19+ Exciting Things to do in Quebec City this Summer/Fall 2017 [Full guide]
By Emilie Bergeron on July 30th, 2017
Not too sure what to do while you’re in Quebec City this summer? We’ve got you covered! Top restaurants, festivals, cute shops… we did some serious research and picked our favourite 15 spring and summer activities for you. We even added some bonuses, for the extra ambitious Quebec City goer!
#1 Old Quebec Food & Cultural Tour
Attractions, Activities, and Romantic Things to do in Quebec City This Spring and Summer
Here is a list of the most notable things to do in wonderful Quebec City during the summer. From sightseeing to restaurant recommendations, you’re sure to find something that’ll pique your fancy.
1. Take a walk through Old Quebec
The Old Quebec is what you see in the fairytale-like pictures of Quebec City. Surrounded by fortifications, it’s the only walled-city in North America, North of Mexico, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can spend hours, a day or your whole trip discovering this quaint area. Here is what we suggest you to do:
Stroll in the old European-like streets
Enjoy a café glacé on a Parisian-like terrace of Place Royale
Shop in galleries on Rue Sault-au-Matelot or antiques on Rue Saint-Paul
Get a picture with the Château Frontenac on the Dufferin Terrace
Take a break of walking and enjoy a take-out lunch on the Terrase Pierre-Dugua-Des-Mons
See the Fresque des Québécois and the most beautiful street in Canada in Petit Champlain neighbourhood
2. Take an Old Quebec City Food tour
The Old Quebec Food Tour is where foodies and history enthusiasts unite. While you walk the cobblestone streets, your passionate, local tour guide recounts the vibrant history of this area. In 3 hours you stop in 6 different tasting locations, like a traditional French bakery, a 17th-century Monastery, and more! There’s no better way to learn about a city’s heritage than to be guided by a local and to taste its delicious, traditional food. For more information, click here.
3. Discover the temporary ephemeral outdoor spaces in Quebec
During the summer season, Quebec City has many outdoor ephemeral spaces created by artists and architects. A fun and free place for everyone, including families, with diverse activities throughout the day and night. Our top choices this year are :
SPOT – Locals hang out here on the weekends, there is free outdoor yoga on Saturday mornings, music shows at night, a beer-garden on Friday night and Swing Dancing (with free lessons) on Thursdays, etc. – Open everyday 10am-10pm
Marina St-Roch – Free public pool next to the St. Charles River with free places to chill, lounge chairs, sandboxes, picnic tables, food-trucks hanging around the area. Very family friendly.
4. Try the new restaurants in town!
Quebec City is definitely a foodie town and new places are always popping up. Get ahead of the crowd and discover these newly opened hot spots like Battuto, Nhà Tôi, Louise Taverne, and more before anyone else!
Click here to see our list of best restaurants in Old Quebec
5. Discover Nightlife
For a historical town, Quebec City still has it’s big share of party-goers. In every district you will find a different nightlife atmosphere. Here are our suggestions:
On Grande Allée for the club goers – L’Atelier, Taverne Grande-Allée, Dagobert
On Saint-Jean for a bar hopping scene – Ninkasi, Nelligan, Le Projet
On Saint-Vallier Ouest for a taste of it all: wine, craft beer and liquors – Le Renard & La Chouette, Grindel, Kraken Cru
6. Day Trip by car
Do you have a car and are wondering if there is anything else to see nearby Quebec City? The answer is YES! Here are a few day-trips just a couple of minutes or hours out of town that you will very much enjoy!
Île d’Orléans – Located just 20 minutes out of the city, this Island will charm you with it’s many farms, orchards and ancestral houses. You can drive around the whole Island in an hour but you’ll want to stop in a couple of places to taste local products and bring back souvenirs, like Vignoble St-Pétronile, Chocolaterie de l’île d’Orléans, La Roulotte Du Coin, La Boulange Bakery and Cidrerie Bilodeau.
Vallée de la Jacques Cartier – You don’t have to drive far from Quebec City to find some incredible natural sites like those at Parc de la Jacques Cartier. Head out on one of the many hiking trails that vary from easy to hard in difficulty. At night, you can sometimes even see the Northern Lights!
7. Marché du Vieux-Port
Don’t have a car to go to Île d’Orléans but would like to discover local products and creations? Head over to the Old-Port Market. A covered market with many food stalls selling everything fresh, from produce, to fish, to maple syrup, blueberry juice, and ice wine.
– 160 Quai Saint-André, Open 9am to 6pm weekdays, 9am to 5pm weekends
8. Observatoire de la Capitale
Get the best view of Quebec City! Located on the topmost floor of the Marie-Guyart Building, Observatoire de la Capitale gives you 360 bird’s eye view of the city. Decorated with a wall-to-wall infographic timeline of Quebec City’s history you can even learn a few things at the same time.
– 1037, rue De La Chevrotière, 31st floor
9. Rent a bike
Pack a lunch, rent a bike with Cyclo Services and head on the cycling paths in one of three directions:
Chute Montmorency The Chute-Montmorency is a must-see attraction in Quebec City. Park your bike, head to the top of the waterfall by the cable-car, cross the bridge on top of the waterfall to enjoy a magnificent view, and climb back down the impressive staircase.
Promenade Champlain On this path that follows the Saint-Lawrence river you can enjoy a couple of nice places to stop in like the Bassin Brown Lookout on the river, Quai des Cageux, and a view of the Quebec Bridge.
Wendake Huron Village See the First Nations culture at the amazing museum of First Nations & Hotel and take the time to see the impressive waterfall Kabir-Kouba. And if you’re hungry, the Sagamité restaurant is a must-try of native flavours.
10. Café Félin Ma Langue au Chat
If you’re travelling and miss your pets, worry not! The “cat café” Café Félin Ma Langue au Chat lets you enjoy the company of some fluffy feline friends. Sip on their amazing hot chocolate, take advantage of the free Wifi, play some board games and pet furry animals. It’s a nice way to relax for a couple of hours and a great activity for a cold or rainy day.
– 307 Rue Saint-Paul
11. Treat yourself to an unordinary gelato
Many places in Quebec City offer soft-serve ice cream but the best icy treats are the gelatos. Head to Chez Boulay – Comptoir Boréal where they’ve created brand new flavours using Boreal spices and products that you won’t find anywhere else in the world!
– 42 côte du Palais
12. Have a drink on a terrace
Le Sacrilège Step through the bar to discover outdoor seating in the backyard, so hidden it will seem like you’re in a Speakeasy. More than a charming atmosphere, Le Sacrilège also has deals on local beer!. After a day exploring the city, come here for a delectable and effective wind-down, the way locals do it. – 447 Rue Saint-Jean
La Barberie As soon as the sun is out, all the locals head over to the outdoor beer garden of La Barberie. Enjoy this space quietly on weekday afternoons while all the locals are at work or come to see this place bustling with life after 5pm. Order the carousel, a flight of 8 beer tastings, and introduce your tastebuds to the distinct flavours of Quebec City’s local craft beers. – 310 Rue Saint-Roch
13. Cool off on a hot day
Quebec City actually has over 1 km of sandy beach available to swimmers during the summer season. Baie de Beauport is a great place to relax on a towel and lay by the river, or you can check out their list of nautical activities. Explore the river on a kayak or learn how to windsurf on a hot summer day. Newly opened this summer is a tiki bar with fabulous cocktails on Thursdays and Fridays from 3pm to 9pm.
14. Soak-up some Quebec art and heritage
You can learn all about art, history, architecture and more with short or long visits to the famous landmarks in town. Visit an old jail, a typical English house, a museum or even a library and immerse yourself in local culture.
Morrin Center – 44 Chaussée des Écossais
Henry Stuart House – 82 Grande Allée Ouest
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec (MNBAQ) – 179 Grande Allée Ouest
Maison de la Littérature – 40 Rue Saint-Stanislas
La Citadelle de Québec – 1 Côte de la Citadelle
Musées de la civilisation – 85 rue Dalhousie
15.Go to one of Quebec’s many festivals
A summer in Quebec is a summer of festivals. From beer to music festivals, and from comedy to historical fairs. Here is a list of the most notable ones:
Le Festival ComediHa! is a comedy festival that features a number of major comedians. This is the place to go for a good time, and guarantees laughter. At least one English show is available every night. (June 7-18)
The TD New France Festival is a historic festival that reconstructs the New France era from the 17th and 18th century, and is filled with cultural activities, entertainment, parades and performances. (August 9 to 13)
Le Festibière de Québec is a beer festival that allows you discover the unique tastes of Quebec through microbreweries, brewpubs, cider, local produce and samples in an open-air and festive atmosphere. (August 17 to 20)
Bordeaux Wine Festival is a wine festival that has 6 group tents showcasing the best of Bordeaux imported wines, 10 Quebec wine and cider booths, and gives 35 live workshops. Whether you are a connoisseur or are simply interested in understanding the world of wine, this event is not to be missed. (August 31-September 3)
16. Enjoy a unique shopping experience
Camellia Sinensis Situated on St-Joseph in the St-Roch neighbourhood, this super zen and newly renovated tea shop offers tea tastings and excellent artisanal products. So stop by, grab a drink and talk with the super friendly tea experts. A good cup of tea can go a long way! – 624 Rue Saint-Joseph Est
Jupon Pressé With hints of retro style in every piece, Jupon Pressé has a selection of clothes from funky dresses to whimsical outfits. Their collection is a mix of pieces from Quebec designers as well as international designers. Think pastel cardigans and jackets, cute accessories and classic basics. – 790 Rue Saint-Jean
Boutique de Noël Yes Quebec City has a year-round open Christmas boutique in the Old Town! Shop Christmas ornaments to bring back home and always have a souvenir of your trip to Quebec City. – 47 Rue De Buade
Newly opened since June is Les Trafiquants d’Art Gallery & Frame Makers. Not your typical gallery, this place is set up in the style of a record store where you can browse through the art of local favourite Fred Jourdain and other emerging artists. Available are affordable prints and originals you won’t find anywhere else.
– 975A 3e Avenue
19. Spend a day in Limoilou
Limoilou is one of the smaller older districts of Quebec City that has recently been transformed and overcome with a wave of the new generation. It is now young, hip and composed of artisans, business-people and families alike. Around every corner lies a delicious bistro, an artistic workshop, and a local boutique.
Start off your day at Le Fun en Bouche, for a hearty brunch. They have outdoor seating, good portions, and a courteous staff.
Next–go shopping! Limoilou’s streets are filled with one of a kind shops like Article 721, which sells local gadgets, thingy-ma-bobs, and an array of unique products. Also check out La Folle Fourchette that sells unique kitchen products. These are stores where creativity is at its peak. You’ll find the perfect gift for the child, the woman or the man in your life!
Walk back into the city center using the walking/cycling path along the Saint Charles River, which is lined with observation points, lovely scenic views like that of Parc Cartier-Bréboeuf, and lots of fresh air.
Or continue strolling the 3rd Avenue and find the perfect neighbourhood bar. We urge you to go try Le Bal du Lézard, a small vintage looking bar that host shows and offers good music and a fun atmosphere, or a glass or wine with some oysters at Le Cendrillon. If you’re more the craft beer type, head to La Souche for a fresh brew around a log table, hence it’s name!
***Bonus things to do!***
Attend a Foodie Blockparty: Saint-Roch Experience
Imagine a block party where most of the people attending are chefs, gourmet food makers, or hopeless foodies. Now imagine that these people are posted up outside their houses, with their best selection of delicious local food and products. Well, that’s the Saint-Roch Experience. The street is closed to cars, and Saint-Joseph street restaurants set up booths offering tasty treats between 1-3 dollars a piece. The culinary festival takes place in September, and has been a hit with locals and tourists since 2013. Click here to find out more.
See the Grands Feux Loto-Quebec
From August 9 to 23, 2017 on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 pm, Quebec City will host the annual Fireworks Loto-Quebec. Enjoy the magnificent show from the bank of the St. Lawrence River or on the Dufferin Terrace. And it’s all free!
Take the ferry to the south shore of the St. Lawrence river
Buy a round-trip ferry ticket to go to the city of Lévis and enjoy the best view of Quebec City, directly on the river. Grab a drink at Le Corsaire and come back into town at sunset!
#1 Old Quebec Food Tour
Discover and taste your way through the oldest and most European-like neighbourhood of Quebec City. Sample varied dishes ranging from traditional to modern foods and get a feel for what it is to be Québécois! Tickets from 54$ +tx and booking fees (all tastings included)