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“Disappointing visit” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Musee de la Civilisation

Musee de la Civilisation
85 Dalhousie | (At de la Barricade), Quebec City, Quebec G1K 7A6, Canada (Downtown Quebec City)
+1 418-643-2158
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Ranked #17 of 119 Attractions in Quebec City
Type: Museums
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This museum is characterized by its innovative and daring outlook. It defines itself as a seat of knowledge and ideas, a museum endowed with valuable collections, an education centre and a living memory. It is located in the region's capital, Quebec City, in the heart of an historic district and close to Place Royale. Schedule and Fees available on our Web Site.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Victoria, BC Canada
Top Contributor
189 reviews 189 reviews
61 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
“Disappointing visit”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

Even though this attraction gets recommendations in the guide books we were disappointed. Many exhibits were in transition and not open. Other exhibits were hands- on and if you have children they would most likely enjoy it. Confusing and hard to navigate for us with so many different levels.

Visited September 2013
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649 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Any
English first
Leawood, Kansas
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“Good way to spend a couple of hours”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

I spent a couple of hours here on a rainy day in Quebec City. The video game exhibition was great and brought back a lot of good memories. You could play all of the games which was very fun. The Paris exhibit was pretty good but was small. The Quebec exhibit was okay but dark and a lot of reading. Overall, a pretty good couple of hours. Price was somewhat high at $15 per person.

Visited September 2013
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Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Blocks from cruise ship and lovely”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2013

Great exhibits including the Paris at turn of century with headsets and also enjoyed the video arcade exhibit from the first to recent games. Beautiful building and very convenient to walk to from the cruise ship.

Visited August 2013
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
43 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
119 helpful votes 119 helpful votes
“Always discoveries.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

The Museum of Civilisation is a bit odd and quirky but that's exactly what makes it such a super place to visit.
When the construction of the museum was started in the early 80's it had no collection and many people tought that it would just be an ode to Québec nationalism.
Not the case at all the first director and the others that followed always offered a mix of Québec history with exhibits on other cultures and also on some interresting and easy to swallow anthropological views.
It was just the case when I visited during Labor Day week-end.
I must say that the semi permanent exhibition on Québec culture and identity is a bit dark and difficult to digest compared to previous ones, lots of things written on badly lit explanatory cards. Tours are for specific exhibitions so I will recommend taking a tour for that one.
Then the anthropological side was very well handled in a Maori exhibition, showing not only the past but the present of the Maori culture and artefacts.
The showstopper was Paris on Stage, explaining the Belle Époque in the City of Lights, very nifty design, mix of folk exhibits and high art (Rodin, Bourdelle, etc.). Some of the oldest movies shown in a cafe like setting, a huge mural of Paris in 1900 from the first floor of the Eiffel tower. The mural was even on the cieling where you could see the structure of the upper floors of the tower! A novelty at no cost was the sound system. Not an audio guide but just some earplugs offering short explanations + music of the time and city noises that change from one part of the exhibition to another. Reading everything, seeing all the movies and admiring the work of arts in detail could take a good 3 hours. This kind of exhibition was just what this museum is known for internationally with curators from around the world visiting to update their own presentations.
Finally the exhibition on video games is showing the quirky side of this institution. From the first Pong to the latest games most exhibits were working and could be played. The only minus is that there are very few seats to use to complete games without feeling your legs cramped.
Note that this was the last week for the Maori exhibition and the first nation exhibit is also being reinstalled. So at the moment there will be less to see but new exhibitions will start from mid-October to mid-November, Coming up then an exhibition about multi talented artist Pierre Gauvreau that will be more for the locals, new exhibition on first nation focusing on the present times and also another one on contemporary Haitian folk art.
Meanwhile if the Belle Époque or the video games are of interest to you you will get plenty for your money but from mid-November till end of February 2014 all the exhibition halls will be presenting something.
Note that now the museum has a café on the second floor now with some outdoor tables in fair weather, a big improvement over the crappy nasement cafetria of the past. The coat check has also been moved to the main floor, easier to find and there is no coat check fee anymore.
Last tip for an aditional cost of $3 you will also get an admission, valid for 2 weeks, to the Place Royale Interpretation Center. An even bigger combo also include Musée de l'Amérique Francophone (the Old Seminary Museum) in Upper Town just next door to the Catholic cathedral

Visited September 2013
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“A Very Nice Museum but guided tour was not a hit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 10, 2013

The musueum tells much of the history of the area and is laid out cronologically. The battle of Quebec diorama was my favorite and I was there for nearly 20 minutes. We had a guided tour of the paris in the early 1900's that was interesting but the political overtones of the guide were simply to much and my wife and I, as well as over half the group simply left. A shame.

Visited September 2013
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