3 Day Itinerary For Quebec City

I recently decided to take a three day trip to Quebec City and I must say that it did not disappoint. Living in Canada for a few years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful cities in Canada – and I can confidently say that Quebec City is right up at the top.

Having spoken to many travelers who weren’t sure what they should do when they visited Quebec City for 3 days, I thought I’d share with you my itinerary for this beautiful city. Whether you’re looking for great food, amazing sites or just want to relax and enjoy the city, there’s something here for everyone!

Situated along the majestic Saint Lawrence River, Quebec City is a captivating testament to Canada’s rich history and vibrant culture. With its charming old-world charm and a fusion of French and North American influences, this city effortlessly weaves a spell of enchantment for visitors. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, Quebec City is a place you should once visit. This is why in this 3 Day Itinerary for Quebec City, we will share details on how to enjoy your trip hassle-free.

Quebec City Canada - Closeup of old town ground level view of wet dufferin terrace boardwalk at night with Chateau Frontenac purple clouds city lights lamps lanterns and people

Quebec City is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its remarkable preservation of colonial architecture. It is steeped in over four centuries of history, showcasing European flair, most notably through the iconic landmark, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, which dominates the city’s skyline. 

To start your 3 days in Quebec City, you can begin by strolling through the streets of the Old Town (Vieux-Québec) and enjoy its well-preserved fortifications, charming shops, and inviting cafes. There are also numerous must-see attractions, including the Place Royale, Montmorency Falls and the Dufferin Terrace.  

Meanwhile, every visit to Quebec City will only be complete with immersing yourself in the captivating history of the Citadel. For art enthusiasts, the Musée National des Beaux-arts du Québec showcases an impressive collection of Canadian and international works.

But to enjoy all these, you should also consider the time of your visit. Although Quebec is an all-year-round destination, depending on your preference, you can visit during summer (June to August), with the city’s most pleasant weather and lively atmosphere. You can also consider Autumn, particularly in October, wherein you can enjoy the city’s stunning fall foliage. 

Another essential thing to consider is the area you will be staying in. We highly suggest Old Quebec Town (Vieux-Québec) for this itinerary as it immerses you in the city’s history and charm. You can also consider the Upper Town (Haute-Ville), home to famous landmarks.

As we continue, make sure to take down notes to enjoy 3 perfect days in Quebec City! You’ll be able to see all the beautiful places in Quebec City (that are Instagram worthy!).

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Overview of 3 Days in Quebec Itinerary

Here’s a glance at what you’ll see and do in three days in Quebec City:

Day 1 in Quebec City

  • Breakfast at Cafe La Maison Smith
  • Visit the Place Royale
  • Admire the Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral
  • Explore Quartier Petit-Champlain
  • Tour around the Dufferin Terrace 
  • Have Lunch at La Buche
  • Learn about Quebec’s History at Musee de la Civilisation 
  • Take a round-trip ferry to Levis
  • Get Dinner at Bistro Hortus

Day 2 in Quebec City

  • Quick Breakfast at Paillard
  • See the Montmorency Falls 
  • Tour around the Ile d’Orleans
  • Get Lunch at Rue Saint-Jean
  • Explore the Citadelle de Quebec
  • See the Fortifications of Quebec
  • Stroll at Quebec City’s Old Port
  • Have Dinner at Chez Muffy

Day 3 in Quebec City

  • Enjoy a breakfast buffet at L’Antiquaire
  • Cycle along Quebec’s River
  • Visit the Morrin Centre
  • Have Lunch at Battuto
  • Walk through the Battlefields Park 
  • Relax by the Plains of Abraham
  • Climb the Observatoire de la Capitale
  • Drink and Dine at a Local Pub
Dramatic clouds HDR in Old Quebec - Canada. High Dynamic Range picture.

Day 1 in Quebec City

Breakfast at Cafe La Maison Smith

Cafe La Maison Smith is a famous brunch cafe & restaurant in Old Quebec. This charming café offers a cosy atmosphere, known for serving freshly baked pastries, bread, and a variety of breakfast options. 

So, for your first meal in Québec city, head to Cafe La Maison Smith, where you can indulge in a flaky croissant or a hearty egg sandwich paired with a steaming cup of coffee or a speciality tea.

Visit the Place Royale

A 3 day trip to Quebec City will only be complete with visiting their iconic landmark, the Place Royale. This national historic site holds an essential piece in the history of Canada because this is where Samuel de Champlain founded the city of Quebec and built the first permanent French settlement in America. 

As you visit the area, you’ll see buildings combining French and British influences and even find the oldest stone church in North America. With the varied architecture reflecting the successive periods of both colonisers, Place Royale has been considered the cradle of French North America. 

Showcasing the city’s colonial past with its cobblestone streets and quaint buildings, just take your time to explore the area and learn about its history and influence.

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA - Tourists meander the cobblestone streets of Place Royale in Old Quebec city, in front of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires (Our Lady of Victories) Church erected in 1688, the oldest stone church in North America.

Admire the Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral

As mentioned, Quebec is home to the oldest cathedral in Canada, the Notre Dame de Quebec Cathedral. Situated at the Place Royal, this national historic site offers a great location and is full of historical information.

So before heading on to your next stop, pass by and marvel at the cathedral’s Gothic Revival architecture, intricate stained glass windows, and ornate decorations.

Take a moment to appreciate the tranquillity inside the cathedral and learn about its significant role in Quebec’s religious history.

No matter how many days in Quebec City you’ll be spending, the Notre Dame de Quebec is a place you should visit!

Tour Pick
Quebec City Canada - Cityscape or skyline of Chateau Frontenac Dufferin Terrace and Saint Lawrence river at overlook in old town

Quebec City Walking Tour

  • 2 hours 
  • Max of 14 people 
  • Local guide
Quebec City Canada -  Old town street with flags and garden park called Place de l'Hotel-de-Ville and Notre Dame Cathedral

Explore Quartier Petit-Champlain

After exploring the first part of Quebec’s old town, head on to explore North America’s oldest commercial district – Quartier Petit Champlain. Named after Samuel de Champlain, this district is also a must-visit during your three days in Quebec City.

Quartier Petit-Champlain is a charming neighbourhood snugged along the base of Cap Diamant in Old Quebec’s lower town. It has colourful buildings, boutique shops, art galleries, and cosy cafes where you can find unique handicrafts, souvenirs, and locally-made products.

As you wander through its narrow streets and alleyways, you can sense its long history since the city was created. Of course, do remember to snap some photos, especially at the iconic mural-covered Maison de la Fresque.

Quebec City, Canada - Traditional stone houses on Boulevard Champlain in the Petit Champlain historic district.

Tour around the Dufferin Terrace 

The Dufferin Terrace is a long wooden sidewalk known for its breathtaking view of the Saint Lawrence River. Lots of locals and tourists flock to the area to enjoy the magnificent site, at the same time to honour Governor General Dufferin. 

Right next to it is the Le Chateau Frontenac, a listed National Historic Site of Canada. This historic hotel has served as the seat of colonial French power in North America for over two centuries, now offering travellers from around the world spacious rooms and suites to stay in.

Le Chateau Frontenac also offers a glimpse into the city’s grandeur and provides an excellent vantage point from rooms and terraces for capturing memorable photographs.

Quebec City Canada -  Cityscape or skyline of Chateau Frontenac Dufferin Terrace and Saint Lawrence river at overlook in old town

Have Lunch at La Buche

We’ve made sure to include in this itinerary for Quebec City the places you should at least try to dine in for your meals, and this time, head to La Buche for lunch.  

La Buche is one of Quebec’s most famous restaurants specialising in Quebecois cuisine. Since it’s your first day in the city, it’s only suitable to enjoy local cuisine from a well-known restaurant. 

Here you can feast on traditional dishes such as tourtière (meat pie), poutine, or hearty Quebecois stews. The restaurant’s rustic ambience and warm hospitality also help create a memorable dining experience while celebrating the region’s culinary heritage.

Learn about Quebec’s History at Musee de la Civilisation

Delve into and learn more about Quebec’s captivating history at the Musée de la Civilisation. This dynamic museum offers engaging exhibits that explore various aspects of Quebec’s cultural heritage, including its indigenous roots, French influence, and contemporary society.

So aside from roaming the streets and historic sites of the city, it would also be a great idea to visit the museum for a more immersive experience.

Not only do you get to learn helpful information, but you also have the chance to learn about the province’s traditions, arts, and societal changes through interactive displays, artefacts, and multimedia presentations.

You can book guided tours that will take you to the museum, but this part of the itinerary can be done through a self-guided tour, especially if you are a history buff. 

Quebec City, Canada -  Facade of the Museum of Civilization at dawn

Take a round-trip ferry to Levis

Before capping off your first day in Quebec City, take a short ferry ride across the St. Lawrence River to Lévis, where you can enjoy watching the city’s busy streets while the sun sets. Enjoy the city skyline from your cruise, and take things slow to take in the beauty of Quebec.

Once in Lévis, you can explore the waterfront, stroll along the charming streets, and relax in a local café. Afterwards, head back to the ferry ride that will bring you back to the St. Lawrence River in Quebec. 

Ferry boat in river in Quebec City with blue sky.

Get Dinner at Bistro Hortus

Bistro Hortus is famous for using sustainable and locally sourced ingredients created into gourmet and tasteful dishes. This contemporary restaurant offers a fusion of Quebecois and international flavours, featuring farm-to-plate foods. 

This is the perfect spot to end your first day in Quebec, especially if you want a hearty meal that will indulge you with exquisite flavours. They also have an extensive list of wines you can easily pair with any food.

Day 2 in Quebec City 

Quick Breakfast at Paillard

Having a long day ahead of you, you should prepare yourself with some good food. Paillard, an innovative European and North American-inspired cafe and bakery, offers some of the best bread, pastries, sandwiches and soup in Quebec City. 

Paillard creates everything from scratch, assuring customers of high-quality products. They are already open as early as 7 AM, but you can expect to see long lines as soon as they open. You can enjoy a quick dine-in here and get quick snaps inside their trendy and spacious dining area. 

See the Montmorency Falls 

While it may seem that three days in Quebec City isn’t enough, this gives you a lot of time to enjoy major attractions and landmarks within and outside the city; and one must-visit when in Quebec is Montmorency Falls.

Located just outside Quebec City, Montmorency Falls is a sight for almost every type of traveller. This natural wonder is taller than Niagara Falls, offering visitors breathtaking views and a new experience. 

During your visit, you can enjoy an adventurous or leisure time. There is a cable car that you can hop on at the top of the cliff if you want to admire the falls from above.

Meanwhile, if you want something more exhilarating, walk through the suspension bridge or get an up-close experience by taking the staircase to the base of the falls. 

If you have lots of time to spare, Montmorency Falls has an area where you can plunge into a pool after zooming in from a double zipline ride. 

Tour Pick
Montmorency Falls, large waterfall in Quebec city, Canada. Famous popular tourist destination in Quebec, tourism travel attraction.

Half-Day Trip to Montmorency Falls

  • 4.5 hours 
  • Stop at a Chocolaterie
  • Morning or afternoon tour
Montmorency Falls, large waterfall in Quebec city, Canada. Famous popular tourist destination in Quebec, tourism travel attraction.

Tour around the Ile d’Orleans

After enjoying time at the Montmorency Falls, head onto Ile d’Orleans. Embark on a scenic tour of a charming island known for its agricultural heritage and picturesque landscapes.

Ile d’Orleans is a small island that offers a peaceful escape from the city. But despite its size, there are plenty of things to do here! Other tourists visit Ilde d’Orleans for a day if they’re staying longer. 

The island is also a boundless source of inspiration for many local artists whole find different ways to share their creations. You can visit local farms, vineyards, and artisanal shops, sample delicious local products, and find gifts and souvenirs such as handmade crafts and arts. 

If you plan to stay and tour around longer, some of the things you can enjoy here are wine tastings, strawberry picking, a visit to the Manoir Mauvide-Genest and Saint Francois de I’lle d’Orleans.

Quebec City Canada - View of Levis town and Ile D'Orleans with St Lawrence river and old town rooftop buildings and ferry

Get Late Lunch at Rue Saint-Jean 

Rue Saint-Jean is a vibrant street in Quebec City known for its diverse dining options and lively atmosphere. This is one of the busiest commercial streets in the city, making it a great place to shop and dine at. 

After a long morning of touring around places, head back to Quebec and spend your late lunch at one of the many restaurants at Rue Saint-Jean. You can choose from various restaurants, cafes, and bistros that offer multiple cuisines here. 

You can also stroll along the streets of Rue-Saint Jean if you’re done indulging in good food and then continue to explore the local shops and establishments that line this bustling avenue. 

Explore the Citadelle de Quebec

Your Quebec City itinerary will only be complete with a visit to the famous Citadelle de Quebec. This is another national historic site in Canada atop Cap Diamant in Old Quebec. 

Citadelle de Quebec is enclosed with city walls with over 300 years of history, from the New France period to the present. Also known as the “Gibraltar of the Americas”, the Citadelle boasts of its star-shaped form Vauban fortifications.

Here you can discover the history and architectural marvels of the Québec. Suppose you take a guided tour around this impressive structure. In that case, a professional tour guide will share details about its military significance, and you’ll even have the chance to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony. 

You can also enjoy panoramic views of the city and the St. Lawrence River from the ramparts and explore the onsite museum to delve deeper into the citadel’s rich past.

Aerial view of La Citadelle in Old Quebec City in summer, view from Observatoire de la Capitale, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. La Citadelle is home to the famous French Canadian regiment the Royal 22e.

See the Fortifications of Quebec

The Fortifications of Quebec have been well-preserved ever since it was built, making it something worth seeing in this Quebec City 3 day itinerary.

This was designated a national historic site of Canada to commemorate the defence system in the city. With these fortifications surrounding Old Quebec, it makes it the only fortified city in the whole of North America. It extends at least 4.6 kilometres (2.91 miles), with ramparts extending to the Citadelle of Quebec. 

Here, you can stroll along the city walls, starting at Porte Kent, and explore the various gates, bastions, and cannons. Take time to admire the strategic design and learn about the historical importance of these fortifications, which played a crucial role in protecting the city.

Quebec City, Canada - Porte Kent (Kent gate) is part of the Ramparts of Quebec City.

Stroll at Quebec City’s Old Port

Before heading for dinner, you can stop by Quebec City’s Old Port for a while. Just enjoy a stroll along it while admiring the view of the Saint Lawrence River. Many locals also come here to relax, and you’ll see tourists taking photos too. 

As you walk along the waterfront promenade, observe how locals usually spend their day. With quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants in the area, this is also an accessible and convenient spot to end the day before getting dinner.

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA - Aerial view of Place Royal at Old Quebec city with Old Port on the Saint Lawrence River in the background. The place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Have Dinner at Chez Muffy

Treat yourself to an exquisite dinner at Chez Muffy, a renowned restaurant in a historic maritime warehouse in the Old Port. Just a few steps away, you can head to Chez Muffy to enjoy Quebec’s farm-to-table cuisine. 

The restaurant focuses on using locally sourced ingredients and Theflavours. The elegant setting, attentive service, and delectable dishes also make Chez Muffy a perfect choice for a memorable dining experience during your trip.

Day 3 in Quebec City 

Enjoy a breakfast buffet at L’Antiquaire

Since it’s already your last day in Quebec City, you deserve to enjoy a breakfast buffet at L’Antiquaire. This is a tiny neighbourhood restaurant with a family-friendly type atmosphere that offers an all-you-can-eat dining experience. 

Their menu comprises authentic and traditional Quebec cuisine and a few international favourites. So before you complete your 3 days in Quebec City itinerary, you can take your time at L’Antiquaire and enjoy all the food you can stuff. After all, you’ll still be burning them with all the walking you’ll do for your last day.

Cycle along Quebec’s River

While you’ve already seen enough of the city’s historical sites, this time, we recommend you just enjoy the morning at the scenic paths of the Saint Lawrence River. While you can do this while walking, why not rent a bike and cycle along Quebec City’s river? 

Enjoy the fresh air as you pedal along the riverside, and stop by picturesque spots where you can capture the most fantastic photos. Quebec City has well-maintained bike lanes and paths which makes it easier for you to navigate the city easily. 

So, if you’re looking for things to do in Quebec City in summer, this is one thing to consider! Plus, this activity can be done at your own pace, so it’s worth trying.

Sidewalk terrace wooden boardwalk in downtown city park in Saguenay Canada Quebec during summer with fjord river bridge and railing fence cityscape hills

Visit the Morrin Centre 

Quebec City is full of nationally recognised heritage sites, and the Morrin Centre is another that made it on the list. This heritage site houses a library, museum, and cultural centre in a beautifully restored historic building. It was built 200 years ago as the first prison but has become a public destination. 

Here you can explore the collection of books, artefacts, and exhibits that tell the city’s diverse heritage story. It’s open at 10 AM, so you still have at least 2 hours to roam around before lunch. 

While you can buy tickets on-site during your visit, we also highly suggest you book ahead of time, so you can easily plan your budget and avoid queueing lines in Japan.  

Have Lunch at Battuto

Another famous restaurant in Quebec City that is easy to notice is Battuto. This trendy Italian restaurant serves a contemporary menu that serves modern and classic Italian dishes. 

You can enjoy fresh pasta, wood-fired pizza, or savoury risotto here while soaking up the restaurant’s stylish and inviting atmosphere.

However, it’s worth noting that Battuto is a famous restaurant, and you’ll need to line up to wait for empty seats. Rest assured, though, that you’ll get great-tasting food! 

Walk through the Battlefields Park 

The Battlefields Park of Quebec City, also known as the (Parc des Champs-de-Bataille) is a historic urban park that played a significant role in Quebec’s military history.

It is where the Plains of Abraham is located, also featuring an interpretive centre, walking trails and outside concerts. 

The park also contains about 50 historical artillery pieces scatted on its ground. So during your visit, just enjoy the tranquil atmosphere as you stroll along the well-maintained paths and admire the lush greenery.

You can also learn about the famous battle between the French and British armies on these grounds and visit the park’s monuments and memorials.

Quebec City Canada -  Martello tower watchtower in plaines d'Abraham with sign and cannon overlooking the Saint Lawrence river

Relax by the Plains of Abraham

Plains of Abraham is one of the highlights of the Battlefields Park of Quebec City. This natural beauty is a vast urban park that played a pivotal role in Quebec’s history.

Still, after the city started pivoting into modernisation, it was transformed into an urban park.

Take a leisurely walk, picnic on the grassy fields, or simply find a peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the serenity of the surroundings.

This picturesque park offers stunning views, vibrant foliage (depending on the season), and a tranquil atmosphere it’s the place an afternoon break and relaxation.

Green plaines d'Abraham road and gras in morning during summer in Quebec City Canada

Climb the Observatoire de la Capitale

Saving the best for the last, to get a bird’s-eye view of the beautiful Quebec City, head onto the Observatoire de la Capitale. This building is the highest point where you can get an idea of the city without hiking. 

By climbing (meaning ascending through an elevator) the Observatoire de la Capitale, you will arrive atop the Marie-Guyart Building, where the observation deck is located.

Offering panoramic views of the city and its surroundings, you enjoy the scenery and learn about the city’s history through interactive displays and telescopes inside the building that enhance your viewing experience.

Quebec City in winter, view from Observatoire de la Capitale, Quebec, Canada

Drink and Dine at a Local Pub

To wrap up your trip to Quebec City, head onto one of the best local pubs and bars and enjoy your last night! Quebec City has a range of pubs serving various craft beers, cocktails, and local spirits. 

You can pair your drink with a delicious meal, such as traditional pub fare or inventive dishes inspired by Quebecois cuisine. This is also an excellent opportunity to relax and enjoy a friendly conversation while chowing down on great food!

Tours in Quebec City over 3 days

Walking Tour 

Exploring the historic Old Quebec of the city is a must when travelling here, and you would have a better experience if you were to learn and hear from an expert guide about factual information.

During this tour, you will head to Quebec’s top attractions – from the Upper and Lower Town districts. 

Some places you will be checking out are the fortifications of Quebec, the Citadelle of Quebec, Notre Dame des Victoires Church and much more! This is also a fun experience as you will be touring with fellow travellers. 

Aerial view of the Citadel, the old fortress of Quebec City. A World Heritage City

Food & Drink Tour 

To enjoy most of Quebec’s local cuisine, join a food and drink tour that will take you to different restaurants and pubs in the city. From old-world to modern, enjoy delicious meals and treats in other areas of Quebec. 

Alongside a local guide and a small group tour, you will be visiting restaurants and seeing some of the key sites within the UNESCO-listed walls of Old Quebec. Expect a 3-course meal, bread, pastries, pasta and a lot of food for this tour! 

More Recommended tours in Quebec City

QUEBEC-CANADA -  Old Quebec city thrue the St-John gate.one of the five remaining entrances into Quebec City, the only walled city in North America

FAQs About 3 Day Itinerary For Quebec City

What activities are included in the itinerary?

The 3-day itinerary will include visits to some of the most famous landmarks and attractions in Quebec City such as Old Quebec, Montmorency Falls Park, Parc Aquarium Du Quebec, Plains of Abraham, Notre Dame de Quebec Basilica-Cathedral and more. Depending on your interests, there may be additional activities you can add to your itinerary.

is quebec city walkable?

Yes, Quebec City is a very walkable city. Its streets are easy to navigate and the Old Town neighborhood is filled with pedestrian-friendly attractions.

You can easily access key points of interest on foot or by using the city’s public transportation network. Quebec City also offers plenty of green space to explore, stroll through, or even take a picnic in.

The Boardwalk along the St. Lawrence River serves as an excellent way to experience the riverfront while taking in the breathtaking views of the Laurentian Mountains.

is quebec city worth visiting

Quebec City is definitely worth visiting! It’s an incredibly scenic city, with a unique mix of French Canadian culture and breathtaking sights.

The cobblestone streets of Old Quebec City host beautiful architecture, while the views from the Citadelle de Québec are simply stunning. There’s also a wonderful culinary scene in Quebec city, with fantastic restaurants that marry classic French cuisine with local flavors.

All in all, Quebec City is a great destination for couples, families, or friends looking for a beautiful and cozy place to spend their vacation!

should i spend more time in montreal or quebec city?

Montreal and Quebec City both offer exciting experiences for travelers of all types, but the best decision ultimately lies in what you’re looking to experience when traveling.

If you’re looking for a vibrant city atmosphere with lots of nightlife, culture, and energy, then Montreal is the right choice for you. However, if your ideal travel destination includes more natural beauty such as mountains and rivers, then Quebec City is an excellent option.

It also offers a unique mix of European architecture and charm. No matter which destination you choose to visit, one thing is certain – you will have a memorable and amazing time in either city!

how many days to spend in quebec city

Quebec City is a stunning destination, with plenty of attractions and activities to explore in the old city. It really depends on your budget and timeframe, but for an unforgettable trip, we suggest spending at least three days in Quebec City.

This will give you enough time to explore the city’s many museums, markets, and historic sites. You will also be able to sample some of the delicious local cuisine, shop in small boutiques, and enjoy a few outdoor excursions.

There’s so much to see and do in Quebec City – three days is really just enough time to get a taste of what this unique city has to offer!

Final Thoughts: three perfect days in quebec city

Quebec City is an amazing place to visit, especially if you have 3 days to spend. You can mix and match all the activities and tours above to create your own perfect three-day itinerary.

Whether you’d prefer to take a guided tour or explore on your own, you’re guaranteed a wonderful experience in this beautiful city.

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable journey – it’s time to plan your dream three-day Quebec City adventure!

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