7 Things to Do for First-Time Visitors

Dufferin Terrace
Jeff Frenette Photography

You'll find 400 years of history and a thousand and one things to experience. Among them, Québec City's top picks are strongly recommended for your first trip to the capital. Here are a few suggestions to help you get to the heart of Québec City:

  • 1 Enjoy a guided tour of Old Québec

    The Old City is like an open-air museum, and the best way to explore it is with a local guide.

    The Château Frontenac, the Dufferin Terrace, the fortifications, the parliament building, the shops of Petit-Champlain—a new living history lesson awaits around every corner. No matter which sightseeing tour you pick, you’re in for a real treat!

    Pssit! Old Québec is the perfect backdrop for a photo shoot. Why not treat yourself to one with a professional photographer to immortalize your stay?

  • 2 Do some Shopping in Petit-Champlain

    All aglow with the magic of winter, Rue du Petit-Champlain is one of the most charming streets in Canada. There’s nothing like it anywhere else! Every shop has something you’ll fall in love with. Meet the artisans and marvel at their work. Discover the unique flair and talent of local makers, sample regional delicacies, or let yourself be moved by a work of art.

    Find the perfect souvenir for that special someone (or a treat for yourself) as you wander the postcard-perfect streets lined with enchanting, one-of-a kind boutiques.

  • 3 Walk along the Fortifications

    Take a stroll to remember in the continent’s only remaining fortified city north of Mexico! Discover the charm of Old Québec from new vantage points, including the Citadelle and the Plains of Abraham, as you cover the 4.6 km of the city’s ramparts.

    Admire the four gates along the way (Saint-Jean, Saint-Louis, Kent, and Prescott) and snap a few shots sure to rival anything you’d see in a travel magazine. See Old Québec and the Parliament Building from a different angle by climbing the ramparts at Saint-Jean Gate and continuing to Rue Saint-Louis.

  • 4 Head to the Top of Observatoire de la Capitale

    Visit Québec City’s highest viewpoint to get your bearings and take it all in!

    Take the Observatoire de la Capitale elevator 221 metres up for a bird’s eye view of the St. Lawrence River, Île d'Orléans, the Plains of Abraham, and the south shore… The star-shaped Citadelle and the fortifications surrounding Old Québec are even more striking from that height.

  • 5 Take the Québec City—Lévis Ferry

    Sail the St. Lawrence river for peanuts!

    Board the ferry and observe the play of the current (and chunks of ice crashing against each other in winter) while you enjoy the fresh breeze. Admire the magnificent landscapes, including Cap Diamant and Montmorency Falls—beautifully lit up at night—as well as the steep cliffs of Lévis on the far shore. Back on land, take a moment to stroll along the bike path beside the river. 

    The return trip takes about an hour and your pictures will be like postcards!

  • 6 Feel the Spray at Parc de la Chute-Montmorency


    Take a short drive outside Old Québec and marvel at the sheer power of a waterfall 30 metres higher than Niagara Falls.

    Whether you explore on foot or by cable car, you’ll be blown away by this wonder of nature. Adrenaline junkies can get closer to the action by hiking the cliff along the via ferrata trail or crossing the cove on a double zipline. And it’s all just as enchanting in winter with the falls’ icy walls and the impressive Sugar Loaf ice cone that forms at the base.

  • 7 Savour Local Products and Regional Fare


    Eating well is ingrained in Québec culture. Traditional Québec cuisine is inspired by the hearty country fare of our grandmothers and the recipes they passed down from generation to generation. Heard people rave about the famous Ashton poutine? It’s a contemporary take on a classic and a must for every visitor!

    The Québec City area also abounds in delicious local products. Cheese, fresh berry products, ice wine and cider—indulge your taste buds as you explore rustic eateries and local farmers’ markets.

Québec cité
Editorial Team

As proud ambassadors of our beloved city, we’re delighted to be sharing the things and places we love most in the Québec City area. What a joy for us to help you discover everything this vibrant and welcoming city has to offer!

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