Alberta : Travel Information before you go!
Alberta covers an area of 255,540 mi².
There are two international airports in Alberta, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary. Air Canada and Air Transat operate direct flights to Edmonton International from several London airports. Air Canada, Air Transat, British Airways and WestJet operate direct flights to Calgary International from several London airports, with Air Transat also offering direct flights to the airport from Glasgow International.
The flight time is around 10 hours.
Alberta is 7 hours behind the UK.
The province of Alberta is quite sparsely populated compared to its vast surface area, with 3,645,257 inhabitants.
Edmonton International Airport is located 17 miles from the city centre, about a 30 minutes taxi (£21) or bus (£6) journey.
Calgary International Airport is located approximately 10 miles from the city centre, and takes around 20 minutes to reach by taxi or bus.
As in the rest of Canada, you do not need to take any particular safety measures. The province of Alberta is a safe place and has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. However, as with anywhere else, you should always keep an eye on your belongings.
English is the official language, and is spoken by the majority of the population. Each minority speaks its own dialect, and the Indians speak more than a dozen. French, although very different to French from France, is spoken in Quebec, where the two national languages are French and English.
Required travel documents for
For European citizens, a valid passport is needed to enter Canada. European tourists do not need a visa for stays shorter than six months. Otherwise the travellers are asked to leave the territory. It is possible to obtain a work or student visa at one of Canada's immigration centres.
The Protestant religion is dominant (around
46%) in the two provinces, headed up by the United and Anglican churches. The Catholics follow (around 36%), with an overwhelming majority of Roman Catholics.
Canadian Dollar (CAD)
The bus companies cover the two provinces and inspite of being quite slow, they are the least expensive means of transport. Due to Canada's low petrol prices car rental is not very expensive and allows for greater freedom.To hire a car, you need to be at least 21 and have held a licence for at least a year. Some car rental companies also impose a daily flat-rate supplement and a collision excess of $500 for drivers aged 21 to 25... You are advised to have a credit card if you do not wish to leave large sums of money as a security deposit. An international licence is not compulsory, however, it is often required by companies in the Anglo-Saxon provinces. The highway code is similar to Europe; the driving is on the right (60m/h maxi on a motorway, and 30m/h in town). Note that you can go right at the red light in all states apart from in Quebec.
You can also hire camping-cars. Although more expensive, they allow you to save money on accommodation. The train is comfortable for long distances, but quite expensive. The 'Canadian' train, which connects Toronto to Vancouver in three days, is another way of discovering the country. For those with bigger budgets it is possible to fly there: all the large cities have an airport served by Air Canada and Canadian. Hitch-hiking is very popular with backpackers, and hitch-hiking enthusiasts. This is very common except on the motorways, where it is forbidden. In Canada, this means of transport is even organised by the Allo-stop association, which puts drivers and passengers in contact with each other. Cycling is a very popular way of getting around all over the country. Various cycling tracks have been introduced, including in large cities.
No vaccinations are required. To get medical expenses reimbursed, personal medical insurance is necessary. Mosquitoes are a real hassle; plan to bring protection and prevention care against mosquito bites.
110 V American standard outlets, flat plugs. Bring an adaptor.
Taxes and tips
Marked prices usually do not include taxes. For most goods and services, you must add 7% for the federal tax and between 7 and 8% for the province tax. Some exceptions include books and food. Under certain conditions and in certain cases, foreigners can be reimbursed for those taxes. Brochures concerning this topic are available at the customs office in airports and in tourist offices. Concerning restaurants, taxis and cloakrooms, service is rarely included in the price and so it is thus recommended to add 15%, for fear of being subjected to a few remarks!
To call Northern Alberta from the UK, dial: 001 + 780 + the 7 digit number you are trying to reach. To call Southern Alberta from the UK, dial: 001 + 403 + the 7 digit number you are trying to reach.
To call the UK from Alberta, dial: 011 + 44 + the number you are trying to reach without the initial 0.
Alberta : Useful addresses in the country
Canadian Tourist Office
P.O. Box 170, Ashford, London TN24 0ZX. Tel: 0870 161 5151 (trade only) or 0906 871 5000 (60p/min). Fax: 0870 165 5665
Embassy & High Commission of Canada
Immigration & Visa section: MacDonald House, 38 Grosvenor Street, London W1K 4AA. Tel: 020 7258 6500. Fax: 020 7258 6506
At the destination
80 Elgin Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5K7
Tel.: 613 237 1530 (8.30am-5pm) Fax: 613 237 7980
Tourist information centre
90 Wellington street, in Ottawa (Ontario). Tel.: (613) 239 5000 or 800 465 1867.
207 Queen's Quay Terminal, suite 509, in Toronto (Ontario) M5J1A7. Tel.: (416) 203 2500 or 800 363 1990.
320-25 Forks Market Road, in Winnipeg (Manitoba).
Tel.: (204) 943 1970 or 800 665 0204.