Travel to Calgary
Flying to Calgary
Canadian flag carrier airline Air Canada operate non-stop flights between Calgary and London, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Canada, New York, Vancouver and Los Angeles. Airlines offering flights to Calgary from the UK include WestJet and British Airways. Prices soar in July and August and are also high during school holidays in the ski season (December to April). The cheapest deals are in autumn, spring and January. Numerous airlines fly to Calgary from the USA, including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta, United and WestJet.
From London - 8 hours 50 minutes; New York - 4 hours 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 3 hours 10 minutes; Toronto - 3 hours 45 minutes; Sydney - 19 hours (including stopover).
Travel by road
Alberta is covered by an extensive network of highways. The maximum speed is 100kph (62mph) on provincial highways outside city limits, 90kph (56mph) on national park highways, 80kph (50mph) on provincial highways within city limits and 50kph (31 mph) in urban areas, reduced to 30kph (19mph) in school zones. The road quality is good. Traffic drives on the right and the minimum driving age in Alberta is 16 years. Proof of insurance is compulsory. Foreign licences are valid for three months, while an International Driving Permit is valid for a year.
The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) (tel: +1 800 222 6400; www.ama.ab.ca) provides emergency road service, as well as a variety of other automobile-related services. The AMA is affiliated with both the Canadian Automobile Association and the American Automobile Association for breakdown service in the rest of Canada and the USA.
Emergency breakdown services
AMA (tel: +1 800 222 4357).
The Trans Canada Highway (Highway 1) becomes 16th Avenue NW as it passes through Calgary to the north of the city centre, running east-west. It connects with Banff, Kamloops and Vancouver to the west, and Medicine Hat and Regina to the east. The Queen Elizabeth II Highway (Highway 2) runs north-south, connecting with Lethbridge to the south and Edmonton to the north.
Greyhound Canada (tel: +1 800 661 8747; www.greyhound.ca) links Calgary with all major destinations in western Canada. To travel to/from the USA, you’ll need to change in Vancouver. The Greyhound Bus Terminal, 850 16th Street SW, is the hub for most intercity coach services, both national and international.
Red Arrow Motorcoach (tel: +1 800 232 1958; www.redarrow.ca) operates executive-style coach services to Lethbridge, Red Deer and Edmonton (with connections to Fort McMurray). The service includes deluxe seats, laptop plug-ins, on-board movies, complimentary snacks and Wi-Fi. Coaches depart from Fording Place, 205 Ninth Avenue SE, and 304 35th Avenue NE (pre-paid reservation required).
Time to city
From Banff - 1 hour 20 minutes; Edmonton - 3 hours; Regina - 7 hours; Vancouver - 10 hours.
Travel by Rail
Arriving by train isn’t really an option, as the nearest railway station to Calgary lies 292km (181 miles) to the north, in Edmonton. Edmonton's station is located at 12360 121st Street.
Canada's national rail service provider is VIA Rail (tel: +1 888 842 7245; www.viarail.ca). VIA Rail's transcontinental trains arrive in Edmonton from Vancouver, Kamloops and Jasper to the west, and Toronto, Winnipeg and Saskatoon to the east.
The privately run Rocky Mountaineer (tel: +1 877 460 3200; www.rockymountaineer.com) no longer runs to Calgary, terminating instead in the mountain town of Banff, 127km (79 miles) to the west. The Rocky Mountaineer service is aimed at tourists, with the journey from Vancouver broken by an overnight stop in Kamloops, so the entire rail journey through the scenic Rockies is in daylight. The twice-weekly service runs from late April to early October.
To Edmonton: from Toronto - 58 hours 30 minutes; Vancouver - 25 hours 30 minutes; Winnipeg - 19 hours 40 minutes; Kamloops - 15 hours 30 minutes; Saskatoon - 8 hours.
Red Arrow (tel: +1 800 232 1958 www.redarrow.ca) runs connecting coach services from Edmonton to Calgary. Tickets are also available through VIA Rail.