Alberta is a province in western Canada between British Colombia and Saskatchewan. Its landscape encompasses prairies, forests, and desert badlands; but the most popular area is without a doubt the rocky mountains. There are several national and provincial parks throughout the rockies that are full of hikes, lakes, glaciers, wildlife, and adventure for all. Keep reading for everything you need to know about traveling through this spectacular province.
For information on currency, vaccinations, best time to travel, budget tips, and more visit our page on Traveling Canada.
How To Get There
Alberta spans thousands of square kilometers on the west side of Canada. Calgary, Edmonton, and Fort McMurry all have international airports with several smaller cities and towns offering connection options. It is also possible to drive across the Canada/US border from the south, the AB/BC border from the west, the AB/SK border from the east, or the Northwest Territiries border from the north.
Best Time To Travel
Depending on what type of activities you`re interested in, you can plan to visit Alberta at any time of year. The options are endless from amazing hiking, canoeing, and food festivals in the summer months to skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing in the winter. The fall is one of our favorite times to visit the Rockies as it boasts jaw-dropping autumn colors.
- Spring: April-May
- Summer: June- August
- Fall: September – October
- Winter: November – March
Average Daily Budget
Your average daily budget will completely depend on where you stay and what you choose to do. If you plan to camp or stay in a hostel, do mostly free activities and bring your own gear you can visit for relatively cheap. If you decide to stay at a high-end resort and spend your days on the ski hill or taking helicopter tours through the mountains, your budget will increase substantially.
Daily budget when staying in a hostel, bringing your own gear, and doing mostly free or cheap activities: $130 CAD ($97 USD) per person per day.
- Accommodation: $35 CAD ($27 USD) per night for a single bed in a hostel or a campground
- Transportation: $15 CAD ($11 USD) per person per day
- Meals: $55 ($42 USD) CAD per person per day
- Attractions & Rentals: $25 CAD ($17 USD) per person per day
Daily budget when staying in a high-end resort, renting a car, and taking expensive tours: $320+ CAD ($248 USD) per person per day.
- Accommodation: $125+ CAD ($93+ USD) per person per day
- Transportation: $30 CAD ($23 USD) per person per day
- Meals: $90 CAD ($76 USD) per person per day
- Attractions & Rentals: $75 CAD($56 USD) per person per day
Rent a Car: Renting a car is a great option for most places in Alberta. The only time it might not be necessary is if you plan on staying downtown Calgary or not leaving your hotel much to explore. It will typically cost you $40-50 CAD ($31-38 USD) per day. However, if you are under 25 the price is substantially higher. Inquire about coverage and unlimited kilometers beforehand to avoid getting surprised with fees upon arrival.
Bus: Bigger cities like Calgary or Edmonton have decent bus and train systems if you are looking to save some cash. Keep in mind that you will be sacrificing a bit of time during your trip if you choose this option.
Taxi: There are local taxi companies in most of the cities and towns scattered through Alberta. I wouldn`t rely on them for an entire trip, but they can be great for a day trip or a few transfers here and there.
Campervan: If you’re into the campervan lifestyle, it makes for an epic adventure and allows a ton of flexibility! We have heard excellent things about renting from Karma Campervans who are based out of Calgary. Rates vary in different seasons so be sure to check their website for up-to-date prices and availability.
Agoda is perfect for finding everything from hostels and B&B`s to 5-star hotels. You can search by map or by price and they typically have free cancellation.
Budget: $25-45 CAD ($20-35 USD) per night. Dorm room (single bed), Airbnb rooms( double occupancy), or a campsite (double occupancy).
Mid-range: $75-175 CAD ($58-136 USD) per night for 2 people. An older hotel, Bed & Breakfast, or Airbnb.
Luxury: $200+ CAD ($155+ USD) per night for 2 people. 4-5 star hotel or lodge.
- Get a hotel or B&B with breakfast included
- Book your ski lift ticket a few days in advance online to save 18-20%
- Stay somewhere with access to a kitchen and cook your own meals
- Bring your own gear if you plan to do biking, skiing, floating down the river, etc.
- Take advantage of all the FREE trails, lakes, and things to do in Alberta
- A tip of 18% is customary for restaurants in Canada