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Explore the Marvelous Cultural World in Québec
There’s a reason why history buffs and art lovers flock to Québec and it has something to do with their mile-high list of historic and artistic museums. Whether it’s a specialty museum, an art gallery, or a military museum, Quebec has it covered.
Offering a perfect blend of historic works of art to contemporary art exhibits, Musée des Beaux-Art du Montreal is an absolute must-see when visiting Québec
. Take your time to leisurely wander the four interconnected pavilions and expect to be wowed by the extraordinary architecture in the new wing. Be sure to check out the impressive collection of Brousseau Inuit Art Collection.
Another popular museum is right on the Ottawa River in the southern part of Québec and in the region of Gatineau. Previously known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Canadian Museum of History happens to be one of the most visited museums in Canada and you’ll want to say you’ve been there too.
Permanent exhibits you can count on all year-round are the Grand Hall, the First Peoples Hall, and the Canada Hall for a unique perspective on Canada’s history and heritage. Come see what Canada was like from the very beginning and explore 20,000 years of human history.
Marvel at the largest collection of totem poles in the world. Learn about the Indigenous Canadians to modern day Canada. And try to make time for an adventurous 2D or 3D screening on giant flat screens in the theatre. Inside the Canadian Museum of Civilization, is the well-known Canadian Children’s Museum, one of the best places to visit with the little ones. From interactive games and creative activities to cool exhibits and hands-on props, they’ll have a world of fun learning about the arts, culture, and history as they roam the world.
Plan to stop at the Exporail - Canadian Railway Museum for informative and insightful fun. Step foot in the past and into the history of the railway for a peek inside all sorts of trains, locomotives, and antique streetcars. Get the scoop on their history and when they were made. Rail lovers are in their glory as they climb aboard the trains and enjoy the amazing guided tours.
A visit to the family-friendly Lachine Fur Trade Museum is an incredible way of learning about unique fur trade artifacts. Some prefer to ride their bike along the scenic Lachine Canal to get to the museum. Others may stop for an afternoon picnic before or after their visit.
History will also surround you regardless of where you choose to visit. Charming streets are dotted with historic buildings like the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac across the St. Lawrence River. Learn about the Parliament seat with a free guided tour of the Parliament Building and snap a photo in front of Fountaine de Tourney that is often surrounded by street performers.
If you’re a music lover, you’re in for some ear candy as you hop from gastropubs to music venues and experience one live show to the next. Get a front row seat to the cultural music scene of Québec at the remarkable Capitole Theatre (not too far from Fountaine de Tourney) where live performances, legendary concerts, and incredible bands pack up the calendar each year. Other performing arts and musical theatres worth checking out are Grand Theatre de Québec and Palais Montcalm.
Canadian Children's Museum
Visitors to the National Capital Region of southern Quebec have a variety of attractions and places to explore. Gatineau, located across the Ottawa River from Ottawa, is home to one of the most visited museums in the country – the Canadian Children’s Museum.
This impressive children's museum was established in 1989 inside the Canadian Museum of Civilization. The museum provides hands-on activities for kids across more than 30 permanent exhibits, boasting 15,000 items – including games, books, props, toys, artifacts, and art.
Schedule plenty of time for the kids to explore "The Great Adventure" exhibit, where they can travel to a variety of international locations.
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Drawing more than one million annual visitors, the Canadian Museum of Civilization is located on the Ottawa River in southern Québec.. The museum can be found in The Hull of Gatineau – the city's central and oldest area.
Managed by the Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, the museum features four permanent exhibition galleries. The Grand Hall, the First Peoples Hall, the Canada Hall, and Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall all work together to show different facets of Canadian life through the ages.
CMC visitors will also find a 3D IMAX Theatre, Canadian Children's Museum, and great seasonal programs. The buildings' unique, sweeping architecture and brilliant displays and exhibits make the museum a must-see for Gatineau and Ottawa visitors alike.
Canadian Museum of History
Located along the Ottawa River, the Canadian Museum of History preserves a collection of artifacts and materials representing 20,000 years of Canadian culture and history. The Museum is set in the city of Gatineau – the fourth largest city in Québec.
Among its collections, the museum houses three permanent exhibits – the Grand Hall, First Peoples Hall, and Canada Hall. During your visit, be sure to catch sight of the museum’s noteworthy architecture, featuring the Grand Staircase, Public Wing, and the Curatorial Wing.
Canadian Railway Museum
While in the Capital City region of Québec City, make time for family fun at one of the city's most popular museums. Visit the Canadian Railway Museum – or Exporail – to see the exhibits, ride the trains, and partake in a guided tour.
Permanent exhibitions include Reliving Canada's Railway Adventure, the Little Railroader's Car, Miniature Trains, and Railway Stations. Kids love the five-minute Miniature Train Ride, where they travel over three bridges and go through a tunnel.
Step aboard the historic streetcar for a ride around the museum site and enjoy a fifteen-minute ride on a passenger train. The custom tours, day camps, and school programs round out the activities available for children. Before leaving, stop by the gift shop to browse the selection of Québec souvenirs.
Lachine Fur Trade Museum
A National Historic Site of Canada, the Lachine Fur Trade Museum commemorates Québec and Lachine’s fur trade industry of the 17th century. The museum sits along the Saint-Laurent River near the northern end St-Louis Lake.
Visitors will find an unmatched collection of authentic furs and other fur trade artifacts as a part of the museum’s permanent exhibition, including the orientation film, “the Fabric of a Nation.”