Edmonton and Calgary are two of the largest cities in the province of Alberta, Canada. They are also two of the most popular destinations for tourists and locals alike. While the two cities are located in close proximity to one another, the distance between them can make a significant difference when it comes to travel times and methods. In this article, we will explore how far Edmonton is from Calgary and provide you with a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip.
Distance between Edmonton and Calgary
The distance between Edmonton and Calgary is approximately 300 kilometers (186 miles) if you take the fastest route, which is via the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (QEII). The actual driving time between the two cities is about three and a half to four hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. If you are flying, the flight time between the two cities is approximately one hour.
How to get from Edmonton to Calgary
There are several ways to travel from Edmonton to Calgary, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Below we explore some of the most popular options:
- Driving: If you prefer to drive, the QEII Highway is the most direct route between the two cities. The highway is well-maintained and offers stunning views of the Canadian Rockies. However, traffic can be heavy during peak travel times, and weather conditions can sometimes make driving challenging.
- Bus: Several bus companies operate between Edmonton and Calgary, including Greyhound and Red Arrow. Buses are generally affordable and comfortable, with amenities such as Wi-Fi and on-board restrooms. However, travel times can be longer than driving, and bus schedules may not always be convenient.
- Train: Via Rail offers train service between Edmonton and Calgary. Train travel is generally more comfortable than driving or taking the bus, and the views from the train are spectacular. However, train travel can be more expensive than other options, and schedules may be less frequent.
- Flight: Several airlines offer flights between Edmonton and Calgary, including Air Canada and WestJet. Flying is the fastest and most convenient way to travel between the two cities, and can be relatively affordable if you book in advance. However, flying can be expensive if you need to book last minute, and you will need to factor in travel time to and from the airport.
Best time to travel from Edmonton to Calgary
The best time to travel from Edmonton to Calgary depends on your preferences and what you want to see and do. Generally, the summer months (June-August) are the most popular time to visit both cities, as the weather is warm and sunny. However, this is also peak travel season, so prices for accommodations and activities can be higher, and crowds can be larger.
If you prefer cooler temperatures and fewer crowds, consider traveling in the spring (April-May) or fall (September-October). The weather is still mild, and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy.
Winter (November-March) can be a beautiful time to visit both Edmonton and Calgary, as the cities are transformed into winter wonderlands. However, the weather can be cold and snowy, and some attractions and activities may be closed or limited.
Things to see and do in Edmonton and Calgary
Both Edmonton and Calgary offer plenty of attractions and activities to keep visitors entertained. Here are some of the top things to see and do in each city:
- West Edmonton Mall: North America’s largest shopping mall, with over 800 stores, an amusement park, and an indoor water park.
- Fort Edmonton Park: A living history museum that showcases the history of Edmonton and Alberta through interactive exhibits and re-enactments.
- Edmonton River Valley: A network of parks, trails, and natural areas that runs through the heart of the city.