Experience winter like never before!
Vacationing in the Québec City area for five days? The city has so much to offer in winter. Here’s an itinerary that will help you make the most of your stay.
Get your bearings—and an introduction to the city’s rich history—by taking a guided tour of Old Québec. Bundle up for a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city’s prettiest streets or make like a bird and admire the jaw-dropping snow-covered landscapes on a helicopter tour.
Catch the ferry to Lévis for amazing views of Québec City and the Château Frontenac. The sound of river ice scraping against the ship’s hull is especially striking. Back on terra firma, enjoy some of the best hot chocolate you’ve ever tasted.
Wander through the enchanting Petit-Champlain and Place-Royale neighbourhoods, taking in the delightful winter decorations. Keep an eye out for the many architectural details that point to Québec City’s French and British past.
After working up an appetite, you’ll no doubt be ready to try some of the traditional Québec cuisine available at specialty restaurants in town.
Head to Montmorency Falls Park to admire the winter landscape. The ice-bound cliffs bordering the falls are popular with daredevil climbers, so keep your eyes peeled. At the base of the falls, watch for the famous “sugar loaf” that forms as mist and spray freeze during the winter.
Leave time in your schedule to attend some of the big events that take place over the winter. Starting in November, the area around city hall comes to life with the magic of the German Christmas Market. And the New Year’s celebrations on Grande Allée go on for several days. In February, the Québec Winter Carnival heats up the streets of Old Québec and other neighbourhoods around the city.
Lace up a pair of skates and soak up the atmosphere—and great Québec music—at the outdoor rink in Place D'Youville. Or marvel at the spectacular setting of the ice oval on the Plains of Abraham. After you’ve hung up your skates for the night, treat yourself at one of Québec City’s gourmet restaurants or savour some delectable French cuisine at a friendly neighbourhood bistro.
Morning and Afternoon
A winter trip to Québec City just wouldn’t be the same without a visit to North America’s one and only Ice Hotel. This ephemeral architectural masterpiece is redesigned every year. Don’t miss the unique sculptures and incredible décor. While you’re there, have a blast at Valcartier Vacation Village. With 35 slides, it’s the largest winter playground in North America. Or maybe you’d rather hit the waterslides at Bora Park, Québec’s largest indoor waterpark.
Morning and Afternoon
Strap on your snowshoes and head out to explore Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier, one of Québec’s most breathtaking glacial valleys. With 11 trails totalling over 75 kilometres, the park serves up incredible scenery and lofty plateaus that overlook the frozen river. If nature isn’t your thing, pay a visit to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, home to the world’s preeminent collection of Québec art, or check out Musée de la civilisation, a city institution renowned for its innovative and interactive exhibitions.
Discover the true meaning of relaxation at one of the Québec City area’s Nordic spas.
Morning and Afternoon
Some of the residents at Aquarium du Québec just can’t get enough of winter, especially the harbour seals, polar bears and walruses. Observe these and 10,000 other marine animals. If Aboriginal culture piques your interest, don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Wendake and the Traditional Huron site Onhoüa Chetek8e, the most authentic recreation of a Québec Aboriginal village.
Winter sports enthusiasts should plan to spend at least a day at one of the region’s four ski resorts (most of which also offer night skiing). Cross country skiers are also in luck—the region offers the longest ski season in North America. Looking for something more adventurous? How about a dogsled or snowmobile excursion.
You can’t go home without getting a taste of Québec’s most famous dish—poutine!
Remember, when you’re exploring Old Québec and enjoying the region’s many outdoor events, be sure to dress appropriately for your activity—and for the weather!