A cowboy town at heart, in Calgary, leather boots and wide-brimmed hats continue to reign supreme! However, this diverse city is home to glossy high rises, cutting edge eateries and people speaking over 120 languages. Apart from a vibrant nightlife, the city boasts a long line up of events and festivals. The best time to see Calgary in action is in the summer months from June – August. Festivals such as Calgary Stampede, Calgary Fringe Festival and Calgary International Blues Festival take place during these months, and the weather conditions are perfect to enjoy the outdoors. Since this is the peak tourist season, expect room rates and flight prices to skyrocket, especially around the dates of the events and festivals. For a relatively quieter time, visit Calgary in the short spring season from April – May or in the fall from September – October. From November – March, the city is flooded with a large number of winter sports enthusiasts, who make Calgary their base before heading to the powdery slopes. However, winters are cold; average temperatures plummet to 25 – 30 degrees Fahrenheit, and the tourist population overall is at its lowest. However, if you are seeking attractive bargains and don’t mind the harsh winters, this is a good time to travel to Calgary.
The month of January is, on average, the cheapest month to fly to Calgary from United States, with most prices found around $284. The month of April is another great option to travel to Calgary, with average flight prices from United States averaging around $292.
Most flyers found that booking tickets 44 days in advance of their planned departure date is the best time to get cheap flights to Calgary. During this timeframe, flight prices are around $369. Keep in mind that you might be able to find cheaper flights to Calgary at any time. In fact, our users found flights for as low as $179 in the past 72 hours.
The cheapest day to depart from United States to Calgary is on a Tuesday. Travelers who choose to depart for Calgary on a Tuesday will often find tickets for as low as $386. When flying out on a Monday, the most expensive travel day of the week, you can expect to see flight prices from United States to Calgary for around $476.
The cheapest time of day to fly to Calgary is in the evening when flights can be purchased for as low as $263. Flights to Calgary are more costly in the morning, with an average ticket price of $429. Departure times in the morning fall within the peak daily travel times, which is why tickets can be more expensive.
Calgary has a lot of good places to hike, such as Mount Norquay. Many locals as well as tourists enjoy hiking the mountains near Calgary, especially in the colder months for more of a challenge and some beautiful scenery. Trails like Old Entrance Trailrides are often visited by people spending time in Calgary, especially when the weather begins to warm up a bit and the chance of rain subsides. Hiking in the area is often enjoyed most when the weather begins warming up and the chance for rain is low. Considering this, it would be recommended to fly to Calgary during July, August, and September to take advantage of the warmer weather and go for a hike. During the warmer months, hikers around the Calgary area find that parks like Canada Olympic Park are the best for taking long walks with their families and/or pets. Those looking for this type of experience are likely best suited to fly to Calgary in July, August, or September.
The best time to go skiing is usually when temperatures are low and chances of snow are high. The month of January is considered the best time for skiing in the Calgary area. Sunshine Village is a recommended mountain in the area. If you are planning a ski trip to multiple mountains, Lake Louise Mountain Resort is a recommended attraction in the Calgary area.
Red Deer Airport can be an alternative airport used for travel to Calgary.
Currently, Canada travel restrictions include travel to Calgary. Canada has restricted the entry of all foreign nationals. Travelers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or people registered under the Indian Act may only enter Canada for essential purposes. Entrance will be denied to people traveling for tourism, sightseeing, recreation, entertainment, social visits or religious functions. Canadian citizens, permanent residents, their immediate family, diplomats, airline crews, and travelers arriving from the United States who are traveling for non-discretionary or non-optional purposes may still enter Canada. Only Toronto Pearson (YYZ), Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL), Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are operating international flights. Domestic flights, as well as flights from the United States, some destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean, and from St. Pierre-et-Miquelon, are currently not affected by this measure. Seasonal agricultural workers, fish/seafood workers, caregivers, temporary foreign workers, international students with valid study permits or approvals for study permits valid from at least March 18, 2020, and permanent resident applicants who received approval before March 18, 2020 who had not yet traveled to Canada, may still enter the country. Other people with special dispensation to enter Canada include French citizens who reside in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, people registered under the Indian Act, visa-exempt refugees and their immediate families, and those with special authorisation from the Canadian government. All travelers on flights to Canada must have a face covering. Travelers who exhibit symptoms will be prohibited from boarding planes that are destined for Canada. If they exhibit symptoms on arrival they will be referred to the Canadian Public Health Agency. Travelers who have been refused boarding in the past 14 days due to medical reasons related to COVID-19 may not enter the country. Travelers must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival at their final destination in Canada. Travelers who disembarked from a cruise ship with a known COVID-19 outbreak like the ‘Diamond Princess’ will be required to remain in quarantine for 14 days at a location determined by the Chief Public Health Officer. North Macedonian passports which expired on March 18, 2020 or later will be considered valid for entry to Canada through July 31, 2020. Visitors transiting through Canada who are not otherwise exempted (for example, by having a valid Canadian visa or a permanent resident card) must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization. See the Transport Canada website for more information. If you are planning to travel to Calgary at this time, it is recommended that you stay up to date on current restrictions and follow proper safety measures while in public.
Direct international flights from the U.S. to Calgary are available from United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, Air Canada, WestJet, and Alaska Airlines. Other airlines that offer flights with 1 or more stops include Aeromexico, All Nippon Airways, and Philippine Airlines.
The airport is approximately 11 miles northeast of Downtown Calgary and is connected to the city center by a variety of scheduled and on-demand ground transportation options.
Several hotels provide a courtesy shuttle service to their guests to and from the airport. Upon arrival, you can use the courtesy phones located in all terminals and call your hotel to request a shuttle. Pickups for domestic arrivals is at Bus Bays #16 and #17, while for international arrivals, it is Bus Bay #37. Private operators such as Allied Downtown Shuttle offer transportation between the airport and designated points within the City of Calgary. Shuttles depart every 30 minutes from Bus Bay #19 and #29. You can purchase tickets at the Allied Shuttle counters located on the Arrivals level by Door 5 and Door 12, between 8 a.m. – 12.00 a.m. Typical one-way fare from the airport is $15.00 CAD per person.
Several public bus routes operated by Calgary Transit pass through the airport. Bus route #300 is a limited stop service that runs approximately every 30 minutes from the airport to Downtown Calgary. The ride takes around 35 minutes and the fare is $10.50 CAD. The fare includes all-day access to Calgary Transit operated buses and trains, as well as the return trip to the airport, if you are travelling on the same day. At the international terminal, you can board this bus from Bus Bay #32 located across Arrivals Door #15.
Round-the-clock taxi service is available at YYC and the taxi stands are located on the Arrivals Level of both terminals. For the Domestic Terminal, taxi stands are located outside of doors #1 and #6 and International Terminal stands are located outside of doors #16 and #17. Fares are based on meter rates. The approximate fare to Downtown Calgary is $40.00 – $50.00 CAD. Ride-share with Uber is also easily available at YYC and the designated pick up locations are on Departures Level curbside by Door #1 and #12.
Most of the major rental car companies are present on-airport at YYC. The Rental Car Centre is located on the Departures Level across the roadway from the Domestic Terminal. The off-airport car rental companies provide a courtesy shuttle service to their rental locations. Shuttle pickup is located on Bus Bay #22 on the Arrivals Roadway. It is definitely worth checking for deals on car rentals with momondo.
There are several ways to get around in Calgary. If you’re going to be within the city limits most of the time, it’s best to avoid driving and rely on other Calgary transportation options. Navigating the city roads may be difficult for newcomers, and parking in the downtown areas is scarce and expensive.
Calgary’s downtown core is very walkable, with plenty of wayfinding signage that guide visitors to various attractions, restaurants and public art. The city also boasts one of the world’s most extensive pedestrian skywalk systems called +15. The covered +15 corridor is 11 miles long and has 62 bridges that connect several hotels, attractions, and shopping centers that can be covered on foot in any weather conditions.
If you do not wish to walk all the time, consider hiring a bike. Calgary has one of the most extensive urban pathway and cycle path networks in North America. You will find dedicated bike lanes even along most of the major streets in the city.
The city’s public transportation network is efficient and economical. Calgary Transit operates over 160 routes for public bus and 2 routes for the Light Rail Transit (LRT), known as the CTrain. The adult fare for both buses and CTrains is $3.30 CAD, which includes transfers for up to 90 minutes. A day pass costs $10.50 CAD and allows unlimited usage of buses and trains for the pass duration. Within the downtown core, CTrain offers a fare free zone along 7th Avenue between City Hall and West/Kerby Stations. You can hop on and off for free when travelling within this area.
Taxis are easily available and fares are reasonably priced. You do not need to pre-book a ride.
Calgary is a diverse and vibrant city that boasts a blossoming food scene, happening nightlife, and several family-friendly attractions. Here are a few ideas for your itinerary, when you travel to Calgary.
Try to visit during the Calgary Stampede
Check out Calgary’s most colorful and festive side in July during the 10-day long Calgary Stampede festival. This is the world’s largest rodeo and features various events including First Nations exhibits, chuck wagon races, shows, and concerts round the clock during the 10 days.
Explore the surroundings
With the awe-inspiring Canadian Rockies just a short drive away, many visitors prefer to make Calgary their base as they explore Western Canada’s gorgeous national parks and natural splendor. For a unique itinerary, consider visiting Calgary in the slightly cooler months when the crowds are less, and head to the hiking trails just outside the city. You can also try luge and a host of other winter sports at the Canada Olympic Park, or hit the slopes for a variety of fun winter activities. Consider a day trip to the Kananaskis Country area that marks the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Here you can get up close with a variety of wildlife, including elk, and more than 130 species of birds. Don’t miss the sight of the brilliant blue waters of Lake Louise and spend some time relaxing in the hot springs.