Fun Things to Do Near Old Québec

Photo de Marylin Préfontaine
Marilyn Préfontaine
Published on June 14, 2023
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec - ART INUIT. BROUSSEAU COLLECTION. ILIPPUNGA
MNBAQ / Idra Labrie

For a change of architecture and a different vibe, Québec City’s central neighbourhoods have it all: shops, cafés, restaurants, and activities of all kinds. Here are some of the things we like to do on foot and by bike near Old Québec.

  • 1

    Admiring the Art in Montcalm

    A stroll along Grande Allée or the Plains of Abraham quickly leads to Musée national des beaux-arts, the province’s premier fine arts museum. This imposing set of buildings is home to an unparalleled collection of Québec art and hosts world-class exhibitions on a regular basis. Everything at MNBAQ is soothing to the eye. Even the new pavilion itself is a work of art! We recommend rounding out the experience with a meal at the light-filled restaurant there before continuing along Avenue Cartier, where the beauty lingers on in an outdoor exhibition of giant colourful lampshades that line the street.

  • 2

    Soaking Up the Refined 20th-Century Bourgeois Lifestyle

    No trip to Montcalm would be complete without a visit to Henry-Stuart House and the gardens there. This heritage building and National Historic Site of Canada is a rare example of the type of residential architecture that became common in Québec City between 1830 and 1870. We love the cup of tea and slice of lemon cake served at the end of the guided tour. And with the Plains of Abraham just steps away, a glorious walk in nature makes a great variation on this Victorian theme.

  • 3

    Exploring Rue Saint-Jean outside the City Walls

    With its rows of colourful townhouses, steep streets, distinctive architecture, and bohemian vibe, Saint-Jean-Baptiste never fails to woo visitors. A must-see along Rue Saint-Jean is the remarkable Saint Matthew’s Cemetery, which also serves as a public park. Located behind Saint Matthew’s Church, which was converted into a magnificent library in the 1980s, the cemetery houses the remains of some 6,000 to 10,000 Anglican and Presbyterian souls. Insider tip: For a delicious refreshment, Tutto Gelato is right across the street and definitely worth a visit!

  • 4

    Discovering Urban Beekeeping in Saint-Roch

    Located in a former working-class neighbourhood that now stands as the nexus of the city’s tech industry, Apikol is creating quite the buzz. The guided tour of this honey house, meadery, and distillery offers a glimpse into the production process, which uses honey harvested from Apikol’s urban hives. Everything here tends to sustainable development. Children are welcome. From Apikol, our exploration of Saint-Roch continues along Rue Saint-Joseph or with a nice cold beer at a local microbrewery.

  • 5

    Visiting a Distillery Inspired by the City’s History

    Distillery tour and escape room, anyone? That’s the surprising combo on offer at Stadaconé Distillery. After solving the escape room, it’s time to discover the secrets of distilling on a guided tour, followed by a tasting. The whole thing is fun, delicious, and full of local history. There’s really nothing like it! For more great stuff in Limoilou, 3e Avenue is a commercial street noted for its brick buildings with winding wrought-iron staircases, majestic trees, and alleys where kids gather to play.

  • 6

    Exploring Saint Charles River Linear Park

    One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors in the city is to go walking or biking on the trail that runs along the Saint Charles River, from Louise Basin to Scott Bridge. The park is home to all kinds of beautiful plants and birds, with inviting places to stop all along the way. One of our favourites is Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site, where explorer Jacques Cartier spent the winter of 1535‒1536.

  • 7

    Eating Local at Québec City’s Grand Marché

    Québec foodies love the city’s Grand Marché. Located right beside the Videotron Centre, this farmer’s market is a treasure trove of cheeses, charcuteries, fruits, vegetables, preserves, and alcoholic beverages. Kids will love the splash pad and impressive playground nearby, while adults will appreciate the fine craft brews coming out of SNO Microbrasserie Nordik.

  • 8

    Having a Picnic on a Fab Estate

    As the former site of the Governor General’s residence, Bois-de-Coulonge Park is majestically well kept. With historic buildings, gorgeous flowerbeds, an arboretum, a playground for children, and a magnificent view of the St. Lawrence River, it’s an idyllic spot for a picnic. A well-kept secret that’s well worth the detour! And for a quaint shopping street, Avenue Maguire is just up the way.

Photo de Marylin Préfontaine
Marilyn Préfontaine

Marilyn is a proud Québec City local and a contributor for numerous magazines, blogs, and newspapers. She has also published a novel, plays, and board games, and always has something on the go! Marilyn is a hardcore foodie and serial traveller with a passion for discovering new places and telling the world about them. 

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