Things to do in Quebec city in wintertime! Updated 2022
Updated: Dec 5, 2022
Winter is Here! While winter weather in this beautiful province can be harsh and tough, Quebec is nonetheless a lovely city in wintertime. Once you embrace winter your trip will be unforgettable. Here is a small list of activities you can do when you will come over for a visit:
Try Dufferin Terrace Slides (Tobbogan Run)
From Mid-December to Mid-March
This is a tradition for many Quebecers since 1884! "Attache ta tuque avec de la broche." (Which in French Canadian means "tie your hat with staples"). Slide down at speeds up to 70 kph and shiver with excitement! You're in for a treat with this nice, cheap activity. Rent your toboggan at the 1884 kiosk right by the slide. Have fun!
Try some great coffee-houses
Un café, s'il vous plaît Of course you can pass the whole day outside... but what better after your rosy cheeks have gone numb than a nice hot cup of coffee? You can go to Tim Horton or Starbuck coffee if you want but you should definitely try coffee in certain coffee-houses that are exclusive to this city! Here is a short list of some of these places: Maison Smith (you can find 3 La Maison Smith in the old town at great locations). Les Bruleries (Various locations, great local art display! Joli endroit). Nektar Caféologue (Various locations, from limoilou to Saint-roch) Nice place that I love to go on the 3e avenue. Café Félin ma langue aux chats(If you love cats this is the place to go, it is a cat friendly coffee house. Location is about 1 minute away from the Gare du Palais train station). Café Faux Mouvement located at the end of petit champlain street. If you are a runners, they are specialised into running gear. You can also run with them!
Café fuck la mode A coffee place and also a clothing store with a quite special name! Société des loisirs Super interesting concept in Saint-Roch, its a coffee shop but also and mostly a place where they produce and press Vinyl! If you want to grab a coffee while listening to local artist. Saint Henri (In the heart of Saint Roch, relaxing) Camellia-Sinensis (If you are more into traditionnal tea...it's one of the places to go! Good service) Sebz Tea Lounge (located in the upper town, it features knowledgeable employees and a wonderful ''loungey'' vibe. A very pleasant experience indeed!) Much others
Crédit photo:strom spa
Go to a spa
How to cope with cold weather? Winter time is actually the perfect time to experience the greatest condition of a spa. It's relaxing, good for health and pores, not to mention a great escape from the stress. Quebec city have plenty of spas that you can experience.
The Strom spa is right by the saint Lawrence river at a perfect location. I personally visited the place and it is literally immaculate. I didn't want to leave the place. It is already ranked as one of the most beautiful spa in whole Quebec area. It recently opened few years ago only 15 minutes walking distance from Place Royale. Siberia Spa In the wild - quite nice location! Sky Spa (which on the top of a skyscraper...I know!) Spa des Neiges (Few minutes away from Saint-Anne de beaupré next to Beaupré microbrewery also ! )
Take the ferry
A boat ride on the historical Saint Lawrence river it’s a must (all season included). The most amazing view you'll get is in winter. Seeing the cold ice floating along the river is a unique experience. Did you know that people in the past were able to cross the saint Lawrence river on horse carriages? We formerly had an ice bridge and people were even able to cross the river by foot…now I don’t suggest you to do so…You might die. Levis overlooks Quebec right across the river where you'll find the ferry. Go have a drink at the le Corsaire microbrewery (1 minute away from the terminal) and enjoy the view for me.
Crédit photo:tuque et bicycle What about a fat bike ride? Are you looking for a new unique way to discover the city in complete freedom? What about a fat bike rental! Doing bike in wintertime are you crazy sam? No im not! You can rent it,you can take a tour off the beaten path also.Tuque & bicycle expériences is a new company that offer this unforgettable experience.I met the owner Émilie through tourism networks and she is a great young entrepreneur. She (with her team) can teach you how to do fat bike safely and even bring you off the beaten path on a tour.
There many greats locations with nice lovely setting to do Ice skating in the city. One of the local favorite is place d'Youville just outside the gate saint jean! There another one at the beautiful domaine maizerets few minutes away from the city. It can be a nice romantic activity to right before getting a coffee or hot liquor inside.
Onhwa Lumina End of November to March ($$)
A trip to Quebec is never completed without learning about the first nations and their cultures. They are the ancestor of the land that you visit. They knew how to survive with this weather and live in harmony with the nature. During your trip,have a stop at Wendake few minutes away from the old town. Onhwa’ Lumina is a new activity to teach you about the rich millenial history of the Huron-Wendat Nation. It is an delighted night walk in the heart of Wendake. It was developed by Moment Factory alongside artists,writer,musicians, historians and community members from the Nation.It explores different themes such as the cycle of life, the passing of knowledge, and the shared relationship between all living things. It mixed recent technology and multimedia with an immersive path to the past. Worth the time,price and visit! You can complete your learning also with the huron wendat museum.
Take a walking tour with me
Sam are you doing tour also in winter time? Yes I do! It is a fun activity to walk around the city with all the winter vibes.If you dress well with warm clothes there is multiply opportunity for you to enjoy the city.You can book a private tour with me and your group.If you want or take a free walking tour when it is on my schedule. Québec city has a rich history and just wait to be told.
Important thing to know! If you can't make the tour please tell me in advance don't do no show. It is not fun to take a bus to get to the location and wait outside for nobody...believe me ;) If the weather is bad more than -20 celsius or if I dont get enough reservation The tour will be canceled.I will inform the group the day before.
Shovel the snow
That is not one of the usual things you will see on a list of things to do in wintertime for a tourist…but I find it totally interesting, especially for someone who's never done it. If you see someone shoveling their entrance, their car park or anything, ask them to try or if they have another shovel to help them. The good side of being a tourist is you wont have to do that activity everyday all winter! ( unlike we, who do that most of the winter). That being said, be careful when you shovel the snow to avoid injury. If you aren't sure… google how to shovel snow on youtube (Yes it exist!).You will be helpful to the people, and they will love you offering help!
One of the biggest winter carnival events in the world is hosted here!
A long time tradition in Québec city, Le Carnaval de Québec is really fun!
It actually put the old town quite alive.All kinds of activity from canoe race to Ice sculptures ,axe throwing, snow bath ... and many other things! For more info look to this website and salute our bonhomme if you come! Salut bonhomme!
Crédit photo: facebook Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
Go see Montmorency waterfalls
Montmorency waterfalls is an impressive waterfalls with 83 meters high (30 meters higher than Niagara falls) and at few minutes away from the old Quebec. If you have no car or you are on tight budget you can easily take the public transportation to go there with the 800 bus to Chute Montmorency (it’s the last stop, you can’t miss it).The bus is a 8$ roundtrip and it will bring you back at old Quebec when you want without any rush. In wintertime its quite amazing to see it. You can walk on the bridge over the fall and take great picture to impress your friend (or yourself if you have no friend)! If you are willing to do it there a possibility to do Ice Climbing near from the waterfalls for info click here ...you will definitely feel like Jon snow climbing the wall! It's safer of course! Also it is nice to see what we call le pain de sucre (Sugar Loaf). It's basically an ice formation at the bottom of the waterfall. The freezing water sprays on top and thus ice accumulate on it creating a dome-shape. That being said, be warned. It'S called a loaf, but dont take a bite of it, The Montmorency falls authorities will not pay for a any needed dental surgery. No only that, but it doesn’t taste good…It's not sweet at all...been there done that !
Go see the Warming Stations
Many ephemeral place for winter will take place in different locations in the city. They are great warming station where you can chill out outside on a bench with a blanket by a fire. It could give you the chance to have a chat with the locals, have a drink of coffee or hot chocolate and embrace winter as well in one of the winter capitals in the world. Plenty of activities will take place over the winter!
Photo credit :Facebook du Village vacances Valcatier and Tewkesbury facebook
Tube sliding Village vacances Valcartier or Tewkesbury
One of my personal favorites. Every year when I was in highschool we had the chance to choose an activity. For me it was the inflatable snow tube sliding at Village Vacances Valcatier or Tewkesbury...That was my choice without any doubt. Speed and fun, both kids and adults will enjoy. I'd even dare say some adults were scared to try some of them. It's not too far from downtown but you do need to have a car. That being said you can also take a special shuttle to go the valcartier one.
Photo credit :Facebook du Village Nordik
From febuary 10 to march 12 ($$) Bassin-Louise
You should try ice-fishing in wintertime! It's a great unique winter experience. Village Nordik is located at few minutes from the train station at the old port of Québec. They can cook the fish you catch for a cheap fee and be of all it'll be as fresh as can be! It's a fun activity and if you pay a little bit more you can fish in an inflatable Igloo! Dress well, wear warm clothes and it will be one of the highlights of your trip. If you've never tried fishing they can help you as well :)
From november 24 to december 23
Its the most wonderfull time of the year!
Traditional wooden kiosks,colorful lights, and tons of free activities for the whole family
the Québec City German Christmas Market is an unforgettable experience.
Everything is set up to charm you with the festive atmosphere of the major European Christmas markets.Alots of gift ideas, tasting of German and local products, Christmas music and choirs. You want to feel the magic of the holidays?
Tobbogan (new year eve celebration) From december 28 to december 31
New year celebration in old Québec is mostly done on the grande allée! Enjoy a drink near a fire pit and take a ride of the ferris wheel! Everynight you can see live DJ (somes are quite famous like Regard and Murda Beatz) and on the 31st its the big firework! Be among the local and listen to somes trad music also with les grands hurleurs and Vincent Vallière! The access is free
Hotel de glace / Ice Hôtel From january to march
Unique in North America,it is a one-of-a-kind winter experience. Impresive snow arches, filled with ice sculptures. The hotel change itself year after year to immerse its visitors in a magical atmosphere.You dont need to sleep there to visit it! They usually offer tour inside and you can even have an ice drink at the bar. It is not a cheap place to sleep (its a luxurious Nordic getaway per say) but it is quite an unforgettable unique way to see the winter!You can also take a special shuttle to go the valcartier one.
I won't do the whole list because it'll never end and winter will be over by the end of your read. But here are a few other activities: -Ski or Snowboard at the Mountain (Le Relais, Stoneham, Mont-Ste-Anne, etc) -Snowshoeing rental at the plains of Abraham,domaine Maizeret and much more -Go see and cheers for the Rempart de Québec (Ice hockey) at le Centre Videotron -Go see the international Pee-Wee Hockey tournament -Visit somes Microbrewery -Go shopping (3e avenue,saint joseph,le grand marché,montcalm,cartier) -Take a tour of the Château Frontenac with cicerone -Wear warm clothes :) -Make a snowman -Breathe the cold air ... I told you, it never ends!