About Calgary International Airport (YYC)
Address: 2000 Airport Rd Ne, National Car Rental, Calgary, T2e6w5 , Ab, Ab
Calgary International Airport (YYC) is located approximately 17 km (10 mi) northeast of downtown Calgary. The airport is an important transportation hub for the city, and the primary entry point to Banff National Park (127 km / 79 mi) — Alberta’s number one tourism destination. Airport car rentals from Avis, Budget, National, and Thrifty — to name a few — can be found in the Car Rental Center across the street from the domestic terminal.
Rapid economic development has wreaked havoc on Calgary’s infrastructure, particularly for motor vehicles, which is ironic, considering the city’s prosperity and growth are owed to the oil industry. Nevertheless, Calgary is a car-centric metropolis, and you’ll be at a serious disadvantage when getting around via public transportation — which has gotten a lot better in recent years, they say, but still nowhere near other cities of a comparable size. And if you’re planning to venture outside of city limits, you will need to rent a car.
A million people are trying to make their way around Calgary on any given day. Therefore, expect heavy traffic downtown. Otherwise, streets in Calgary are laid out on a perfectly acceptable grid that takes a bit of time to assimilate, but it’s nothing special. A lot of major thoroughfares have “Trail” tacked on to the name. Although good portions of Calgary’s streets are numbered for sequential navigation, this system is being phased out in fresh developments found in surrounding areas. More importantly, these new pop-up suburban towns don’t immediately appear on maps or GPS.
Choosing your car
Choosing the right car doesn’t mean sacrificing comfort for value. You can easily get a great deal on a car that suits your travel itinerary. For strictly inner city driving, your best bets are Chevrolet compacts and Kia economy cars. For exploring the Calgary metropolitan area, Toyota intermediate sedans and SUVs are up to the task. If you’re the chauffer of a larger group, a 7-9 seater Dodge minivan has plenty of room for passengers and baggage. Or cruise around town in style with a premium Nissan or Chrysler luxury sedan.
Tips and advice
Calgary basically has two seasons: Summer, from June to August; and winter, the rest of the time. It gets really cold, really fast. In fact, due to Calgary’s elevation, nighttime summer temps routinely drop to 10 °C (50 °F). On the bright side, Calgary gets over 300 days of sunshine, so pack a pair of sunglasses along with your winter clothing.
In the heart of downtown, 7th Avenue South is public transportation only. Don’t drive there.
Also downtown, the majority of streets are one-way.
Street parking in Calgary involves the ParkPlus system. Each spot has a 4-digit zone number. You’ll need to enter that number, plus your vehicle’s license plate number at the ParkPlus pay station. Oh, and exact change is required.
If you’re driving in Calgary during the winter, watch out for snow route parking. Major streets transition to no parking zones for 72 hours after a heavy snowfall — and it snows a lot in Calgary.
For up-to-the-minute traffic reports and road closures, tune your car hire’s radio to 106.5 FM.