By plane, you'll arrive at the Calgary International Airport. Take a cab into town. By car, you'll most likely be coming in on the Trans-Canada; to get downtown, head south on Edmonton Trail, Centre Street (when the bridge reopens), or 10th Street.
Most visitors to Calgary rent a car, but if you're going to be staying in the city for a few days, what's the point? Central Calgary is compact and walkable. In the centre of the city, the public transit system is reliable and quick, and your two feet will get you pretty much anywere you want to go. Everything from the Zoo to the Stampede grounds are accesible by train, and most streets have bus routes that run every 15 minutes. Beware, though, transit stops at 1am; after that, cabs are pretty easy to catch. Rent a car to go out to Banff.
if you are going to Banff or anywhere in the mountains from Calgary. Rent a car!! dont take the bus to Banff. although most everything in Banff is easy access. if you want to go to Lake Louise or to see some really beautiful country, you need a car to get around....
Definitely rent a car if you don't have one. You'll want to go to the Rocky Mountains which are just an hour out of Calgary. It takes about an hour and a half to get to Banff.
You may be able to get a bus tour out to the mountains as well. My cousins often use the train and bus system to get around.
There is the International Airport in the N.E. part of the city. Or about 15 min from downtown. For flight arrivals and departures go here: http://fids.airporthub.com/calgary/
You can use a car if you know where you are going. There are autoroutes through the city called Trails. All move very fast, some 100 km/h, and the traffic can be crazy during rush hour. Plan ahead and know exactly when and where to turn. Other than that make use of the LRT and the bus where possible. If you go to Stampede take the LRT. It stops right there.
By vehicle or bus, the travelling is easy as the highways are wide and you can get around relatively fast.
If you can, rent a bike in the summer and explore the pathways. There are lots of areas you can cover by walking (depending on how much you like to walk and where you are going). Public transportation is very good, buses and trains can get you everywhere at a low cost.
If you come to Calgary you'll find that the buses and c-trains are a great way to get around (but they don't run all night so make sure you check what time the service ends!) :) Otherwise, you can use taxi's but it is good to keep in mind that Calgary is a very expansive city which means it can cost alot to get from one area of the city to another. Calgary is a driver's city so if you have a car you'll find it easy to get around.
FYI if you travel with Air Transat, it's handy to know that anything you want to purchase onboard has to be paid for with a credit card. No cash or debit cards accepted.
The downtown area is known as a free-fare zone in which it is free to ride the LRT (C-Train). The area is between City Hall and 8 st SW.
On my flight from San Francisco we flew over Crater Lake. We were informed that it is one of the deepest lakes in the States. I took a quick photo just after the pilot told us.
We flew from Houston non stop to Calgary, then rent a car for the drive to Canmore.
Car to all the hikes, but we spent a lot of time on foot in Canmore and banff - and of course on bikes.