How to Get From Montreal to Quebec City

From Montreal to Quebec City, you can experience some of the best things to do in Quebec, savour Québécois cuisine, and soak up hundreds of years of culture and history. Going to both cities is always a good idea. The Quebec to Montreal distance is around 260 km, making it easy to visit both cities in the same trip. Let’s explore all the ways to get from Montreal to Quebec City, and back again!

Driving Between Quebec’s Big Cities

Driving Montreal to Quebec city - Sergey Tarasov from Unsplash

Whether you’re on a Quebec road trip or planning to rent a car in Montreal, driving from Montreal to Quebec City can be a lot of fun. The driving distance from Montreal to Quebec City is 258 km to 300 km. These are the best routes to take.

HWY 40 – This route is the fastest on the north side of the Saint-Lawrence River, and scenic. Traffic will be heavier when travelling through Montreal, Trois-Rivières, and Quebec City. Travel time is about 2.5 to 3 hours.

HWY 20 – This is usually the fastest route on the south shore. In summer, traffic can be heavy with people travelling to/from the Maritime Provinces. Travel time is around 2.5 to 3 hours.

Route 138 or Route 132 – Both routes are scenic, and the best way to drive from Montreal to Quebec City if you’re not in a rush. Route 138 travels along the north shore of the Saint-Lawrence River, while Route 132 is on the south shore. The routes travel through charming small towns and beautiful countryside. Travel time is usually 3 to 5 hours.

Tip: To avoid traffic, drive before or after rush hour, which is usually 7 am to 9 am and 4 pm to 6 pm during the week.

Montreal to Quebec City Rideshares

Ridesharing is a great way to save money on transportation, whether you’re a passenger or a driver. There are a few rideshare programs to choose from in Quebec.

Amigo Express definitely has the most options as it’s been around for ages, but you’ll be able to use it only if you can read French or use Google Translate, which is the downside.

The Kangaride forum is simple and easy to use, but there is quite a bit of anonymity, so exercise caution. Seats are usually 23 CAD to 30 CAD.

Poparide is one of the best options for Montreal to Quebec City rideshares. Go to the website or download the app. Trip info includes the driver’s photo, rating and reviews. You’ll also see the seat price, and pick up and drop off locations. This is one of the safest options. Seat prices range from 5 CAD to 30 CAD.

Buses from Montreal to Quebec City

Buses from Montreal to Quebec city - Annie Spratt from Unsplash

Orléans Express buses from Montreal to Quebec City run from 7 am to 9:30 pm and offer a comfortable ride. The travel time is usually 3 hours and 15 minutes, but some trips take an extra 25 minutes. The buses have reclining seats, folding tables, decent leg room, and outlets, but the Wi-Fi on board doesn’t always work well. Tickets start around CAD 65.74 one way.

If you want to check out different options for buses in Quebec, have a look at Busbud, a world-renowned bus aggregator that was actually founded right here in Montreal!

Luxury Train from Montreal to Quebec City

Train Via Rail Canada - Jennifer Doré Dallas

VIA Rail is the only passenger train company travelling between Montreal and Quebec City. Business class has big comfy seats, Wi-Fi, a folding table, outlets, access to a train station lounge, and tasty meals and drinks. Tickets are CAD 131 to CAD 400, depending on the season.

If you’re on a budget, the economy class seats are comfortable, with folding tables, outlets and Wi-Fi. Food and drinks are available for sale, but it’s cheaper to buy them before you board. Tickets are CAD 83 to CAD 200, depending on the season.

Travel time is usually 3 hours and 15 minutes, with five trains daily. In Montreal, the first train leaves at 6:25 am, and the last train is 6:45 pm. In Quebec City, the first train is 5:25 am, and the last train departs at 5:45 pm.

The best time to buy tickets is on Tuesdays, through the VIA Rail website.

Montreal to Quebec City Flights

Montreal to Quebec city flights - Air Canada Rouge - Nicholas Santoianni from Unsplash

With a travel time of 45 minutes to 1 hour, flying is one of the fastest ways to get from Montreal to Quebec City. There are a few airlines that service both cities, let us take a quick look at each one.

  • Air Canada has eight flights daily between Montreal and Quebec City, four are non-stop. Tickets are rarely less than CAD 275 and can be as high as CAD 600, depending on the season. Travel time is around 1 hour.
  • PAL Airlines has two flights daily between Montreal and Quebec City. The average cost for a one-way ticket is CAD 175. The planes are small, with a 76-person capacity. This airline is an Aeroplan affiliate.
  • Air Transat is popular for package vacations, but you can also book short-haul flights. On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, there is one flight per day from Montreal to Quebec City. Flights can be as low as CAD 150, and travel time is 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Pascan is a Quebec airline with one daily flight from Mondays to Thursdays. Ticket prices can be as low as CAD 160 and climb to around CAD 560. The planes are small, and you’ll likely travel in a SAAB 340, which has a seating capacity of 33 people. Travel time is about 1 hour. Some flights also leave from the St-Hubert airport on the South Shore of Montreal.
  • Air Inuit is another small airline, with one daily flight from Monday to Friday. Ticket prices start at CAD 399, one-way. You’ll be flying in a Dash-8, with a seating capacity of 37 to 45 people.

There is some debate on the cheapest day to buy airline tickets, but sites like Expedia and Skyscanner are the best way to compare prices and times easily.

When comparing ways to get from Montreal to Quebec City, make sure you take into consideration door to door time, meaning required wait time at the airport or station, to/from the departure point and hotel, etc. Flights are faster but can sometimes end up being much longer since you have to get there 2 hours before your flight.

Whichever form of travel you choose to get from Montreal to Quebec City, give yourself time to enjoy both cities. While many think they are rivals, the truth is that Montreal and Quebec City complement each other well. Are you ready to experience the best of Quebec?

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How to Get There and Around / Montreal / Quebec City / Quebec Destinations / Trip Planner
About Author

Passionate about travel and food, Jennifer Doré Dallas is a freelance travel writer, author and creator since 2010. On top of this amazing Chasing Poutine blog, she also founded Moi, mes souliers in 2010 and she is the author/co-author of around two dozen Lonely Planet, Ulysse and Parfum d'encre travel guidebooks, in addition to having contributed to other books and hundreds of tourism and Web platforms, magazines, DMOs and Websites over the years. As a lecturer in Web writing and SEO for a Quebec college and consultant for various companies and DMOs, she loves combining technological advances with the classic beauty of words, and is a member of TMAC, SATW, NATJA and IFTWTA!

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