Being a cradle of Francophone culture in North America, Quebec allures with its pretty French-style towns, natural landscapes and interesting history which still walks through the streets and speaks through the voices of locals. Come to “La belle province” to explore a new side of Canada. You’ll have fun in the largest amusement park, get enchanted by North America’s only ice hotel, enjoy yourselves at one of the numerous festivals which are annually held here and continue reading to find out more about places and activities in the province. Quebec really has an endless list of things to do.
#1 Visit the world’s biggest Jazz Festival in Montreal
Nearly 2 million jazz fans gather every year in downtown Montreal to enjoy the grand show and music legends at this international festival. With artists from all over the world and 2/3 of free concerts, Montreal International Jazz Festival is one of the greatest festivals to enjoy in Montreal in summer.
#2 Unwind at a Lavender Field
Lavender is one of the best natural antidepressants and visiting lavender fields is a great way to unwind. You don’t need to go far if you’re already in Montreal. Consider Blue Lavande, Maison Lavande or Champs de Rêve Lavender Fields. Pack up your lunch to enjoy it on the farm, breathe in the fresh luscious scent of the flowers and savour the natural beauty.
The lavender farm Blue Lavande even offers yoga classes at the fields (the fields are huge, by the way) and massage therapy.
#3 Visit a Maple Farm
It would be a sin to come to Quebec and not try a maple-flavoured titbit. Being the biggest producer of maple syrup in Canada, Quebec has a big number of maple farms with an old tradition of syrup making. Many maple farms offer guided tours, where you’ll find out about the production of this popular natural sweetener. Don’t forget to try something traditional from their menu.
#4 Explore Canada’s Most Visited Museum in Gatineau
The Canadian Museum of History is the most popular museum in the whole of Canada. Each year it receives1.2 million people. Its workers and exhibitions will enhance your knowledge about Canada’s history, folk culture, archeology and the influence of first settlements on the modern lives of Canadians. You’re lucky if you’re visiting Quebec with kids because the Canadian Museum of History accommodates the Canadian Children’s Museum and a movie theatre with a giant 3D screen.
#5 Explore Montreal, the Largest City in Quebec
Located around Mount Royal, Montreal is one of the biggest and most vibrant cities in Canada. This city combines the Old French vibes and American traditions, it has a great number of bilingual residents and hosts a plenty of international events. Come here for popular attractions like Montreal Botanical Gardens, Biodome, stunning architectural landscape and world-famous Montreal-style bagels.
#6 Have fun at La Ronde Amusement Park
Quebec’s largest theme park and the second largest amusement park in Canada encourages you to buckle up and enjoy a thrilling day. Going to La Ronde is perfect for visitors of different ages, from young to adult. It makes an ideal family outing with its viable rides for the entire family and it will surely satisfy the needs of the most passionate thrill seekers. With 15 (??) roller coasters, 40 rides and a 20-acre waterpark, you’ll find something for yourself at La Ronde. Just don’t forget to pack a change of clothing if you’re planning to go to a water park.
TIP**: book in advance, tickets in summer are often sold out a week in advance. If you’re going to La Ronde by car, remember of the possible congestion at the parking lot. Alternatively, consider taking a train.
#7 Get Surrounded by Nature on the top of Mont Tremblant
Soak up the sun and the panoramic views on the top of the Mont Tremblant. If you’re up for sports, hike up the mountain. If you want to save your legs for some other activities in the village, take a gondola ride.
Hiking up the mountain is really worth it. With many incredible lookout points, you’ll not only get some physical activity but also experience a lot of aesthetic pleasure. Choose a path according to your hiking experience and enjoy your adventure. To take the most of your experience, choose another path on the way down. Alternatively, you can take a Gondola ride on your way back.
If you’ve decided to take the Gondola, book the ride in advance to save some money.
#8 Pay a Visit to the Capital City of the Province
Confusingly referred to as Quebec by locals, Quebec City is a must-see destination for everyone. Built in 1609, this city is filled with European flavours which pervade the boutiques, churches and old-European cobblestone streets. This city welcomes everyone despite being fortified (by the way, it’s the only walled city north of Mexico). It’s a great place for history buffs who’ll love wandering through the ramparts in Old Town. Foodies will enjoy eating the national dish of Canada with a view of the St. Lawrence River. Romantics will take in the charm of Old France while exploring the magnificent Terrace Dufferin and Quartier Petit de Champlain.
#9 Cool Experience in Hôtel de Glace
If you wanna feel like Andersen’s Snow Queen, pay a visit to Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel) where you’ll always find ice and snow. Everything from walls to beds is from ice. Sounds unbelievable? Come and check on your own. To warm you up, there are outdoor spas and saunas or you can grab a cocktail from an ice glass in the Ice Bar.
Best Time to Visit: the hotel is open from January to March.
#10 Take a picture in front of Montmorency Falls
One of the most visited places in Quebec attracts so many people for a good reason. With stunning views of the imposing waterfall and many adventurous ways to explore it, the 83-meter Montmorency Falls are very worthwhile. Whether you have a sporty personality who would like to take up the panoramic staircase, a thrill-seeker craving one of the two iron way experiences or just a curious aesthete who’ll take in the views from aboard the cable car, there are several ways to explore the falls. By the way, the staircase has about 487 steps and some athletes work out here. An optimal option could be to go up aboard the cable car, then walk across the suspension bridge and descend the panoramic stairs. Also, the Montmorency Falls allure in the wintertime as well. The waterfalls freeze and take shape of “le pain de sucre” or an impressive “sugar loaf”.
#11 Pilgrimage to Sainte-Anne-de-Baupré
Originally built as a place of worship for new settlers, the Roman Catholic shrine of Ste-Anne-de-Baupré has become famous following a report of miracles. One of the builders of the church who suffered from rheumatism was healed after the church was finished. There are many other claims about miracle cures, which is why the entryway to the basilica is covered in crutches and other signs of infirmities. The church is also a great architectural masterpiece adorned with stained glass windows, wooden sculptures, paintings and mosaics.
#12 Saint Anne Canyon
This place cannot be missed by nature lovers, not for the faint-hearted, though. With three high suspension bridges and a powerful waterfall, you’ll enjoy the breathtaking views and move your body a little bit. It’s a top-notch destination for hiking pursuits but you can also enjoy mountain biking, golfing, canyoning, hand gliding and a ropes course. In winter, travelers love going skiing, snowshoeing, ice canyoning and fat biking. To take a break and enjoy the serenity of the place, have lunch at a picnic table.
#13 Watch Whales
With 12 species of whales that can be found in the Quebec ecosystem, this province is one of the best places for whale watching. From humpbacks and blue whales to orcas and minke whales. Come here to appreciate the mammals and other marine wildlife. To get up close to these friendly creatures, hop on a zodiac boat or go kayaking. One of the most popular places to go whale watching in Tadoussac, which thanks to its geographical position, attracts plenty of whales. Other good locations are found on the “whale route”.
Best Time To Go: the biggest chance of spotting different species of whales is from May to October.
#14 Nature Getaway to Saguenay Fjord Region
Sitting on the Saguenay River, Saguenay is a hidden Quebecois secret, which is rated as one of the top destinations around the globe, though. It has few tourists but those who arrive here are absolutely impressed by its unique nature. It’s an ideal destination for swimmers and lovers of water-based sports. From paddling and sailing to fishing and swimming, you’re bound to enjoy the water. You can spot bears and some species of whales, traverse some of the trails, enjoy mountain biking, high ropes course, rock climbing and an iron way. Whatever the season, you’ll take in the spectacular scenery.
#15 Treat Yourself to Poutine
If you think of Canada’s national dish, it is poutine that comes first to your mind. Although there are several versions of its exact founder, everyone agrees that the dish originates from Quebec. Traditionally, a dish of French fries topped with cheese curds and flavoured with gravy, it now has several variations. Some restaurants even offer vegan versions of this dish.
#16 Explore Eastern Townships
Located in the southeast corner of the province of Quebec, Eastern Townships is a region of pretty towns, Anglo-Saxon architecture and natural landscapes. There is a great ski and snowboarding resort in winter that turns into a charming wine region in fall. Come here and explore the wine route, enjoy all the possible outdoor activities, the first dark sky preserve in the world and the largest zoo in the province.
#17 Night Visit to the Zoo de Granby
While exploring Eastern Townships, learn about the animal kingdom at night with the knowledgeable guides of the Zoo de Grandy. Amazing after-the-sunset views, no crowds and special access to some of the animals await you and other group participants on this night venture. Don’t forget to check with the zoo team what you need to bring.
#18 Spend a day at Parc National du Bic
Parc National du Bic is a great place to explore and suitable for all ages. With the exciting views of the St. Lawrence River, exceptional wildlife and an array of outdoor activities, you’ll leave packed with emotions. However, the chances to indulge in the great outdoors are not curbed here. Kayaking and wildlife watching, enjoying impressive tidal effects, fat biking and cross-country skiing in winter, you’ll surely find something that you love in this hidden gem.
#19 Take a Scenic Drive around the Gaspé Peninsula
The Gaspé Peninsula is a picturesque place that will guarantee you a scenic drive full of activities in summer or lots of powdery snow and winter sports in winter. With sandy beaches along the shoreline, national parks, historic fishing villages and vast mountain ranges, this journey promises to be full of adventures and discoveries. Plan your itinerary in advance but don’t be afraid to slightly change your plan whenever you see something alluring. Our few tips would be visiting the village of Percé with the impressive Percé Rock and soaking up the sun on one of the beaches of Gaspé, fishing for salmon in Matapedia River and exploring the tallest lighthouse of Canada in Cap-de-Rosiers.
You can plan your itinerary using this map which shows the route with the start point in Quebec City.
HOW MUCH TIME: it takes 7 days for most travelers to explore the peninsula.
TIP: if you come in winter, you can take a snowmobile tour.
#20 Reconnect with Nature at les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
Magdalen Islands (Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine) enchant with its remarkable landforms and the range of activities you can enjoy there. There’s everything from red sandstone cliffs to beaches and lagoons. With its unique location, the Magdalen Islands are one of the top 10 places in the world for wind and sliding sports. Whether you love kitesurfing, horseback riding, sailing or surfing, there’s all of this and even more.
Things to do in Quebec-FAQs
1. What is the most beautiful part of Quebec?
Quebec is a province where French-style architecture and European vibes combine with the natural beauty of mountain ranges, pristine beaches, numerous lakes and rivers. Many people come to the province to feel the European architectural landscape and discover the life of the Francophone part of Canada. However, you’ll find many hidden places of nature for everyone’s taste. From maritime regions and the mountainous Mont-Tremblant to the vertiginous gorge of St. Anne with its imposing waterfall, Quebec has everything that a nature lover is looking for.
If you’re more interested in urban spaces, come to explore a large multicultural Montreal or a bit smaller Quebec City where the French flavours pervade all the corners. Quebec City and small beautiful villages will be an alluring discovery for all culture lovers.
2. Do People Speak English in Quebec?
Most people in the province speak French as their native language, however, tourist areas always have someone who’ll talk to you in English. Besides, you’ll have no problem in Montreal where most of the population is bilingual and will easily switch into English when they see you are not a local. Some people wonder whether it’s rude to speak English to Montrealers; well, the answer is, it is not rude if you’re a tourist. However, everyone in any place in the world, including Montreal, will be pleased to hear some basic nice words in their mother tongue.
It’s worthy to note that French remains the only official language in the province which is why all the signs in the province are in French.
Basic French Vocabulary for your Comfortable Stay in Quebec
Hello – Bonjour /bon-zhoor/
Good evening – Bonsoir /bon-swahr/
Do you speak English? – Parlez vous anglais? /par-lay voo ung-leh/
Thank you. – Merci /mair-see/
**Some Signs in French
Ferme - closed
Ouverte - opened
Sortie - Exit
Sortie d’autoroute - Highway Exit
Arrêt - Stop
Musée - museum
Rue - street
3.What is the best time to visit Quebec?
Quebec attracts millions of tourists throughout the year. It has an awful lot of outdoor activities to enjoy in summer, famous ski resorts, Christmas Market and magically adorned streets of the Petit Champlain District for winter, wonderful fall foliage in Eastern Townships and Mont Tremblant as well as Montreal Botanical Gardens in their full blossom in spring.
4. Is Montreal or Quebec City better?
Both Montreal and Quebec City are worth visiting. Briefly put, Quebec City has more romantic charm and European-like old buildings while Montreal is a great metropolis with many tourist attractions. Although the costs for shopping and cafes are similar in both cities, it’s easier to find budget accommodation options in Montreal.
Summers in Quebec are warm and mild but might feel even warmer because of the humidity. Winters are cold, snowy and windy which is why Quebec has great skiing resorts. The further north you go, the windier and colder winter will feel. For example, Quebec City feels a little colder than Montreal.
6. Is Quebec worth visiting?
With an abundance of historic places, natural landscapes, numerous festivals and events, winter and summer outdoor activities, Quebec is definitely worth visiting. Besides, its history (whose influence you can feel nowadays), different language and other specialties make it a unique part of Canada. If you’ve always been interested in Francophone culture and dreamt of visiting France, you definitely should pay a call. Not only is Montreal the 2d largest French-speaking city in the world but also there are many notable old French traditions you’ll note during your visit.
As you can see, Quebec is packed with great places and lots of activities. Have you already decided where to come first? Or maybe you’re visiting the province for a second time and thinking of where to head to. Hopefully, you found the direction to follow.