Founded in 1608 by Samuel de Champlain, Québec City, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, stands as one of North America’s oldest and most charming cities. The past and present live comfortably together in this vibrant, historic city. You’ll feel as if you stepped into the past as you wander the cobblestone streets of the only walled city in North America north of Mexico. At the same time, the modern arts are alive and well in the city’s architecture, museums, and wealth of cultural events. Walkable, friendly and easily reachable via most hubs, Québec City makes for a fun, educational family vacation. Here are our picks for Québec City’s top 10 to-dos for traveling families.
Explore the picturesque cobblestoned streets of Old Québec City.
The best way to enjoy Old Québec City is by foot – though you might also want to opt for a horse and carriage. While you won’t want to miss the historical sites, especially the Fortifications of Québec and the Citadel – the city’s two main defensive works – as well as the Notre-Dame-de-Québec Basilica-Cathedral – one of the oldest cathedrals in North America – you’ll also love exploring the many charming boutiques and cafes. We recommend the Boutique de Noël for its wonderful selection of Canada-themed Christmas ornaments and Casse-Crêpe Breton for the most delicious crêpes – both savory and sweet – you’ll ever eat.
Ride Old Québec’s Funicular.
Skip the steps and travel from the Haute-Ville (Upper Town) to the Basse-Ville (Lower Town) via funicular, the only one of its kind in North America.
Shop for your picnic lunch at the Marche du Vieux-Port de Quebec.
This outdoor market is a foodie feast: shop for local, seasonal fruits and veggies, organic cheeses and meats, freshly baked breads – you’ll find everything you need for the perfect picnic lunch.
Discover the history behind the founding of Québec City at the Musée Du Fort.
This 30-minute sound and light show will take you back in time to the founding of Québec City and the geography, people and major events that have shaped its history. The theater is small enough to make families feel a part of the action while docents will be on hand to answer any questions. museedufort.com
Explore Canadian and World Culture at the Musée de la Civilisation.
The most popular museum in Québec City, the Musée de la Civilisation is interactive, educational, and fun. Families are invited to take a fresh new look at both local and international cultures. Don’t miss the museum’s youth zones, where kids are asked to step into the action and explore culture through hands-on activities and more.
Walk across the Montemorency Falls Park via a suspended bridge.
Located just a few minutes from downtown Québec City, Montmerency Falls Park is a spectacular historic and natural site, thanks to the 272 ft. high waterfall – that’s 98.5 ft. higher than Niagara Falls! Step aboard the cable car and travel to the top of the waterfall, where you can travel across the chutes via a suspended bridge.
Take in the city’s stunning skyline from aboard a ferry.
Step aboard a commuter ferry and sail the St. Lawrence River as you travel from Québec City to Lévis and back. Ferries leave every 30 minutes in the daytime and on the half-hour during the evening. Expect picture-perfect views of the city’s skyline along the ride!