Flying to Charlottetown
Charlottetown Airport is only a 15 minute drive from our house. It’s a very easy airport to get in and out of–there’s only one gate.
The airport is served by two airlines:
- Air Canada (Star Alliance) flies direct to Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal.
- WestJet (code shares with Delta, KLM and others) flies direct to Toronto.
While Charlottetown is certainly the most convenient airport to fly into, there’s often a premium price attached to doing so, and in many cases, especially if flying across the Atlantic, it can make more financial sense to fly in and out of Halifax.
Taxi from the Airport
Once you arrive at Charlottetown Airport you can get anywhere in Charlottetown by taxi (from the taxi stand just outside the arrivals area) for $16, flat rate.
Public Transit from the Airport
There is very limited public transit available to and from the airport, and what service there is does not run on the weekend; consult the schedule for Route 11 to see the four runs per day. To get downtown from the Airport requires a transfer to Route 1 on at the Charlottetown Mall.
Walk or Bicycle from the Airport
Because the airport is so close to downtown Charlottetown, it’s possible to walk or bicycle to and from; I described this process in this blog post. Note that there is no public cycle scheme in Charlottetown, so cycling would require to bring your own bicycle.
Flying to Halifax
Halifax, the capital city of our neighbouring province of Nova Scotia, is about 4 hours drive from Charlottetown. Halifax International Airport has a much greater diversity of airlines serving a much greater collection of destinations, including direct flights to the USA and Europe.
The upside of flying to Halifax is that you can often save money by doing so compared to Charlottetown. Of particular note to Europeans are flights from Condor (direct to Frankfurt) and Icelandair (to many European cities via Reykjavik) which can be much less expensive, and much less complicated, than other routings.
The downside of flying to Halifax is that you need to get to Charlottetown, and this means either renting a car or taking the Maritime Bus (only 3 buses per day). And then, of course, the 4 hours drive each way to Charlottetown.
Taking the Train to Moncton
This trip takes a lot longer than flying, and can be more expensive the flying (especially if you book a room), but your carbon footprint will be less, and it is a singularly delightful trip.
Taking the Bus to Charlottetown
Maritime Bus is the regional bus company offering services from off-Island into Charlottetown. You can get as far west as Riviere-de-Loup, Quebec and transfer from there to points in the rest of Canada.
Getting around Charlottetown
Charlottetown is a very walkable city, and there’s nowhere you cannot get in the downtown that will take more than 30 minutes walk.
Charlottetown is served by a public transit system, T3 Transit, that can get you almost anywhere you’d want to get in the capital city region that includes Charlottetown, Cornwall, and Stratford. There’s very limited service outside of Charlottetown, however: outside of service to Summerside, you’ll need a car or bicycle to explore the rest of the Island.
Bicycles can be rented from MacQueen’s Bike Shop, which is a 15 minute walk from downtown.
The Confederation Trail runs over the abandoned railway lines into the eastern end of Charlottetown, and is an excellent way of traveling north-south through the city.
Use much more caution when cycling on Prince Edward Island than you would in places where it’s a more established tradition: assume that cars and trucks will ignore you, wear a helmet (it’s the law, and also makes sense given conditions), and take the trail when you can.
Cars can most easily be rented from Enterprise, which has an outlet on University Avenue that’s a 15 minute walk from downtown (they’ll also come and pick you up if you call in advance).
Taxis in Charlottetown are generally hailed by telephone; it’s unusual behaviour to hail one New York-style.
Coop Taxi is my preferred taxi company, as it’s a worker-owned cooperative. Phone 902-628-8200 to call a cab. Taxis in Charlottetown operate on a flat rate rather than metered system, so your driver can tell you in advance how much a trip will be. Some, but not all, taxis take credit cards.
Taxis run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; in the wee hours of the morning you may have to wait a while, however.