The point where Europe and North America collide, take in Québec City’s historic streets and eats, then explore the province beyond.
Before you arrive
Given that it’s perched on top of a cliff, surrounded by ancient fortified walls and guarded by a working citadel, it’s no surprise to learn that Québec City has a somewhat embattled history.
Though the First Nations Algonquin discovered it first, the British and French subsequently fought over ownership of this prime settlement on the St Lawrence River for centuries. Claimed as New France in 1608, then for the British in 1759, it was tugged back and forth before eventually Québec was declared a Canadian province in 1840.
Québec City is now distinctly more Gallic (96% of its population speak French as their first language) and war is the last thing on anyone’s mind – the locals are far too busy enjoying brunch and lattes in the many Parisian-style cafés that line the streets of the Old Town. There is one battle that you will still face though – hilly Québec City is nicknamed ‘the city of stairs’ for very good reason, so bring your comfiest footwear.
At the airport
Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport is about 16km south-west of the city centre. There are no direct flights to Québec City from the UK; the easiest route is to fly via Montréal, an easy connection. Total flight time from the UK is around 11 hours.
In Arrivals there is an information booth (help available 24 hours); there is also a currency exchange and several ATMs.
Getting into town
Taxis are readily available; the fixed rate for rides into the city centre is currently C$34.25. If you’re feeling flush limousines are also available for hire.
The Réseau du Transport de la Capitale (RTC) Bus 78 runs between the airport and Les Saules bus terminal, Monday- Friday.