Québec: 11 must-see attractions

Tourist attractions

Places to visit in the Province of Quebec

Jacques-Cartier National Park
Average visit duration: One day

Jacques-Cartier National Park

One of the province's 30 national parks, is only a 30 minute-drive north of Quebec City. You will be able to explore 258mi2 of surface area and over 62 miles of trail. Towering mountains, through valleys and rivers are a delight for visitors.
Activities are not just limited to hiking, kayaking down the Jacques Cartier River is also very popular, as is fishing or stand up paddling. In winter, put on your snowshoes or skis and go explore the snow-covered landscapes.

Matisse's tip : Feeling energized? Wolf Trail offers the most impressive view of the park. For an intermediate level alternative, go for the Éperon hike.
You will love Jacques-Cartier National Park for
Hiking | Nature | Fauna observation | Viewpoint | Rivers

Parc national de la Mauricie
Average visit duration: 2 days

Parc national de la Mauricie

Au cœur de la chaine de montagnes des Laurentides, le Parc national de la Mauricie se distingue par sa forte concentration en lacs et sa forêt abondante. Il représente ainsi parfaitement l’idée que l’on se fait des grands espaces canadiens. De nombreuses randonnées et points de vue sont faciles d’accès ce qui rend le lieu particulièrement familial, adapté à tous les niveaux. Enfilez vos meilleures chaussures de marche pour parcourir les 160 km de sentiers traversant le parc de toutes parts.
Côté faune et flore, vous y trouverez plus de 30 espèces d’arbres différentes et des mammifères comme l’ours noir, l’orignal ou encore le loup de l’Est sans oublier les rongeurs aisément observables.

Matisse's tip : Louez un canoë depuis l’aire de pique-nique de Shewenegan afin d'explorer le lac Wapizagonke. Fort sentiment de liberté et d’émerveillement à la clef. Pour une expédition à la journée, partez en quête des chutes Waber : 4,6 km de canot suivi de 3,5 km de randonnée sont nécessaires pour accéder à ce petit paradis.
You will love Parc national de la Mauricie for
Hiking | Lakes | Nature | VIewioint | Fauna observation

Average visit duration: One day


Tadoussac and its villages are surrounded by preserved landscapes and offer a friendly atmosphere that brings together both locals and travellers. In addition to its remarkable setting, the region is renowned for its river, which is frequented by many marine animals, including whales. From spring to autumn, up to 12 different species run up the local rivers to enjoy krill and fish. This is made possible by the favourable underwater relief and currents that are conducive to a proliferation of food.
There are many ways to observe marine wildlife, you can hike along the shore or go on excursions on a zodiac boat or kayak. After your encounter with whales, porpoises and Beluga whales, take a walk along the dunes of Tadoussac and visit the old chapel.

Matisse's tip : Some establishments offer sublime camping - grounds or cabins with a view of the river that allow you to admire the passing of whales. An ideal place to embellish your escape to Tadoussac.
You will love Tadoussac for
Nice village | Nature | Fauna observation | River | Water sports

Average visit duration: One day


The Charlevoix region is full of amazing landmarks such as L'Isle-aux-Coudres, Grands-Jardins National Park, Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park or Port-au-Persil, which are part of The Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec association.
The splendour of the landscapes rests on the impressive mountains majestically set on the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
In the same spirit as Île d'Orléans, in Charlevoix you will find plenty of local products and crafts. Your trip will be punctuated by beers, ciders, chocolates and cheeses for the greatest enjoyment of hedonists.

Matisse's tip : avoid the main roads to fully enjoy the various panoramas and discover the local life: farms, bookshops/cafés, antique dealers…
You will love Charlevoix for
Hiking | Countryside | Craftsmanship | VIewioint | Mountains

Saguenay Fjord National Park
Average visit duration: 2 days

Saguenay Fjord National Park

A breathtaking panorama awaits you in this 1260mi2 national park. Its fjord and surrounding forest make it one of the most exotic places in the province. Both in summer and winter, it is an ideal spot for hiking, kayaking, via ferrata, snowshoeing and dog sledding. You may even have the chance to see a few Beluga whales during the summer months.
Considered one of the most beautiful in the park, the Anse-de-Tabatière viewpoint is accessible to everyone and is the ideal spot to watch the sky change color at sunset.

Matisse's tip : talk to a park officer about your expectations and your sporting level, they will be able to advise you on which hike is the best for you.
You will love Saguenay Fjord National Park for
Hiking | Nature | Fauna observation | Viewpoint | Natural wonders

Lac Saint-Jean
Average visit duration: 2 days

Lac Saint-Jean

A trip around Lac Saint-Jean, which is called “the inland sea” because of its size, is a classic for road-trip enthusiasts. The inhabitants call themselves the blueberries, referring to the fruit that grows abundantly in the region.
Enjoy a cultural break by discovering Aboriginal history at the Mashteuiatsh Amerindian Museum or enjoy an unusual experience at the Wild Zoo of St-Félicien: animals roam freely on 1200 acres of land while you observe them from the caged train, the roles are reversed for the well-being of the residents. The zoo is home to many animals from the Boréalie region and all its profits are reinvested in the preservation of these species.
If you want to take a leap into the past, stop at the ghost town of Val-Jalbert and the Ouiatchouan falls, and travel back to 1927.
Naturewise, Pointe-Taillon National Park and Grandes-Rivières Regional Park offer sandy shores on one side, boreal forests and majestic rivers on the other.

Matisse's tip : pie, ice-cream or jam, blueberries can be enjoyed in many different ways! It even has its own festival each year in August.
You will love Lac Saint-Jean for
Lake | Hiking | Entertainment | Gastronomy | Art & Culture

Gaspé Peninsula
Average visit duration: 7 days

Gaspé Peninsula

The Gaspé Peninsula offers over 550 miles of panoramic coastal roads, it is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Beaches, mountains and cliffs cohabit harmoniously, the Atlantic Ocean meets the St. Lawrence River. The Percé Rock is the main attraction of the peninsula, you can admire its arch by kayak, directly from the coast or on a boat tour. Every Spring, Bonaventure Island turns into a bird sanctuary for northern gannets, majestic birds with bright white feathers.
Wildlife observation is just as rich in the Forillon Park, with its cliffs and boreal forest being the home of many species: seals, lynxes, beavers and also whales (cruise required).
For a seaside break, head for the Chaleur Bay and its long beaches, that have the warmest water in the Gaspé Peninsula.
Local cuisine is mainly composed of seafood products such as lobster, shrimp and crab.

Matisse's tip : To increase your chances of encountering moose, book a safari in the Chic-Choc Mountains with an experienced wildlife guide.
You will love Gaspé Peninsula for
Nature | Hiking | Gastronomy | Wildlife observation | Viewpoint

Quebec City
Average visit duration: 2 days

Quebec City

The only fortified city on the North America and former transatlantic seaport, Québec City has a rich history. It is now the capital of the Province of Quebec and is divided into two geographical areas: Upper Town and Lower Town.
Upper Town is full of small alleys, old traditional houses and religious buildings such as the Basilica-Cathedral Notre-Dame de Québec. Château Frontenac, the city's iconic building, is the world’s most photographed hotel. In front of it, the panoramic Dufferin Terrace invites you to stroll down the Governors Promenade, along the ramparts of the Citadel.
Lower Town is a maze of picturesque streets and districts such as the Petit-Champlain. Take a photo break on Place Royale and its imposing mural fresco depicting Quebec's history over the past 4 centuries.

Matisse's tip : If you are visiting the Old Capital under the snow, plan a stopover at the legendary Hôtel de Glace (Ice Hotel), an ephemeral work of art that comes back to life every winter. Guided tours are organized to allow everyone to explore this frosty palace.
You will love Quebec City for
Architecture | Gastronomy | Entertainment | Heritage | Monument

Montmorency Falls
Average visit duration: 3 hours

Montmorency Falls

The 83-meter-high falls are the highest waterfalls in Quebec, 30 meters higher than the Niagara Falls. This natural jewel is only a 15 minute-drive from downtown Quebec City and is located where the Montmorency river drains into the St. Lawrence River.
Not afraid of heights? Go rock climbing by following one of the 3 via ferrata routes or enjoy the amazing view offered by the 300 meter-long zipline. .
Open all year long, an astonishing phenomenon occurs during winter: the mist crystallizes and slowly settles at the base of the waterfall. The thin, successive layers of white powder form a giant pile, poetically nicknamed "sugar loaf".

Matisse's tip : Taking the 487-step panoramic staircase to the foot of the waterfall makes it even more impressive. If you don’t want to walk back up, you can always effortlessly take the cable car and enjoy the falls from another angle.
You will love Montmorency Falls for
Waterfalls | Nature | Nature wonders | Entertainment

Île d’Orléans
Average visit duration: Half a day

Île d’Orléans

The local atmosphere is characterized by its sweetness of life, market gardening and arts and crafts. This 33 km long island is only a 15 minute-drive from Quebec City and is a destination of choice for gourmets. Take a map of the area and go visit its chocolate factories and sugar shacks or enjoy a blackcurrant wine tasting. The many farm products vary according to the season and are a big part of the culinary heritage of the island, they can easily be found in local farmers markets. The constantly evolving landscapes and the many historic buildings will make your visit of the island an unforgettable experience.

Matisse's tip : Want to fill your suitcase with Quebec specialities (maple syrup and butter, ice wine, chocolate...)? Île d'Orléans is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs.
You will love Île d’Orléans for
Countryside | Island | Gastronomy | Craftsmanship | Market

Average visit duration: 3 days


Located on an island in the St. Lawrence River, Montreal is the most populated city in the province of Quebec and the second largest in Canada. It is as large as it is vibrant, its multicultural districts are bursting with energy and entertainment, in a relaxed and casual atmosphere.
Looking for an artistic and stimulating atmosphere? Plateau Mont-Royal and Mile End are the perfect place for you thanks to its many thrift shops, cafés, record stores, art galleries and street art artworks.
Take a walk along the old port or hike to the Mount-Royal lookout, the famous park overlooking the city. You will be rewarded with an unforgettable view of downtown Montreal and its skyscrapers. In summer, go see the dancers and drummers that gather every Sunday around the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Monument.
You can count on local beers, bagels, poutines and smoked meat sandwiches to satisfy your need for culinary discoveries. Thanks to its fast-growing culinary scene, Montreal is becoming the #1 foodie destination in North America. What to see in Montréal

Matisse's tip : Take a look at Montreal festivals and events calendar, a lot of them take place on the Place des Arts during summertime. Other summer animations, such as fireworks, take place in the Old Port. We strongly recommend going to the “Gardens of Light” event if you happen to be in Montreal in September.
You will love Montréal for
Architecture | Museums | Art & Culture | Garden | Festivals

Travel tips
Travel journalist

Matisse's review

During the three months I spent in Montreal, I fell in love with "The City of a Hundred Steeples". What first appealed to me is the young and relaxed atmosphere, combined with the presence of many different cultures. The city offers endless possibilities: museums, parks, bars, shows... it is impossible to get bored, whatever your interests are. But there’s more; sunsets are splendid here, especially from the steps of Saint Joseph’s Oratory. Quebec City’s cafés, terraces and cobblestoned streets give the city an undeniable European charm. The streets of Old Quebec are the oldest in North America. The Frontenac castle overlooks the city and makes the urban landscape particularly photogenic.

What I enjoyed the most in La Mauricie National Park were the Shewenegan waterfalls, the panorama offered by the "Île aux Pins" viewpoint and discovering Lake Wapizagonke on a canoe. The main appeal of the park is the presence of water everywhere, whether it be lakes, ponds, rivers or waterfalls.
Fjord-du-Saguenay National Park is my favourite national park! The various hikes it offers are perfect if you are looking for a new sporting challenge or a breathtaking view.
Jacques-Cartier National Park is a guaranteed change of scenery, only a few miles away from the city. I really enjoyed the range of activities available throughout the different seasons and I will never forget my encounter with a few wild porcupines along the trails.

What a pleasure to discover Canada's far north through its boreal forest or Amerindian culture. Lac Saint-Jean brilliantly combines natural wonders, culture, entertainment and gastronomy. At certain times of the year, the region is a prime location for northern lights hunting.

My visit to Île d'Orléans was a real immersion in local traditions with visits to orchards, stops at fruit and vegetable shops and tastings. This quenched my thirst for culinary discovery while improving my knowledge of how certain products are made. I highly recommend taking this magical break to discover Quebec’s know-how and to give flavour to your trip.
The Montmorency Falls are a stopover that skilfully combines walking with sensational activities. Each season brings its share of charm and unveils a new aspect of the falls, which further reinforces their uniqueness. If you are lucky enough to see them from the highway, don't hesitate to make a stop to enjoy the power and beauty of the site.
Thanks to its relaxed atmosphere and marine wildlife, Tadoussac is a magical destination. My best memory is having been able to observe animals in a respectful manner for several hours on board a kayak.