1 week in Quebec: Epic 6-7-8 Day Itinerary (First Time Visit)


One week in Quebec: Which Itinerary for 6, 7 or 8 Days?

You would like to spend 1 week in Quebec and you’re looking for the best Itinerary?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this recommended Itinerary for a week in Quebec. You will discover some of the best places to visit in the country!

During your 6, 7 or 8 days itinerary in Quebec, you will explore Montreal, Quebec City, and La Mauricie National Park.

For this itinerary, in addition to the best things to do and must-see attractions, I will also give you all my best tips as well as my list of the best accommodations depending on your budget.

So, what are the best things to do in Quebec in a week? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

1) Montreal (3 days)

Our week-long Quebec jaunt kicks off in Montreal, the province’s largest city.

Flying from France? There are tons of airlines that’ll get you here direct without breaking the bank. Hence, starting your Quebec adventure in Montreal is just plain smart.

Once you’ve touched down, the best way to hit the city center is by bus. No need to rent a car for this leg of the journey. Montreal is super walkable, and the metro and bus system? Top-notch.

To get downtown, hop on the bus #747. It runs round the clock, taking between 45 to 70 minutes to reach the Berri-Uqam metro station. From there, jump on the metro to your night’s accommodation.

With the logistics out of the way, you’re all set to explore Montreal!

How about starting your day wandering the historic district of Old Montreal? For this, you’ll want to ride the orange metro line and exit at Place d’Armes.

While in the district, don’t miss (in order of appearance):

  • The breathtaking interior of Notre-Dame Basilica. There’s an entry fee (around 6 bucks) that includes a guided tour of the church.
  • The iconic New York Life building, Montreal’s very first skyscraper
  • The courthouses
  • The city hall
  • And Bonsecours Market. Heads up, though: it’s not your usual fruit and veggie stalls. Think art galleries and luxury boutiques instead.
  • The clock tower quay with its views of the Jacques-Cartier bridge
  • Jacques-Cartier Square

If you’re game, there’s also an amazing guided tour of Old Montreal that covers all the spots I’ve just listed. It’s 4 hours of deep diving, and you can book your spot by clicking the green button below.

Next, I’d suggest a leisurely stroll along Old Montreal’s Old Port beside the St. Lawrence River.

In the summer, it’s your go-to for a bike or rollerblade ride, or even trying out Canada‘s longest urban zipline (more details here!).

From the Old Port, you might also fancy a spin on the giant observation wheel (book it here), or how about a quick hour-long cruise on the St. Lawrence River? It’s a fabulous way to see the city from a fresh angle.

Book your Montreal cruise by clicking here!

Wintertime? You’ve got an ice skating rink and ice fishing activities to keep you entertained.

If you’re following along, come lunchtime, you’re in for a treat. Time to feast at one of the best value-for-money restaurants (possibly the best) in Montreal.

Introducing “L’arrivage” at the Pointe-à-Callières museum. It’s perched at the end of the Old Port promenade opposite the Alexandra Quay. Here, you can dig into a gourmet menu, updated weekly, for under 25 bucks (appetizer + main + dessert). And the food? To die for.

And as a cherry on top? It boasts a stellar view of the entire Old Port. Heads up: it’s only open for lunch and you’ll need to book ahead.

Old Montreal
Old Montreal

In the afternoon, set your sights on another Montreal gem, Mont-Royal Park.

Head back to the Place d’Armes metro station and go towards Montmorency up to Mont-Royal station. Then, hop on bus #11 to the remembrance/ Mont-Royal chalet stop.

Mont-Royal Park is Montreal’s largest green space. I’d start by soaking up the views from the Mont-Royal Lookout. It’s THE photo every tourist needs from Montreal!

Summer visitors will find the park buzzing. Beside the Beaver Lake, you’ve got the perfect picnic spot and a serene afternoon getaway. Meander the cool, shady trails offering scenic city views. Oh, and keep an eye out for squirrels!

Visiting Mont-Royal Park in winter? Dedicate your afternoon to a range of winter activities like sledding, ice skating on Beaver Lake, or even snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

Post-park, I suggest heading down to Plateau Mont Royal (via bus #11 or on foot), the city’s lively neighborhood. Marvel at the iconic spiral staircases and colorful facades. The place is dotted with cafes and eateries.

To wrap up your day, you must dine at La Banquise, a local gem, offering endless takes on Quebec’s iconic dish, poutine. Trust me, it’s a must-try when in Quebec!

On your second day in Montreal, kick things off with a trip to the Olympic Stadium (take the green metro line to Viau). And hey, here’s a fun fact: you can hop on the glass funicular that’ll whisk you right up to the top of the world’s tallest inclined tower. Once you’re there, the view over Montreal is just jaw-dropping.

Montreal Olympic Stadium
Montreal Olympic Stadium

Next up on the itinerary? The Montreal Biodome, conveniently located right next door to the stadium.

This place magically mimics the different ecosystems of the American continent using some super smart temperature and humidity control system. Step into the Laurentian maple forest or experience the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They’ve nailed it!

You’ll get to spot a bunch of cool critters – lynx, otters, beavers, penguins, and even caimans and piranhas.

Feeling a bit nature-y still? Wander over to the Montreal Botanical Garden in the afternoon.It’s in the same neighborhood as the stadium and the Biodome.

With its score of thematic gardens, 10 greenhouses and a whopping 20,000 plant species, it ranks as one of the largest botanical gardens on the globe. My personal fave? The area featuring the Chinese pavilions. Don’t skip the huge insectarium with over a quarter-million bugs!

After all that, maybe you’re itching for a shopping spree?

Stroll along Saint Catherine Street, a mammoth shopping strip packed with stores and malls. It’s also home to the city’s underground network – a life-saver in those cold winters and a cool retreat in the summer.

On your third and last day in Montreal, head over to the Atwater Market (get off at the Lionel-Groulx metro stop, not Atwater!). Stock up on local goodies and don’t you dare forget the maple syrup.

The market sits by the Lachine Canal – a perfect spot for a walk. I lived nearby during my three years in Montreal and lost count of the number of times I ambled around there. In the summer, you can bike or kayak along the canal, and in the winter, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing is the move.

Grab some picnic supplies at the Atwater Market, and lunch by the water sounds like a plan, right?

For the afternoon, scoot over to Jean-Drapeau Park. Located on Île Sainte-Hélène across the St. Lawrence river.

The metro (yellow line, Jean Drapeau station) drops you right there. The park boasts gorgeous views of Montreal and 25 km of trails to wander. You might even spot some super friendly groundhogs! Also, check out the iconic Biosphere, an environmental museum.

Montreal by night

Rounding off your Montreal adventure, swing by Chinatown for dinner. Trust me, the dishes are delish and super hearty.

While there, indulge in Chinese pastries and bubble teas. It was one of my favorite neighborhoods to enjoy affordable and delicious food.

For more on what Montreal has to offer, check out my article: The 33 Best Things to Do in Montreal!

Voyage Tips - Advice

For all your travels around the city, I’d recommend using the STM website. It calculates the quickest route in real-time. Bus or metro stops, as well as any possible line issues, are indicated, which is super handy. It’s real-time and even beats Google Maps for Montreal.

When you land, pop into the STM store at the airport before hopping on the bus. They’ll help you choose the best travel pass for your Montreal stay.

Tickets work for both the metro and the bus. Get the pass upfront – it’s more cost-effective than a one-way bus fare from the airport to downtown. Find the store at the arrivals hall.

Where to stay in Montreal

  • M Montreal: A youth hostel just a 5-minute walk away from Berri Uquam metro station on Sainte Catherine street. You can grab a bed in a modern, cozy dorm for just 25€ a night, breakfast included. You can also book a double room if you prefer. Strong points: Super friendly staff, modern facilities, basement bar with occasional live performances. A fantastic choice for budget-friendly accommodations in Montreal!
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Montreal: Located in the bustling Quartier des Spectacles. You can book a warm, spacious double room starting from €150 per night. Strong points: Perfect location for exploring Montreal, clean and comfy beds.
  • Le Dauphin Montréal Centre-Ville:: Just 200 meters away from the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal and a 5-minute walk from the Old Port. Double rooms starting from €170, breakfast included. Strong points: Great location, spacious rooms, and large beds.
  • Le Petit Hotel Montreal:: Located in the historical center of Montreal. Rooms with character (think stone walls and exposed brick) starting from €250, breakfast included. Strong points: Excellent service, a delicious breakfast, and the charming ambiance of the hotel.
  • Le St-Martin Hotel Centre-ville – Hotel Particulier:: Just 50 meters away from Saint Catherine West Street. Stylish, cozy double rooms starting from €290. Strong points: An enchanting pool with waterfalls and jets, delightful staff, prime location, and comfort. My recommendation for a high-end stay in Montreal!
  • Hôtel Birks Montréal: Located in the city center, this 5-star hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms starting from €500, with breakfast at an additional €19. Strong points: Prime location, beautiful architecture, friendly staff, and a luxurious spa. The best hotel in Montreal for a luxury stay!

2) Quebec City (2 days)

For the second leg of your week-long Quebec trip, we’re off to Quebec City!

From Montreal, you can drive to Quebec City (3 hours) or hop on a bus (3h15 for just 25 bucks). Here’s a tip: you won’t need your car in Quebec City; it’s super walkable. But you might need it for the next part of your journey.

Now, you could either rent a car right in Montreal, or get one in Quebec City and drop it back in Montreal (though that might mean extra charges).

Personally, I vouch for the first option – simpler and gives you more freedom.

For the best car rental deals in Quebec, my go-to is always Booking.com Cars. Why, you ask? Here are 3 reasons why I always use Booking Cars:

  • They compare prices across different rental companies, so you’re guaranteed the best rate.
  • They offer a solid “full protection” insurance (saved me over 1,300 euros) and it’s way cheaper than what the rental companies pitch.
  • Cancellation is often free. So if your Quebec plans change, no sweat!

Eager to check out Quebec’s car rental rates and secure your booking? Simply click here to get started!

Upon touching down in Quebec City, I suggest you kick things off with a stroll on the Dufferin Terrace. This promenade gives you a fantastic view of the city’s iconic building, the Château Frontenac (yup, the world’s most photographed hotel!) and a sweeping view of the St. Lawrence River and the Isle of Orléans.

Thinking of peeking inside the Château Frontenac? You’ll need to opt for the guided one-hour tour. Just click on the green button below to book your spot.

The Dufferin Terrace promenade
Dufferin Terrace promenade

Next, why not visit the Basilica-Cathedral of Notre-Dame? Its stunning architecture earned it the title “National Historic Site of Canada“.

Then, hop on the funicular and head to the Petit-Champlain district, the historic heart of the city. Perfect place to grab lunch at one of its many eateries!

Spend your afternoon wandering its cobbled streets. Indulge in some retail therapy in the myriad of artisanal boutiques, and be sure to swing by Place Royale and check out the Fresque des Québécois mural.

To wrap up the day, how about going on a cruise for one of the most breathtaking views of Quebec City right from the river? Sunset snaps? Guaranteed winners!

The cruises set sail from Quai Chouinard, right below Old Quebec.

You can choose between two types of cruises (book by clicking the orange link below):

If you’re visiting in winter and these cruises aren’t running, replace it with a ferry ride from Québec City to Lévis. It’s got an icebreaker and operates all year round. A spectacular view awaits!

Quebec City

Waking up refreshed? Let’s dive into day two in Quebec City.

Start off by visiting the Citadelle of Quebec, then head to the Plains of Abraham for a legendary view of the St. Lawrence River.

Continue your explorations at the Parliament building to get insights into the Canadian government.

To round off the morning, I suggest you climb up to the Observatoire de la Capitale. At 221 meters high, you’ll get a 360° panorama of Québec City and its surroundings.

In the afternoon, a must-visit is the iconic Montmorency Falls, which, believe it or not, are taller than Niagara Falls! Whether it’s summer or winter, when they’re frozen over, the view is simply jaw-dropping.

From the parking lot at the base, I recommend you take the cable car up to the top. Tickets can be booked in advance by clicking here:

Then, cross the suspension bridge and feast your eyes on the falls from the lookout point.

This spot is an absolute must-see on your week-long Quebec adventure!

Want to discover even more in Quebec City? Check out my detailed article: Top 17 Must-See spots in Quebec City.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’ve only got 6 days in Quebec, I’d suggest dedicating just a day to Quebec City. Here’s a pro-tip:

  1. Head out from Montreal early (like 7 or 7:30 AM) to make the most of the morning in Quebec City
  2. Explore the city until 2 or 2:30 PM, maybe grab a sandwich for lunch.
  3. Finish your day with a trip to Montmorency Falls.

This is, hands down, the best way to maximize your 6 days in this beautiful province!

Voyage Tips - Advice

Lucky enough to have 8 days in Quebec? Here are my suggestions:

In summer, take a day-trip to see the whales! They even pick you up directly from your hotel – super convenient! All the details to book this tour are right here:

In the fall (or if you’re on a 9-day trip), use the extra day to visit Mont-Tremblant and experience the stunning Canadian fall colors. You can get to Mont-Tremblant easily from Montreal, either by bus or car. It’s a quick 1.5-hour trip.

In winter, a fabulous activity out of Montreal is snow rafting in St Jean de Matha. It’s a total blast! And just like Mont-Tremblant, it’s about a 1.5-hour drive.

Montmorency Falls
Montmorency Falls, close to Quebec City

Where to stay in Quebec City

  • Quebec City International Hostel: This hostel is located in Old Quebec. Dormitory beds from €27. Strong points: the location, the cleanliness. The best choice for budget accommodation in Quebec City!
  • Hotel Manoir Vieux-Quebec: Situated right next to the Château Frontenac. Modern and comfortable double room starting at 130€ per night. Strong points: the location, the view from the terrace, the comfy beds.
  • Hotel Port-Royal: Located in Old Quebec. Double room equipped with a kitchenette starting from 170€. Strong points: the location for exploring Quebec City on foot, the friendly staff.
  • Hotel Clarendon: Also located in Old Quebec, you’ll stay in a 19th-century building. Cosy double room from €170, breakfast for €22. Strong points: the very comfortable beds, the central location, the views from certain rooms.
  • Le Capitole Hotel: Located in Old Quebec. Superb tastefully decorated room starting from €290 per night. Strong points: the warm staff, the great location, the quality of service, the rooftop pool, the excellent breakfast. Our recommendation for a high-end stay in Quebec City!
  • Château Frontenac: Why not spend a night in the world’s most photographed hotel? A unique experience and the chance to enjoy all the services and comforts of a luxury hotel: spa, pool, gourmet restaurants. A great way to treat yourself in Quebec, after all, it’s not every day you get to sleep at Château Frontenac!

3) La Mauricie National Park (2 days).

After bopping around Quebec’s two main cities, let’s round off your week in Quebec by immersing yourself in the exceptional nature Canada boasts.

Here’s the thing: for me, a trip through Quebec just isn’t complete without a jaunt to one of its national treasures. So, my hot tip? Spend 2 days in La Mauricie National Park.

And guess what? It’s a dream location-wise, sitting pretty smack dab in the middle of Quebec and Montreal. If you haven’t snagged a car rental, now’s the time to jump on that.

Amidst over 150 lakes, meandering rivers, and cascading waterfalls, gear up for 2 days of adventuring in the heart of the Laurentian mountains.

Summertime? It beckons with cycling and walking, and yep, fishing. Dive into a classic Canadian experience by hopping into a canoe. My recommendation? The Waber Falls trip – a blend of 4km canoeing coupled with 4km hiking each way. And pack a picnic – it’s a must!

Wintertime transforms the park into a winter wonderland perfect for cross-country skiing on its 80 km of mapped-out trails. And those cozy heated rest stops every 5km? Heavenly.

For the snowshoe enthusiasts, there are 8 trails prepped for your snowshoeing adventures. Feeling a tad creative? Try your foot at graphineige – drawing colossal designs in the snow with your snowshoes.

And seriously, don’t even think of skipping the utterly frozen Wapizagonke Falls.

Of course, immerse yourself in iconic Canadian winter delights: dogsledding and snowmobiling!

Waber Falls La Mauricie National Park
The Waber Falls in La Mauricie National Park

If you need help to plan your one week itinerary in Quebec, don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.

Where to stay near La Mauricie National Park

For camping enthusiasts, the park offers large equipped tents both in winter (wood stove) and summer. Common areas are available for cooking and cleaning up. You’ll find more info right here.

And for those who prefer a bit more comfort, here are the best accommodations near the park.

  • Trapper’s Inn Refuge: Located at the park’s entrance. Double room from €80. Strong points: location, warm welcome.
  • Gîte aux Traditions: Located on the main street of St-Jean des Piles, just 5km from the park. Double room from €85 per night, breakfast included. Strong points: location, lovely hosts, hearty and delicious homemade breakfast, tips for activities in the park.
  • Hotel Marineau Shawinigan: Located 15 km from the national park. Double room from €85, breakfast included. Strong points: cleanliness, comfy beds, good breakfast.
  • Auberge motel drakkar: Located in Shawinigan. Spacious double room from €100 per night. Strong points: good breakfast, welcoming owner, quietness.
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Quebec 6 7 8 days itinerary
Quebec 6 7 8 days itinerary

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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