Visit some of these iconic museums in Québec City, the cradle of French North America, while you’re there for a brief history lesson. Museums and interpretive centres in Québec City have been lovingly kept and refurbished to offer an enthralling glimpse into the city’s illustrious past.
Travel advice: Most museums offer online reservations. Prior to your visit, purchase your tickets to save time.
Musée de la civilisation
The Lower Town of Old Québec is home to the Musée de la civilisation, a fascinating window into the various dimensions of the human experience, which is situated between Petit-Champlain and the Old Port. Discover renowned worldwide exhibitions and thought-provoking permanent displays in a welcoming environment that is open to everyone.
There is something for everyone thanks to the kid- and teen-friendly interactive displays.
Pro advice: For fantastic views of Old Québec, the St. Lawrence, and Île d’Orléans, head to the rooftop. The Once Upon a Time costume workshop, the museum’s best-kept secret, is open on weekends. Kids adore it!
Permanent exhibitions at the Musée de la Civilisation
- Quebecers… Then and Now: Discover the aspirations and remarkable achievements of the individuals who have formed the history of the province, from the earliest settlers to the present, as you explore Québec’s rich heritage and culture.
- Our Story is This: Learn about the Indigenous groups that call Quebec their home.
- Discover the cultural diversity of these countries, their needs, and their aspirations, as well as how their ways of life have changed over time.
- Observe: This kid-friendly show has more to it than meets the eye. See if you can make it through without missing anything by using your five senses to study the world around you. Both parents and children will enjoy honing those crucial observational skills.
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
The four structures that make up this museum complex are located in the Upper Town of Old Québec, close to the Plains of Abraham, where history was made. The largest collection of art from Quebec may be found in the museum, which houses approximately 40,000 pieces. Find both local and international artists, a stunning selection of historic classics and contemporary art, and the Family Gallery with exhibits and workshops for all ages. Even the original jail cells are on display at the Charles-Baillairgé Pavilion as a reminder of the structure’s past as a prison, which contrasts sharply with its current use.
You won’t want to leave without having a meal at the restaurant inside the museum, in the bright restaurant, or al fresco on the breathtaking MNBAQ terrace.
Permanent exhibitions at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
- Admire the creations of four masters of Québec’s modern art: Jean-Paul Riopelle, Alfred Pellan, Fernand Leduc, and Jean-Paul Lemieux.
- (Inuit art) Illipunga The Brousseau Collection): The more than 100 pieces in this collection provide insight into how people in northern Canada interact with the environment, wildlife, and one another.
- Discover the techniques of Quebec decorative artists and designers by exploring this exhibition of 145 items produced between 1950 and the present.
- From Ferron to BGL: Quebec’s Modern Art: Discover key figures from the Québec art scene and learn how the province’s art has changed since the significant societal transformations of the Quiet Revolution in the 1960s.
- Rosa Luxembourg: A Tribute by Jean-Paul Riopelle Place this enormous fresco at the top of your list of things to see! Riopelle’s talent and zeal are on full display in this stunning 40-meter-long show. Bonus: Instagrammers love the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, where the fresco is located.
Monastère des Augustines
The monastery, which is rich in legacy and history, opened as the first hospital in North America outside of Mexico. Explore the space within to see thousands of artefacts that show how medicine has changed over time. Make the most of your trip by touring the museum, staying the night in a straightforward but cosy room, refuelling with a meal made by a chef known for his healthy cuisine, and taking part in a wellness session.
Permanent exhibition at Monastère des Augustines
The Augustine sisters gathered a fascinating collection of more than 40,000 items that provide insight into the development of healthcare over the course of 375 years. Explore the archives for fascinating insights on the development of medical technology over time.
Royal 22e Régiment Museum in Quebec City’s Citadelle
Discover what life was like in the only French-speaking infantry regiment in the Canadian army by entering the largest British fortification ever constructed in North America.
Permanent exhibition at the Royal 22e Régiment museum
The Je me souviens permanent display uses historical footage, heartfelt human accounts, maps, and never-before-seen artefacts to reflect on 100 years of regimental history.
Museum at Plains of Abraham
Experience the Battle of the Plains of Abraham up close by going to the Battles 1759-1760 display. The museum also has a collection of uniforms, an engrossing immersive video presentation with historical eyewitness testimonies, and entertaining interactive games for kids.
This museum in the First Nations hamlet of Wendake, close to Québec City, is the ideal fusion of the present and the past. Visitors can learn about the Huron-Wendat people’s rich culture and expertise here. The experience in the permanent display space is enhanced by regional authorities, audio tours, and touchscreen tablets. Visit Onhoüa Chetek8e, a traditional Huron location, and treat yourself to a lunch at La Traite for a wholly genuine experience.
Pôle culturel du Monastère des Ursulines
The first ladies’ school in the northern part of the continent was formed at the Monastère des Ursulines, a founding community of New France founded in Québec City in the 17th century. Today, the riches of the oldest teaching religious community in Canada are displayed in a museum of history and art. Don’t leave without visiting the Chapel, which showcases a spectacular collection of wood carvings, historical artwork, and Ursuline-embroidered items.
Interpretation Centres with a Spotlight on Know-how
Want to know more about a certain topic? Visit one of Québec City’s interpretation centres to learn more, or visit an economuseum to interact with passionate craftspeople who are eager to impart their knowledge.
On Île d’Orléans, you can find one-of-a-kind items at sculpture or copper art studios, learn how local gins are distilled or how blackcurrant products are produced, or be inspired by the poetry and melodies of Félix Leclerc. There are so many people to meet and so much to learn!