Posted: 11/28/2023 | November 28th, 2023
Quebec City is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. Often overlooked in favor of bigger and more internationally well-known destinations like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, this is where European explorers (including Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain) first arrived in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Today, Quebec City is most famous for its well-preserved European Old Town. It also has a blossoming reputation for fun festivals, especially in the winter. There are plenty of things to do too, as the city is home to insightful museums, an ever-growing number of microbreweries, and a surprisingly fantastic foodie scene.
To help you decide where to stay in Quebec City, I’ll highlight the best neighborhoods below so you can choose the area that suits your travel style and budget, as they all have their own feel.
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Where to Stay in Quebec City for First-Time Visitors: Old Quebec (Vieux-Québec)
The only remaining fortified city north of Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vieux-Québec is surrounded on three sides by stone fortification walls and their accompanying cannons. With its historic stone buildings, cobblestone streets, and literal castle (that you can stay in if you want to splash out; see below) looming large over it all, Old Quebec is the closest you’ll get to historic European charm on this side of the Atlantic.
You’re also just steps away from all of the city’s main attractions, too, including the Victorian library, Dufferin Terrace, Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica (the oldest church in North America), the 19th-century funicular, the Museum of Civilization, and the Vieux Port. It’s the best place to stay if you want the greatest variety of accommodations, as most hotels are located here.
Best places to stay in Old Quebec:
- BUDGET: HI Québec-Auberge Internationale de Québec – This is the best hostel in town. With a superb location in Vieux-Québec, this large hostel (the largest HI location in Canada) has a super friendly atmosphere, several common rooms, a café, and a communal kitchen. The dorms are spacious and the bunks, which are either metal or wooden, all have their own outlets (no privacy curtains or individual reading lights, though).
- MIDRANGE: Hotel AtypiQ – This hotel offers excellent value for the location with its unique concept of offering small rooms that are just big enough to accommodate the bed that folds down from the wall. With common areas and a nice outdoor terrace for meeting people, it’s great for solo travelers who want a mix of privacy and socialization.
- LUXURY: Fairmont Le Château Frontenac – An icon of the city, this historic hotel is the place to stay for a luxurious Québécois experience. Opened in 1893, the Château is such an important landmark of the city that you can take guided tours of the hotel even if you’re not staying here. The rooms are spacious and many have views over the Old Town. In-room amenities include a rainfall shower, desk, and coffee maker. The award-winning Château also boasts several gourmet restaurants and bars as well as an indoor pool, a hot tub, a spa, steam rooms, and a fitness room.
Where to Stay in Quebec City for Foodies: Saint-Roch
Formerly a working-class neighborhood, Saint-Roch has become the city’s trendiest area and the center of the tech scene. With fewer hotels and attractions, it has a more local feel compared to the other neighborhoods mentioned here (it’s usually where residents retreat to from the bustling Old Town during tourist season).
Saint-Roch is full of ultra-cool and award-winning restaurants, chic cafés, coffee roasters, microbreweries, speakeasy cocktail bars, and French bistros. During your breaks between meals, step into one of the many vintage boutiques, relax in the Jean-Paul L’Allier garden, or visit Église Saint-Roch, the largest church in town.
Best places to stay in Saint-Roch:
- BUDGET: Auberge Jeunesse La Belle Planete Backpackers Hostel – A classic no-frills backpacker hostel, La Belle Planete has dorms with basic metal bunks (no personal curtains, outlets, or reading lights) and private rooms with shared bathrooms. There’s free Wi-Fi, a communal kitchen, and common areas, though overall, the facilities are a bit tired. But it’s the cheapest place to stay in the neighborhood.
- MIDRANGE: Hôtel du Jardin – Par Les Lofts – This hotel is comprised of spacious loft apartments, making it a great choice for anyone looking for a bit more space than your standard hotel room. There are even apartments with five beds that fit up to eight people, so it’s great for groups too. With contactless check-in and passcode entry, it’s akin to staying at an Airbnb in a lot of ways. The lofts feature a minimalist design and have rain showers (with excellent pressure), desks, soft beds, coffee makers, and flat-screen TVs.
- LUXURY: Hôtel Québec Best Western PLUS Centre-Ville – This four-star hotel features a crisp, contemporary design and amenities such as an indoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant serving breakfast. Rooms are simple yet elegantly decorated, with a memory foam mattress, coffee maker, flat-screen TV, and desk. It’s pet-friendly too (though there’s a nonrefundable pet fee).
Where to Stay in Quebec City for Nightlife: Saint-Jean-Baptiste
Centered around rue Saint-Jean (a section of which becomes a pedestrian-only zone in the summer), the bohemian Saint-Jean-Baptiste district is home to all manner of nightlife choices, no matter your preferred style. There’s a plethora of bars, microbreweries, and live music venues, plus all the best nightclubs in town here, in particular Le Drague Cabaret Club, a gay dance club, and Le Dagobert, the biggest nightclub in the province, featuring multiple floors with different styles of music on each.
The area, known for its colorful houses lining the steep streets, has plenty of bistros serving Quebecois cuisine, bakeries, and gourmet grocery stores.
Best places to stay in Saint-Jean-Baptiste:
- BUDGET: QBEDS Hostel – Located in a beautifully restored 19th-century home, this cozy hostel is chock full of amenities, including an awesome hammock room, movie theater, library, gym, kitchen, and bar. The bunks are a bit basic, but all have privacy curtains, outlets, a reading lamp, and a locker. It’s a party hostel on the weekends, as the bar turns into a club.
- MIDRANGE: Chateau des Tourelles – This cute inn is situated right on rue Saint-Jean yet is just a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. The rooms all have flat-screen TVs and a desk and are simply but tastefully decorated, with tons of natural light, hardwood floors, and exposed brick walls. The beds are super comfy and some suites have a private terrace and jacuzzi. There’s also a common rooftop terrace that you can hang out on for panoramic views over the city.
- LUXURY: Auberge J.A Moisan – Travel back to Victorian-era Quebec in this charming four-star bed-and-breakfast that’s decorated similarly to when it was first built in the mid-19th century. Enjoy the fantastic breakfast spread in the Victorian parlor, hang out on the outdoor terrace, or prepare your own meal in the guest kitchen. Rooms are on the smaller side but have super comfy beds and many have claw-foot tubs.
One of the most beautiful destinations in the country, Quebec City makes for a charming weekend getaway. Feast on traditional Quebecois cuisine, marvel at the European architecture, wander the pedestrianized cobblestone streets, and really soak up all the history that’s left its mark here over the centuries. By choosing one of the neighborhoods above, you’ll be able to enjoy the best accommodation the city has to offer while making the most of your stay.
Book Your Trip to Quebec City: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and best deals. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
- Safety Wing (best for everyone)
- Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
- Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)
Looking for the Best Companies to Save Money With?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use to save money when I’m on the road. They will save you money when you travel too.
Want More Information on Quebec City?
Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Quebec City for even more planning tips!