3 National Historic Sites to Take You Back in Time

Comité éditorial Destination Québec cité
Équipe éditoriale
Published on January 27, 2020
Commission canadienne du tourisme

Content Partner: Parks Canada

Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Québec charms millions of visitors every year with its unique architecture—the legacy of successive French and English regimes. Explore over 400 years of history at these 3 sites.

  • 1

    Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site

    Lieu historique national des Fortifications-de-Québec
    Mention de source Parcs Canada

    An essential stop when in Québec City, the fortifications bear witness to the city’s rich military past and 400 years of history to take you back to the time of its French and English colonial regimes. Back then, the city played a key role in defending the colony. For an enhanced experience and to learn all about the site’s secrets, join one of the many fun and affordable guided tours offered by Parks Canada. Discover gorgeous vistas and explore mysterious places not open to the general public. You can also take part in a musket-firing demonstration and volunteer as a soldier! Make the most of your visit and discover Québec City's rich history with The grand tour package and its 5 fun guided activities. If you are visiting with your family, put on a cape and discover the mystery of The Legend of the talking walls.

  • 2

    Saint Louis Forts and Châteaux National Historic Site

    LHN Forts-et-Châteaux-Saint-Louis

    Mention de source
    Parcs Canada

    Did you know that well before the construction of the most photographed hotel in the world―Fairmont Le Château Frontenac―there was a real château that served as the official residence and seat of power of the colony’s governors from 1620 to 1834? Learn about the history of Château Saint-Louis, where decisions that shaped North America were made. Stroll through the château’s remains and discover some 120 artefacts uncovered in the authentic archaeological crypt hidden under Dufferin Terrace. For those who want to learn more, the guided tour will give you an inside look at over two centuries of château life, thanks to funny anecdotes along the way. Are your children with you? Take part in a mini archeological dig to find traces of the past―an interactive and educational activity the whole family will love!

  • 3

    Grosse Île and the Irish Memorial National Historic Site

    Lieu historique national de la Grosse-Île-et-le-Mémorial-des-Irlandais

    Mention de source
    Parcs Canada

    Located 35 minutes from Québec City, Grosse Île is in the St. Lawrence River. As the main point of entry for immigrants coming to Canada, Grosse Île was a quarantine station for the port of Québec City from 1832 to 1937. Relive the journey of tens of thousands of immigrants who set sail for Canada and transited the island in hopes of a better future. Hear the moving stories of immigrants and those who cared for them when they arrived. You’ll be swept away by the history and beauty of the place, the stunning landscapes and varied wildlife. Choose from 4 thematic tours and discover the island according to your interests. Plan a whole day to enjoy this excursion in the Isle-aux-Grues archipelago. You can reach the island by boat on a 45-minute crossing on the magnificent St. Lawrence River, or by plane on a 10‑minute flight.

  • 4

    Cartier-Brébeuf National Historic Site


    This urban site in the Limoilou neighbourhood, just minutes from Québec’s city centre, commemorates the winter spent there by Jacques Cartier and his crew on their second exploration voyage, from 1535 to 1536, as well as the settlement of Jesuit missionaries in Canada in 1625–1626. The fascinating stories of celebrated explorer Cartier and Father Jean de Brébeuf are yours to discover at the interpretation centre and nearby memorials. The site is also the perfect place to have a family picnic, enjoy playgrounds and rest areas, or cycle along the Saint-Charles River on a beautiful bike path. Note that there will be several free family events during the summer.

    An offer you won’t want to miss!

    Admission to Parks Canada sites is free in 2018 for youth age 17 years and under. Come and make memories for a lifetime with the whole family. For history buffs, we suggest the Grand Tour, which gives you two guided tours of the Fortifications of Québec and one guided tour of Saint‑Louis Forts and Châteaux for only $15/adult and $10/youth (age 17 and under).

    What exactly is a content partner?
    A content partner acts as a sponsor by paying for a post. Destination Québec cité retains editorial control over the content of such posts. Content partners can have a say in the approach or the subject of a post but are not involved in its creation.

You'll Also Like

  • A Native American dancer performs a traditional dance inside the longhouse in Wendake, near Québec City.
    The Best Experiences to Discover the Indigenous Culture
  • Guided walking tour in Old Québec

    Walking Tours in Québec City

  • Guide qui ouvre la porte de la poudrière
    12 Historical Gems You Should Not Miss in Old Québec
  • A couple walk on the Pierre-Dugua-De Mons terrace near Avenue Saint-Denis, looking at the Château Frontenac.

    10 Best Things to Do in Old Québec City

  • Family eating at Maison Smith in place Royale
    14 Historic Places That Bring Québec City's Key Moments to Life
  • Fortifications of Québec
    10 Attractions to Discover More Than 400 Years of History
  • A young girl looks through a display case in an exhibition at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
    Québec City’s Must-See Museums and Interpretation Centres