trip essentials

about alberta

Welcome to Alberta – undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places on earth, as vast as it is varied in landscape and experiences. Alberta is an exceptional vacation destination you won’t soon forget, filled with unique activities, urban charms and cultural jewels.

Located in the heart of western Canada, the province of Alberta is bordered by the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the west and the prairies of Saskatchewan to the east. Banff and Jasper, world-renowned resorts in our Canadian Rockies, offer luxurious accommodation and fine dining. In the summer, find stunning hiking, golf and spa experiences; in winter, ski the best powder in the world. Find out why so many of our national parks are UNESCO World Heritage sites. Take a day trip south and east into the Canadian Badlands and go back millions of years to the age of the dinosaurs. Or venture north into a land of pristine lakes, backcountry lodges, and trophy fishing. In winter you’re sure to see the Aurora Borealis - try it by dog sled!


Alberta is one of the fastest growing provinces in Canada with a population of more than 3.5 million. Alberta has a diversity of natural terrain - parklands, grasslands, badlands, boreal forests and plains, ancient glaciers, thousands of lakes and rivers, and the oldest mountain ranges in the Rockies. Our variety of natural areas support hundreds of species of wildlife, many of which are endangered or protected.


Canada’s monetary system is based on dollars and cents. Traveller’s cheques and credit cards are accepted at most commercial establishments, banks and currency exchange offices. Banking hours are generally 9:30 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Some banks are open Saturdays. Most automated teller machines (ATMs) are linked to one or more of the following networks: Interac, Cirrus or Plus.


The average tip in Canada ranges from 15 to 20 per cent and is usually given for good service by food servers, taxi drivers, tour guides, hotel staff and estheticians.



Alberta is the only province in Canada without a Provincial Sales Tax (PST). The Canadian Government charges five per
cent Goods & Services Tax (GST) on most purchases. For more information visit the Canada Revenue Agency

Alberta, according to Environment Canada, has more sunshine annually than any other province or territory in Canada (312 days).  We also have the most sunny days in the winter months (115 days).  We're ranked number one for having the most comfortable weather, overall, in Canada.


Canada uses the metric system which means highway and traffic indicators are in km and km/h, gas is sold by the litre, temperature is measured in Celsius, and the electrical current is 110 volts.


New Year's Day – January 1, 2016
Alberta Family Day - February 15, 2016
Good Friday – March 25, 2016
Easter Monday – March 28, 2016
Victoria Day - May 23, 2016
Canada Day - July 1, 2016
Heritage Day - August 1, 2016
Labour Day - September 5, 2016
Thanksgiving Day - October 10, 2016
Remembrance Day - November 11, 2016
Christmas Day - December 25, 2016
Boxing Day - December 26, 2016

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