Jun 27

Getting Around Downtown Calgary

by Shannon Calhoun · 0 comments

Whether you are a tourist here to take in the Calgary Stampede, new to the city, or just considering an alternate method of transportation, here are some good resources to help your commute around town go smoothly.

Public Transit

Calgary’s public transit system is a cheap and easy way to get around. The C-train (our LRT) can get you all over the city and even has a “free fare zone” within the downtown core along 7th Avenue between 3 Street East and 11 Street West.  You will need to purchase a fare if you plan to travel outside of this area.

There are a number of great bus routes, including the 300 BRT Airport / City Centre between downtown and the airport.  For more details on Calgary Transit, including fares, check here.

Cycling

Calgary has some of the most extensive path and bikeway networks in North America.  Before you set out on your bike please make sure you are wearing the proper safety gear and obeying the rules of the road. There are bike racks available all over the city for you to park and lock your bicycle.

Parking

Finding parking downtown in any city is often a challenge. Let our downtown parking guide help you find the best spot, for the best price.

Walking

Calgary is a very pedestrian friendly city for the most part.  Here are a few tips that can improve your experience.

Most of Calgary’s LRT line is at road level (not above or below ground like other cities).  Please pay close attention to any signs that warn of an oncoming C-train and make sure your path is clear before crossing the street.

Stephen Avenue Walk (pronounced Steven) is a popular destination for both tourists and locals.  It’s a National Historic Site of Canada and a great place to eat, shop and people watch.

This downtown pedestrian mall is closed to vehicle traffic from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm daily unless you have a vehicle access permit, even cyclists must dismount their bikes. The street opens to regular traffic at 6:00pm, so you need to use the sidewalk and avoid the roadway in the evenings.

If you’re from a country where you drive on the left-hand side of the road, remember to look left first before crossing any street, as we drive on the opposite side here, unless it happens to be a one-way street.

Taxi

Catching a taxi can be a challenge during peak hours, but there are a couple of great resources to make this easier for you. There are  late night taxi stands at various locations around the city.

Most hotels are also great places to hail a cab.

 

+15 Walkways (Skywalk)

You may hear people mention the +15s (Plus 15s) and wonder what the heck they’re talking about. They are an indoor walkway system 15 feet above street level that connects many of the buildings in the downtown core.

According to calgaryplus15.com, Calgary has the world’s most extensive pedestrian walkway system with over 59 Plus 15s tallying 16 kilometres and they are a great way to get from point A to B, particularly on a rainy day or if you need a little air-conditioning to cool down on a hot day.

There’s always a lot to see along the way – shops, restaurants, people – but it can be easy to get lost if you’re not familiar with them.  To avoid this you can print a Plus 15 map or grab one at a Tourism Calgary Visitor Information Centre.

Wayfinding

The City of Calgary launched a new City Centre Wayfinding Program on June 26th.

The program provides “an integrated signage system that will raise awareness of Calgary’s many attractions and points of interest while improving visitor confidence to venture out and explore more of the city.”  The new signage looks great and will definitely make it easier for locals and tourists alike to navigate the city centre.

HOST Downtown Information Booth

As a part of our clean and safe initiative, the Calgary Downtown Association (CDA) runs the Hospitality Outreach Safety Team (HOST) to act as downtown ambassadors for both tourists and locals alike from mid May to the end of August.

HOSTs help visitors navigate through the downtown core and act as a source of information for shops, restaurants, directions to parking, transit and special events and attractions.  They’re always prepared to assist visitors in the downtown core. Just look for white cowboy hats, red jackets and a sunny disposition.  This year they will be set up along Stephen Avenue Walk (8th Ave SW).  There will also be a booth on Barclay Parade (3rd Street SW) near the Westin over Stampede.

Be in the Know!

Want to know what’s going on in the downtown core?  Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or sign up for our downtown events newsletter.

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