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Things to do in Calgary

44 contributors

The top 22 attractions in Calgary

Of Cultural Interest in Calgary
Calgary is the largest city in the Canadian province of Alberta. It is a beautiful city that I recommend you visit. Here you'll find museums and galleries such as the Glenbow Museum and the Art Gallery of Calgary, stunning streets and squares, and a number of quirky, unusual places. In my opinion, the most impressive sights are the skyscrapers and the stadium. Many festivals are held annually in Calgary. For example, there's an International Film Festival, Folk Music Festival, the Greek Festival, Expo Latino etc.. A really unforgettable place to visit.
Of Cultural Interest in Calgary
Calgary Tower
The view in the day is impressive, but the views at night are AWESOME. They are two totally different things. Thsi towner at night has it's own special magic. I could not get all the way to the top and I kept wanting to see Calgary from up there. I'll definitely go again at night to see it!
Zoos in Calgary
Calgary Zoo
The Calgary Zoo is one of the most extensive and well-kept Zoos in all of Canada. With over 120 species to observe and learn about, you could definitely spend an entire day at the Calgary Zoo. Easily accessible by car (day parking costs $7.00) or by C-Train, the Zoo is easy to get to and fun for the whole family. General Admission costs $23.00 ($21.00 for Seniors, $15.00 for children 3-15, Infants Free) and there are a variety of food concessions and gift shops available on site as well. Visitors can visit different Zoo "Destinations" such as Canadian Wilds, Eurasia, Destination Africa, Penguin Plunge, Prehistoric Park and a beautiful Conservatory & Gardens. There are over 800 animals to meet and they all have such adorable and unique personalities, so be sure to have your camera (without flash) ready!
Sports-Related in Calgary
Calgary Rowing Club
The Calgary Rowing Club is home to a variety of things - Adult and Youth Learn-To-Row Programs, Youth Camps, and Rentals for both Members and Non-Members. If you are not a member of the Calgary Rowing Club, you are able to rent Canoes only for $20. If you are a member, your membership fee includes Kayak Rentals for yourself, and you can bring up to 2 additional people Kayaking with you - their rental is $10 each. You launch off of the dock just on the shores of the Calgary Rowing Club. During peak times, it can be very busy, so try not to get too stressed out. Once you're in the water, you're free to explore the Reservoir and enjoy the natural beauty all around you!
Of Cultural Interest in Calgary
Downtown Calgary
The cleanest city in all of North America. It is absolutely amazing to see the organizational capacity that a society like that of Canada has managed to achieve. Calgary is an example of a fair share of the oil wealth in the region of Alberta.
Festivals in Calgary
Calgary Stampede
At the start of July every year in Alberta is the Calgary Stampede, a festival that describes itself as 'The Greatest Open Air Show on Earth'. It lasts ten days and is the world's most important outdoor rodeo. In the Calgary Stampede you can see rodeos on bulls and horses (which are recognised across the world), wagon races, pancakes tasting, shows, concerts, etc ... and the Stampede parade, which takes place on Inauguration Day and is one of the oldest traditions during the festival. Led by the Calgary Stampede Showband, it follows a 4.5 km route through Calgary. Around 350,000 people follow the parade down the street, although it is televised and seen by about two million people. During the week of the Stampede, Calgary is filled with tourists dressed like cowboys.
Nature Reserves in Calgary
Cities in Calgary
Skiing in Calgary
Of Touristic Interest in Calgary
The Clayground
The Clayground is a ceramic painting studio with several locations across Canada. It is a wonderful place to relax and unwind on a chilly winter's day or a rainy day any time of year. Suitable for single adults, couples, groups, children and families alike, painters will choose and pay for a piece, which range in price from $10 - $100+. The price includes paint, brushes, stencils and other creative tools, unlimited studio time to create your work of art, and kiln-glazing. It usually takes about a week for the pieces to be glazed and finished, so allow appropriate time for pickup. Pieces range from Christmas Tree Ornaments to Keepsake Boxes to Plates and Mugs to Figurines and Lawn Gnomes. There is something for everyone at The Clayground - bring a coffee and stay a while!
Stadiums in Calgary
McMahon Stadium
If you're a football fan visiting Calgary during CFL Season (generally June - November), go see a Calgary Stampeder's game. Tickets can be purchased at any Calgary Safeway store for $20 each. McMahon Stadium serves as a home stadium for the Calgary Stampeders, as well as the University of Calgary Dinos, The Calgary Colts, The Calgary Gators and the Calgary Wolfpack. The Stadium was also used to host the 1988 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies. As the fifth largest stadium in Canada, it can seat over 38,000 screaming fans, and promises an energetic and exciting atmosphere. There are plenty of concessions and vendors on site, but be advised that parking can be a real pain, so take the C-Train if you can. Go Stamps Go!
Nature Reserves in Calgary
Fish Creek Provincial Park
South Calgary's Fish Creek Provincial Park is one of the largest urban provincial parks in North America at almost 14 square kilometres, with over 80km of trails, 30 of which are paved. Both The Bow River as well as Fish Creek pass through the park. The park itself is a large network of paved pathways and natural trails suitable for biking, walking, running or rollerblading. Park Amenities include Bow Valley Ranch Visitor's Centre & Restaurant, Sikome Lake Aquatic Facility, Annie's Bakery, and several washrooms. Fish Creek Park is home to many species of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, beavers, owls, squirrels and lots of different birds. Whether you're looking for a leisurely stroll, a trail bike ride, an educational experience or wildlife watching, Fish Creek Park is a wonderful place to spend a few hours in Calgary.
Streets in Calgary
Stephen Avenue
Located in the Heart of Calgary's Downtown Core, Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue) is an outdoor shopping, dining, sightseeing and nightlife experience. During the day, most of the main part of Stephen Avenue is blocked off to traffic, so the streets are entirely walkable. Many of Calgary's most important office buildings are located on or near Stephen Ave, which makes the area a vibrant, busy and lively spot to visit during business hours on weekdays. Plenty of restaurants, lots of funky shops, and street performers during the warmer months are just a few things you will find on Stephen Ave. You can also access The CORE shopping center from here, which is home to Calgary's only Holt Renfrew store and The Devonian Gardens, as well as 160 other stores. Be advised that the best time to visit Stephen Ave is during the hours of 10am and 5pm Monday-Friday, as many shops are closed on evenings and weekends due to the business population of this area.
Museums in Calgary
Rothney Astrophysical Observatory
The University of Calgary's Rothney Astrophysical Observatory is located just a short 15 minutes outside of South Calgary, and offers several different options for visitation, from evening programs to day programs. The RAO is home to one of Canada's largest telescopes, as well as a wide variety of other telescopes and equipment. There are monthly open houses, each with a different focus such as Greek Mythology or the Physics of Light. There are a variety of different lectures during each open house, and public viewing outdoors where the Observatory Telescopes are available as well as many other telescopes that the hobbyists bring out. Dress for the weather! Entrance is $10 per person, or $20 per car. We visited the RAO on Valentine's Day night. I wasn't able to get many photographs of the outdoor facilities since it was so dark when we went, but this place is absolutely worth a visit. It was nice to get outside of the city and do something a little bit different.
Stadiums in Calgary
Flames Central
They call Flames Central a "Virtual Arena" for a reason - it's a sporting event viewing experience like no other. If there's a game on, and you can't be at the game, the next place to be is at Flames Central. However - that's not why I love Flames Central personally - for me, it is my favorite venue for live music in the city. They always have awesome bands playing, and it's a big enough venue to feel like a party, but small enough to feel really intimate if you're seeing one of your favorite groups perform. I was also extremely impressed by their selection of local beers. Come for the experience - stay for the party.
Shops in Calgary
Earth Gems
If you weren't looking for it, you would walk right past this shop a hundred times. Nestled in a basement on bustling 17th Avenue, Earth Gems is an extraordinary shop full of crystals, gemstones, minerals, new age books, jewelry, incense, and other unique and beautiful trinkets. The shop owners are knowledgeable and un-intrusive and the prices are the best I have found in the city. Each stone comes with a little sheet of paper that describes its properties and meanings in relation to spiritual healing. If you're into this kind of stuff, expect to spend at least an hour exploring this incredible store. The first time I visited, I was there for nearly three!
Zoos in Calgary
Zoolights at the Calgary Zoo
Every Holiday Season, the Calgary Zoo sets up over 1.5 million lights throughout the park. The event generally runs from the end of November up until shortly after New Year's Day, from 6pm - 9pm daily. Admission for adults is $14 and children are $11. Once you are admitted, you are free to wander about the zoo and gaze at all of the spectacular light displays. There are also fire pits set up along the way if it's a particularly chilly night and you wish to warm up. Bundle up and bring a hot chocolate - or purchase one from the zoo vendors - and enjoy the show! (Note: no animals are available for viewing during Zoo Lights.)
Gardens in Calgary
Carburn Park
I've lived in Calgary for most of my life, but I had no idea that Carburn Park even existed. It is a network of little lakes and ponds and pathways and in the winter time, there is a natural skating rink! The beautiful thing about these rinks is that they are entirely free to the public, and you can stay as long as you like. We were only in the park for about an hour one afternoon, but it was so lovely to see so many people, couples and families out skating and enjoying the sunshine. Be advised that this is 'natural ice' so it's not quite as smooth as a Zamboni rink would be.

The best things to do in Calgary

The Canadian city of Calgary is bursting with Western flavor and the list of
places to visit in Calgary is nearly endless. It's Alberta's economic powerhouse and, as such, is home to some of the most important oil companies in the region.

If you're visiting in July, one of the best things to do in Calgary is attending the Calgary Stampede, the country's largest rodeo.

Another of the top Calgary activities is taking a side trip to the spectacular Banff National Park. It's a good idea to rent a car so you can really enjoy all the natural wonders of the area. For many travelers, the national park with its ice fields, mountains, and forests tops the list of the best
things to see in Calgary.

Another of the top Calgary attractions is historic Fort McMurray, where you can enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see the Aurora Borealis, more commonly known as the Northern Lights. It's an unforgettable sight, but don't forget to bring a warm coat!

From the city itself to the great Canadian wilderness, the list of
what to do in Calgary has something for everyone.
To find the best stuff to do in Calgary, check out all the recommendations from real travelers on minube and discover all the attractions in Calgary you can't miss on your next trip.