Travelling to Quebec City is a wonderful way to experience Canada’s French culture and is like travelling abroad without leaving Canada. There are many different ways to travel from Toronto to Quebec City such as driving, taking the train, taking the bus, and flying. We will run you through these options and discuss the best option that suits your needs.
Driving from Toronto to Quebec City is the preferred method for many people who have access to a car. The drive takes approximately 8 hours and is an easy drive, staying on highway 401 for the majority of the trip. It is a fun and rewarding journey if you have the time.
Although, driving for 8 hours straight can get a little tiring so be sure to take advantage of an OnRoute along the way. They are located along the 401. An OnRoute is a rest station that has free Wi-Fi, lots of parking, restrooms, a place to walk around, food such as Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Swiss Chalet, and 24-hour gas stations, handy for if you are driving throughout the night. These rest stations are only available in Ontario, so be sure to take advantage of them until you arrive at the Quebec border. Once in Quebec, they are replaced with traditional rest stations equipped with washrooms, vending machines, a place to park/sleep in your car, and usually some greenery where you can get out and stretch your legs.
One major tip that will save you quite a lot of time spent in traffic during your drive to Quebec City is to bypass Montreal. If you are not planning on stopping or staying in Montreal during your trip it is best to avoid it entirely. This can be done by taking highway 30 around the outskirts of the city. There is a small toll of $1.40 per vehicle axel, but it is worth it if you want to save some time and/or are not a fan of city driving.
Once you arrive in Quebec, make sure to visit the Quebec Welcome Centre to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and get a detailed map for how to bypass Montreal from one of the employees working at the information desk.
If you get hungry while driving through Quebec and want to sit down at an actual restaurant rather than grabbing fast food for the road, try visiting St. Hubert, a Quebec classic food chain similar to Swiss Chalet.
Another option for transportation from Toronto to Quebec City is the Via Rail. Travelling on the Via Rail takes about 9 hours and 46 minutes and ranges in price anywhere from $104-$478 one-way depending on class. It leaves from Toronto’s Union Station and goes to Gare Du Palais, which is the closest station to downtown Quebec City. Check their website for more information and prices.
If you want to book your ticket quickly and conveniently try Wanderu, a ground travel search engine that partners with bus and train operators to provide a one-stop search and booking platform through a website and mobile app. Using Wanderu lets you see all the options and prices available, helping you find cheaper trips with just one search.
Although taking a bus may not be as convenient as the other options it is definitely still an available option. Since no buses run directly from Toronto to Quebec City you will have to arrange to take two different buses.
For the first bus, book a Greyhound bus from Toronto to Montreal. This bus ride will take approximately 8 hours and cost anywhere from $42-$87, depending on what option you choose. The cheapest option being if you book online ahead of time and the most expensive being a refundable ticket. Check out their website or Wanderu for schedules and prices.
After taking the first bus and arriving in Montreal, take a second bus through Orleans Express from Montreal into Quebec City. This bus ride will take approximately 3 hours and will cost anywhere from $25-$55 depending on if you need a refundable ticket. Check their website for schedules and prices.
Flying is by far the fastest method of transportation from Toronto to Quebec City. Flights from Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) to Quebec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) differ in price depending on when you are travelling. Currently, for the month of April 2018, on way flight tickets range from $149-$366. The flight takes roughly an hour and a half.
To find the cheapest flights from a wide list of airlines try Kiwi.com, a website and mobile app that allows you to search and book discounted flights from a wide list of airlines.
How to get to Quebec City from the Airport
Once you arrive at Jean Lesage International Airport, you have a few options on how you decide to get to downtown Quebec City. These options include an airport shuttle, car rental, taxi, bus, and most conveniently, Uber.
Airport Shuttle – Several hotels in the Quebec City area provide an airport transportation shuttle service as a courtesy to their guests. Some of these hotels include Hotel Quebec Inn, Grand Times Hotel, Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, and Howard Johnson Quebec City. Many of these hotels also offer shuttles into Old Quebec City. Check to see if your hotel offers an airport shuttle service before you book an alternative mode of transportation.
Car Rentals – Jean Lesage Airport offers multiple car rental companies on site such as Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Hertz, located on the main floor of the administration building. Although, car rentals can quite expensive and once in Quebec City most everything is easily accessible by foot, so renting a car may not be necessary.
Taxi – Taxis are available in the airport terminal for approximately $34.25 to downtown Quebec City.
Bus – Unfortunately it is quite unpractical to use public transit to get to downtown Quebec City from the airport. The city’s public transit system, Reseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC), offers only one route #78, which goes to nearby terminal Les Saules. This route is only available on weekdays. From there, travellers can hop on route #80 to get to Place Jacques-Cartier, which is in the heart of downtown Quebec City. This route isn’t very practical as it does not run on weekends and is very limited.
Uber – Probably the easiest and most practical method is Uber. From the app travellers can book an UberX to meet them out front of the airport terminal and take them into downtown Quebec City for approximately $23, being the easiest way to get downtown.