Best Places to Visit in Canada: Don't Miss Québec City

Citadel
Jeff Frenette Photography

Canada is a must-see destination, from the Pacific Coast, Rocky Mountains and the Prairies to the great lakes, boreal forests, and maritimes. Canada sightseeing will leave you breathless and begging to stay longer. Finding cool things to do in Canada won’t take long. 

A trip to Canada is not complete without spending time in Québec City. As a UNESCO world heritage treasure, Québec City is the most European city in North America and considered one of the best destinations in Eastern Canada according to TripAdvisor. 

What is the Most Famous Thing in Canada?

Point of interest
Jeff Frenette

What is Canada famous for? Hockey, maple syrup, poutine, moose, igloos, and the Royal Mounted Police have become pop culture icons of Canada, but we are also famous for our great outdoors, diverse cities, and lively culture. 

In the province of Québec, we’re famous for our French Canadian culture, St. Lawrence River, boreal forest and Laurentian mountains. We love that Québec City is one of the most famous destinations in Canada, with its Château Frontenac, authentic historic old city, and magical winter wonderland. It’s also home to one of the best winter festivals in Canada, Carnaval de Québec

The only fortified city north of Mexico and the birthplace of French Canada, the historic district of Old Québec was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1985. Known for the world-famous Château Frontenac, Québec City is also known for its rich history, cobblestone streets, European architecture and fortifications. It's a piece of Europe in Canada. 

Spend time in Petit-Champlain, enjoy one of the oldest shopping streets in North America, experience Québec City’s religious heritage through its basilicas and churches, and immerse yourself in the city’s military history with visits to the Plains of Abraham, the fortifications and the Citadel

Where Should I Travel in Canada?

Petit-Champlain
Jeff Frenette Photography

 

Canada is the second largest country in the world, and there is an abundance of Canada attractions to discover and enjoy. From the Canadian Rocky Mountains and glacial lakes in Western Canada, grasslands and lakes in the Prairies, to boreal forests, the Laurentian mountains, and charming cities and islands in Eastern Canada, there is an abundance of things to do in Canada on this huge territory. 

It takes about seven days to drive from one end of Canada to the other, so when you’re planning your trip to Canada, we recommend choosing Western Canada or Eastern Canada or choosing a specific province to enjoy, like Québec. Of course, you don’t have to drive, you can also fly between provinces, or take a train with VIA Rail. The train journey from Vancouver to Toronto is 4 days and 3 nights, and a train to Montréal or Québec City will add 5-11 hrs to your travel time. 

The best Canada tourist attractions can be found stretched across the country. Majestic mountains, and dinosaur digging sites. Glacial lakes, polar bears, and a river filled with migrating beluga whales. World-famous festivals. Important cultural and historic sites. In the province of Québec, you can discover the vibrant cities of Montréal and Québec City, as well as lovely landscapes along the St. Lawrence River in Charlevoix, Bas Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie. In Québec City, the most popular Canada attractions include Château Frontenac, Old Québec City and its fortifications, Ice Hotel, Montmorency Falls and Île d’Orléans

Is Canada Very Expensive? 

A destination’s affordability fluctuates depending on the areas you visit, as well as your home currency. In Canada, travellers from the USA and Europe will find their money goes further due to favourable exchange rates.  
 
Accommodations are usually more expensive in large cities, and your decisions about what to do in Canada will also impact your travel budget. Eastern Canada is generally less expensive than Western Canada, making the province of Québec an ideal destination for travellers considered about the budget. 

Québec City in Canada is a great city for travellers with lower budgets, and home to popular Canada points of interest like Château Frontenac, Petit-Champlain, and the historic district of Old Québec. Québec City is also close to nature—the downtown core is surrounded by lush parks and spectacular natural sites. Cross the footbridge over Montmorency Falls, which is 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls, hike the magnificent glacial valley of Jacques-Cartier National Park, observe the fascinating spectacle of whales in the St. Lawrence River or take the oldest road in Canada to cross pretty villages... The surrounding areas are the perfect combination for a trip where you can enjoy a great city and nature wonders. 

What is the Best Time to Visit Canada? 

A couple takes a walk in the evening during the holiday season on rue du Petit-Champlain, covered with snow and decorated with illuminated trees.
Francis Gagnon

Honestly, Canada is beautiful any time of year, thanks to the diversity of landscapes found throughout the country. Sure, some seasons shine more than others, but we can sincerely say that beauty can be found throughout Canada all year round. 

Summer is a popular time of year for must-see places in Canada, such as Vancouver, Banff, Niagara, Québec, and the Maritime provinces. In summer, Québec City is alive with festivals like Festival d’été de Québec and New France Festival, street performers and many exciting events. 

Exploring autumn landscapes, with its ruby red, golden yellows, and rusty oranges is one of the best things to do in Canada, especially in Eastern Canada where there is a high concentration of maple trees. Québec is obviously one of our favourite autumn destinations in Canada. 

Winter welcomes in a new set of fun things to do in Canada. While Western Canada is most famous for its skiing and snowboarding, Québec is a perfect winter destination for many winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, tubing, skating and winter fat biking.  

In Québec City, the streets of Old Québec turn into a winter wonderland, and one of Canada’s top places to visit. In winter, embrace the snow and marvel at the only ice hotel in North America and enjoy the festivities of Québec Winter Carnival. During the Holidays, the historic district of Old Québec turns into a living Christmas card with its holiday lights and German Christmas market

Spring is a season of renewal, and we love watching trees and flowers coming back to life. Plus, it’s also sugar shack season in Québec, meaning we gather around large tables at a sugar shack, enjoy a meal of traditional Québécois foods (hello, tourtière, baked beans, and maple syrup sweets!), dance on folk music, and indulge with maple taffy. 

What is the Best Month to Visit Canada? 

In summer, July is one of the best months to visit Canada. In Western Canada, the glacial lakes, such as Lake Louise, have finally thawed and the days are long and hot. In Eastern Canada, summer is officially started after a long winter and spring and the locals are happy to enjoy outdoors and events. 

In Québec, summer is a time of music festivals and outdoor adventures. Québec City is one of the best places to visit in Canada during summer, with its historic district of Old Québec, charming shopping streets, museums, events and outdoors nearby.  

In winter, January is one of the best months to visit Canada. Sure, it’s one of the coldest months, but that’s what makes it amazing. In Québec, January is perfect for outdoor winter sports. In Québec City, the Ice Hotel opens its doors, children fly down snowy hills on inner tubes, and the city is a true winter wonderland. 

What is the Most Visited Place in Canada? 

Visitors walk the stairs at Chute-Montmorency Park in summer.
Montmorency Waterfalls Park, Jeff Frenette Photography

Niagara Falls reigns supreme on lists of Canada's top 10 places to visit on Trip Advisor, followed by Toronto, Montréal, Vancouver, Québec City, Banff, Victoria, Ottawa, Calgary, and Whistler. These remarkable destinations are home to some of the best things to visit in Canada. 

In Québec province, contemplating Montréal vs Québec City is an exciting prospect. Each city is a hub of French Canadian culture, and features complementary vibes. One electrifying, the other cozy and refreshing. 

Rated as the best destination in Canada for a fifth year in a row in 2020 by Travel + Leisure readers, Québec City has also been named as the 3rd best small cities in the world outside the United States by Condé Nast Traveler. 

The historic district of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is the most visited places in Québec City, followed closely by Île d’Orléans and Montmorency waterfalls, which stands at 83 meters tall (272 ft), making it 30 meters (98.5ft) taller than Niagara Falls!  

What to Do in Québec, Canada? 

Group of friends aboard the Québec-Lévis ferry, admiring Old Québec in summer.
Jeff Frenette Photography

Buckle up and get ready for an unforgettable vacation to Canada. There are so many places in the province of Québec filled with religious, historic, cultural, and Indigenous experiences; truly some of the best attractions in Canada can be found here.  

What to do in Québec City? We are so glad you asked that question! Start in the historic district of Old Québec, the birthplace of French Canada, then get ready to immerse yourself in our French Canadian culture and traditions. Visit museums and explore the outdoors. Attend world-class festivals such as Festival d’été de Québec and Carnaval de Québec. Savour our delicious Québec terroir (and take home plenty of foodie souvenirs), and enjoy the warmth and friendliness of our locals. 

Québec City is also a foodie’s heaven! With many must-do food experiences, Québec City is the perfect city to immerse yourself in traditional Québécois dishes like poutine and tourtière. Maple syrup is a key ingredient in almost every Québécois dish. Make time to acquaint yourself with Québec City’s craft beer scene, visiting local breweries and picking up various craft beers from stores found throughout the city. The French cuisine found in Québec City is among some of the best in Canada, from bistro style to fine dining. We highly recommend to discover the best fine dining restaurants in Old Québec. 

Where is Québec City in Canada?

Québec City in Canada Map

Are Québec City and Québec the same? No, not at all. Québec City is the capital city within the province of Québec, in Canada. As the provincial capital, Québec City is home to the province’s Parliament and National Assembly. Located about 250 km east of Montréal, Québec City sits on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.

Official Tourist Guide

Tons of Tips

Our editorial team recommends its official tourist guide to help you discover the destination and plan your stay.

Order the free guide 

Pamela Macnaughtan, amoureuse de Québec
Pamela MacNaughtan

Travel writer and photographer, Pamela has a deep love of all things Québec City. She is an anglophone from Ontario who prefers living in Québec. An avid city explorer and chocolat chaud connoisseur, Pamela accentuates the finest experiences in the city.

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