Finding the ideal place to live while studying abroad can feel strenuous, especially while looking for places to stay in Quebec City, Canada. Landing in Quebec City, and choosing housing is a major decision!
You may feel concerned about picking the right area that’s affordable, safe, and close to campus without being too known as a student area. It’s understandable to feel incapacitated when evaluating places to stay in Quebec City!
My friend Lucy from Nigeria felt stressed about finding affordable housing in Quebec City. She toured 20+ apartments before finding a comfortable place she loved in Limoilou. It required effort but was worth it!
Now, I want you to take a deep breath.
Choosing housing in a new city is stressful. But with planning, research, and local advice, you can find great places to stay in Quebec as an international student.
Quebec City offers wonderful housing options.
So, let’s explore the 10 best places to stay in Quebec City as an international student.
Factors to Consider while Searching for Places.
Let’s start this journey by discussing some key factors international students should consider when choosing places to stay in Quebec City. I know you’ve got a whole listicle of needs and wants as you look for the perfect place to call home during your studies. However, I want you to consider these factors:
- First up, budget is probably top of mind. Quebec City offers very affordable rent prices compared to other big Canadian cities. But prices can still vary quite a bit between different neighborhoods. Ensure you crunch those numbers and get a sense of average rental rates in places you’re interested in. Landing within your budget is critical.
- Proximity to campus is another biggie. Quebec City’s universities aren’t all concentrated in one place; they’re scattered throughout the metropolitan city. You’ll want to think about commute times from potential neighborhoods to your classes and campus activities. Living super close by can be a measure against those dark winter mornings.
- Don’t forget about student life and entertainment! Having cool cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops nearby can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your time in Quebec City as a student. Areas like Saint-Roch and Old Quebec tend to be popular hangout spots.
- Safety and security should also be on your radar. Quebec City has low crime rates overall. But some areas have more issues than others. If walking alone at night is a concern, look at the stats and local chatter about safety.
- And let’s not overlook the cultural piece. Part of the magic of studying abroad is experiencing daily life in a new place. Think about which neighborhoods will help you dive into Quebec’s distinct French-inspired culture.
Quebec City Overview
Before we get into specific areas, let’s set the stage with a quick study of Quebec City. Perched along the mighty St. Lawrence River, Quebec City exudes old-world European charm. Cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, street musicians – it’s like you’ve been transported across the Atlantic!
But don’t let the historic stone buildings fool you – Quebec City also has a distinctly modern, youthful vibe. Over 100,000 university students call this city home. You’ve got Laval University, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC), and more. The city comes alive with students during the school year.
Between the walkable neighborhoods, thriving food scene, and plenty of green space, Quebec City offers a phenomenal quality of life. You’ll never run out of new cafes to try, summer festivals to explore, or winter sports to sample.
How to Research for the Best Places to Stay in Quebec City as an International.
Now, let’s talk logistics. Finding housing in a new city often feels like searching for a needle in a haystack. But smart prep work can make your search way more targeted and efficient.
- Start Online: Start by browsing online rental listing sites and university housing databases. This gives you a bird’s eye view of options and pricing across different neighborhoods. Make notes on places that catch your eye.
- Connect with Student Office: Also, connect with your university’s international student office. They often have great insider knowledge and can point you to trusted rental companies or current students subletting their apartments. Lean on their expertise!
- Check out Discussion Forums: Don’t just look at listings online, though. Also, check out discussion forums to see where current students recommend. And if possible, join some local Facebook groups – both official university pages and informal chat groups. This can provide awesome insider intel.
- Visit in Person (If possible): If you’re able, visiting Quebec City in person before your studies start would be ideal. Or at least hop on Google Street View to virtually “walk” around potential areas. Nothing beats getting a real vibe check before committing.
The Top 10 Places to Stay in Quebec City as an International Student.
Now for the good stuff – let’s explore the 10 best neighborhoods and areas for international students to stay in Quebec City! Each offers something unique, so think about what matters most to you.
First up – the historic heart of the city! Old Quebec, with its cobblestone streets and 17th-century buildings, is the quintessential Quebec City experience. Staying here immerses you in centuries of French-Canadian history and culture.
Old Quebec puts you steps away from attractions like the Fairmont Château Frontenac and the bustling Petit Champlain district. But prices here skew higher and nights can get noisy with tourists and revelers.
If history and pedestrian exploring is your jam, though, Old Quebec’s vibrancy and charm may win you over. Just be ready for the trade-offs.
For a hipper, more eclectic vibe, head to Saint-Roch. This used to be an industrial area that’s morphed into a trendy creative hub with indie boutiques, microbreweries, and an arts scene.
Saint-Roch has lots of rental options from posh condos to cozy walk-ups above shops. Proximity to bars and nightlife is a benefit or drawback depending on your preference. But convenience to parks, cafes, and universities gives Saint-Roch wide appeal.
Just northwest of the city center, Limoilou offers a laidback residential feel at very affordable prices. Think classic Quebec triplexes and duplexes with backyards or balconies.
Limoilou may not have as many amenities right inside its borders. But you can easily bus, bike, or drive to campuses and fun spots like Saint-Roch. Access to green space and local parks is a major perk for active types.
If you prioritize budget, space, and a community vibe, Limoilou could be a perfect fit. You’ll live like a local!
For more of a suburban feel, check out Sainte-Foy southwest of Old Quebec. This area has lots of apartment complexes, condos, and houses to choose from.
Being so close to Laval University makes Sainte-Foy popular with students. But it maintains more of a family-friendly vibe versus a party atmosphere. The sheer range of rental options here gives you flexibility.
Nature lovers will also appreciate Sainte-Foy’s proximity to bike trails and green spaces along the Saint Lawrence River. Just be ready for a bus or car ride to reach downtown.
Picturesque Sillery offers a peaceful escape across the Saint Lawrence River. Tree-lined streets with elegant homes give Sillery an upscale aura.
Foreign dignitaries and businesspeople often choose Sillery for its tranquility. The area may be pricier but provides easy access to trails, marinas, and the riverside. Catching the ferry downtown takes just minutes.
While farther from key universities, Sillery appeals to those who prioritize scenery and serenity over bustling student life. Think more families, young professionals, and professors.
Straddling Old Quebec and Saint-Roch, Montcalm combines a residential feel with commercial thoroughfares. Grab groceries at the Marché du Vieux-Port farmer’s market or check out the Terrasse Dufferin performance space.
Being so central, Montcalm lets you easily enjoy both touristy Old Quebec and hip Saint-Roch. Walkability here is a huge benefit for exploring without a car.
Housing options run the gamut from high-end condos to affordable apartments above shops and cafes. With Laval University close by, Montcalm draws plenty of students mingling with young professionals and families.
For an artsy, offbeat vibe, Saint-Sauveur is a go-to. Murals splashed across industrial buildings add bursts of color alongside funky galleries and studios.
If you want character at a bargain, Saint-Sauveur delivers. You’ll find lots of budget-friendly apartments, though amenities are fewer than in pricier hoods. Walkability and transit access help make up for it.
The eclectic community of students, artists, and immigrant families makes Saint-Sauveur diverse and dynamic. Don’t expect peaceful suburbia – but do expect an authentic cultural experience!
Located across the river, Lévis almost feels like a separate town although easily accessible from Quebec City. Living in Lévis gives you more bang for your buck along with scenic riverside trails and parks.
Some may find the commute inconvenient. But the ferry and bridges make crossing the river entirely doable, especially if you have a car or bike. Lévis also puts you close to Université du Québec à Rimouski’s Lévis campus.
Being outside the city center, Lévis moves at a slower, sleepier pace. The ambiance won’t be for everyone. But the natural beauty and savings may win you over.
North of Old Quebec, Charlesbourg appeals most to students with families or who want ample living space. Single-family homes with yards dominate the landscape across this sprawling residential area.
Local schools, churches, libraries, and parks cater to families and create a suburban community vibe. You’ll need to bus, drive, or bike into the city center – but you’ll be rewarded with affordability and elbow room.
If you crave outdoor space and proximity to other young families, Charlesbourg could be your perfect fit.
Last but not least – the coastal borough of Beauport beckons nature lovers with its trails, beaches, and waterfront access. Majestic Montmorency Falls also lies within its borders.
Like Charlesbourg, Beauport leans more residential and family-focused. Homes and low-rise apartment complexes are easier to find than high-rise condo towers.
The distance from key universities and downtown creates a trade-off. But if you prioritize living near nature and have a car, Beauport may feel like an oasis.
Picking the place you’ll call home during your studies abroad is a huge freaking decision. I get it – you want the perfect area in Quebec City that ticks all your boxes without any sacrifices. And the research process definitely takes time and mental bandwidth when you’ve already got a million other things on your plate.
Let me tell you straight up: You’ve got what it takes to nail down the ideal spot for YOU in Quebec City. Don’t doubt your ability to handle this – you’re smarter and more resourceful than you know!
This city offers so many vibrant, welcoming, affordable neighborhoods to dive into. Now that you’ve got insider tips on factors to consider plus the top areas suited for students, you’re equipped to identify options that align with your priorities. Trust your instincts once you start visiting places in person!
At the end of the day, wherever you land will end up feeling like home because YOU will fill it with joy, growth, and memories. Years from now, you’ll look back on your time in Quebec City with nostalgia and pride at how courageously you took this leap. So, soak it up, embrace the journey, and get ready for the experience of a lifetime!