We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need advice on one week itinerary, please

Which Ottawa hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Edmonton, Canada
4 posts
Save Topic
Need advice on one week itinerary, please


I’m planning to go to Eastern Canada (Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City) during one week (23 to 30 of December) during my holidays. I had originally planned to take the plane and arrive at Ottawa in the beginning of afternoon/mid-afternoon on the 23rd and then organize my time like this :

23rd: plane+ Ottawa in the end of the afternoon

24th: Ottawa

25th: Train in the morning (maybe I’ll have the time to see one thing in Ottawa before my train) + Montreal in the afternoon

26th & 27th: Visit Montreal

28th: train in the morning +Quebec in the afternoon

29th: Visit Quebec

30th: Visit Quebec most of the day + Train at 5PM to Montréal

Do you think I am allocating enough time to each city, and will have the time to do the major landmarks? I am travelling by myself so I should be a little bit more free with my time as I can eat quickly and be up early in the mornings as I know it’s a short trip. Is it unrealistic?

My other concern was that this trip is not cheap and by going on the 24th, I could save 150$ which is quite big but then, I would be in Ottawa for the 25th of December and was wondering if I would have enough to do there when everything is closed, I have seen that in Montreal there are a lot of things to do outside but in Ottawa maybe not so much (I was thinking of walking through downtown Ottawa & Gatineau streets, the Parliament Hill (without the visit of the Parliament unfortunately), Notre Dame Basilica and the Ottawa locks). Then I would have a little bit less time in Montreal and Quebec even though the cities are quite close and there are a lot of trains so it does not take too much travel time. Do you think this option would be possible?

I am a novice in travelling so your help is greatly appreciated!

Thank you

Niagara Falls...
Level Contributor
171 posts
207 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

It looks like you are not spending a lot of time in each of those cities. normally, I would spend any where from 3 to 5 days in a major city; even then there are still things that get missed. Also, if you are in Ottawa on the 25th, nothing would be open so you would only be able to see the parliament buildings (outside only) and the canal. Also, things may close earlier on the 24th. You should check out the attractions for the 3 cities and plan your trip around what you really want to see.

West Grey, Ontario
Destination Expert
for Toronto
Level Contributor
72,466 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

Welcome to TripAdvisor, Charlie;

Quebec City should be a 3-5 day stay, Montreal 2-3 days and Ottawa 2 days.

Best Regards

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
1,594 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

personally, I think there is far more to see and do in Montreal than either Quebec City or Ottawa. I would spend more time in Montreal and less in Quebec city.

Edmonton, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

Thank you for your answers, I appreciate it. I took my flight for the 23rd to allow myself a little bit more time in Ottawa. Unfortunately, I don't choose my holidays!

I was wondering if you knew the hours of opening and the hours of mass in Notre Dame Basilica (Google writes that the official website may harm my computer so I cannot go see)?

And do you think that if my plane lands in Ottawa at 1:30PM, I could at the parliament hill by 3:20? or is this too short?


Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15,154 posts
766 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

It may be tight for time to get from the airport to parliament in that time frame, doable if you have no checked baggage and no delays I would imagine....

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6,858 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

In Ottawa, if you're planning to go directly to Parliament Hill from the airport I'd worry about whether they'll have somewhere to stash your bag. The web site mentions security but doesn't mention lockers or baggage storage. A local might know more.

In Montreal, here are the hours for Notre Dame Basilica:

"The church is open daily to visitors, seven days a week:

Monday to Friday: 8am to 4:30pm

Saturday: 8am to 4pm

Sunday: 12:30pm to 4pm"

Guided tours:

"Monday through Friday: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Last tour of the day)

Saturday: 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Sunday: 13:00 to 3:30 PM"


"Monday through Friday: 7:30 AM and 12:15 PM

Saturdays: 5:00 PM

Sundays: 8:00, 9:30, 11:00 AM, 5:00 PM"

Edmonton, Canada
4 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

Thank you both, I guess I will try to go there and have a plan B if I can't make it on time!

mattInTO, thank you for your answer but I was actually looking for the opening hours of Notre Dame Basilica in Ottawa (they are all called the same!)

SE Ontario
Level Contributor
17,614 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

Here are the hours for Mass:

Sunday Masses

Saturday 4:15 p.m. (English), 5:15 p.m. (French)

Sunday 9:00 a.m. (bilingual), 10:30 a.m. (French), 12 p.m. (English), 5:15 p.m. (French), 7:30 p.m. (English)

Weekday Masses

Monday to Friday 12:15 p.m. (English)

Monday to Friday 5:15 p.m. (French)

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
15,154 posts
766 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

No problem, best of luck getting there in a timely manner....

Pakenham, Canada
Level Contributor
26 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Need advice on one week itinerary, please

I don't know why there is a warning on the website for the basilica when using Firefox, but it loads in Google Chrome with no issue. However, you can link to the it from the website for the Archdiocese and it works just fine:

www.catholiqueottawa.ca/index.cfm… (scroll down and choose the Ottawa - Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame - BILINGUE).

I've been up on the Hill a few times in the past few years, and you won't be able to take luggage with you. You have to go through an security station much like going through security at the airport, but they won't let you leave anything behind (other than not letting you take a pocketknife, which they will "check" for you). You can find more information on tours and hours here: