There are numerous reasons to plan a trip to Quebec City—from hearty food to charming neighborhoods—but one thing not to miss out on is a visit to one of the city’s many interesting museums. Covering everything from art to medicine, the museums here have something to offer every age and interest level. Not sure where to start? Here are the top museums in Quebec City to keep on your travel radar.
Museum of Civilization
It only makes sense to start this list with the most popular museum in Quebec City. The Museum of Civilization offers visitors the chance to learn and discover via interactive and participatory exhibits that wow even those prone to museum fatigue. What has also become one of the most popular museums in Canada explores the world and its inhabitants throughout history, both from an international perspective as well as a homegrown view. Two permanent exhibits focus on the people of Quebec, including the province's indigenous people, while an exciting roster of rotating exhibits covers everything from contemporary issues to the natural world.
Musée du Fort
Located in front of the famous Château Frontenac, Musée du Fort is the perfect place for history buffs. Head here to experience a unique 30-minute sound and light show on the military history of Quebec City. Using a 400-square foot model of Quebec City and its outlying regions in 1750, the presentation tells the story of the six sieges of Quebec City including the famous battle of the Plains of Abraham and Benedict Arnold's march to Quebec. This isn’t the history of dusty textbooks—it’s history come to life.
Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec
Housing more than 40,000 works covering Quebec art in all its forms from the 17th century to today, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec is well worth a half day exploration if you have the time. Four pavilions house the extensive collection, including an impressive collection of Inuit art. In addition to the feast for the eyes on offer, the museum also offers numerous events including film screenings, concerts, and kids camps.
Le Monastère des Augustines
You’ll find this former monastery in the heart of Old Quebec. This is the site of the first hospital on the continent (north of Mexico), founded by Augustinian nuns. The museum traces the history of these nuns and their work and displays a collection of items related to their lives caring for the sick. But that’s not all—this is a unique, mixed-use venue that’s also a hotel, restaurant, and boutique. They also run a regular series of health and spiritual events and workshops.
Built over 200 years ago as the city's first prison, the Morrin Centre no longer houses inmates, but the building is now home to the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec as well as an impressive library of English language texts (some of which date back to the 16th century). It also acts as Quebec City’s English-language cultural center and a historical interpretation site. If you’re at all curious about the building’s past as a prison, fear not. There are still a few intact cells for visitors to explore on guided tours where you’ll see graffiti carved into the floors by inmates and the iron rings used to chain them down.
La Citadelle and Royal 22nd Regiment Museum
Step back in time at North America’s largest fortress with a visit to La Citadelle du Quebec. This historic fortress has been an active military site since 1920 and is still occupied by regular troops. Built by the British in the early 19th century to protect Quebec City against American invasion, La Citadel is also now home to the Royal 22nd Regiment Museum. The museum houses a collection of historical weapons, uniforms, decorations, and more. Guided tours of the Citadelle include a self-guided tour of the museum.
Les Artisans du Vitrail
At this tiny museum visitors can discover the fascinating history of stained glass through the ages (dating all the way back to the Middle Ages). Not only that, a visit here also means the chance to see the artisans hard at work. Visitors can witness both the techniques they use to restore historic pieces of stained glass as well as those used to create contemporary pieces. They also offer a series of stained glass workshops if you’d like to learn some hands-on techniques.
Plains of Abraham Museum
Canada's first national historic park is where you can visit the Plains of Abraham Museum, which acts as the park's information and reception center. The sprawling park has been compared to New York’s Central Park for its role as the green lung of the city. The museum commemorates the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, where the British defeated the French in 1759. Get an informative dose of history as you peruse the artifacts on display
Érico Chocolate Museum
Chocolate lovers will want to stop by this small museum attached to a chocolate boutique. Here, you can learn all about the bean-to-bar process as well as the history of chocolate from the Mayan civilization to the present day. The museum houses a collection of over 200 items from Mexico, the Caribbean Island,s and Europe, as well as some impressive artistic chocolate creations. If you happen to be visiting during the week, you have the added bonus of checking out the chocolatiers at work through a window that overlooks the kitchen. It’s worth a stop in the boutique to pick up some excellent chocolate.