Via Rail (train), Quebec
We thought it would be a breeze walking from the station to our lovely lodgings: a quick, close 8-10 minute walk, or so it appeared by Google map. BUT our little route was riddled with BIG hills, & worse, the sidewalks were cobblestone, which ended up wrecking one of our rolling (carry-on size) suitcases. It didn't help that it was raining & very hot & humid. Now, not all routes will be as unfortunate as this one. So, just consider what your carrying/carting (comfort, weight), the weather & be prepared for anything from a lovely walk to having $ to jump in a cab.
Quebec's main railway station is the Gare de Palais which is situated towards the Old Port on the edge of Downtown and at the bottom of the hill from the Old City and so is within easy walking distance of either.
This is one of those railway stations which harks back to the golden age of rail travel having been built by Canadian Pacific in a complementary style to the iconic Chateau Frontenac hotel (also built by CP) and is a pleasure to travel to and from.
There is only one railway line from here these days, that to Montreal, and only four trains each way daily but the station also doubles up as the bus station with local and regional services. The journey into Montreal takes just over 3 hours and from there joins the rest of the Via network to places further afield.
Despite it being relatively underused as a train terminus it is however well-supplied by a variety of restaurants (see my restaurant tips) which seem to be used more by the locals than by us transients. I think there were a total of five restaurants in all, ranging from the upscale "Aviator" to the more germane station buffet and a couple of in-betweenies!
One thing to note tho' is that during the winter, because the line sees relatively little use, the trains can often be cancelled due to snow and a bus service substituted - but you do get a freebie sandwich and a bottle of water if that happens!
The Gare du Palais is a combination bus and train station located just outside of the Old City of Quebec...
It is located at the bottom of the hill to get to Upper Town...so if you're walking you might want to consider a taxi if you're loaded down with baggage...its not overly large and its very easy to figure out...a ticketing area just inside of the Via Train entrance and a ticketing area just inside the Bus transport side.
Theres a few shops for fast food and magazines if you might need them.
There are NO lockers here at this station....or I am told ANY train station in Canada any longer....
For a $ 3.00 fee they will however store your bags at the Via Rail baggage section of the Train Station.
I arrived at night, early,around 730 PM and I didn't see an abundance of taxis so I took off walking...I made it up the hill and without too much trouble I was checking into my accommodation about 30 or 40 minutes after my arrival at the station.
I took some time to look around the station a little when I was leaving and I easily found the connecting hallway to the bus station side of the operation.
What a GREAT IDEA this is to connect both the train and bus stations together....Trains certainly do NOT run to all of the smaller villages and towns in the Quebec City region and points beyond BUT the buses certainly DO!!!
To have them connected at one location is a really SMART idea!!
Traveling by train between Montreal and Quebec City makes for a nice, relaxing trip. The trains are very comfortable and make very few stops along the way, so that it doesn't take more than 3h to reach Quebec City. Be aware though that traveling by train is not cheap: a round-way trip for adults is around $150. There are two train stations in the Quebec City area - one is located in Sainte-Foy, which is where the university, malls and some hotels are. That train station is a bit out of the way, so I would only recommend stopping there if you're staying in the Sainte-Foy area. The other train station is located in downtown Quebec, which is closer to the old city area and all the tourist spots. Reservations are recommended and make sure to check the schedule as there are only a few departures a day.
Via Rail, whichh are the Canadian railways work just fine, but try to travel on first class. Tourist class is croded and noisey, and the service is not that good. These are some vews on my way from Quebec to ontreal and Ottawa.
VIA RAIL runs about 4 trains per day between Montreal and Quebec (Gare du Palais) with a stop in Sainte-Foy. The journey takes less than 3 hours. The Gare du Palais is located very centrally in the Lower Town.
I took the train from Montreal to Quebec City.
Walking is the best way to get around Old Quebec.
It's also possible to rent bikes and head off to see sights outside of the old city. I rented a bike from Velo Passe-Sport Plein Air 22 Cote du Palais (418)692-3643
Another bike rental place is Cyclo Services http://pages.globetrotter.net/cyclo/
I took the train www.via.ca and arrived at the train station. On a map the walk from the train station to the hostel in upper old town looks easy enough, but it is straight uphill. Spend a couple of bucks and take a bus or a cab (maybe you can find some one to share a cab with). My calves were burning after the 10 minute walk.
On foot, wear comfy shoes.
I went there from Montreal by train (VIARail). It is about 3 hours and very comfortable. This is the nice architecture of the station of Quebec city.