Our Quebec City Travel Essentials lays out the essential information you need to help planning your trip to one of the most popular destinations in Canada. No matter how frequently you travel, some questions will always need answers: What’s the weather like? How can I get from the airport to my hotel? What currency and type of plug do I need? We have all these answers plus other basic info about the best time to go, getting there, getting around, and a few useful travel tips.

It’s all compiled in this Quebec City Travel Essentials. After reading this short and easy-to-read guide, you will be a little more prepared to start your trip in Quebec City.

  • When is the best time to travel to Quebec City?

    When is the best time to travel to Quebec City?

    Quebec City has a humid continental climate, with average temperatures ranging from -12ºC in winter to 20ºC in summer.

    • The rainiest time of the year is between May and October, with an average of 14 rainy days per month.
    • Snowfall can be expected between November and April.
    • Québec City is pleasant mostly all year round. From the maple syrup season in March-May to the stunning colours of the trees in autumn, it’s worth a visit. 
    • June-September and December-February are the best times to visit Quebec City, even though these are peak tourist seasons, with more expensive hotel and flight prices. 
  • Quebec City basics

    Quebec City basics
    • Languages: Primary: French; Secondary: English
    • Plug types: A and B
    • Electricity: 120 V
    • Currency: Canadian Dollar (C$)
    • International dialling codes: +1 418
    • Emergency telephone number: 911
  • How to get to my hotel in Quebec City?

    How to get to my hotel in Quebec City?

    Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport

    Named after a former Premier of the province, Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport is the primary airport serving Quebec City. One of the busiest airports in the province of Quebec, it sits 14 km east of the city centre. It features 1 passenger terminal and 2 runways. You’ll find a great range of dining and shopping options as well as facilities including banking and currency exchange services. There are several transfer options to reach Downtown Quebec City:

    • A taxicab takes around 20-30 minutes. The taxi rank can be found outside the terminal.
    • You can also use Uber in Jean Lesage Airport. The pick-up area is just outside the terminal.
    • The RTC bus line 78 takes around 40-50 minutes. You can purchase your ticket directly on the bus. It’s the cheapest way to reach central Québec City.
    • Car rental agencies can be found on the ground level of the administrative building.

    If you come by train to Quebec City

    Gare du Palais – Palace Station is a major transportation hub in Quebec City. Built early-20th century and listed as a Heritage Railway Station in 1992, it’s served by Via Rail trains and Orléans Express buses. The station features coffee shops and eateries, a gift shop, and facilities including ATM machines. From here, you can get anywhere in the city by bus or taxi, including ride hailing apps.

    photo by Bouchecl (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

  • How to get around Quebec City?

    Travel tips

    How to get around Quebec City?

    Quebec City’s Old Town – the Upper Town and Lower Town – is compact enough to be explored on foot – wear comfortable shoes, though, as the city centre is rather hilly. Settled on the west bank of the St. Lawrence River, it covers roughly a 1-sq-km area. You’ll find many landmarks and attractions, such as the Citadelle de Québec, the Place Royale, and the Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral. The city centre also hosts a great choice of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options. For longer journeys, a good choice of public and private transport services is at hand.

  • RTC bus networks in Québec City

    RTC bus networks in Québec City
    • RTC (or Réseau de Transport de la Capitale – capital city transportation network) is in charge of public transport in Québec City. It operates over 50 bus lines that cover the entire city.
    • 1-Day and 5-Day passes are available.
    • Tickets and passes can be purchased on the bus, at RTC stations and at over 150 authorized sellers throughout the city.

    photo by abdallahh (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • Taking a taxi

    Taking a taxi
    • Taxis can be hailed down on the street in Quebec City, unless a taxi rank is within 60 metres.
    • You can easily find cab stands outside hotels and near the main attractions and shopping areas.
    • You can also directly call popular companies such as Taxi Coop (418-525-5191), Taxi Laurier (418-651-2727) or Taxi 4000 Inc. (418-833-4000).
    • Most taxis accept the payment of the fare by credit card, but it’s better to ask the driver before you get in.
    • It’s common to give a 10-20% tip to the taxi driver.
    • Uber and local taxi apps can also be used to hail a taxi in Quebec City.

    photo by Morgan (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • Vintage modes of transportation

    Vintage modes of transportation
    • Horse-drawn carts and carriages offer a very pleasant way to discover the city.
    • Various companies such as The Old Quebec Express offer from 30 minutes to 3 hours tours. 
    • Another vintage mode of transport is the Old Quebec Funicular that links the Lower to the Upper Town. Originally built in 1879, it was entirely revamped in 1998. The ride cost is C$3 /person.

    photo by Prayitno (CC BY 2.0) modified

  • What are the main annual events in Quebec City?

    What are the main annual events in Quebec City?

    Quebec Winter Carnival

    • What: Celebrated annually since 1955, the Quebec Winter Carnival is one of the largest winter festivals in the world. Expect parades, ice canoe races, snow slides, and ice sculptures at this very family-friendly event.
    • When: February
    • Where: Downtown Québec City

    Quebec City Summer Festival

    • What: The Festival d'Été de Québec (Quebec City Summer Festival) is one of the largest music festivals in North America. Over 300 shows are performed by world-famous bands and musicians on 10 stages during 11 days.
    • When: Early July
    • Where: On the Plaines d’Abraham and in various smaller venues throughout the city

    New France Festival

    • What: Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France (the New France Festival) celebrates the arrival of the first French settlers in Canada. This festive event showcases period costumes, public performances, guided historical tours, parades and more.
    • When: August
    • Where: Place de Paris and in various locations around Québec City

    photo by Morgan (CC BY 2.0) modified