We've recently moved from Edmonton to Calgary, so while we explore and find all our favourite hidden gems to ensure a comprehensive city guide, you can read the below blog posts that we've posted so far. We also post weekly Sunday Diaries that details what we get up to in our new city. We've also listed our most popular blog posts on our visits to Calgary below.
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An Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) is a new entry requirement for visa-exempt foreign nationals flying to or transiting through Canada. Only travellers from countries who do not require a visa to visit Canada are required to get an eTA, and only if they are travelling to Canada by air. Apply here.
The Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Gratuities are seldom included on the bill in restaurants. It is customary to tip approximately 15-20% on the total bill before tax, less for poor service, more for truly exceptional service.
The plugs in Canada are type B (the same as the US). The standard voltage is 110-120 V, and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Canada is a very safe country to visit, and there’s hardly any violent crime committed.
The best time to visit, much like Edmonton, is during Summer (June - August), when the weather is warm, dry and the days are long (the sun sets at 10 p.m.). Calgary's famous rodeo, the Calgary Stampede, is held in July.
Our Fall period from September to mid-to-late October can also be lovely, with reduced hotel rates and mild weather. Although some years, we do get hit with early snow.
Winter lasts from November through March, with much shorter days. Winter can be pretty a shock to visitors who aren't used to temperatures dropping to -30°C. That said, here in Calgary we enjoy 'Chinook winds' that melt the snow and raise temperatures to 10°C in the middle of Winter.
If you do visit in Winter, make sure to come dressed for it as sightseeing outside is not enjoyable when you're that cold.
If you’re arriving by air, you’ll be flying into the Calgary International Airport (YYC), located 20 minutes South of Downtown.
Transport from the airport to Downtown is available with Allied Shuttle to most Downtown Hotels for $15 per adult and $10 per child or Uber, estimated at $30-40 per trip.
Another option is the Route 300 Express bus for $8 and is available every 30 minutes from 5 a.m. until midnight. Customers boarding at the airport need to purchase an $8 Calgary Transit Boarding Pass from the Mac’s store in the airport.
Driving to Calgary from Edmonton is 3 hours, from Vancouver is 10 hours and from Banff is 1.5 hours.
Once you're Downtown, most things are within walking distance, but you can also use the city's reliable and safe Transit system. You can pay per trip or get a day pass.
We currently do have Uber operating in the city. Another current popular form of getting around the city is the electric scooter rentals (and bikes), which you can book through the Lime or Bird apps.
There's no need to hire a car rental, but if you do be aware of snow conditions. The best tip for driving in Winter conditions is to avoid it, but if you are hiring a car in the Winter for long distances, make sure you have an Emergency Kit and read this.
During Summer, temperatures average around 21- 25°C, but can reach highs of over 30°C, meaning shorts and flip-flops are a must!
In Spring (April - May) or Fall (September - October), temperatures are crisp, and average 11°C to 17°C.
During Winter, temperatures vary between low positives, to -30°C. The key to surviving the harsh cold is dressing in layers and thermal gear. A thick winter jacket, beanies (or so-called toques in Alberta), mitts, and warm winter boots are all a must! See below for outfit suggestions!
Most of the best hotels in Calgary are situated in the Downtown area, where solid options like the Marriott Downtown, Le Germain Hotel, and the Fairmont Palliser are situated. The former is more old-school; the latter on the sleek, contemporary side.
If you’re accustomed to design-forward boutiques (the kind we love), the Kensington Riverside Inn is a luxury hotel housed in a converted mansion that features a gourmet restaurant. If you’re looking for something grand, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald — the place that looks like a castle looming over the riverfront — is your best bet.
Find alternative suggestions for accommodation below.
Edmonton's foodie scene is booming, so you must make time to try out some of our local favourites. We've started off by ranking our top 5 for each meal of the day, but we also share our favourites according to area and budget. Just click the filters accordingly.