Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec

Museum in Outside the Old City

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Carve out at least half a day to visit this excellent art museum, one of the province's best. Permanent exhibitions range from art in the early French colonies to Québec’s abstract artists, with individual halls devoted entirely to 20th-century artistic giants such as Jean-Paul Lemieux and Jean-Paul Riopelle. Another highlight is the Brousseau Inuit Art Collection, a 2639-piece personal collection spanning 50 years.

The museum hosts frequent exhibitions from abroad and elsewhere in Canada. Among its four halls is the Pavilion Charles-Baillairgé, Québec City’s former prison. Audioguides are available for the permanent collections and often for temporary exhibitions as well. Other events include film screenings (often documentaries on prominent international artists), drawing and painting classes open to the public, and a concert series.

If all this cultural activity is wearing you out, you can grab a snack or the daily lunch special at the on-site cafe, or visit the museum’s restaurant, which enjoys superb views of Battlefields Park from its bay windows and outdoor terrace.