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Quebec is a very compact city with it's modern Downtown immediately below the hill of the Old City. It is therefore easily walkable and the hill can be ascended by either flights of stairs or the more gentle gradients of the zig-zag main roads. Wandering the city is, to my mind, the best way to appreciate it and if the sidewalks do start to take their toll on your feet there are ample characterful bars and cafes to take the weight off - with, of course, the liquid reviver of your choice!
If you're not up to walking the streets there is now an excellent alternative way to get around, and one that is FREE. This is the Ecolobus, an electric-powered 10-seat minibus service run by RTC (the local transit service), which winds a rough figure-of-eight route through the main tourist areas. This innovative public transport developement was introduced in June 2008 (just in time for the start of the main 400th Anniversary celebrations) to cut down on car journeys, especially within the Old City, and is used by locals and tourists alike.
There are 8 vehicles in the fleet and they run every 20 minutes, 7 days a week, between Grand-Allee Est and the Levis Ferry Terminal. The route passes the Parliament and Congress Centre, loops around the Old City and then heads down towards the ferry port, passing the railway station,La Musee de la Civilisation and Le Quartier Petit-Champlain. It also stops at Place D'Youville where it connects with the main RTC services from around the city and so integrates rather neatly with the rest of the system.
The buses have a maximum speed of 33 km/h, a range of 100 km and use just $3.25 worth of electricity per day - so you can put your feet up relatively guilt-free!!
Link below has details of routes and timetable.
Updated Aug 9, 2012
My experience with Orleans Express was unexpected and pleasant - I arrived to airport from USA late and missed shuttle to Montreal Port to embark on Holland America Cruise Line. Had to take Orleans Express to next port - Quebec City - over 25 people missed the ship and had to travel to Quebec. Its was after midnight when we arrived and everyone made the assumption that the bus would take us direct to the hotels ( we were all tired - we weren't really thinking). Bus driver expressed her regret but contacted her manager. Orleans Express did not have to but they saw how upset all the people were on the bus and proceeded to take us all to our hotels which were 10-15 min from the bus depot. KUDOS to Orleans Express. After our uncontrolled travel of over 16 hours the manager must have realized it would have been really difficult for 25 people to find enough taxis after midnight to transport us and all our luggage. Again thank you.
Written Jul 12, 2012
I don't suppose many people have tips to write about lifts (elevators as they call them in Angophone N America) but here's a nice useful one for Quebec.
If you are in the lower half of downtown - the Quartier St Roch or the University area - and want to get up the hill to do some shopping on the worth-a-visit Rue St Jean then take the lift!
Between Rue de la Couronne and Rue St Claire there's a public elevator which is free to use. This is perfectly clean, safe and mechanically sound and saves the legs having to climb the steps or zig-zag the roadways.
At the bottom is a little cafe (pretty basic) which could be run by the guy who looks after the lift - but that's just conjecture on my part!
PS - I't's also nice and warm for a respite from the cold in the winter!
Updated Apr 1, 2009
We have an international airport (Jean-Lesage airport) not so far (15km) form the city center . If you arrive from Montreal airport we have good train or bus connections. It's around 2 hours and a half between Montreal and Quebec by train or bus.
To get arround Quebec city you can rent a car or motorcycle. To rent a motorcycle you need to have license with that specification. You can rent a bicycle too and we have nice bike way. We don't have subway but the public transport is good in the city. To go outside then you need a car. If you are by car, just make sure not to get trapped in
the 'Vieux Quebec' (old part of the city). Go directly to the 3 big public parking, Place D'Youville, under the Quebec city hall or under Place Quebec shopping center. If you are by motorcycle you can't run into old part, just use the public parking Place D'Youville.
Url train: http://www.viarail.ca/
Url inter-city bus:http://www.autobus.qc.ca/anglais/profil_an.html
Url city bus:http://www.stcuq.qc.ca/accueil_f.asp
The picture it's a view of the Frontenac Castle from the ferry-boat. The ferry-boat go to Levis city and it takes only 15 - 20 minutes.
URL-Levis city: http://www.chaudiere.com/tourisme/
Updated Feb 25, 2008
Dear Tim thankyou for the pics. Clara must have had a wonderful holiday I am so pleased. Now she is having pc lessons I hope she will be able to send an email occasionaly ? I arrived back last Friday after another exciting journey the N. atlantic can be quite choppy and for the first 3 days alot of the passengers were confined to their cabins fortunately Kwells saved the day for me except I was staggering around as even the big ships get tossed about. Our 1st port was Quebec French speaking historical and a great place to visit then onto Halifax and Boston again beautiful cities with lots of interest. Then onto Bar Harbour where we went whale watching it is their feeding grounnds and saw about 10 humpbacks close too ducking and diving. We should then have stopped off at Newport and St. Johns Newfoundland but it was too rough for the t enders to take us off. So onto the last port of New York not my favourite place too many places and traffic but glad I have seen it. Then home much calmer to Southampton. Life on board can be very busy lectures library cinema and a good show every night and of course the exquisite food. .Now I am back to reality. Mgt and family and me were going to N. Wales this weekend but Lucy has a sore throat and temp. so waiting for that to clear. I will try and send you some photo's sometime . Catherine has gone to the New forest for the weekend Love Mother
Written Oct 19, 2007
While staying on a land-based trip to Quebec, we almost envied the folks on the Century Constellation, who had started out from New York, as we had, only it took them a bit longer to get to Quebec!
From a cruise ship, you step off the gangway and are right in the Old Port area - an easy walk to Petit Champlain or up to Chateau Frontenac. This cruise (we checked it out on the wireless Internet as soon as we got back to our room) had left from New York and stopped in New England and other ports in Canada before coming down (up?) the St. Lawrence to Quebec. They were actually in town longer than we were - two full days to our day and a half. And they didn't have to drive home! We wondered how much we'd have to tip the cargo guys to get them to put our car onboard so we could hitch a ride!
Written Oct 15, 2004
We took a tour bus from Joliette. The trip was organized by the Golden Age Club and we were 40 in number aboard. We left Joliette at 8 AM. and returned at 11.15 PM.
Our trip include two meals in different restaurants a christmas Musical show at Le Cabaret du Capitole theater. A visit to Viex Quebec and the waterfront.. A visit of the Chateau Frontenac area and boutiques.. After supper we went to ST. Agustine and visited "La creche et du village de Noel aux " FLORALIES JOUVENCE
Written Nov 15, 2002
IN QUEBEC CITY THEY HAVE A GOOD 'BUS SERVICE'. To visit attractions or OLD QUEBEC take a 'MINI BUS TOUR' from your hotel. From Montreal or Quebec city by train, bus or automobile or you can fly ( good airport in Quebec City) Excellent one in Montreal (DORVAL). Excellent highway number 40 from Montreal to Quebec City. Highway 20 and 132 after you cross the bridge at Quebec City to the South Shore of the St. Lawrence River. You can visit these places shown in the photos at your own pace. There are also many FERRY Boats that will transport you from the North Shore to the South Shore of the River.We crossed from Bay Como to Rimouski some years ago
In Joliette by bus or auto or on foot most of the tourist sites are in the town center. Excellent bike paths that cover the whole area and beyond to surrounding towns.
The picture is of my deceased father-in-law and his friend on his farm near Quebec City at St. Croix.
Updated Oct 2, 2002
Walking is the best way to explore the Upper and Lower Town of Quebec.
The citys transit system STCUQ runs buses approximately every 15 to 30 minutes to all major points around the town (including the Montmorency Falls). You need to have the exact fare when boarding a bus.
Written Oct 1, 2002
* rent a car or drive your own car (for US and canadian live in East coast) if u travel more than 1 .It is cheaper cost to drive around fast and convinience than bus or taxi .
* If u take a taxi ,ask them do they accept credit card ,so u get beter curency exchange later on the bill.
* Most US hotel chains such as Holiday INN ,Radision ,Hyatt ,Mariot...will give free their own bus from airport to hotel and some street around the town.When book the hotel ask for that free transpotation.
Written Sep 8, 2002
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