Ah, New Year’s Eve.
That magical night where everything is shiny and new and full of possibility.
Years of doing the same thing every December 31 can make you forget what this holiday is really about: moving on from the past and welcoming the opportunity that only a new year can bring.
Which is why we think it makes so much sense to take your celebrations to a new location this year – more specifically, Québec City. Its unique mix of European charm and modern attractions make it the perfect backdrop for a New Year’s Eve to remember. Plus, all the special events that happen at this time of year are a great way to really immerse yourself in the culture and traditions of Québec.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why Québec City is the most magical place to ring in the New Year.
The Holiday Lights and Decorations
If you arrive a few days early, we highly recommend you take the time to stroll down the city streets and experience the winter wonderland that is Québec City at Christmastime. For the best views, head to the Petit Champlain district – the twinkling lights and colourful decor will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the pages of a fairy tale.
The Christmas Markets
That’s right, there’s not just one but two Christmas Markets in Old Quebec to explore. With a variety of handicrafts on display, you’ll be sure to find a special souvenir to bring home with you. And for the foodies, you’ll love the great selection of treats. Especially at the German Christmas Market, where you can find yummy treats like gingerbread, mulled wine, bratwurst, and more.
Skating Under the Stars
There’s a reason skating is such a classic winter date. Whether you’re an old pro or a total newbie, it’s a simple and fun way to spend time with your significant other (and maybe burn off some of the baked goods from the Christmas Market!) Add in a little musical accompaniment and the beauty that is Place D’Youville at night and you’ve got the recipe for a super romantic date night.
Good Old-Fashioned Tobogganing
Channel your inner kid and head to Terrasse Dufferin Slides. It’s one of the oldest attractions in town but it will still give you a hell of a rush as you zoom down the hill at speeds of up to 70 km/h. Also, word to the wise: the walk to the top might be a bit steep and get you sweating, but the ride (and breathtaking view of the city) is totally worth it.
New Year’s Eve in Québec City
From December 27 to 31, the Grande Allée between the National Assembly and Hôtel Le Concorde will be completely transformed. The streets will glow with festive lights and you can listen to the sweet sounds of live traditional music every night. Not to mention the heated terraces, outdoor ice bars, Ferris wheel and, for the first time this year, a 200-meter-long urban zipline.
But of course, the best is saved for last. On December 31, there will be a huge outdoor show at Place de l’Assemblée-Nationale in front of the Parliament Building that will end in a spectacular musical and pyrotechnic display once the clock strikes midnight to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada. In short, if you’re looking for the best New Year’s party in the country, you’ll find it in downtown Québec City.