Portrait of the Québec City Area
World-Class Tourism Infrastructures
The Québec City area is home to world-class tourism infrastructures that provide a full range of amenities and comforts to visitors.
Meeting rooms at major hotels have convention facilities capable of hosting several hundred participants in friendly surroundings.
For major events, the Québec City Convention Centre and the ExpoCité Exhibition Centre are an ideal choice.
Québec City is a thriving business center well served by an international airport, rail links, and an efficient highway network. How to get there
Memorable Gourmet Moments
When it comes to gastronomy, Québec City proudly lays claim to some of the finest restaurants in Québec, if not North America.
Québec City chefs will treat you to gourmet moments you'll never forget.
The cradle of French civilization in North America and the only walled city North of Mexico, Québec City and its ramparts are home to a myriad of treasures that will delight history buffs.
It's no secret that Old Québec is one of the city's main attractions. The walled city has a uniquely European flavour, with its narrow, winding streets and extensive array of boutiques, museums, and attractions.
Musée de la civilisation and Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec regularly present new exhibitions designed to please a wide variety of audiences.
Québec City has a well-deserved reputation as a fun-filled destination, thanks to its lively arts and sports scene and a calendar that's always full of events and activities.
Among them, who can forget the granddaddy of them all, the Québec Winter Carnival, the biggest in the world!
Other major attractions include the Québec City Summer Festival and SAQ New France Festival, which not only offer top-quality shows and entertainment, but also give visitors a chance to discover Québec culture.
Just Minutes Away
Just minutes from town, a different world of wide-open spaces awaits visitors. Nearby parks and facilities offer numerous sports and outdoor activities, plus opportunities to meet local farmers and sample tasty local specialty products.
Area attractions include some 15 golf courses, 4 ski resorts, and approximately 30 cross-country ski centers.
Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier and the Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area are popular destinations for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Safety and Hospitality
With its excellent safety record and very low crime rate, Québec City provides a vacation environment you can truly appreciate, no matter what your activities and interests.
Québec City is also famed for its hospitality. According to a Québec City Tourism survey, over 99% of visitors polled were satisfied or very satisfied with the welcome they received from residents.
For all these reasons, Québec City is premium destination that's sure to please.
Over the years, Québec City and its surrounding area have collected numerous tourism accolades: Discover them here.
Québec City at a Glance...
- Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain
- Recognized as the cradle of French civilization in North America
- Capital of the province of Québec and its 7.5 million inhabitants
- A UNESCO world heritage treasure (1985) on account of its historic district
- Home to Québec's National Assembly
- Covers an area of 9,000 km², and 250 kilometers east of Montréal
- Home to a population of 638,000 (Québec City area), 95% of them French-speaking. However, many people, including the vast majority of hospitality industry workers, also speak English
- Enviable cost of living in comparison to other international cities
- Major centre for the life sciences industry, including biopharmaceuticals and diagnostics, natural health products (cosmeceuticals and nutraceuticals), medical technologies and health-related information technology
- Secondary sector (manufacturing): pulp and paper, metallurgy, printing, food processing, construction (residential and commercial)
- Tertiary sector (services): as much as 80% of the region's GDP is derived from the service industry. The insurance and financial services sector represents $5 billion while public administration and government accounts for $4.2 billion; and health care, information and communication technologies, and electronics must also be considered.
- Nearly 4.6 million tourists per year (2009), including over 1.1 million from 75 countries outside Canada
- $1.35 billion in annual tourism spending (2009)
- 28,500 regular full-time tourism-related jobs in 2009
- Approximately 550 lodging establishments with a total capacity of nearly 16,400 rooms, including 5,000 in and around Old Québec. Hotels, motels, inns, and tourist homes represent 12,650 rooms. The difference represents the rooms in B&Bs, Tourist Homes, Youth Hostels and Education Facilities. There are 36 campgrounds (2009).
- Approximately 2.4 million rooms sold in 2009
- 4th destination in Canada, after Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver (number of visitors)
Source of visitors (2008):
- Québec 67%
- Canada 9.2%
- United States 12.4%
- Overseas 11.4%
Centuries of human contact
The Québec City region has been a point of contact between different peoples and nations from around the world for hundreds of years:
- First Nations have always been present in the Québec City region. They were the first to occupy the site prior to encountering the Europeans, whose arrival transformed the continent and the Native way of life.
- France, the first source of European immigrants to Québec and the country of origin for the founders of Québec City and New France.
- The British Isles became the new political masters of Québec City in 1763. Many immigrants travelled from the British Isles to settle across North America, with a number of Irish immigrants choosing to live in the Greater Québec Area.
- The United States, our neighbours to the south, were first our rivals, then our allies and are now essential partners for the economic vitality of Québec City, the province of Québec and Canada.
Stretching over 9,000 square kilometers (3,475 sq. mi.) in the heart of the St. Lawrence Valley, the Québec City region is blessed with a magnificent setting shaped by the venerable Laurentian Mountains and the majestic, 1,200-kilometer long (745 mile-long) St. Lawrence River.
Québec City is 250 kilometers east of Montréal and is adjacent to the regions of Charlevoix, Chaudière-Appalaches, Mauricie and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
One of Québec City's surprising particularities is that it is divided into two distinct parts: a promontory overlooking the St. Lawrence (Upper Town) and a low-lying area along the shore where colonists first set foot in New France (Lower Town).
The stairs of Québec City link the two parts of the capital. Two elevators, one of them free, are available to strollers.