Why You Should Take a Flight to 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.
When to Book Flights to Calgary?
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.
How to Find the Best Flight Deals to Calgary
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.
US Departures to Calgary
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
Main Airports in Calgary
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.
Which Airlines Fly to Calgary?
- American Airlines
- Air Canada
- Alaska Airlines
How to Get to and Around Calgary
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.
What Are the Must-Sees in Calgary?
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.
Tips and Tricks for Traveling in Calgary
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.