The Ultimate Guide to Quebec City: 5-Day Itinerary

This 5-day Quebec City itinerary is designed to immerse you in all the amazing facets of Quebec City. Not to mention, it’s perfect for first time visitors wanting to see all of the most important sites. We visited in the summer, so if you plan on visiting during the winter, you may have to schedule some extra time for all of the following activities!

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Why You Should Visit Quebec City

Ever since I can remember, living in Texas, I have harbored an irresistible allure for France. The thought of strolling through the charming cobblestone streets, indulging in the rich gastronomy, and absorbing the vibrant culture has always been a dream.

However, we discovered a little slice of France right here in North America — Québec City. This mesmerizing city not only boasts a strong French influence in its architecture, language, and cuisine. It also showcases natural wonders beyond compare, including a waterfall that is taller than even the mighty Niagara Falls.

Moreover, it grants an opportunity for a deep dive into the indigenous culture and history of the Wendake.

How to Get to Quebec City, Canada

There are several ways to reach Quebec City depending on where you’re coming from. If you’re traveling internationally, the most convenient way is usually by air. Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) offers flights from numerous global airlines with many direct flights.

If you’re within Canada, consider options including trains, buses, or driving. The city is well-served by VIA Rail, with trains running from major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa. If you’re driving, Quebec City is easily accessible via several major highways. Keep in mind that driving conditions can vary greatly depending on the season.

Day 1 in Quebec City

Relax at Strom Spa

Start your first day of your Quebec City adventure with a day dedicated to rejuvenation and exploration. Begin at Strom Spa, nestled on the banks of the Saint Lawrence River. This Nordic-inspired spa offers a unique relaxation experience amid nature, blending modern luxury with traditional wellness practices.

Unwind in their thermal baths, eucalyptus steam rooms, saunas, and heated outdoor pools. There are also cold plunge pools and dozens of different relaxation stations! You can even opt for a personalized massage or body treatment for an extra cost. One of our favorite parts was the infinity style pool with views of the St. Lawrence River.

Afterwards, indulge in an epicurean journey at the on-site restaurant. Employing a farm-to-table approach, the restaurant at Strom Spa offers a menu rich in fresh, local ingredients. Their carefully crafted into dishes that not only satisfy the palate, but also compliment your wellness journey.

The dining experience is further elevated by the serene river views, providing an idyllic backdrop as you savor each delicious bite. It’s the perfect lunch after all that relaxation to feel nice and rested. 

Explore Old Town Quebec

Post relaxation, head towards the heart of the city — Old Town Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history as you meander through its charming streets lined with 17th and 18th-century architecture.

Visit notable landmarks such as Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral, Quartier Petit Champlain, and the iconic Chateau Frontenac. There are also many quaint bistros or restaurants offering a wide array of culinary delights, showcasing Quebec City’s French influence.

Lower Town

As you continue your exploration of Old Quebec, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the charming boutiques and specialty shops that line the cobblestone streets. Lower town has great shops, street performances, and plenty of historic buildings. A must-visit is La Boutique de Noël, a year-round Christmas shop!

For bibliophiles, Librairie Saint-Jean-Baptiste is a quaint bookstore that offers a treasure trove of new, used, and rare books. Not far from there, you’ll find Delices Erable & Cie, a shop dedicated to all things maple and it’s one of the best places to get a souvenir. From syrup to candies, and even maple-based skincare products, it’s the perfect place to pick up a sweet reminder of your Quebec City visit. 

Next, satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to La Fudgerie. This charming establishment offers an array of artisan fudges, crafted with the finest ingredients. From classic chocolate to innovative flavors like lavender and sea salt, each piece is a melt-in-your-mouth experience!

Lastly, step into Boutique La Chasse-Galerie for an eclectic mix of locally handcrafted goods — from chic fashion accessories to home décor. Each shop in Old Quebec has its own unique charm and history, making your shopping experience as much about the journey as the finds.

In the heart of Old Quebec City, you’ll find Place Royale, a historic square often called the birthplace of French America. Here, history seeps from every corner, with stone merchant houses and narrow streets reminiscent of a bygone era.

The iconic Notre-Dame-des-Victoires Church is the oldest stone church in North America. It sits majestically in the square, a constant reminder of the city’s rich past. Don’t forget to grab a coffee and some pastries at La Maison for a true Parisian café experience. The view looking out onto the beautiful square reminded me of the opening scene in Beauty and the Beast!

Upper Town

After exploring the lower town, take the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec, a historic cable railway, to effortlessly ascend to the upper town. This short but scenic journey offers panoramic views of the St. Lawrence River and the architectural beauty of Old Quebec.

Once in the upper town, you are immediately greeted by the imposing presence of the Citadel, the largest British fortress in North America. Take a stroll along the picturesque Dufferin Terrace for an unparalleled view of the lower town and beyond.

Venture into the charming streets filled with historical structures, including the majestic Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Québec, a stunning example of neo-classical architecture, old-world elegance, and modern vibrancy.

Eat Food from the First Nations

Conclude your first night with a memorable dinner at La Sagamite. Located at 10 Rue Saint-Jean, it’s just a short walk from Quebec City’s historic city center. The restaurant has a rich backstory, originating from the traditional culinary practices of the First Nations. Their name, “Sagamite,” is an Algonquin word for a cornmeal dish, a staple in the diet of many indigenous communities. 

A woman looking outside from the window of the restaurant.

Today, La Sagamite reinvents indigenous cuisine for the modern palate, incorporating locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. The restaurant’s warm, welcoming ambiance is a fitting tribute to its roots, with décor that reflects the history and culture of the First Nations.

Diners at La Sagamite have the opportunity to immerse themselves in indigenous culinary traditions by exploring a menu brimming with diversity and flavor. The signature dish to try is their rendition of the traditional Sagamite, a hearty cornmeal stew. 

The Yatista, a specialty at La Sagamite, offers diners an innovative, yet authentic, taste of indigenous cuisine. The dish is centered around local game meat that comes out raw before being lit on fire so that you can cook it yourself. This is by far one of the best restaurants, we found when looking for a unique place to eat in Old Québec!

After this, you’ll be so excited for what the rest of your 5-day itinerary holds because you’ve only just started to experience all of the best things to do in Quebec City!

Day 2 in Quebec City

Visit Montmorency Falls

Begin your second day of your 5-day Quebec City itinerary with a little road trip to Montmorency Falls, an impressive waterfall located just outside Quebec City. Standing at a height of 83 meters (30 meters higher than Niagara Falls), it offers a breathtaking sight. You can easily reach the falls by a short 20-minute taxi ride.

A beautiful view of the Montmorency Falls