Best 8 things to do in Calgary, Canada :: Fshoq! Travel Blog

Canada Road Trip #5: Calgary

City of Calgary, Canada

The city of Calgary, that was founded in 1875, is the biggest city in Alberta and an agricultural and business center in Canada. There are plenty of things to do as well as many great tourist attractions and interesting places, like Stephen Avenue, Calgary Tower, Prince’s Island Park with the Peace Bridge, Canada Olympic Park, Calgary Zoo and many more.

This is already the 5th part of my Canada Road Trip and if you are interested in reading all of it, feel free to visit also those links: VancouverOthello Tunnels, and Okanagan Lake. But in this article, I will try to give you some ideas why you should definitely visit Calgary during your visit to Canada. The city is perfect not only during the summer (hiking, kayaking, camping, water rafting) but you will find here many interesting things to do in the winter (skiing and other winter sports, mostly in the Canadian Olympic Park). Although it can be freezing in winter.

Stephen Avenue in Calgary, Canada

You should also keep in mind that Calgary is a home to the famous Calgary Stampede, which is an annual rodeo and weekend-long festival held every July and attracts thousands of people, so it's not a bad idea to visit Calgary then.

Stephen Avenue

Being a very popular road in Calgary, Stephen Avenue is a pedestrian-only area for most of the day, which makes it a popular place for people who wants to enjoy a break from the office. You will find here not only many great restaurants, bars, and pubs, but also main City Hall and Olympic Plaza, where most of the main city events are hosted. This pedestrian area can be found between 1st St SE and 4th  St SW and it's called 8 Avenue SW.

You will find here the historic pedestrian mall located in Downtown Calgary, which is a perfect place to go shopping or to find some great Western Canada souvenirs. If you are looking for something to eat and don't have a lot of money to spend, try the Metropolitan Grill. If you have money, there are two tasty and very famous restaurants called Charcut Roat House and Teatro. There is also a very nice party spot called National on 8th.

Calgary Tower

Calgary Tower

Celebrating the 50th birthday in 2018, Calgary Tower, with the 190 meters high (it was the tallest building in Calgary until 1983) and the 360-degree views, is the best place to see the whole city from above. Especially, when you will be brave enough to step into the glass floor, which was added in 2005.

If you will decide to get into the Calgary Tower during the day, you will be able to not only see the whole Calgary city, but also foothills, prairies, and the famous Rocky Mountains, which, by the way, should be your next stop from Calgary if you haven't been there yet. During the night you will see a beautiful composition of the city lights.

The multimedia tour is available during your visit to Calgary Tower, and if you will decide to pay for it, you will learn many interesting facts not only about the tower but also about the Calgary city itself. There are also two restaurants here, called the Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

The Calgary Tower is opened every day from September to May from 09:00 to 21:00 and from June to August from 09:00 to 22:00.

Prince’s Island Park

Prince’s Island Park is a perfect and huge area (the island spread for over 20 acres) to escape the city center, that is almost always full of tourists. It's a beautiful park, that was opened in the 1950s, located downtown Calgary that hosts many great events and festivals, like the Calgary Folk Festival or Canada Day celebrations. At the end of the 20th century, the Prince’s Island Park in Calgary was totally renovated.

The Prince’s Island Park was named after Peter Anthony Prince, who was the founder of the famous Eau Claire Lumber Mill.

Princes Island Park in Calgary. Source: abdallahh / Flickr.

There is always something to see inside the Prince’s Island Park, no matter what age you are. You can go for a picnic, canoe in the river, enjoy awesome flower gardens. You can listen to the Shakespeare (that is playing in the park), go for a shopping to the Eau Claire Market, taste some food or wine inside the River Café, bike, walk, hike, or even (during the winter) skate on the Lagoon. 

The Peace Bridge in Calgary

The Peace Bridge

Just near the Prince’s Island Park and the Bow River, you will find an awesome pedestrian bridge called the Peace Bridge, that was opened in 2012. The bridge was designed by Spanish architect called Santiago Calatrava, and this guy knew what he's doing! The Peace Bridge in Calgary looks amazing, it's full of colors and the awesome thing is how you can see the other buildings behind it.

There is no difference if you are planning to visit the Peace Bridge during the day or night, in both, it will look so unique and awesome. So if you are planning to visit the Prince’s Island Park, don't forget to see the Peace Bridge, or you will regret.

Canada Olympic Park (WinSport) in Calgary. Source: Mtruch / Wikipedia.

Canada Olympic Park

No matter you are young or old, no matter there is a summer or a winter, Canada Olympic Park (called also WinSport) is a great place and a lot of fun. It was built in 1988 for the Calgary Winter Olympics when millions of people had an opportunity to see the most beautiful province in Canada, but nowadays it is a great Calgary tourist attraction.

When there is no snow, the Canada Olympic Park is an awesome playground with such attractions and activities as mountain biking, bobsled track,  zip-line off of a ski jump or mini-golf. During the winter you can hit the hill to downhill ski, cross-country ski or snowboard. There is also an area of children activity.

The Canada Olympic Park (WinSport) was the only place when I tried a zip line tour with a parachute! And well, as I found out just a few minutes later, this parachute was a necessary thing as I was going down with a crazy speed of 140 kilometers per hour! This was an adventure I will never forget.

It's also good to notice that the Olympic Park in Canada has one of the few bobsled training centers in the whole world where teams from almost every country come to train.

Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo

This is a perfect place for families, as the Calgary Zoo is a home for more than 1400 animals and you can see here a lot! There are gorillas and tigers, animals from Australia like emus or kangaroos. During the winter, you can see how zookeepers take penguins for every-day walks. There is also a Canadian Wilds are, where you will find bears, bison, caribou, and moose.

The Calgary Zoo has also a great botanical garden, where we will find beautiful plants from all over the world. There is also the Prehistoric Park, where you will find some information about the dinosaurs that once used to live in the Canadian area.

You can find this great tourist attraction on the St. George Island, that can be found near the Bow River, east of downtown. The full address is 1300 Zoo Rd., NE, just near TELUS Spark. The adult ticket costs 21 CAD and 13 CAD for children. Calgary Zoo is opened every day from 09:00 to 17:00.

Studio Bell (National Music Centre) in Calgary

Studio Bell (National Music Centre)

National Music Centre in Calgary, called also Studio Bell, is an awesome futuristic building located in the East Village of Calgary. You will find here almost 500 years of the music history, performance hall, recording facility, broadcast studio, live music venue and a museum with, for example, the guitar that was used to record American Woman called Guess Who or Alanis Morissette harmonica.

The Studio Bell in Calgary has five levels and all of them are just filled with the history of the music. National Music Centre has a lot of very great collections and exhibitions, and even interactive stages. You can even get, for example, a guitar play lesson or if you know how to play, just play for the people around.

If you are looking for a guided tour, there are some free tours from Wednesday to Sunday at 11:00 and 14:00. Also, you can see here a live play on the Kimball Theatre Organ every day at 15:00.

Eau Claire Market

Eau Claire Market is a car-free pedestrian area and another interesting place in Calgary, especially during the summer. You will find here everywhere animators that are playing with puppets or making balloon animals, many street performers, there are also a lot of great restaurants and shops. 

Eau Claire Market in Calgary

Eau Claire Market in Calgary is filled with colors and sounds, which in itself makes it worth visiting. You will not only find here many funk shops, but also a movie theater and a large indoor playground. 

The market can be found between the Bow River and the Eau Claire district, just near the Prince's Island, that is linked to the Eau Claire Market. The market is opened during the Summer from Monday to Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00 to 18:00, Thursday and Friday from 10:00 to 20:00, and Sunday and Holidays from 11:00 to 17:00.

Banff National Park in Canada

Banff National Park

Just a bit more than one hour drive west from Calgary city you will find an awesome place called Banff National Park and if you haven't been there yet you should really try to visit this full of nature and wildlife area. I already described this park, as well as Banff city in my last article: Banff National Park in Canada. So if you are visiting Calgary, have a car and some time, Banff National Park will be a great place to visit!

Practical Information

Below you will find some useful practical information about the Calgary city, that will be needed for all travelers visiting this beautiful town.

  • Currency: The Canadian Dollar (CAD).
  • Airport: Calgary has its own airport, called The Calgary International  Airport. Main airlines here are called Air Canada and West Jet.
  • Public transport: Calgary city is not the best place when it comes to public transport. You can get buses when you are going around the downtown area, but for longer drives, you may need to use a taxi or Uber.
  • Weather: The best time to travel to Calgary is from May to September, as during the winter Calgary can be a very cold city (temperatures may go down to even -30 degrees).

Conclusion

Calgary is a great city full of great interesting places and tourist attractions, as Stephen Avenue, Calgary Tower, Prince’s Island Park with the Peace Bridge, Canada Olympic Park, Calgary Zoo, Studio Bell (National Music Centre) or Eau Claire Market. We talked about the best things to do and see in Calgary, when to go there, where to eat.

Panorama of Calgary

I hope you enjoyed my travel article about the city of Calgary and Canadian travel blog. If you have any questions, feel free to write me a message in the comments section below.

Wojciech Kuźma

Hey there! My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my travel blog. I've been traveling the world for a few good years now and I still want more.

On my website I describe the adventures that have happened to me, you will also find here a collection of valuable tips for tourists and travelers. If you liked this article, be sure to leave a comment and read some more!


4.83 | 6 votes
Comments: 2
  •   14th September 2018, 15:33

    I have been planning a trip to Canada for a long time, thanks to your list of interesting places and tourist attractions I add to Calgary's travel points too! :-) This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Od dawna planuję podróż do Kanady, dzięki Twojej liście ciekawych miejsc i atrakcji turystycznych dopisuję do punktów podróży także Calgary! :-)

  •   18th September 2018, 13:10      http://skypartner.com.pl/

    Interesting guide, I will take this into account when I am going to Canada :) Regards! This text was translated automatically. Original text is below: Interesujący przewodnik, wezmę to pod uwagę, gdy będę wybierała się do Kanady :) Pozdrawiam!

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