Things to Do in Quebec last updated: August 11th, 2021
As Canada’s largest province, as well as the only province whose sole official language is French, Quebec is an incredible destination rich in history, culture, and adventures. Located in Eastern Canada, Quebec borders Ontario to the west, New Brunswick to the east, the Hudson Bay to the north, and the United States to the south. With a rich history encompassing sieges and battles, the foundations of Quebec date back to the 16th century with remnants of the past still visible today.
We’ve explored Quebec many times, both in the winter and in the summer, and always look forward to going back. Whether it’s roaming the streets of Old Montreal, exploring the walled city of Quebec, whale watching in Tadoussac, sleeping with wolves in Montebello, or playing with falcons in Mont Tremblant, Quebec has become one of our favourite places to visit.
Whether you’re planning to explore the cities, the beaches, the mountains, or everything in-between, we’ve got you covered in this comprehensive travel guide to the wonderful province of Quebec!
Table of Contents
- Getting to Quebec
- Getting Around Quebec
- Best Time to Visit Quebec
- Road to 150 – Quebec Road Trip
- What to Do in Quebec
- Things to Do in Montreal
- Wander around Old Montreal
- Visit Place d'Armes and the Notre Dame Basilica
- Visit the Montreal Biodome
- Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
- Visit the Botanical Garden (or Jardin Botanique)
- Explore the Montreal Biosphere
- Climb Mount Royal
- Explore the Underground City
- La Ronde Amusement Park
- Place des Arts
- Jump out of a Plane
- Visit the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center
- Montreal Science Center
- Granby Zoo
- Go Train-crazy at Exporail
- Laval Nature Center
- Things to Do in Quebec City
- Old Quebec and the Walled City
- Stroll through Quartier Petit Champlain
- Take a Historical Walking Tour
- Go on a Cruise
- Quebec to Levis Ferry
- Montmorency Falls
- Huron-Wendat Museum
- Visit Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre Basilica
- Admire Quebec's Parliament
- Visit the Plains of Abraham
- Citadelle de Quebec
- Place Royale and Old Port
- Stroll La Promenade de Samuel Champlain
- Get a View from the Observatory
- The Museum of Civilization
- Aquarium de Quebec
- Jacques-Cartier National Park
- The Brousseau and Brousseau Inuit Art Gallery
- Carnaval de Quebec (winter)
- Snowboard at Mont Saint Anne (winter)
- Ski at Le Massif de Charlevoix (winter)
- Sleep in an Ice Hotel
- Dog Sledding (winter)
- Things to do around Saguenay Quebec
- Things to Do in Gatineau
- Things to do in the Gaspe peninsula
- Things to Do in Mont Tremblant & Surrounding Area
- Other Things to Do and See in Quebec
- Popular Quebec Festivals and Events
- Things to Do Around Quebec
Getting to Quebec
If you’re a visitor looking for different ways of getting to Quebec, here’s some practical advice on how to get here.
Getting to Quebec by Car
If you’re planning to drive to Quebec, it’s located to the east of Ontario and to the west of New Brunswick. It’s also north of New York, Vermont, and Maine. The province of Quebec is literally right next to Ottawa and Montreal is less than two hours drive from Ottawa as well. Due to the amount of things to do and its central location, it makes for an excellent Canadian road trip. Rental cars are plentiful as well, whether you’re arriving by plane, bus, or train. We typically recommend using Priceline to search car rental prices as well as hotels. (affiliate link)
Getting to Quebec by Plane
Quebec is home to many airports with the main two located in Montreal and in Quebec City. These two major airports are the Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Montreal and the Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. The driving distance between these two airports is approximately three hours.
Both airports offer rental cars, making it easy to grab your own transportation and hit the open road.
Getting to Quebec by Bus
Due to its size ad popularity, Quebec is easily accessible by bus. We always use Busbud as our first option for finding different bus routes, but here are some options below:
Greyhound: Visitors travelling by bus from the USA can come into Montréal via Greyhound. If you would like to go to Quebec City, you would then transfer to the Orléans Express bus for Québec City.
Orléans Express: The Orléans Express Coach Lines provide daily service between Québec City, Montréal, and other destinations in the province.
Fédération des transporteurs par autobus – Intercity Transit: Accessible to all, the intercity transportation network consists of 222 bus stations throughout Québec for efficient, timely travel.
Intercar: Intercar links Québec City with Saguenay, Lac-Saint-Jean, Charlevoix, and all destinations along the North Shore (Côte-Nord).
Getting to Quebec by Train
If you’d like to stroll into Quebec via train, this is also a possibility thanks to both VIA Rail and Amtrak.
VIA Rail Canada: You’ll find daily VIA Rail Canada service between Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City.
Amtrak: Visitors travelling by train from the USA will come to Montréal via Amtrak. For Quebec City, you’d then transfer to VIA Rail Canada trains for Québec City.
Getting Around Quebec
Quebec is a big province. However, many of its popular attractions are in the southern portion of the province, which makes it relatively easy to get around. Due to this and all the activities, it’s possible to get around by car, by bus, or even by an organized tour. On nice sunny days, both Montreal and Quebec City can also be explored by bicycle.
Fun Facts about Quebec
- The Chateau Frontenac Hotel holds the Guinness World Record for the most photographed hotel in the world!
- Quebec manufactures more than 77% of the world’s maple syrup. In total, Canada produces 80% of the world’s supply. It was also invented in Quebec in the 17 or 1800s.
- It has the oldest English language newspaper in North America.
- Quebec is the only officially French-speaking province
For more amazing facts, check out our article about some of the most interesting facts about Canada.
Best Time to Visit Quebec
Quebec is home to some pretty extreme weather. You’ll find scorching hot summers and extremely cold winters. It also varies depending on where you are. For example, Quebec City gets far more snow than Montreal, and if you’re visiting Quebec’s far north, you’ll experience a much colder winter than you would in the south. Overall though, as long as you dress properly, Quebec is a popular destination in all seasons.
Like much of Canada, the most popular time to visit Quebec is during the summer months, followed by both the fall and the spring. Winter also draws some crowds, especially those seeking to experience the Quebec Winter Carnival or skiing at Mont Tremblant. However, accommodation in the summer months is significantly more expensive and can sell out at certain times. Booking in advance is critical during these times.
As mentioned, Quebec is popular in all four seasons. For example, summer is great for general outdoor activities and festivals. The spring is a great time to find fresh maple syrup. Quebec is also one of the best places in Canada to view beautiful fall foliage and the winters are home to an array of outdoor activities and winter festivals.
If you want to avoid the tourist season, come in April, May, or June, rather than July, August, or September. Winter is also the best time to visit Old Québec, which can look quite magical under a blanket of snow.
Average temperatures throughout the year (high/low):
June: 22 oC, 72 oF / 11 oC, 52 oF
July: 25 oC, 77 oF / 14 oC, 57 oF
August: 24 oC, 75 oF / 13 oC, 55 oF
September: 18 oC, 64 oF / 8 oC, 46 oF
October: 11 oC, 52 oF / 2 oC, 36 oF
November: 3 oC, 37 oF / -4 oC, 25 oF
December: -4 oC, 25 oF / -13 oC, 9 oF
January: -8 oC, 18 oF / -18 oC, 0 oF
February: -6 oC, 21 oF / -16 oC, 3 oF
March: 0 oC, 32 oF / -9 oC, 16 oF
April: 8 oC, 46 oF / -1 oC, 30 oF
May: 17 oC, 63 oF / 5 oC, 41 oF
Road to 150 – Quebec Road Trip
Quebec was our fifth stop during our 150-day road trip across Canada. We spent approximately two weeks in Quebec, whale watching in Tadassouc, learning about history in Quebec City, exploring the vibrant city of Montreal, sleeping in treehouses, and playing with falcons in Mont Tremblant. We packed a lot of adventures into our short visit but we’ve been back many times since, doing new things like experiencing Quebec’s Winter Carnival, sleeping with wolves at Parc Omega, and indulging in North America’s largest spa in Chelsea.
There is so much to do in Quebec, for both outdoor lovers and city slickers. Whether you’re looking for incredible natural parks to explore, charming small towns, First Nations culture, or bustling cities, Quebec is the place to be!
What to Do in Quebec
We’ve explored Quebec many times and as you’ve probably learned by now, we love it. So, while we certainly don’t have space here to provide a list of every single thing to do in Canada’s largest province, we have compiled 74 incredibly awesome things to do in the most popular areas to visit in La Belle Province.
Things to Do in Montreal
One of Canada’s most famous cities, Montreal is a cosmopolitan, European-style city that has become one of the top travel destinations in the country. Located in the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec, Montreal is actually one of the five largest French-speaking cities in the world. However, it also has more English speakers than any other place in the province. It’s home to lots of history, museums, art galleries, and so much more.
Wander around Old Montreal
This is where it all started for one of the world’s most famous cities. Home to cobblestone streets bordered by 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century buildings, Old Montreal is the best place to explore by foot. Wander the old streets, check out the art galleries, eat at the French restaurants, and shop at the many souvenir shops while taking photos at every corner. Another option is to take a Local Montreal Food Tour, which will bring you around to different foodie spots, enjoying things like poor man’s pudding, scrumptious bagels, and more.
Visit Place d’Armes and the Notre Dame Basilica
While wandering around Old Montreal, take the time to visit Place d’Armes, which is the second oldest site in Montreal. You’ll probably make it here regardless since it’s where you’ll find the Notre-Dame Basilica, which is one of the most visited monuments in North America. While the square is free to visit, there is a charge to enter the church ($15 CAD). The Notre-Dame Basilica is a 17th-century Gothic Revival Basilica with dual towers that easily capture the eye from the outside. Inside, however, is regarded as one of the most dramatic in the world with religious paintings, intricate wooden carvings, religious statues, deep blue vaults, and gold-lead decoration, not to mention the 7,000-pipe organ.
Visit the Montreal Biodome
Price: $19.75/Adult, $10/Children ages 5-17
Whether you visit the city in the summer or the winter, the Montréal Biodôme is a great place for the whole family. Home to five ecosystems from the Americas, it’s a wonderful place to get immersed in nature while learning about the different environments. The biodome houses more than 250,000 animals from about 220 different species and 500 plant species and is one of the few places in the world to reproduce the complexity of the natural environment and the interactions between animal and plant species.
Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
If you’re into the arts, this is the place for you. This is the largest art museum in Canada by gallery space. Located in the historic Golden Square, this museum is spread out over a massive total floor area of 571,510 square feet. Inside, you’ll find a permanent collection of over 44,000 works and is home to the oldest art library in Canada.
Visit the Botanical Garden (or Jardin Botanique)
If you’re looking for a slice of nature within the city, you’ll want to visit the Jardin Botanique, which just so happens to be the second-largest botanical garden in the world. Opened in 1931 and designated a National Historic Site in Canada in 2008, it showcases ten indoor greenhouses, such as a Chinese garden, a Japanese garden, a beautiful First Nations Garden, and a rose garden. In total, the botanical garden comprises 190 acres of thematic gardens and greenhouses and is considered to be one of the most important botanical gardens in the world.
Explore the Montreal Biosphere
This one-of-a-kind museum is dedicated to the environment and is located in the former pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair, Expo 67. It’s a beautiful place and a great way to learn about climate change, how the environment works, and our effect on the planet. There are really cool exhibits and a 4D, 360-degree theatre.
Climb Mount Royal
The city of Montreal stretches across the horizon from the lookout atop Mount Royal, a 200-hectare park in the middle of the city that includes the highest point in Montreal. Walking trails throughout the park offer an airy, green relief from the developed city.
Explore the Underground City
Inspired by the cold winters, The Underground City (also known as RÉSO) is a series of interconnected office towers, shopping centres, hotels, convention halls, universities, and performing arts venues. The name is a little misleading in the sense that it refers to the entire complex, consisting of the underground connections between the buildings and its integration with the city’s underground rapid transit system. Think of it as an indoor city where you can accomplish many things without stepping foot outdoors.
La Ronde Amusement Park
Price: $46.99 – $63.99. Children 2 and under are free. Discounts available online.
Owned and operated by Six Flags, La Ronde is the largest amusement park in Quebec and one of the largest in Canada. It’s home to a variety of epic rollercoasters as well as a new Virtual Reality Roller Coaster that transports riders into an alien invasion through wireless headsets as they soar down Goliath. However, there are also family-friendly rides and a variety of shows, shopping and dining options.
Place des Arts
This cultural and artistic complex, the largest of its kind in Canada, is the hub of artistic activity in Quebec. Whether you watch the ballet, attend an opera, or listen to Quebec’s best french artists, Place des Arts is a grandiose venue for music, theatre, and comedy.
Jump out of a Plane
If you’re looking for adrenaline, have you considered jumping out of a plane at 13,500 feet? If so, Parachute Montreal uses some of the best technology and training methods in Canada’s largest dropzone. Experience an incredible 60-second freefall, soaring through the air at 200 km/hour, until the parachute is pulled. After that, it becomes a little more serene as the next 5-8 minutes offer stunning views across the Eastern Townships near Montreal. This activity is located approximately 30 minutes from Montreal.
Visit the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center
Price: $8/Adults, $5/seniors and students.
We all know about the atrocities committed by the nazis just a few decades ago. Now you can learn even more by visiting the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Center as it goes into the dark topic of anti-Semitism, racism, hate and indifference.
Montreal Science Center
Home to the Telus IMAX theatre, as well as special events, games, and experiments, the Montreal Science Centre is a great place for those interested in innovation and discovery. Exhibitions range from gadgets to human evolution, involving visitors in every process.
Price: From $12.95 to $38.95. Children under 2 free.
Although it’s not located in Montreal, it’s not too far away. Built in 1953, the Granby Zoo is one of Quebec’s top tourist attractions, allowing visitors to see the animals of Africa, South America, Oceania, Asia, and the South Pacific.
Go Train-crazy at Exporail
Price: From $4 – $18.
Located in Saint-Constant, not too far from Montreal, this Canadian Railway Museum has educational activities for the whole family. Take a ride on a miniature train, streetcar, or passenger train or attend a theme day. Young or old, if you’re into trains, this is a great place to go!
Laval Nature Center
Kids will especially love this one. Spend the day playing with farm animals and enjoying 50 hectares of green space at the Nature Center in Laval. During the summer months, kids can also take a pony ride for $3. A small train offers transport around the recreational area for $3 per person, making it a special treat for kids or those young at heart.
For more, check out our detailed guide about the best things to do in Montreal.
Things to Do in Quebec City
Québec City sits along the St. Lawrence River in the mostly french-speaking province of Quebec. Dating all the way back to 1608, it features a unique European charm, a fortified colonial core, a parliament building modelled after the famous Louvre Museum in Paris, and a variety of stone buildings and cobblestone streets. It’s easily one of Canada’s most beautiful cities and is only a 3-hour drive from world-famous Montreal.
Old Quebec and the Walled City
Old Quebec (Vieux Quebec) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is full of museums, restaurants, and shops. Horse-drawn carriage rides and the New French-style architecture give the quarter a distinctly European feel, making it a beautiful place to walk around. It’s also home to the Fortifications of Quebec, making it the only walled city north of Mexico. The fort circles Upper Town in a 4.6 kilometre stone circle, along which pedestrians can stroll around while looking down on Old Quebec from scattered canons that give a feeling for the historical military presence over the city.
Stroll through Quartier Petit Champlain
Located within Old Quebec, this is quite possibly the prettiest street in the country. Browse boutiques, art galleries, jewelry stores, and sweet shops along this quaint, cobblestone pedestrian street. When your feet get tired of wandering, there are plenty of restaurants, pubs, and cafes to sit down and indulge in.
Take a Historical Walking Tour
Thanks to its charming cobblestone streets and a European feel, Old Quebec is one of the most visited areas in all of Canada. It really is a beautiful place but it’s much better if you take a historical walking tour to learn about the history of one of Canada’s oldest cities. We did ours with Xavier from Toursbylocals.com and he was both excellent and passionate at telling us all about local areas and taking us around the city for some good vantage points to take photos from. highly recommended!
Go on a Cruise
If you’d like a relaxing sightseeing tour of the surrounding area, this might be the tour for you. You’ll get live commentary from a costumed member of the crew and you’ll get to see Old Quebec, Montmorency Falls, and other sights from the boat. Another option if you’re just looking for a view of Old Quebec is to take the ferry to Levis.
Quebec to Levis Ferry
Price: From $2.40 – $3.55 per person.
The Levis Ferry crosses the St. Lawrence River from Old Quebec to Levis. The ferry is also part of a beautiful bicycle route that extends from the Littoral in Quebec City to Parcours des Anses in Levis. The crossing only takes about 12 minutes, but the ride offers gorgeous views of the North and South shores from the water. This is a cheap way to get views of the city from the water.
If you like waterfalls, Montmorency Falls is a great place to go! This powerful waterfall is actually taller than Niagara Falls and can be seen from all sorts of angles thanks to the walking loop, which includes a bridge that lets you peek down over the falls. If you don’t mind getting wet, you can then walk to the lower platform where you’ll feel the power of the falls as the water, wind, and mist pelt you like a hurricane. This was my favourite part of the walking loop as it felt like such an adventure. It’s really impressive how powerful the waterfall is. You can then take a scenic gondola back up to the top.
If you’re looking to learn about the indigenous culture around Quebec City, this is the place to go. Not only is it a beautiful building filled with artifacts but there’s also a real traditional longhouse that you can walk in and experience. I had no idea these existed until I visited the Huron-Wendat Museum. We then made bannock over the fire. Amazing place!
Visit Ste-Anne-de-Beaupre Basilica
Price: $2/person. Mass is free.
Beautiful white spires, stained glass windows, and intricate woodwork make this sanctuary one of the most beautiful churches in all of Canada. Saint Anne, to whom the shrine is dedicated, was Mary’s mother. The Basilica is open daily 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. While the church is not located in Quebec City, it’s only 30km east along the St. Lawrence River.
Admire Quebec’s Parliament
Home to the government of Quebec, this 19th-century building has eight floors and stands 52 meters high. Unique from other Canadian Parliament buildings, it features the Second Empire architectural style. The building’s facade and grounds include twenty-two statues of influential individuals from Quebec’s history. Visitors can take a free, 45-minute guided tour beginning at the Visitors Centre.
Visit the Plains of Abraham
In 1759 and 1760, the Battle of Quebec took a pivotal turn at the Plains of Abraham. It was here that the British conquered Quebec and the fate of North America was sealed. The park has witnessed many deaths, including fallen soldiers and executions. These days, the park is not only historic, but it is also beautiful as it is home to 103-hectares of meadows, grassy hills and fresh air.
Citadelle de Quebec
Price: From $6 – $16/Adult.
For history buffs, this is a unique opportunity to experience 100 years of history at the Citadelle, an active military fortress and museum atop Cape Diamond, the highest natural point in the area. Built between 1820 and 1850, the Citadelle is the largest British fortress built in North America. Wander between canons, listen to a guided tour and watch the changing of the guards.
Place Royale and Old Port
Back in 1608, Samuel de Champlain chose this place to start a trading post. Oh, how the times have changed. Now, it’s a bustling market that’s become the home of many merchants and ship owners. Located in Quebec City’s Lower Town, the square sits the oldest stone church in Quebec, as well as an incredible fresco that traces 400 years of Quebecois history.
Stroll La Promenade de Samuel Champlain
Walk, run or cycle next to the water along the Promenade de Samuel Champlain. The four sections of the promenade include Station des Cageux (a wetland with access to a waterslide), Boisé de Tequenonday (which has a small lookout with a wonderful view), Station des Sports (which contains two soccer fields and a multi-use grass area) and Station des Qais (the cultural focal point of the Promenade). Wherever you go, you’ll be next to the water.
Get a View from the Observatory
Price: From $11 – $14. Free for children under 12.
If you’re looking for the best view of Quebec City, you’ll want to head up to the highest point in the city at the Observatorie de la Capitale. Offering a 360-degree panoramic view of Quebec City, this 31-floor, 221 metre-high structure is Quebec’s tallest. From the top floor, visitors can see all the way out to the Appalachian Foothills, the Laurentians and île d’Oréans.
The Museum of Civilization
Price: From $5 – $16.
Established in 1984 under the National Museums Act, Musée de la Civilisation is a government-run corporation, showcasing the creativity, culture and history of Quebec through touring exhibitions, guided tours and artifact collections.
Aquarium de Quebec
Home to over 10,000 fish, as well as reptiles, amphibians, polar bears, walruses and seals, the Quebec Aquarium is a popular attraction. Spread out over 16 hectares, both indoors and outdoors, there are educational shows throughout the day.
Jacques-Cartier National Park
Located just 30-minutes away, Jacques-Cartier National Park is the perfect place to explore the outdoors. With over 100 kilometres of hiking trails, a winding river, and deep valleys formed by glaciers spanning 670 square kilometres, this park is an adventure-lovers haven. The Eastern Borealis forest offers practically endless activities including canoeing, kayaking, dog sledding, horseback riding, skiing, tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, bird watching, rafting, golfing, and mountain biking.
The Brousseau and Brousseau Inuit Art Gallery
If you’re looking for some incredible indigenous artwork, this is the place to go. Showcasing the best work by Inuit artists in Quebec, this gallery represents the regions of Nunavik, Kivalliq, Kitikmeot, Baffin and Inuvialuit. Pieces include serpentine sculptures and caribou wood carvings for sale.
Carnaval de Quebec (winter)
Quebec’s Winter Carnival is an annual event that includes an ice palace, an international snow sculpture competition, a winter canoe race and a night parade. Since 1894, the Quebecois have been celebrating with winter-themed activities to keep them warm in the brutal, long winters. It is the largest winter festival in Canada and the second-largest in the world.
Snowboard at Mont Saint Anne (winter)
If you’re in Quebec City during the winter months, head out to Mont Saint Anne for some skiing and snowboarding while catching glimpses of the might St. Lawrence River. There are plenty of other activities on and off the alpine mountain as well, including ice skating, paragliding or soaking in a Nordique spa.
Ski at Le Massif de Charlevoix (winter)
Another great ski resort near Quebec City is Le Massif. Soar down the highest slope east of the Rockies on your skis or snowboard. With 52 trails, the majority of which are rated “Extremely Difficult”, this is no little hill (although they do have a bunny hill for beginners). They also have a terrain park and trails for tobogganing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Sleep in an Ice Hotel
During the cold winter months, Quebec City is home to the only ice hotel in North America! It’s truly an astonishing piece of art and architecture with more than 20 themed rooms and many other basic rooms, all made out of ice- even the bed! We didn’t spend the night during our visit but we did visit and take a tour to marvel at how beautiful it really is. Plus, you can get a drink in an ice glass, so that’s pretty cool too.
Dog Sledding (winter)
If you’re visiting during the winter months and want to feel the exhilaration of being pulled by 6 excited huskies, then you’ll want to head out to St-Ètienne-de-Lauzon and do some dog-sledding. You and your partner can switch off being the musher, or opt to have a guide steer the dogs around. Now that’s Canadian!
For more, check out our detailed guide about things to do in Quebec City in the Winter!
Things to do around Saguenay Quebec
Located north of Quebec City and straddling the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Saguenay area is known for its charming small towns, beautiful natural scenery, and incredible whale watching opportunities.
Whale Watching in Tadoussac
Located just three hours from Quebec City in the small town of Tadoussac, the best area in Quebec for whale watching. Choose the type of boat you’d like to board or find a good viewpoint from the shoreline and get ready for some action. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a number of marine animals (including 12 specifics of whales) breaking the surface of the water in the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay Rivers. We’ve done this tour a couple of times and have seen dozens of humpback whales breach the water. Whale watching in Tadoussac offers some of the best whale watching in Canada!
Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre
Price: $10.50/adult but free for children.
When not out seeing whales with your own eyes, go and explore Canada’s sea life in this interactive, multimedia centre. You’ll learn about marine animals through a collection of skeletons and even a singing lesson from a whale.
Musée d’art Contemporaire Baie-Saint-Paul
Designed by award-winning architect Pierre Thibault, the building itself a work of art. Inside, however, guests will find a collection that carries over 400 beautiful works. The famous names in the history of painting in Quebec and high-quality exhibitions showcased by the art gallery have led to its recognition as a museum.
Site Historique maritime de la Pointe-au-Père
Price: From $17 – $24/adult. Children 7 and under free.
Dive into more than 200 years of history at this Maritime Museum, climbing aboard The Onondaga, Canada’s only publicly accessible submarine. Learn about the sinking of The Empress of Ireland and experience what life was like in Quebec in 1914, when the ship sank. Join a guided tour and explore lighthouse buildings built in 1909. Open June through October.
Go Sea Kayaking
Sea kayaking has become a popular adventure sport throughout the Saguenay region. Paddle through Saguenay Fjord for a few hours on a guided expedition or take a 3-day, 2-night kayak tour to the St. Lawrence estuary. For those seeking adventure, this is the perfect opportunity. Receive training, high-quality equipment and gourmet meals with Fjord en Kayak’s overnight packages.
Saguenay Fjord National Park
Does it get any more beautiful? Yes! Ranked as the top thing to do in the area, many cruise ships stop here to admire the incredible forest and mountain scenery. For those seeking adventure, consider the challenging Via Ferrata for incredible views or jump on an inflatable Zodiac boat for a tour from the Rivière Saguenay.
Things to Do in Gatineau
Bordering Canada’s capital city, Gatineau shares a lot of tourism with Ottawa. It’s home to some incredible things to do, such as the Canadian Museum of History, and is often someone’s first entry into the province of Quebec. From here, you can also drive to Montreal in approximately two hours.
Canadian Museum of History
Price: From $9 – $15.
The Canadian Museum of History is Canada’s national museum of human history with special and permanent exhibits, a children’s museum, interactive activities, and a cinema. Both inside and outside, it’s an absolute work of art. Located right across the bridge from Ottawa and offering some of the best views of the parliament buildings, this is the most visited museum in all of Canada.
Gatineau Park is a very accessible and enjoyable park in all seasons. Whether you go boating in the summer or cross-country skiing in the winter, it’s a popular place for locals to get outdoors. Plus, Champlain Lookout offers the most popular view from the park over the Ottawa Valley.
Those seeking indigenous art will want to visit the INAC art collection, which is comprised of over 4,000 works of contemporary Aboriginal art. In the late 1960s, INAC became the first federal government institution to support the development of Aboriginal art in Canada. The gallery features scheduled exhibitions and showcases a selection of this large, dynamic collection. Plus, it’s free!
Price: From $26 – $36
For those seeking some fun and adrenaline, this is your chance to soar through the forest at La Fleche Park. Soar across 45 suspended bridges and 9 zip lines, leading you from tree to tree and across a lake before scaling a rock wall with the help of Via Ferrata. It makes for a fun day but If heights aren’t your thing, you can also go below the earth on a Cave Tour or challenge your friends to a GPS race!
Seek Art at Axenéo7
Ran by artists, for artists, Axenéo7 is dedicated to promoting and pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. The gallery invites artists to submit their work and is open to critiquing art while improving artists’ conditions for creation.
Although not located in Gatineau, it’s only 15-minutes away in Chelsea, making it one of the awesome things to do in Ottawa or in Gatineau. This is an adult paradise, featuring 10 exterior baths, 9 distinct saunas, a panoramic pool, a floating salt-water pool, numerous resting places, a yoga and meditation room, an exfoliation room, outdoor massage pavilions, and 4 restaurants.
For more, check out our detailed guide about things to do in Ottawa!
Things to do in the Gaspe peninsula
Known for being one of the best Canada road trips, the Gaspe Peninsula is incredibly scenic. If you’re looking for stunning coastal views and outdoor adventure, add this place to your bucket list.
Forillon National Park
If you’re looking to get up close and personal with sea lions or watching whales breach the surface, make your way to Forillon National Park. Besides taking a dip in the water, you can also tour several historical buildings and check out World War II gun installations.
Gaspésie National Park
Home to mountains and a variety of wildlife, Gaspésie National Park is a great place for hikers and wildlife photographers. You can also have a variety of accommodation options, choosing to stay overnight on the alpine tundra or sleep in luxury in the 4-star Gîte du Mont-Albert Hotel.
Canada’s eastern ski terrain is often ignored for the world-class mountain resorts in the west…but that also means it’s virtually untouched. Create your own tracks through fresh powder on a full- or half-day heli-skiing excursion. Auberge Chic-chac (hostel) organizes overnight packages that include meals and a night at the hostel. This is located in the Chic-Choc Mountains of Murdochville. Prices range from $1,100 for full-day one night, three meals; $650 for half-day, one night, three meals.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
If hiking is your thing, the Appalachian Trail should be high on your bucket list. Quebec Adventure organizes 4-day, 4-night shelter-to-shelter trips for groups of 8 or less in partnership with Parcs Quebec. All meals and transportation are included.
Price: $10 – $20/Adult. Children 13 and under free.
In 1926, Elsie Reford decided to plant a garden in her fishing camp along the St. Lawrence River. Despite numerous hurdles, the construction was finished in 10 years. Her garden was a marvel of exotic and beautiful plants and is now a publicly accessible National Historic Site.
Things to Do in Mont Tremblant & Surrounding Area
Just 2-hours outside of Montreal is the Mont Tremblant ski resort and national park. This is a great place to go for experiencing nature and trying a variety of fun adventurous activities.
Mont Tremblant National Park
Parc National du Mont-Tremblant is Quebec’s second-largest national park, and one of the most accessible as well. Home to six rivers and hundreds of lakes, it’s a great destination for paddlers and beach bums. This beautiful area is home to 40 different types of animals that enjoy the park as much as human visitors do.
Mont Tremblant Gondola
Whether you take the gondola both ways or hike to the top and take it down, seeing the surrounding area from the top of the mountain is a must-do. You’ll see the beautiful Laurentian mountains in all their glory as well as the village.
If you like zip lines or have always wanted to try one, this is one of the best in Canada! Five zip-lines, some of which are over 3,000 feet long, will take you across various mountains, allowing you to reach speeds of up to 100 km/h while enjoying mind-blowing views. You can even go upside down! Ziptrek Ecotours also takes the time to teach you about the local environment and ecology. This was a blast!
Birds of Prey Apprentice-Falconer Walk
Have you ever wanted to see a hawk up close? How about having one land on your arm? The Apprentice-Falconer Walk is an incredible experience. I was mesmerized by the incredible agility of the hawk and how effortlessly he flew from tree to tree and right onto my arm to eat his raw chicken. It was a beautiful experience and afterwards, we went to the Birds of Prey show, where we got to see different owls, birds, and a bald eagle up close and personal. Highly recommended.
If you’re looking for a place to get into nature, I highly recommend staying at Les Refuges Perches, otherwise known as Mont-Tremblant Treehouses. Located right on a quiet lake, the only annoyance you might find is a woodpecker in a nearby tree. You can’t even drive to the treehouse. You either have to walk 20-minutes or paddle a canoe for 12-minutes, which adds to the adventure. You’ll get a campfire, a dock for the canoe, and a beautiful tree-house that’s fully equipped. We really loved swimming in the lake, paddling the canoe, and walking around the various trails. Back at the main lodge, you’ll find hot clean showers and WiFi if you need it. This was one of our favourite places to stay during our trip across Canada.
If you like yoga and being in nature, Excursion Yoga is for you. This isn’t something we’ve tried yet but we can’t imagine a better spot for yoga than on top of a mountain looking out at an incredible view. A typical day out includes 2+ hours of hiking, 1+ hours of yoga, and a 30-minute picnic.
One of the most iconic Canadian activities is snowshoeing. It’s also one of the easiest activities for people to do. With all the adventurous wilderness in Mont Tremblant, it’s the perfect opportunity to strap on snowshoes and go trekking through the vast, white wilderness—which can also include visiting a traditional log cabin and indulging in fondue next to a wood-burning fire.
Price: $99 and up
For those seeking winter speed, you’ll want to jump on a snowmobile and go soaring through the trails. Arctic Adventure rents out snowmobiles and organizes half-day and full-day snowmobile tours around Entrelacs. Cross snow-covered forests and drive over deeply frozen lakes, all led by a knowledgeable guide. Whether you want to go full-throttle or explore at a leisurely pace, seeing Quebec by snowmobile is an awesome experience.
Other Things to Do and See in Quebec
Located almost half-way between both Montreal and Ottawa, this Canadian safari park is home a range of local wildlife, including elk, bison, black bears, caribou, and perhaps the most famous of them all – grey wolves. Open year-round, guests drive around the park while admiring the animals from inside their vehicle. However, there are two additional activities that make this place unique. First, you are able to feed carrots to some of the animals right from your window. Second, you can actually stay the night in a wolf cabin and have wolves wander up to your floor-to-ceiling window all night long. Please note that motorcycles are not allowed.
It might not be the Caribbean but it sort of looks like it in the photos. The Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine) have a unique ecosystem that has become a popular vacation spot for Quebecers and Canadians alike. Home to spectacular beaches, fauna, flora, fisheries, and landscapes rich with red and grey sandstone fill the islands, visitors can partake in a plethora of activities such as hiking, cycling or just relaxing on the white-sand beaches.
Once again, two weeks was just not enough to fully explore the huge province of Quebec but it certainly gave us a good taste! We hope you find this list useful in planning your next adventure and if you have any other recommendations, please let us know!
Learn about Inuit culture at Parcs Nunavik
For those seeking a true adventure, Parcs Nunavik takes guests on a 9-day guided expedition to the Summit of Mount D’Iberville, the highest peak in Quebec at an elevation of 1,652 metres. Hikers will learn about Inuit culture from their guides as they trek up the mountain. Talk about an exciting experience! This place is off-the-beaten-track, located in the Torngat Mountains, along the border between Quebec and Labrador
Parc National d’Anticosti
If you’re looking for somewhere truly special and far from the norm, this might be the ticket. Few places in the world are as remote and unspoiled as Anticosti Island. Meet the lighthouse keepers, go fly-fishing and explore the national park for a serene island escape with very few other people.
La Mauricie National Park
Located not too far from both Quebec City and Montreal, this national park allows you to get out into the wild without venturing too far. However, you can be as remote as you want with over 150 lakes, numerous waterfalls, and plenty of trails. Whether you hear the beautiful call of a loon or not, this is a great place to get away from it all.
Aiguebelle National Park
Located a little farther north than most venture, you’ll find beautiful Aiguebelle National Park with its blue waters, lush green valleys, and unbelievable sunsets. This park has a number of features as well, including a 22-metre-high suspended footbridge, rustic shelters, a spiral staircase, and a floating walkway.
Lake Témiscouata National Park
Located almost on the border between Quebec and New Brunswick, you’ll find Lake Témiscouata National Park, which is home to eight hiking trails and a beautiful lake that’s perfect for paddleboarding, pedal boating, kayaking, and fishing.
Kuururjuaq National Park
To visit Kuururjuaq National Park, you’ll need to be a true adventurer. Located up towards Nunavut at the ver northern stretched of Quebec, you’ll find 4,000 square kilometres of stunning nature that is also an important cultural and spiritual region for the Inuit who call it home. Parc Nunavik leads guided expeditions through the park for visitors who don’t know where to start.
Frontenac National Park
Located in-between Montreal and Quebec City, close to the American border, is Frontenac National Park. Here you can canoe or kayak through the third largest lake south of St. Lawrence as well as go bird-watching to find the 200 species of birds throughout the park. You may even find wild orchids and rare carnivore plants.
Popular Quebec Festivals and Events
Quebec is great at throwing parties. Whether you’re looking to celebrate Francophone culture, dance to live jazz music, cheer on cyclists at the Grand Prix, or party outdoors in the snow, there’s a festival for everything! Below are just some of the popular ones.
Quebec Winter Carnival (winter)
We mentioned this in the Quebec City section as well but it just can’t be overlooked. As the largest winter festival in the world outside of China, it’s a special experience. From tobogganing to an ice canoe race and lively parade, people travel from all around to experience this.
Throughout January and February, top national and international DJs take over Montreal’s Old Port once the sun goes down. This 4-week festival mixes electronic music with ice slides, sumo wrestling and a marshmallow roast. Since it’s all outdoors, you’ve got to dance to stay warm!
Festival des Surcres (Spring)
Located in a maple grove, the forest comes alive with cozy fireplaces and traditional country music each and every spring. The Festival des Surcres festival celebrates the Quebecois cultural creation of maple taffy on snow. This is one of our favourite sweets. It’s soooooo good. It is also one of Quebec’s oldest festivals. Beyond sugary treats, there are family-friendly activities, such as a folk gala, softball tournament, and inflatable games.
The Montreal International Jazz Festival (Summer)
For jazz lovers out there, this is one festival you don’t want to miss! Every year, the Quartier des Spectacles transforms into a music-lovers haven for 10 days in June and/or July. Featuring 3,000 artists from across the globe, this is an inclusive event for families, friends, seniors and singles. Even better? Two-thirds of the concerts are free!
Les FrancoFolies de Montreal (Summer)
Francophone culture is celebrated across Canada and throughout the world but the biggest celebration of French culture, language, and music takes place every year in Montreal at the Les FrancoFolies de Montreal. Enjoy live world beat, electronic, and rock music at indoor and outdoor shows.
Just for Laughs Festival (Summer)
When it comes to comedy, Just for Laughs is king. Street festivals, galas, solo and theatre performances, and concerts and special events are all a part of the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, the largest comedy fest in the world. Come for one of 1,200 free outdoor shows or stay for the entire weekend of eye-watering humour.
Things to Do Around Quebec
Well, that’s it, folks. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of every single thing there is to do in Canada’s largest province, but it’s enough to keep you busy for months, if not years. It’s certainly a special place and if you have even more time and want to see more, you’re in luck. Canada is awesome from coast to coast to coast.
For more things to do around Quebec and beyond, check out these articles below:
- Best Canada road trips
- Things to Do in Ottawa
- Things to Do in New Brunswick
- Exploring Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- Things to Do in Ontario
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