Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Uncover 400 years of Historical past. Issues to do in Quebec.

Quebec has a long history and the list of things to do in Quebec is almost as long. At the time of the French arrival, the Algonquin, Iroquois and Inuit lived in what is now Quebec. As with many explorers of the 16th and 17th centuries, one great purpose of exploring the area was to find a passage to Asia, but in 1534 French explorer Jacques Cartier traveled through the Saint Lawrence River and claimed the land on behalf of King Francis I of France. By 1603 the French had attempted to settle a colony in the area, resulting in the creation of one of the largest cities in the province – Quebec City. Based on the fur trade with the local Huron and Iroquois tribes. Over time, the colony grew along with other cities such as Montreal and Three-Rivers. In 1756 France and Great Britain were at war and in 1759 the British succeeded in conquering the French colony of New France. Under the control of the English, the population was overwhelmingly French-speaking and Catholic, and in order to keep the population under control and not risk rebellion, the British signed the Quebec law in 1774 to allow the French settlers to retain their language and culture, which is why the province is still French-speaking to this day.

Quebec is big. The province is as big as many other countries and the Quebecois are not French. The majority of people speak French but do not feel connected to France, but English is also very often spoken as a second or mother tongue. Most bilingual people can be found in Montreal, which has a long-standing English community. Services and signage are usually provided in both languages, although in some parts of the province it is beneficial for travelers to brush up on their French. As I said, Quebec is big and there is something for everyone depending on your mood. Camping in the mountains, hiking the fjords, delicious meals and 17th century architecture are just the tip of the iceberg. When you are exploring the beautiful province, Check out these amazing things.


Take a walking tour of Old Quebec: If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to stroll through a 17th century French village, now is your chance. Old Quebec has managed to retain much of its charm over the past hundred years and if you don’t know where to start your adventure just take to the streets and stroll around. The entire neighborhood is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with cobblestone streets, New French architecture, and horse-drawn carriages. Much of the area is pedestrianized so you can stroll the streets, explore the shops, and marvel at the only walled city north of Mexico. In the winter months, when it gets too cold for you, go to a cozy pub for a while or cool off in the summer months with an iced coffee from a small side street café.

Admire or stay at the Château Frontenac: The impressive example of opulent Victorian architecture at Château Frontenac has become a symbol of the city for over 200 years. The Château Frontenac was built at the end of the 19th century and is located on a hill overlooking the city. You can see them soaring from the old town and from the property itself you feel like a fortress commander. The hotel is a huge luxury property that was part of a series of opulent hotels that ran along the Canadian Pacific Railway. The hotel now offers suites, spas, indoor heated pools, fine dining, balls, luxury car rentals, and more. It is the architectural diamond of the city in the truest sense of the word and also holds the world record for the “most photographed hotel”.

Hike around the Montmorency Falls: Montmorency Falls is a short drive outside of downtown Quebec City and is nearly 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls. Strolling around the old town is fine, but immersing yourself in nature and hiking is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the province. The falls are massive and can be viewed from multiple angles. Hike upstairs and check it out from the bridge or go to the lower platform and feel the mist on your face. If you don’t feel like running uphill, there is a gondola or if you are particularly hungry for adrenaline, you can whiz over it on a zipline at a height of 300 meters.

Carnival in Quebec: Quebec winters can be pretty long and damn cold, but that doesn’t stop locals from going out and enjoying the weather. Since 1984, the Carnaval de Quebec has hosted annual winter festivals that include snow sculptures, ice rinks, winter canoe races, and nightly parades and light shows. It is the second largest winter festival in the world and the largest in Canada. You can also stay in an ice hotel. The ice hotel, built from 500,000 tons of ice, is a huge undertaking that simply disappears in the spring. The hotel has a four month lifespan but is quite a spectacular feat of architecture and design. There are 85 rooms, a clubhouse, a bar and a chapel. The beds are covered with furs and sleeping bags and the only heated area is the sauna. It’s not a 4-star property, but it’s a memorable one.

Montreal is Canada’s second largest city and has a great food and festival scene.


Eat your way around town: Montreal is the largest city in the province and the second largest in the country. The city is diverse and is home to many different ethnic groups and immigrants, each with their own cuisine to share with the world. Montreal is a city for foodies. Here you will find fusion cuisine and authentic recipes as well as fine European cuisine alongside street food.

  • Schwartz’s: It may seem cliché, but the smoked meat from Montreal is really unique and has been at Schwartz’s for over 90 years. Founded by Reuben Schwartz, a Romanian-Jewish immigrant, much of the restaurant has not changed since then. Even the sign on the front that reads “Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen” is original (and was allowed to stay in English). The menu is small, cash only and prices are dirt cheap.
  • bagels: Don’t tell New York, but Montreal bagels prevail. St-Viateur and Fairmount bagels are the two largest and most locals have a preference. Montreal-style bagels are hand-rolled, boiled in sweetened water, and then baked in a wood-burning oven. Montreal bagels are a bit thinner and denser, and offer a crispy, crust-like appearance.
  • Putin: No visit to Montreal is complete without a plate of the provincial favorite. Consisting of thickly sliced ​​french fries (but no wedges or British chips), which are then layered in brown beef broth (which is neither too gelatinous nor too thin) and curd cheese (always curd, never crushed and has to squeak), is a dish in many restaurants in the a staple food throughout the city. It’s the favorite of late night party-goers and while it’s theoretically easy, it’s hard to master. There are variations with a variety of toppings, but the combination of fries, sauce and cheese must always be the same.
  • Neighborhoods and markets: Montreal is home to a wide variety of ethnic groups and these neighborhood enclaves are where you can find amazing food. Montreal’s Little Italy has an abundance of amazing Italian bakeries and delis, as well as the large Jean Talon market, where you can find butchers, cheese merchants and bakers. While Parc-Ex hosts the city’s Greek and South Asian communities. The Plateau neighborhood is home to hipster grocers and Little Portugal, while the Lachine Canal is the bustling Atwater Market.

Climb Mount Royal: The mountain that the city gives its name to is also one of the biggest draws for tourists and locals alike. Located in the center of the city, Mount Royal Park is an urban park full of nooks and crannies, bike and hiking trails, green spaces, and the iconic lookout point from above that offers sweeping views of downtown Montreal. Much of the green space in the park itself was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York’s Prospect Park and Central Park. Work off all the calories from the poutine you just ate and hike up.

Visit a festival: The city has a bewildering amount of festivals. Whatever the season, there is some kind of festival. Just For Laughs is one of the biggest comedy festivals held annually in July, while the Festival Mondiale de la bière (World Beer Festival) takes place in early June and features beers and spirits from around the world and Canada. For music lovers, JazzFest is one of the biggest jazz festivals, and Osheaga highlights indie and alternative music, while Heavy MTL is for metal fans.


Go see whales: Three hours from Quebec City is the small town of Tadoussac. The marine region is known for some of the best whale watching spots in Quebec. Tours are available that include getting on a boat, either on a private tour or with a group, and venturing out onto the St. Lawrence River to spot a wide variety of marine mammals and whales.

Explore the Saguenay Fjord National Park: Home to one of the few fjords in North America, Saguenay Fjord National Park is consistently rated as one of the most beautiful places in the region. The fjord is at the eastern end of the Saguenay River and the area offers many opportunities for hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing and more in the area. Just bring a camera.


Hike the Appalachian Trail: Hiking the Appalachian Trail is on the wish list for many hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, and while the American section of the trail begins in Maine, the mountain range stretches north of the border into Quebec and all the way to Labrador. For inexperienced hikers, tour groups are available offering guided tours, meals, and accommodations. Or you can set out on your own and hike through the legendary paths and mountains.

See a WWII battlefield in Forillon National Park: While most of the fighting for Canada took place in Europe, the Battle of the Atlantic was nearing the coasts of North America. Located at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, the area played a crucial role for the Allies in World War II. As early as 1941, German submarines were sighted as close as Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence River was a main destination for Allied shipping. Coastal guns and fortresses were erected in May and submarines were sighted in the river a week later. From 1942 to 1944, 23 ships were sunk in the so-called Battle of St. Lawrence. The guns and forts are still there, and the fort marks a largely forgotten point in Canada’s WWII history.

Our last word

Needless to say, we love Canada. From the shores of the Gaspé Peninsula to the boreal forest, Quebec is a province full of amazing things to see and discover. The natural wonders and sights are among the most beautiful in the world and the hectic pace of the cities makes the region appear lively and diverse. Discover all the amazing nooks and crannies the province has to offer and see for yourself why it is called that the beautiful province.

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