Even if you're a regular visitor to the area, there are so many attractions and things to do that it's difficult to take them all in. Of course, when you get to know a place, you tend to return to familiar places. But maybe you'd like to step off the beaten path and discover something new?

Here are a few suggestions to break with routine and explore other sides of Québec City:

Guided City Tour with Cicérone | Credit:  Cicérone Tours
Credit: Cicérone Tours

Treat Yourself to a Theme Tour

You've probably walked past Parliament, the fortifications, or magnificent churches many times, but have you gone in? There's no time like the present to satisfy your curiosity.

Or maybe you're drawn to the hidden side of history. Explore city neighbourhoods from a different historical perspective with a theme tour, or take a look at the Old City by lantern-light and hear about its murders and mysteries.

Exploring Differently

Wander Through Neighbourhoods Bursting with Life

Feel the pulse of the city away from the usual tourist districts as you stroll through lively neighbourhoods, rub shoulders with the locals, and enjoy friendly encounters.

Get into the swing of things in Limoilou, a good-naturedly Bohemian part of town where twisty stairs extend from second-story walk-ups to the ground. Check out the hip restaurants in Saint-Sauveur, some of which have garnered major awards. Over in Montcalm you can feast your eyes on stately homes and linger at one of the charming cafés on Avenue Cartier. Then comb through the treasures in the many one-of-a-kind shops of Saint-Roch.

Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier | Credit:  Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier - Sépaq
Credit: Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier - Sépaq

Getting Outside the City

Québec City is surrounded by lovely countryside packed with things to see and do.

The fabulous natural attractions of the Portneuf area are a secret closely guarded by outdoor enthusiasts. And then there’s Île d’Orléans, dotted with roadside fruit and vegetable stands where visitors sample authentic products of the island’s historic farm culture. Take a trip down the Côte-de-Beaupré shore and fall under the spell of the historic homes along the New France Route. Or set course for adventure amid the tumultuous rivers and mountain peaks of the Jacques Cartier area.

Musée des plaines d'Abraham | Credit:  Musée des plaines d'Abraham
Credit: Musée des plaines d'Abraham

Step Back into History on the Plains of Abraham

The Plains of Abraham are part of Battlefields National Park, one of the world’s iconic city parks—and much more than just a place for a nice walk.

Get up close and personal with the Siege of Québec with Battles: 1759–1760, an incredible immersive projection that drops you right into the thick of the action. Or let Atten-tion! put history at your fingertips with its augmented-reality exploration of Québec’s Martello Towers from their origins to the present day. Then climb aboard Abraham’s Bus where Abraham Martin recounts the fascinating story and hidden secrets of this richly evocative place.

Tasting at Cassis Monna & filles | Credit:  Cassis Monna & filles
Credit: Cassis Monna & filles

Explore all Kinds of Fascinating, Fun Museums

Check out the Québec City Area’s many museums, where learning and fun go hand in hand. You’ll be delighted by their diversity and the great things they have on display.

And don’t miss the local economuseums where you can see artisans at work, learn about traditional crafts, and maybe pick up some great gifts too.

Mural of Quebecers  | Credit:  Yves Tessier
Credit: Yves Tessier

Take the Mural Tour

Ever notice the gigantic murals all over the city? Beautiful and alive with details, each of them tells a story: the founding of Québec City, the growth of the port since the days of New France, 400 hundred years of Québec political life, the traditions of the Wendat First Nation, and much more!

A walk around Parliament Hill and the Old City will uncover many, but you'll find more all over the region. Create your own tour!

Rivière Saint-Charles Linear Park | Credit:  Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles
Credit: Parc linéaire de la Rivière-Saint-Charles

Go Where the Locals go

Take in the St. Lawrence River in all its majesty on Promenade Samuel-De Champlain, the shoreline park that runs along Boulevard Champlain from the Pierre Laporte Bridge to Côte de Sillery. It’s a great place for biking, inline skating, soccer, kayaking, and more.

There’s a linear park along the Saint Charles River as well where you can hop on a bike or hike the 32‑kilometre walking path and enjoy all the natural beauty. You’ll see a variety of birds and plants on your way through various natural habitats and historic sites. An oasis!

Place Royale | Credit:  Claudel Huot
Credit: Claudel Huot

Get Inside Historical Houses

Traces of New France are still to be found in the Québec City area, notably in the form of authentic 18th century homes, most of which are classified as historical sites.

Among them are:

- Maison Chevalier in the Old City

Maison Henry-Stuart on Grande Allée

Maison Hamel-Bruneau and Maison des Jésuites in the Sainte-Foy—Sillery—Cap-Rouge district

Maison Ephraïm-Bédard in Trait-Carré

Maison Girardin in Beauport

Maison Drouin on Île d'Orléans.

Come soak up the ambiance of days gone by!

Joan of Arc Garden | Credit:  Yves Tessier
Credit: Yves Tessier

Contemplate Resplendent Gardens

You've undoubtedly set foot in the city's major parks. But did you know that Québec City also boasts numerous elegant gardens, including a botanical garden?

Roger-Van den Hende Gardens on the Université Laval campus welcomes you to a marvellous six hectare site, complete with a water garden, arboretum, pergola, rose garden, and plant collections bursting with colours and scents.

Other gardens are every bit as enticing—some are historical, others have been the centrepiece for urban revitalization initiatives, and some are just plain beautiful!

Baie de Beauport | Credit:  Baie de Beauport
Credit: Baie de Beauport

Hit the City Beach

Did you know you can swim in the St. Lawrence River in Québec City? Baie de Beauport’s fabulous fine-sand beach is a magnet for swimmers and beach-goers.

Conditions are great for all kinds of water and beach sports including kayaking, paddleboarding, kitesurfing, and beach volleyball. The bay is also the site of a series of summer events, including several big-name shows. 

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