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Car hire in Calgary

Hiring a car in Calgary

Despite its position as one of the biggest and most popular cities for visitors to come to in Canada, Calgary Calgary is one that stands out from the rest of the country, thanks largely to the unusual reputation it has garnered over the years. With a thirst for business and the booming oil industry, Calgary is often viewed as the most American of all Canadian cities. But while that makes it stand out from the other cities in Canada, this alone is a great reason to visit Calgary.

The city has managed in some ways to shrug off the tired notion that it is a soulless and rather bland business metropolis in recent years, and now, whether you're looking to enjoy the bars and restaurants that make the city what it is, or hit the countryside to enjoy some of the most beautiful sights North America has to offer, you will find something to meet your tastes for sure.

What you need to know

Despite being one of the world's biggest countries in terms of area, Canada is relatively sparsely populated, and has fewer big cities than most nations of similar size. For this reason, it makes sense to hire a car, because nearly everything you will want to see outside the city centre will require a longer drive to get there. It's the reason why most people who visit Calgary will hire a car, making it one of the most popular places in the world for car hire. In addition to the size of Canada, you also have to take into account the less than favourable temperatures in winter, where you'll scarcely want to expose yourself to the elements long enough to walk anywhere.

Booking to hire a car through Holiday Autos means you can use our simple booking tool to pick the right car for you at the right price. So no matter what you are comfortable driving, you will be able to find it through one of the 1,500 major suppliers we work with and all at the lowest available prices.

Where to pick up your car

Due to the fact Calgary is one of the most popular car hire cities in the world, Calgary International Airport (YYC) has a special area where you can find your hire car. Once you've collected your bags and made it through the customs and security at their airport, make your way outside the main terminal. Here you will find a unit dedicated to car hire companies, where you will be able to pick up your keys and documentation, before you get on with your holiday and all of the freedom that comes with a hire car in Calgary.

Best Car Hire Companies Calgary


Car Hire Reviews Calgary

  • “The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
    Diane T

Where to go

Once you've picked up your documentation and your car at Calgary International Airport, your next step will be to decide where you want to go and how you want to enjoy your holiday in Calgary and wider Alberta.

Whether you want to head out into one of the wonderful bars Calgary has to offer or take a day trip to see the Rocky Mountains, or even see the city from high atop the Calgary Tower, there will be so many ways to really see what Calgary has to offer, and your hire car will open up so many opportunities that will allow you to enjoy the city and all it can show you.

Nearby Calgary

While Calgary itself is a fantastic city, there's so much more to be found in Alberta as a whole, and you need the car to see everything; even those places that are relatively close by. One example is just outside the city itself, where you can find Prince's Island Park. Around 20 minutes to the north of the city, simply cross the bridge and you'll be able to find some of the finest green spaces in the whole of the city. Here, you can take picnics, go for a bike ride or just stop and throw a frisbee around. In summer, you can even take in a Shakespeare play at the island's outdoor amphitheatre, a unique way to experience the city's culture.

In the south of the city, about a half hour drive from downtown Calgary, you can also discover what the city was like in days long gone. All of the buildings within the Heritage Park Historical Village are dated from 1915 or earlier, and they make up a wonderful 10-hectare area that is as far from modern Calgary as you can find. You can catch a steam train to get around and see all the park has to offer, and with a fort, grain mill, church and school to see, there's plenty of reason to drive here.

Longer drives

Your car hire means you don't need to stick to Calgary, however, and there's plenty to see in Alberta as a whole. Why not take a day to travel to Jasper National Park. Like most of Canada, it'll take you a while to get there (around three and a half hours) but it is more than worth the journey. From the most scenic road in Canada (Icefields Parkway) to Jasper National Park itself, everything about this trip into the heart of the Rockies seems to made for the photographer in you. Take your best lenses, because there's going to be a lot you want to remember forever here.

If you want a closer look at the Rockies, then it also makes sense to make the shorter hour and a half trip to Banff. Here, you can see some truly fantastic rock formations, carved by the strong winds that blow through the national park, and take a gondola ride to the viewpoint from which you can see the most breathtaking views of Banff. It really is a truly unbelievable sight, and almost reason alone to book a car hire when coming to holiday in Calgary.

Top attractions to visit in Calgary

No visit to Calgary will be complete without taking in the attractions and sights it has to offer both in and out of the city, and when you have hired a car from Holiday Autos, the freedom to do so opens up so many opportunities to enjoy your stay and experience the best of what the city can offer.

City culture

Being the business-centric metropolis that downtown Calgary is means that it has plenty for those who really want to soak up the urban lifestyle for a while. With a wealth of bars and clubs to choose from, Calgary has something for everyone, whether you are looking to try out gins, cocktails or just sit with a quiet beer in a more traditional surrounding. Culturally, this is a city built around people, and its reputation for being soulless is really proven wrong when the night comes alive in Calgary.


If you have kids with you when you are visiting Calgary, it is absolutely essential that you make time to head to the city's zoo. With more than 1,000 animals from around the world to show, this is one of the highest rated zoos in the whole North American continent. And with most of the animals housed in enclosures that simulate their wild habitats, you really get to see something as authentic as possible in the centre of any city. It's a joy to behold.

Calgary Tower

Probably the most iconic of all the skyscrapers that dot the skyline in Calgary, the Calgary Tower, at 191 metres tall, is one of the must-see sights in the city. From the top, you will have the chance to see the whole city from a bird's eye view, and it's one of the proudest fixtures of the Calgary downtown area. And this is all topped off by the revolving restaurant that sits atop the structure. It's the only way to see Calgary from the skies.