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Why rent a car in Calgary?
Renting a car in Calgary is a good idea - not only you’ll be able to drive around this interesting city and visit its many neighborhoods and landmarks, you’ll also have the freedom to visit the great province of Alberta and its many nature areas.
Top ways to enter Calgary
- Calgary Airport: Often also referred to as YYC Calgary International, Alberta’s largest airport serves more than 16 million passengers every year.
- Edmonton Airport: Only three hours drive north, flying to Edmonton is another great way to reach Calgary.
- Cranbrook/Canadian Rockies International Airport: Located in the neighboring British Columbia, but even closer to Calgary than Edmonton, this small airport hosts a few domestic flights.
Useful city facts
- Calgary has a humid continental climate. The summers are wet and warm, with temperature often exceeding 30 °C (86 °F). The winters are cold with a lot of snow.
- Different rankings often mention Calgary as one of the most livable cities in North America and the whole world.
Top destinations and activities
- Calgary Tower. Going to the top of one of the city’s most famous landmarks is a special experience. Not only you’ll see all of the city from above, on a clear day you can also spot the Rocky Mountains to the west. Besides the observation deck the tower also has a restaurant and a bar.
- Glenbow Museum. One of the largest museums in North America has more than 20 galleries and countless collections that focus both on the local history and such different topics as Canadian art, geology, First Nations history, and cultures from around the world.
- Inglewood Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center. A large nature reserve on the eastern outskirts of the city near the Bow River, Inglewood Wildlands is home to nearly 300 species of birds, including great gray owl, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, and osprey, as well as mammals, fishes, and butterflies.
Traffic and parking tips
- The speed limits vary between different roads. The general limits are 90 km/h to 110 km/h on motorways and outside cities and from 30 km/h to 50 km/h inside cities.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05%. Driving under influence exceeding the limit is a criminal offence and can lead to hefty fines, a driving ban, and even imprisonment.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- Using the mobile phone while driving is prohibited. The rule is strictly imposed with high fines.
- The phone number for emergencies is 112.
There are a number of toll roads in Canada. However, as of February 2019, there are no toll roads in Alberta.
In the rest of Canada, payment method and fees differ for different toll roads. It is best to look them up in advance, finding the information for each province in which you plan to travel. You can also use a toll calculator to calculate the approximate fees for your upcoming ride.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Banff National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and perhaps the most famous nature reserve in Canada, Banff is famous for its mountains, glaciers, and canyons, a great diversity of flora and fauna, and world-class skiing and snowboarding opportunities.
- Waterton Lakes National Park. Featuring such varied habitats as grassy prairies, alpine meadows, mountains, lakes, and wetlands, this national park is a true Canadian wilderness. It borders the Glacier National Park in the state of Montana, U.S., another great wild place to visit.
- Edmonton. Alberta’s capital and second largest, Edmonton is best known for its extractive industries, but the city also has vast and beautiful parks, as well as great museums, galleries, and science centers.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental car type in Canada is an economy, but travelers also like intermediate and fullsize. Getting a fullsize car is a good idea if you plan to travel outside the city and into nature areas. The most popular rental cars are the Kia Rio, the Jeep Wrangler, and the Nissan Rogue.
- More Alberta. We’ve already mentioned Banff, Waterton, and Edmonton, but Alberta Province has even more to offer. Larger than most world countries, it doesn’t stop to amaze a truly curious traveler, especially in terms of its pristine nature.
- British Columbia. Alberta’s neighbor to the west should be visited for fun Vancouver, the long Pacific coastline, and the great Okanagan wine region.
- Washington and Montana. The two U.S. states bordering Alberta are just a few hours drive away from Calgary and offer just as much in terms of regional history, hospitality, and natural beauty as their Canadian counterpart.
How can I save money on my rental car?
Here's a list of the things you can do to get a good rental car deal in Calgary:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Calgary is the cheapest in December when renting a car is about 21% cheaper than the yearly average and about 43% cheaper than renting a car in July.
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Calgary?
What’s the usual rental length in Calgary?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Calgary?
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