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Can I Leave Québec Airport During a Long Layover?

Québec Airport, officially known as Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport, is the primary airport serving Québec City, the provincial capital of Quebec in Canada. Boasting a high volume of domestic and international flights daily, it is a busy and important transportation hub. If you happen to have a long layover at Québec Airport, you may be wondering if it is feasible to leave the airport and explore the surrounding area. In this article, we will discuss the various options available to passengers during a long layover at Québec Airport.

Minimum Connection Time

Before exploring the possibilities of leaving the airport during a layover, it is important to understand the concept of “minimum connection time.” The minimum connection time the shortest duration required to transfer between flights at a specific airport. It calculated to ensure that passengers have enough time to disembark from their incoming flight, clear security checks, potentially go through customs and immigration, and board their connecting flight.

The minimum connection time at Québec Airport varies depending on factors such as the destination, the airlines involved, and the facilities at the airport. To obtain specific information about the minimum connection time for your itinerary, it recommended to check with your airline or refer to the airport’s official website.

Long Layover Options

If your layover at Québec Airport exceeds the minimum connection time and you interested in exploring the area, there are several options available to make the most of your time.

Explore Québec City

Québec City is a charming and historic city that offers a myriad of attractions and landmarks worth visiting. From the iconic and picturesque Château Frontenac to the enchanting cobblestone streets of Old Québec, there is no shortage of cultural and historical sites to explore. However, it is important to consider the time required to get to the city from the airport and account for potential transportation delays or heavy traffic.

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The distance between Québec Airport and downtown Québec City is approximately 18 kilometers (11 miles). Taking a taxi or rideshare service typically takes between 20 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic conditions. Alternatively, public transportation such as the Réseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC) bus service provides a cost-effective way to reach various parts of the city.

Take a Guided Tour

For those with limited time during their layover, taking a guided tour specifically designed for layover passengers can be a convenient option. These tours tailored to accommodate the limited time available, allowing you to explore the highlights of Québec City without worrying about missing your connecting flight. Often, these tours include transportation to and from the airport, maximizing your sightseeing experience.

Various tour operators offer layover tours that typically cover popular attractions such as Old Québec, Place Royale, Montmorency Falls, and the Québec City fortifications. These tours designed to provide an overview of the city’s beauty and history within a shorter timeframe, ensuring you make the most of your layover.

Nearby Attractions

If you prefer to stay near the airport or have limited time for exploring the city, there are still a few attractions and activities to consider. For outdoor enthusiasts, Parc de la Chute-Montmorency is a must-visit destination. Located just a short drive from the airport, it offers breathtaking views of Montmorency Falls, which are even higher than Niagara Falls.

Additionally, the nearby Island of Orleans renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rural charm, and vibrant agricultural scene. Exploring the island allows you to experience the beautiful countryside, visit local farms, and even taste some delicious locally produced food and beverages.

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Shopping and Dining

If you prefer to spend your layover time within the airport, Québec Airport offers a range of shopping and dining options to keep you entertained and well-fed. The airport features a variety of retail stores, from duty-free shops to fashion boutiques, where you can indulge in some shopping. Likewise, the airport’s dining establishments offer a diverse range of cuisines, ensuring that you can enjoy a delicious meal before continuing your journey.

Returning to the Airport

When planning your layover activities, it is essential to allocate enough time to return to the airport before your next flight. Consider potential delays in traffic, security checks, and the time required to reach your departure gate. To avoid any last-minute rush or complications, it is advisable to arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight’s departure time.


A long layover at Québec Airport offers opportunities to explore the beautiful historical city of Québec, take a guided tour, visit nearby attractions, or enjoy the amenities within the airport itself. However, it is important to consider the minimum connection time and plan your itinerary accordingly. By making the most of your layover, you can create a memorable experience in and around Québec Airport while ensuring a timely return for your connecting flight.

Can I Leave Québec Airport During a Long Layover?
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