Traveling to Quebec City

Monument, Old Quebec City
••• Photo: Sherel Purcell

Quebec City - An Overview:


Sitting atop Cap Diamand (Cape Diamond - named for the jewels founding father, Champlain never found) the walled city - a UNESCO Heritage site, guards the St. Lawrence River far below. To fully experience Quebec City, it's best to arrive by train for the fantastic views of the Old Town above as you emerge from the Via Rail train station.

Traveling by Train:


Alighting from the Via Rail station in Lower Town, the visitor is confronted with the Old City high up on a cliff accessed by steep, twisty narrow roadways or the apt-named "breakneck stairs" that have been around since the 1600's.

The four daily Via Rail trains offer a pleasant three-hour trip east of Montreal. For a truly memorable journey, spring for a first class seat from $79.00 each way that includes a hot meal, wine, beer, spirits and chocolate truffles.

Traveling by Car:


Leaving Montreal you have two choices: Highway # 20 or the more scenic #40. Both take approximately three hours.

Québec City is about 500 miles from New York, and less than 400 miles from Boston. Coming from New York and points south, take Interstate 91 to the Canadian border. From Boston, take I-93 to I-91 in Vermont.

After the border, I-91 becomes Québec Autoroute 55, to Sherbrooke. From Sherbrooke take Autoroute 55 to Autoroute 20. After crossing the Pont (bridge) Pierre-Laporte, turn right onto Wilfrid-Laurier boulevard which leads to the Château Frontenac.

Traveling by Air:

Air Canada (888/247-2262) flies from US points via Montréal or Toronto.

Continental (800/525-0280) flies from international destinations.

Westjet has just added a new service starting in May, 2008. All flights arrive at Jean Lesage International Airport which is only a 20-minute cab ride (recommended) downtown where you'll pass through the newer suburbs en route.

Traveling by Bus:


Greyhound ( 800/229-9424) runs from New York and Boston to Montréal. From there, transfer to one of the hourly buses connecting to Québec City via Orléans Express ( 514/842-2281 in Montréal, or 418/524-4692 in Québec City). It’s a three -hour ride.

The excellent bus service also links Québec City to most points throughout the province, with connections to the rest of Canada.