Calgary is a bustling metropolitan center full of fun things to do. If you’re planning to visit this Canadian city, you’ll likely want to experience the most popular and exciting activities Calgary offers. Fortunately, we’ve got the scoop on the best things to do in Calgary.
1. Enjoy Interactive History at Heritage Park
Heritage Park makes it easy for visitors of all ages to enjoy a taste of Calgary’s history. The Historical Village is a great place to walk through historical periods, featuring buildings that look like they were pulled from nineteenth-century photographs.
You can hop a ride on a steam train, enjoy the views from a paddlewheel boat, and explore three distinct periods as you adventure through this interactive outdoor exhibit.
The costumed actors are always entertaining and informative, making Heritage Park an exciting yet educational attraction well-suited to families, couples, and single adults alike.
2. Take In the Views at Calgary Tower
The nighttime skyline of Calgary is a beautiful sight to behold. To take in the view, you can book a table at Calgary Tower, a 517-foot (190.8-meter) observation tower with a restaurant and theater.
The Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge is a superb place to take in the expansive views of the surrounding city, and it serves gourmet meals and exceptional wines.
This restaurant also slowly rotates. You’ll see everything there is to see without ever leaving your seat.
3. Have a Picnic at Prince’s Island Park
Calgary is full of green spaces that grant amazing views of the skyline while also surrounding you with gorgeous trees, shrubs, and grasses. For example, Prince’s Island Park has lakes, fountains, and colorful flower gardens.
If you’re visiting Calgary during the spring or summer, you might want to enjoy a picnic at this park. But, of course, if you’re visiting during the autumn or winter, you can still have a blast at Prince’s Island Park.
That’s because this park’s attractions vary depending on the weather. So, enjoy some cross-country skiing, ice skating, hiking, or picnicking while moving through your list of things to do in Calgary.
4. Go for a Walk Across Peace Bridge
If you enjoy hiking in unique places and aren’t afraid of bridges, you’ll likely want to set aside some time to walk across Peace Bridge.
This bright red pedestrian bridge stretches across Bow River, connecting Memorial Drive to the Eau Claire parks. Its tube-like design is unmistakable, and it’s a landmark that attracts visitors and residents alike.
If you’re eager to explore Calgary via bicycle, you’ll want to add Peace Bridge to your route. After all, this bridge leads directly into the gorgeous Eau Claire parks, which are full of fun outdoor activities.
5. Listen to Beautiful Music at Studio Bell
Calgary is home to the National Music Centre. This is where you’ll find the Canadian Music Halls of Fame, unique concerts, and interactive music-based exhibits.
You can take a guided tour throughout Studio Bell to learn more about each exhibit and receive up-to-date information about the building and its many events. You could also adventure through the many levels without a guide, taking your time while enjoying each interactive exhibit.
The museum is even open during the weekend, so you can listen to (and make) beautiful music here any day of the week.
6. Take a Dip at Fish Creek Provincial Park
Though Calgary’s summer temperatures rarely exceed 86°F (30℃), you might long for a quick swim while strolling through the city streets. Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need to rely on hotel pools to keep cool when in Calgary.
Fish Creek Provincial Park is an excellent place to take a quick dip, and its sandy shores are sure to beckon sunbathers and beach-loving visitors. There are also scenic biking and hiking trails, fishing spots, and plenty of places to picnic.
If you’re looking to soak up some sunshine and go for a swim, be sure to make a beeline for the Sikome Aquatic Facility.
7. Shop ‘Till You Drop at Stephen Avenue Walk
Are you looking to do some shopping and enjoy a meal at one of Calgary’s top-rated restaurants? If so, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to explore Stephen Avenue (8 Avenue Southwest).
This mall is one of the largest and most popular shopping areas in the city. While strolling this street, you’ll find movie theaters, multiple shopping malls, cocktail bars, and relaxing gardens.
Because this area is jam-packed with businesses and attractions, you might want to set aside an entire day to take in the sights and tastes of Stephen Avenue.
8. Breathe Deeply at Devonian Gardens
Devonian Gardens is one of the best attractions located near Stephen Avenue, and it offers a relaxing respite from the busy shopping centers and music-filled restaurants.
If you’d like to take a peaceful break from your shopping experience and enjoy an indoor botanical garden, you’ll want to make a pit stop at Devonian Gardens. It contains about 500 trees, several fountains, and an indoor play space for children.
This area is a popular destination for those hoping to enjoy an on-the-go lunch or hunker down with a favorite book. The wall-to-floor windows let in tons of natural light, making Devonian Gardens one of the most beautiful spots in Downtown Calgary.
9. Tour Historic Fort Calgary
Fort Calgary not only functions as a historical museum but also hosts a variety of community-driven classes and activities. Depending on when you visit, you could enjoy lectures about indigenous Canadian peoples, finger weaving classes, or group campfires.
You can also sign up for a guided walking tour of the barracks and parklands, take your time exploring the indoor exhibits, or enjoy a self-guided tour of the land. Visitors who are 17 years old or younger don’t need to pay an admission fee, and adults admission is only $10.
10. View Native Wildlife at Nose Hill Park
Though Calgary is home to several high-rise buildings and contemporary landmarks, it also contains one of the largest municipal parks in Canada, Nose Hill Park.
With an area of 4.35 square miles (11.27 square kilometers), you could spend an entire day hiking through this park without seeing everything. Besides, the views from the rolling green hills are unbeatable, revealing the Calgary skyline in all its glory.
If you’re visiting during the summer months, you’ll be able to enjoy this park in all its splendor. Wild grasses, wildflowers, and native wildlife are plentiful during the warmer months, allowing you to briefly escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Other Great Things to Do in Calgary
- Check out the Interactive Exhibits at the Gasoline Alley Museum
- Check the Interactive Displays at Glenbow Museum
- Watch the Calgary Flames in action
- Check out the Calgary Stampede
- Visit Calgary Zoo
- Go to Canada Olympic Park
- Take day trips to Lake Louise
- Climb the rocky mountains of the Canadian Rockies
Whether you’re looking to enjoy Calgary’s most popular tourist attractions or hoping to kick back and relax in one of the city’s many parks, this ranking can help you discover the best things to do in Calgary. So, which experiences will you choose?
Calgary definitely is a great place to visit if you’re in Western Canada. So try out any of our options!