The quintessential travel guide to exploring Quebec in youth hostels

Deux personnes en roadtrip
Deux personnes en roadtrip

If you dream of exploring Quebec on a budget with a backpack, you’ll be happy to know that it’s possible to travel through “La Belle Province” by staying in youth hostels. Opting for hostels will help you save on accommodation, meet tons of people, engage in more activities, and most importantly, extend your travels both in duration and distance! 

From the eclectic neighborhoods of Montreal to the vibrant sunsets of Gaspésie, and the beauty of the St. Lawrence River, you’re about to embark on an epic adventure full of surprises. Each hostel you decide to stay at offers its own little world to discover, opening doors to the local culture. Here’s an itinerary, exclusively in hostels, for an authentic and budget-friendly journey throughout Quebec. 

Montréal : The starting point of your adventure 

Start by exploring Montreal, a mini–New York with an unparalleled cultural scene. After climbing Mount Royal for a panoramic view, treat yourself to a good poutine, a Quebec culinary classic. In Montreal, each season transforms the city into a true playground. In the winter, you must explore the underground city, getting lost in tunnels and passages; about 12 square kilometers completely underground. In the summer, the metropolis comes alive with a mix of greenery, festivals, and sunny terraces. 

Don’t be mistaken; in Montreal, you’ll quickly notice that the weather doesn’t dictate lifestyle choices. Whether celebrating Igloofest in the heart of winter or finding a thousand and one ways to enjoy the city in the rain, there’s always something to do. 

Exposition Art souterrain
© Eva Blue
Une rue passante à Montréal
© Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal
Vue sur le centre-ville de Montréal
© Tourisme Montréal, Mathieu Dupuis

When it is time to rest, Saintlo Montreal welcomes you with open arms. Located in the heart of the action (Lucien-L’Allier or Guy-Concordia metro station), this youth hostel will be your home base for exploring the city. 

Immerse yourself in the Montreal vibe with exclusive activities offered at the hostel. You won’t want to miss the bar crawl to experience the nightlife like a local, a perfect opportunity to meet other travelers! 

Devanture auberge Montréal

Onwards to La Malbaie: Charlevoix’s pride and joy 

Head towards La Malbaie, just under 5 hours from Montreal, for landscapes that will take your breath away. Take Route 138 after passing the city of Quebec and get ready to be dazzled by one of the most spectacular scenic routes in North America, a true anthem to the splendor of Quebec. 

Your starting point for adventures is Auberge La Secousse, an ideal spot for outdoor enthusiasts. You couldn’t ask for a better location to plan hikes in the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie and Grands-Jardins national parks, not to mention the exhilarating ascent of the Massif. If you’re an adrenaline-seeking adventurer, the Via Ferrata in the Grands-Jardins National Park promises a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Field of purple flowers by the water in La Malbaie
Chute à la Malbaie
Groupe de personne au sommet d'une montagne
© Steve-Deschênes
Des personnes devant l'auberge de la Malbaie

At Auberge La Secousse, you’ll find more than just a roof; it’s a window to the St. Lawrence River. Whether you’re into backpacking and dorms or seeking a quiet corner to relax, La Secousse has everything to make you feel at home. And for those moments when the urge to socialize takes over, the hostel’s pub-restaurant offers local treasures and craft beers to enjoy on the patio. 

During your stay in Charlevoix, be sure to wander around Baie-Saint-Paul and discover the region’s best-kept secret, the Baie-des-Rochers Sandy Cove, a hidden paradise.

Rivière-du-Loup is just a river crossing away 

Hop on the ferry at Saint-Siméon and set sail for Rivière-du-Loup, gearing up for an unforgettable adventure in Bas-Saint-Laurent! This region is a sweet spot in Quebec where nature and culture come together for your ultimate enjoyment. 

Between strolls on Île Verte, the breathtaking panoramas of Parc National du Bic, and sunset kayaking sessions, there won’t be a dull moment. Bonus if you manage to spot a seal in its natural habitat. And to finish off your day, nothing beats wrapping it up at a local brew like Fous Brassant. 

Deux personnes assises dans le traversier
Trois personne devant une chute à Rivière du loup
Deux personnes en canaux

Nestled in the heart of downtown, in a manor steeped in history, Auberge Internationale de Rivière-du-Loup invites you to drop your backpack and chill for a night or two. Make the most of your stay by savoring the freshly caught seafood you’ve cooked up in the hostel’s communal kitchen, offering a memorable gastronomic experience without breaking the bank. 

The next day, after a restful night at the hostel, why not take a short walk to Parc des Chutes, just a stone’s throw away? This tranquil spot provides an impressive natural spectacle and a well-deserved nature break, perfect for starting the day on the right foot. 

Auberge Internationale de Rivière-du-Loup, feu de camp, personnes à une table

Sainte-Anne-des-Monts: Gateway to Gaspésie

Since the Gaspé Peninsula is a must in any Quebec itinerary, take the Route 132 that hugs the St. Lawrence River all the way to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, the gateway to Gaspésie. 

There, the Gaspésie National Park offers breathtaking panoramas and hikes for all. Among the 140 km of trails, don’t miss the Lac-aux-Américains trail for a memorable experience accessible to all. For an adrenaline kick, why not try canyoning? An experience that will make you feel truly alive! 

Route vers la Gaspésie
©Nomad Junkies
Repas de la cantine au sea shack
Des personnes en paddle board
Terrasse du sea shack
©Les filles du nord

L’Auberge festive Sea Shack, known for its unmatched atmosphere, is the perfect stop to end the day. Sea Shack is not just a hostel; it’s the pulsating heart of unforgettable evenings where music, laughter, and the sound of waves come together. 

Who doesn’t dream of a place where every summer, the show lineup makes you vibe under the stars, feet in the sand, surrounded by new friends? At Sea Shack, the lively nights are as exhilarating as the outdoor adventure days, offering the perfect mix of wild escapades and summer partying in an epic setting. 

L’Anse-au-Griffon: A city of dreams 

Your journey through Quebec in hostels concludes at L’Anse-au-Griffon, at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, an ideal starting point to explore Forillon National Park. With landscapes that embrace the sea and the sky, it’s definitely a must see. 

Griffon Aventure Hostel has a special stay in store for you, where each day begins with an impressive view of the St. Lawrence. Evenings are gentle, and the atmosphere is perfect for sharing travel stories by the campfire or with a cold beer at the bar. For an even more unique experience, try booking the boat-cabin: a converted fishing boat transformed into comfortable accommodation for up to six people. 

Terrasse griffon aventure

If you have the chance to join a sunset kayaking excursion with Cap Aventure, go for it! The magic of gliding on the water, guided towards a colony of curious seals, right there within paddle’s reach – who wouldn’t want to experience that? 

Before bidding farewell to Gaspésie, let yourself be enchanted by the Percé Rock and the serenity of the Emerald River, must-see landmarks that will mark the perfect end to your Gaspesian adventure. 

Kayak vue de haut sur la rivière Bonaventure
© Dylan Page – Rivière Bonaventure
Un phoque
Le Rocher Percé
© Jennifer Dore Dallas – Rocher Percé

Embarking on a hostel adventure across Quebec: An irresistible way to discover! 

Buckle up! This journey through Quebec with some ‘hostel hopping’ is more than just a trip. Every stop is a promise of discovery, vibrant encounters, and pure amazement. It’s a way for you to feel free and to dream of adventure without breaking the bank. Staying at the Saintlo Collective hostels isnt just accommodation—its a chance to reconnect with nature, meet fellow travel enthusiasts, and discover yourself. So, fasten your seatbelt and let the adventure begin!