Québec City’s Holiday Season is simply magical. Every year, residents and visitors eagerly await the beginning of December when the city lights up for the Holidays. Entire neighbourhoods and iconic buildings form a dazzling itinerary you can easily complete in a night. Plan your route with a map of the city’s best holiday decorations and check out these magnificent photos.
What makes it special for the Holidays: Québec City’s Old-World charm becomes all the more delightful with decorations and a blanket of snow. From Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church in Place Royale to the end of Rue du Petit-Champlain, experience a true winter wonderland. You’ll see right away why this street was voted Canada’s favourite in 2014 by Great Places in Canada. Enjoy 30 seconds of magic with this video of the Petit Champlain district at Christmas.
To see and do: A host of outdoor activities add to the fairyland ambiance during the Holiday Season.
What makes it special for the Holidays: Place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville tops the charts for holiday atmosphere. No doubt the inspiration of the Boutique de Noël just down the street counts for something. With majestic Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral on one side and City Hall (which puts on quite a show for Halloween too) on the other, you can feast your eyes wherever you look!
To see an do: The German Christmas Market is another favourite attraction—a delightful village of wooden huts where exhibitors display their original, one-of-a-kind wares.
What makes it special for the Holidays: The Théâtre Capitole, Palais Montcalm, and Saint-Jean Gate—perhaps the best known of the city’s fortifications—are always beautiful. But add a skating rink and a dash of holiday finery, and the square becomes even more dazzling.
To see and do: Skating, of course! Rent a pair of skates and strut your stuff to the musical accompaniment, then take a stroll along Rue Saint-Jean through one of Québec City’s signature quartiers, Faubourg Saint-Jean.
What makes it special for the Holidays: Symbol of the city and the world’s most photographed hotel, the Château Frontenac leaves no holds barred to impress its guests during the festive season. But did you know that everyone is welcome to come in and enjoy the magnificent, magical holiday decorations inside, too? You might even bump into Santa Claus in person.
To see and do: And don’t miss the toboggan run on Dufferin Terrace at the foot of the Château. For over a hundred years it’s been hurling thrill-seekers downhill at speeds up to 70 kilometres per hour.
What makes it special for the Holidays: The bars and restaurants of Grande Allée are a hub of local nightlife all year round, but in December the area also draws sightseers with its beautiful decorations and buildings all aglow. Make your way down to the Parliament Building, too, where myriad lights illuminate the winter scene.
To see and do: Grande Allée is also the place to ring in the New Year. Join tens of thousands of revellers bundled up for Québec City’s outdoor New Year’s Eve in Québec City spectacular on December 31.
What makes it special for the Holidays: A few minutes from Old Québec, the Plains of Abraham and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Avenue Cartier charms with the lights hanging above the street and decorating the storefront of the shops lining it.
To see and do: Avenue Cartier runs through the heart of Québec City’s Art District and is very popular with the locals for its numerous one-of-a-kind restaurants, bars and stores. Come have a look!