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The best strategy for seeing the points of interest in Québec City is to stay as close to the Old Québec (Vieux Québec) historic district as possible. That move will minimize or eliminate your need for a car rental. Indeed, many of the places listed here charge extra for parking (cheap by big-city standards, probably $10-$20 CAD/day). But understand that property here is valuable and relatively tight on space. These might not be the cheapest rooms in town, but they represent value that will save you money on car rentals, gasoline and wasted travel time.
In the heart of Old Québec is the Chateau Fleur de Lys, which offers comfortable accommodations for prices that range from just under $100 CAD/night to about $200 CAD/night for a larger suite. This is billed as a boutique hotel, and it is situated in a quiet part of Vieux Québec, across from a spacious park. Be sure to click the EN link on the website if you wish to reserve in English, and also look for the best rates button as you shop for rooms.
Hotel Terrasse Dufferin
This two-star property is small. With only 22 guest rooms, it can fill up quickly during special events. There are four floors and a half-basement, so the choice of room is important if you're not good with stairs (no elevator here) or you want extra space. They offer a $4 CAD continental breakfast, which is free if you pay cash for the room or use a traveler's check. The best news is this: the hotel is located a few steps from the boardwalk that parallels the St. Lawrence. Great location at prices ranging from as low as $60 CAD/night for the smaller rooms to about $115 for the larger chambers.
Manoir Sur le Cap
Another small place with 14 rooms, but one is a larger two-level suite for bigger parties. The suite is equipped with kitchen facilities, so you can save on dining costs. The location is within sight of the iconic Château Frontenac, where you'll pay a great deal more for the same prime location. Rooms here range from about $85 CAD/night to $185/night for the suite.
B&B: Cap Diamant
Cap Diamant is a bed and breakfast that puts its guests close to such attractions as Ursulines de Québec Museum, Citadelle of Québec, the provincial Parliament Building and Battlefields Park. Internet access and breakfast is included with the price of the room. Outside of high season, it's possible to book a room here for less than $80 CAD/night.
Hotel L'ermitage is a two-star property that offers you both "budget" and "comfort" options. On the budget side, rooms at just less than $100 CAD/night are available at times, while the comfort option comes in at about $140/night. Costs are higher during the summer months, as is often the case in this area. Its location in the upper section of Old Quebec is a big plus. Although it feels like a mom-and-pop hotel, this actually is part of the Hotel de la Nouvelle-France chain.
This is not a budget hotel, but it provides good value for travelers who want to step out of the lobby and immediately set foot in Old Québec. The location is stellar, and so are the views from many of the rooms. Costs vary by season and room selected. There are suites here that might go for more than a budget traveler wants to spend. But some of the smaller rooms, when booked as part of a deal, can be value-packed and affordable. The hotel is equipped with a beautiful indoor pool, heated indoor parking and upscale dining. But the expensive breakfasts and dinners here are easily avoided with a short walk along Rue Saint-Jean, where more affordable eats are offered.