Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ)

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ)

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ)
4.5
Architectural BuildingsArt MuseumsHistory Museums
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec is located on the Plains of Abraham. It's pavilions house a collection of over 42,000 works dating from the 17th century to present day. On top of world-class exhibitions and cultural activities, visitors can also enjoy the café and gift shop.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Lex
    Ontario, Canada155 contributions
    Really fun, even if you’re not artsy!
    We spent four hours here and it was great. We aren’t super-educated, artsy people. I’m an office worker and my husband is a forklift driver, so we are not art world people, really, but we really enjoyed ourselves here and could probably spend even more time here if they weren’t about to close. The exhibits were interesting and thought provoking, and we didn’t feel too odd being obvious outsiders in the gallery. There’s a sculpture by Michel Goulet that is still running around my thoughts weeks after seeing it. Some pieces didn’t interest me but others (like Michel’s) were captivating.
    Visited February 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 28, 2023
  • CharlieinTexas
    Austin, Texas3,987 contributions
    Okay Collection; Partially Closed for Renovation
    Nice place to spend an hour, may be a bit longer. Partially closed for renovation. The special exhibit did not interest me in the upper town area near Rue Cartier, and the Fields of Abraham.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written July 5, 2023
  • Stephie R
    London, Canada2 contributions
    We Loved the Musée des Beaux-Arts!
    We took time away from old Quebec to visit the gallery. So glad we did! The Alexander McQueen (fashion designer) exhibit was on, which was really interesting, but the permanent exhibits were great too. This trip to Musée national des beaux-arts was a real highlight of our visit to Quebec City. Make sure to check out the rooftop gardens and bee hives too.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 23, 2023
  • Archie
    Glenmoore, Pennsylvania5,324 contributions
    Highlight is the Alexander McQueen collection
    I took a taxi to get here. You save $3 by buying your tickets online. It cost 25 Canadian, including the alexander McQueen collection. That was by far highlight of the museum. Its very nicely displayed with the inspiration stories for the design. I enjoyed the phoenix design the most. The other sections of the music are ok. The inuit collection is really nice. It didn't take very long. There is a terrace with a nice view.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written August 12, 2023
  • Writer In The South
    7 contributions
    Lovely museum; skip the cafe
    The parts of the museum that are open are well-curated and interesting. We especially enjoyed the Inuit Art section and learned so much. We very much wanted to eat a late lunch at the museum’s much-touted cafe. It was 2 pm and we didn’t think there would be a problem. But after waiting for more than 15 minutes to be seated, and after being told by the hostess/waitress that she was busy and would get to us later, and after watching all the people in front of us leave in frustration, we too left without being seated.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 15, 2023
  • Shelemi
    Kingston, Canada14 contributions
    Museum adventure with a twist!
    A bit of a different twist to exploring the arts in this great museum... Adding dinner in the museum was the perfect start to exhibits. Manager, wait staff and Food was great! Highly recommend adding this in to your tour, a perfect combo!
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 7, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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TO-psych
Toronto, Canada355 contributions
Feb 2022
I came here on a wednesday night when they stay open until 9pm and admission is half price after 5pm. I booked my timed entry ticket online just a couple hours before I went. There were still tons of slots open. When I arrived, it was not busy at all. I was often alone in the room.

It was very peaceful and I learned about some Quebecois artists that I was not familiar with before. Of course they also have a lot of work from famous Quebecois painters like Riopelle. They also have a very impressive collection of Inuit art that is worth seeing. The decorative arts room had some interesting pieces from the Montreal expo of 1967.

The collection is spread out between 4 buildings. I didn't get to see them all. There is a free area to store your coats/bags (but it is not monitored so don't leave your valuables there). They even had rags you could use to wipe slush off your boots - a nice touch. It looks like normally there is a staffed coat check, but maybe because of COVID it isn't in use right now. There is also a cafe at the entrance but it looked closed when I went.

There are lots of cozy seating areas throughout the museum which is so nice. I hate it when museums have no where to sit. After being on your feet for hours looking at art, sometimes you need to rest!

I did not have the experience of the security guards following me around, as some have mentioned in their reviews. I found my visit a very quiet, relaxing, and enjoyable evening. Also, there were so few people, so it felt quite safe from a COVID perspective.
Written February 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your nice comment. We are glad you enjoyed your visit to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec. Our café was open on the day of your visit. Maybe it didn't look like it with the lights dimmed. About our staffed coat check, you guessed well. We had one pre-pandemic and hope to bring it back soon.
Written March 30, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Trevor S
Toronto, Canada40 contributions
Dec 2019
I appreciated the variety of art on display. There were some installations that we loved (Modern and Historic). There were others like some of the Contemporary exhibits that were baffling and downright ugly; but even then I was grateful for their display because it reminded me that art is a spectrum of creativity, talent and interpretation.

The sprawling mixture of buildings was interesting (I especially like the converted jail).
Written January 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your comment! We are glad that you appreciated your visit to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
Written January 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

twomartinilunch
Middlebury, VT577 contributions
Feb 2020
We were in Quebec for a few days and had a full schedule of activities and restaurants. Visited this site specifically to see the "Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism" and what a treat. This was a wonderful and comprehensive exhibit providing wonderful art and an extensive history of the artist. The museum itself is a delightful combination of architectural styles, with a magnificent modern addition connecting two of the spaces serving as an entrance area. I do think signage could have been more specific directing guests to what they were looking for. The staff was very helpful overall.
Written April 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your nice comment. We are glad that you appreciated your visit to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.
Written April 16, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BLS_MTL
Montreal, Canada207 contributions
Sep 2020
The MNBAQ located on the Plains of Abraham has an extensive collection of over 40,000 works dating from the 17th century to present day In four separate pavilions. Our desire was to visit the New Pavillon opened in 2016 - Pierre Lassonde Pavilion by world-renowned Architectural Firms OMA & PROVENCHER ROY.

We were pleasantly surprised with the Contemporary Collection, but we were deceived not to have been able to view the Frida Kahlo Exhibit that had been sold out weeks before our arrival. It’s a pleasant walk from Old Quebéc via the Grand Allée, Enjoy !
Written September 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your comment, we're glad the Pierre Lassonde Pavilion has met your expectations!
Written September 8, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

World Hopper
Toronto, Canada300 contributions
Nov 2021
It was a rainy day and I decided to take a peek at the museum. I'm a bit of a museum snob and didn't check it out before hand or expect to visit it.

The Lemoyne exhibition in November was actually quite interesting. The museum complex is large covering three buildings. For my personal taste, there is a lot of modern art.

I did find it strange that I was constantly trailed by security throughout each room. I've really not had that experience at other museums. I suppose better safe than sorry. It was a bit empty so perhaps they had less to do and trailed me. It did make me uneasy and instead of pausing and staring at a painting, I found myself rushing through the rooms. I must have looked like a well dressed old man criminal.

I didn't eat at the cafe there as I find museum food not to be that good. However, the restaurant was too busy anyhow.

I don't think I'd go back, having seen the collections, unless there was an exhibition of interest. I am the type that typically repeats museums.
Written November 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Madelyn C
Bethlehem, PA214 contributions
Feb 2023 • Solo
The visit begins by entering into the gorgeous pavillon that is, in itself, a work of art. If you’re able, I’d recommend taking the stairs for the full effect. However there are elevators available.
The collections are beautiful and the curation has been done with care.
The Inuit carvings collection is stunning.
I especially loved the glass exhibit. It was very small, but exceptional.
I visited in February during a snow storm, so the outdoor spaces weren’t available. Nevertheless, the views from the museum are also beautiful.
Written February 10, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your enthusiastic review, we're glad you enjoyed our Museum so much!
Written February 17, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Richard F
Cleveland, OH13 contributions
Jun 2022
We visited MNBAQ in June, just after the opening of "America: Between Dreams and Realities" exhibition (scheduled to close 9/5/2022), with 100 works of art from the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington (part of the Smithsonian). It's a stunning survey of American art post-WW1, and some might say that some of the artistic selections are mildly critical of the American experience. The art captions are well done and are in both English and French. The odd thing is that the exhibition is at the MNBAQ only and won't be at the Hirshhorn, and the exhibition catalog is available only in French! Could it be that a U.S. government-owned museum is afraid of criticism for exhibiting this art? Check it out and draw your own conclusions. The rest of the museum introduced us to older as well as more recent art by Canadians whose names we didn't know previously. The museum buildings are beautiful and connected underground. A small snack bar was open near the museum entrance. We would have liked to see the building that was a former jail, but it was closed to visitors.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SamreenAhsanCanada
Toronto, Canada545 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
I went for Picasso exhibit and it was great, but overall where the 17th and 18th century art is kept is worthwhile. The rest... I never find modern art with 1960s furniture on display inspiring.
Written July 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for your comment. We are glad you enjoyed your visit to the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec overall.
Written March 30, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

FuzzyBeaver
Montreal, Canada1,261 contributions
Aug 2022
The museum has significantly expanded since our last visit. They have added an extra building that has a large amount of exhibition space. The special rotating exhibits were great. The American art has every famous artist and covers many styles and periods of time. Nice to see quite a few female artists included as well. The Inuit art exhibit was extraordinary. We have seen a lot of Inuit art over the years but this was the best exhibit to date. It included a very diverse set of materials and styles. Definitely a "must see". I could go on but just go and see this wonderful museum.
Written August 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lockie H
Asheville, NC701 contributions
Oct 2022 • Friends
Tips
1. The coat check is free! They will also check bags. Bring a little tip money.

2. On level two on the contemporary art pavilion, right above some of the art is a hidden reading nook! What a lovely space to sit and reflect on the art and read. There are beanbags for lounging!

3. The museum allows in-and-out privileges, so you can spend the morning here, and then go to lunch or take a walk, and then come back and finish the rest of the museum in the afternoon.

4. There is a wonderful café, but if you find the menu limiting, you are only a five minute walk from Rue Cartier, with tons of restaurants and shops.

5. There are four main pavilions, and one of them is closed to the public, but there is still plenty of art in the other three! Don’t neglect to visit all of the pavilions. Some of them host contemporary art while others host historical art. Of course, there are visiting exhibitions as well.

6. The architecture of the contemporary art pavilion is Instagram worthy! Walking up the beautiful white staircases, you are greeted with glass (and views!) as you ascend.

7. Photo opps! There is access to a rooftop terrace in the contemporary pavilion as well. Beautiful photo opp. Also, since the top of the contemporary pavilion is glass, there’s a wonderful photo opportunity of looking down at the street, the Grand Allee, below.

8. If you are visiting before January 8, 2023:
Be sure to see the Inuit Universe exhibition featuring Manasie Akpaliapik. There’s also a very moving exhibit about sanatoriums, and the '350 years of art practices in Quebec' is not to be missed as well. These all end in early January.

9. If you miss the visiting Inuit art exhibition, there is a permanent exhibition in the contemporary pavilion as well on the third floor.
Written October 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing such great tips with future visitors!
Written February 17, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)