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How to Spend 1 Day in Quebec City | Quebec City Budget Itinerary

How to Spend a Day in Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad

Only three hours away by bus or train, Quebec City is a gorgeous little city that makes for a perfect day trip from Montreal. A transportation ticket can run anywhere from $60-$90, which is a little pricey. So when I saw Gray Line offered a tour to Quebec City with an included stop to Montmorency Falls, I forked over the $90 no questions asked.

All in all, I really enjoyed it. I think it was a good value and I got to see and do a lot of what I wanted to in Quebec City. I’d recommend it if you don’t feel like handling the logistics yourself.

Whether you’re traveling with a tour company or going solo, below are some suggestions on how to spend 1 day in Quebec City.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost you, I will earn a commission if you click and make a purchase. As always, my recommendations are based on my own experiences and I am very grateful for your support. Thank you!

Book this tour below…

Place Royal, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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The tour started at Place Royal. There, our guide gave us a brief, 45-minute overview of Quebec’s history, and a few nearby sites.

Quebec City Mural | Broke Girl Abroad
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We walked to the Quebec City Mural and sat back as our guide explained the people in the painting.

Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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We also stopped outside Notre-Dame-des-Victoires to learn about the history behind the little church.

Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Then we took a quick walk through Rue du Petit-Champlain, one of the most charming streets in old Quebec.

Montmorency Falls | Broke Girl Abroad
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Finally, we all piled into the bus for the quick drive to Montmorency Falls. It’s even higher than Niagara Falls and just straight up overwhelming. I know the pics don’t look like I was too close, but trust me, I was getting hit with water even from that distance.

There wasn’t time to walk along the bridge or take the zipline, but I enjoyed just standing near the falls, taking it in.

Grande Allée, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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From there, our bus driver took us along a scenic drive through the streets of Grande Allée and along the Plains of Abraham. Our guide knew so much about Quebec City. I don’t think there was more than a two second gap between Quebec facts. It was awesome.

Place Royal, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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After our drive we were dropped back off at Place Royal for few hours of solo exploration. I was itching to get going. The thing about Quebec City is, it’s a pretty compact and walkable area. So while it may seem like I’m about to throw a lot your way, it’s pretty feasible on foot.

Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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First, I walked into Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica-Cathedral. It was built in 1647 and was absolutely stunning.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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To get to Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, you can either take the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec or the stairs. The funiculaire had a line so… I raced up the steps to Terrasse Dufferin.

Terrasse Dufferin, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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What a view.

Samuel-De Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Fun fact: that statue is of Samuel-De Champlain, the founder of Quebec City. Famous folks like him tend to get their own statue, much like my distant relative, Louis Hebert (not pictured).

Louis is my great-great-great (times like… 15, probably) grandfather. Cool, right?

I’m bummed I didn’t grab a pic of Louis, but apparently he and Samuel are friends so, you know, next best thing.

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is free to enter and look around. It’s so over-the-top and opulent. I’d love to stay the night someday. Here, you can grab a drink, eat some French cuisine, or grab some coffee like I did after wandering around.

La Citadelle de Québec, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Just up the street is La Citadelle de Québec. I didn’t fully explore this area, but I liked what I saw. You can walk through the museum, see some amazing views and potentially witness the changing of the guards. Keep in mind though, this is an active fort. Meaning: don’t be dumb. These folks are armed. They will kick your ass.

Parliament, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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…anyways.

Further up is the Parliament Building and Gardens. If you’re interested in seeing what the building looks like inside, they offer free guided tours.

Épicerie J.A. Moisan, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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At this point, you’re probably in need of sustenance. Quebec City has a multitude of fabulous restaurants, but there’s one really cool spot you ought to check out: Épicerie J.A. Moisan. Founded in 1871, it’s North America’s oldest grocery store. They have a variety of gourmet, premade meals you can purchase and eat in the shop. It felt so neat to be dining in a little part of history.

Library Claire-Martin, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Next store is the Library Claire-Martin, located in the former St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. If I lived in Quebec City, I guarantee I’d spend all my free time here.

Le Capitole, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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If you’re falling more and more in love with this city, and thinking you might wanna stay the night, maybe think about catching a show at Le Capitole. Me? I just admired it from afar.

Porte Saint-Jean, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Wanna feel cool? Walk through Porte Saint-Jean, a fortress built in the 1940’s that today, serves as a badass backdrop for any tourist or local.

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Click image for source

I so wish I had the time to explore the Museum of Civilization. It showcases exhibits on ancient and current cultures, and I know would’ve loved it. Sadly, my phone was losing power fast, and I had (stupidly) forgot a charger. So instead of walking through the museum, I had to duck into the nearest coffee shop and nurse a latte while my phone resurrected itself.

La Fudgerie, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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At this point, I had about half an hour left in Quebec City. So I did a little browsing. I bought some sweets at La Fudgerie for the bus ride back. That was an excellent purchase on my part. A sweet tooth waits for no one and their fudge was exceptionally good.

Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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I poked my head in a few shops and found a craft demonstration going on. I left with a few handcrafted trinkets. It was hard not to.

Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Rue du Petit-Champlain, Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Finally, I took one last walk through Rue du Petit-Champlain. Our guide told us at the start of our day that it is considered one of the most beautiful streets in North America.

I must say, I’m inclined to agree.

Did this help you plan how to spend 1 day in Quebec City? And will you remember your phone charger? Shame me for my ignorance in the comments below!

How to Spend ! Day in Quebec City | Broke Girl Abroad
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Pin this guide on how to spend 1 day in Quebec City!

Safe travels!

-Maggie

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About Me | Broke Girl Abroad

Maggie, the Broke Girl Abroad, is just another Millennial who wanted to make a travel blog because of that one time she studied abroad.

Now a 9-to-5 employee, follow along as she attempts to see the world by balancing her budget, her 40 hour work week, and her precious, precious vacation days. 

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