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  • Writer's pictureSam.D

Best museums in Quebec city

First Forget the idea that museums are boring. (They can be but these are not !)

Near Quebec City's historic streets are hidden gems of culture and history—its museums. As a local tour guide, I've had the joy of sharing our rich heritage with visitors. Museums are my amoung my favorite spots.They offer a journey through time and history, rain or shine. Join me as I explore my top picks in Quebec City, each offering unique exhibits and stories that bring our city's history to life. This blog post will focus mostly on Québec city area Photo crédit :Facebook Monastère des Augustines

85 Rue Dalhousie, Québec, QC G1K 8R2

The Musée de la civilisation de Québec holds a special place in my heart as it is personally my favorite museum. Ever since my primary and high school days, I've cherished the memories of our day trips to this amazing museum. Its permanant exhibitions on the First Nations (C'est notre histoire) have always been a yearly stop, and I'm excited to learn that they are currently working on a new exhibition on rich history of Quebec. What I love most about this museum is its ever-changing of non-permanent exhibitions, each offering a unique perspective into various cultures. I still remember the exhibitions on Egypt, which ignited my desire to visit the country itself. With an upcoming exhibition on wrestling on the horizon, I can hardly contain my excitement. From themes like climate change to pure curiosity, the Musée de la civilisation de Québec never fails to fascinate and educate. Tips:Book your ticket online to save up to 3$ and mostly time. The museum also offert somes short walking tour of Place Royale Fun fact: The Musée de la civilisation de Québec was designed by the renowned architect Moshe Safdie,his portfolio includes iconic structures like Expo Habitat 67. Safdie's architectural brilliance extends beyond Quebec's cultural institution; he also played a role in crafting the stunning Changi Airport in Singapore.

Photo credit :Facebook Îlots des palais

8 Rue Vallière, Québec, QC G1K 3M7

I still dont know why so few travel website speak about it. Îlots des Palais has a unique significance for those who appreciate history and enjoy beer . Step into the colonial history of New France, this hidden gem offers a glimpse into Canada's past, including its role as the site of the first commercial brewery in the country, La Brasserie du Roy (1668)! The museum is located at few minutes walking from the train station La gare du palais! No the name of the train station is not a coïncidence. Îlots des Palais remains relatively unknown to both locals and travelers. From its origins as a brewery commissioned by Intendant Jean Talon in 1668 to its transformation into the official residence of the intendants and seat of power, Îlots des Palais offers a fascinating journey through time.I must say that this is a very big museum but one of my personal favorite and it is quite cheap to visit.

Enhance your adventure by participating in their "On the Beer Trail" GeoRally, followed by a beer tasting at one of these microbreweries: Le Corsaire, L’Inox, or La Korigane.Fun time ahead!

Fun fact: It holds treasures waiting to be discovered, such as the surprising find of Egyptian amulets dating back thousands of years near its grounds, adding an extra touch of mystery to its already location

Photo crédit :Facebook MNBAQ

8 Rue Vallière, Québec, QC G1K 3M7

Discover the vibrant art scene of Quebec at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. While undergoing restoration for the upcoming Espace Riopelle, the museum still offers a captivating experience. Don't miss the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion's diverse exhibitions. I While parts are closed for restoration, including the Charles Baillairgé Pavilion—a former Quebec City jail—there's still much to enjoy.With over 40,000 artworks, it houses the largest collection of Quebec art, featuring both local and international artists. Right after, have a walk outside on the field of Abraham.When the whole restoration will be done,the museum will be again a must see in the city.

Photo crédit :Facebook Monastère des Augustines

32 Rue Charlevoix, Québec, QC G1R 5C4 Did you know that Quebec city has the oldest hospital in North America (North of Mexico)? Thanks to the Augustine for that! Explore thousands of medical artifacts and immerse yourself in its rich history. The Augustine oversee a collection of approximately 50,000 artifacts that recount the history of healthcare since their arrival in 1639. Don't miss the museum's permanent exhibition, showcasing this fascinating journey through healthcare history and the evolution of it from the nuns to today healthcare. As a lover of museums, I highly recommend it! Fun fact: The Augustinian Monastery in Quebec City is now a top destination worldwide for a physical and mental health reboot, as named by National Geographic. Part of the monastery now serves as a hotel for visitors seeking health retreats. Stay in one of the comfortable authentic or contemporary rooms, Get an healthy breakfast in the peaceful dining room. Practice yoga or meditation, indulge in massage or reflexology services. If you want to get off the beaten path that could be an idea.

Photo crédit :Facebook Musée des Ursulines

12 rue Donnacona

In 1639, the Ursuline Sisters arrived in this part of the world (yes the same year as the Augustines).Explore the fascinating history of the Ursuline Museum and learn about the remarkable contributions of Marie Guyart (Marie de l'incarnation), whose writings have provided invaluable insights into the past. It is one of the first in North America and the oldest for girls, and discover the enduring impact of education and faith in shaping the history of Quebec City.

Photo crédit :Facebook Musée du fort

10 Rue Sainte-Anne, Québec, QC G1R 4S7 (Closed for now)

For the past two years, the museum has been closed, but I am hopeful that it will reopen and by 2024. The museum serves as an ideal starting point of learning about the location of Quebec. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Musée du Fort during your stay. Explore the museum's giant (40m2) model of the Quebec region circa 1750 and discover why Quebec City was considered impregnable due to its physical geography! Accompanied by sound and visual effects, it's a fascinating history lesson not to be missed. Although the presentation isn't lengthy, the entrance fee is quite affordable. Lets hope that the museum will be back.

835 Av. Wilfrid-Laurier, Québec, QC G1R 2L3

Did you know that the Plains of Abraham rank among the largest urban parks? Every summer, thousands of people gather there for events like Saint Jean Baptiste or the summer festival. Its part of the culture and probably not a single persons in this town never heard about it. It was the site of a important battle in 1759, making it a historically significant location.

Discover a diverse artifacts from the park's archaeological collection, and learn also about lesser-known but substantial battle of 1760! Take part also of alot outdoors activity!

In the summer, enjoy a guided bus tour with a costumed guide.

Uncover the secrets of the park, named after Abraham Martin, and learn about its historic sites and hidden gems, from Jeanne d'Arc Garden to the iconic battles between the British and the French, all with a touch of humor. On July 1 (Canada Day) and November 11 (Remembrance Day), access to the Museum is FREE If you are school group I loved and recommand alot the workshop and the history activity with them.

Photo crédit :facebook la citadelle

7-La Citadelle de Québec 1 Côte de la Citadelle, Québec, QC G1R 3R2

If you have a passion for military history, you won't want to miss out on the opportunity to visit one of the city's most iconic landmarks - the Citadelle of Québec. Discover the rich heritage of the only French-speaking infantry regiment at the heart of North America's largest British fortress. Immerse yourself in the enduring exhibition "Je me souviens," which vividly portrays a century of the Royal 22e Regiment's history through carefully selected artifacts showcased in a retrospective display. Gain insights into the historical significance of the current buildings, as the museum offers a comprehensive exploration of its past, making it a must-visit destination for military history enthusiasts.


Erico chocolate There a free chocolate museum on Saint-Jean street named Erico, You can explore the small chocolate museum on-site, showcasing over 200 artifacts that trace the fascinating evolution of this beloved indulgence from ancient times to the present day. At the end of the museum there also plenty of chocolate to sell + great ice cream.If you want to venture off the old wall I suggest it.

Many people often inquire, 'Can I visit the Château Frontenac even if I don't have a room?' Well, the answer is yes... but its way better if you do have a room! In the lower section of the Château, visitors can explore somes fascinating artifacts unearthed during its construction, along with insightful information about key figures from colonial times. While it may not be a museum in the traditional sense, the experience is short but worthwhile (like why not?). Additionally, for those seeking a deeper dive into chateau frontenac, there a tour company named Cicerone offering comprehensive walking tours of the Château Frontenac. It's important to note that these tours aren't limited to just the interior; its both indoor and outdoor. It provide story, facts and deeper dive into of this iconic landmark. Trust me, it's worth it.

Now, why not consider joining my free walking tour? I know, shameless self-promotion alert, but let's face it: Old Quebec and the city as a whole is an open door museums waiting to be explored. I strongly recommend a walking tour, whether it's with me or another licensed tour guide. It's not just about sightseeing; it's about gaining local insights and a deeper perspective on the vibrant history of the city. As a freelance tour guide, I do not receive any funding from the city. The free walking tour is contribution-based ideas very common in many place in the world. As a result, you give whatever you want at the end of the tour. That is not something I mention or force anybody to do; it is completely voluntary. Be sure, I do my best to make the tour one of the highlight of your trip!

You can book your tour here  

There also possibility (with fee) to do private tour. Over the year I did many tour for schools groups, company or even a bachelorette party (it actually happen).

Free museum admission on the first Sunday of the month is available to Quebec residents, students,and newcomers.

Why spend your Sunday lounging on the couch when you can redécouvrir the museums of your city for free? Quebec residents are in luck every premier dimanche of the month, as museums open their doors at no cost. Explore the history and culture of Quebec City without dépenser un sou. And if you're a library member, you can emprunter a cultural passport for free access to various museums, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Musée de la civilisation. If you are a newcomer, étudiant international, or immigrant, voici une belle opportunité pour découvrir le Québec !

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