Getting Around Québec City
The best way to get around Québec City is on foot. Once you pass through the walls of Old Québec, nearly everything you wish to see or do is within walking distance. But if your feet grow weary or the weather is just too chilly, the city's Écolobus shuttles visitors around the historic area free of charge. And for excellent views, consider a ride on the funicular, a steeply sloping railway connecting Haute-Ville (Upper Town) and Basse-Ville (Lower Town). You do not need a car in Québec City, but if you plan on taking a day trip or two, you can rent a car in town or at the Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), located about eight miles west of Old Québec.
|On Foot||Because many of Québec City's top attractions can be found within Old Québec's ancient walls, you won't need more than your own two feet to make the most of your visit. Just make sure that you're dressed warmly, especially during the winter months, and that you stop frequently: The city's many cozy cafés and quaint shops make excellent venues to thaw.|
When you grow tired of walking or the cold weather has chilled you to the bone, Québec City's Écolobus is there to save the day. These electric buses offer transport throughout Old Québec, stopping near many of the neighborhood's most popular attractions, like the Citadel and the Museum of Civilization. You can easily recognize the Écolobus be the giant "e" printed on the front. And here's the best part: It's only $1 CAD (roughly $1 USD).
If you're exploring outside the old city walls, you can rely on the city's transportation system, RTC (or Réseau de Transport de la Capitale). RTC operates bus routes throughout the greater metropolitan area, but to figure out which buses to rely on for all your tourist needs, check out RTC's handy bus guide for visitors. Single rides cost $2.75 CAD (about $2.75 USD) for adults and $1.80 CAD for children. You can also purchase a week-long pass for around $25 CAD.
It's a pretty steep climb from Old Québec's Basse-Ville (Lower Town) to Haute-Ville (Upper Ville). To save your energy and to enjoy fantastic views, ride the funicular. This cliff-side elevator travels 210 feet at a 45-degree angle between the northern edge of the Quartier Petit-Champlain in Basse-Ville to the entrance of the Château Frontenac in Haute-Ville. The funicular opens every day starting at 7:30 a.m., but closing time varies between 11 p.m. and midnight depending on the season. Rides cost $2 CAD (about $2 USD) per person.
|Taxi||Taxi cabs are plentiful in Québec City. While you can hail them on the street, you may have better luck catching one if you head to a designated cab stand, which you'll find near all the major sites. The meter starts at around $3.45 CAD (roughly $3.45 USD), and each extra kilometer (approximately 0.6 miles) costs $1.70 CAD.|
|Car||You can rent a car either in town or at the Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB), but we strongly advise you not to. Parking on Old Québec's narrow streets can be a nightmare, not to mention that you'll be hard-pressed to find a free spot (even in the evenings and on weekends). Plus, Canadian gas prices closely resemble America's, except you'll be charged by the liter rather than by the gallon, making it more expensive. The only time a car would come in handy is when you're taking a day trip outside the city. If that's the case, we suggest waiting to rent until the day of.|
Entry & Exit Requirements
A passport is required for citizens of the United States to travel to Québec City, and to re-enter the country. If you are planning to drive, you must produce a passport, passport card or NEXUS card that allows expedited border crossings for both private and commercial travelers through Canadian and U.S. border controls. For more information, visit the U.S. State Department website.