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Calgary

Canoes in Moraine Lake, Calgary

Practical Info about Calgary

Time

GMT -7 (GMT -6 from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November).

Electricity

Electrical current is 110 volts, 60Hz. American-style flat two-pin plugs and a plug with a third round grounding pin are standard.

Currency

The currency used is the Canadian Dollar (CAD), which is divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change will change cash, as will some hotels. Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are widespread. US Dollars are largely accepted.

Communication

The international access code for Canada is +1. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code. The outgoing code is not necessary for calls to the US and the Caribbean. Internet cafes are widely available. Most international mobile phone companies have roaming agreements with Canadian operators, however it will be cheaper to buy a pay-as-you-go SIM card if visiting the country for long periods.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 911

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Good Friday 18 Apr 3 Apr
Easter Monday 21 Apr 6 Apr
Victoria Day 19 May 18 May
Canada Day 1 Jul 1 Jul
Labour Day 1 Sep 1 Sep
Thanksgiving Day 13 Oct 12 Oct
Remembrance Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec
Boxing Day 26 Dec 26 Dec

Climate

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Calgary experiences warm summers and bitterly cold winters, with temperatures often dropping well below freezing. The mountains cause Calgary's climate to be rather dry, the little rainfall that does occur falls in summer (June to August). Winters are long and cold and occasionally relieved by a warm wind called a Chinook. The weather in Calgary is highly changeable and daily predictions are often off the mark.

Getting around the city

Getting around in Calgary is easy as most of the city's attractions are concentrated within the city centre. The streets downtown are laid out in a numbered grid with avenues running east to west and streets running north to south, while in outlying areas neighbourhoods have more meandering streets which can be confusing to visitors. Because of the grid system, walking around downtown Calgary is a simple way to get around. The Eau Claire market area and the Stephen Avenue Mall are pleasant pedestrian-only areas. Calgary's public transport system is efficient and reliable, with a light rail and bus system servicing the city centre. The light rail runs from 4am to midnight every day, and the buses operate from 5am to midnight, with some routes continuing until 1am. There is a fare-free zone in the middle of town, and in other areas a pass can be purchased at any Co-op, Safeway, 7-Eleven Food Store or Mac's Convenience Store. There are plenty of taxis available, either by hailing them in the street or calling the dispatch. Note that taxis cruise mainly the central areas of the city. Driving in Calgary is relatively stress-free. Many streets are one-way, and streets marked 'transit only' are for public transport vehicles only. Parking downtown can be scarce and confusing, as the city uses an automated pay system that requires you to enter your zone and license plate number into a pay station. It is often easier to park in a private lot. There are numerous companies from which you can hire a car in Calgary.

Calgary International Airport

www.calgaryairport.com

Getting to the city

There are a number of bus services running between the airport, the city centre and other Alberta destinations. Calgary Transit provides a public bus service, number 57, to and from the airport. There is also an Airport Shuttle Express, which services most hotels in the Calgary area, and several hotels offer a courtesy shuttle service.

Car rental

Alamo, Budget, Avis, Hertz, National and Thrifty are all represented at the airport and can be found in the Rental Car Centre opposite the main terminal building.

Airport taxi's

Airport taxis are available outside Arrivals.

Facilities

There are shops and duty-free shopping, restaurants and bars, ATMs, foreign exchange and an information booth within the terminal. There is also a business and Internet centre, and a shop that rents mobile phones. Disabled passengers are well catered for and there are plenty of children's entertainment facilities.

Parking

All parking lots are within walking distance of the terminal. Short-term parking starts at C$6 for the first hour, with a daily limit of C$35. Long-term parking is available for C$24 per day or up to C$109 per week; however, the economy lot is only C$10.95 per day and C$44.95 per week. Valet parking is also provided.

Internet

Calgary International Airport offers free wifi to passengers.