Looking to get away for a little of Old World Charm and European flair without having to leave North America? Quebec City is the place to be. There are plenty of things to do and see in Quebec City with kids.
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Quebec City has been a dream visit for both my husband and I. For my husband, it’s all about history, culture, and art. For me, I learned about Quebec City after having watched the popular Korean Drama series “The Lonely and Great God” when it first debut in 2016.
Quebec City has been on my bucket list since then and I am so excited we were able to make that possible with this ultimate family road trip.
This is also our last stop on our ultimate 11-day family road trip across Canada. Road trips are always a family fun adventure.
We had left Montreal quite late in the day making our arrival to Quebec City later than planned. Our drive from Montreal to Quebec City was an easy drive. About a 3 hours drive, it is definitely worth it to put this on your list.
Where To Stay In Quebec City
We arrived at our hotel, Delta Hotels by Marriott Quebec for the next couple of nights. Everything from arrival at the valet parking to check in to our stay was nothing short of outstanding.
Location is so important when looking at where to stay. Delta Hotels by Marriott Quebec is located in Downtown Quebec, within a few minutes walk to most attractions and in particular, nearby Old Quebec City.
There are few things that are key when we look for a place to stay especially with our kids. A pool is a must for the kids and a fitness room for the adults. On-site dining is extremely important as well, especially arriving late, we did not have to worry about going out to look for a meal.
The highlight for us with this stay was the VIP Club Room. The Club Room provides breakfast in the morning and snacks and drinks throughout the day. And a spectacular view of the city.
It was the perfect place to stay with many good reviews. Close enough to all the attractions yet far enough from all the busy-ness that comes with the attractions.
Visit Old Quebec City
Old Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage site, located on the Saint Lawrence River in Canada’s mostly French-speaking Quebec province. It is the most intact walled city north of Mexico.
And the best way to see its 400 years of incredible history is on foot. You are able to admire the view from every angle as you walk along the fortified walls surrounding this beautiful city.
Even with that construction, it is still a sight to see.
The narrow streets inside Old Quebec City are oozing with charm and are well worth taking the time to explore.
There are guided walking tours you can do or like us, you can explore on your own.
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Rue Saint-Jean is one of the oldest streets in the city and begins at the heart of the Upper Town. Taking a stroll here is a must.
You can tell once you arrive that you have been transported into another world. From the beautiful boutiques, cafes, and restaurants, you cannot help but stop and take it all in.
And the smell of sweet popcorn nearby? Can’t miss that either. That was enough for the boys to stop us for some popcorn here at Boutique Mary’s Popcorn Shop.
I was so struck by these lovely planters hanging over the balcony. So creative and definitely eye-catching!
Remember how I mentioned I was inspired to visit Quebec City from the Korean drama series? I was not looking in particular to any locations the series was shot at but I was extremely excited to run into La Boutique de Noël de Québec. One of the most memorable scenes in the drama 🙂
Rue du Tresor
Rue du Tresor is a very short narrow street where artists exhibit their art. I was pleasantly surprised to run into this little gem.
It is a nice place to spend some time if you’re an art fan but still a cute detour to take if you’re not that much into art.
The most photographed hotel in the world, Chateau Frontenac is Quebec City’s most famous landmark. Situated on Old Quebec City within the historic district’s Upper Town, it is a sight that you will not miss.
Despite the name, Chateau Frontenac was never a castle. It was built as a luxury hotel and remains to operate as a luxury hotel. Choose to stay here for a night or just visit. Such a beautiful building with so much history.
One cannot help but to take a picture with it.
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Right in front of Chateau Frontenac is Dufferin Terrace which stretches all the way to the foot of the La Citadelle de Quebec.
Dufferin Terrace is a long wooden boardwalk providing stunning views of the St. Lawrence River and the surrounding area making it the perfect spot to take beautiful pictures.
There is so much to do while at Dufferin Terrace with the kids! The first obvious one is to take pictures.
We love that this place is a wide-open space that the kids can run around freely and safely while the adults sit on the benches admiring the amazing views of the St. Lawrence River.
These cannons were brought to the city between the late 18th and early 19th century by the British for its defense.
And what better way to admire the cannons? Right on it, as in climbing onto the cannons. Fortunately, our kids were not the only ones that thought climbing onto the cannons would be fun.
Talking a stroll, listening to the musicians, and watching funny street performers are also great things to do here.
Or you can just chill and people watch like these two. Maybe have an ice cream while people watching.
We have visited Dufferin Terrace in the morning and had made plans to come back in the evening for their spectacular summertime firework displays here.
Ride the Funicular
From Dufferin Terrace, you can ride the Funicular down to Petit-Champlain in Lower Town.
Riding on the funicular with those large glasses provides amazing views as you descend down to Petit-Champlain.
The boys’ last funicular ride was at our second stop of this road trip to Niagara Falls.
Quartier Petit Champlain
This little quarter of Old Quebec City cannot be missed while you are there. Rue de Petit Champlain was named the best street in Canada back in 2014 with cobblestone streets, stone exteriors, and baskets overflowing with flowers dominating local shops and bistros. It definitely will transport you back in time.
A two-minute walk from Petit-Champlain, you will find Place Royale. This historical gem is where Québec City was officially founded in 1608.
The building’s unique period architecture demonstrates the combined French and British influences that are so characteristic of the city’s surroundings and charm.
Fun fact here: Place Royale was a thriving hub of trade and commerce under the French regime. The square was a bustling marketplace as well as a site of criminal executions. It was also the site of Samuel de Champlain’s first and second habitations, dating back to the year Quebec was founded.
Today, Place Royale serves as a gem in Old Quebec where visitors can come and be at awe at the historic buildings, visit the church, enjoy a meal or beverages on a patio and take plenty of photographs.
Basilica of Notre Dame de Quebec
Basilica of Notre Dame de Quebec has been standing on the same location since 1647. It is the oldest church in Canada and was the first church in Canada to be elevated to the rank of minor basilica by Pope Pius IX in 1874.
Basilica of Notre Dame de Quebec is designated a Canada National Historic Site given its architectural value. This is also the resting place for four governors of New France, the bishops of the diocese of Québec, and a funerary chapel dedicated to François de Laval.
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La Citadelle de Quebec
At the end of Dufferin Terrace, there is a staircase that will lead you to La Citadelle de Quebec.
This staircase looks pretty gruesome but it was actually an easy climb. We stopped along the way to take in the breathtaking views of the Saint Lawrence River.
La Citadelle de Quebec sits on top of Cap Diamant as it is the highest natural point in the area and has a critical role in the city’s defense system.
Known as “the Gibraltar of the Americas”, the Citadelle has the star-shaped form characteristic of Vauban fortifications.
It was erected between 1820 and 1850 and was the largest British fortress in North America at the time.
Today, it is still a living fortress with the men and women of the Royal 22e Régiment bringing military traditions to life inside. And with that, only guided tours are allowed.
We arrived right before the Changing of the Guard and it was very cool to see that. It is a ceremony that takes place in only 3 other places in the world, London and Windsor in England, and Ottawa in Canada.
Once the Changing of the Guard was over, we met with our tour guide to learn about the Citadelle and its history.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and engaging which made it a fun and interactive experience.
The Plains of Abraham
The Plains of Abraham is a historic area within The Battlefields Park. It is known as one of Canada’s most important historic parks and one of the most prestigious city parks.
The land is the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which took place on 13 September 1759, but hundreds of acres of the fields became used for grazing, housing, and minor industrial structures
Apart from its historical past, the park is to Québec what Central Park is to New York: a city park of outstanding value.
It is such a great place for the kids to run around. Just like at Dufferin Terrace, there are lots of wide-open spaces for the kids to roam without having to worry about them.
To learn more about the area and the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, visit the Plains of Abraham Museum. It serves as the park’s information and reception center and features the exhibition about the siege of Québec and the 1759 and 1760 battles of the Plains of Abraham.
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Parliament Hill is located in the Upper Town, just outside the walls of Old Quebec City. This is where you will find various government buildings.
Parliament Building & Fontaine de Tourny
The Parliament Building is an eight-floor building in Quebec City and home to the Parliament of Quebec. It is composed of the Lieutenant-Governor and the National Assembly.
Directly in front of the Parliament Building is the Fontaine de Tourny. It consists of 43 water jets and sculpted figures drawing the attention of the visitors.
This fountain was recently installed in 2007 but has a very rich history behind it.
It was originally installed in Bordeaux, France, in 1857, and then removed in 1960. The fountain was discovered by a businessman from Québec City by chance at a visit to a flea market in Paris.
He was looking for a unique gift to make to the City of Québec for its 400th anniversary and to thank the residents for contributing to the success of their fashion retail store located in Old Québec since 1840.
The fountain was in pretty bad shape but he saw great potential in it and knew that it would fit right in here in Quebec City.
He had the fountain shipped to Québec City, where it was restored before being presented to the city.
Promenade des Premiers-Ministres
Promenade des Premiers-Ministres is located on Boulevard René-Lévesque just beside the Parliament Building. It is an alley that pays homage to the premiers who have governed Québec since 1867.
Along the way are interpretive panels explaining how each helped build a nation.
We were able to get here right from our hotel as it is directly across the street. So close and convenient as with everything else we planned to visit.
While Montmorency Falls is not in Old Quebec City, it is pretty close. A short 15-minute drive will take you away from Old World charm to a magnificent waterfall.
Montmorency Falls is taller than Niagara Falls at 83 m (272.3′) high, a full 30 m (98.4′)
Once we arrived, we opted to ride the cable car to take us to the top. The view going up is absolutely amazing.
We stopped at Montmorency Manor to take in the sights and admire the beautifully appointed garden.
We made our way up to the suspended bridge. But before we decided to cross over, we stopped at the nearby park for the boys to play a bit.
I was pretty pleased that there were a couple of playgrounds here for the kids to spread out. We actually spent some time on two of them while we were here exploring.
We can feel the power of the river as it thunders past us while we were crossing the suspended bridge.
From up here, we can see the double zipline. If you are adventurous and would love to experience zip lining over the falls, this is it. Our kids did not meet the minimum age criteria but they were not sad about it either.
Be prepared for lots of walking. We went up on the cable car but on the way down, we took the 487-step panoramic staircase back down along the cliff.
Our little guy was pretty tired from all the walking that his dad ended up giving him a piggyback ride towards the end.
This was our very last stop here in Quebec City. We spent 48 hours exploring Quebec City and the boys are wiped out. They are even more wiped out as we close out our 11-day ultimate family road trip across Canada.
My Final Thoughts On Our Ultimate Quebec City Family Vacation
There is so much history here in Quebec City and was pleasantly surprised at how family-friendly it was. Definitely a great family vacation spot. We enjoyed our self-guided walking tour of the only fortified city north of Mexico and learned of the rich history.
What is your favorite place to visit in Quebec City?
Related Road Trips Posts
Check out these posts on our previous stops on this 11 Day road trip below.
- The Ultimate Two Day Itinerary In NYC With Kids
- The Ultimate Two Day Itinerary In Niagara Falls With Kids
- The Ultimate Two Day Itinerary In Montréal With Kids
- 200+ Awesome Family Road Trip Questions