7 Magical Spots to Enjoy Québec City’s Holiday Sparkle

 Several people walk in the evening on rue du Petit-Champlain, covered with snow and decorated with many illuminated trees.
Francis Gagnon

* Please note that the suggestions on this page do not necessarily reflect the latest measures in place. It is recommended to validate with the businesses and consult our travel advice related to COVID-19. *

Québec City’s Holiday Season is simply magical. Every year, residents and visitors eagerly await the beginning of December when the city lights up for the Holidays. Entire neighbourhoods and iconic buildings form a sparkling circuit as soon as night falls.

  • 1

    Rue du Petit-Champlain and Place-Royale

    What makes it special for the Holidays: Québec City’s Old-World charm becomes all the more delightful with decorations and a blanket of snow. From Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church in Place Royale to the end of Rue du Petit-Champlain, experience a true winter wonderland through pop-up choirs and circus performances. You’ll see right away why this street was voted Canada’s favourite in 2014 by Great Places in Canada.

    To see and do: A host of boutiques where you can meet talented local artists and take a piece of Québec home with you.

  • 2

    Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville

    What makes it special for the Holidays: Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville tops the charts for holiday atmosphere. No doubt the inspiration of the Boutique de Noël just down the street counts for something. With majestic Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral on one side and City Hall on the other, you can feast your eyes wherever you look!

    To see an do: The German Christmas Market is another favourite attraction—a delightful village of wooden huts where exhibitors display their original, one-of-a-kind wares. Once the German Christmas Market is over, the activity on the sites continues with the first edition of Kaléidoscopes where visual arts, theatre, music, performing arts and literature are presented throughout the Holiday Season.

  • 3

    Place D’Youville

    What makes it special for the Holidays: The Théâtre Capitole, Palais Montcalm, and Saint-Jean Gate—perhaps the best known of the city’s fortifications—are always beautiful. But add a skating rink, wooden kiosks of the German Christmas Market and Kaleidoscopes' arts performances, and the square becomes even more dazzling. Be sure to catch the Glockenspiel, a multimedia project presented in collaboration with Robert Lepage.

    To see and do: Skating, of course! Rent a pair of skates and strut your stuff to the musical accompaniment, then take a stroll along Rue Saint-Jean through one of Québec City’s signature neighbourhood, Faubourg Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

  • 4

    Grande Allée

    What makes it special for the Holidays: The bars and restaurants of Grande Allée are a hub of local nightlife all year round, but in December the area also draws sightseers with its beautiful decorations and buildings all aglow. Grande Allée is also the place to ring in the New Year during the New Year’s Eve in Québec City event. *The 2021 edition is cancelled*

    To see and do:  Just steps from Grande Allée, enjoy the natural setting of the Plains of Abraham to practice several activities such as skating, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. New this year: lighting of the Joan of Arc garden, a warming station and two areas specially designed for snow sliding (with your own equipment).

  • 5

    Avenue Cartier

    What makes it special for the Holidays: A few minutes from Old Québec, the Plains of Abraham and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Avenue Cartier charms with the lights hanging above the street and decorating the storefront of the shops lining it. 

    To see and do: Avenue Cartier runs through the heart of Québec City’s Art District and is very popular with the locals for its numerous one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars and stores. Come have a look!

  • 6

    Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

    What makes it special for the Holidays: Symbol of the city and the world’s most photographed hotel, the Château Frontenac leaves no holds barred to impress its guests during the festive season. But did you know that everyone is welcome to come in and enjoy the magnificent, magical holiday decorations inside, too? 

    To see and do: Have a drink at the 1608 bar or a meal at Le Sam Bistro. Don’t miss the toboggan run on Dufferin Terrace at the foot of the Château. For over a hundred years it’s been hurling thrill-seekers downhill at speeds up to 70 kilometres per hour.

  • 7

    Place Jean-Béliveau

    What makes it special for the Holidays: Composed of interactive light works, an interactive illuminated course invites visitors to have fun while becoming actors and musicians of a unique collective work. Add to that the ice path and a warming station and you have a must-see magical destination.

    To see and do: Do your Christmas shopping and find delicious local products with a hundred artisans, merchants and producers at the Grand Marché de Noël.

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