This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Calgary.
The hostels in Calgary are all located downtown. While there might be some small advantage to one location or another, such as being closer to the light rail system, everything is generally within easy reach. While there are not very many options, the hostels are more than adequate. It should be noted that there are some pretty big differences in atmosphere between various Calgary hostels. It is generally a good a idea to book ahead because they regularly reach capacity. This is especially true in July during the Calgary Stampede, when you should reserve a place as far in advance as possible.
Calgary hostels put you in the middle of an interesting city. There is a stereotype, not helped by the city's own branding, that Calgary has no culture or only a cowboy culture. While this is in your face during the Calgary Stampede, it is much more in the background for the rest of the year. While you might have to look a little harder, there are some cool neighborhoods, such as Inglewood to the east and Kensington to the north, and the 17th Street zone to the south. Calgary has become more diverse in recent years, and that means there is a reasonable selection of food and shops. Some places you might want to visit are the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, Fort Calgary, and the Zoo. Although you are in the middle of a massive urban sprawl, there are some nice parks along the Bow and Elbow Rivers.
You are also just a couple hours away from the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Depending on how you arrive to Calgary, you might see them in the distance. A visit to Banff National Park is highly recommended (check with your hostel to see if tours are available). The Greyhound bus station is awkwardly located west of the center. The airport is accessible on public transit via a combination of light rail and bus.
Written by local enthusiast for Calgary hostelsJonathan A