|Destination Airport IATA Code||YYC|
|Destination City Name||Calgary|
Calgary is in the Canadian province of Alberta, about 50 miles east of the Canadian Rockies. It is a major metropolis with skyscrapers dominating the skyline, but it also has a deep Western cultural heritage. Calgary is often referred to as ‘Cowtown’, with the Calgary Stampede rodeo every July, and is a major cultural hub boasting festivals all year round.
Calgary is sunny almost all year round, even in winter when the average temperature is 28F. Summer – May to September – is hot, with averages of 90F. Spring and fall enjoy mixed temperatures. The weather can be changeable at any time – even hourly, so dress accordingly.
The annual Calgary Folk Festival in late July typically features around 70 artists from up to 20 countries, playing on nine stages around the city, and it draws music fans from all the world.
The Beakerhead festival in September blends science and engineering with art. The five-day spectacle boasts large-scale public art installations, workshops, performances and more.
In April, the four-day Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo celebrates popular culture – gaming, comics, sci-fi and fantasy. Iconic artists and writers appear at numerous events.
With regular flights to dozens of US cities, finding cheap flights to Calgary and Alberta is easy. When booking with Orbitz there are plenty of ways to find the best deals.
You can search for flights to and from different locations using the ‘Nearby airports’ option. Springbank Airport serves as an overspill for Calgary International, so there may be cheaper deals to and from there. This option allows you to compare prices to and from different departure points.
Being flexible can also pay dividends and using the ‘Show flexible dates’ option allows you to look at the cost of fares on different days. The ‘Show options’ button and menu on the left lets you sort your results, so you can search by airline, flight duration, price, ticket type, and direct or connecting flights.
Newark to Calgary – 5 hours
Las Vegas to Calgary – 2 hours, 44 minutes
Seattle to Calgary – 1 hour, 35 minutes
Minneapolis to Calgary – 2 hours, 55 minutes
Palm Springs to Calgary – 3 hours
Calgary International Airport (YYC)
YYC Calgary International Airport, as it is known, lies 11 miles northeast of Calgary and handles some 16 million passengers a year. It has non-stop flights to some 20 destinations in the US and is a hub for Air Canada. It has two terminals. In the international terminal, Concourse E is specifically for US-bound flights and American travelers heading home can clear customs and immigration prior to departure at the preclearance facility.
Springbank Airport (CYBW)
Springbank Airport lies 16 miles west of Calgary and acts as an overspill hub when Calgary International is at capacity. It receives a limited number of international flights.
The airport has a rental-car facility close to the terminals and the Deerfoot Trail freeway is the direct route into Calgary – it takes 30 minutes. The airport bus operated by Calgary Transit drops passengers off in the city center and stations on the local C-Train light-rail network.
Calgary has excellent public transport. The C-Train light rail network has two lines and is free to ride in the downtown area. There are many bus routes too. One-day passes cost around C$10 from C-Train stations or drugstores. Single tickets are valid for 90 minutes.
The city centre is very walkable, with plenty of pedestrian zones (the 15+) and good signage to attractions. Sidewalks can be icy in winter. There is an extensive cycle path network – it is bike-friendly and you can hire a bicycle if you wish.
If you prefer to drive, the Stoney Trail ring road around the city will connect you to most neighbourhoods and the freeways. Downtown parking is paid, with cheaper evening rates, and parking spaces are ample.
Calgary is packed with interesting sights and culture. Downtown, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) and the Military Museum are all within a short walk from each other, even the zoo! The urban Prince’s Island Park is where many outdoor events take place.
On the western side of Calgary is the Heritage Park Historical Village historical park, which depicts life in Albert before the 20th century and has historic and replica buildings from around the region. Be sure to visit the Canada Olympic Park, which also boasts Canada's Sports Hall of Fame – Calgary hosted the 1988 winter Olympics.
For culture, the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, ‘the Jube’, is the main venue for performances of all sorts – theatre, musicals, and the Alberta Ballet. Downtown you can also find The Arts Commons- a multi-venue arts centre. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and One Yellow Rabbit theatre company are based here.
Calgary is in the Mountain Standard Time (MST) zone, on a par with many US states.
If you plan to hire a car, note that car hire companies prefer drivers of a minimum age of 21 and at least one year’s experience. You don’t need an International Driving License if your American license is in English or French. If you head out of town to explore further afield, watch out for signs warning of the presence of wild animals and slow down in those areas.
The Calgary Stampede rodeo is held over a ten-day span in early July and brings parades of bagpipers, chuck-wagon racing (Calgary’s version of a chariot race around a track), and world-class rodeo professionals who ride, rope, and try not to get stomped. Later in the month, the city features the far more subdued but still entertaining Calgary Folk Music Festival, which the Toronto Globe and Mail called “one of the seven musical wonders of the world.” The setting for it couldn’t be better, nestled within the forest of Prince’s Island Park. Expect hotel prices to be at their steepest in July, and the weather to be surprisingly warm for such a northern city.
Calgary, home to the 1988 Winter Olympics—who can forget that brave Brit, Eddie the Eagle, flying through the sky on the ski jump—is probably best known as a winter destination. Canada Olympic Park is still a training ground for the country’s premier athletes, but it’s also open to the public for bobsledding in the winter and mountain biking and zip-lining in the summer. Three premier ski resorts in western Canada—Norquay, Sunshine, and Lake Louise—are a little over an hour’s drive to the west.
This being Canada, it can snow well into April. By June, when the white stuff is gone, folks are ready to laugh off the long winters at FunnyFest, the largest comedy festival in western Canada.
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