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Montreal-Quebec City transportation

California
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Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Arriving by plane in Montreal, and want to avoid renting a car. I understand there's bus service from the airport to the Downtown area, where our hotel (Le Westin) is around the area we want to explore for a day or so. It looks like in Montreal, the metro gets you around fairly well.

Then we want to head to Quebec City, by train (for speed) or bus, and it looks like that's out of Gare Centrale.

Then, around Quebec City, we want to sight-see mostly around the historic areas, and it looks like buses and good ol' ped transportation will do the trick.

Of course, then back to Montreal by train (or bus), then fly out the next day.

Does that sound about right? Any gotchas I should consider? I've read taxis are pricey out of the airport, so the bus is more recommended. Is that right?

Montreal
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1. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Yup, the 747 bus will take you to a few blocks from the Westin -- get off at the Jeanne Mance stop, and it's a couple blocks back the way you came and a few blocks to the left on Bleury. And the taxi is $40 to downtown, fixed rate, not including tip -- up to you to decide if that's pricey or not.

There is no difference in time between the train and the bus to Québec City, and the bus is cheaper and has a better schedule. However, I love train travel much more, and if you book far enough in advance, or late enough and there are some last minute fare deals available, the train can be cheap enough. I often suggest taking the train out in the morning but then a bus back, since the last train back leaves at 5:30 which is good for businesspeople but not for tourists who will want to spend even just a few more hours in lovely Québec City.

In Québec City, the bus and the train station are in the same place (although the bus may stop at Sainte-Foy before, just as in Montréal it may stop at Longueuil before continuing to downtown. In Montréal, the bus station is on the eastern edge of downtown by the Berri-UQAM métro station, right next to the Latin Quarter and the gay Village, and the train station is downtown, close to the Bonaventure métro (although getting there is through a series of tunnels with stairs and escalators and revolving doors so not terribly convenient if you have huge suitcases).

And yup, bus + feet and in Montréal, Bixi bike sharing are all you need to see these cities.

The only gotcha I can think of is that it sounds like you're doing 2 cities in 3 days, which to me sounds exhausting.

California
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2. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Thanks. It's more like 6 days, and we'll be staying in Quebec City for 3 nights.

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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3. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

I can't comment on flying into Montreal as I've never done it, always driven, but have taken both the bus and train between the two cities. The train, Viarail.com, travels less often but is more comfortable, and takes a little over 3 hours, slightly more than the bus. The bus goes more frequently. Both travel parallel routes which don't show much other than farm land.

As for the sites around Quebec City, old town and environs are very easy to get around by foot. As for seeing sites just outside the city, such as Montmorency Falls and Ile d'Orleans, I know you can take a bus to the falls, or even ride a bike out. Hopefully one of the local DE's can respond more to that. You can also take a bus tour, toursvieuxquebec.com, which is very good and very informative.

JDP

Massachusetts
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for Quebec City, Block Island
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4. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Let me add, which I forgot to do, that I second Tristou's recommendation of the train. My favorite as well.

JDP

Surrey, Canada
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for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
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5. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

... unfortunately the train only departs a few times a day, compared to the hourly bus service from both cities ... ;)

California
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6. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Thanks, folks. Much appreciated.

California
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7. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

One additional question: should I purchase train tickets online, or is it OK to wait until the day of travel? Both days will be weekdays, and most likely we'll be taking the 1300 train.

Montreal
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8. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Well, it depends how lucky you feel. If you buy early enough, you can get a discount -- there are a few price ranges, and obviously the cheaper ones sell out more quickly.

If you buy your ticket that day or a few days earlier, you will probably pay full fare. However, you MAY get an even deeper discount with their Express Deals at http://www.viarail.ca/en/deals -- however, they don't always have the train you want. When they first started, they announced them on Thursdays; I don't know if that is still true, but I just checked today (Wednesday) and there were no express deals at all from Montréal.

California
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9. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

Thanks again!

Montreal, Canada
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for Quebec, Montreal, Quebec City, Mont Tremblant, Miami, Miami Beach
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10. Re: Montreal-Quebec City transportation

If you are the kind of organized person that can go on a tight schedule and have a lot planned in advance then the train (Via Rail) could be the solution.

If, on the contrary, you want to be free as much as you want then the bus is for you since there are hourly departures from 6 am to 10 pm. And yes, indeed, at less than 5 minutes differences they take the same time. Orléans Express exploit that line

Of, if you want to spluge a bit then you could go by Via One around dinner time. Full meal will be served to your seat (airplane style) with cordials, wines and even chocolates includes. Not such a great value in the moning since you get a plain breakfast for the same price.