What is the first thing you should do when you arrive in Québec City for the first time? Aside from checking into your hotel, I think you should take an Old Québec tour on a double decker bus. Les Tours du Vieux Québec offers a 13 stop tour that takes you from the heart of Old Québec to the St Jean Baptiste to the Plains of Abraham and even Le Citadelle de Québec. Hop on Hop Off at your pleasure or ride the tour from start to finish, the choice is yours. I recommend taking the Old Québec tour from start to finish and then you can always go back to revisit areas of interest at your leisure. The top deck of a double-decker is the perfect way to experience Québec City. Above the crowds and with a view unmatched. Who’s ready to start the tour?
Ticket purchases take place online or in person in Old Québec at the Tourism Information kiosk located across the street and to the to the left of the Musee Du Fort.
This is also the starting point for the 13 stop red line tour. Buses take off between 8:30 and 4 pm every day. Look for this sign at every stop. This is where you Hop on Hop off.
Once on board, you can either sit in the lower level or head straight to the open air top. It’s the top of the bus for me. When you board the bus you’ll pick up some headphones so you can easily hear the recorded commentary on the route. 10 languages in total.
And we are off. I will not share each of the 13 stops but I will share some of the photo highlights. The commentary gives a great historical recounting of the founding of the city and events that have shaped the building of it since 1608.
I’m not a fan of overpasses through cities but how can you not love this one with the amazing artwork painted on the supports. Quite impressive.
Of course, another highlight is the Musée de la Civilisation. Bookmark this for a proper visit.
We are not the only tourists on the road but we are certainly a bit faster than the horse-drawn carriage.
In Vieux Port we see another amazing mural painted on the side of a building and the best view of the Chateau Frontenac you can imagine. It is easy to understand why it is one of the most photographed hotels in the world.
Back through the ramparts, we drive through one of the many gates that grant access to Old Québec and pass the parliament building and the commemorative fountain that celebrates 400 years since the founding of the city.
What’s left to see? Perhaps a touch of modern art along Avenue Cartier. Very impressive and so close you feel you could touch them.
Back in the heart of Old Québec, we’ve returned to where we started. The entire 13 stop circuit Old Québec tour is just two hours long and a perfect introduction to the city.
There are other tours available that include trips out to the countryside and even into Charlevoix to see the Whales. Check out all the tours online to see which ones are for you. I still think the Old Québec tour is the best value and a great intro to the city. Happy adventures.