Gay Quebec City is a breathtaking city whose historic streets and colonial Nouvelle-France inspires romance and exoticism. Charming, transfixing and utterly unforgettable – there is a lot to love here, including a small but vivacious gay scene
The only fortified city in North America, Quebec City is famed for its picturesque nature, charming streetscapes, fun festivals, world-class museums, epicurean restaurants, and effervescent nightlife. Not only that, Quebec – and Canada in general – is renowned for its openness meaning queer travelers can a safe and fun visit where they are free to be themselves and love whomever they wish.
Quebec Province – and Quebec City – are French-speaking, and you would be wise to not forget it. English is widely spoken here in and in Montreal and while people here might not be as uppity as in France, a few words de français will surely help you make friends quicker. A lack thereof can equally be a recipe for disaster and misconstrued as downright rude.
We also loved that in Quebec City the usage of hook up apps is not yet as pervasive here as in most other cites, meaning that while everyone is still connected online here, people also still genuinely enjoy chatting each other up in bars and cruising in nightclubs or bathhouses is still common practice. Enjoy that while it lasts!
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights in Canada are some of the most advanced in the world, and in modern times the Government of Canada has a strong history of commitment to protecting and advancing the rights of LGBT people — both within Canada and worldwide. Quebec was also one of the world’s first jurisdictions to prohibit all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
While Montreal’s Gay Village is probably the most vibrant in Canada, you can also see the physical manifestation of Canada’s queer spirit in Toronto’s Church Wellesley Village, Vancouver’s Davie Village, and Ottawa’s Bank Street Gay Village. While there is no gay village in Quebec City, rue Saint-Jean in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighborhood has plenty of rainbow flags and queer spirit to keep you entertained.
While we love the energy, passion and queer spirit that flows from these LGBT spaces, travelers should know you can hold hands and can kiss on the street anywhere here without any concerns. People won’t even raise an eyebrow…because Quebec City loves and accepts you just the way you are.
Now, why can’t the whole world be like this?
Are you relocating? This guide will help travelers discover the queerer side of the city. However, if you are lucky enough to be considering a move here, we recommend getting in touch with a local gay realtor. They can happily give you no-obligation advice and all the information you'll ever need to know about your new city. And if you then want their help to find your dream home, you are guaranteed fair, equal, and honest representation. No surprises or awkward conversations necessary!
Gay Quebec City Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Quebec City Canada
In this article we will cover...
- Gay Quebec City Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Quebec City Canada
Attractions in Gay Quebec City
Naturally being gay does not define which attractions most of us will want to see in each destination and most queer travelers will merely want to check out the top things to see in Quebec City during the day! We found our favorite memories were watching the sunset from the gorgeous Governors Promenade, dancing till dawn surrounded by fabulous queers or exploring all of the gastronomic delights on offer…
However, if you’re someone who wants to see it all, we have put together a few of our other things to do in Quebec City that are sure to keep you busy! Rest assured, Quebec City is a very safe city, and gay travelers here do not need to take any extra precautions regarding public displays of affection in this very progressive city.
Top Things To Do And See in Quebec City
- Petit Champlain Streets / Palace Royale – Narrow streets, unique boutiques, ornate decorations, and charming bistros – the lower town district of Petit Champlain has a romantic atmosphere that would put many European villages to shame. The home of the original New France colony, many of the buildings here are original and some, in fact, are still fur trading posts…though more catering to wealthy tourists these days than to send back to Paris. Often named North America’s most beautiful street and a truly marvelous attraction in Quebec City!
- Aquarium du Quebec – Discover our underwater world in the presence of 10,000 marine animals at Aquarium du Quebec. Regardless of the season or weather, the centrally located attraction always provides a fun and welcoming environment for friends and families of all ages. Observe and learn about fish, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. You can also watch feedings and training for polar bears, walrus, and sea lions.
- Quebec City Food Tour – Eat like a local during this small-group food walking tour of Quebec City. Indulge your tastebuds as you sample a range of French-Canadian specialties with a guide including wine, crepes, chocolates, savory delights and more. Stop to snack at a range of purveyors located in the city’s top eating neighborhoods such as charming Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Quebec City Distillery and Microbreweries Tour – This tour is offering a unique experience with selected gin spirits and craft beers samplers in a friendly environment. Forget the tourist traps and cookie-cutter experiences. This is your chance to dive into Quebec-City local distillery, craft beer scene and more.
- Hotel Fairmont Château Frontenac – Perfectly located inside the Old Quebec city walls, the iconic Fairmont Château Frontenac is the only answer to the question of where to stay in Quebec City! One of the most photographed hotels in the world, a luxury stay at the Hotel Château Frontenac enhances your time in Quebec by continuing the travel experience back to your hotel room with unparalleled views of the historic city and its unique architecture. The hotel has a rich and dynamic history complimented by modern innovations, fine dining, and a recent multi-million dollar renovation. Even if you do not stay here, this landmark hotel is still worth a visit if only to admire the grandeur of yesteryear.
- Governors Promenade – A giant boardwalk reminiscent of the sailing ships of old that connects the Dufferin Terrace in front of Château Frontenac to the Plains of Abraham Park along the cliff-top. The promenade is elevated above the St. Lawrence River and weaves it’s way around the famed Citadel walls to provide a new panoramic view at every turn. Free, fun and easy – the Quebec City Promenade is the perfect place for a relaxing walk in nature.
- Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – Explore the best of Quebec City on this narrated, hop-on hop-off, double-decker bus tour. Visit many of Quebec City’s top attractions—like Old Québec, Fortifications of Québec, Quartier Saint-Jean-Baptiste, Place Royale, Vieux-Port de Québec, to name just a few. Select the 1-day pass, then board at any of the stops and get to know this UNESCO World Heritage Site in customized fashion, with audio commentary in 10 different languages.
- The Old Ports – While the boats are all pulled out of the water in anticipation of the coming ice, the fall in Quebec City means it is the perfect time to see the Aurora Borealis permanent lighting installation on the Old Post grain silos. Not quite as good as seeing the Northern Lights in Rovaniemi Lapland…but close! A nightly show inspired by the colors of the northern lights projected on this impressive architectural structure by permanent lighting from sunset until 11.30 pm. An innovative way to brighten up Quebec City in the darkness, the Old Port of Quebec is also a great place to wander around with a romantic partner (with plenty of spots for stolen kisses) or to appreciate the beautiful view across to the historic Quebec city.
- Plains of Abraham – Designated Canada’s first national historic park the Plains of Abraham, part of the National Battlefields Park has been the destination of choice for outdoor recreation in Quebec for over 100 years. The location of the 1759 battle between the French and British Empire, today the park is utterly tranquil and the perfect place to enjoy the Quebec in peace. A great place to hike, bike or run – with plenty of paths designed with each in mind, you can see everybody out enjoying this fabulous urban space right on the edge of the old city!
- Montmorency Falls and Ste-Anne-de-Beaupré Day Trip – Escape to the beautiful countryside around Québec City on this half-day adventure to Montmorency Falls and the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Choose from a morning or afternoon tour experience, then explore the spectacular landscape just outside Québec City. Along the way, visit popular Beaupre Coast tourist attractions like the Chocolaterie de l’Ile d’Orléans and the Cuivres D’Art Albert Gilles (copper art museum).
- Rue Saint Jean – One of the oldest streets in Quebec – and a gateway to the city – take an amble here to discover the cities culture and heritage through your taste buds. Home to many of the top Quebec city restaurants this is a must on anyone’s itinerary. Starting at Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, the oldest Catholic parish in North America, you will always find something to do on Rue Saint-Jean including interesting shops, pubs, bistros, cafes, concert halls and historic buildings. A unique atmosphere where modern and old Quebec collide, there is never a dull moment here. It also happens to be the most queer-friendly neighborhood in the city and home to the cities best gay bars.
- Québec City Pride Festival (September) – A socio-artistic festival of LGBT + Pride that takes place during Labor Day weekend and attracts more than 35,000 people to downtown Quebec City. This celebration is an opportunity for thousands of people to publicly express their values of equality and justice, to reaffirm their rights, and to allow the population to rub shoulders with members of diversity. Everyone can enjoy 4 evenings of free shows, 2 days of entertainment on rue Saint-Jean, in addition to conferences, themed evenings and a host of other activities including fabulous club events. The best time to visit Gay Quebec City in our opinion.
Gay-friendly and Gay Hotels in Quebec City Canada
As you would expect in such a progressive country, pretty much every hotel and hostel in Quebec City can be considered gay-friendly — after all, being gay-friendly is not all about upscale luxury, but instead about providing friendly service and welcoming everyone with open arms!
Having said this, everyone likes to be surrounded by people with common interests, and as such there a few hotels in Quebec City that are known hotspots for gay travelers to stay!
- Hotel Hippocampe ☆☆ – The only gay hotel in Quebec City – and exclusively for men located in the center of the city with plenty of pubs, restaurants and trendy bistros nearby. Offering exclusive hotel services for the past 25 years, the rooms are basic but offer all you need and there is a free daily breakfast, a sauna with a hot tub, a solarium and a steam bath. Not one of our favorite gay hotels in the world – and certainly not as avant-garde as the Late Birds or as hedonistic as All Worlds Resort – but a fun option at a very reasonable price point.
- Auberge Aux Deux Lions ☆☆☆ – A gay-owned and utterly charming boutique hotel offer 15 rooms and suites with a unique cachet, in the heart of the Quebec City arts district. We loved the delicious English breakfasts served with fresh croissants cooked on-site every morning and the rustic red-brick inn building it is housed in. Stay in relaxed rooms with modern furnishings, some with balconies, chat with other travelers in the guest lounge and garden, or explore the trendy Saint-Jean-Baptiste which is right on your doorstep. One of the most popular options for gay adventurers seeking something a bit different while still being extremely good value.
- Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac ☆☆☆☆☆ – Ideally located inside the walls of Old Quebec, this iconic hotel has undergone a multimillion-dollar renaissance project that repositions it as one of the world’s leading hotels. The restoration blends the charm of the hotel’s enchanting past with modern innovations, creating an allure that is fresh & seductive, balanced with the hotel’s rich history & dynamic future. A true urban resort that remains faithful to its heritage and seduces with its breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and the architecture of the Old fortified City. In any one of its 610 guestrooms and suites, you will feel an elegant touch of historic Europe and a guaranteed a memorable and inspiring stay – it is not often you get the chance to stay in a property like this. Just some of the highlights include an incredible breakfast served in a gorgeous cafe with river views, an upscale fine-dining restaurant, refined wine bar, opulent spa, gym, and indoor pool…
- Hôtel Le Germain Québec ☆☆☆☆ – Tempt yourself with a stay in a century-old building in Quebec City’s Old Port converted into a modern hotel with a story that still retains all the cachet and contagious charm of this cities grand era. The original woodwork and stones have been retained to create a mix of classic and contemporary architecture so you will be both impressed and seduced by the warm, luxurious and welcoming atmosphere as well as the unparalleled service of their staff. Gay-popular, in large part thanks to their design aesthetics, Hôtel Le Germain Québec also offers free continental breakfast daily, a cozy lounge/bar area with a fireplace, 24-hour gym, an espresso bar with free and seasonal terrace. Located right in the heart of Old Quebec, making it an ideal base for exploring – no matter where your interests lie.
- Hotel le Priori ☆☆☆☆ – A chic and modern luxury hotel offering charming rooms with historical flair. Expect exposed-brick walls, slate bathrooms, and in-bedroom antique claw-foot tubs – though some upgraded rooms truly go all out with hot tubs, fireplaces, balconies, and beamed ceilings. The location and service are also truly exceptional. A boutique hotel stay for those who want luxury and style that is unique Quebecois.
- Hôtel Alt Québec ☆☆☆ – Convenient, contemporary and comfortable this gay-popular hotel offers affordable luxury without the outrageous price tag. Relax in beautiful rooms with absolutely everything you need: a comfortable bed, a nice hot shower, and super-fast Wi-Fi.
- Auberge Internationale de Quebec ☆☆ – The best hostel in Quebec City – no matter gay, straight or unicorn. Clean, modern and fun this is a great option for those wanting a cheap bed for the night or to make friends to explore the city with.
Gay Nightlife in Quebec City
Quebec City is one of our favorite under-the-radar gay destinations in Canada – in part due to the gorgeous cityscape, vibrant gay nightlife scene and all those smoking hot French-Canadian boys (and girls!). Compared to Montreal or Toronto, we found the Quebec City gay nightlife scene to be more relaxed with less attitude.
Quebec City has an excellent, yet not overwhelming, selection of gay bars and clubs from which always kept things interesting – and plenty of ‘gay-but-mixed’ venues too. Most bars and clubs often don’t kick off till late here, but there are plenty of cute cocktail spots and wine cellars to relax in until then. Although Quebec City does not have a gay village as such, many of most gay-frequented clubs, bars, shops, and hotels are found in Rue Saint-Jean, the cities most LGBTQ+-friendly neighborhood, and a good place to start any night out.
Being such a tolerant society, you are unlikely to experience any issues with displays of affection in public and as such will be welcomed in most clubs and bars in Quebec City. So, if you want to mix with hetero’s, you will be accepted pretty much anywhere you go. Having said that – who doesn’t want to party the night away with our fabulous queer global family. We are just more fun after all…
Gay Bars And Clubs in Quebec City
- Le Drague Cabaret Club – A trendy gay cabaret space and nightclub – perfect for meeting friends. Symbolizing the bridge between the gay, lesbian and hetero friendly community, Le Drague has proudly welcomed an open and diverse clientele for over thirty years. Le Drague Cabaret Club is made up of several zones offering different atmospheres and activities, and have an amazing terrace open all summer long. There is the cabaret area offers shows by local and (sometimes famous) drag queens, or after 11 pm you can check out the club area for dancing and vibe-setting sounds from fiery DJs! There is also a lounge zone for those who want to relax, chat and sip cocktails with friends. A clear highlight of Gay Quebec, no visit would be complete without at least stopping by….though, chances are you won’t want to leave!
- Bar St-Matthew’s – A old-school gay cruise/dive bar with cheap drinks and a low-key atmosphere and a loyal following of regulars. Things get a bit hotter in the weekend with a live DJ and dancing, and Friday night drag shows.
- Club ForHom – A gay club in Quebec City for men only, run by volunteers and is members only. This means you’ll have to get a club membership card at the door which then allows you discounts on your drinks. A social, friendly and oh-so-hot atmosphere dominates most of their events – and you can always strike up a conversation or more with guys on their magnificent terrace. Upcoming activities are listed on their Facebook page and include dance parties, cinema screenings and more – including the popular Men in Boxers-themed Friday nights fetish event. Club ForHom is also close to the gay sauna (Bloc 225) – so you can continue the fun there should you wish.
Mixed / Gay-Friendly Nightlife in Quebec City
- Chez Tao! – A hip and modern bistro-bar with an extremely cool vibe offering Asian street eats inspired by the flavors of Bali, Singapore, and Bangkok along with eclectic cocktails. We couldn’t stop talking about how good the food was – and a fun option for getting away from the tourist track and among the locals. Drinks are served in glasses indicated on the menu including a lucky cat, a Buddha, and a Panda bear. Try to get a seat with the view of the bar as it is like watching a magic show, especially the smoking box drink….
- Bar Le Sacrilège – A mixed neighborhood bar in the Rue Saint-Jean gay area and an institution of Quebec City for more than 20 years. Participate in the culture of music, shows, food, street art and dancing with everything from theatre shows and live music to late-night DJ sets. Le Sacrilège is all about supporting the local with microbrewery beers, Quebec products and an eclectic range of community fundraising evenings too. Beautifully designed with incredible food and a sunny terrace, Bar Le Sacrilège is a must-visit by day or by night!
- La Ninkasi – A mixed 2-story watering hole in Rue Saint-Jean to relax, watch the game, play pool or sing your lungs out with late-night karaoke. The Ninkasi offers a wide range of activities to suit everyone and has a special focus on cultural diversity and fostering an atmosphere where everyone is welcomed as family. A 100% uniquely Quebec experience proposing an incredible number of beers from several microbreweries and Quebec products, all in a relaxed, lively, musical atmosphere … in short, unwind and feel at home.
- MacFly Arcade Bar – The first bar arcade to open its doors in Québec proffering retrogaming in a buzzy environment with microbrews and the free collection of ancient arcade games and vintages pinballs. Very on trendy, this is a fabulous place to meet for a first date or a casual drink…esspeically if you are a GAYmer. Not particularly gay-popular, but very welcoming fun!
- Nénuphar – An award-winning speakeasy in Quebec City focussing on absinthes, classic cocktails, and natural wines. A bit out-of-the-way and hard to find, but that is part of the charm as you are plunged back in the late 1800s. And the cocktails? Amongst the best we have had anywhere in the world…
- Le Dagobert – The biggest nightclub in Quebec for over 40 years where you can let loose and dance the night away in an awe-inspiring castle-themed nightspot. Inside there are multiple floors, live music events, and epic sound systems with accompanying light shows. The best spot for clubbing in Quebec if you don’t mind to party with hetero-sexual. As we have said before though, it’s all very gay-friendly, however, and you never know who you might meet…
Gay Sauna And Cruise Clubs in Gay Quebec City
Had enough of gay cruising in Quebec City – either in the bars or elsewhere? Why not explore the steamier side of this sexy town…
Unlike so many other cities in North America – Atlanta, Washington DC, Portland, Boston – where bathhouses are closing, in Quebec City, there is a variety of popular bathhouses to choose from – three in fact, which is surprising given the size of this city. While there are not quite as many options as Montreal, which has the biggest gay sauna scene on the continent, none of the bathhouses in Quebec City will disappoint you (unlikely all those faceless accounts on Grindr or the other hook up apps…).
All of the best cruising and sauna venues in Quebec City are centrally located in interesting neighborhoods and near the most popular gay accommodation options making life a little easier. One is even attached to a gay hotel if you are thinking of making a few visits. In such a foreign-friendly destination you should have no issues visiting any of the Quebec City gay sauna/bathhouses and will be welcomed openly, as in the rest of the gay scene here.
A little French never hurt anyone, however, and if you are nervous about visiting a gay sauna for the first time – we have a helpful guide.
- Sauna Back Boys – A Quebec City gay institution for men to have fun and relax away from prying eyes offering 3 levels and a basement – all in the heart of the old city of Quebec. Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the Back Boys recently underwent a complete renovation in a Mediterranean style with sunny and bright colors and no offers an impressive list of services such as the whirlpool, dry and steam saunas, a cozy fireplace in the relaxation lounge, lockers and more intimate spaces. We found the sauna to be clean, with helpful staff and a hot crowd especially during the daily happy hour from 5-7 pm after workdays – or almost anytime on Friday and Saturday nights. Our top recommendation for a gay sauna un Quebec City if you only have time to visit one.
- Sauna Bloc 225 – A gay sauna located at the western entrance to the St-Jean Baptiste district, the gayest neighborhood in Quebec City. Housed in a superb Victorian-style building dating from the end of the 19th century. Whatever the mood, whatever the moment, enter the lair of hot Quebec men and curious visitors and make your own fun in a warm and respectful atmosphere. Somewhat dated, but there is a labyrinth, dry sauna, glory holes, and whirlpool.
- Hippocampe Sauna – Established in Quebec City since 1973 – this place of meeting and relaxation offers you a sexy atmosphere in a somewhat basic setting. Open 24/7 inside you will be tempted with a whirlpool, steam and dry sauna plus plenty of eroticism with a black room, glory holes, XXX cinema, and shop to meet all your fun needs. The team here is also very welcoming to foreigners, speaks English and happy to help you feel at home. You don’t stay in business for all these years without ensuring your customers always leave happy after all. Attached to the Hotel Hippocampe, a Quebec City inn for gay men, though there is a separate entrance – on cold Canadian nights, we did appreciate not having to go to far….