Situated in the heart of Alberta, Calgary is the largest city in its province – its metropolitan architecture towers above the city, amid an urban oasis filled with parks and nature attractions. Not to mention, some of the world’s most scenic mountains and national parks are only an hour’s drive from the city itself, with easily accessible day trips to Banff, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Yoho National Park, and Columbia Icefield – Calgary is a must visit destination on your Canadian bucket list. No matter what type of traveller you are, Calgary has it all – from a thriving arts and entertainment scene to adventure-filled outdoor activities, and cosmopolitan neighbourhoods bustling with shops and restaurants. So, get ready for your next Canadian adventure, as we’ve got you covered with the top 10 things to do in Calgary.
The 2023 Calgary Stampede is held between Friday 7th and Sunday 16th July. The event takes place in Calgary each year and is the World’s Largest Outdoor Rodeo. The ten-day event is one of Canada’s largest and most famous festivals, which attracts over a million visitors each year. The rodeo attracts some of the world’s best talent, whilst offering art and agricultural exhibitions, parades, live music, shows, amusement parks and exquisite food and drink for its visitors. It’s a bucket list event, that celebrates Western heritage and culture and it is a must-do on your trip to Canada.
Day trips to Banff, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Icefield Parkway Tour
Calgary may be a cosmopolitan city, but some of the world’s most famous national parks are only a short drive away. Whether you’re visiting the city for a couple of days, or a bit longer – there are plenty of private tours that can take you to the picturesque landscapes of the Canadian Rockies.
For thrill-seekers, a trip to Calgary wouldn’t be complete without visiting Western Canada’s largest theme park. Located 10km west of Calgary it is the ideal family day out, with amusements that every member of the family will enjoy. The theme park offers over 32 rides, live entertainment, a 3D theatre and is often described as a must-do when visiting the city.
Head 10km south of downtown Calgary, and step more than a century back in time. Here you’ll find 10 hectares of re-created town, with a fort, grain mill, church and school. This is always a great hit with families and is a top attraction to visit if you’re in Calgary on a family holiday.
Prince’s Island Park
Prince’s Island Park is the perfect place to spend a bright summer’s day. Here you’ll find bike paths, grassy fields and the upscale River Island restaurant. Plus, if you visit in July you’ll find the Folk Music Festival and Shakespearean productions are a common occurrence throughout the summer.
Calgary Flames Ice Hockey game
Ice hockey is Canada’s official national winter sport, and Calgary Flames are one of the top ice hockey teams in the country. The sporting event has representatives from the NHL, WHL and the NLL. It’s one of the city’s most exciting sporting events, where locals and visitors come together for an exhilarating game that takes place year-round.
Canada Olympic Park
If you’re into winter and outdoor sports, make sure you visit the site of the 1988 Winter Olympics. It has been opened to the general public for recreational purposes and is a must-visit, for sports and adrenaline lovers visiting the city. In winter, you can take part in skiing, snowboarding, bobsleighing, and luge. Whilst summer offerings include: mountain biking, zip-lining, festivals and summer camps. It is also home to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Experience a 360° view of the city, the Bow River and the Rocky Mountains from the 626-foot-tall Calgary Tower. At the top, you’ll also find SKY 360 – a rotating restaurant with lunch, dinner, brunch, children’s, and cocktails menus.
Fish Creek Provincial Park
Hidden in the southwest corner of Calgary, you’ll feel a million miles away from the bustle of the city in this sanctuary. Perfect for an afternoon stroll, you’ll find a labyrinth of intertwining paths, as well as the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, Sikome Aquatic Facility and Annie’s Bakery.
Rafting or Cycling along the Bow River
The Bow River is a 148km long river, that starts in the Canadian Rockies and winds its way through the city of Calgary. Take a break from the city with a relaxing walking tour along the Bow River Trail, a 3-hour bike ride, or a rafting or kayaking tour whilst taking in the stunning city sights.