking down the main street Rue Saint-Paul, it’s easy to feel transported back in time—in fact, some architectural remains date back to New France. The historic site is considered to be the best preserved Old Town in North America.More

Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec)

With its narrow, cobbled streets and historic 17th- and 18th-century homes and monuments, there’s no place else in Canada that feels quite like Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec). As the only existing fortified city north of Mexico, it’s full of living history, rich Quebecois culture, and European-style charm. The historic district of Old Quebec—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is a must-see when in Quebec City.More

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal)

Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) is the city's oldest Catholic church and the venue of Quebec hero Celine Dion’s wedding. The Gothic Revival-style church is one of Canada’s most lavish cathedrals, with stained-glass windows, intricate wood carvings, frescoes, sculptures, and a 7,000-pipe organ all vying for attention beneath a blue ceiling studded with gold stars.More

Montmorency Falls Park (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency)

Higher than Niagara Falls, the impressive Montmorency Falls stand 272 feet (83 meters) tall and serve as the centerpiece of Montmorency Falls Park (Parc de la Chute-Montmorency). The site is a year-round destination for visitors to Quebec City and Montreal, offering an array of outdoor activities and the stunning sight of the falls themselves tumbling into the St. Lawrence River.More

Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin)

Running alongside the famous Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Dufferin Terrace (Terrasse Dufferin) is a wide boardwalk offering views of the city and the St. Lawrence river. In the summer, gazebos along the promenade host street performers and musicians, while in winter, the popular Les Glissades de la Terrasse toboggan run draws locals and visitors alike.More

Mount Royal

Mount Royal (Mont Royal), a 764-foot (233-meter) “mountain” in the midst of urban Montreal, is much-loved by locals and visitors alike, with Montrealers frequenting the leafy slopes as if the area were their own backyard. Cyclists, joggers, sunbathers, picnickers, and strollers abound in the summer, while snowshoers, tobogganers, ice skaters, and cross-country skiers dominate in winter. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted—the creative force behind New York City’s Central Park—the 470-acre (190-hectare) Mount Royal Park (Parc du Mont-Royal) encompasses forest trails, monuments, and grassy meadows. On a clear day, the views from the Mount Royal summit lookout can’t be beat.More

Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port de Montréal)

Once a busy shipping hub, the Old Port of Montreal (Vieux Port de Montréal) is now an entertainment center stretching along the St. Lawrence River. In addition to the promenade, the port is also home to the Montreal Science Centre, La Grande Roue de Montréal, an observation wheel, a boat spa, and seasonal outdoor attractions including an urban beach and an ice rink.More

Plains of Abraham (Plaines d'Abraham)

Part of Battlefields Park, the grassy expanse of the Plains of Abraham (Plaines d'Abraham) was the setting for a major military clash in 1759, which led to the British takeover of New France—a battle that is well-documented in the Plains of Abraham Museum. The park is an outdoor playground for Quebec City residents who come here to stroll, cycle, jog, sled, and cross-country ski.More

Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral

The oldest Christian parish north of Mexico, the grandiose Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral started life as a much more modest church in 1647 but was damaged and rebuilt several times—most recently in the 1920s following a devastating fire. The basilica is a must-see for anyone with an interest in architecture, art, and history.More

Quebec Royal Square (Place-Royale)

The passing of centuries has had little impact on Quebec's Royal Square (Place-Royale), a 17th-century plaza that has been at the center of Quebec City life since Samuel de Champlain founded the city in 1608. The Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church, the oldest stone church in North America, still stands here, and the Fresque des Québécois mural can be seen nearby.More

Montreal Place d'Armes

Montreal's Place d’Armes, meaning parade square, is a major public venue in Old Montreal (Vieux-Montréal). The picturesque plaza is bordered by some of Montreal’s most notable architectural landmarks, including the 17th-century Saint-Sulpice Seminary, the Gothic Revival-style Notre-Dame Basilica, and the art deco Aldred Building.More

Montreal Chinatown

Montreal Chinatown was established in the late 19th century with the arrival of Chinese immigrants from western Canada who came to work on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Though just a couple of blocks long, the district offers a wide selection of Asian eateries and shops selling traditional handicrafts and souvenirs.More

Montreal Olympic Park (Parc Olympique de Montréal)

Built for the 1976 Olympic Games, the Montreal Olympic Park (Parc Olympique de Montréal) now houses several attractions that form Montreal’s Space for Life museum district. There’s the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, the 56,000-seater Olympic Stadium, the Biodome, an indoor zoo with around 4,500 animals, as well as the Botanical Gardens and Insectarium in neighboring Maisonneuve Park.More

Montreal Underground City

Montreal’s Underground City (or RÉSO) is a vast indoor complex that extends across a large portion of Downtown Montreal. Subterranean tunnels connect malls, hotels, cinemas, theaters, offices, museums, banks, universities, and metro stations, serving as a warm refuge during the city’s brutal winters.More

Top activities in Quebec

Quebec City and Montmorency Falls Day Trip from Montreal
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Full-Day small-group Montreal tour with Pickup and a Local Taste
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Explore Old Montreal Walking Tour by MTL Detours
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Old Montreal Food & Drink Tour by Local Montreal Food Tours
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Quebec City Walking Tour
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Quebec City Walking Tour

Combo Historical and Food Tour of the Old Quebec City
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Amazing Old Quebec City Classique Walking Tour with 1 Funicular Ticket included
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Evening Gourmet Tour 5 Course Dinner - History and Food in Old Quebec City
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Helicopter Tour Over Montreal
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Helicopter Tour Over Montreal

Montreal Bagel Making Workshop
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Montreal Bagel Making Workshop

Old Montreal Private Walking Tour

Old Montreal Private Walking Tour

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All about Quebec

When to visit

Québec has four very distinct seasons, so when to visit depends on personal preference—and your tolerance to bitterly cold weather. Summer is peak tourism season and is best for enjoying festivals and al fresco dining in the cities. Fall is perfect for long hikes backdropped by blazing foliage. Spring is great for wildlife spotting and enjoying maple syrup season, while winter is challenging but great for snow sports.

Getting around

Québec is huge (fun fact: the province is three times the size of France). For any substantial travel, you’ll need your own wheels—although isolated regions such as Nunavik are inaccessible by road. However, getting between the major cities is very much possible by bus and train. Within the cities, getting around by subway or bus is a breeze.

Traveler tips

When dining out in Québec, it is de rigueur to leave your server a tip of around 15 percent—an easy way to calculate it is to add the federal goods and services tax (GST) to the Québec sales tax (QST). The same goes for taxi drivers, while hotel housekeepers should get one or two dollars per day.

Local Currency
Canadian Dollar (CA$)
Time Zone
EDT (UTC -5)
Country Code

People Also Ask

Is Québec worth visiting?

Yes. If you like good food, rich culture, and stunning landscapes (and, really, who doesn’t?), then you will like Québec. Even if you have been to Canada before, you are likely to find that Québec offers a different experience: Think of it as a country within a country.

What is the province of Québec known for?

Québec is known for offering a distinctly European flavor in the heart of North America. This largely comes from the language, of course; but you’ll also see European influences in the architecture of Montreal and Québec City, as well as the food and strong focus on art and culture.

Is Montreal or Quebéc City best to visit?

Montreal promises big city vibes and a more urban feel—when it comes to arts, culture, and gastronomy, you’ll be spoiled for choice there. Because it is so well preserved, Québec City offers a more charming, fairy tale-like old town flavor, and it is easier to check off all the highlights in less time.

Do they speak English in Québec?

Yes. Although Québec is officially a French-speaking province, English is also widely spoken and accepted. Locals are very forgiving of visitors’ poor French skills, but it is always worth learning a few words and phrases to be polite and get a better feel for local culture.

What is the most beautiful part of Québec?

A list of Québec’s most beautiful places should include the mighty Montmorency Falls (which are taller than Niagara); the national park- and lighthouse-dotted Gaspè Peninsula; Îles-de-la-Madeleine (Magdalen Islands, known for harp seal watching); and, in the far northern Nunavik region, Pingualuit National Park, which protects the awe-inspiring Pingaluit meteorite crater.

What is the best month to visit Québec?

That depends on what you want to do, but for the widest range of possibilities, the months of June, July, and August are best. The summer promises plenty of outdoor adventures, whether that means swimming in a lake, hiking in a national park, or sipping wine at a sidewalk café. If you plan on doing snow sports, however, obviously the winter months are best.

Frequently Asked Questions