Useful Tourism Information for Québec City

Équipe édito
Editorial Team
Updated on May 31, 2023
Tourist Information in Old Québec
Guy Lessard

Tourist FAQs

Activities and attractions

What to see or do in Québec City?

Deciding what to do in Québec City can often be the best part of planning your trip. We recommend starting with a walk in Old Québec, surrounded by historic buildings, shopping, and great restaurants. Whether you visit in summer or dream of a winter wonderland experience, Old Québec is a great place to start. 

From there, we suggest visiting central neighbourhoods for some local flavour. There are so many great activities in both summer and winter in Québec City. Take a guided walking tour to get to know the city’s rich history. Spend time along the St. Lawrence River enjoying a boat tour or dinner cruise, cycle the Samuel-De Champlain promenade, or admire the city’s skyline from an International cruise ship. 

What to see or do in Old Québec City?

Old Québec is the perfect place to start your trip to Québec City. Enter the Château Frontenac on your own, or take a guided tour. Enjoy beautiful views of Old Québec and the St. Lawrence River from Dufferin Terrace and Pierre-Dugua-De Mons Terrace. We like to walk down the Breakneck Steps and do some shopping in Petit-Champlain, followed by a stop in Place-Royale and a wander through Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church. 

We also recommend walking along the fortification walls, visiting Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica Cathedral, the CitadellePlains of Abraham and the Parliament building. 

What is there to do in Québec City today?

From exhibitions to shows, festivals, and events, find out what’s happening today in Québec City at the bottom of our What to Do section.

What to do around Québec City?

We love discovering what to do around Québec City, and you will too. A day trip to Montmorency Waterfalls and Île d’Orléans will feed your soul, and your tummy! Outdoor activities abound in Jacques-Cartier National Park and Charlevoix. A drive up to Tadoussac is picturesque and perfect for anyone wishing to go whalewatching. Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré Shrine is a go-to for religious pilgrims, and we like to spend time exploring the rest of Côte-de-Beaupré as well. Wendake is a must for memorable indigenous experiences, and Portneuf is filled with charm and adventure. In winter, make sure not to miss the Ice Hotel. 

Can we visit Château Frontenac?

Yes, it is possible to visit Château Frontenac. Here are the options.

At what time is the changing of the guard at the Citadelle?

The changing of the guard ceremony has been replaced by a musical performance by the Royal 22e Regiment band that takes place from Wednesday to Saturday at 10 a.m., all summer long.

 

Where can I buy tickets for the red double-decker hop-on hop-off bus?

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Unitours booth at 12 rue Ste-Anne in front of Château Frontenac.

How do I take the funicular?

Simply go to the station and buy your ticket on site from the operator. Cash only. People in wheelchairs ride the funicular for free.

 

How do I book a carriage ride?

There is only one carriage in operation on the streets of Old Québec. It stops at Porte Saint-Louis (gate) to take new passengers. For more info: 581-849-8784.

What is there to do when it rains?

There are so many fun things to do in Québec City, whether you want to stay dry inside or suit up and get outside. Here’s a bunch of great rainy day activities.

Is there a park where my kids can play?

Here are some parks with play modules: 

  • Plains of Abraham (across from Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec) 
  • Bassin Louise in the Old Port (near Espace Quatre Cents)

In summer, there are also splash pads at: 

Restaurants

Where’s a good place to eat in Québec City?

One of the main reasons people come to Québec is the food. There’s something delicious to try around every corner, with good restaurants aplenty across the region. Here are the restaurants at the top of everyone’s list right now.

Where can I find the best croissants?

Here are the bakeries that serve the best croissants in and around Old Québec.

Where can I have onion soup?

French onion soup is a Québec classic. Lots of restaurants have it on the menu, but here are a few that do it best in Old Québec: Pub L’Oncle Antoine, Bistro Le Sam, Au Petit Coin Breton, Lapin Sauté, and Buffet de l’Antiquaire.

Where will I find the best crêpes?

This classic Breton dish is a testament to Québec City’s French culinary heritage. Here are some of the best places to enjoy crêpes.

Transportation

How much does it cost to take a taxi to the airport?

There are flat rates based on the point of departure. See all the details here.

What are the driving and parking rules in Québec City?

Do you plan to drive in and around Québec City? Get information on parking in Old Québec, winter driving and various traffic regulations. 

Where can we rent bicycles and e-bikes?

Here are the shops in and around the city centre that do bike rentals.

How does Québec City’s public transit work?

The local bus network, Réseau de transport de la capitale (RTC), is an easy way to get to most tourist attractions. Learn more here.

Where do I buy RTC bus tickets?

There are several ways to purchase RTC tickets.

General questions

Where are the public washrooms?

Here is a list of public washrooms in downtown Québec.

Can I use US dollars in Québec City?

Yes, you can use US Dollars in Québec City, however, Canadian dollars and American dollars are not at par. American currency is accepted at most establishments, but the rates of exchange fluctuate. Your money matters, so be sure to budget for exchange rates, sales tax, and tipping. 

Where can I change my money?

Exchange offices, banks, taxes and tips… here are the answers to the main questions related to money.

How do I get free Wi-Fi in Québec City?

Québec City offers Wi-Fi free access points on many commercial streets. When travelling, look for the free Wi-Fi visual and follow the instructions to connect to the ZAP Quebec network

Is there a pharmacy in Old Québec?

There is a Jean Coutu pharmacy at 1048 rue Saint-Jean and a Familiprix pharmacy at 38 Côte du Palais.

What do I do in case of emergency in Québec City?

How many churches are there in Québec City?

An incredible wealth of religious diversity can be felt in one basilica, 2 cathedrals including a basilica-cathedral, 130 churches and 20 chapels including 10 conventual, all of which bear witness to the many origins that colonized the region. Discover this uniquely North-American religious heritage

Trip-Planning FAQs

What is Québec City known for?

Why visit Québec City? One of the top destinations in Canada, Québec City is best known for the historic buildings and ambiance of Old Québec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Château Frontenac, and its unique French culture.  A vibrant city with great outdoor activities nearby, delicious food (hello, poutine!), and many festivals and events throughout the year. In winter, Québec City is best known for its winter wonderland vibes (at their top for Christmas and the Holidays!), sparkling Ice Hotel, and winter carnival, Carnaval de Québec. 

What are the procedures regarding the customs and immigration?

You want to travel, study or work in Québec City? Find practical information related to customs and immigration

What is the best time of year to visit Québec City?

The best time of year to visit Québec City depends on the type of activities you want to do while you’re here. Québec City’s monthly weather can change quite a bit.  Summer is the busiest season, with several fun festivals and events, exciting outdoor activities, and beautiful restaurant patios to enjoy. In fall, the city is full of vibrant colours, with warm days and cool nights. Winter is pure magic as the city transforms into a winter wonderland, the Ice Hotel opens its doors, and Carnaval de Québec gets everyone excited. Spring is a laid back season with flowers blooming and plenty of opportunities to enjoy Québec City like a local. 

Do they speak English in Québec City?

French is the official language of Québec, however, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. If someone does not speak English, they will let you know, while also doing their best to help you. Learning some French words before your trip to Québec is always a good idea, especially if you’re planning to explore smaller towns outside the city. Downloading a translation app on your phone might also be helpful. 

How many days do you need in Québec City?

We recommend spending a minimum of 3 days in Québec City to get a feel for the city, its people and authentic French Canadian culture. Our Québec City itineraries are filled with suggestions on things to do in Québec City, whether you’re coming for a weekend getaway or planning to stay longer. Planning a Eastern Québec (or Canada) road trip or riding the rails with VIA Rail? Québec City is the perfect location to start or end your trip

Is Québec City expensive?

Québec City is an affordable city. Travelers with a mid-range travel budget will find plenty of fun activities to enjoy, as well as a cornucopia of restaurants and cocktail bars to experience. Looking for ways to experience Québec City on a budget? Like every city in the world, there are tips to save money and still have a memorable Québec City vacation. 

Is Québec City safe?

Québec City is a very safe city, with a low criminal rate. You can safely walk around the city any time of the day or night. Every year, Québec City takes the top spot as the safest North American city, according to the Numbeo Safety Index by City.

Public transit makes it easy to get around, whether you want to take the bus, a taxi or uber. Similar to other destinations, following basic travel safety tips is something everyone should do. 

What is the best area to stay in Québec City?

Visiting Québec City for the first time? We suggest staying in Old Québec, a neighbourhood filled with 400+ years of history, and several 4-star and 5-star hotels. Explore streets which are off-the-beaten-path and admire the architecture, enjoy restaurant patios, shop, sip local cocktails, and more. 

If you’re returning to Québec City, or looking for a more local experience, we recommend staying in a central neighbourhood close to Old Québec. Saint-Roch and Montcalm are the best choices, easy walks from Old Québec, and filled with fabulous restaurants and shops. 

Staying at a hotel near downtown is often more affordable, and offers more flexibility. Hotels in Ste-Foy are perfect for families and those who want to spend time at the Aquarium or visit shopping centres. Hotels in Beauport are close to places like Montmorency Waterfalls, where you can hike, rock climb, experience via ferrata or zipline and more.         

Staying in the outskirts of Québec City provides a quiet escape, and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Think about locations such as Île d’Orléans, Stoneham, Wendake, Saint-Raymond and Charlevoix. 

Do I need a car in Québec City?

If you plan to visit only Old Québec and the central neighbourhoods, you definitely won’t need a car. But, similar to everywhere in North America, the region is huge and having a car makes moving around the city and surrounding areas easier. If you don’t have a car, there are ways to visit Québec City’s attractions without a car, including the bus, and shuttle services to places like Wendake, Jacques-Cartier National Park, the Ice Hotel and more. 

What are the cannabis, liquor and no smoking regulations?

The purchase and consumption of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis are regulated by different laws. Learn about the different features.

What is Québec City’s time zone?

Daylight Saving Time (DST) comes into effect every year on the second Sunday in March when all timepieces are advanced by one hour. Canada reverts to Eastern Standard Time (EST) on the first Sunday in November when clocks are set back one hour. 

How do I travel in Québec City when disabled?

Old Québec's beautiful cobblestone streets can be troublesome for people with reduced mobility. Check out our tips for travellers with disabilities

What are the pet friendly hotels in Québec City?

You might be asking yourself “Can I travel with my dog?” Québec City is welcoming and full of discoveries to do with your canine companion. Here are the pet friendly hotels and some practical tips to make the most of your stay. 

What are the shopping hours & official holidays in Québec City?

This list of the statutory holidays and information on business hours will help you better organize your stay in Québec City.

What measurement system does Canada use?

Canada uses the metric system. Visitors find weather temperature reports given in Celsius degrees, gasoline sold by the litre (milk and wine by millilitres, and litres) grocery items in grams and kilograms, and speed limits posted in kilometres per hour. 

Travelling to Québec City

How far is Montréal from Québec City?

The distance between Montréal and Québec City is about 250 km (155 miles).  

How do I get from Montréal to Québec City?

Driving from Montréal to Québec City? Take either Highway 20 or 40: depending on traffic, driving can take from 2.5 to 3.5 hours. If you’re in the mood for a scenic drive, take road 138 (Chemin du Roy), which is the first roadway built between Québec City and Montréal, where you’ll enjoy panoramas of the St. Lawrence River and quaint villages on your way. Don’t have a car? Take a bus (3 to 4 hours) or train (3.5 hours). 

Is there a bus from Montréal to Québec City?

Yes, Orléans Express offers bus service from Montréal to Québec City. Depending on the time of day, the trip can be anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. 

How much is the bus from Montréal to Québec City?

A bus ticket from Montréal to Québec City is about $59 CAD (prices subject to change, please check the Orléans Express website for current pricing and deals). 

How much is a train ticket from Montréal to Québec City?

Train tickets from Montréal to Québec City with VIA Rail start at $75 CAD, however, on Tuesdays tickets are often cheaper (prices subject to change, please check the VIA Rail website).

How long is the train ride from Montréal to Québec City?

The train ride from Montréal to Québec City is about 3.5 hours.

Is there a direct train from Toronto to Québec City?

Not at this time. There are two train routes from Toronto to Québec City. One makes a stop in Ottawa, the other in Montréal. We recommend taking the train which stops over in Montréal. 

How long does it take to get from Ottawa to Québec City?

Driving from Ottawa to Québec City? Taking Highway 50 and then Highway 40 is your fastest route, and will take about 4.5 hours, depending on traffic. You can also take Highway 20, which will add about 20 minutes to your drive. You can also take a bus (8 hours) or train (6 hours). 


Équipe édito
Editorial Team

As proud ambassadors of our beloved city, we’re delighted to be sharing the things and places we love most in the Québec City area. What a joy for us to help you discover everything this vibrant and welcoming city has to offer!

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