With an average low of -15.7°C in January, Calgary is too cold to visit in the winter. The best month is July, which has the Stampede, a microbrewery festival, the folk festival and Shakespeare in the Park. September, which is also a great time to visit the nearby Rockies, has Art Week and the International Film Festival and enjoys a climate that is midway between the too-cold winter and too-hot summer.
Driving in Calgary is difficult and parking is always a problem. Drivers should be aware that the TransCanada Highway runs north of Downtown as Sixteenth Avenue Northeast. Highway 2, the major north-south artery, splits the town in two. Macleod Trail is Highway 2 heading south, Deerfoot Trail is Highway 2 heading north. Signs often refer to the highway’s name and not its number.
Calgary has flights to and from all major cities within Canada with Air Canada, T1888-247 2262, http://www.aircanada.com, and West Jet, T1800- 538 5696, http://www.westjet.com. Example one- way fares are $149 to Vancouver, $145 to Kelowna and $190 to Kamloops.
Travel Cuts, 815 10th Av SW, T403-686 7633, 109 10th St NW, Kensington, T403-270 3640, www.travel cuts.com. Offering student discounts.
Calgary Transit has its own information centre at 224 7th Av SW, T403-262 1000, http://www.calgarytransit.com, Mon-Fri 0600-2100, Sat-Sun 0800-1800. They can provide very helpful maps. Tickets costing $2.50, youth $1.50, under 6 free, can be bought here from machines on C-train platforms or from shops with the Calgary Transit sticker. Bus drivers require the exact fare. Day passes cost $6.75, child $4.50. If you need to take more than one bus or C-train to complete a journey, ask the driver for a transfer (valid for 90 mins). The C-train is free Downtown on 7th Av between Macleod Trail and 8 St SW.
Greyhound, T1800-661 8747, http://www.greyhound.ca, runs 5 daily buses to Banff (1½-2 hrs, $24); 4 to Vancouver (15-17 hrs, $85 if purchased 1 day in advance); and 2 direct to Kamloops (9 hrs, $88 or $73 if purchased 1 day in advance). Banff Airporter, T403-762 3330, www.banff airporter.com, and Sun Dog Tours, T1888- 786 3641, www.sundogtours .com, both run regular shuttles from the airport to Banff and Canmore (both $52, child $29 one- way), the latter continuing to Lake Louise ($65, child $39) and Jasper ($105, child $65). Brewster, T1800-760 6934, www.brewster. ca, run 2 daily buses from Downtown Calgary and 6 from Calgary Airport to Canmore and Banff ($55) and from Banff to Lake Louise ($73) and Jasper ($132).
All Season Rentals, 1510 10th Av SW, T403-204 1771, www.allseason motorsports.ca, offers motorbike hire; Budget, 140 6th Av SE, T403-226 1550, www.budget .ca; Thrifty, 123 5th Av SE, T403-262 4400, http://www.thrifty.com.