Calgary might be the gateway into Canada’s famous Banff National Park, but there are so many reasons to spend a few days in the city. With these fun stops in Calgary, visitors might even forget about the outdoor adventure that lies ahead. Plan to spend a couple of nights in Calgary to see and do all the city has to share.
Best things to do in Calgary
Experience the history and culture of Calgary at its 1875 wooden fort. Built by and for the North West Mounted Police, Fort Calgary offers visitors insight into the city as a westward outpost. Check tour times for an in-depth look at the fort.
Stephen Avenue is a pedestrian mall while Avenue Southwest is simply a shopping-centric street. Wander along the avenues for design-forward shops and locally-made items ranging from sweets and coffee to clothing and home decor.
The Esker Foundation is a modern art gallery with both permanent and temporary exhibitions, which change three times per year. While there are international pieces, go to see local and regional art.
Calgary is home to an expansive spread of clever, thrilling bars as well as unique and creative restaurants. From hidden speakeasies that speak to Prohibition era to restaurants using hyper-local sources, the culinary scene is worth exploring. Stay a couple of day in the city to fully experience its food and drink culture.
Built in 1891, this national historic site is located in the Beltline district. Wander the beautiful grounds and learn about the culture and history of Alberta’s most opulent Victorian mansion. Better yet, visit for brunch.
Calgary Stampede is a festival and rodeo held every July in the city centre. Visitors can expect carnival rides and live music. Go, however, for the culture, pomp and circumstance of the rodeo.
Canada’s expansive spaces mean there are plenty of green parks to enjoy in the middle of the city. Go for a stroll, have a picnic or check park events like Calgary Folk Festival or seasonal sports like ice skating and cross-country skiing.
Prince Island’s Park is quite popular, though there are other options such as Nose Hill Park, Edworthy Park and Confederation Park. Don’t forget to walk the Peace Bridge for great views.