Beautiful and bustling Calgary is Alberta’s largest city, known for its lively neighbourhoods, warm hospitality, and proximity to the Canadian Rockies. Here are the top things to do in Calgary next time you’re in town.
The city of Calgary is known for many things: The Calgary Stampede, the Canadian Rockies, or Aurora Borealis. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find this place offers many more surprises and wonders.
Start exploring downtown, at the Calgary Tower, where you’ll see the best views in the city. Then wander Stephen Avenue Walk, a pedestrian mall with shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, or head inside to Bankers Hall, a mall housing high-end retailers. Shoppers and strollers alike will also enjoy Kensington Village, 17th Avenue, and Inglewood. Bordering downtown, Calgary’s oldest neighborhood – East Village – is undergoing a major revitalisation. Don’t miss storied heritage buildings, the city’s birthplace at Fort Calgary, the award-winning pathway RiverWalk, and new architectural marvels Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, and the Central Library. The Peace Bridge is another landmark structure that’s quickly become one of the most photographed spots in the city. Other popular Calgary attractions include the Calgary Zoo, Glenbow Museum, and Heritage Park Historical Village,
For Nature Lovers
When people think Alberta, they think Rocky Mountains and breathtaking landscapes fit for a screensaver. Luckily, one of Canada’s most visited national parks, Banff, is only about an hour and half drive away from Calgary. There’s also a shuttle that runs directly from Calgary to the park and back if you’re not in the mood to drive. For outdoor enthusiasts that wish to stay in the city, Calgary has the most extensive urban pathway in North America, as well as vast public parks, like Nose Hill and Fish Creek Provincial Park. Feel like taking a relaxing boat ride? Head down to Bow River, where you’ll also catch a glimpse of the local wildlife. And if you’re in luck, you’ll be able to see an aurora in person just by driving a bit north of the city. You can check out the aurora visibility forecast here.
Eats n’ Drinks
Calgary’s well known for their high-quality beef, so steak-lovers will have nothing to complain about during their visit. Calgary is a city made up of foodies, for foodies. Thanks to this, there is no shortage of food and drinks inspired festivals throughout every season of the year. Taste of Calgary, Rocky Mountain Food & Wine Festival, and Calgary International Beerfest are just a few of the many events you might run into during your trip. If you’re a fan of beer, head over to the neighbourhood of Inglewood, which has a burgeoning brewery scene. There are also a number of craft breweries scattered around the city if you’d like to take a tour to taste the goods. Like to explore cities on bike? Check out our Calgary Bike Tour for café and restaurant recommendations.
Things to Do with Kids
For those traveling with little ones, there are an endless list of things to do in Calgary that your entire family will enjoy. Hit up the slopes during winter, see the pandas at the Calgary Zoo, visit the Dinosaur Provincial Park, or even go to a classic drive-in movie with burgers and shakes. If you happen to be in Calgary in July, don’t hesitate to attend the Calgary Stampede with the whole family. The annual event has tons of attractions for kids and parents alike. Check out the science center TELUS Spark for a day of learning, fun, and hands on exhibits. If your family likes to watch or play sports, Calgary’s got you covered. Any winter activities of your choosing await at WinSport, the site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. And for the spectators, Calgary has an NHL and Canadian Football League team, as well as a National Lacrosse League team. Catch a game if you’ve got time!