Alberta is one of the most popular and most beautiful of all of Canada's provinces, and once you set foot into the Rocky Mountains, it isn't hard to see why. There are endless things that you can do here in the mountains in both winter and summer. Some of the more remote hostels will close down over the winter months, but you will still find hostels open in the major towns and cities. So just make sure you double check with the hostel before you go in winter.
Banff National Park is the most popular of Canada's national parks and you will find heaps of hiking and skiing to do here. There are several hostels in Banff, the quaint town has some really cute shops, and the night life here is really happening. You can head to the popular Lake Louise on a day trip or Lake Moraine. The bus tickets to get here from Banff can be very expensive so budget for it or make sure you book your Greyhound ticket well in advance to get the discount.
Up north is Jasper National Park. It is way more serene and quiet, but you will find some hostels with nearby incredible hiking and lakes. To explore either of these regions, it's best to hire a car. The drive from Banff up through to Jasper is one of the most spectacular drives and is not to be missed. Other national parks to visit around the area that are less popular but still stunning are the Waterton National Park and Yoho National Park.
The two major cities in Alberta are Calgary and Edmonton. Calgary is the heart of Alberta and the business centre. It is also home to the world's largest rodeo in the Calgary Stampede which happens every year rain, hail or shine in July. Calgary was also home to the winter Olympics in 1988 and has a great Olympic Park you can visit that houses the famous Jamaican bob sled from the movie Cool Runnings. Calgary has less hostels than you might expect, so it's a good idea to book in advance. Edmonton is a more lazy town, and while there is not a great deal to do here, it is home to the largest mall in north America and is home to some amazing music festivals during the summer.
From Calgary, you can go and visit places like Drumheller, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and the Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump. However there are no hostels around these areas, they are better done as a day trip with a car from Calgary. Cars here are not too expensive to hire if you go with one of the cheaper companies like Budget. If you can find some people in your hostel to go with it will cut your cost down substantially and allow you to make the most of travelling around Alberta.
Hi, I'm Globetrotter,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Alberta hostels. Welcome.
Edmonton is a fun city all year round. They have a huge river valley for running, biking, blading etc. It's better to come in the summer when there are loads of festivels and concerts. It's a sports city. They love their hockey (Oilers), their football (Eskimos), and lots of other sports. So if you want to see great …
Must sees in Calgary are the Stampede (if you're in town in early - mid July), Prince's Island Park, Glenbow Museum, Heritage Park, Glenmore Resevoir/Weasel Head, Bowness Lagoon. Calgary is close to the mountains, beautiful city, friendly people.