Montreal and Quebec City are two of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. They offer a unique blend of French and North American culture. If you’re planning a road trip from Montreal to Quebec City, you can take a few different routes. However, the most scenic route is the one that takes you along the St. Lawrence River. This route will take you through some of the most beautiful countrysides in Quebec. You’ll pass by small towns, villages, and some of the province’s most popular attractions. The drive is quite scenic, and you’ll have plenty of stopping opportunities.
The capital of Quebec, Montreal, is also its most populous metropolis, its financial powerhouse, and a hive of vibrant cosmopolitan activity. Quebec Metropolis is the province’s capital and is a distinctive and historic city located 158 miles (255 kilometers) along the Saint Lawrence River. There is a lot to see in Quebec, the largest province in Canada. Although Montreal and Quebec City are iconic locations, they hardly represent the entirety of what the region has to offer.
Take some time to travel between the two cities and discover the slower-paced countryside of Quebec. You can explore forests, eat food from the farm, see historic New France landmarks, and take in the distinctive Québécois culture along the route. Normal traffic conditions should allow you to travel from Montreal to Quebec City in 2 hours and 45 minutes, but you may want to allow more time to take in some of the best sights along the way.
Table Of Contents
The highest concentration of historic structures in North America coexists peacefully with a soaring modern metropolis in cosmopolitan Montreal. Explore Montreal’s diverse restaurant scene or fall in love with the city’s charming parks. Additionally, the city’s distinct joie de vivre, exhibited via its gastronomy and art, is infused with a broad cultural mingling.
Trois Rivieres is the only significant city along Highway 40 between Montreal and Quebec City. It was the second-oldest permanent settlement in New France when Champlain established it in 1634. The city’s name derives from its location at the meeting point of three rivers. The St. Lawrence River turns into a tidal river from here until the sea.
The streets of the city’s Old Town and its ancient locations, such as the Old Prison of Trois-Rivieres and the Shrine to Our Lady of the Cape, are examples of its living heritage. With eateries like the 5-star “Poivre Noir,” Le Buck – Pub Gastronomique, and Le Castel, which has one of the best wine cellars in the province, the city has emerged as a culinary hotspot. A Museum Pass is available that allows access to 14 museums and galleries.
The Lanaudière region, north of Trois-Rivières, provides a wilderness escape not far from Montreal. Here, you may go hiking, bicycling, fishing, canoeing, and participating in various winter sports. You can also find nature-based retreats to unwind after all the activities. Take Route 138 near Berthierville for about 45 minutes. To Rawdon and La Source Bains Nordiques, dial 345 or 348. This indoor/outdoor spa complex pampers with pools, spas, and treatments that can revive weary visitors for the next leg of their journey. It originated in sync with its natural surroundings.
The rich farmlands of the Richelieu River Valley, which extend south to the American border and Lake Champlain, may be seen as the A-10 travels east from the island of Montreal. The river opens into a lovely basin in Chambly, a commuter town with a long history. Walking along the banks of the Chambly Canal National Historic Site is a great idea. The waterway, finished in 1843, continues to elevate boaters via a network of nine locks, albeit it is now used more for leisure than commerce. The 1711-built historic stone fortress at Fort Chambly National Historic Site organizes educational activities and offers an insight into life for New France soldiers.
Numerous routes lead north from Mont-Mégantic in the direction of Quebec City, about three hours away. After all that stargazing, those who want to look underneath the surface of the Earth can visit Thetford Mines Mineralogy and Mining Museum, which provides information on the local mining industry, explores the local geology, and exhibits minerals from around the world.
Strøm spa nordique / Mont-Saint-Hilaire
Strom spa nordique Mont-Saint-Hilaire provides various products, including outdoor spa experience, massage therapy, gastronomy, and special events to offer a global relaxation experience that promotes a thorough rejuvenation of body and mind. It is situated at the foot of Mont-Saint-Hilaire on a site of exceptional natural beauty, only 25 minutes from Montreal. Take advantage of a stunning setting with indoor and outdoor amenities that provide a remarkable experience, including a steam room, Finnish sauna, polar baths, hot tubs, fireplaces, terraces, and cozy restrooms. Just a few minutes from Mont-Saint-town Hilaire’s center, experience authentic Scandinavia amid nature.
Battlegrounds and a Basilica
You might stay a month in Quebec City and still have plenty to do. However, a few attractions are “musts” for short-term visitors. The most notable of these is Old Quebec, the city’s historic core, divided by cliffs that English soldiers previously scaled during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. You may find Great stores in the Lower Town and several historical sites such as the stunning 300-year-old Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, which looks out over Place Royale. In this exact location, Québec City originated in 1608. Today, there are two options for visitors: the funicular or the “breakneck stairs,” which pose little risk to their safety.
Sleep in a Historical Auberge
In the center of Quebec City’s Old Port is where you’ll find the Auberge Saint-Antoine. The Saint-Antoine features the luxury of being a Relais & Châteaux hotel and is referred to as a “museum-hotel,” offering a hands-on history experience thanks to the incorporation of artifacts from both the French and English colonial eras into its design. Although it might be a stretch to refer to the Auberge as a “boutique” hotel with only 94 rooms, the distinctive design, the riverside location, the round-the-clock concierge service, and the exquisite all contribute to the establishment’s “boutique” atmosphere. If you must pick just one, go for Chez Muffy, where Executive Chef Julien Ouellet creates seasonal dishes utilizing foods from the hotel’s farm, situated close by on the island of Orleans.
Visitors fall head over heels in love with Quebec City with the intensity of a committed relationship. The Historic District of Old Quebec was named a Unesco World Heritage Site because it has it all: rich history, vibrant culture, delectable food, fascinating attractions, and the distinction of being the only remaining walled city in Canada or the United States.
The only issue in finding the ideal lodging in Quebec City is the sheer amount of choices! Several locations provide multi-room suites, apartment-style accommodation, or bed and breakfast for groups if you’re traveling with pals. Many hotels cater to family groups, which families will find. One of the best hotels in the world, the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, has come to represent a city visually. There aren’t many hotels that genuinely provide a historical walking tour of the Chateau, but this one does because the Frontenac narrative is so deep in the past.
There is never a wrong time of year to travel to Quebec, but there are certainly some exceptional ones. Mid-February sees the annual Carnaval de Québec, a festive celebration of everything winter (including the Ice Hotel and the iconic mascot Bonhomme). Mid-August sees the New France Festival, which features parades, nonstop music, delicious food, costumes everywhere, and absolutely no justification for not having a great time.
How far is Quebec city from Montreal by train
You can travel from Montreal to Quebec City by train, which takes around 2h. Alternatively, you can take a bus, which takes 3h.
Which is the best time of year to visit Quebec City?
The best time to visit Quebec City is in the summer when the weather is warm and many events and festivals occur. However, the city is also beautiful in the winter, and you’ll find that the prices are lower if you visit during this time.
Best small towns between Montreal and Quebec City
Many small towns are located between Montreal and Quebec City, each with its unique charm. Some of our favorites include:
– Saint-Sauveur: This mountain town is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding in the winter and hiking and mountain biking in the summer. There are also several spas and restaurants located in the town.
– Bromont: Located in the Eastern Townships, Bromont is known for its beautiful lakes and mountains. The town is also home to several golf courses and a large ski resort.
– Magog: Magog is a picturesque town located on Lake Memphremagog. The town is home to several art galleries, shops, and restaurants.
– Orford: Orford is a small town located in the heart of the Eastern Townships. The town is home to several hiking trails, a golf course, and a ski hill.
Where to eat between Montreal and Quebec City
There are many great places to eat between Montreal and Quebec City. However, if you’re looking for some truly exceptional cuisine, we recommend the following restaurants:
– Le Balthazar: Located in Magog, Le Balthazar is a French restaurant that serves classic dishes with a modern twist.
– Chez Muffy: located in Saint-Sauveur, Chez Muffy is a cozy restaurant specializing in traditional Quebecois dishes.
– La Piazza is an Italian restaurant located in Bromont, La Piazza, with a beautiful outdoor patio overlooking the golf course.
– L’Initiale: In Orford, L’Initiale is a Michelin-starred restaurant serving French cuisine with a modern twist.
Where to stay between Montreal and Quebec City?
There are many great places to stay between Montreal and Quebec City. However, if you’re looking for something truly special, we recommend the following hotels:
– Auberge Saint-Antoine: located in Quebec City, this hotel is housed in a converted flour mill and features beautifully appointed rooms and suites.
– Hôtel Le Germain Québec: located in Quebec City, this hotel is centrally located and features a modern design.
– Hôtel Champlain: This hotel is located in Orford, on beautiful lakefront property and features a spa and outdoor pool.
– Fairmont Château Frontenac: located in Quebec City, this hotel is situated in a historic castle and overlooks the St. Lawrence River.
Driving from Montreal to Quebec city in winter
If you’re planning on driving from Montreal to Quebec City in the winter, it’s important to be prepared for the conditions. The roads can be icy and snow-covered, so ensure you have a good set of tires and a full gas tank. It’s also a good idea to pack a blanket and some snacks in case you get stranded.
Montreal to Quebec city via route 138
The most direct route from Montreal to Quebec City is via Route 138. This road takes you through the heart of the Laurentian Mountains and past several scenic lakes. The drive takes approximately 2.5 hours.