What to do and see in Quebec City, Canada: The Best Free Things to do

September 18, 2021 Marlin Saiz

Quebec City may be the only fortified city north of Mexico, but it welcomes visitors with open arms. Explore the Citadel, where you might catch Canadian troops staging a military ceremony. As for food, you could splurge on afternoon tea at the Chateau Frontenac, or do as the locals do and snack on poutine—french fries with gravy and cheese curds.
Restaurants in Quebec City

1. Old Quebec

Rue de Tresor, Quebec City, Quebec GIR 5B8 Canada 4182625515 http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/300
Excellent
82%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5.0 based on 13,360 reviews

Old Quebec

Reviewed By nowpacking - Dallas, United States

Walk through one of the city gates and you will be transported back in time - wander the cobblestone streets, ride in horse drawn carriages, dine at sidewalk cafes, shop in the artist's alley way, and photograph countless historic buildings. The huge boardwalk overlooking the historic lower town stretches across the front of the beautiful Chateau Frontenac providing the perfect place to sit and enjoy - especially if you can get up early and beat the crowds! Lots of restaurants, shops, beautiful churches (don't miss Notre Dame and the church in Place Royal) and so much charming architecture. Take the stairs down to the lower city or ride the funicular ... stroll the streets, take lots of photographs and have lunch. In the lower city visit Place Royal and Notre-Dame-des-Victories church to see the huge model ship hanging from the ceiling - then eat pizza at La Pizz or a snack at Maison Smith. If you need a ride back up catch the funicular! Don't miss the gorgeous fountain outside the gate and across from the beautiful Parliment building.

2. Terrasse Dufferin

2, rue d'Auteuil / D'Auteuil street, 2 chateau Frontenac, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 5C2 Canada +1 418-648-7016 http://baladodecouverte.com/circuits/129/poi/1567/tresor-sous-la-terrasse-dufferin
Excellent
67%
Good
30%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 3,593 reviews

Terrasse Dufferin

This elevated area offers panoramic views of Old Quebec and the St. Lawrence River. Winter adrenalin junkies line up by the thousands at Les Glissades de la Terrasse to experience the rush of zooming downhill from 270 feet high (82 meters) in a toboggan speeding up to 60 mph (90 kilometers per hour) to the bottom 500 feet (152 meters) away. Located on the Dufferin Terrace overlooking the St. Lawrence River behind Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the ride is open from mid-December through late March.

Reviewed By mrl325 - Mumbai, India

Terrasse Dufferin connects the upper town wirh the lower town by staircase or furnicular. You can sit on benches and see the street performances, marvel at the massive chateau fontenac, see the beautiful park and statues,look down on beautiful river and see the lower town, climb on the outer walls of the citadel

3. Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement)

1045, Rue des Parlementaires, Quebec City, Quebec G1A 1A3 Canada +1 418-643-7239 [email protected] http://www.assnat.qc.ca
Excellent
55%
Good
38%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,141 reviews

Parliament Building (Hotel du Parlement)

Designed by Eugène-Étienne Taché, the Parliament Building is a monument to the glory of the women and men who marked the history of Québec and French America. Built between 1877 and 1886 in the architectural style of the Second Empire and inspired by the expansion of the Louvre in Paris, this unique structure was recognized as a Québec national historic monument in 1985. Its architecture and rich ornamentation illustrate the words engraved above the main entrance, “Je me souviens” (I remember), which later became Québec’s motto. Many species of trees, shrubs and plants representative of the wide variety of flora native to Québec can be observed when walking around the gardens surrounding the Parliament Building.

Reviewed By TrevorTh - Toronto, Canada

We pre-booked our free tour online with ease and arrived early, as per the instructions to account for the security screening. The tour was fantastic. Our guide was knowledgeable and eager to share stories about the building. We left the tour with a much better understanding and appreciation of Quebec history and culture and politics. The new visitor centre is beautiful and complements the historic beauty of the older parts of the building. We especially loved the visit to the library. One of our highlights to Quebec City.

4. Battlefields Park (Parc des Champs-de-Bataille)

Discovery Pavilion of the Plains of Abraham, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 5H3 Canada +1 418-648-4071 http://www.ccbn-nbc.gc.ca/
Excellent
48%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
8%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 446 reviews

Battlefields Park (Parc des Champs-de-Bataille)

This bucolic park includes the Plains of Abraham, where the decisive battle that led to British control of Quebec took place.

Reviewed By 716sachink - Plainview, United States

A visit to the Battlefields Park takes one back into history when the French and British fought a battle. Certainly worth visiting.

5. Basilique Cathedrale - Notre-Dame-de-Quebec

16 rue Buade, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 4A1 Canada +1 418-692-2533 http://www.patrimoine-religieux.com/en/our-churches/notre-dame-de-quebec-basilica-cathedral-/
Excellent
60%
Good
32%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 2,576 reviews

Basilique Cathedrale - Notre-Dame-de-Quebec

This famous 17th-century cathedral has been restored several times but still provides visitors with an ambiance of centuries past.

Reviewed By ldjs - Fort Lee, United States

Beautiful cathedral with very unusual image of Christ holding the cross, lots of gold leaf and the holy door to open again in 2025. Canadian dignitaries are buried here. The cathedral is quite important for Quebec and Canada and a heritage site. Definitely worth a visit.

6. Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires

Place Royale 32, Rue Sous-Le-Fort, Quebec City, Quebec G1K 4G7 Canada +1 418-692-1650 http://www.notre-dame-de-quebec.org/notre-dame-des-victoires-church
Excellent
48%
Good
42%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 398 reviews

Eglise Notre Dame des Victoires

This late 17th-century church, situated on the Place Royale, is one of the city's chief historical landmarks.

Reviewed By yhztravels - Halifax, Canada

For all movie buffs, this beautiful church was featured in the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Catch Me If You Can, with Tom Hanks! It's a stunning church with a beautiful little courtyard in front.

7. Jardin Jeanne-d'Arc

Avenue Tache & Avenue Wilfrid-Laurier, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 2L2 Canada +1 418-649-6157 http://www.ccbn-nbc.gc.ca/fr/nature-jardins/jardin-jeanne-arc
Excellent
50%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 417 reviews

Jardin Jeanne-d'Arc

Located in the Plains of Abraham, this statue of the French martyr is a tribute to the soldiers who died in the historic battle between the French and British that occurred here in 1759.

Reviewed By SLWS5775 - Jerusalem, Israel

The park is part of the Battlefield park, and a transition from the Terasse Dufferin, Governor's Terrace. Quebec is a walking city and these flow one into the other with remarkable ease and enjoyment. The flowers and trees are an oasis to relax and have some quiet moments.

8. La Promenade des Gouverneurs

Dufferin Terrace, Quebec City, Quebec G1R 4P5 Canada http://www.ville.quebec.qc.ca/citoyens/patrimoine/quartiers/vieux_quebec/interet/promenade_gouverneurs.aspx
Excellent
59%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 815 reviews

La Promenade des Gouverneurs

This elevated walkway provides wonderful views of the city and the St. Lawrence River.

Reviewed By Gonen2014 - Haifa, Israel

La Promenade des Gouverneurs is a beautiful hiking trail that connects to Terrasse Dufferin, and allows you to encircle part of Quebec Citadel (La Citadelle) and reach the Plains of Abraham. The view of the St. lawrence River is beautiful, and at the westernmost view point you will find toilets and even ice cream!

9. Breakneck Steps (L'Escalier Casse-Cou)

Quebec City, Quebec Canada http://www.quebecregion.com/en/quebec-city-and-area/stairways
Excellent
46%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 781 reviews

Breakneck Steps (L'Escalier Casse-Cou)

This steep stairway connects Lower Town with the Terrasse Dufferin.

Reviewed By 4honeynugget - Elkton, United States

Besides being the perfect Instagram shot, this is the best spot from which to take in all that is Old Quebec. The restaurants and shops, the streets themselves, the lights at night...like walking into a snow globe! Do not miss it.

10. Upper Town (Haute-Ville)

Quebec City, Quebec Canada +1 418-657-9177 http://www.hotelvieuxquebec.ca
Excellent
71%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1,030 reviews

Upper Town (Haute-Ville)

The hilly section of the city known as Upper Town developed later than the original settlement it overlooks.

Reviewed By JLC-mtl2015 - Montreal, Canada

The delimitation of the old Quebec, the Haute-Ville and the other areas is not clear to me. I had to google it to understand something so obvious. Downtown Quebec City is divided into two parts, Upper Town and Lower Town which only depends on altitude. Lower Town is mainly the old port and the Petit-Champlain area – between the cap and the river. The Upper Town is a wide area that sits on top of Cap Diamand. Old Quebec is part of the Haute Ville (Upper Town), so is the Parliament Hill, the Plains of Abraham and many more historical buildings. Many religious infrastructure are in the haute-ville. This is why you will find in this area a fewer religious buildings like: the cathedral, the Séminaire de Québec, the collège des Jésuites, the couvent des Ursulines, to name a few. Forts and castle, like the famous Chateau Champlain (Castle) is in this area. There is also many parks and square. Some parks in the Upper Town includes De l'Esplanade, Des Gouverneurs and Montmorency parks just to name a few. The City Hall is also part of this neighbourhood. You can explore around for hours and I recommend on foot, it is the best way.

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