Québec City is a charming Canadian outpost brimming with European charm, gorgeous natural beauty and architectural delights. Perfect for a weekend getaway from both Boston and New York, it’s a modern city filled with art and culture that elegantly keeps one eye on the future while also artfully respecting the past.
For those in search of a vacation filled with vibrant museums and lively festivals, look no further than this happening spot. Here you’ll find an abundance of art and culture worth exploring and a window into the Québécois way of life.
Blast from the past at the Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France
Don a period costume and play your part during this lively, fun festival. From the First Nations who have called this region home for millennia, to French explorer Samuel de Champlain who settled here in the early 1600s, the capital city of Québec has a rich, proud history steeped in tradition that residents are proud to continue. Celebrate all things French Canadian at Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France (or the New France Festival for English speakers), a five-day festival at the Fortifications of Québec National Historic Site that honors the region’s cultural heritage. Experience what life was like as an early settler in the region and participate in events that honor the traditions of the First Nations who came before them thanks to the hundreds of artists, crafters and culinary pros who bring history to life during the week. Jam-packed with things to do, see and eat, this annual event helps thousands celebrate all things Québécois.
Je me souviens. / I remember.
Explore our collective culture at the Musée de la civilisation
Go on an anthropological adventure at the Musée de la civilisation and explore the cultural ties that bind us — from ancient civilization through modern day and the sociocultural movements, habits and technology we encounter in our daily lives. This popular, interactive destination features attractions – ranging from topics like nanotechnology to mob mentality — and a host of rotating shows, all intent on bringing to life the nuanced and at times complicated experience of living on this planet. An upcoming program this fall will employ VR so museumgoers can experience the scholarly grandeur of libraries from around the world without ever setting foot outside the museum.
Bonne journée! / Have a good day!
Celebrate all things French at the Musée de l’Amérique francophone
In the centuries since the French settled here, the Québec capital has maintained strong ties to the homeland culture, language and way of life. Express your inner Francophile at this revered cultural institution dedicated to honoring life in New France, a must for history buffs visiting the area. Located in the heart of Old Québec, the Musée de l’Amérique francophone features a strong permanent collection exploring society in the region, as well as host of rotating programs. Current exhibitions range in scope from art and religion to the French diaspora within North America. Housed within the 17th century Séminaire de Québec, it’s also the oldest musée (that’s museum en français) in Canada, with many precious relics on display in the historic chapel.
Parlez-vous français? / Do you speak French?
A lovely marriage of art and architecture the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Newly opened this summer, the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is a great example of an art space that wonderfully complements the works it houses. By blending form with function and a beautiful design with an expansive exhibition space, this world-class pavilion creates a new way to discover and enjoy the art inside this wonderful museum. The crystalline exterior sits in harmonious contrast to the natural surroundings outside at the park – the Plains of Abraham – inside which the museum is located. Designed by architectural firm OMA, the pavilion is the biggest cultural project by the city in some 50 years and a testament to how Québec City’s institutions continue to evolve, grow and expand toward the future.