I have lived in Europe and three Canadian provinces, but I truly call the province of Quebec home. Most of my family still lives there and I enjoy going back a few times every year. (Yes, even in winter!)

I often find that visitors mostly travel around Montreal. If you’ve never been to Quebec, you’ll be amazed by the number of things to do in Quebec City. Enjoy sightseeing in Quebec City while learning about the history of the province and French Canadians. I hope you will enjoy these top 4 attractions in Quebec City.

Four seasons of top attractions in Quebec city

1. Spring at l’Île d’Orléans – Sugar Shack Galore

In Quebec, spring equals snowmelt and snowmelt equals taffy on snow! Sugar shacks is a tradition that has been around for ages, and is engrained in Quebec’s historical heritage. Île d’Orléans is the perfect location to discover all our maple products. During March and April, the sugar shack Le Relais des Pins offers a traditional all-you-can-eat menu for about $20 per person, including their famous taffy on snow.

Although sugar shacks can be found pretty much anywhere in Quebec, Le Relais des Pins distinguishes itself by the fact that it is located on Île d’Orléans. This island, known as the cradle of French civilization in North America, is located a short drive away from Quebec City. In 1970, it was named a heritage site.

If you’re planning to rent a car to discover this hidden gem and its top attractions, I would suggest you read these 5 Car Rental & Tips for Your Next Trip. You can also get the Passport Culture which gives you access to six historical and cultural interpretation centres.

Traditional meal where everything is about maple syrup!
Traditional meal served at a sugar shack

2. Summer at The Citadelle

The Province of Quebec was born following one historical event: the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, leading to the surrender of New France to the British. Shortly after, the British decided to review their defensive strategy by building The Citadelle of Quebec, just steps away from the Plains. It is the largest British fortress in North America, and the Citadelle was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1985.

Currently, the Citadelle is home to the only French speaking Regiment in Canada, the Royal 22e Régiment. Visitors can attend the ceremonial changing of the guard for free. The ceremony marks the arrival of new sentries to relieve those on duty at the garrison.

All summer, visitors can attend the ceremony of the changing of the guard
Military members preparing for the changing of the guard

Enjoy breathtaking views of the city from the Citadelle, from Cap Diamant, the highest natural point of Quebec. You can also take a lunch break and picnic on the Plains. There are so many things to do in Quebec City in the summer that, even if you’re not a history buff, you can still find something to do that’s more up your alley.

Château Frontenac is the most recognizable landmark of Quebec City
View of the Château Frontenac from the Citadelle

3. Autumn at Montmorency Falls

Located a short drive away from Quebec City, between the St-Laurence River and cliffs, the Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is without a doubt one of the top attractions in Quebec (aside maybe from the Rocher Percé, listed as one of 8 Best Romantic destinations around the world). The Montmorency Falls are 83 meters tall making them 30 meters taller than Niagara Falls. You can hike through the park or use the cable car to make it to the top.

For more active people, there are many things to do. Experience an adrenaline rush using the 300-meters double zip-line or the Via Ferrata, a hiking trail on a cliff. Autumn can also be quite chilly in Quebec but don’t worry, it’s a great time to appreciate Sugar Loaf, an impressive cone of ice at the foot of the waterfall formed by the fine splashes from the Falls freezing.

Located near Quebec City, the Falls are a great location for thrill seekers
Montmorency Falls near Quebec City

4. Winter at Quebec’s Winter Carnival

With temperatures as low as –40oC in Winter, the idea of visiting Quebec City might be a stretch. But if you’re up to a challenge, put on your winter parka because trust me, you won’t want to miss winter in Quebec City and all its attractions That’s especially true for Quebec’s Winter Carnival, held each year during the first two weeks of February. Well known worldwide, it dates back to 1894! After a long break, it came back strong in 1954. Today, it’s the largest winter carnival in the world and is the third most popular carnival after Rio and New Orleans.

Bonhomme Carnaval is there to entertain the young and the young at heart
Figurehead of the Carnival for more than 60 years Défilé carnaval de Québec DSC_3057 by Robert Lafond is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 1.0 Generic License

If you plan to drive in Quebec City during the winter, don’t forget to purchase rental car insurance. Winter conditions are not a driver’s best friend, and you don’t want a car accident ruining your trip. But don’t forget, travel insurance with rental car protection is always considered secondary coverage to your car insurance.

Safe travels!

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