Postcards & Passports

Montmorency Falls: a Quebec City Must-See

This post was most recently updated on July 9th, 2019

Montmorency Falls is a must-see sight if you are visiting Quebec City. Almost a hundred feet higher than Niagara Falls and boasting a tram, suspension bridge, and a zipline, it’s ranked #3 on TripAdvisor out of 220 things to do in Quebec City!

Montmorency Falls

Getting to Montmorency Falls

Montmorency Falls is approximately 10 minutes away by car. But an even more convenient way to get there is to use the Old Quebec Tours shuttle bus. For only $18 round trip, ($12 for children) you can jump on the blue loop bus in Quebec City on Rue de Fort, right next to the Tourist Center and have a quick, comfortable ride to the Montmorency Falls park. We actually had a rental car with us, but when we considered edging our car out of a tight parking spot at the hotel, navigating through the narrow streets of old Quebec City, then driving to the falls and paying for parking ($10.57 per car), choosing the bus was an easy decision! Plus our driver, Jean-Pierre, was funny and very knowledgeable! The blue loop bus has several departures during the day in both directions — we caught the 9:30 am bus.

Note: I’d like to thank Quebec City Tourism, Old Quebec Tours, and Montmorency Falls for welcoming me and my husband with bus ride and tram passes, to make it easier for us to get around.  We loved the convenience and would certainly use them again!

Arriving at Montmorency Falls

When the bus arrives at the Falls, you’ll be just outside the tram station. Walk inside and you will find restrooms, a sandwich shop, souvenirs, tables and benches, and the ramp to the tram.

The trams operate continuously, so after you purchase your ticket, just walk up the ramp and board the waiting tram. Your best views wll be on the far side of the tram from where you enter. If the tram is already quite full, you might wish to wait for the next tram, to get better views.

Montmorency Falls

Montmorency Manor

You don’t have to take the tram. I just didn’t want to spend my time hiking up. And the views from the tram are pretty nice. The tram takes you to the Montmorency Manor, the former summer home of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and father of Queen Victoria. The Manor was built in 1781 and today it offers a restaurant with views of the falls, reception areas, and a gift shop. It is also where you can get outfitted for the zipline or rock-climbing adventures.

If you choose not to take the tram, there is a walking path that takes you to the right side of the falls (as you are facing them). There is a viewing platform at the base of the falls and 487 stairs to the top, with three more observation gazebos along the way where you can stop to take photos.

Montmorency Falls

487 stairs to the top

Walking Across Montmorency Falls

Montmorency Falls

From the Manor, you have a choice of a relatively easy trail to the left or a little steeper, more scenic trail with stairs to the right. They both take you to the suspension bridge. I’ve been to other famous waterfalls — Snoqualmie Falls in Washington and Multnomah Falls in Oregon — but this was my first time to actually walk across the top of a waterfall! I was a little nervous about the term “suspension” bridge. But this bridge is solid — no swinging or bouncing occurs when you walk across it.

It is amazing to look upstream and see what looks like a slow-moving calm river and then look down at the falls and watch the water shooting over the edge and crashing on the rocks below in a deafening roar! Be sure to take photos from this vantage point, as it is a unique opportunity. However, words or pictures really cannot fully portray the power or beauty of these falls!

But wait, there’s more…

After crossing the suspension bridge from left to right (as you face the the waterfall), you’ll come to a large grassy field that is still part of Montmorency Falls Park. There are shade trees, picnic tables, a playground and historic information. This area was the former site of a military encampment and a battle between the French and the British.

The entrance to the ziplining platform is on this side of the falls, and also the top of the 487 stairs back down to the base. Seeing a rainbow in the mists of the falls is quite common. It sure looks pretty! If you’re lucky, you might also see rock-climbers on the face of the rock walls next to the falls.

We started down the stairs and stopped at each viewing platform (gazebo) to take photos. Each view of the falls is different, but of course, the best is standing at the bottom looking up into the hugeness of the falls and the spray. You WILL get wet at the bottom, so be prepared to protect your camera gear and other belongings. Wear shoes with good tread, because it can also be slick on the viewing platform.

I loved seeing the waterfall from all angles and getting plenty of exercise, too. We ended our visit by heading back to the entrance and looking for the Old Quebec Tours blue loop bus. (Oh! And grabbing some maple sugar candy at the sandwich shop!) Our stay was about two hours, but it could have easily been longer if we’d added any hiking, a zipline adventure or a meal at the Manor restaurant. The bus schedule makes it easy to plan your return trip. I really appreciated how nice it was to ride back to the city on a comfortable bus without having to navigate through traffic. And since we’d already driven to Quebec City from Toronto, a day free of driving was a bonus for us.

You might like to know…
  • Montmorency is pronounced “mohnt-more-ahn-see”
  • Montmorency Falls was named by Samuel de Champlain after the Duke of Montmorency, Viceroy of New France.
  • Drive your own vehicle and find free parking outside of the park. In the boroughs (arrondissements) at the top of the falls, it is possible to find free street parking.
  • There are also city buses you can take to Montmorency Falls. Catch the 800 bus from Gare-Palais (about 5 minute walk from old Quebec City) and pay $3.00 each way. The bus takes you to the top of the falls near the Montmorency Manor parking lot.
  • If you’re riding the tram with a friend or partner, there’s an unlimited one-day tram pass for couples that includes parking — only $28.10.
  • Old Quebec Tours has a 2-day package deal that includes all of its bus tours and a 1.5 hour cruise for only $59.95
  • In the summer, the park hosts an international fireworks competition with the falls as a backdrop. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
  • In the winter, the spray from the falls instantly freezes into powdery snow and forms a sugarloaf formation at the base. So cool!

I hope you enjoy your visit to Montmorency Falls!

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Montmorency Falls

22 thoughts on “Montmorency Falls: a Quebec City Must-See

  1. Rosemary

    This was so interesting to read. I had no idea there were any other falls higher than Niagara Falls in Canada. I’ve been fascinated by Quebec for a long time. This is another reason to go visit. Thanks for showcasing Montmorency.

  2. Vicky and Buddy

    I’ve heard so many great things about Quebec City, but had no idea there were waterfalls so close! It looks lovely! And great tip about the shuttle bus, I’ll definitely keep that in mind!

  3. Tanvi

    Thanks for writing the costs & reaching there.. it’s so important for planning & budgeting.. If i ever visit Quebec I’ll surely take this off-beat tour.. Also, thanks for writing the pronunciation, I actually read it in English the first time 😛

  4. Meagan

    You know, I’ve been to Quebec City, and I’ve yet to see this gorgeous waterfall! We’re planning a return trip soon, so I’ll definitely bookmark your post for future reference. Also, thank you for all the info on getting to the falls, themselves – that’s always the hardest part 😉

  5. Chris Bloomfield

    We just visited Niagara Falls and were bummed we didn’t have passports to visit the Canadian side. I want to get them and then check out Canada and now I have a place that I just have to visit. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Alouise

    I’ve seen photos of Montmorency Falls before and it always looks gorgeous. I didn’t realise you could walk across the falls too; what a neat experience that must have been. Whenever I get to Quebec City I’m definitely planning a trip here.

  7. Vishal

    I think this is the only falls where you can walk on the top of the falls. At my previous job, the bank headquartered in QC had an event for the managers where they received a tour of Montmorency Falls. I was told that this is one of the best falls in Canada after Niagra Falls. I don’t know how true is that, but I think it is a place worth visiting if you are in the area.

  8. Jose Harvey

    I’ve been to Montreal many times but have never made it to Montmorency Falls…looks like I should make the effort next time. I love trams because I love getting a bit of a skyview so I’d probably tram up and hike back down. And how interesting that the Duke of Kent built a summer home there…I bet it’s fun to explore the grounds! The waterfall itself is quite stunning and your photos are awesome. Thanks for sharing some pointers at the end too! I was definitely wondering how to pronounce Montmorency Falls!

  9. Sandy N Vyjay

    Montmorency falls look enchanting. I was surprised to read that they are actually higher than the Niagara Falls. The fact that you take a tram to get there adds to the experience. I would probably want to walk to catch the views along the way but would also not want to miss the tram ride. How to you get back? Can one do a tram ride one way and walk the other?

    1. Tami Post author

      Sandy, I took the tram up then walked across the bridge and walked down the 487 stairs on the other side — that way, I got to experience it all!

  10. Suruchi

    Montmorency falls looks beautiful. it is higher than the Niagara falls; that is something really new to us. The staircase path is really interesting and so looks the garden. Your pictures are really beautiful. Thanks for sharing the tips too.

  11. Jennifer Melroy

    It is really cool they have a shuttle bus that takes you out there. I love places that make it easy to take public transport. I would love to take the tram up and then hike down the stairs. I get the best of both worlds. Has anyone ever gone over the falls in a barrel?

  12. Izzy

    We used to spend summers in Quebec in my childhood (I’m from Boston!) and honestly, I thought the only big things about Quebec were the massive Chateau Frontenac in the downtown. I’m a huge fan of ziplining so I’m stoked that there are sportier options in Quebec

  13. Amy Young

    My mother would love to take the tram, but once we are at the top by the falls, can we also return to the bus by the tram as she will be unable to walk down. please let me know.
    Also … can I book the tram tickets when I get there instead of ahead of time… due to her unpredictability with timing??
    Thank you
    Amy ~

    1. Tami Post author

      Amy, yes you can ride the tram back down to the bus too. A lot of people do. And you don’t have to book your tram tickets beforehand. Just buy them when you get there.

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