Quebec City is magical all year, but it takes on a special beauty in the winter. It is one of the most picturesque locations in all of Canada. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it looks more like a city you might find in Europe than in North America. Even when it’s below freezing, the snow-covered rooftops, the icy Saint Lawrence River, the quaint streets, and the delicious foods bring warmth to my heart. If you only have a weekend or 48 hours in Quebec City during the winter, here are our favorite things to experience. You don’t even need a vehicle for this getaway. Everything can be done within walking distance in Old Quebec. Just get an Uber from the airport and all of your winter wonderland dreams will be at your fingertips.
48 Hours in Quebec City Winter
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
When I think about Quebec City, Château Frontenac is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s the castle of this fairytale land.
Located in the heart of Old Québec, this breathtaking property provides views of the St. Lawrence River and the architecture of the old fortified city.
With its 610 beautifully furnished rooms and suites, three restaurants, a world-class spa, a gym, and a pool, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has something for everyone.
Staying at Château Frontenac gives you the opportunity to explore all of Old Quebec City from the castle on the hill.
Stroll Through the Winter Wonderland of Old Quebec
During the winter, Old Quebec City is like a fairytale Christmas village with lights, decorations, snow, and delicious smells that draw you into every shop.
Meander through the streets of Old Quebec City as you make your way to Archibald Microbrasserie. You’ll discover lots of interesting shops and experiences along the way.
Don’t miss Rue du Petit-Champlain. At the foot of a cliff just below Château Frontenac, Rue du Petit‑Champlain is a narrow cobblestone street with colorful signs and quaint shops.
To get to Rue du Petit-Champlain, take the Breakneck Steps. This outdoor staircase, the oldest in Québec City, dates back to the beginning of the French colony. Many tourists take photographs at this location, as it provides the most wonderful view of Rue du Petit-Champlain.
Dinner at Archibald Microbrasserie – Quartier Petit Champlain
After exploring the streets of Old Quebec, enjoy a delicious dinner at Archibald Microbrasserie. It’s a popular microbrewery serving craft beer, seasonal pub food, and scrumptious desserts.
Notable choices include Soupe à l’oignon gratinée, Poutine Archibald, and their India Pale Lager (Angelique).
If you finish dinner before 9 pm, the perfect way to return to Chateau Frontenac is via the Funicular. This cable-car ride connects Lower Town with Terrasse Dufferin and puts you steps away from Chateau Frontenac.
It is a quick 3-minute ride and offers a great view.
You ride this historic funicular 7 days a week from 9 am to 9 pm.
Rush Down a Toboggan Slide
Quebec City offers a fun toboggan slide right next to Château Frontenac that is perfect for kids young and old.
After buying a ticket in the historic Princess Louise kiosk on the Dufferin Terrace, visitors pull a wooden toboggan up the ramp, then settle onto it before the operator releases the latch, and the sled rushes down the icy track, reaching speeds of up to 70 kilometers an hour.
Don’t forget to take a picture at the top. It’s my favorite view in the entire city.
Admire the beautiful view of the St. Lawrence River and Fairmont Le Château Frontenac before returning to your hotel.
Place d’Youville is the perfect place to experience outdoor skating in a picturesque setting.
Warm up with the warming stations and enjoy the magical lights and decorations in the streets of Quebec City. Skating is free and there is a rental shop if you don’t have your own skates.
Only a few feet from Place d’Youville, you’ll find Café-Paillard.
Delectable homemade bread, pastries, sandwiches, and soup all await at Café-Paillard. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy lunch after working up an apatite on the ice.
The Québec City Ferry
The Québec‑Lévis crossing connects the north and south shores of the St. Lawrence River. It is a means of transportation, but it makes for a fun, affordable, and accessible activity, especially in winter when you can watch the ice blocks colliding on the frozen St. Lawrence River.
During the day, you can take in Old Québec’s varied architectural landscape, with Château Frontenac as the piece de resistance. At night, you’ll be dazzled by the city lights and the blanket of snow that covers the city.
Dinner at La Bûche
La Buche is my favorite, must-experience restaurant in Québec City to enjoy a traditional Québec cuisine with a current touch.
The festive atmosphere is always lively and welcoming and the poutine is my favorite anywhere in the world.
And maple taffy on snow is available all year long. It’s a Quebec tradition that can’t be missed.
La Buche is the must-see destination in Québec City to enjoy a traditional Québec cuisine with a current touch. You can taste the famous recipes of Grandma Jacqueline. Its tourtière, pea soup, and unemployed pudding will make your mouth water.