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Things to do in Calgary

Things to do in  Calgary

Welcome to Calgary

Located just outside the spectacular Banff National Park, Calgary is a bustling hub of stylish bars, diverse restaurants, chic boutiques, and green-lawned parks, with enough to keep visitors of all ages happy. Host of the 1988 Winter Olympics, Calgary has a rich sporting pedigree, and it’s an ideal base from which to step into Alberta’s great outdoors. Explore the streets and walkways with ease on a guided Segway tour, on which you’ll take in top sites of interest such as the Bow River, Fort Calgary, Inglewood, St. Patrick's Island, and the Trans Canada Trail. Discover the flavors Canadians love (bison, honey, Saskatoon berries) with an artisanal food and craft beer walking tour, and perhaps meet some of Alberta’s passionate brewpub owners. While you’re in Calgary, take time to learn about the First Nations peoples on a guided day trip, and embrace the culture of Canada’s northern plains. Travelers keen to head into the Rockies can take a helicopter sightseeing tour for panoramic views over the soaring peaks and plunging valleys, or explore the mighty Columbia Icefield by coach tour—which often stretch all the way from the Banff National Park to the southern end of Jasper National Park. From there, it’s just a trip to the waters of UNESCO-listed Lake Louise, widely considered to be one of Alberta’s top natural attractions.

Top 15 attractions in Calgary

Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is a grand celebration of Canada’s Western heritage that has been attracting visitors every year since 1923. Visit to experience small-town fun in a big way. The Stampede includes rodeo events, chuckwagon races, blacksmithing competitions, a midway, 300 performers on five stages, and First Nations cultural events.More

Calgary Tower

Standing sentinel over the city’s downtown since 1968, Calgary Tower features an observation deck with a glass floor and a revolving restaurant 627 feet (191 meters) above ground. Both afford 360-degree views across the city to the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance.More

Fort Calgary

Visit the spot where Calgary was born at Fort Calgary, and explore the city’s formative years from 1875 to 1914. A wooden fort was built here by the North West Mounted Police in 1875, and today, the legacy of those times is recreated with interactive exhibits, replica barracks, guided tours, and an interpretive center.More

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, is a state-of-the-art cultural center in Calgary. Spanning 160,000 square feet (14,865 square meters), the architecturally notable center includes a museum, performance hall, live music venue, recording studios, radio station, classrooms, and media center.More

Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site

As one of Canada’s most significant historic coal mines, the Atlas Coal Mine is a National Historic Landmark and the site of the country's last standing wooden coal tipple (a sorting and loading machine.) It is a chance to dive deep into the country’s history of coal mining, as well as the time period during which mining was more prominent. Original mine buildings, hundreds of artifacts, roving characters, and unique machinery all bring history to life. There’s also a narrow gauge train tour and a coal car that takes visitors around the property, and an underground mining tunnel tour that recreates the experience of the miners.Outside of the mine itself, visitors can see well-preserved plant buildings and miner houses, including a lamp house, wash house, supply house, and blacksmith. The site of many historic structures, the mine is popular with photographers and well as history enthusiasts.More

Heritage Park

Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta, is an open-air historical and learning museum that gives visitors the chance to experience what life was like on the Canadian Prairies from 1860 to 1950. Costumed interpreters and many hands-on, interactive exhibits help you go deeper into your fun-filled encounter with the living past.More


TELUS Spark appeals to the curious and inquisitive of any age to explore topics of science, engineering, technology, math, and art through a series of interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences. The center’s Dome Theatre hosts live planetarium shows and documentary-style movies on a huge screen.More

Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park is a historical village in Calgary that showcases the history of Western Canada from 1860 to 1950. It is Canada’s largest living museum, divided into four areas that each represent a different period of time.Some of the area historic buildings still stand, while others have been brought in and restored. Traditional schools, homes, and saloons of the past give a sense of what life was like in each era. The park’s staff stands dressed in period costume, while horse and carriage or vintage automobiles roam the streets.Other historic working artifacts of make history come to life. Interactive areas demonstrate the evolution of Canada’s industries, including fur trading, the Prairie Railroad, and the era of the automobile. Available activities include riding an authentic steam train or making your own old-fashioned ice cream. Visitors experience the history of Canada as it comes to life in nearly 200 available exhibits.More

Calaway Park

Calaway Park, the largest outdoor amusement park in Western Canada, features 32 family-friendly rides and attractions, as well as live entertainment, from stage shows to street performers. Two dozen games, a 3D theater, and a splash park with 15 water features round out the fun. More

Glenbow Museum

Glenbow is the largest cultural museum in Western Canada. Its artifacts, artworks, archives, documents and fun interactive exhibits highlight the history and culture of indigenous Canadians, particularly the Blackfoot Confederacy whose traditional land Calgary occupies. The art collection focuses on northwestern North America. Please note: The main Glenbow Museum building is closed for building renovations. A temporary satellite location is open for 2022 at the Edison Building in downtown Calgary.More

The Hangar Flight Museum

The collection of historic civilian and military aircraft on display at the Hangar Flight Museum highlights the history of Canadian aviation and the stories of the men and women who designed and flew these engineering marvels.More

Calgary Zoo

Possibly the city’s most popular attraction, the Calgary Zoo has been caring for animals and animal lovers since 1929. Surrounded by botanical gardens with a rain forest and butterfly enclosure, Canada’s second largest zoo is home to more than 1,000 critters representing dozens of species from all corners of the globe.More

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Much more than a static collection of sports memorabilia, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame honors the country’s most remarkable athletes with an electric 40,000 square foot space that echoes with the roar of fans. Tucked into one of the buildings that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, interactive exhibits educate visitors about the rules and challenges of more obscure sports and offer the chance to throw pitches for clocked speed, shadow box with Lennox Lewis, attempt a wheelchair race or balance on skis on a virtual downhill slope.There are sections dedicated to swimming and rowing, car racing, golfing and, of course, hockey, spread throughout 12 galleries. Over 1,000 culturally significant sports artifacts—including the shoe that amputee Terry Fox wore at the start of his epic cross-country cancer awareness run—are also on display. Each year new Hall of Fame honorees are inducted at a prestigious ceremony and featured, along with details of the more than 600 current members, in the Locker Room Gallery.More


A legacy of the 1988 Winter Games,WinSport, Canada's Olympic Park, has hosted Olympic events in ski jumping, bobsled, and luge. These days, its professional-standard facilities are mostly used for recreational purposes, with visitors flocking here not only to ski, snowboard, and bobsled but also to try other activities, such as ziplining.More


For 40 years in the early 1900s the Medalta factory produced tens of thousands of durable and still-popular dishes and storage crocks from imported Saskatchewan clay. But, the industry boomtown was left to ruin with machines and punch-cards still in place when the plant shuttered in 1954. Today, the Medalta Potteries National Historic Site lends insight into western Canada’s earliest large-scale industry and includes the Medalta factory—now a working museum—plus an archeological site and the nearby brick and tile plant.Equal parts hipster and history, the aging industrial architecture of the Medalta factory, set against a Badlands backdrop, hosts a new era of artisans reviving the craft of stoneware and ceramic arts using the antique machinery. The museum features nostalgic displays on the life and stories of factory workers and over 30,000 pieces of regionally made pottery. Its adjacent free-to-access Yuill Family Gallery, fronting the two massive excavated beehive kilns, has rotating pottery exhibitions and an artist-in-residence program with studio space that serves as a community hub. The artists’ replicas are available for sale in the gift shop.More

Trip ideas

Rocky Mountain Day Trips from Calgary

Rocky Mountain Day Trips from Calgary

How to Spend 3 Days in Calgary

How to Spend 3 Days in Calgary

Top activities in Calgary

Lake Louise and Banff Day Trip

Lake Louise and Banff Day Trip

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All about Calgary

When to visit

Westerly Calgary is at its liveliest and most vibrant in summer, when the long months of snow have blown off and the city’s events calendar is at its busiest. Held every July, the Calgary Stampede is a rodeo and festival that draws scores of visitors, while the Calgary Folk Festival and Calgary International Blues Festival draw music lovers to the city. For a totally different experience, visit in the winter to take advantage of nearby Banff’s top-notch skiing.

Getting around

Calgary is served by a robust public transportation network, including the CTrain light rail system, which consists of two main lines, and numerous bus routes. Due to the city’s size, it can be helpful to have a private car rental, or to take taxis; guided sightseeing tours offer another easy way to explore. Calgary also has over 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of paved multiuse paths, making it an exceptionally bike-friendly city.

Traveler tips

Looking for a new perspective on Calgary’s skyline and landmarks? If you’re visiting in summer, you can rent a kayak or inflatable raft and go paddling right down the Bow River, which wends its way through the heart of the city. Routes from Baker Park to Prince’s Island Park take about three hours, and combine sightseeing and fresh-air activity.

People Also Ask

What is Calgary most known for?

Calgary is perhaps most famous for the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo in July that draws crowds. The Calgary Zoo, Calgary Tower, and Heritage Park Historical Village are also well-known. The city is a jumping-off point for trips to nearby Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains, west of Calgary.

Is there anything to see in Calgary?

Yes. There are many things to see in Calgary, including the annual Calgary Stampede rodeo, Calgary Tower, Calgary Zoo, Heritage Park Historical Village, and other museums and historic attractions. Many of Calgary’s sites of interest are related to its cattle ranching history and culture.

Where in Canada is Calgary?

Calgary is a city in western Canada, in the province of Alberta. It’s in the south of Alberta, around 600 miles (970 kilometers) northeast of Vancouver and 185 miles (300 kilometers) south of Edmonton.

What can you do in Calgary for free?

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to enjoy Calgary. For free fun in Calgary, visit parks, such as Nose Hill Park and Bowness Park, admire the Wonderland Sculpture, walk across the attractive Peace Bridge, and browse the Calgary Farmers' Market.

Is Calgary worth visiting?

Yes. Calgary is worth visiting, even though it’s not the most popular tourist destination in Canada. There are a variety of museums, parks, and cultural attractions to enjoy. Plus, Calgary is a convenient point of departure and stopover city for visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

What can you do with teenagers in Calgary?

Those traveling to Calgary with teenagers can take advantage of the city’s outdoor and historic attractions, some of which are related to Calgary’s cattle-ranching history. Come July, teenagers will likely enjoy the Calgary Stampede rodeo, which includes concerts as well as animal-related events.


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