Old Quebec City: 30+ Exciting Things to do! (2018)
By Mia Pearson on April 1st, 2018
30+ Great Things to do in Old Quebec City Old Quebec City is an area with a rich history and vibrant streets at just about any hour during the day or night. It’s home to some of Canada’s best restaurants, most interesting historical buildings, and, overall, is a veritable post-card town. Between the sweeping views […]
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30+ Great Things to do in Old Quebec City
Old Quebec City is an area with a rich history and vibrant streets at just about any hour during the day or night. It’s home to some of Canada’s best restaurants, most interesting historical buildings, and, overall, is a veritable post-card town. Between the sweeping views of the Saint-Lawrence river, the delectable food and buzzing cobblestone streets, visiting Old Town Quebec City should be up there on anyone’s bucket list.
Old Quebec City Food Tour
Discover Old Quebec like you never have before–through its food! Learn about Old Quebec’s history with your knowledgeable guide and taste the town’s culinary heritage. Walk through the cobblestone streets and learn about the old buildings that still stand today. Savour the delicious food from some of Quebec City’s best eateries: from a rustic sugar shack to a hip snack bar. Between the food and drinks, the price of the ticket includes 12 yummy tastings in total! Instead of choosing just one restaurant in Quebec City, the Old Quebec City Food Tour invites you to sample many different places while learning about the area and meeting new people. For more information, click here!
1. Magnificent Museums:
The Morrin Centre offers visitors a myriad a reasons to visit. Firstly, this National Historic Site explores the contributions and culture of English speakers in the Quebec area. It boasts an impressive and extremely beautiful Victorian-style private library of English books. The centre was also a prison for captured British soldiers: walk through the jail cells and discover the hidden parts of Quebec’s history.
Explore what it was like to live in Quebec City circa 17th century. Musée des Ursulines, founded by the Ursuline nuns, is the oldest North American learning institution for women. Learn about the boarding school for young women–the daily routine, curriculum, games and the friendships formed–all while diving into the important role that religion played in 17th century society. Be sure to see the Ursulines’ Chapel that houses paintings acquired around 1820 after the French Revolution.
Having recently been renovated to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2015, this little museum offers visitors a 30 minute multimedia exhibition that chronicles the history of Quebec City battles and attacks on the city. Through the use of visual demonstrations, sound and light, dive into the famous battle on the Plains of Abraham and Benedict Arnold’s march to Québec City. The show is thoughtfully curated making it easy to grasp all the while being entertaining for families.
This neoclassical Palladian-style church is a National Historic Site of Canada and is home to two parishes, the Parish of Quebec and la Paroisse de Tous les Saints. It’s also the first Anglican church built outside the United Kingdom and is modelled after the St Martin-in-the-Fields’ church in London. Having been consecrated in 1804, the church is still active today and now hosts worship services and is a venue for classical music concerts.
Showcasing the beautiful work of a select number of Inuit artists, Art Inuit Brousseau is a gallery dedicated to encouraging Inuit artists to pursue their artistic endeavours and practice the artistic traditions of their ancestors. See the carvings out of stone and wood and beautiful paintings displayed throughout. And if the works really speak to you, you can purchase them!
The permanent exhibition of the Augustines’ Monastery offers a glimpse into the life of the Augustine sisters of Quebec. Explore their way of life and how they cared for the sick through the selected objects taken from the 12 monastery hospitals. For an even more in depth experience, the monastery has been converted into a hotel. Choose from a traditional or contemporary room, and live as the sisters did centuries before (with a few more amenities!)
If you’re curious about the origins of New France, Place Royal Museum walks visitors through Quebec’s history by looking at the stories of its inhabitants. Hail back to 1608 and follow Samuel de Champlain’s discovery of New France. With the historical houses, exhibits, workshops and even a chance to dress up in traditional garb, Place Royal offers families an exciting opportunity to learn about Quebec’s rich history.
Learn about Quebec’s History through a series of original interactive exhibitions. The museum explores the history of Quebec’s settlers and Aboriginal people, and continuously introduces new exhibitions to the museum. It’s a great excursion for adults and children alike and is both educational and fun!
Walk into L’Échaudé and you’ll be greeted by a functional white tablecloth dining room with mirrored walls and hardwood floors. Their menu of savoury French dishes features beef tartare, duck confit, beef flank and other classic bistro fares. Pair your dish with their great selection of European wines, and be sure to finish off your meal with their highly-recommended sugar pie!
This small and rustic eatery serves up French fares and delicious hares. Like their name suggests, lapin (rabbit) is a main dish, and their rabbits are raised at a nearby farm in Beauce without antibiotics or hormones. Since its opening in 1988, Le Lapin Sauté has gained a reputation for its warm dining room complete with a fireplace, and fall-off-the-bone meat. Their ingredients are locally-sourced and can be enjoyed on their lovely flowery terrace in the summer.
This chic and contemporary French restaurant is charming both inside and out: their backyard terrace is something out of a fairytale with its white curtains and lush greenery. The inside is just as romantic with contemporary art hanging on the stone walls, thick wooden tables and warm colours throughout. Chef Christian Lemelin carefully introduces subtle flavours to each plate, finding a perfect balance for your palate. His dishes are both a visual masterpiece and tasty enough to make your mouth water.
This modern Italian restaurant serves up delicious Italian comfort food in a high-energy, contemporary setting. Their house risotto recipe was passed down by the owner Rocco’s mother. Her refined recipe is simple and bursting with savoury flavour. From spaghetti, pizza, filet mignon to their house risotto, Matto is sure to satisfy any craving.
Striving for modernity and always focusing on precision, chef Yvan Lebrun blends French and Canadian cuisine together beautifully. Having grown up in a fishing village in Brittany, France, the menu naturally features salmon, oysters and seasonal berries for good measure. The dining room is characterized by a warm and understated elegance. The decor is simple and subtle: the food is the main attraction at Initiale.
Walking through the gilded lobby of the Château Frontenac, the air of luxury already begins to set in. Le Sam, with its glorious view of the Saint-Lawrence river (depending on where you sit) greets you with its gold and dark blue velvet booths, gold bar and stools, and overall elegant decor. Their creative cocktails pack a punch of inventive flavours like the old oak’fashioned with bittered sling malagasy chocolate bitters. Enjoy their French bistro fares in a classically-chic setting.
This restaurant, offering classic, hearty Quebec dishes, is set in the oldest house in Quebec City built in 1675-76. The five dining rooms, classically decorated with antiques, has an extensive menu of gamey meats, meat pies, and other traditional dishes generally doused in delicious gravy sauces. Their maple syrup pie served with unsweetened whipped-cream is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Expect friendly service in a warm environment at this staple restaurant.
Chef Jean Luc Boulay and his partner Arnaud Marchand find inspiration in hearty, healthy, nordic cuisine. The menu adapts to the products available each season, and highlights produce that can be found in the boreal forest like berries, syrups, gamey meat and fish. The menu also features a couple vegetarian options, but more importantly, more than a couple dessert options. Top off your meal in this modern, chic, chocolate-wood floors bistro with a sweet clover and blackcurrant crème brûlée!
When you visit Quebec City, the head-honcho of attractions is the Château Frontenac and the Terrasse Dufferin. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company during the late 19th century, the hotel was intended to appeal to wealthy travellers and encourage luxury tourism. Today, the Château still towers over Old Town Quebec City and draws patrons from around the world. You can step inside and marvel at the glorious and grandiose lobby with gold doors and arches and detailed work in the wood-paneled walls. Just outside the hotel is the Terrasse Dufferin, a large boardwalk where you’ll see an array of buskers, great views of the lower town and the Saint-Lawrence river.
The funicular is a cable car that ascends and descends the steep hill that separates the upper and lower town of Old Quebec. The short ride, for a small price, saves you the trouble of heading up the Breakneck Stairs. Enjoy a magnificent view of Old Quebec and the ships on the Saint-Lawrence river as you go up or down!
The Citadelle is the oldest military building in Canada and is still active today. Take a tour inside the walls where you can see the changing of the guard ceremony at a specific time in the morning. Learn about Quebec City’s military history and how this military installation still functions today!
This store features organic and artisanal food products like pastas, flour, jams, meats, oils, bread, maple syrup and other delicious products you can pack in your suitcase and bring home. See their range of locally-sourced original products and pay special attention to their selection of Quebec wines!
A haven for sausage lovers, So-Cho makes sausages that are fresh and succulent. Choose from a variety of different kinds of sausages, from spicy ones, cheesy ones, to even a pizza sausage with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. These wieners are sure to make your mouth water!
If a hot bubble bath is your idea of relaxation, Candeur Savonnerie Artisanale can hook you up with artisanal soaps with a myriad of lovely scents. With ingredients hailing from Quebec, like goat’s milk and fine oils, these soaps are handcrafted with tradition in mind.
This antique boutique specializes in Quebec antiques and was opened in 1967. Owners Gérard et Mathieu are passionate about their collection and are happy to share their enthusiasm with you. See their selection of paintings, chairs, tables, and other furniture, decor and collectables.
Have a soup, sandwich, and sweet at Paillard for a delicious lunch. Whether you’re hungry for a full meal or looking for a little snack like a croissant or pastry, Paillard bakes it all fresh. Though it tends to get busy at peak hours (lunch and breakfast), there’s ample seating at the back of the bakery.
This Argentinian cafe is a great lunch spot for a sandwich and coffee on their outdoor terrace. Their plates of charcuterie and Argentinian delights are a must-try to share among friends. Don’t forget to top off your meal with a one of their homemade desserts!
Step into this bright and inviting cafe or take a moment to relax on their Parisian-style terrace. From macarons, pastries, gelato, sundaes, sandwiches, iced drinks and more, La Maison Smith is a stop that’ll tickle your tastebuds. We recommend trying their caramel mocha and pecan croissant!
Artefact Café is a little bit of everything: cafe, restaurant, lounge, chic hangout, bar, and the list goes on. It’s located at the bottom of the Auberge Saint-Antoine hotel and draws a crowd looking for a cool cocktail or glass of whiskey, scotch, or wine. They serve a variety of meals (pasta, salads, meat and fish) in the dining room equipped with comfortable couches.
Pub des Borgia claims to have the best French onion soup in town–and they might be right! Topped with cheese to crack through with your spoon, their French onion soup is a delicious pairing to their selection of craft beer, scotch and wine. With exposed-stone walls, hardwood floors and a warm fireplace, this bar is a great place to warm up or to enjoy a summer evening on their small outdoor terrace.
In a beautiful room overlooking the Saint-Lawrence river, Le 1608’s stunning circular bar appears to glow in the dimly-lit room with dark wooden walls. Share a platter of fine Quebec cheese, which you can select from their refined and extensive menu, under the pendant lights that hang from the ceiling. Enjoy a cocktail in this chic and classically-elegant bar located in the Château Frontenac.
Set in the historic house that used to belong to Marie-Anne Barbel, an influential figure in the 18th century, l’Oncle Antoine invites you to sample their local Quebec microbrews surrounded by history. This cavernous bar envelops patrons in a dome of exposed stone. Red leather tufted couches line the walls on the inside, and during the warmer months, the bar extends outside onto their terrace. Sample scotch and whiskey from their long menu and pair your drink with a European hot dog or smoked-meat sandwich.
In the heart of Old Quebec is a traditional English-style tavern that serves-up beers, scotch, pub food and musical events from jazz to blues and folk. Sit among friends surrounded by beer paraphernalia, brick walls and chocolate-wood beams.
Experience a touch of Ireland in Quebec City at this large pub that serves delicious, hearty pub grub. Think baked mac and cheese, saucy ribs served on golden fries, tartare, burgers, delectable pasta, and much more. Set in an historic house with stone walls and green accents all over, this pub is perfect if you’re looking to catch a game among enthusiastic sports fans.
If the combination of cocktails and jazz excites you, Bar Ste-Angèle will have you raring to go. With around 50 different cocktails and jazz acts playing late into the night on Thursday through Saturday, this Old Town bar is a guaranteed good time. A warm and friendly vibe envelops the bar that looks not unlike an underground speakeasy.
3h walking tour. Sample varied dishes ranging from traditional to modern foods and get a feel for what it is to be Québécois! Enjoy 6 unique & acclaimed tasting locations. $59 CAD +Taxes & Fees (Includes all tastings)