How to Visit Québec City on a Budget

Pamela Macnaughtan, amoureuse de Québec
Pamela MacNaughtan
Updated on June 4, 2024
Pique-nique en famille devant le Château Frontenac
Étienne Dionne

Looking for activities and travel opportunities that won’t cost you a lot while in Québec City? The city is filled with experiences that are affordable (and sometimes free!). Keep reading to learn how to experience the best of Québec City’s history, food and culture without going broke – and still have the time of your life!

Where to Stay in Québec City on a Budget

Auberge internationale de Québec - Private room with bathroom and fireplace
HI-QUEBEC

Discover the promotions and packages available for your stay in the region. Don't miss out on these hotel deals and book directly with the lodging for the best rates. Keep an eye on the offers!

Staying in a hostel can also be a very affordable option. In addition to having a lot of character, some hostels are located in the heart of Old Québec.

Avoiding high season also helps to get better rates for accommodation. January, March, April and November are often the cheapest time to visit Québec City. 

What Can You Do in Québec City for Free (or Cheap)

Take advantage of several savings thanks to the discounts offered by the attractions in the region. Here are free and cheap things to see and do.

Festivals, events and more!

Grands Feux Loto-Québec
André-Olivier Lyra

In summer, the streets of Québec City are filled with performers and artists. It is also one of the best seasons for festivals and events, many of them are free! 

Spend time in a park

Filles qui marchent sur les plaines d'Abraham
Étienne Dionne

There are several parks in the city that are worth a visit. Our top picks are the Plains of Abraham, Pierre-Dugua-De-Mons Terrace (stellar views of Château Frontenac and the St. Lawrence River from there) and Place des Canotiers.

Tour the parliament

Did you know you can do a free walking tour of the Parliament building in Québec City? You totally can and it is gorgeous (and interesting). A great option on days that are overcast. 

Take the river shuttle

Navette fluviale près du quai de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré
Croisières AML

You can reach the Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine from the Old Port without needing to drive. Whether on foot or by bike, you can hop aboard the AML Suroît for just $10 for a round trip.

Walk through the only Holy Door in America

The Holy Door is currently open on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of the diocese of Québec. It is a free and unique spiritual experience not to be missed. 

Go to the beach

Station de la plage
Station de la plage ©CCNQ, André-Olivier Lyra

In summer, relax at the Station de la Plage (free) on Promenade Samuel-De Champlain or at Baie de Beauport.

Ride the ferry 

On a nice day, take time to ride the ferry from Québec City to Lévis and back. The ride costs about $8 round trip. A delightful little ride with spectacular views of Québec City’s skyline.

Visit a museum

Museums are a perfect way to learn about the history and culture of Québec. If you’re looking for a free museum to visit, check out the Naval Museum of Québec.  Good to know: many museums are free on the first Sunday of each month.

Take a bus to Montmorency Falls

Tours to Montmorency Falls can be expensive, but that doesn’t mean you need to skip it. Instead, take bus #800 towards Beauport and get off at stop #3473 des Rapides. From here it is a short walk to the falls. Spend an afternoon exploring the trails and admiring these beautiful waterfalls from every angle possible. It is truly mesmerizing.

Explore 400+ years of history

Walk along the old city walls and take in views of the old city, check out the details on the canons along the wall (there is a German one in there somewhere).

Cheap Ways to Get Around the City

Funiculaire
Mention de source Jeff Frenette Photography
  • On foot: Old Québec is the perfect place to explore on foot. Walk down streets and alleyways to discover the history and beauty of the old city. If you don’t want to tackle the big hill between Petit-Champlain/Place-Royale and Upper Town you can opt to ride the Funiculaire for about $5.
  • City bus: If you’re thinking about visiting neighbourhoods outside the tourist areas, consider skipping the taxi and taking a city bus instead. A day pass costs less than $10 and a weekend pass is less than $20. A great deal if you are planning to explore a couple of neighbourhoods – I suggest Limoilou, Saint-Roch and Montcalm to start.
  • Self-Serve e-Bikes: In summer, locals and visitors can rent one of the e-bikes at different stations in Québec City’s central neighbourhoods thanks to a new bike-sharing service called àVélo. A handy green alternative for getting around town! Make sure to bring your bike helmet if you plan to use this option.

Eating on a Budget

Grand Marché de Québec
Grand Marché de Québec, Étienne Dionne

There are so many restaurants and épiceries (small food shops) in Québec City, it can sometimes be hard to choose where to go. And if you’re on a budget, things can be a little confusing at times. Here are a couple of suggestions to help stretch your dollar and give you a yummy foodie experience.


    Pamela Macnaughtan, amoureuse de Québec
    Pamela MacNaughtan

    Travel writer and photographer, Pamela has a deep love of all things Québec City. She is an anglophone from Ontario who prefers living in Québec. An avid city explorer and chocolat chaud connoisseur, Pamela accentuates the finest experiences in the city.

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