Planning a trip to Quebec City, but you’re not sure when the perfect time to go is? We’ve got you covered. A much-loved Canadian travel destination, Quebec City, features stunning sights and historical attractions.
The ambiance of this beautiful city has something to offer tourists all year long, depending on what season you prefer. In this article, discover the best and the worst times of the year to visit Quebec City throughout the seasons.
Whether you are interested in shopping, sightseeing in Old Quebec, or celebrating the magic of the holidays under a blanket of falling snow, our travel tips will help you plan the perfect holiday adventure in Quebec City.
Why Should You Visit Quebec City?
Rich in culture, Quebec City, is one of the most beautiful cities in North America. Visitors can marvel at the magnificent heritage buildings, cobblestone sidewalks, scenic gardens, and plenty of tourist attractions and accommodations to ensure an enchanting holiday at any time of the year.
Depending on your favorite season, visitors to Quebec City can choose from a wide selection of activities, such as soaking up the heritage of the iconic city or taking in some of the many tourist attractions.
From European charm, cobblestone streets, and a welcoming francophone atmosphere to exploring the annual winter carnival, and sporting events, and admiring the natural outdoor beauty, such as lakes, forests, mountains, national parks, and breathtaking waterfalls, Quebec City has it all.
Home to historical festivals, theatrical shows, fine restaurants, cuisine, and some of the top-notch accommodations in North America, Quebec City is sure to make every trip to the city enjoyable.
No matter the season, there is always something enjoyable to do in Quebec City, such as the following activities:
- Taking in the beauty of spring and summer with spectacular flowers in bloom
- Jaw-dropping autumn fall foliage in full seasonal bloom
- Snow-covered views of winter sprinkled throughout the city
Overall Best Time to Visit Quebec City
Although Quebec City is magnificent all year long, the overall best times to visit this beautiful city are from June to September and December to February.
During this time, the weather offers seasonal activities sure to make your vacation enjoyable. The city is jam-packed with annual celebrations, such as the summer Pow Wow, or the annual winter carnival offering plenty of activities for tourists to capture the beauty of the city.
In the summer months, tourists can enjoy hikes, whale watching, and summer water activities on the Montmorency River. Benefits of traveling in June include:
- Temperatures are comfortable before the scorching heat of summer begins
- Crowds to attractions are smaller with kids still in school
- There are fewer mosquitoes and blackflies than in the hotter summer months
A top attraction of Quebec City is the must-see Montmorency Falls. With several points of entry, you can view the falls from a suspension bridge, at a distance, up close and personal with a cable car ride, or take in the adrenaline rush of a zip-line ride over the falls.
Tourists can enjoy a winter in Quebec City with a hike to the frozen Montgomery Falls, ice-fishing, or watching amazing views of the Northern Lights in full effect with spectacular colors on display and keeping warm with a fresh cup of Tim Horton’s coffee and some fresh maple syrup.
Cheapest Time to Visit Quebec City
Visiting Quebec City is the cheapest during the off-peak seasons, such as spring and fall time when most tourists choose to stay away because the weather is cool and damp, and children are in school.
Quebec City is still gorgeous during the off-peak seasons. Visitors can take in some activities of the city with fewer crowds and cheaper price tags, such as the following options:
- The color of the changing leaves
- The breathtaking waterfalls surrounded by autumn foliage
- Less-crowded restaurants and shopping venues with pleasant staff ready to serve you
Spring and Fall are also excellent times to enjoy the beautiful outdoors of Quebec City when the weather is perfect for walking without dealing with the summer heat and humidity or the frigid temperatures of Canadian winters.
Besides mild weather between zero to 20 degrees Celsius, the off-peak season offers something for everyone to enjoy in Quebec City, such as the following highlights to check out:
- A trip to Old Quebec
- Local beer tasting
- A patio lunch overlooking the St. Lawrence River in full fall colors
- Strolling through the picturesque Jacques-Cartier National Park
Least Busy Time to Visit Quebec City
If you like to avoid crowds and enjoy taking your vacations during the slowest tourist times of the year, the best time to visit Quebec City is in the spring from April to June, and in the fall from September to October.
These months are the slowest times of the year for tourists visiting Quebec City because the weather is much colder, and children are in school.
Many travelers like to plan their vacation with the whole family and pick times when they are out of school and can join them, such as the summer holidays, March break, or Christmas holidays.
Traveling to Quebec City during quiet times has some advantages, including the following benefits:
- Hotels and attractions may be down in price during off-peak seasons
- There is less time to wait in line at local attractions
- You have a better chance of finding hotel suites and high-end hotel rooms at lower-than-usual prices
- Restaurants and stores are less crowded and it is easier to find a table at popular places in the city
Worst Time to Visit Quebec City
The worst time to visit Quebec City is from July to August, when summer festivals are in full swing, the weather is at its hottest; it is mosquito and blackfly season.
And hotels and airlines raise the prices because of the high volume of tourists visiting the area. Winter is also another bad time to visit Quebec City, especially mid-December to early January and during the March break.
This is because the weather can be extremely chilly, children are out of school for the holiday, and hotels and attractions are extra crowded with tourists.
However, if you don’t mind sizable crowds, and paying extra high prices for hotel rooms and attractions, bundle up warm because Quebec City has plenty to offer winter tourists, including the following exciting attractions you should definitely make time to check out:
Even though the weather is hot, you can always find something fun to do to beat the heat in Quebec City during the summer months. In the summer, tourists can enjoy sidewalk cafes, warm weather, plenty of summer festivals in full swing, and several tourist attractions open to the public.
Other summer attractions to explore in Quebec City include taking a carriage ride through Old Quebec City, whale watching on the St. Lawrence River, taking a boat cruise, taking in a summer street festival, sampling craft beer, or shopping in Old Montreal.
Things to Consider
Planning an enjoyable vacation for every member of the group involves plenty of preparation. We have composed a list of useful travel tips to help ensure you have the best trip possible on your next visit to Quebec City:
- Book your flight and hotel room early to avoid disappointment
- Shop around for discounts, coupons, and bargain prices
- Plan an itinerary for each day of your trip to ensure using your time wisely
- Compare prices of rental car services in the area
- Book off work early to ensure you get the time off needed for your holiday
- Pack your suitcase wisely according to the weather
- Remember sunscreen, bug repellent, and sunglasses in the summer
- Don’t forget your toque, mitts, and warm clothing in the winter
- Leave valuables in your hotel safety box and travel light when exploring the city
- Stay in well-lit tourist areas and avoid empty backstreets when on foot in the city
- Leave expensive jewelry, cameras, and anything of value in your hotel room to avoid theft
- Bring a French-English dictionary along to help enhance your communication skills
- Download a French-English translation app on your cell phone before your arrival in Quebec City
- Don’t forget to try the city’s famous selection of poutine when you are in Quebec City
Frequently Asked Questions
How many days does it take to tour Old Quebec City?
We suggest giving yourself at least three days to tour Old Quebec City. There is so much to see in Old Quebec, you will want to ensure you have plenty of time to see all the sights, including the St. Lawrence River, the Notre-Dame-Des-Victoires, the Chateau Frontenac, fortification walls, the Plains of Abraham, and a tour of the Parliament Buildings.
When is mosquito season in Quebec City?
Mosquitos hatch their eggs as the snow melts in the spring. When the snow dries and the weather gets hot, mosquitos hatch from July to early September.
During the hottest summer months of the year, it is mosquito season in Quebec City, so remember to bring your bug repellent if you plan to visit in the summer.
What are three things you should do if you are a first-time visitor to Quebec City?
Three things you should definitely do if it is your first time visiting Quebec City are visiting Old Quebec, seeing Montmorency Falls, and taking in the beauty of Quebec City from the Chateau Frontenac.
Is Quebec a walkable city?
Yes, Quebec City is a compact city you can explore on foot, especially in Old Quebec City where most attractions are within walking distance of each other.
If you plan to visit Montmorency Falls, you will need to take public transportation or have a vehicle to transport you. The average cost of public transport per person is approximately $18 to $25 per person for the day.
Can you see the Northern Lights from Quebec City?
Yes, you can see the Northern Lights from Quebec City. The Northern Lights, or the auroral oval, offer a stunning combination of colors in the sky noticeable from Alaska, the Northwest Territories, Hudson Bay, and Northern Ontario.
When in Quebec City, the Northern Lights are most visible from the northern horizon of the city, and when in Montreal.
When Will You Visit Quebec City?
No matter what time of the year you plan your holiday travel, Quebec City is a magical city that has something exciting to offer tourists.
From sightseeing in Old Quebec, viewing the majestic Montmorency Waterfalls, to whale watching on the scenic Saint Lawrence River, shopping on cobblestone sidewalks, taking in a festival, or celebrating the winter carnival under a blanket of snow, Quebec City has it all.
We hope we have provided you with some useful information to help make your next holiday to Quebec City a memorable one. Happy travels!