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Québec City: A Winter Travel Guide

Updated: Jun 1

Place Royal in Quebec City during Winter
Place Royal

Visiting Québec City during winter is such a treat—the picturesque town becomes blanketed in snow, and becomes a winter wonderland. The city is most recognizable for its traditional French architecture and cobblestone streets. As one of North America's oldest cities, Québec City is steeped in 400 years of French-Canadian history and is the only remaining fortified city north of Mexico. I hope this guide helps you plan your next trip!

Where to stay in Québec City

My friends and I stayed in this cozy Airbnb. There are a number of Airbnb and hotel options in the city—for a more central location, I recommend staying in or close to Old Québec. If you don't mind splurging, consider staying at the famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac.

Getting around in Québec City

Old Québec is best explored on foot—walking is a great opportunity to see sights you might otherwise miss. To get to less accessible spots, such as Hôtel de Glace and Montmorency Falls, there are taxis and rideshare apps (such as Uber) available in the city.

View of Quebec City on the Québec City-Lévis Ferry
Québec City-Lévis Ferry

Things to do in Québec City

Quartier Petit Champlain: Quartier Petit Champlain is a postcard-worthy area in the city that is reminiscent of Europe. Perhaps the most photographed spot in all of Québec City is the quarter's main street, Rue du Petit-Champlain. Here you can find charming boutique shops, local bistros, cobblestone streets, and European architecture.

Place Royale: Place Royale is a picturesque square surrounded by historic buildings. One of these buildings is the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires—the oldest stone church in North America. During winter, Place Royale is draped with Christmas decorations.

Montmorency Falls: Montmorency Falls boasts a 275-foot waterfall (exceeding that of Niagara Falls), and is less than a 20-minute drive from Old Québec.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac: Château Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world, and for good reason. Perched above the St. Lawrence River, this hotel feels like a fairytale castle—even Queen Elizabeth (and other royal members) has stayed here! During your visit, I highly recommend riding on the toboggan slides right outside of the hotel.

Hôtel de Glace: Hôtel de Glace is a must if you're visiting Québec during winter. It is the only ice hotel in North America, and is completely made up of ice and snow. You can purchase tickets online or in person.

Québec City-Lévis Ferry: The best way to view the entire city and its surrounding fortified walls is on the Québec City-Lévis Ferry, which sails along the St. Lawrence River. You can purchase your tickets from the ticket booth in-person.

Hôtel de Glace during Winter near Quebec City
Hôtel de Glace

View of Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Quartier Petit Champlain during Winter
Quartier Petit Champlain

Restaurants to try in Québec City

Poutineville: This was our first time trying poutine (crispy fries topped with warm gravy and cheese curds) and we loved it!

Sapristi: Sapristi is an Italian restaurant—we shared the carbonara, salmon pasta, and duck pasta (all of which were rich in flavor).

Bügel Fabrique de Bagels: Bügel Fabrique de Bagels is a small, cozy restaurant that serves delicious bagels at an affordable price.

Breakfast Bagels at Bügel Fabrique de Bagels
Bügel Fabrique de Bagels


Pack warm clothes: This is an obvious one—but here's your reminder to pack as warm as you possibly can! It was -5°F on our first day in the city... we were freezing!

Learn French basics: French is the most spoken language in Québec City—you'll find that most locals only communicate in French. Try learning the basics and have a translator app ready!



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