With a booming agriculture and petroleum industry, and up and coming culinary scene, Calgary is steadily climbing its way to the top of our luxury destinations list.
Although Calgary may not be the first city that comes to mind when choosing a destination for a luxurious getaway, the city boasts iconic and hidden gems that are the pinnacle of splendor. From exclusive boutiques in up-and-coming neighborhoods to top-rated restaurants, here are the reasons why we believe Calgary should be your next destination.
If possible, try to plan your trip to Calgary in the summer months – preferably during the Calgary Stampede. It is one of Canada’s largest agricultural fair that spans about 10 days. It attracts millions of tourists each year and has activities and entertainment suitable for all ages.
There are public pathways a plenty. Calgary has an extensive urban trail system – you’ll often see folks riding their bikes to work or for play in chilling temperatures as low as -30!
The Bow River which runs through the city attracts anglers from all over the world for its first class fly fishing.
Calgary has the most sunshine days of all the major cities in Canada, so pack your sunglasses even in the winter. A stroll through the neighborhoods of Inglewood, Kensington, 17th Avenue and Stephen Avenue will confirm that no matter what season, as long as the sun is shining Calgarians enjoy patio time!
You can’t take a trip to Calgary without visiting Alberta’s Rocky Mountains nearby. Rent a car for the day and drive up to Banff, which is an 1 hour 30 minutes west of Calgary. BASICS
TIME ZONE: UTC/GMT -7 (GMT -6 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).
Tipping is on average 15%
Alberta has a 4% tourism levy and a 3% Destination Marketing Fee at participating hotels in Calgary, but no provincial sales tax.
Calgary Transit is the city’s local transportation system. Take advantage of the CTrain fare-free zone downtown that runs along 7th Avenue from 8th St. SW to City Hall. Regular fares outside this zone cost $2.75 one-way for an adult. Or better yet, rent a car. Although Calgary has a great transportation system, the trains can run every hour during the weekends. They also stop running at midnight and don’t start up again till 5am.
Due to the taxi shortage in the city, hailing one on the street is near impossible, and the wait times are also a little longer than in most cities. To get as much out of your trip as possible without waiting for the taxi or train, definitely consider renting a car and mapping out your own route.
WHEN TO VISIT
The summer months, especially in June and July during the Calgary Stampede.
Calgary International Airport, or YYC, offers non-stop flights to major cities in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. The airport is situated about 20 minutes northeast of downtown Calgary.
To get a true Canadian experience and see as much of the prairies and Rockies as possible, take the Via Rail. However, the train doesn’t go directly to Calgary. The only stops it makes in Alberta is Edmonton and Jasper, a city nestled directly north of Banff National Park. Consider taking the Via Rail to Jasper, spending a few days at Banff National Park and making your way down to Calgary via a rental car.
Airport to City
Taxi: A taxi into the downtown area from the airport costs $35-$45CAD.