The 20 Best Things to Do in Quebec (Bucket List)
You’re planning to visit Quebec and you’re looking for the best things to do during your trip?
You’re at the right place!
Quebec, the French speaking province of Canada, is renown for its amazing natural landscapes and vibrant cities. No matter if you plan to visit in Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn, you will for sure find beautiful places to visit and great activities to enjoy in Quebec!
In order to help you plan your trip, I’ve thus put together this guide of the 20 best things to do in Quebec, with all my best tips to make the most of your visits.
So, what are the best things to do in Quebec?
Let’s find out!
- The 20 Best Things to Do in Quebec (Bucket List)
- Visiting Quebec: All Best Places to Visit
- 1. Montreal
- 2. Quebec City
- 3. The Carnaval of Quebec, or Quebec Winter Carnival
- 4. The Montmorency Falls
- 5. Whale watching in Tadoussac
- 6. Autumn in Quebec province
- 7. Snow Tu1bing and Snow Rafting
- 8. Snowmobiling and Dog Sledding in Quebec
- 9. Discover Gaspé Peninsula
- 10. The Saguenay Fjord
- 11. Discover the typical Sugar Shacks
- 12. La Mauricie National Park
- 13. Taste the famous Poutine
- 14. Visit the Omega Park
- 15. Go skiing with a view of the Saint-Lawrence river
- 16. Ice Skating in the middle of the forest
- 17. Canoeing in Quebec
- 18. The Magdalen Islands
- 19. Anticosti Island
- 20. The Weekend Brunch
- You’re traveling in Canada? These articles will help you!
- Visiting Quebec: All Best Places to Visit
Visiting Quebec: All Best Places to Visit
It’s impossible to start this Quebec tourist guide without mentioning its most visited city, Montreal. This lively city offers many great things to do and see!
Here are the best places to visit in Montreal:
- The Mount-Royal plateau, the most famous neighborhood of the city, with many bars, restaurants and shops. You will love its typical colorful houses with outdoor stairs!
- Mount-Royal park: Enjoy a bit of greenery in the heart of Montreal! In this park, you will discover many shaded trails and beautiful viewpoints. Don’t miss the Mount Royal Belvedere: it’s the best place to admire the whole southern part of the city. And, how about a picnic along Beaver Lake? This artificial lake, with its playground for children and bar-restaurant with a terrace, is the perfect place to spend a summer afternoon. It’s also easy to approach the many squirrels, as they’re quite curious. Mount Royal Park is clearly one of the must-see attractions in Quebec province!
- The Old Montreal, the city’s oldest neighborhood. There, you can admire the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal, Jacques Cartier Square and the Bonsecours Market.
- The Montreal Botanical Garden and its more than 20 thematic gardens
- Saint-Joseph’s Oratory, famous for its architecture
If you want more information about Montreal, you should check my definitive guide: The 45 best things to do in Montreal.
2. Quebec City
During your stay in Quebec, you should definitely visit the province’s capital and 2nd largest city, Quebec City. This UNESCO World Heritage site has a more European feel than Montreal. It feels a bit like my home country, France!
Quebec City’s best points of interest are:
- The Château Frontenac, the city’s most iconic landmark
- The Quartier du Petit-Champlain, North America’s oldest Neighborhood, with its Place Royale and pretty pedestrian alleys.
- Taking a stroll along the Terrasse Dufferin and enjoy its incredible view of the Saint-Lawrence river and the Île d’Orléans.
- The Citadel of Quebec and its fortified walls
You can find a list of all the best places to visit in Quebec City in my article: Visit Quebec City: the 15 best things to do and see.
If you’re visiting Quebec City between late January and mid-February, then you have to attend the Carnaval of Quebec, or Quebec Winter Carnival. It’s definitely one of the province’s major events.
Every year, thousands of people are coming to Quebec City to enjoy the world’s biggest winter carnival.
You will discover a large number of events and contests during these 2 weeks, including the international Snow and Ice sculpture competition, day and night parades, the famous Snow Bath, the icy canoe races, and many other activities such as giant board games, ice skating, sledging,…
Also, don’t forget to take a souvenir photo with the carnival’s mascot, “Bonhomme Carnaval”. This huge white man wearing a red tuque can be seen all over the carnival.
4. The Montmorency Falls
When visiting Quebec province, you should also see the Montmorency Falls, located 40 minutes away from Quebec City.
These 83-meter high falls are higher than the Niagara falls. The place is really impressive, especially in winter, as the river can be completely frozen.
There are many points of views to observe the falls. You can access them with the cable-car, the panoramic stairs or the suspension bridge. And if you’re looking for a thrilling experience, you should definitely try the 300-meter zip line and the “via ferrata”.
You will find more detailed information, including the rates, on the official website.
5. Whale watching in Tadoussac
The Quebec province is one of the best places in the world to go whale watching, and you should really spend an afternoon trying to get a look at these huge cetaceans.
It’s among the most popular attractions in the region for both locals and tourists. The whale watching season starts in May and end in October.
You can go whale watching almost everywhere in Quebec, but the best place is definitely the North coast, and more specifically Tadoussac, a small village located close to the Saguenay Fjord and the Saint-Lawrence estuary.
There, you will have the choice between 3 different sea trips: a 3-hour cruise in a big boat, a 2-hour small zodiac tour or even a sea kayak excursion if you’re feeling adventurous!
If you’re choosing the Zodiac tour, you will get really close to the whales, and it’s quite impressive. Remember to dress warmly!
Here are the average rates for these 3 different sea trips:
- 3-hour cruise on a big boat (around 100 people on board) : 70$ per person
- 2-hour zodiac tour (between 10 and 30 passengers) : 60$ per person
- 2-hour sea kayak trip: 70$ per person
If you want to go whale watching in Tadoussac, you should opt for this incredible Zodiac boat tour. You can book it in advance clicking the button below:
6. Autumn in Quebec province
If you want to enjoy a magnificent and colorful scenery, then you should definitely visit Quebec in autumn.
Starting from late September, the trees are turning orange and red, creating a breathtaking postcard landscape. It’s also the best season to plan beautiful hikes during your itinerary in Quebec.
The best places to admire the stunning autumn colors in Quebec are:
- Mont Tremblant National Park: the marked trail starting from the village and reaching the summit is really nice, and you will get a beautiful view of the lake located below
- Jacques Cartier National Park, featuring more than 100 km of marked trails
- Mont-Sainte-Anne, one of the best places to admire the autumn colors
- The Cap Tourmente National Wildlife Area, where you can also observe many Snow Geese.
- The Vallée Bras du Nord
7. Snow Tu1bing and Snow Rafting
Snow Tubing and Rafting are clearly among the funniest things to do in Quebec during winter. You just have to slide down the slopes riding an inner tube, a buoy or a raft.
It’s really awesome!
If you’re looking for steep slopes, tight turns, huge bumps and thrilling speeds up to 100 km/h, you’re at the right place! And thanks to the mechanical lifts, you will slide all day and go up the slopes without any excessive effort.
You can go Snow Tubing in many parks, but I would recommend Saint Jean de Matha, located only 100 km away from Montreal. There, I spent a whole day without waiting much between my slides, as there wasn’t too many people.
It was a wonderful day and we enjoyed a perfect family atmosphere. A full-day ticket costs 28$ (VAT not included).
In Saint Jean de Matha, you can also enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoe hiking or ice skating. And of course, you can eat on the spot as there’s a restaurant. Be aware that the minimal height for snow rafting is 1m25.
And if you want to know everything about Snow Tubing and Snow Rafting in Saint Jean de Matha, you can check the official website.
8. Snowmobiling and Dog Sledding in Quebec
If you’re visiting Quebec during winter, you should spend a few days in the countryside. And how about a snowmobile or dog sled ride to discover its magnificent preserved landscape?
In Quebec, you will find many Outfitters (or “Pourvoiries” in French) offering dog sled rides. A 1-hour ride costs around 75$ per person. And if you want to go snowmobiling, a half-day (3h30) costs around 120$. You can also go snowmobiling and dog sledding on the same day for 240$.
You must be at least 21 and pay a 2000$ deposit to drive a snowmobile in Quebec.
During your weekend in the Quebec countryside, you can also discover ice fishing. Dig a hole in the ice and try to catch your dinner! A half-day ice fishing costs around 65$ per person, including the equipment.
The best regions to enjoy winter activities in Quebec are Gaspé Peninsula, the Laurentides, La Mauricie, the Eastern Townships and Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean. The snow conditions are often perfect there!
9. Discover Gaspé Peninsula
If you’re willing to spend a few days away from the big cities, then you should visit Gaspé Peninsula and its amazing scenery.
The easiest way to discover the peninsula is to rent a car and follow the costal road 132. There are many points of interest in Gaspé, but if you’re only staying a few days there, you should at least visit these 3 must-see places.
1) Make your 1st stop in Percé (literally “Pierced” in French). Right in front of the village, you will discover its famous huge pierced rock, standing in the Saint-Lawrence river and only connected to the mainland at low tide.
From Percé, you can also access the Bonaventure Island, hosting the world’s largest Northern Gannets colony. And how about doing an organized boat trip around the island to admire those magnificent birds?
2) Your 2nd stop will be Forillon National Park, at the Eastern end of Gaspé peninsula.
Hike and explore the region’s magnificent cliffs overlooking the sea and beautiful preserved forests. For example,you should take a stroll on the “Les Graves” trail, offering beautiful views of the ocean and the forest.
The park is a great place to observe an amazing wildlife, as thousands of sea birds and seals colonies are living here. You can also go whale watching, kayaking or fishing.
3) Your last stop should be The Gaspésie National Park. It’s truly an hiker’s paradise, with its more than 20 summits over 1000-meter high. If you’re lucky, you might encounter some moose, as the park hosts the only colony south of the Saint-Lawrence river.
As in Forillon National Park, you can also go canoeing, kayaking or fishing in one of the park’s 7 lakes and 3 rivers.
If you have enough time to spend several days in Gaspésie National Park, and if you’re an hiking lover, you should do the Appalachian Trail, a 100-km long marked trail crossing the park.
You can opt for a 4 days guided tour including the accommodation (mostly in shelters), the meals, and the luggage transfer from one shelter to another.
10. The Saguenay Fjord
The Saguenay Fjord is another place you must visit during your holidays in Quebec.
With its more than 400-meter high cliffs, this fjord offers beautiful viewpoints over the glacier valley and the Saguenay river.
There are many great ways to discover the Saguenay Fjord:
- On foot: walk on the marked trails of the Saguenay Fjord National Park. The 7-km long Statue Trail is the best if you want to admire splendid views from the summit.
- Rent a sea kayak to be amazed by the Fjord’s huge cliffs.
- Do a boat tour with an audio guide to learn more about the Fjord’s History and legends.
You should also visit the 2 villages of L’anse-Saint-Jean and Saint-Rose-du-Nord, members of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec.
Located in the heart of the Saguenay Fjord, these 2 villages are offering magnificent panoramas.
11. Discover the typical Sugar Shacks
If you’re visiting Quebec during spring, you definitely have to discover the Sugar Shacks.
It’s clearly among the most popular things to do in Quebec!
Every year, both locals and tourists are coming to the province’s many sugar shacks to celebrate the sugar time. At this time of the year, maple water starts flowing from the maple trees. Once boiled, it can be used to produce many typical Canadian products, such as maple syrup or maple butter.
The Sugar Shacks are usually located in the countryside, offering a charming scenery. There are many activities you can enjoy (sleigh rides, maple syrup production, traditional dance), but most people are coming there to eat a typical lunch.
Most of your meal will consist of maple syrup : maple glazed ham, potatoes, maple and bacon baked beans, sausages, eggs in syrup, and the famous “Oreilles de crisses”, deep-fried smoked pork jowls. And for desert, of course, maple candies and the renowned Maple Taffy: when you pour hot maple syrup directly into the snow, it becomes easy to wrap around a stick and makes a lollipop. A bit sticky but delicious!
You can find all the best Sugar Shacks in Quebec on this website. If you’re spending a few days in Quebec early spring, it’s clearly a must-see attraction!
12. La Mauricie National Park
La Mauricie National Park is located between Montreal and Quebec City, in the heart of the Laurentides mountains.
In this 536 km² park, you will discover more than 150 lakes, many rivers and huge waterfalls.
Fishing, biking, rafting, camping and of course hiking: there are many great activities to do in La Mauricie! You can also observe the amazing wildlife, as the park is full of moose, beavers and raccoons.
A 63-km long panoramic road crosses the park, starting from Saint-Mathieu-du-Parc or Saint-Jean-des-Piles.
Take some time during your road-trip to admire the beautiful panoramas. You should especially stop at the “Belvedere du Passage” to enjoy a magnificent view of Wapizagonke Lake.
The most famous excursion goes to the Waber falls. To get there, you will have to paddle on a raft for 4 kilometers, then walk for 4 other kilometers. And of course, you will have to go back to your starting point! As it takes a full day, don’t forget your picnic!
13. Taste the famous Poutine
Have you ever tried the Poutine? I really enjoyed this iconic dish from Quebec, but I can tell that it leaves no one indifferent: you either love it or hate it!
If you want to make a typical Poutine, all you will need french fries, brown gravy and cheese curds.
Once you’ve got these 3 ingredients, you can create many variations: change the sauce, the cheese, or add some meat, onions, mushrooms or even sausages!
There are more than 100 different recipes in some restaurants, but not all equal. Montreal’s most famous restaurant for its Poutine is “La Banquise”, open 24/7.
Be prepared to queue up at any time of the day. You should try “La duleton”: it’s a great classical Poutine with minced meat and onions, and it was clearly delicious!
If you want to have a look at the many Poutine variations, you can check “La Banquise” menu on their official website.
Poutine is clearly Quebec’s most famous dish. Every year, the “Poutine Week” is even organized, and more than 50 restaurants are competing and making a special Poutine just for this event. At the end of the week, the jury and consumers are electing their favorite ones in several categories.
14. Visit the Omega Park
The Omega Park is located South West of the Quebec province, about 100 kilometers away from Montreal.
In this wildlife park, you will discover many wild animals in their natural habitat. You can drive through the park for around 10 kilometers and observe wolves, black bears, moose or beavers.
There is also a marked walking trail, a picnic area and a shop. Don’t forget to buy carrots to feed some of the animals!
As the Omega Park is pretty big, you should spend at least half a day there. It’s clearly a great activity if you’re travelling to Quebec with children!
You can also rent an accommodation for the night, in the heart of the park. You will have the choice between tepees, tents, log cabins or even houses on stilts. A tepee for 2 costs around 100$ per night.
You will find every information you need on the park’s official website.
15. Go skiing with a view of the Saint-Lawrence river
There are many ski resorts in Quebec, but if you want to enjoy magnificent panoramas, you should go to Mont-Sainte-Anne, located 30 minutes away from Quebec City. From the summit, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Saint-Lawrence river.
There, you can go downhill skiing (for 77$ per day), cross-country skiing (for 29$ per day) or snowshoeing (for 12$ per day)
You can plan your day in Mont-Sainte-Anne on the official website.
16. Ice Skating in the middle of the forest
If you want to practice another typical activity during your holidays in Quebec, you should definitely go ice skating.
Nearly every neighborhood has its own outdoor (and free) skating rink! There, children can practice in complete safety, and adults can play Canada’s most popular sport: ice hockey.
If you’re not a complete beginner, how about ice skating in a magnificent place? You should go to the Lost Forest, in Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel, around a 1h45 drive from Montreal.
There, you can go ice skating through the forest, on a 12-km long trail. It’s truly magical!
You will find every information you need on the Lost Forest’s official website.
17. Canoeing in Quebec
Quebec is the perfect destination for canoeing, as the region offers hundreds of lakes and rivers.
Learning to canoe can take some time and is a real challenge. But once you’ve mastered it, there are many beautiful rivers to go canoeing in Quebec.
- The Bonaventure River, often considered as Quebec’s most beautiful river. You will be amazed by its emerald and transparent waters.
- The La Diable and l’Assomption rivers, in Mont-Tremblant National Park.
- The river in Jacques-Cartier National Park
- The Malbaie river in its National Park.
- The Ashuapmushuan river, for experts only!
18. The Magdalen Islands
The Magdalen Islands is an archipelago of 12 islands (only 7 of which are inhabited), located in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
There, you will enjoy magnificent landscapes with large sand beaches, dunes and high cliffs overlooking the ocean.
If you want to get there, you will have 2 options:
- By plane: from Montreal, it takes 2 hours to reach the Magdalen Islands
- By ferry: it takes 5 hours to go from Souris (on Prince Edward Island, accessible by car) to the Magdalen Islands
Every summer, many Quebecers are coming there to relax and enjoy the islands’ beautiful beaches. The islands’ climate is ideal for swimming (at least for Quebecers!), as the water can reach 20°C! With its strong winds, the region is also a famous spot for windsurf and kitesurf.
Moreover, the Magdalen Islands are a perfect place for hiking lovers. If you’re going to the Cap aux Meules island, you should do the Barachois trail. There, you can observe many birds.
You can also book an excursion to see the seals living around the islands.
If you want to plan your trip to the Magdalen Islands, you can visit the official website.
19. Anticosti Island
Anticosti Island is Quebec’s largest natural Island. It is located in Gaspé Peninsula, in front of the towns of Gaspé and Percé.
It’s definitely the perfect place if you want to relax for a few days, discover breathtaking landscapes and observe an amazing wildlife. In Anticosti, you will probably see many deers, as it’s the island’s iconic animal.
The best places to visit in Anticosti are:
- The Port-Menier eco-museum, if you want to discover the island’s History.
- The 76-meter high Vaureal waterfall and canyon
- The Kalamazoo falls
- The Brick river canyon and its many trouts.
- The Jupiter river, renowned for its salmons
- Patate Cave (literally “Potato Cave”), one of Quebec’s largest natural caves
The cheapest way to go to Anticosti is to take the ferry in Havre-Saint-Pierre. It takes around 5 hours, and costs 60$. You should also rent a car to get around the island.
20. The Weekend Brunch
If you want to enjoy a typical Quebec tradition, then you should definitely go brunching during the weekend. It was one of my favorite things to do when I lived in Montreal!
Many restaurants are offering brunches in Quebec. The typical Canadian brunch consists of various sorts of eggs, bacon, baked beans, potatoes, coffee, tea and orange juice.
In addition to these typical dishes, many restaurants are also serving fresh fruits, smoothies, pancakes, crêpes, sausages or bagels,… That’s why you choose a restaurant rather than another!
It’s impossible to list the best places to brunch in Quebec, as it’s really subjective and depends on what you like most.
Every person in Quebec would have a different answer! I can only tell that I’ve tried many different brunchs in Quebec and I’ve never been disappointed.
And you, what do you plan to visit during your trip to Quebec?
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
You’re traveling in Canada? These articles will help you!
Discover all my articles about Canada: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Canada are listed there.
- 20 Best Things to do in Canada
- 20 Best Things to do in Quebec – All best places to visit in the French-speaking province!
- Itinerary: One week in Canada: The perfect itinerary to visit Canada in 6, 7 or 8 days!
- Itinerary: 10 days in Canada: All my best tips for organizing your 10-day trip to Canada
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Canada: How to visit Western Canada in 15 days.
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Canada: My epic itinerary to visit Western and Eastern Canada in 21 days
- Itinerary: 1 month in Canada: How to visit Eastern Canada in a month!
- Itinerary: One week in Quebec: How to visit Quebec in 6, 7 or 8 days, with all my best tips!
- Itinerary: 10 days in Quebec: An amazing 10-day itinerary in Quebec
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Quebec: All my best tips to visit Quebec in 14, 15 or 16 days
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Quebec: the perfect 3-week road trip in Quebec!
- Road trip in Canada: The best itineraries for 7, 10, 15, 21 days and 1 month
- Road trip in Quebec: The best itineraries for 7, 10, 15 and 21 days
- Calgary: Top 11 things to do during your visit
- Montreal: 33 best things to see and do
- Ottawa: 15 epic places to visit
- Quebec City: Top 17 things to do and see
- Toronto: The 17 things to do during your stay
- Vancouver: Top 25 places to visit and activities
- Toronto in 3 days – The perfect itinerary to visit the city in 72 hours!