One week in Quebec: what to do and see in 6, 7 or 8 days?
You decided to visit Canada and chose to focus on the Quebec region? In order to help you plan your stay, we have prepared a one-week itinerary in Quebec that will allow you to see the best of the province’s must-sees in no time.
You will find throughout the article, our program day by day, with tips and great tips, as well as a selection of the best accommodations for each step.
And as Quebec is very different depending on the season, the program is offered in summer and winter!
So, what to do and see in Quebec in 1 week?
In 1 week, we will take you to discover Montreal , Quebec and La Mauricie National Park.
Day 1-3: Montreal
We begin this week-long tour of Quebec with the discovery of Montreal, the largest city in the province.
From France, many airlines fly directly to the city at favorable rates. It is therefore easier to start your stay in Quebec by Montreal.
After landing, the best option to reach the city center is to take the bus. You will not need to rent a car for this first stage, Montreal is very well-located by foot and metro or bus.
To reach the city center, you will have to board the bus # 747. It operates 24/7 and takes between 45 and 70 minutes to reach the Berri-Uqam metro station. You can then take the metro to your accommodation for the night.
After these some practical information, you are ready for the visit of Montreal.
I suggest you start the day with the discovery of Montreal’s historic district, Old Montreal. For this you have to take the orange line of the metro and get off at Place d’Armes.
In the neighborhood, it is important not to miss (in order of visit):
- The Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal whose interior is beautiful. Admission is fee (around $ 6) and includes a guided tour of the building.
- The New York life building, the first skyscraper built in Montreal
- Courts of Justice
- City Hall
- The Bonsecours market. Do not expect to find stalls of fruits and vegetables, the market is actually a collection of art galleries and luxury shops.
- The quai de l’horloge and its view of the Jacques Cartier Bridge
- Place Jacques-Cartier
You can then take a nice walk to the Old Port of Montreal, along the St. Lawrence River. In summer it is the ideal place to walk by bike or rollerblading. In winter, there is an ice rink and an ice fishing activity .
If you follow this program, during the lunch break, you can eat in one of the restaurants offering the best value (or the best) of Montreal.
Pointe-à-Callières Museum’s “L’arrivage” restaurant is located at the end of the Old Port promenade in front of the Alexandra wharf. It offers a gourmet menu, changing weekly, for less than $ 25 (starter + main course + dessert)! The dishes are extremely well prepared and very good.
And to top it off, it offers a breathtaking view of the entire Old Port. Only open for lunch and reservation.
In the afternoon, head for Montreal’s other main attraction, Mount Royal Park.
For this, take the metro place de armes direction Montmorency to the Mont-Royal station. Then take the bus n ° 11 to the remembrance stop / chalet of Mont-Royal.
Mount Royal Park is the largest park in Montreal. My first recommendation is to go to the Belvedere du Mont-Royal to admire a panorama of the whole city. This is the photo that every good tourist must bring back from Montreal!
In summer, the park is particularly busy. The Beaver Lake area is the perfect place for a picnic and a relaxing afternoon. You will be able to walk in the cool on the numerous paths which offer beautiful points of view on the city. You will also have the chance to see squirrels.
If you visit Mount Royal Park in winter, you can spend the afternoon trying out many winter activitiessuch as tobogganing, ice skating on Beaver Lake, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
After your visit of the park, I advise you to go down to the Plateau Mont Royal (always with the bus n ° 11 or on foot), a very lively district of the city. You can admire the typical houses with spiral staircases and colorful facades. You will also find many cafes and restaurants.
To end the day, I recommend dinner at the Banquise, a restaurant located in the plateau and offers an infinity of varieties of traditional Quebec dish, poutine! A must when you visit Quebec.
The next day, for this second day in Montreal, I propose you to go to the Olympic stadium (green metro line, exit Viau). You can take the glass funicular that will take you to the summit of the highest inclined tower in the world ! From above, the view of the entire Montreal area is breathtaking.
For the rest of the program, visit the Biodôme de Montréal. It is right next to the stadium.
The Biodôme, thanks to a very ingenious system of temperature and humidity control, recreates the various ecosystems of the American continent. Universes like the maple grove in the Laurentians or the Gulf of St. Lawrence are really well done.
You can observe many animals : lynx, otters, beavers, penguins, and even caimans and piranhas.
For the afternoon, I advise you to discover the botanical garden of Montreal. It is in the same area as the stadium and the Biodôme.
With twenty thematic gardens , 10 greenhouses and 20,000 species of plants, it is one of the largest botanical gardens in the world. My favorite part of the garden is where the Chinese pavilions are. To see also in the garden: a huge insectarium with more than 250 000 insects.
And to finish the day, why not go do some shopping ? You find your happiness along the rue Sainte Catherine, a very long commercial artery filled with shops and shopping centers. This is also where the underground network of the city is located, very convenient for shopping in winter staying warm or enjoying the air conditioning in summer!
On this third and last day in Montreal, go to the Atwater Market (Lionel-Groulx exit from the subway and not Atwater!). You can stock up on local products without forgetting maple syrup.
The market is on the edge of the Lachine Canal, a really nice place to walk. During my 3 years in Montreal, I lived next door and I do not count the number of times I walked there. In summer, you can go cycling or kayaking. In winter, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
I recommend buying a picnic at Atwater Market and lunch at the water’s edge.
Finally, for the afternoon, go to Parc Jean-Drapeau. The park is on Île Sainte-Hélène on the other side of the St. Lawrence River.
The metro will take you directly into the park (yellow line, Jean Drapeau exit). The park offers beautiful views of Montreal and 25 km of trails for walking. You will probably be able to observe marmots little fierce! You will also find an original building, the Biosphère, the current environmental museum.
And for this last night in Montreal, you can go to Chinatown to try one of the restaurants. The dishes are really good and hearty. You will also find bakeries selling Chinese pastries and bubble tea. It was one of my favorite areas to eat for cheap.
For all your travels, I advise you to use the site of the STM. It calculates the fastest route in real time. The bus or metro stops and any problems on the lines are indicated, which is very convenient. Even if you are followers of Google map, for Montreal, this site is better done!
When you arrive at the airport and before taking the bus, go to the STM (Montreal Transportation Company) store. They will know how to buy the ticket that best fits your stay in Montreal.
The tickets are valid for the metro and the bus. It is more economical to buy it now than to pay for the Airport – Downtown bus route, which alone costs $ 10 (the 3-day card costs $ 18). The shop is located at the Arrivals Hall.
To stay in Montreal
- M Montreal : Hostel located 5 minutes walk from Berri Uquam metro station on Sainte Catherine Street, a shopping street with many bars and restaurants. Bed in modern and comfortable dormitory from 16 € per night, breakfast included. Possibility also to sleep in a double room. The most: very welcoming staff; very modern infrastructure and room worthy of a hotel; Basement bar with shows some evenings. Ideal for a small budget stay
- Anne my sister Anne Hotel Studio : Located on Saint Denis Street in the heart of the very popular Plateau Mont Royal neighborhood. Room with basic furniture but bright and quiet from 72 € per night, breakfast included. Plus: its excellent location.
- Little Inn Les Bons Matins : A charming inn located near the metro Lucien L’Allier. Warm and colorful room from 93 € per night, breakfast included. Plus: excellent and hearty homemade breakfast. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Lofts of the Old Port : Located in the Old Port district. Large modern loft with fitted kitchen and exposed brick walls from € 180 a night. What we liked: the location, the space, the beautiful decor, the ability to make food, the super comfortable bed. There are also lofts with 2 rooms if you are with your family. It’s a big blow in terms of layout and location, I highly recommend it.
Day 4-5: Quebec
The second leg of this 1-week trip to Quebec takes you to Quebec City.
From Montreal, you can travel to Quebec City by car (3 hours drive) or by bus (3:15 drive for $ 25). To know that you will not need your car in Quebec, everything is very easy to visit on foot. However, it will be necessary for the next stage of the trip.
It’s up to you to see if you prefer to rent the car directly to Montreal and bring it back to the same place before departure to avoid fees or rent it in Quebec City and return it to Montreal (payment of additional fees).
Personally, I advocate the first option, it is simpler and you will also be more autonomous.
To compare prices and rent a car for a road trip in Quebec, I always use Rentalcars.com, which is by far the most serious comparator! Here are the 3 reasons why it became my favorite site:
- The site compares the prices between the different renters, so you are sure to pay the best price for your rental
- They offer insurance “comprehensive protection”, very effective (they have already paid me back over 1300 euros after various worries!) And much cheaper than those offered by the rental companies.
- Cancellation is very often free. If you change your program for your trip to Quebec, do not worry!
To compare prices of rental cars in Quebec and rent your car now, click here.
When you arrive in Quebec City, I advise you to start the tour with the Dufferin Terrace Boardwalk. It offers a beautiful view of the emblematic building of the city, the Chateau Frontenac (the most photographed hotel in the world), and the St. Lawrence River and the island of Orleans.
You can then visit Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica, whose remarkable architecture has earned it the status of a “National Historic Monument of Canada”.
Then, take the funicular to get to the Petit-Champlain district, the historic district. You can enjoy lunch at one of these many restaurants.
In the afternoon, stroll through the cobbled streets to discover the neighborhood. Do a little shopping in the many small craft shops and do not forget to go through the Place Royale and in front of the fresco of Quebecers.
At the end of the day, take the Lévis-Québec ferry to admire one of the most beautiful views of Quebec City from the river. To do preferably at sunset to take the most beautiful pictures.
After a good night’s sleep, we start the second day in Quebec City.
I recommend you first visit the Citadel of Quebec and then go to the Plains of Abraham, a place famous for its view of the St. Lawrence River.
Then head out to the Parliament Building to learn more about the workings of the Canadian government.
Finally, to finish the morning, I advise you to go to the observatory of the capital. At 221 meters high, you can enjoy a 360 ° panorama of Quebec City and its region.
And for the program of the afternoon, nothing like going to see the famous Montmorency Falls, higher than those of Niagara! Whether in summer or winter when they are frozen, the site is very impressive. A place of interest not to be missed during this week-long circuit in Quebec.
If you only have 6 days in Quebec, I advise you to spend only one day in Quebec City. The best thing in this case is:
- Leave Montreal early (around 7 am to 7:30 am if possible) to enjoy the late morning in Quebec.
- Visit the city until 14h-14h30 while eating a sandwich for lunch
- You go to the Montmorency Falls to finish the afternoon
This is the best way to maximize your 6 days in the Belle Province!
If you are lucky and you have 8 days in Quebec, I recommend:
In summer, go on a day trip to see the whales! They even pick you up directly at your hotel, so it’s really very convenient.
In the fall, (or if you have 9 days in Quebec) you can also take advantage of this extra day to go to Tremblant Mountain to see the beautiful colors of Canadian autumn. Mont Tremblant is easily accessible from Montreal by bus or car. The trip lasts 1h30.
In winter, a great activity to do also from Montreal is snow rafting in St Jean de Matha. It’s really awesome! Just like for Mont Tremblant, there is approximately 1h30 of road.
To stay in Quebec
- Hotel Terrasse Dufferin : Located 2 steps from the Château Frontenac. Double room decorated a little old but warm from 50 € per night, breakfast 3 €. Most: the excellent geographical location, the river view, the warm welcome.
- Hôtel Château Bellevue : Located a 2-minute walk from the Dufferin Terrace. Double room with super comfortable bedding from 79 € per night, breakfast at 6 €. The most: the central location to visit on foot, the comfortable bed, the good breakfast, the reception staff. It’s our heart stroke for its benefit / price ratio!
- Auberge Saint-Antoine : Located on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the Old Port district. Simple and elegant double room with underfloor heating in the bathroom from € 152 per night, breakfast € 17. We loved: all the comforts of a luxury hotel, the decoration of the hotel, the irreproachable service. Exceptional, and the price is reasonable for a hotel of this quality.
- Château Frontenac : Why not spend a night in the most photographed hotel in the world? A unique experience and the opportunity to enjoy all the services and comfort of a luxury hotel: spa, swimming pool, gourmet restaurants. A good way to have fun on your trip of 6, 7 or 8 days in Quebec, it is not every day that we can sleep in the Chateau Frontenac!
Day 6-7: La Mauricie National Park
After these 2 steps devoted to the discovery of the 2 main cities of Quebec, I propose you to finish your stay of a week in Quebec taking advantage of the exceptional nature that offers Canada.
Because for me, a circuit in Quebec, would not be complete without a passage through one of the many national parks of the province, I recommend you spend 2 days in the National Park of Mauricie.
In addition, it’s perfect because it is located right on the way back, halfway between Quebec and Montreal. However, if you have not rented a car yet, now is the time to do it.
With more than 150 lakes, rivers and waterfalls, this is an opportunity to spend 2 days hiking in the Laurentians.
In summer, you can practice cycling, walking and fishing. It is also an opportunity to indulge in a must-do activity in Canada, the canoe. I advise you to do the trip to Waber Falls in one day, 4km canoe + 4 km walk one way and the same thing on the way back. Plan a picnic.
In winter, the park is the perfect place for cross-country skiing on 80 km of marked and marked trails. There are even rest stops heated every 5km. 8 tracks are also available for snowshoe excursions. You can even try the graphineige, a giant drawing made in the snow with your rackets. Do not miss the completely frozen Wapizagonke Falls .
And of course, you can indulge in two typical Canadian winter activities: sled dogs and snowmobiles!
Housing in Mauricie
For camping enthusiasts, the park offers large tents arranged both in winter (wood stove) and summer. Common premises are available to prepare meals and wash. You will find more information on this site .
And for those who prefer a little more comfort, here are the best accommodations near the park.
- Gîte aux Traditions : Located in the main street of St-Jean des Piles, just 5km from the park. Double room from 60 € per night, breakfast included. Pros: location, lovely hosts, hearty and excellent homemade breakfast, tips for activities to do in the park.
- The cabins Nordik des Piles : Located in St-Jean des Piles, in the middle of the forest. Wooden chalet from 85 €, breakfast included. Most: the location in the heart of nature, calm, welcoming guests.
- The cottage on the lake : Located in Saint Mathieu du Parc, 10km from the national park. This large cottage is right on the edge of a lake. It can accommodate up to 7 people and is fully equipped. You can rent it for 2 people from 140 € and for 4 from 170 €. I recommend it especially if you are traveling with children or with a group of friends. Most: the view and location, comfort, terrace and barbecue, calm. There is only one, so book it right away!
- Hôtel le Petit Manoir : Located in Grandes Piles, a 10-minute drive from Parc de la Mauricie. Family Suite (for 4 people) comfortable and warm from € 180 per night, breakfast € 7. The most: the ideal location, the great reception, the excellent breakfast, the relaxing place, the view. If you have the budget, go for it!
Do not hesitate to give your opinions and suggestions for our week-long itinerary in Quebec!