Are you heading to Alberta to explore Banff National Park and its beautiful lakes?
If so, chances are you are flying into Calgary and planning to stay a few days to check out this vibrant city too.
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But as the fourth largest city in Canada, is Calgary safe?
To put to rest any worries or concerns about visiting this splendid part of Alberta, we’re discussing how safe Calgary is and what you should be aware of before going there.
- Calgary is a safe destination for travelers.
- It is safe to travel to Calgary right now.
- Practice common sense and awareness when traveling in Calgary.
- You can purchase a Canada prepaid SIM card to feel safer in Calgary.
Is Calgary Safe For Tourists?
Calgary has no safety concerns for tourists and has an overall low safety risk. Data shows that 82% of tourists feel safe while visiting Calgary.
The chances of muggings or pickpocketing are also meager, especially compared to many other metropolitan cities.
Calgary has a population of 1.25 million, but a small study by the Calgary Police Commission found that the city’s crime rate is on par with American towns with a population of 300,000.
So, Calgary is significantly safer than most parts of the USA.
Is Calgary Safe To Travel Now?
There are currently no terrorism risks in Calgary or significant natural disaster concerns.
The main problem is snowstorms during winter, so it is best to avoid visiting during this season. While Calgary is not known for excessive rain, flooding sometimes happens during heavy rainfalls.
Moreover, as of mid-2023, Calgary and the whole of Canada have no Covid restrictions in place, and the country is fully open to international tourists.
Why Is Calgary “Dangerous”?
Calgary is not considered a dangerous city at all. The small percentage of crime that does occur is typically among locals rather than aimed at tourists.
It’s also incredibly safe to walk the streets of Calgary during the day. However, like most cities, you should exercise caution when out and about at night and opt for getting a taxi or public transport over walking home.
The Safest Areas In Calgary
While Calgary is generally safe, there are a few areas you may want to avoid visiting or walking through at night.
These are East Village, Victoria Park, and Skid Row, areas with many homeless people and a reputation for drugs and prostitution.
While you probably won’t encounter any direct danger here, you may feel uncomfortable or uneasy, particularly late at night.
So now you know where to avoid, where are the safest areas to stay in Calgary?
- Downtown – Most tourists stay downtown because it’s full of entertainment, shopping, and dining options and close to attractions like Calgary Tower and the Glenbow Museum. It’s also a very safe choice as it’s well-lit, and most hotels here have security systems or guards.
- East Village – In recent years, East Village has been gentrified and is now one of Calgary’s most hip and happening parts. Therefore, more and more tourists are staying here rather than downtown. As well as old landmarks, you’ll find trendy eateries, indie music venues, art galleries, and vintage clothing stores, many of which are houses in converted warehouses.
- Kensington – Kensington is another trendy district and a top choice for shopaholics as it has a large and diverse array of shops and fabulous restaurants. It’s also within walking distance of the city center.
- 17th Avenue – If you’re heading to Calgary to enjoy the night scene, staying in or around 17th Avenue is convenient as it’s full of bars and restaurants. However, if you’re not much of a party animal, I recommend not booking a hotel in this part of town as it can be pretty loud at night.
Things To Avoid In Calgary
As a safe city, there is little that you should actively avoid during your Calgary vacation.
However, one thing I would suggest not doing is giving money to beggars.
Unfortunately, you may come across beggars in certain parts of Calgary. As you can never know if they are genuine, I recommend not giving any money to them.
If you want to do something for them, buying them a hot drink or meal would be better.
Another thing I would avoid is visiting Calgary in winter. The winter months get extremely cold, snow is abundant, and snow storms can occur.
This can dampen your experience and prevent you from doing everything you would like to do.
To ensure you have the best experience possible, I suggest going to Calgary in one of the other three seasons.
However, if you’re into skiing, or winter sports, the Canadian Rockies aren’t that far from Calgary.
The summer months of June to August are the peak season, so there are more crowds and higher prices during this time. But weather-wise, these are the best months to visit.
Driving In Calgary
Driving in Calgary is not the most dangerous but also not the easiest. As a tourist, it will be a little challenging to navigate when you are unfamiliar with the roads. There can also be a lot of traffic, especially during rush hour.
Moreover, driving can become dangerous in the winter, when the streets get icy, and snow tires are a must during these months.
So, unless you want to spend your vacation stuck in traffic or stressing about how to get from A to B, it’s better to use the public transit network, which consists of buses and Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines, known as the CTrain.
Public transport prices are very reasonable, and the service is frequent and reliable. Plus, you can ride the CTrain throughout the downtown core (between City Hall Station and Downtown West/Kerby Station) for free.
An alternative way to get around is by taxi or a ride-sharing service like Uber. This is a good choice when traveling to and from the airport or going to places outside of the city center.
Taxis are well-regulated in Calgary, as all drivers use a meter.
If you’re planning on going to Banff or Jasper, then consider renting a car or taking the bus. You can find affordable bus tickets on Busbud.
Calgary For Solo Travelers
As such a safe city, you probably won’t be surprised to hear you can travel alone here without any problem whatsoever. You can walk the streets alone without getting hassled (though you should still be careful at night).
If you want to meet others (and save costs), you can stay in one of the many social hostels like ‘Wicked Hostels‘ or ‘HI Calgary City Centre Hostel.’
There are also many fab attractions to check out alone in the city, such as Glenbow Museum and Fort Calgary. Plus, if you want to go further afield, like Banff National Park but prefer to go with someone, you can join a group tour.
Calgary For Female Travelers
Like all parts of Canada, Calgary is a very safe place for women.
Whether you come alone or with friends, you’ll have tons of fun here and are unlikely to experience any annoyances like being hassled on the street.
This doesn’t mean you should let your guard down, though.
Follow the usual advice like staying in well-lit areas, not accepting rides or drinks from strangers, and taking the bus home rather than walking.
Calgary For Digital Nomads And Expats
While you will find more digital nomads and expats in larger Canadian cities like Vancouver and Montreal, Calgary is still popular for remote workers and those on working holidays in Canada.
The city has excellent infrastructure, high quality of life, and vibrant culture.
But aside from the bustling atmosphere, there are a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy here (when it isn’t too cold), so if you like beautiful parks and scenery, you’ll surely enjoy spending a few months working remotely here.
There are many hip coffee shops well set up for the laptop lifestyle in Calgary and numerous coworking spaces like cSPACE and Work Nicer.
If you’re considering moving to Canada, read our guide to explore the best places to live in Canada.
Extra Safety Tips
Here are a few more things to know to ensure you have a safe and trouble-free Calgary trip:
- Familiarize yourself with the emergency numbers – If you’re in an emergency and need assistance from the police, fire, or medical services, call the general emergency number, 911. To report a non-emergency incident, call 6403-266-1234. And remember to have your embassy number on hand in case you run into any trouble while in Calgary.
- Pack for the season – Don’t underestimate winter in Calgary. During the winter, the temperature rarely rises above freezing during the day and can drop as low as -14°. So ensure you have a thick winter coat that retains heat well, winter boots, and all winter accessories, including gloves and hats.
Calgary Travel Insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable Calgary trip. With your trip insured, you’ll have total peace of mind, knowing you’re financially covered in any circumstance.
So you won’t be out of pocket if you fall ill, become involved in an accident, or your flight gets canceled.
I recommend choosing SafetyWing for travel insurance as they offer the most comprehensive coverage, and their application process is quick and easy. Plus, you can sign up from anywhere in the world.
Final Thoughts On Safety In Calgary
So, is Calgary safe? Absolutely!
Compared to many American cities of the same size (and smaller), Calgary has meager crime rates.
Most tourists comment on how safe and welcoming the city is, so you should have no apprehensions about visiting here.
Visiting Canada soon? Read one of the following guides:
Appeared first on: abrokenbackpack.com