Calgary – A big city with a small town atmosphere
Four million visitors a year can’t be wrong! Calgary is one of the largest cities in Canada, yet still manages to retain its traditional values and welcoming hospitality. Although it’s primarily a thriving corporate hub in the week, the culture livens up at weekends. Weekend prices tend to be cheaper too, so your holidays in Calgary might include some time soaking up the urban attractions before heading off into the Rockies for your mountain retreat. Calgary’s downtown area offers an eclectic mix of bars, restaurants, nightclubs, theatres, galleries, museums, concert halls and shops. Visit the Olympic Hall of Fame, indoor Devonian Gardens, Bow Valley Ranch and Glenbow Museum – the largest in western Canada. Or take the kids to the Aero Space Museum, the Centennial Planetarium, Calgary Zoo or Calaway Theme Park – get there early to avoid the queue for the rollercoaster!
Calgary is a heady blend of nature and commerce, with a unique combination of spirit, adventure and hospitality. Go for the arts, the urban culture, and the festivals. Go for the mountains, the skiing, and the stampede. Families will especially love the theme parks and interactive space museums.
When to Go?
Calgary enjoys a highland continental climate with cool winters and short, warm summers. Temperatures can be extreme in any season, and summer evenings can be particularly cool. June has the highest rainfall, making July and August the best months for holidays in Calgary. During Stampede Week in July there’s a Wild West party atmosphere - you often get free pancake breakfasts too! Accommodation is cheapest at weekends and quietest between Christmas and New Year.
How to get there?
Calgary is no more than one stop from every major city in the world. Direct flights are available from UK airports London Gatwick and London Heathrow. Calgary is served by Calgary International Airport (YYC) which is only 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Calgary. Rent an RV or take a taxi or shuttle bus to your hotel. Coming from the US, you also have the choice of driving or taking a train through the Rockies.
Don’t miss the Canada Olympic Park, where the city hosted freestyle, bobsleigh, luge and ski-jumping during the 1988 Winter Olympics. You can try your hand at luge rides on ice and bungee jumping during the summer months, or drive to the top of the 90-metre ski jump tower and teahouse, the highest point in Calgary.
A holiday in Canada wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the majestic open wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, a spectacular outdoor playground just an hour’s drive from Calgary.