1. Walk over the spectacular Montmorency Falls
Sitting a good 30 metres higher than Niagara Falls, and with a pedestrian suspension bridge allowing you an impressive viewing point, the ‘Chute Montmorency’ – as the locals call it – is a must see spot when in Quebec City.
Walk the suspension bridge and watch the massive flow of water under you, take the cable car across to the other side or witness some impressive frozen waterfall climbing in the winter time.
In the Summer the falls are the backdrop to a spectacular fireworks display and festival, and the parklands surrounding the falls are a great place for picnicking and getting active.
At only 12 kms from the city centre (on the way to Ile d’Orleans – see below) and with free parking just around the corner this is a spot you can’t miss while in Quebec.
2. Get lost in the beautiful streets of Old Quebec
This is a place of fairytale cobbled streets lined with Parisian coffee tables, antique shops and local artist’s studios. The whole area oozes a festive atmosphere and sophisticated charm.
Check out the incredibly realistic and ever changing murals on many streets, the colourful souvenir shops and the glass artists at Old Town Glassworks who blow blobs of molten sand into sparkling ornaments that you can buy.
3. Splurge on gourmet treats at ‘Marche du Vieux Port’ Markets
These markets sell everything from freshly baked French pastries and quiches to ice wine, duck foigras, fresh fruit and vegetables, candied local nuts and everything maple syrup.
Grab some specialty cheeses, a fig or two, an authentic baguette and one of the delicious pecan pies, stake out a communal table and set up your gourmet feast/picnic right then and there.
4. Try night skiing or snowboarding at Le Relais
One of the cheapest and best ski fields in Canada for beginners, Le Relais is only a 15 minute drive from Quebec’s city centre. And the best bit? They offer night skiing and snowboarding every weeknight!
Hit the powdery slopes under the stars and enjoy a hot drink afterwards in the canteen.
5. Try Canada’s famous poutine
Some call it a monstrosity, others swear its the perfect comfort food creation – I guess you have to try it yourself to be the judge.
Poutine is Canada’s unofficial national dish – a combination of crunchy potato fries covered in gooey gravy and topped off with squeaky cheese curds.
We tried poutine at La Cuisine Boulet after a recommendation by a local friend, but you’ll be able to find it at almost any restaurant or bar.
6. Give snow shoeing a go
Snow shoeing is actually a big thing in Canada – any outdoorsy local will most likely own a pair. And with the amount of snow that falls in Quebec City its no wonder… it makes walking in the snow so much easier!
We borrowed a couple of snow shoes from a friend and went exploring on the outskirts of the city. The landscape is beautiful when covered in snow and we found an incredible waterfall half frozen over with ice.
7. Ile d’Orleans – fresh produce and the best views in Quebec City
This island is within a 20 minute drive of Quebec’s city centre and home to some of the freshest and tastiest produce you’ll find. Try strawberry picking in the summertime and enjoy a gelato from the island’s amazing Chocolaterie while looking back across the St Lawrence river to the city.
8. Go ice skating in the city centre
If you’re in Quebec City during the winter time then this is a must-do activity. Take your own skates or hire a pair and glide away under the Christmas decorations and twinkling lights of the city’s buildings.
You’ll find the skating rink in the Place D’Youville right at the entrance of the Old Town’s fortifications and surrounded by gourmet restaurants, pretty cafes and colourful souvenir shops.
9. Paddle a canoe or go for a stroll along the St Charles river
In the Château-d’Eau region of the city you’ll find this peaceful riverfront and untouched forrest set for exploring by foot or canoe.
The Sentiers de Rivieres is a well maintained walking trail that follows the river’s edge. If you prefer exploring over water then hire a canoe or kayak from Canots Legere.
And just around the corner is yet another fantastic experience:
10. Visit an authentic First Nations native village
The area of Wendake, just beside the St Charles river, holds deep significance to the Canadian natives of Quebec. So much so that the Canadian government gave blocks of land to local native families in order for them to remain where their ancestors lived.
This has formed a First Nation ‘neighbourhood’ where you’ll find native restaurants, hand-made art and craft markets, a First Nations museum and the Huron Wendat native village.
A tour of the authentic village gives you an insight into the lives and culture of the First Nations. You’ll get to see tipis, a long house, stone inukshuk, wooden canoes and smoking huts all built by hand and in the traditional way.
Your guide will even be in full First Nation attire and will give you interesting information and historic knowledge throughout the tour.
11. Pretend you’re in a fairy tale and visit the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac Hotel
Like a juicy cherry on top of the cake, the Fairmont Hotel stands above Quebec’s Old Town with green copper roofing and stone turrets – a literal fairytale castle above the picture perfect town.
Enjoy the Hotel’s external Christmas decorations, walk its lush interior or just take in its magnificence from afar. This is the perfect moment to take out that camera or smart phone and capture the sheer prettiness of Quebec City for yourself.
You’ll want to take that photo home with you to always remember the beauty and unique atmosphere of this wonderful city.