Top Things to Do in Québec City This Summer
With two fantastic Picasso exhibitions, an exciting summer program in the city’s central neighbourhoods, and car-free streets for more space, Québec City is going all out to wow you this summer. Here are some of the best things to do from July to September that meet the current health requirements. Say hello to summer!
Stroll Through Festive Streets
Rue Saint-Jean, Jeff Frenette Photography
Every weekend this summer, some of the main neighbourhood streets are closed to car traffic, allowing pedestrians to stroll freely and enjoy all the big restaurant patios. Here are the streets closed on weekends: Grande Allée, rue Saint-Jean, rue Saint-Paul, avenue Cartier, rue Saint-Joseph, 3e Avenue and rue St-Vallier Ouest.
There are also a bunch of pop-up squares in the city’s central districts that put a different spin on things. They’re great for a little time-out, whether to have a bite or just watch the world go by.
Take In Amazing Exhibitions
Québec City is in a Picasso frame of mind this summer! The Picasso. Figures exhibition is on display at Musée national des beaux-arts from June 12 to September 12 and the immersive Imagine Picasso exhibition is being presented at the Québec City Convention Centre from June 15 to September 6.
Over at Musée de la civilisation, there’s a fascinating Maya exhibition from May 20 to October 3.
Tickets to these blockbuster exhibitions go fast, so consider booking in advance online.
Explore 400 Years of History
Jeff Frenette Photography
The Old City is an awe‑inspiring journey through a collection of architectural treasures unlike anything outside Europe. Here are the top 10 attractions you don’t want to miss.
See Outdoor Art
Passages Insolites is a public art series that takes over the city from June 26 to October 11. Strolling along the 5 km route that stretches from the Petit-Champlain to Parliament Hill to Saint-Sauveur, you’ll come across some twenty weird and wonderful works of art dreamed up by artists from Québec and elsewhere.
Get Some Fresh Air in City and Surrounding Area Parks
Parc national de la Jacques-CartierMathieu Dupuis
New this summer:
- After being forced to stay on dry land last year, the mini-rafts, camping canoes, kayaks, and inner tubes are back on the river for everyone’s enjoyment at beautiful Jacques-Cartier National Park.
- The site at the base of Montmorency Falls has been redone so that people have more ways to enjoy these spectacular falls.
- Massif de Charlevoix is open all summer for the first time this year. Activities include mountain biking, hiking, trail running, canyoning, and gondola rides.
- Centre de plein air de Beauport and Base de plein air de Sainte-Foy are free for day users who want to play in the great outdoors this summer.
Celebrate Summer on the Most Beautiful Terraces
With its historic architecture and the majestic St. Lawrence River, Québec City offers many options for dining or having a drink in a breathtaking setting.
Some streets in the Old Port turn into terraces and allow visitors to live the unique experience of a huge open-air restaurant. La Grande Tablée takes place from Thursday to Sunday, June 17 to September 26, 2021.
Have Fun with the Family
Jeff Frenette Photography
Or perhaps you’d like to dive into the marine world at Aquarium du Québec and see the Awesome Ocean Tunnel and the new polar bear habitat.
Take a look at our recos for fun family activities. You’ll soon realize Québec City is an amazing destination for families.
Some spots are well known, while others, like the City Hall gardens, are well-kept secrets. We share our favourite outdoor sites and nearby spots to pick up the perfect picnic. There are also a number of pop-up squares where you can have a bite this year, and alcohol is being allowed in some parks as long as it’s to go with a meal.
Enjoy 400 km of Bike Paths
Old Port, Jeff Frenette Photography
Québec City has a network of bike paths that stretch out from the city centre in every direction. If you don’t have a bike or don’t feel like bringing it with you, you can rent one at Cyclo Services or Location EchoSports and can even hire a guide to help you explore the city by bike. Both shops are in the Old Port, which is a great starting-off point for many of the nicest routes.
Go for a Ride on Eastern Canada’s Biggest Mountain Biking Trail Network
Le Massif de Charlevoix. Jean-Sébastien Chartier Plante
MTBers will find plenty of places to test their skills—and their pedal power—less than an hour outside Québec City. Vallée Bras-du-Nord, Mont-Sainte-Anne, and Empire 47 all have great trails for all levels of rider, including beginners looking to try the sport, while the enduro trails at Sentiers du Moulin are the perfect place to get sendy. The first-ever full MTB season at Massif de Charlevoix starts June 19, with impeccable downhill runs, gondola rides back up the mountain, and a breathtaking view of the St. Lawrence River.
Please note that the number of clients authorized in the attractions is often limited and that it is strongly recommended to validate the schedule and book in advance.