buildings in old quebec city in summer

15 Fun Things to Do in Quebec City in Summer

Looking for fun things to do in Quebec City in summer? You’ve come to the right place. 

Summer is a great time to experience what this charming city and its surrounding beauty has to offer. Being the oldest city in Canada, its cobbled streets and historic buildings make you feel like you’re walking through a medieval town in Europe. 

Quebec City is one of my favourite cities to explore. From history, culture, a foodie scene and gorgeous scenery to explore, there are many ways to enjoy a Quebec City summer. 

Let’s get right into the best things to do during summer in Quebec!

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🤩 Short on time? See the best of Quebec City on this 1-day tour!

15 Fun Things to Do in Quebec City in the Summer

montmorency falls is quebec city's waterfall and one of the most fun activites in quebec city in the summer

1. Visit Montmorency Falls

One of the best things to do in Quebec City in summer is to visit Montmorency Falls. This beautiful waterfall stands 272.3 ft (83 m) tall, 30 ft taller than Niagara Falls

You can then walk down the 487 steps of the side staircase, giving you multiple perspectives of the falls and the surrounding area. 

Prefer not to take the stairs? Ride the cable car to the top. The suspension bridge walking over the falls gives you a thrilling view of the water plunging over the cliff below. 

Montmorency Falls are about 15 minutes outside of the city and there are a few ways to get there from the heart of Quebec City between public transit and driving.

If you are looking for a hike while you are here, hike the Montmorency Falls Trail. It’s a 4.7 km loop that is popular with hikers, birdwatchers, and photographers. It takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes at a moderate pace.

Looking for something more thrilling? Try ziplining over Quebec City’s waterfall. While it’s not like ziplining through the jungles of Costa Rica, it’s a great way to get a unique view of Montmorency Falls. Set aside 30-45 minutes if you plan to zipline. The zipline was closed during my visit or I would’ve done the zipline.

🤩 Visit Montmorency Falls on this small-group tour!

walking on the umbrella street in quebec city

2. Walk through Old Quebec

Walking through Old Quebec is a must for your Quebec City itinerary and is one of the most fun things to do in Quebec City in summer.

Being in the old part of town brings you through the heart of one of the oldest cities in North America. Over 400 years of history! A medieval-looking environment with rustic buildings and narrow cobbled roads is a journey through time to days long passed. 

Spend a few hours walking through this charming neighbourhood and taking in the sights. It’s an area I enjoy visiting in all seasons.

🤩 Explore both Upper and Lower Old Quebec on this walking tour with a funicular ride!

a boat on the shore of the st lawrence river getting ready to go on a river cruise of Quebec City

3. Cruise Along the St. Lawrence River

Cruising along the St. Lawrence River gives you a view of the Old Quebec skyline from a different perspective and allows you to admire the massive river.

The Quebec-Levis ferry brings you to the Island of Levis, across from Quebec City. It takes 12 minutes and sails across the river multiple times each day, so it’s perfect if you are short on time.

For a more elaborate way to enjoy the scenic views from the river, take a Quebec City guided sightseeing cruise along the St. Lawrence River. Seeing city skylines from the water is one of my favourite city adventures.

🛥️ For fun after dark, enjoy this evening river cruise with a DJ!

a plate of quebec city poutine and a smaller plate with a smoked meat sandwich

4. Eat Delicious French Canadian Cuisine 

While you’re in Quebec City in summer, be sure to try local delicacies such as traditional poutine, pea soup, and Quebec-style pastries. 

There are a variety of restaurants in Quebec City, from fine dining to fast-food and ethnic restaurants.

While Montreal has many must-eat places and is generally known as the foodie capital of Quebec, Quebec City offers a unique experience to enjoy traditional French Canadian cuisine with a mix of old and new.

There are many patios to enjoy the scenic old city with a view while enjoying traditional gourmet food. A few of my favourite restaurants in Quebec City include L’Entrecote Saint-Jean for steak and frites and Fromagerie Victoria for poutine.

🍴 Enjoy Quebecois traditional dishes & desserts on this Quebec City food tour!

a bird's eye view of the chateau frontenac as seen from a quebec city helicopter ride
Unsplash photo by Adam Delelis

5. Experience Thrills on a Helicopter Ride

It’s one thing to walk around admiring the views of Quebec City in summer, but imagine being able to see the old town from the perspective of the sky. Getting into a helicopter will give you the most incredible views of the Old Town surrounded by walls from above, along with the river and surrounding land. 

Perfect for a special occasion being celebrated in Quebec City or simply just for a once-in-a-lifetime sight that is missed by most tourists.

🚁 See Old Quebec from a bird’s eye view on this private flight over Quebec City!

chateau frontenac as seen from a far in old quebec city in summer

6. Tour the Chateau Frontenac

When looking for what to do in Quebec City in summer, the famous castle should be one of the things high up on your list. While it’s nothing like the castles in Portugal, it’s worth visiting!

Chateau Frontenac is the most famous landmark in Quebec City and the most photographed hotel in the world. It has one of the nicest hotel lobbies I’ve seen so far.

To stay the night at the Chateau Frontenac is the best way to experience it but not the only way. 

If you aren’t staying here, you can take a tour the inside of the chateau and learn about the building’s history, how it was used in the 1890s when it was built, and how it evolved into a well-known luxury hotel. Or enjoy a mocktail in the hotel’s bar.

🏰 See the inside of Chateau Frontenac on this castle tour!

a black wall with a bicycle in front of it, getting ready to go for a bike ride in quebec city
Unsplash photo by Robert Bye

7. Ride a Bicycle Around and Explore

Exploring Quebec City by bike is a fun summer activity. Feel the wind on your face as you breeze past the beautiful scenery and historic buildings.

Riding a bike is handy to minimize the walking distance between attractions, saving you time during your Quebec summer vacation.

A guided biking tour of Quebec City allows you to stop at some of the famous attractions along the way. 

Want to bike around freely? You can also rent a bike for up to 4 hours to enjoy at your own pace in the city. You can even bike all the way to Montmorency Falls, although I’d recommend the e-bike to go that far.

🚴 Discover all the best sights by bike on this Quebec City e-bike tour!

a girl sitting on top of the quebec city fortification wall ready for a summer picnic

8. Enjoy a Picnic with a View

Enjoying a picnic with a view of Quebec City is the perfect summer activity while you’re in the European city of North America. 

There are a few places to enjoy a summer picnic in Quebec City with a spectacular view, including the top of the fortifications and the Terrace-Pierre Dugua de Mons.

One of the locations is on top of the fortifications overlooking the city. Quebec City is the only fortified city north of Mexico, so being on top of the fortifications is a unique experience to have in Canada and a picnic would make it extra special. To get on top of the fortifications, you must climb St. Louis Gate.

Another prime location for a picnic is the Terrace-Pierre-Dugua-de Mons, a beautiful park overlooking Chateau Frontenac which you can access from the Dufferin Terrace. 

If you don’t have a picnic (like me), still visit these parks and pause and relax for a while while sitting on the grass.

watching the sunset from dufferin terrace is one of the most fun things to do in quebec city in summer

9. Watch the Sunset from Dufferin Terrace

The Dufferin Terrace is the boardwalk just outside of Chateau Frontenac. In summer, you can find events and concerts here. For excitement here in winter, there is tobogganing (which is so much fun). 

From Dufferin Terrace, you can see the most picturesque view of Old Town and the St. Lawrence River. With its stunning views and elevated height above the old town, Dufferin Terrace is a great location to catch a beautiful sunset. Watch the skies change from shades of yellows to oranges over the medieval city. 

Sunset happens between 8:20 and 8:45 pm in July and slightly earlier in August.

place royale in quebec city is a must visit in any season

10. See the Origin of Quebec City at Place Royale

When visiting Quebec City, you can’t miss visiting Place Royale. Palace Royal is a set of old buildings, including the oldest stone church in North America, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires. 

This is where Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City in 1608. 

In addition to viewing these medieval buildings, you can also see the outline of Samuel de Champlain’s old house near the church. 

While you are here, enjoy a sweet treat or drink from Cafe La Maison Smith and soak in the history. It’s got a great view and was a great place to relax after all the walking.

🤩 Visit this historic square on this walking tour!

11. Climb Observatoire de la Capitale

Quebec City is beautiful in summer, so you won’t be able to get enough of the views. For panoramic views 31 floors above the city from Quebec City’s tallest skyscraper, visit Observatorire de la Capitale. 

Located inside the Marie-Guyart Building, from the lookout you can see uptown Quebec leading to Old Town, with its fortified walls, and the beautiful Chateau Frontenac with the river behind it. 

The Observatoire is perfect for first-timers visiting Quebec City or those who have never managed to get these unique views on previous trips.

Summer in Quebec City is often the perfect time to get these views, as the view is usually clear with sunny blue skies.

The observation deck is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm.

Tickets are required in advance, so book your visit and don’t miss this view. 

a girl holding up a box with four jams from quebec city

12. Buy Local Treats on Ile d’Orleans

Ils d’Orleans is one of the most quant islands to visit in Quebec in summer. Located near Quebec City, it’s a heritage island with architecture and homes dating back to the 1600s.

It draws artists and small businesses who open up shop during the summer and is a perfect place for an afternoon stroll sampling local artisan snacks

Head to the Relais des Pins Sugar Shack for some maple-flavoured sweets and the Chocolaterie d’Ile d’Orleans for delicious ice cream and chocolate treats to take home. For delicious jam, visit Confiturerie Tigidou; the jam samples were my favourite!

🚗 Need transportation? Eat your way across Ile d’Orleans on this food tour!

petit champlain - a popular shopping street in quartier petit champlain

13. Shop in Quartier Petit Champlain

Summer in Quebec City makes for great shopping weather and where better than Quartier Petit Champlain!

Quartier Petit Champlain is a neighbourhood in Old Quebec named after Quebec City’s founder, Samuel de Champlain. 

Its pedestrian-only streets make it a relaxing walk around and allow you to take your time as you take in the shops.

Grab a coffee or a bite to eat in the Royal Square, before heading off to window shop on the Rue du Petit Champlain, which is one of the most beautiful streets in Quebec City and famous for its boutique stores.

Take advantage of your Quebec summer vacation and stroll through the cobbled streets and admire the history and the shops.

🛍️ For something fun to do before or after shopping, get your photos taken on Petit-Champlain!

a whale fin sticking out of the water as seen from a whale watching tour from quebec city
Unsplash photo by Karl-Heinz Muller

14. Go Whale Watching

One of the most memorable and fun things to do in Quebec City in summer is go whale watching. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, you don’t have to travel too far from Quebec City to see humpback and beluga whales in the ocean. 

The summer months are the best time to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

A boat ride can bring you from Quebec City to the town of Baie-Sainte-Catherine, which is considered one of the most beautiful places in the world to spot whales.

🛥️ Search for whales on this full-day whale watching tour from Quebec City!

a girl swimming at a quebec city spa at night after spending the day doing many fun summer activities in quebec city

15. Relax with a Spa Day

Quebec City has some fantastic and unique spa experiences. A spa day is one of my favourite things to do in Quebec City because it’s the perfect way to end a fun weekend of exploring.

Nordic-style spas have become very popular in Canada and Quebec City is no exception. Visit the Strøm spa Nordique, or the SKYSPA in Old Town if you’re looking for relaxing, Scandinavian-style treatments, including thermal experiences, pools, outdoor baths, massages and saunas. 

These spas leave you feeling rejuvenated during your trip and re-energize you before you head out for more sightseeing.

🤩 Book your spa day in advance to not miss out!

Visiting Quebec City in Summer FAQs

What is Quebec City Like in the Summer?

Between the nice weather, special summer festivals and events, Quebec City in summer is both busy and charming. There are many outdoor patio restaurants, parks and outdoor activities to experience in the city. Grande Allee is closed during the summer weekends and festivals, making it easy for pedestrians to get around. Temperatures in Quebec City in the summer are mild compared to other North American cities.

Is Quebec City Worth Visiting in Summer?

Yes, Quebec City is worth visiting in summer. Quebec City in the summer has several special events and festivals that only run during that time. There are lots of things to do in Quebec City in the summer, such as Montmorency Falls, scenic views from the St. Lawrence River, as well as the atmosphere in Old Quebec with its festivals and patio season. 

Is Quebec City Crowded in Summer?

Yes, Quebec City in the summer can be crowded, especially on weekends. Summer is the busiest time in Quebec City, for both tourism and festivals which are popular for locals and visitors alike. To avoid crowds, try to visit during the weekday in summer, or during the months of June or September when there are fewer tourists. 

🍴 Eat your way through Old Quebec on this food & drink tour!

Final Thoughts on What to Do in Quebec City in Summer

Quebec City is a gem in North America and worth visiting in summer. 

When looking for what to do in Quebec City in summer, you will have more than enough to fill your whole itinerary. 

The best summer activities in Quebec City include exploring the old town, Montmorency Falls and whale watching. 

Take it slow and enjoy it. Go for a walk and admire the century buildings and medieval landscape. 

And make sure to include a few days in Montreal during your trip to Quebec. Especially visiting during summer, when there are so many fun things to do in Montreal.

Happy travelling!

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