solo travel quebec tip: take long solo walks for these views

2 Days in Quebec City: How to Plan Your Weekend Escape

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Planning a trip to Canada? Don’t skip Quebec City. For me, visiting Quebec City was absolutely delightful, because all the quaint homes, cobblestone streets, small boutiques, and outdoor bistros made me feel as though if I’ve been transported to Europe.

… Without dealing with the long flight, of course. What a treat.

So, if you live on the East Coast of North America, taking a short trip to Quebec City is very feasible, especially if you don’t have time to do a trans-Atlantic flight.

exploring with 2 days in quebec city

For example, taking the time off work to do a long flight, plus recovering from jetlag, are both deterrents when it comes to international travel across oceans, and although I personally think it’s worth the trouble, we’re not all the same.  

As an avid traveler, I’ve always loved solo travel in Canada, and when I had a chance to go to Quebec City, my expectations were blown out of the water. 

I adored Quebec City. Adored it. 

mmmmm wine is perfect
Crack Open a Bottle for 2 Days in Quebec City.

In many ways, Quebec City is the perfect weekend escape. It’s a very walkable and manageable destination compared to larger East Coast destinations. You’re able to see a lot of attractions without feeling too overwhelmed or wiped out. 

I highly recommend solo travel in Quebec City, as well as girlfriends trips or family getaways, and 2 days in Quebec City is the perfect amount of time to enjoy an introduction to this beautiful city. 

2 days in quebec city is the perfect weekend escape

Travel Tips for 2 Days in Quebec City

First I wanted to share some basic travel tips with you, before going into more detail about how to spend 2 days in Quebec City. Keep in mind that some of these suggestions depend on your budget and the time of year that you visit Quebec City. Winter and summer are entirely different scenes. Obviously.

exploring quebec city's churches

How to Get to Quebec City

If you’re flying into Jean Lesage International Airport, taxi is the fastest way for you to get into the heart of Old Quebec. The drive won’t take long at all without traffic.

At the airport, you will need to clear passport control to enter Canada (for US arrivals). I didn’t have any issues, but make sure to leave enough time for reservations and tours. 

Once you arrive in Quebec City, you’re able to walk literally everywhere, so there’s no need to have your own car. I would actually advise against it, because parking in Old Quebec seemed like a bit of a nightmare.

gorgeous blue and white flag in quebec

What to Bring to Quebec City

  • Comfortable Shoes (or Snow Boots): You need good footwear for Quebec City. You will climb a lot of stairs and a lot of hills. Of course, your footwear highly depends on the time of year. Sneakers are great for summer. Meanwhile, invest in sturdy snow boots for winter. 
  • Crossbody Bag: I don’t like carrying purses all day when I’m traveling alone (or with people). Crossbody bags all the way! Quebec City has very little crime, but if you still want to protect yourself against potential pickpockets, then invest in a Pacsafe crossbody bag for your adventures. 
  • French Language Guide: The vast majority of residents in Quebec City speak both French and English. However, it’s very polite to speak a little bit of French on your visit. I recommend taking a French language guide to help you learn a couple important phrases. Believe me, it’s worth it.
  • Mirrorless Camera: Smartphones take wonderful photography, but if you want to step up your game, invest in a compact mirrorless camera. My favorite travel camera is the Sony A6400 Mirrorless Camera because it is reasonable to carry and still takes gorgeous shots. Worth every penny.
  • Quebec Guidebook: Canada is a huge country. If you’re only visiting Quebec City (and perhaps Montreal), I recommend taking a guidebook that specializes in the city, such as this small Lonely Planet city guidebook. Lonely Planet is my favorite guidebook publication, and I always check out their suggestions before any solo trip.
  • Travel Insurance: Quebec City is very safe, but you never know if you’ll get sick or have to cancel. Travel Insurance is essential to protect your finances. And, yes, Canada has Universal Healthcare, but that’s only for residents. Plan accordingly.
  • Winter Gear (Season Dependent): Pack extra diligently if you’re visiting Quebec City in winter. The city does a great job clearing snow and whatnot, but you still need to do everything in your power to stay warm and cozy. Pack long underwear. Bring gloves, a hat, and a scarf. Buy a strong winter coat that is equipped to handle snow and wind. Winters in Quebec are cold

gorgeous homes in quebec city on place royale

Where to Stay with 2 Days in Quebec City

Quebec City has a lot of hotel options. Even though it’s more expensive, with only 2 days in Quebec City to spare, I highly recommend staying in the Old City. Both Upper and Lower Towns are lovely and have their own charm. 

I’ve listed three suggestions to help jumpstart the planning process. 

quebec has lots of great hotels to choose from
Hotel Le Priori in Quebec City.

Accommodation Ideas

2 Days in Quebec City: Map & Highlights

Day Sights
1 Walking Tour, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Dufferin Terrace, Quartier Petit Champlain, The Museum of Civilization
2 Montmorency Falls, La Citadelle de Québec, Plains of Abraham, Art Galleries

quebec has a lot of wonderful public art

2 Days in Quebec City Itinerary: All the Details

Alright, time to talk about your weekend escape!

Luckily, Quebec City is really compact, so even with this detailed 2 days in Quebec City itinerary, I purposely left some wiggle room for you to relax and add your own ideas.

As you know, it’s challenging to plan every single second on your travels, and I’m not sure if you’d necessarily want to do that. This itinerary is just to get you started on your adventure. 

2 days in quebec offers wonderful views

Day One in Quebec City

Your first day in Quebec City focuses a lot on history and food, as well as shopping experiences. I sincerely hope your credit cards are ready to go, haha.

walk around the city with 2 days in quebec city

Go on a Walking Tour

Welcome to Quebec City!

The best way to learn about Quebec City’s history is to go on a walking tour. I especially love walking tours on my first day in any new city, because I get a better sense of direction after exploring for a few hours with a qualified guide. 

A walking tour of Quebec City’s Old City will take you to both the Upper and Lower Towns, and will shed some light on this fascinating UNESCO walled city, the only one of its kind in North America. 

All in all, a well-guided and organized walking tour is the perfect way to start off 2 days in Quebec City.

with 2 days in quebec city, i went for afternoon tea

Visit Fairmont Le Château Frontenac

Fairmont Le Château Frontenac is one of the most famous hotels in the entire world. You will definitely want to take a million photographs of this iconic castle/hotel. Don’t forget to go inside, though! 

You can even book a spot on a guided tour of the Fairmont from a local guide dressed in period costume! Talk about fun! 

If you have money to spare, then I personally recommend going for the Afternoon Tea. You will feel so sophisticated and happy, and the scones are to die for

quebec city's gardens are delightful

Admire the Views from Dufferin Terrace

After visiting the Fairmont, you’ll want to take a walk around Dufferin Terrace

This long wooden sidewalk offers absolutely gorgeous views of the St. Lawrence River. Be sure to practice your photography!

Furthermore, I especially loved visiting Dufferin Terrace in the summer, because of all the artists and street entertainers! Unlike other cities, Quebec City embraces its buskers, and you can actually read a schedule of performers coming to Dufferin Terrace. Keep some spare change to tip them. 

enjoying some wine in quebec
Cheers to Quebec City!

Shopping at Quartier Petit Champlain

Did you bring some souvenir money? I sure hope so.

Next you’ll enjoy shopping on the quaint streets of Quartier Petit Champlain. Yes, these streets are crowded in summer and on weekends, but the local businesses are well worth any hassles.

In particular, Petit-Champlain Street is packed with adorable shops and restaurants. If you’re tired from walking and drinking tea, you can take Old Quebec Funicular from Upper Town down to this festive and happy street. For the more energetic crowd, opt to walk down Escalier Casse-Cou, which is Quebec City’s oldest staircase. 

adorable little church in place royale, another place to add to your 2 days in quebec city itinerary

Live Out European Fantasies at Place Royale

Get ready for even more “old world” French charm at Place Royale. Upon entering the square, you will feel as if you’ve been transported back in time. I loved coming to the coffee shop here in the mornings and people watching. Place Royale is popular with tourists, but still such a lovely spot to relax and enjoy Quebec City’s atmosphere.

While at Place Royale, don’t miss a chance to go inside Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, which is the oldest stone church in North America. It’s free to enter the church, although donations are always appreciated! 

if you have 2 days in quebec city, don't skip the museum of civilization

Learn at the Museum of Civilization 

2 days in Quebec City wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a museum. I personally loved The Museum of Civilization, which is conveniently located in Old Quebec. 

This is the most popular museum in Quebec City. It’s known for interactive exhibits all about the culture and history of Quebec. A lot of fun for families, friends, and solo travelers alike! 

eating til my stomach is content in quebec city
Don’t Skip Dessert with 2 Days in Quebec City!

Eat a Fancy Dinner

Quebec City has a vibrant food scene. Seriously, I could spend 2 days in Quebec City just eating at every single restaurant. The food here is absolute heaven

You’ll want to try and budget for at least one high end meal in Quebec City. For instance, Chez Rioux & Pettigrew and Chez Muffy had excellent tasting menus and wine pairings. The chefs were so thoughtful and creative. I consider both of these meals among the best that I’ve ever had in my life.

If you have some money to spare, then spend one night dining in luxury. The memories will last a lifetime. Plus your tastebuds will profusely thank you, haha. 

delightful home with 2 days in Quebec city

Day Two in Quebec City

Are you ready for your second day in Quebec? In the morning, we’re going to take a quick break from the city. Right outside city limits, you’re able to discover gorgeous nature that shouldn’t be missed, even with only 2 days in Quebec City.

don't miss the waterfalls in quebec city

Take a Tour to Montmorency Falls

Rise and shine! Our first stop for today is Montmorency Falls.

You can go to Montmorency Falls with your own rental car, but to be honest, it’s probably easier booking a morning tour to Montmorency Falls rather than deal with the hassle of a car.

For example, this small group excursion tour will take you to the falls and back to Quebec City. 

Adventurer seekers may want to stay longer and zipline the falls, but of course this depends on how brave you’re feeling that day. 

delicious lunch in quebec city

Enjoy a Casual Bistro Lunch

In addition to fine dining, Quebec City is home to many fantastic bistros where you’re able to indulge in a good rustic meal for a decent price. I personally suggest trying poutine at one of these bistros. 

Poutine is a dish of French fries and cheese curds topped with brown gravy. You can also find different variations on this dish, but just know that it is delicious and will fill your stomach up to capacity, haha. 

Two of my favorite bistros are 1640 Bistro and Bistro Sous Les Fort. 

learning about military history at the citadelle

Learn History at La Citadelle de Québec

Even if you’re not interested in military history, it’s worth visiting La Citadelle de Québec, which is one of the cities top attractions. I’m not a huge military buff, and even I had a great time and was engaged in the tour. 

La Citadelle de Québec is an active military site, so you do need to book a tour in order to explore the area (aka you can’t just aimlessly walk around on your own). However, like I said, the tour was well worth it, and different options are available to visitors. 

As you wait for your tour time, you can explore the museum and learn more about Canadian military history, which I found super interesting. 

solo travel in quebec in the park
Quebec City is Safe and Beautiful.

Explore the Plains of Abraham

Continue burning off your poutine with a stroll to the Plains of Abraham. This sprawling park was the scene of a historic battle – The Battle of the Plains of Abraham – and now it’s a delightful place to see colorful flowers and views of the St. Lawrence River, and if you’re so inclined, to sit at one of the benches and people watch or eat a picnic lunch. 

The Plains of Abraham is particularly wonderful on a sunny summer afternoon. Obviously. 

donald duck art in quebec city
Art in Quebec City.

Admire the Art Galleries

Quebec City is home to some of the greatest art galleries that I’ve ever visited in my life. Seriously, it’s like the streets are one very long and free art museum, which is perfect for a weekend getaway. 

In the Lower Town, you’ll come across dozens of galleries, and most gallery owners are super welcoming and love to talk about their art. Pictures are also encouraged in most galleries. 

If you have the money to spare and are American, it’s not too difficult to ship art from Canada to the United States, so feel free to treat yourself to an extra special gift. 

plenty of bistros to try with 2 days in quebec

Eat More Delicious Food

Haha, are you ready for dinner? I hope so! Definitely check out some of the restaurants that I suggested in this post or research your own places. End your evening with a toast and dessert, and plan another trip to Quebec City in the near future. 

stroll by the city parliament with 2 days in quebec city

I hope you had fun reading this itinerary all about how to spend 2 days in Quebec City! As always, feel free to reach out to me if you want to share your experiences. I love Quebec City and want to know that you had a wonderful time.