Quebec City on a budget

Québec City is a luxurious place to visit with its chic hotels, chic bistros, and enticing boutiques, but the French-Canadian capital is also doable on a budget. If you save money by not spending in Old Town, you’ll find plenty to do, from epic bike rides to ice skating to specialty Québec foods, especially poutine.

Here’s how to travel to Québec City on a budget.

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The best way to get around Vieux Québec is on foot © mkzdillon / Shutterstock

To walk

Québec City was built long before automobiles were invented, so you can park your vehicle for the entire trip or not bring one. Instead, lace up your shoes and walk the charming cobblestone streets of Old Quebec City. A free walking tour You can teach about the importance of this historic city, but don’t forget to tip. While in Vieux Québec, don’t miss Rue de Trésor, where he can admire the work of local artists.

Outside of Vieux Québec, the city has many beautiful parks that won’t cost you a thing. There is the Parc des Champs-de-Bataille, which includes the Plaines d’Abraham, where a bloody battle in 1759 forged the linguistic identity of Canada as we know it today. Other great parks include Parc Chauveau, a 120-hectare wilderness within the city limits, and Domaine de Maizerets, a park with an arboretum and butterfly house.


In a city with as much history as Québec City, it would be a shame to miss out on learning how this UNESCO-recognized fortress came to be. Fortunately, offerings can be found at several museums that tell the story of French Canada and that of the indigenous peoples who have inhabited this land for centuries.

Many of the city’s museums are free on the first Sunday of every month and others are not too expensive. Musée du Fort, which has a huge model of what the city looked like in 1750, is $9 for adults, while Musée du Civilization, one of Canada’s most popular museums, is $15 for visitors ages 18 to 34.

Father and daughter having breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
Keep an eye out for lunchtime prix fixe specials in Québec City © / Shutterstock

Eat local specialties

Walking around Vieux Québec and looking at menu prices can be intimidating, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to eat Québec’s prized cuisine. To go Paillard and grab a croissant or pick up a baguette from any bakery (they’re all good) and some local cheese, sausage and wine for a picnic. Then, take your food and a blanket to the Pierre-Dugua-de-Mons terrace, which has probably the best view in the city.

Of course, you can’t leave Québec without eating poutine, which shouldn’t cost you too much. Appetizers in Gaston It’s a local favorite, but Chez Ashton — Quebec City’s version of McDonald’s — will work anytime (it’s 24 hours).

Another great strategy for eating on a budget in Québec City is to seek out lunch fixed price specials Le Lapin Sauté, one of the best restaurants in the city, makes one.

drink with the locals

Again, head out of the old town for lower prices and head to local neighborhoods like Saint-Roch or Saint-Jean-Baptiste to wander, eat and drink. Some great options include girl’s pizza, The mail Y night brewery either L’Anti to go out at night.

Ice skating at Place D'Youville during the winter
Winter is a magical time to visit Québec City and it’s more affordable than summer © Vicky Gosselin / Getty Images

Avoid high season

In the summer, Old Quebec City is packed with visitors snapping photos of everything in sight. In addition to the general hustle and bustle, high season can also lead to higher prices, especially for accommodation. Instead, go to Québec City in the winter. The fluffy white snow everywhere is majestic, and the cold isn’t too bad when you’re warming up with a hot cup of hot chocolate or Caribou, a red wine drink mixed with whiskey and maple syrup.

If you go during the summer or off-season, you can still get a taste of Québec’s winter by skating on a 2,460-foot skating rink in the mega park mall for $6 or $11 with skate rental.

bookworm around town

Quebecers love their books, and the capital city does a great job of celebrating literature. You can visit a Victorian library with 20,000 books in English at the Morrin Centre, all for free. house of literaturelocated in a Methodist church built in 1848, it is also free.

take public transportation

Québec City is not a city of cars, and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches by not driving down its small streets and across its busy bridges. So take a bus to get around. A single ride is $3.50, or a day pass will set you back less than $9. Québec City also has an electric bike sharing program, cycling, which gives you a boost when you pedal, so hit one of the city’s many trails, including the bike trails along Boulevard Champlain and the St-Charles River.

Speaking of the river, the ferries to the city of Lévis are like a perfect mini-cruise for taking photos of the walled city and are only $3.85 each way.

Another fun way to get around is via the Québec City Funicular (the fun is right there in the name!) which takes you from Dufferin Terrace to the Old Port for $4 a ride.

A crowd of people sitting in a shallow pool on Adirondack chairs, with a bar in the background
The best way to cool off: sit on Adirondack chairs with your feet in a pool © Pierre-Nic Lessard / Destination Québec Cité

get wet

In the summer, Québec City residents flock to Baie de Beauport, a beautiful sandy beach with plenty to do, from sailboat rentals to volleyball. Another beach at Parc de la Plage Jacques Cartier isn’t quite as sandy, but it’s perfect for a meander and photos of the Pierre Laporte Bridge. Or, if you just want to dip your toes in, you can hang out in Festivala bar with Adirondack chairs above a shallow pool.

go to a festival

Going to a music festival may sound like the opposite of an affordable activity, but Québec taxpayer dollars help fund the arts, keeping prices low. For example, although it is out of stock this year, summer festival It runs for 12 days and features top international artists like Rage Against The Machine, Maroon 5, Luke Combs and Halsey, all for a grand total of $130. or the one from Québec magic party in May it has 500 hours of free shows for 7 days and continues organize events during the summer.

Daily costs (in CDN)

  • Hostel room: $10–$50 (dorm bed)
  • Basic hotel room for two: from $130
  • Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): from $90
  • Public transportation ticket: $3.50 for 1 trip, $8.85 for a day pass, $16 for a weekend pass, $31 for 5 days
  • Coffee: $3-5
  • Poutines: $6–20
  • Dinner for two: $40–100
  • Beer/pint at the bar: $8–10
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