29 of the BEST THINGS TO DO IN CALGARY, Canada in 2022

Things to Do in Calgary. Drone flight overlooking the city.

Things to Do in Calgary last updated: January 12th, 2022

Although Calgary’s biggest draws might be the Calgary Stampede and its proximity to the Canadian Rockies, there’s actually a lot of things to do in Calgary that have nothing to do with those two things. In fact, Calgary is one of Canada’s most beautiful cities, surrounded by prairies, foothills, and mountains along with a dazzling city skyline and two beautiful rivers snaking their way through the city.

We’re actually based in Calgary and have experienced a lot of what this city has to offer. From cruising down a sheet of ice in an Olympic bobsleigh to enjoying a slow cruise down the river on a tube, Calgary is a wonderful city to explore. So, whether you’re looking for things to do in Calgary with kids, attractions for adults, or simply cheap things to do in Calgary, we’ve got you covered in this Calgary travel guide.

things to do in calgary

Getting to Calgary

If you’re a visitor looking for different ways of getting to Calgary, here’s some practical advice on how to get here.

Getting to Calgary by Car

Calgary to Edmonton: The drive from Calgary to Edmonton is approximately 300-km and takes roughly 3-hours. The highway is basically straight the entire way and the halfway point is the city of Red Deer. If you’re hungry, stop off in “Gasoline Alley”, which has a huge variety of restaurants, fast food, and gas stations. Our recommendation? Try a burger from Peter’s Drive-In. This is a famous local Calgary burger joint, which recently opened a location in both Gasoline Alley and Edmonton. Grab a milkshake while you’re at it.

Calgary to Vancouver: This is one of the most beautiful drives you can do along the Trans-Canada Highway and takes anywhere from 10-12 hours to do the near 1000-km stretch. However, you could easily spend weeks doing this road trip if you stop off and explore the many beautiful regions along the way. Popular stops include Kelowna and Golden BC.

Calgary is also very close to the USA border, a roughly 3-hour drive from Montana.

Getting to Calgary by Plane

Calgary is home to the Calgary International Airport (YYC), which is one of the biggest airports in Canada and just had a major renovation to make it even bigger and prettier. From the airport, there’s an array of options for renting cars, taking a shuttle, hopping in a private transfer, or taking a bus. There are also hotel courtesy shuttles that go to various hotels and the downtown shuttle leaves every 30 minutes at a cost of $15 one-way.

Other options include taxi (25-minutes to downtown for roughly $40 – $50), Uber, and even public transportation at a cost of $8 per person. Once you arrive, there is plenty of staff around to help you navigate your way.

Getting to Calgary by Bus

There are a few buses that make their way to Calgary. Greyhound Bus is no longer an option but the Red Arrow is a good one. We haven’t taken many buses in Canada (we live here so we have a car) but the Red Arrow is one of the only ones we’ve experienced and it was great. It’s about $70 to travel between Calgary and Edmonton but their new less-fancy Ebus service will do it for $42. You can compare bus options using Busbud.

winter in calgary

Getting Around Calgary

Calgary has a lot of options for getting around the city, including public buses, the C-train, taxis, and Uber.

  • Public Transportation: As with all major cities, Calgary has a robust Calgary transit system. The bus system, however, might be somewhat difficult to navigate out BUT the C-train system is very easy. The C-train is Calgary’s metro system. Most of the track is above the ground and each station has a place to buy tickets, which go for $3.40 for 1.5 hours worth of travel. You can also buy a day pass if you plan on riding 3+ times. Most stations also have parking if you have a car and just want to get around the city easier. TIP: the downtown line of the C-train is actually free! So, if you’re jumping on the train between city hall and 7th or 8th street SW, you do not have to pay. You’ll notice that the intercom system will tell you that you are leaving the “free fare zone” when you are going out of the free area.
  • Taxis: Taxis are plentiful in Calgary. Examples include Checker Cabs, Calgary Cab, Associated Cabs, Delta Cab, and a few others.
  • Uber: This is also a great option in Calgary. Simply download the app and voila. The only downfall with Uber is that you need either WiFi or data to use it. This is sometimes tricky for travellers.
  • Peddle Bike: Calgary is quickly growing its biking paths and there are many great places to peddle a bike around the city. You can easily rent a bike and peddle around the city in the warmer months, exploring all the beautiful parks.
  • Scooters and Electric Bikes: Lime scooters is a new fun option for getting around the city is by scooter or electric bikes. These are the green scooters and bikes you’ll see in various parts of the downtown core. However, you’ll need to download the app and use data to really take advantage of it.

Fun Calgary Fact: If you’re exploring downtown Calgary, check out the +15 Pathway Network. This is one of the world’s most extensive pedestrian skywalk systems, comprised of 62 bridges for a total length of more than 18 kilometres (11 miles). In the winter, locals who work downtown make extensive use of the network, travelling between buildings without having to go outside. The Pathway Network is called “+15” because the skywalks are approximately 15 feet (roughly 4.5 metres) above street level. Download the map here.

(Want more fun facts? Check out our article about fun, cool, and strange Alberta Facts!)

top things to do in calgary

Weather in Calgary (Aka: Best Time to Visit)

Calgary is a year-round destination, but the most popular time to visit is between June and October. These are the warmer months with more festivals and more outdoor activities. However, Calgary is also beautiful in the winter and has loads of things to do in the colder months, not to mention being close to Banff for those looking for a winter wonderland experience or world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Another advantage of the summer is that the days are very long as the sun doesn’t set until after 10 PM. It’s also home to the famous Calgary Stampede, which is known as the greatest outdoor show on Earth.

In the winter, the sun sets before 5 PM and can be very cold. However, Calgary’s proximity to the mountains brings a phenomenon known as the Chinook. These warm winds sweep into the city and dramatically change the temperatures. It can be -25 Celcius one day and +5 Celcius the next. This makes our winters partially mild. In addition, Calgary is one of the sunniest cities in Canada, so even if it’s cold outside, the sky will likely be blue, bright, and beautiful.

Calgary Stampede Rodeo

Best Things to Do in Calgary

It’s funny. Even though many Calgarians still think of the Calgary Stampede and the Rocky Mountains as being the biggest draws to the city, the City of Calgary has actually received international acknowledgment as being one of the top cities in the world to visit. In fact, in 2019, the New York Times ranked Calgary #20 out of just 52 destinations worldwide. Calgary has also been ranked as the cleanest city in the world and is often ranked as one of the top 10 cities to live worldwide.

Calgary Central Public Library

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Things to do in Calgary for free

As Calgary’s newest attraction, how could we not start off by mentioning the Calgary Central Public Library? It’s all the rage these days, thanks mostly to its incredible architecture, which has been featured in publications around the world, including recognition from TIME magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Places of 2019. It really is beautiful. Even though it’s a library, which might not be of use to a tourist, it’s certainly worth visiting, both for the outside and the indoor architecture. It’s located near City Hall in the Downtown East Village, a neighbourhood that’s been getting a heavy makeover recently. The four-story building cost $245 million to construct and features an elevated floor above street level to accommodate the C-Train.

best things to do in calgary

Heritage Park Historical Village

  • Indoor and outdoor activity
  • Things to do in Calgary with kids

During the warmer months, Calgary’s Heritage Park is a wonderful place to spend the day. Not only is it a good chance to learn about some of Western Canada’s history but it’s also quite interactive with a beautiful fully operating steam train, a paddle-wheeler that takes visitors out on the Glenmore Reservoir, an active historical village with shops and bakeries, and a functioning old-fashioned amusement park. There’s also a beautiful museum with vintage cars, dining and concessions, and so much more. This is a great family thing to do in Calgary and great for kids!

Studio Bell National Music Centre

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Indoor activities Calgary

Not only is the National Music Centre home to Canada’s Music Hall of Fame, but it’s also an interactive treasure trove of musical instruments and memorabilia. Here you’ll learn about Canada’s musical icons and get the chance to play some instruments yourself. You can even take a “backstage tour”, which takes you through centuries of musical instruments and a visit to the famous Rolling Stones mobile recording studio. This is easily one of Calgary’s top attractions and to add some icing to the cake, it’s housed in one of the most stunning architecturally-designed buildings in the province. This can be a great couples activity, a great family activity, or something to do with friends as well. If you’re looking for fun things to do in Calgary for adults, the National Music Centre also hosts adult-only nights, which include live music and pop-up bars.

The Calgary Tower

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Romantic things to do in Calgary (dinner)

Although it’s no longer the tallest building in Calgary, the Calgary Tower still remains an icon of the city and still offers beautiful views of the downtown core as well as other communities and even the Rocky Mountains on a clear day. Not only does the Calgary Tower offer 360-degree views, but it also offers a glass floor for those who want to test their fears and look down at the street 191 metres below. There’s also the Calgary Tower Restaurant for those who want fine dining paired with incredible views. Calgary Tower admission is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, $9 for children aged 4-12, and free for those under 4.

The Calgary Zoo

  • Things to do in Calgary with kids

Not only is the Calgary Zoo one of the most visited zoos in the country, but it’s also one of the most internationally recognized zoos in the world due to their conservation efforts. The Calgary Zoo is home to over 800 animals from all over the world, including Africa, Asia, North America, and the tropics. It’s a beautiful place to walk around and is easily accessed via Memorial drive or the C-train. If you’re looking for things to do in Calgary with kids or for adults, this is one of the best.

Watch an NHL Calgary Flames Game

When it comes to sports in Canada, none of them is even close in popularity to ice hockey. Luckily for you, Calgary is home to one of the seven teams in Canada. The Calgary Flames play regularly between the months of October and April, and if you’re not picky about where you sit, you can attend a game for as low as $25. For the best seats, however, you can expect to pay upwards of $300. Either way, it’s a great way to spend an evening. So grab a seat, drink some of the infamous and expensive draft beer, and enjoy watching Canada’s national winter sport!

Peace Bridge Calgary

Explore the Bow River Pathway System

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Things to do in Calgary for free

Whether you bike, walk, or rollerblade, the Bow River Pathway System is a great place to explore. It’s home to a variety of sculptures and art pieces, as well as the iconic bright red iconic Peace Bridge, which takes you across the Bow River. There’s also Prince’s Island Park and the river, which takes you all over the city. On a nice hot summer day or in the fall with colourful leaves, this is really one of Calgary’s gems. This is one of many unique things to do in Calgary but is also one of the best free things to do in Calgary unless you rent a bike.

Prince’s Island Park

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Things to do in Calgary for free
  • Things to do in Calgary with kids

If you’re already exploring the Bow River Pathway System as mentioned above, you really shouldn’t miss Prince’s Island Park. Besides being a little bit confusing to say (Prince’s / Princess), it’s a beautiful slice of nature right in the middle of the city. In the summer, there’s a variety of festivals that take place here including the Calgary Folk Music Festival and Expo Latino. There’s also a fine dining restaurant called the River Cafe. Aside from that though, it’s just a pretty park where locals go to hang out, play frisbee, go for a jog, and admire the Canadian geese and ducks that also call this place home.

Walk Across Peace Bridge

While visiting Prince’s Island Park, don’t forget to visit one of the most iconic sights in Calgary. Peace Bridge is a beautiful red pedestrian bridge that crosses over the Bow River between Memorial Drive and Eau Claire Park. Walk across, bike across, or just sit back and take a photo.

Float Down the Bow River or Elbow River

If you’re looking for a relaxing local activity in the summer, there’s nothing quite like a slow float down the Bow River or the Elbow River. The Bow River is much more popular due to its size and the fact that goes through downtown. You’ll notice many tubes going down the river during warm summer days. If you don’t have a raft, you can rent a raft or join up with a guided tour.

fishing in Alberta on the Bow River in Calgary

Go Fly-Fishing

Did you know that Calgary’s Bow River is one of the top three trout streams in the world? That’s right! Alberta is home to some of the best trout fishing in the world and that attracts anglers from all over. Whether you bring your own gear or join a tour, there’s really no better place to go fly-fishing than in and around Calgary. In terms of timing, the Bow River can technically be fished throughout the year. However, Calgary can get some harsh winters, which means the most comfortable time to fish would be between May and October. At the same time, we do get chinooks and so if the weather gets warmer during one of the winter months, you can certainly go out and fish as the river does not freeze over.

The Glenbow Museum

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Indoor activities Calgary

Those looking for a beautiful museum in the heart of downtown Calgary should head to the Glenbow Museum. This museum represents Western Canadian art and culture, both as a repository of important cultural history but also as a living record of contemporary life in this part of the world.  Their collection includes over one million objects, documents, photographs, and artworks, which make it one of the largest museums in Western Canada. In addition to art, however, the Glenbow Museum also features the history of Calgary and Alberta, as well as a great exhibit on the traditions, values, and history of the indigenous people who have lived in the Northwestern plains of Alberta and Montana for thousands of years.

The Military Museums

While Canada’s military is a fraction of the size of our neighbours down south, we did have one of the most important victories in both the First and Second World Wars. It was a crazy time in history and resulted in an unbelievable amount of casualties. During your visit to the Military Museum, you’ll learn about the stories of bravery during this troubling time in history. You’ll get insight into what life was like in the trenches, what it was like flying a bomber, and how everyone came together as a team to bring down the enemy.

Canada Olympic Park Calgary

WinSport (Canada Olympic Park)

Formerly known as Canada Olympic Park (it was home to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics), WinSport is Calgary’s top outdoor activity centre. Not only is it home to the Canada Sports Hall of Fame, but it’s also a great place to try a variety of activities and sports. In the summer, you’ll find the fastest zip-line in North America, downhill mountain biking, and more. In the winter, you’ll find skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and even an Olympic bobsleigh track! That’s right! You can jump in a 4-person bobsleigh and soar down the track at almost 100 km per hour.

TELUS Spark Science Centre

  • Indoor activities Calgary
  • Things to do in Calgary with kids

If you’re looking for really great Calgary kid’s activities, I’m not sure you’ll find anything better than TELUS Spark. It’s not just for kids though. This science centre has Calgary’s only Dome Theatre, which features incredible nature movies and live planetarium shows. There are also travelling exhibitions, an outdoor adventure space for play and risk-taking, a plethora of fun and interactive educational exhibits, and so much more.

Explore Stephen Avenue

  • Things to do in downtown Calgary
  • Things to do in Calgary for free

Quite possibly Calgary’s prettiest street, Stephen Avenue is also the most historic. Right in the heart of downtown, running parallel to the C-Train and mostly closed off to vehicles, Stephen Avenue is the perfect place to go for a walk, especially in the summer. You’ll see some of Calgary’s most beautiful historic buildings, shops, and restaurants. It’s really lively in the summertime and is close to most of downtown Calgary’s top attractions such as City Hall, Olympic Park, the Calgary Tower, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Public Library, and the Bell Studio National Music Centre.

Explore 17th Ave Entertainment District

  • Things to do in Calgary for free
  • Known to some as the Red Mile, 17th Ave SW is one of the most popular places in Calgary. It’s located right in front of the Saddledome and stretches all the way down to 14th street. This is where you’ll find lots of trendy shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. It’s a lively place during the summer months and is a great place to go for a walk, find a bite to eat, or enjoy a night out at the bars.

    Check Out the Public Art

  • Things to do in Calgary for free
  • Calgary is not usually a city known for its culture, so it may come as a shock that Calgary was named the cultural capital of Canada back in 2012. Since then, the number of art installations across the city has multiplied, making it a great city to grab your camera and go for a stroll. Some of the best spots are Stephen Avenue (mentioned above), but they can be found throughout the downtown core. One of the most famous is Wonderland at the Bow, which we’ll talk about below.

    Wonderland Sculpture Calgary

    Wonderland at the Bow

    • Things to do in downtown Calgary
    • Things to do in Calgary for free

    The Bow is a 158,000-square-metre office building that stands 236 metres (774 ft) tall. It is the third tallest building outside of Toronto and when it was built in 2012, it was ranked among the top 10 architectural projects in the world. That’s why we recommend visiting. Since it’s an office building for both Encana Corporation and Cenovus Energy, you won’t be able to go inside. However, it’s one of Calgary’s most iconic buildings and is truly beautiful to look at. It’s also home to one of Calgary’s most iconic images – Wonderland. This 12 metre-high metal sculpture resembles a girl’s head and is a great place to get that sought-after Instagram shot.

    Go Horseback Riding

    With a deep heritage of cowboys and rodeos, it should come as no surprise that Calgary and the surrounding area is a great place to go horseback riding. There are a variety of companies offering horseback riding tours, with some of the most popular ones being out towards the mountains and Kananaskis.

    Take the Kids to Calaway Park

  • Things to do in Calgary with kids
  • While Calaway Park is certainly more for kids than for teenagers and adults, it is Western Canada’s largest outdoor amusement park. With 32 rides, 23 carnival games, lots of food vendors, and even a 3D theatre, Calaway Park is a very popular attraction with the young and the young at heart.

    Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

    Whether you’re into hockey, baseball, football, or track & Field, sports buffs will love Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, which is conveniently located at WinSport Canada Olympic Park. You’ll find a 40,000 square foot museum, as well as the torch, used to light the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, which if you didn’t know by now, was hosted in Calgary. More than 600 Canadians have been inducted into the hall of fame so it’s a great opportunity to learn about sports in Canada.

    Explore Nosehill Park

    If you’re looking to go for an inner-city hike, few places match Nosehill Park. This park is one of North America’s biggest urban parks at more than 11 square kilometres. It also offers stunning views of downtown Calgary and is home to an ancient First Nations artifact – The Siksikaitsitapi Medicine Wheel.

    Explore Fish Creek Park

    As if one massive urban park wasn’t enough, Calgary went ahead and made another. Actually, Fish Creek Park is a provincial park that happens to be located in Calgary and is the second-largest urban park in Canada! This park is much more extensive than Nosehill Park, taking up a big portion of Calgary’s southside, crossing over rivers and connecting to the beautiful Glenmore Reservoir. There are a variety of places to start from and you can walk, run, bike, or even rollerblade.

    Find Your Groove at the Calgary Folk Music Festival

    One of our favourite weekends during the summer in Calgary is the Calgary Folk Music Festival, which takes place over four days in the beautiful area of Prince’s Island Park in downtown Calgary. With multiple stages and an incredible lineup of musicians and bands, this is a great place to get introduced to new music, dance under the hot sun, or just lay back and let the music soothe your soul. You’ll also find workshops, incredible food, and an array of handicrafts, and cool stuff to buy.

    Get Cultured at Expo Latino

    If you love the multiculturalism of Canada, then you probably love all the vibrant festivals that occur across Canada. One of Calgary’s most popular ethnic festivals is Expo Latino, which is held in August, and just so happens to be Canada’s largest outdoor Latin Festival. On a hot summer day surrounded by Calgary’s city landscape, Expo Latino is the perfect opportunity to celebrate Latin culture, including live music, dance workshops, beautiful handicrafts, amazing food, and more.

    Science is Fun at Beakerhead

    Beakerhead is an interesting Calgary festival as it brings together science, engineering, and art. Visitors can be entertained and educated and the event is fun for all ages. It’s also located within the downtown core, with the biggest setups typically taking place around Fort Calgary or Prince’s Island Park.

    GlobalFest Cultural & Fireworks Festival

    Whether you’re into mind-blowing fireworks or experiencing new cultures, GlobalFest is a must-do festival in Calgary. This annual festival celebrates Calgary’s multi-cultural communities, featuring pavilions, performances, and international fireworks, illuminating the sky with a colliding orchestra of light and sound. The fireworks are actually a competition between a variety of countries, such as China, India, Austria, France, and Germany.

    Chinook Blast

    Despite being a winter city, there’s actually not a lot of winter festivals in Calgary. However, a new festival that arrived in 2021 is called Chinook Blast, which actually brings in other festivals such as the Calgary Folk Fest into a wintery scene in downtown Calgary. Despite Covid, it’s back again in 2022 and features things such as the Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Block Heater, the Glow Festival, Ethnik Festival of Arts & Culture, High Performance Rodeo, and more.

    Globalfest Fireworks Calgary

    Things to Do in Calgary at Night

    For those looking for fun things to do at night in Calgary as well, there are all sorts of options. From nightclubs, bars, incredible restaurants, dinner theatres, and more, there’s so much to experience when the sun goes down. Below are just some of the options for having a good time at night.

    • Stagewest Calgary: Stage West Theatre is a great place to go to see live musical theatre while eating one of the biggest buffets in the city. We’ve seen all sorts of shows there, including Red Rock Diner, And The World Goes Round, and my absolute favourite – Jersey Boys! It all starts off with a 120-item buffet, which includes all sorts of things for all tastebuds. Crab legs, salmon, roast beef, perogies, sushi, dessert, and so much more. In fact, the menu has been different every time we’ve gone. Once dinner ends, the lights go out and the show begins. It’s a really great time and if you’re looking for a dinner theatre in Calgary, this is one of the best places to go.
    • The National: This massive bar is located in the heart of downtown Calgary and features a huge selection of beers and other alcoholic drinks, as well as a beautiful bowling alley and arcade room. If you stay upstairs, it looks like an upscale bar and if you hang out downstairs, you’ll find all the fun games.
    • Aussie Rules: What could be more fun than listening to live pianists singing requested songs such as Sweet Caroline and Tiny Dancer. This is a lively night out with the crowd joining in, singing along, and even standing on their chairs chugging beer to the chants of “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oy Oy Oy”. It’s also connected to:
    • Jubilations Dinner Theatre: If you’re looking for a high-quality dinner theatre, this is the place to go. Afterward, you can pop into Aussie Rules to keep the night going.
    • The Rec Room: If you’re looking for a super fun place to go with friends, check out the Rec Room, which combined a bar and restaurant with an entire suite of gaming opportunities such as redemption games, video games, golf games, shuffleboard, pool, and more.

    In addition to these bars above, the best neighbourhoods to enjoy at night are Kensington and 17th Ave SW. These are the liveliest places with the most amount of bars, so just head over to these areas and you’ll have fun.

    Where to Eat in Calgary

    Those into food (who isn’t?) will have a great time in Calgary. With thousands of restaurants to choose from, as well as a thriving multicultural scene, there’s no shortage of options. Below are some of our favourites:

    Peter’s Drive-Thru: When it comes to fast-food-style burgers, fries, and milkshakes, Peter’s drive-thru is the place to go. This is one of Calgary’s most famous dining establishments and if you go during the evenings or weekends, lineups will be huge. There’s no seating so everything is done like a drive-thru. You can either park and line up outside or sit in your car and go through the drive-thru. Either way, the food is delicious, fairly cheap, and they have th ebest burgers and shakes in the city.

    River Cafe: Now for something polar opposite, let’s head down to the beautiful Prince’s Island Park area for one of Calgary’s top upscale dining options. Uniquely located next to the Bow River surrounded by trees, the River Cafe is perhaps the best setting for a romantic restaurant in Calgary. It’s also one of the most eco-friendly restaurants, serving up a wide range of Canadian cuisine with local ingredients.

    Tubby Dog: For lots of cool, fun eating options, 17 Ave SW is a great place to go. One of the most iconic places there is Tubby Dog. We first tried this place 15 years ago and it’s still all the rage. Everyone loves a good hot dog but imagine having one with things like Captain Crunch cereal, potato chips, wasabi, peanut butter, or Japanese mayo?

    Bridgette Bar: Another fancy restaurant located near downtown Calgary is Bridgette Bar. It’s been a while since we ate here but I’ll never forget having mashed potatoes with smoked butter and a delicious smoked Rainbow trout.

    CRAFT Beer Market: Home to one of the coolest rooftop patios in the city, CRAFT is a great place to eat everything from fried pickles to pizza, tacos, and their popular bowls. Karla’s favourite is the Ahi Poke Bowl. As you may have guessed from the name, they also have more than 100 beers on tap.

    Native Tongues: While there aren’t loads of amazing Mexican restaurants in Calgary, one of the favourites is Native Tongues, which features an array of populart tacos and tequila.

    Sushi: Despite being landlocked, there’s so many options for delicious sushi and Japanese food in Calgary. Some of the popular options include Sushi In, Ke Charcoal Grill, Shijo Sushi, and many more.

    Where to Stay in Calgary

    As one of Canada’s biggest cities, there’s no shortage of hotels and other accommodation. There really is no “best place to stay in Calgary”. It just depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want to be downtown? Do you want to be close to a certain attraction? Do you want to be close to the airport? Do you want cheap, mid-range, or luxury? There are so many options and there’s something for everyone.

    Calgary Hotels Downtown

    For those who want to stay in downtown Calgary, there are lots of accommodation options, including Hostel Calgary for those on a budget, the Fairmont for those who want luxury, and a plethora of other options for everything in-between. There’s also a variety of hotels that are not downtown. There are also a number of Calgary hotels with pools all over the city for those with kids or simply wanting to take a dip. Some popular options for where to stay in Calgary include:

    Alt Hotel Calgary East Village: Once known as a rather sketchy neighbourhood, Calgary’s East Village has been completely transformed into one of the coolest and trendiest neighbourhoods in the city. Not only is it home to attractions such as the Calgary Library and the National Music Centre, but it’s also home to the new Alt Hotel. This Canadian hotel company provides trendy hotels for a great value. We stayed at the Alt Hotel in Ottawa and loved it. There’s a reason it has such high reviews from hundreds of guests.

    Hotel Arts Kensington: If you’re looking for a smaller beautiful hotel just outside the city centre in the trendy neighbourhood of Kensington, this is it. Not only do they offer delicious food, underground heated parking, and beautiful rooms, but they also offer free bicycle rentals, which make for a perfect day considering the hotel is right in front of the Bow River Pathway.

    Le Germain Hotel Calgary: If you’re looking to be right downtown in the middle of both the Calgary Tower and Stephen Avenue, then this is a great option. Consistently ranked as one of the top hotels in Calgary, this up-scale hotel offers everything from typical hotel rooms to apartment-style suites. You’ll also find a 24-hour fitness centre, a lounge bar, and a complimentary continental breakfast.

    Motel Village Calgary

    One of the most popular places to stay in the city is Motel Village Calgary, which is a small area with a high concentration of mid-range hotels, such as the Best Western and the Holiday Inn. Although Motel Village is not downtown (and is certainly not all motels), it is in an awesome location, right across the street from McMahon Stadium (home of the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders), the University of Calgary, and the Banff Trail C-Train station, which is only three stops away from the downtown core and two stops from Kensington. If you’re looking for Calgary hotels Northwest, Motel Village is one option. Other options include Hotel Arts Kensington, Westmount River Inn, as well as hotels around Bowness and Winsport Olympic Park.

    Hotels in South West Calgary

    Southwest Calgary is a big area that includes downtown Calgary and Macleod Trail. Popular options downtown include Marriott, Sheraton, Fairmont, and Delta. Popular options on Macleod Trail include Best Western Plus, Days Inn, Holiday Inn, and many others.

    Hotels in North East Calgary

    The most popular area for Northeast hotels would be around the airport. There are many hotels in this area including Best Western, Sheraton, Comfort Inn, and many others. Many of these Calgary airport hotels include a free shuttle.

    Bed and Breakfast Calgary

    We love a good Bed & Breakfast and Calgary has a few options. Options include Along River Ridge, Calgary Westways, Tending Gardens, Cozy Nest, and many others.

    Cheap Motels in Calgary

    We’re big fans of spending less on a place to sleep and more on fun activities. Calgary has many options for cheap motels including the Super 8, Econo Lodge, Olympia Motel, and many others.

    Things to do in Banff
    Yes, This is how happy you’ll be when you arrive in Banff.

    Fun Things To Do in Calgary and Beyond

    These are some of the great things to do in the beautiful city of Calgary. With a city booming and blooming in many ways, new attractions, restaurants, and even buildings are going up every single month, which means there will be more and more stuff to do in Calgary each time you visit. Whether you’re looking for family fun, free activities in Calgary, or even things to do in Calgary this weekend, we’ve got you covered.

    However, when you’re done with Calgary, there’s loads of cool things to do nearby. This is what we recommend.

    The Foothills

    Just outside Calgary is the beautiful Alberta foothills. They make a great day trip or you can even extend your visit and stay in one of the small communities. Popular areas include Turner Valley, Black Diamond, Okotoks, Nanton, and High River. You’ll find charming restaurants, little museums, and cool activities such as learning how to blacksmith, visiting local producers, and so much more.


    One of the most popular places to visit near Calgary is Drumheller, which is known as the dinosaur capital of the world. Not only will you find the world-famous Royal Tyrell Museum, but you’ll also see dramtically different scenery. Instead of foothills and mountains, you’ll find the stunning Alberta Badlands.

    Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

    If you’re into indigenous culture and history, one of the coolest places to visit is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump. Located just south of Calgary, near Lethbridge, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features an incredible museum and a beautiful place to learn about one of the biggest buffalo jumps ever found.

    Banff and Canmore

    Banff, Canmore, and the Rocky Mountais need no introduction. They’re one of the most famous tourist destinations in Canada, and for good reason. Very few places in the world offer the stunning scenery found in Banff National Park, and it’s all less than 1.5 hours from Calgary. Enjoy world-class outdoor attractions, spas, a thriving restaurant scene, and so much more. For more, check out our guide for the best things to do in Banff.

    best hikes in kananaskis

    The Kananaskis

    Another popular Rocky Mountain area is the Kananaskis, which is a little closer than Banff and Canmore and can also be found southwest of Calgary when visiting the Alberta Foothills. This area is a provincial park and while there’s very few accommodation options, it is a very popular place to enjoy one of the many famous Kananaskis hikes.

    Still want more? Enjoy these Canadian travel guides below:


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