Québec City | Credit:  OTQ
Credit: OTQ

Visiting Old Québec on Foot

The best way to take in Old Québec’s atmosphere, quaint streets, and hidden treasures is on foot.

The city centre occupies a rocky promontory that overlooks the river. This means Old Québec is divided into Upper Town and Lower Town, which are connected by a flurry of stairs and steep streets. For walking comfort, it’s best to do all your sightseeing in one area before heading to the next:

Lower Town: Petit-Champlain, Place Royale, Old Port, Musée de la civilisation, boat excursions, etc.

Upper Town: Château Frontenac, historic streets within the fortifications, the Citadelle, Parliament building, Plains of Abraham, etc. 

One easy way of getting from Lower Town to Upper Town is to take the funicular from Rue du Petit-Champlain. 

Ascenseur du Faubourga free elevator also connects the Saint-Roch neighbourhood to the Saint-Jean-Baptiste neighbourhood.

Visiting Québec City Car-Free

Public transit, shuttles, and tour buses are some of the many options for visiting the main attractions of Québec City car-free and enjoying the magic of winter.  See our tips on visiting Québec City car-free.

Visiting Québec City with a Car

Planning on taking your car into town? Here’s information on parking in Old Québec, plus winter driving tips and a few traffic rules you should know.

Car Rental

Here are the companies offering rental car service in the Québec City area:

Public Transit via RTC Buses

The local bus network, Réseau de transport de la capitale (RTC), is an easy way to travel to most tourist attractions (see map).

  • How much is an RTC fare?
    Several types of passes are available offering unlimited rides (1-day, unlimited weekends, and 5 consecutive days).
    Family privilege: children age 12 and under accompanied by an adult ride free at all times (maximum of three children per adult travelling with a valid RTC fare).
    See the RTC fare schedule
  • Where can I pay for my RTC fare?
    Fares can be paid for in cash on board. However, you must have the exact change as drivers do not provide change. Some 170 businesses sell RTC tickets and passes (mostly convenience stores and pharmacies). Look for the RTC logo in the window or find the nearest point of sale. 

Taxi

Taxis in Québec City can be identified by the sign on their roofs. There are several companies. We suggest that you call one of them and they will send a car or ask your hotel concierge.

Transport to and from the Airport

Jean-Lesage International Airport is located around 15 km from Québec City’s downtown area.  It is easy to get to by public transit and taxi.

  • RTC public transit: Departures every 30 minutes, every day. $3.50 per ride (exact change).
    Route 76 connects the airport to the bus and train stations in Sainte-Foy with connections available to downtown and Old Québec.
    Route 80 connects the airport to Québec City downtown (Saint-Roch neighbourhood), with connections available to Old Québec and the Convention Centre.

  • Taxi: The taxi fare between Jean-Lesage International Airport and the city centre is a flat $35.10.

Transport to and from Train Stations

All trains serve the two stations in Québec City.  It’s a matter of choosing which station best suits your travel needs:

  • The Gare du Palais train station is situated in Old Québec in Lower Town. Many visitors staying in the Old Québec area find it easy to actually walk to the train station. You can also take RTC routes 800 or 1.
  • The Gare de Sainte-Foy train station is a five-minute taxi ride from hotels in the area (Boulevard Laurier and Avenue des Hôtels). RTC route 76 also connects to downtown.  Departures every 30 minutes, every day. 

Transport to and from Bus Terminals (Intercity Buses)

All intercity buses serve Québec City’s two bus terminals. Like with the train stations, it’s a matter of choosing which terminal best suits your travel needs:

  • Gare du Palais Bus Terminal: This terminal is located in the same building as the train station (Old Québec). It is within easy walking distance of many Old Québec accommodations, but you can also take RTC routes 800 or 1.
  • Sainte-Foy Bus Terminal: This terminal is easy to get to via RTC routes 800 and 801.

Cycling

The Québec City area has close to 400 km of bicycle paths and bikeways.

Bicycle rentals near downtown:

Ferry

The ferry links Québec City and Lévis 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It sails on the hour and half-hour during the day and every hour at night.

Limousines and Other Vehicules with Driver

Motocycle and Scooter

Note that motorcycles are not allowed inside the walls of the Old City unless you have a reservation at a hotel inside the walls.

Scooter rental :

Taxi Boat

To go from point A to point B along or across the St. Lawrence River, take the taxi boat (zodiac type). Reservation necessary.