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15 Best Things To Do In Calgary

Welcome to Calgary, the city that became famous during the 1988 Winter Olympics. With its stunning Rocky Mountains in sight and a nonstop nightlife, Calgary is one of the most vibrant cities in Canada. Whether you're looking for some outdoor adventure or unique experiences in the cultural capital of Canada, you will find something for every Calgary traveler. From checking out the exciting cultural districts to getting up close with nature, here are some of the best things to do in Calgary.

1. The Calgary Tower

Calgary Tower

Only a short drive from Calgary Airport, the Calgary Tower is one of the most popular places to see in Calgary. Standing tall at 191 meters, it is an iconic structure that can be seen from almost anywhere in the city of Calgary. It offers spectacular 360 degree views of downtown Calgary and the Bow River, with both indoor and outdoor observation decks that provide a perfect platform for Calgary sightseeing and capturing some amazing photographs.

You can also enjoy food and drinks in the revolving Sky 360 Restaurant located at the top of the tower, adding another layer of experience to your time in Calgary. The restaurant is known for its exceptional cuisine which changes seasonally, making it a great place to enjoy a unique dining experience like no other. Moreover, there’s also souvenir shop located inside where you can purchase mementos from your trip.


Address: 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J9, Canada

Phone: +1 403-266-7171

2. The Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo

The Calgary Zoo is one of the top Calgary attractions close to the Calgary International Airport. Located along St. George's Island, the zoo offers many different activities and experiences for people of all ages. As Canada's second largest zoo, it features over 1,000 animals including giant pandas, endangered rhinos and tropical birds.

Visitors can explore the wide range of habitats that house these animals through walking trails or on a guided tour. The zoo also offers educational programs like animal care classes and summer camps to increase awareness about conservation efforts worldwide.

Families with children will particularly enjoy visiting the Canadian Wilds section which has over 200 native species housed in their natural habitat-like environment. Guests can explore an Alberta prairie land complete with wolves, bison and bears or wander across a lush boreal forest teeming with elk and cougars among other creatures.


Address: 210 St. George's Drive NE, Calgary, AB T2E 7V6, Canada

Phone: +1 403-232-9300

3. Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park Historical Village Calgary

Heritage Park Historical Village is one of the best places to go in Calgary for a truly unique experience. Located on the banks of the Glenmore Reservoir, it is home to over 180 historical buildings and artifacts, representing life in Western Canada between 1860 and 1950. Tourists can explore this vibrant village at their own pace, taking time to visit stores, parlors, homes, farms and more.

There are many activities that vacationers can partake in during their visit as well. Whether it be singing with a live band in a saloon or touring an old-time steam train heritage park has something for all ages. This makes Heritage Park Historical Village an ideal spot for families as there is plenty to keep kids entertained while parents explore the village's history.


Address: 1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary, AB T2V 2X3, Canada

Phone: +1 403-268-8500

4. The Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede annual rodeo

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival in Calgary held every year in July. It takes place at Stampede Park and lasts for ten days. This world-famous event began in 1912 and has grown to become one of the largest festivals of its kind globally. People from all over the world travel to Calgary to experience the incredible festivities that include a parade, carnival activities, music concerts, art exhibitions and more.

As part of this huge celebration of western culture, there is also a professional rodeo held each year at the Calgary Stampede with events such as bull riding, barrel racing, steer wrestling and bareback bronc riding. The rodeo draws some of the best competitors from around the globe hoping to win big prizes or a coveted spot at the Grand National Championship Finals taking place during Stampede week.

5. Royal Tyrrell Museum

Royal Tyrrell Museum

On your next trip to Calgary, make sure to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum. This world-renowned museum is dedicated to paleontology and features a wide variety of dinosaur fossils and displays. Located in the heart of Drumheller Valley, it has become one of Canada’s most popular tourist attractions in Calgary since its opening in 1985.

The museum houses over 130,000 specimens of dinosaurs as well as other marine reptiles and invertebrates that date back millions of years ago. The facility also offers interactive exhibits and activities such as a fossil preparation lab where you can learn about how paleontologists identify and clean fossils. Furthermore, there are outdoor trails within the vicinity where visitors can observe some real dinosaur tracks left million years ago.


Address: 1500 N Dinosaur Trail, Drumheller, AB T0J 0Y0, Canada

Phone: +1 403-823-7707

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6. Calaway Park

Calaway Park

Calaway Park is Western Canada’s largest outdoor family amusement park. Situated in Calgary, Alberta, Calaway Park has been offering thrills and fun to visitors of all ages since 1982. This immense park offers over 35 rides and attractions that range from the classic carousel to extreme roller coasters. With a variety of shows and live entertainment, the diverse activities make it a perfect spot for families or friends looking for an exciting day out during their stay in Calgary.

The park features four distinct themed zones – Friendship Gardens, Big Country Corral, Cowboy Town and Wild West Junction. In addition to the rides available in each zone, there are also more than 30 different games of skill throughout Park Calaway. The games vary from interactive video game challenges to test your reflexes with whack-a-mole and skee-ball options.


Address: 245033 Range Rd 33, Calgary, AB T3Z 2E9, Canada

Phone: +1 403-240-3822

7. Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary is an important historical site located near the center of Calgary. It was constructed as a North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) fort in 1875 and served as a military outpost for several years before becoming the city's first police headquarters. Throughout its history, Fort Calgary has been a symbol of resilience and strength to the people who live here.

Today, the Fort Calgary museum has become an iconic tourist attraction that offers educational programs to visitors from around the world. The fort houses a museum with artifacts dating back to early settlement times. Visitors can explore interactive exhibits that allow them to learn about life during this era, view replicas of original buildings, and even take part in reenactments of historical events that took place at the Calgary Fort.


Address: 750 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 5E1, Canada

Phone: +1 403-290-1875

8. Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum in Calgary

Established in 1966, the Glenbow Museum's mission is to preserve and share the cultural history of western Canada. This art museum houses a large collection of artifacts, art objects, photographs and archives that tell stories of Indigenous peoples and others who have called this region home.

The best part about visiting the Glenbow Museum is its diverse range of exhibits. It features works from all over the world like Asia, Africa and Oceania as well as pieces from different periods such as historic paintings from 19th century Scotland and contemporary aboriginal art from Canada.

There are also special exhibitions throughout the year that explore various topics like natural history or Canadian culture. The museum also has regular public programs for visitors to enjoy like artist talks, workshops and performances in addition to educational activities for children.


Address: 130 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0P3, Canada

Phone: +1 403-268-4100

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9. Prince Island Park

Prince Island Park

Prince's Island Park is a beautiful, lush park nestled in the heart of Calgary. It's a popular spot among both locals and tourists where you can take leisurely strolls around the pond to vigorous hikes along its many trails.

The park itself is situated on an island surrounded by winding pathways leading visitors through its flora and fauna. During summer months you can find people picnicking at one of the many tables or kayaking in the tranquil pond. In winter, you'll find skaters taking full advantage of the frozen surface. Throughout all four seasons however, one thing remains: the stunning landscape of trees and nature that surrounds this tranquil space.


Address: 698 Eau Claire Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5N4, Canada

Phone: +1 403-268-2489

10. Big Rock Brewery

Big Rock Brewery

Big Rock Brewery has become one of the unique things to see in Calgary. Located in the heart of downtown Calgary, it is a haven for beer connoisseurs and casual beer drinkers alike. The brewery was established in 1985 as Alberta’s first craft brewery and since then has grown into an integral part of the local community.

Touring Big Rock Brewery is an exciting experience that allows visitors to explore their state-of-the-art facility while learning about the history of brewing in Alberta. Guests will get an up close look at their entire brewing process from milling grain, to boiling wort, to fermentation tanks, and bottling lines. In addition, you can sample a range of ales and lagers produced on site as well as specialty products available only through the retail store or online shop.


Address: 5555 76 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2C 4L8, Canada

Phone: +1 403-720-3239

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11. The Military Museum

Calgary Military Museum

The Calgary Military Museum is an incredible place to visit and learn about Canadian military history. Situated in the center of Calgary city, this museum offers a glimpse into the past and insights into the nation’s proud military legacy. Featuring artifacts from major wars such as World War I, World War II and the Korean War, plus displays on medical services, engineering and communications.

Designed to be engaging and educational for all ages, the museum offers interactive exhibits that cover significant events in Canadian military history. There are also special programs offered on certain days where visitors can partake in activities such as “Ask a Veteran” sessions with volunteers or listen to guest speakers discuss their wartime experiences. The museum also features a library full of books related to the military history of Canada that can be accessed by visitors.


Address: 4520 Crowchild Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2T 5J4, Canada

Phone: +1 403-410-2340

12. Banff National Park

Banff National Park

If you plan on taking a day trip from Calgary, the Banff National Park is one of Canada’s oldest and most prominent national parks. Established in 1885, it is also the first national park in Canada and is located in Alberta, about 140km west of Calgary. This stunning mountain park encompasses over 6,600 square kilometers of unspoiled wilderness that provides visitors with a truly remarkable experience.

The Rocky Mountains dominate much of the landscape, offering breathtaking views from all directions. From towering peaks to cascading waterfalls and pristine glacial lakes, this is the best place to go for everyone who loves nature and outdoor adventure activities.

With its incredible natural beauty and abundance of wildlife including grizzly bears, elk, bighorn sheep, wolves, cougars and more than 1,600 species of plants and flowers; Banff National Park has become an essential sight in Calgary for nature lovers.

13. National Music Centre

Calgary National Music Centre

For fun things to do in Calgary, you should definitely make a trip to the Calgary National Music Centre, as it is the perfect place for music enthusiasts of all ages. The center houses one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive collections of musical instruments and recording equipment from across Canada. It also features interactive displays that tell stories about Canadian music history and its impact on international trends.

There are also performances, workshops and lectures held at various times throughout the year, so there is something new to experience every time you get to Calgary. Additionally, there are several unique exhibits such as a collection of artifacts from artists like Neil Young and Leonard Cohen which showcase their incredible influence on Canadian culture.

Lastly, the music center supports emerging musicians by providing them with opportunities for creative growth through artist residencies and fellowships as well as access to its vast archives.


Address: 850 4 St. SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0L8, Canada

Phone: +1 403-543-5115

14. The New Central Library

New Central Library

Visiting The New Central Library is one of the best things to do in Calgary city. This iconic building in the middle of the city stands out for its impressive architecture, as it has an eye-catching glass façade and a grand atrium with soaring ceilings. The facility offers a wide range of services and resources, from books and magazines to wireless internet access and cultural programs.

Besides being a learning center, the library also serves as a community hub where people can come together for various activities such as lectures, workshops, exhibits and performances. Even if you’re not looking for information or entertainment, there are plenty of great places to hang out inside the library including cafés, meeting rooms, study spaces and even rooftop gardens. With its modern amenities and vibrant atmosphere, the New Central Library is truly an amazing destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list when they visit Calgary.


Address: 800 3 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 2E7, Canada

Phone: +1 403-260-2600

15. TELUS Spark Science Centre

TELUS Spark Science Centre

Being one of the top attractions in Calgary, the TELUS Spark Science Centre is a one-of-a-kind facility dedicated to inspiring youth to explore and discover science. The centre boasts five floors of interactive exhibits featuring all topics ranging from earth science to engineering. Visitors can also explore various activities such as the Creative Kids Museum and the HD Digital Dome Theatre.

The latter offers an immersive experience with full dome projections on its 360 degree screen which allows you to take part in virtual adventures like space exploration or a journey through the human body.

At TELUS Spark, there are countless opportunities for learning through play and exploration. Guests can experiment in the Idea Lab where they can use creative tools like 3D printers and laser cutters to build their own inventions or design their own works of art.


Address: 220 Saint George's Drive Northeast, Calgary, AB T2E 5T2, Canada

Phone: +1 403-817-6800

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Q: What is Calgary most known for?

A: One of Calgary's most renowned attributes is its annual Calgary Stampede celebration. Held every July since 1912, this event attracts visitors from all over the world who come to experience an authentic western-style rodeo and enjoy various cultural exhibitions, concerts, and carnival rides.

Calgary is also famous for its stunning natural landscapes. Nestled at the foothills of the Canadian Rockies near Banff National Park, Calgarians are fortunate to have easy access to breathtaking mountain ranges ideal for hiking or skiing adventures. Furthermore, nearby attractions such as Lake Louise and Moraine Lake offer picturesque views that attract tourists year-round.

Q: Is Calgary expensive?

A: Accommodation in Calgary can range from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious hotels. Prices tend to be higher during peak tourist seasons, such as summer when the famous Calgary Stampede takes place. Transportation within the city is fairly affordable, with a well-connected public transit system consisting of buses and trains.

When it comes to dining out in Calgary, there are options for every budget and palate. From street food vendors selling delicious snacks at affordable prices to high-end restaurants offering gourmet meals. It's also worth noting that alcohol can significantly increase your bill at restaurants due to high taxes imposed on liquor in Alberta.

Q: What are the best free things to do in Calgary?

A: Calgary offers an array of free activities for those looking to explore without breaking the bank. One must-visit attraction is Prince's Island Park, located in the heart of downtown Calgary. This urban oasis boasts lush greenery, picturesque pathways, and mesmerizing river views. Visitors can take leisurely walks or bike rides along the park's trails or simply relax on one of its many benches while enjoying a picnic.

Another free gem in Calgary is Stephen Avenue Walk, a pedestrian-only street filled with unique shops and boutiques. This iconic downtown district showcases Calgary's rich history and architectural wonders such as the historic Hudson's Bay building and Bankers Hall towers. Visitors can stroll along this vibrant avenue, taking in street performances and admiring public art installations scattered throughout.

Lastly, an absolute must for nature enthusiasts is Nose Hill Park. Covering over 11 square kilometers of pristine grasslands and rolling hills just outside Calgary's city center, this expansive park provides unparalleled panoramic views of both the downtown skyline and breathtaking mountain ranges beyond it.

Q: Do you need a car to visit Calgary?

A: Calgary is a sprawling city with an extensive public transportation system that includes buses and a light rail transit network known as the CTrain. This means that if you're staying within the city limits and planning to explore popular attractions such as downtown, the Calgary Tower, or the Glenbow Museum, you can easily get around without a car.

However, if you wish to venture outside of central Calgary to explore its surrounding natural wonders like Banff National Park or Lake Louise, having a car becomes almost essential.

Q: Is Calgary a friendly place?

A: From my personal experience as a visitor to Calgary, I found that the locals were incredibly friendly and welcoming towards tourists.

Upon arriving in Calgary, I was immediately struck by the genuine kindness and warmth exhibited by the local residents. Whether it was asking for directions or seeking recommendations for local restaurants, every encounter with a Calgarian was met with enthusiasm and eagerness to help. It seemed as though the locals took pride in showcasing their city's beauty and ensuring that tourists had a memorable experience during their visit.

Furthermore, I found that many locals were not only willing to assist with information but also went above and beyond by sharing personal stories about Calgary's history and culture. This added depth to my exploration of the city as it allowed me to gain insight into its rich heritage from a local perspective.

Q: Is Calgary good for shopping?

A: Calgary offers a wide range of shopping options that cater to all tastes and budgets. One of the most popular shopping destinations in the city is the Chinook Centre. With over 250 stores including flagship locations of major retail chains like Hudson's Bay and Nordstrom, this mall is a shopaholic's paradise.

In addition to traditional malls, the Inglewood neighborhood is known for its eclectic mix of antique shops, art galleries, and trendy boutiques. Here you can discover one-of-a-kind pieces while immersing yourself in the area's artsy vibe. Another must-visit destination is Kensington Village. This pedestrian-friendly district offers a variety of independent shops selling everything from stylish clothing to vintage vinyl records.

Recommended Hotels In Calgary

Hyatt Regency Calgary hotel room

Hyatt Regency Calgary

Offering the largest guestrooms in the city, an indoor pool and spa center, Hyatt Regency Calgary is centrally located in Calgary. Guests can dine in the on-site restaurant and lounge. Free WiFi is available.

Hotel Le Germain Calgary

Hotel Le Germain Calgary

Offering on-site dining, a 24-fitness center and in-room massages, this centrally located Calgary boutique hotel is located across the street from the Calgary Tower. A flat-screen cable TV is featured in every room.

The Westin Calgary guest room

The Westin Calgary

Features a rooftop heated pool and sauna, this hotel is located in downtown Calgary and offers in-room spa services. The Calgary Tower is 0.6 mile away. Free WiFi is available


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Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance

Travel insurance will protect you against illnesses, an injury, luggage theft, and even trip cancellations. It’s a comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong during your trip. I never travel to Calgary without it as I’ve had to use it several times in the past. My favorite travel insurance companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the Best Travel Companies to Save Money With?

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Want More Information on Canada:

Be sure to visit our Canada Travel Guide for even more travel tips.

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