Quebec Packing List: What to Bring

There are so many things to do and see in Quebec that packing for this trip might seem like the most challenging you’ve ever experienced. Knowing what to bring to Quebec can seem challenging, given the diverse activities and uncertain weather depending on the season. To avoid any luggage mistakes, create your own Quebec packing list using my suggestions below, adapting your backpack or suitcase to the type of trip you want!

The season you visit will greatly impact what your suitcase contains, so check your travel dates right now and compare them to the checklists below. With these items, you’ll be able to enjoy your time in Quebec, no matter when it is.

Quebec City view of the Fairmont - Rich Martello - Unsplash
Photo: Rich Martello – Unsplash

The Classics to Pack No Matter the Trip

As I’ve shared in other packing articles, packing for a trip can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when you want to ensure that you have everything you need without overloading your luggage.

To help you streamline the process and travel with confidence, I’ve created a comprehensive general Quebec packing list for travel to start with before going into seasonal specifics!

Quebec Packing List for Travel by Chasing Poutine
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What to Bring to Quebec in All Seasons

Sunglasses – Despite cool temperatures throughout the year, this doesn’t stop the sun from shining brightly upon this grand province. Even on the coldest days in winter, the glare from snow reflects upward while the sun’s rays beat down from above. Having sunglasses will make your outdoor experience a lot more enjoyable, and in Quebec, we spend a lot of time outdoors.

Trendy Casual Outfit – No matter the season, Quebec is a fashionable place with locals who take pride in their appearance. Doesn’t mean you have to dress up real’fancy, but having a slightly formal option in your luggage for a night out or a fancier meal is always practical.

Translator – Quebec’s tourist attractions are very bilingual, and you’ll be just fine if you don’t speak any French. However, to make your experience run a bit smoother, download a translator app on your phone so you always have a reference. Many people in Quebec don’t speak English; they just don’t work in the tourist sector.

Now let’s get into seasonal specifics!

Streets of Quebec City in Summer - Nathalia Segato - Unsplash
Photo: Nathalia Segato – Unsplash

Summer Packing List for Quebec

Proper Clothing – Don’t think travelling to Canada is full of perpetually cold environments. A Montreal summer is more akin to Florida in September. It can get hot and humid and can get scorching hot, especially in Montreal.

Be sure you bring shorts, t-shirts, sandals, and a bathing suit for these occasions throughout June, July and August. Sometimes June and September are super warm too.

SunscreenEven in the winter, it’s easy to burn, so pack smart with sunscreen and UV lip balm no matter the season, but especially in the hot summer. Nothing ruins a good night out in Montreal more than a nagging sunburn.

Hat – A must-have for any trip is a good hat that protects well from UV rays and ideally covers the neck and forehead.

Swimming Gear – Bring a swimsuit if you will have access to swimming pools in your hotel, but also if you plan to go for a dip in a lake or visit a spa.

Montreal's skyline - Andrew Welch - Unsplash
Photo: Andrew Welch – Unsplash

Autumn Luggage Ideas for Your Quebec Packing List

Hiking Boots – The changing of the leaves in Quebec is quite the spectacle. You’ll want to get a firsthand look by making your way along the hundreds of kilometres of hiking trails. This is a great time to use that camera that you packed as well.

Layered Clothing – This city will keep you on your toes weatherwise, so stay one step ahead by layering your outfits. This will make you customizable to whatever comes up. If any of those layers have a Montreal Canadiens logo, you’ll earn bonus points. Haha!

Binoculars – More so than any other time of year, binoculars are great to have this time of year to explore the surrounding landscape. Crisp, clear air makes for high visibility not to mention the array of wildlife you’ll see either preparing for winter or making their way south to avoid the harsh winter.

Ferris wheel in Montreal - Grande roue - Fabien Jolicoeur - Unsplash
Photo: Fabien Jolicoeur – Unsplash

Winter Must-Haves for Your Quebec Suitcase

Planning to come to Quebec in the winter? This packing list will help you out!

Proper Jacket – Layers are still recommended, but you’ll also need a proper jacket. Wind, snow, and sleet are all possible during your stay, and you might experience all three in one day. A thick jacket with a hood that goes down past your waist is the best option to keep you warm and safe.

Clothing Accessories – If you spend any time outdoors in Quebec, then a jacket is not enough. Be sure to pack mitts, a toque, and waterproof boots for walking through the snowy streets.

Skates – Winter is the best time to enjoy Quebec City activities as the city comes alive. Outdoor skating rinks are very common, and even if you’ve never skated, community facilities will have rentals and instructors to help you. 

Cycling in Montreal - Louis Tricot from Unsplash
Photo: Louis Tricot – Unsplash

Spring Practical Things to Bring

Insect Repellent – Spring is the time when Mother Nature comes back to life from the long winter, and that includes mosquitoes, and black flies. While the city may not be as overrun as the surrounding wilderness, it’s never a bad idea to keep a small bottle on you to enjoy all the sunset patios Quebec has to offer.

Umbrella – Like the other three seasons, spring is unpredictable, but one thing is for sure: you’ll probably see some spring showers. Keep a small umbrella with you so when the skies open, you don’t get caught in the rain.

Fishing Rod – Any anglers looking for the best time of year to cast off will be most satisfied in the spring and might want to bring a fishing rod. As the snow melts off the mountains, it encourages the spawning of all types of fish, including the popular striped bass and lake trout.

Here are some other short guides to help you get the most from your time in Quebec:

Packing Essentials / Trip Planner
About Author

Passionate about travel and food, Jennifer Doré Dallas is a freelance travel writer, author and creator since 2010. On top of this amazing Chasing Poutine blog, she also founded Moi, mes souliers in 2010 and she is the author/co-author of around two dozen Lonely Planet, Ulysse and Parfum d'encre travel guidebooks, in addition to having contributed to other books and hundreds of tourism and Web platforms, magazines, DMOs and Websites over the years. As a lecturer in Web writing and SEO for a Quebec college and consultant for various companies and DMOs, she loves combining technological advances with the classic beauty of words, and is a member of TMAC, SATW, NATJA and IFTWTA!

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