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How to Get to Quebec City from Ottawa: Bus, Train or Drive?

Travelling to Quebec City from Ottawa is less than a half day journey with beautiful scenery and charming towns along the way. An easy driving day on an Eastern Canada road trip, and a perfect short getaway destination for those living in the Ottawa area. Of course, one can also take a whirlwind tour of Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City if you’re short on time.

Let’s chat about all the ways you can travel from Ottawa to Quebec City.

Cars on a Quebec City Street - Yi Liu - From Unsplash
Photo: Yi Liu from Unsplash

Tours from Ontario and Quebec’s Main Cities

Tours are a fun way to see multiple cities, especially if your travel time is short or if you don’t like the idea of planning things yourself. They are also a good way to meet fellow travellers and potentially make new friends.

Cranberry Tours has an intense 3-day bus tour through Ottawa, Montréal, and Québec City. They are not the only option for bus tours from Ottawa to Quebec City, Ottawa Valley Tours is another good choice.

Budget travellers can find bus tour deals with Trips4fun, and cyclists can book a week-long cycling tour with Cycling Canada. Redtag.ca is another option for vacation packages to Quebec City from Ottawa that are affordable and fun.

People on a Bus - From Ottawa to Quebec City - Ash Gerlach - From Unsplash
Photo: Ash Gerlach from Unsplash

By Bus from Ottawa to Quebec’s Capital City

Travelling by bus from Ottawa to Quebec City allows you to enjoy pretty scenery, read a book, nap, whatever you like!

When it comes to bus options, Orléans Express through Busbud is the best option. The bus ride to Quebec City from Ottawa takes between 6 and 7.5 hours and makes several stops, including Montreal and Trois-Rivières, but that varies with every trip.

A flex ticket (exchangeable and refundable) will cost around $123 CAD, one way.

A Bus for Sightseeing Tours - Hobi From Unsplash
Photo: Hobi from Unsplash

By Train from Canada’s Capital to Province Capital

The Quebec – Ottawa train journey (bookable through Busbud) is one of the best ways to travel between the two cities. Part of VIA Rail’s Québec-Windsor Corridor line, the trip to Quebec City from Ottawa takes around 6 hours.

There are 4 trains per day, the first one departing Ottawa at 6h08, the last one at 16h07. Ticket prices vary depending on train class, but to snag a deal be sure to buy your ticket on a Tuesday through VIA Rail’s Discount Tuesday site.

Via Rail Train - on a Railroad Track - Chris Robert From Unsplash
Photo: Chris Robert from Unsplash

Driving to Quebec City from Ottawa

Driving is one of my favourite ways to travel from Ottawa to Quebec City. Travel on your own, bring new travel buddies along, or by ride share with Poparide, Kangaride Forum (from Gatineau), or Amigo Express. There are a couple of route options, so let’s break them down.

Hwy 50 is the fastest route to Ottawa from Quebec City, and one of the most scenic. Drive to A15 south, then onto A640 and finally Hwy 40 to Quebec City. The journey takes around 4.5 hours, depending on traffic. Suggested stops on/near this route include Montebello and Trois-Rivières.

Hwy 417 to Hwy 20 is another quick route, taking about 5 hours in total. This is the best route if you don’t want to make stops along the way. Take Hwy 417 from Ottawa to A30, which bypasses Montreal. The toll is 2.50 CAD, and worth the time saved sitting in traffic. Follow the signs to Hwy 20 Quebec City. Suggested stops on/near this route include Saint Hyacinthe and Drummondville.

Man Driving in City - Stopped at a Traffic Light - Dan Gold - From Unsplash
Photo: Dan Gold from Unsplash

The longest route is the most scenic one. It begins with Route 148 and hugs the north shore of the Ottawa River. Travel through charming small towns as you follow the 148 to Route 344, then historic Route 138 to Quebec City. This route can take from 5 to 7 hours, depending on how many stops are made. Suggested stops include Papineauville, Oka, Saint-Eustache, and Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures.

For the same kind of information on how to get from Quebec City to Montreal on your way back, read this now!

Whichever mode of transportation you choose to travel from Ottawa to Quebec City, relax your mind and enjoy the journey. Quebec is a truly beautiful province.

Are you ready to start planning your trip to Quebec City?

Looking for Cool Tours While in Quebec City?

Look no further! We’ve noted the best ones for you right here:

Looking to craft your own tour? Get this amazing ebook about île d’Orléans to create your own itinerary!

For a whole lot of other awesome tours in Quebec province, check out this article: 46 Ultimate Best Quebec Guided Tours You Should Book Now in the Province.

What to Do in Quebec City region and How to Organize Your Trip

Curious about how to spend your day in the Quebec City region? Here’s a list of the top activities to consider adding to your plans:

Preparing For Your Trip

When I look for things to do in my destination, I always have a look at ViatorGetYourGuideManawaCivitatis and sometimes even Expedia.

It’s first off a great way to find out what there is to do, but always a quick and easy method to book cheaply and efficiently with these renowned platforms.

Need a place to sleep? I find most of my accommodations on Booking.com but I also use Hotels.com for their rewards program (11th free night) as well as Expedia. When booking smaller places in Quebec, you might not find them here and need to contact them directly.

Looking for a cheap flight to the Outaouais through Montreal? Have a look on Cheapoair  or Skyscanner  I use regularly.

Once you’re there, rent a car to roam free with AutoEurope or RentalCars or hop on a bus around Gatineau, Montreal, Quebec, and surrounding cities with Busbud.

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

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