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Top 15 Best Things to Do in Calgary, Canada

Top Tourist Spots in Calgary, Canada

Heritage Park Historical Village by Bernard Spragg NZ via Wikimedia cc

Bucket List: 15 Best Places to Visit in Calgary, Canada

Located close to the Canadian Rockies, the site of the Calgary Stampede, known for its network of urban bicycle paths and beautiful harmony of urban and nature, Calgary is a place to behold. Despite being overshadowed by Vancouver and Toronto, Calgary represents the quintessentially Canadian city that gives its residents and visitors the experiences and connections that they won’t get elsewhere.

Biking around Calgary

Walking and Biking around Calgary
Walking and Biking around Calgary

Calgary has one of the safest and most extensive networks of bicycle paths in North America, stretching for 1,000 kilometers that some residents gave up driving cars. Some of the best places to bike along include the Glenmore Reservoir, Bow River, Nose Hill Park, Riley Park, Fishcreek Park, and Prince’s Island Park.

Prince’s Island Park

Prince's Island Park in Calgary
Prince’s Island Park in Calgary

A popular activity for visitors when visiting parks in Canada is wildlife watching. Even in the city, there are plenty and diverse deer, moose, and elk populations. At the Prince’s Island Park, one of the most popular parks in the city, hundreds of beavers cluster along its rivers. Besides watching beavers create their dams, Prince’s Island Park holds major events and festivals throughout summer, like the Shakespeare in the Park and Calgary Folk Festival.

Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo by Mack Male via Wikimedia cc
Calgary Zoo By Mack Male from Edmonton, AB, Canada – Calgary Zoo, CC BY-SA 2.0, cc

One of Calgary’s top tourist attractions, Calgary Zoo is home to more than a thousand animals from hundreds of different species. The zoo has eight different habitats, including Canadian Wilds, Conservatory Gardens and Butterflies, Destination Africa, Exploration Asia, Gateway to Asia, Land of Lemurs, Penguin Plunge, and Prehistoric Park. As a leader in wildlife conservation in Canada, Calgary Zoo works with local communities and other foundations to save threatened and endangered species. Calgary Zoo also offers events, experiences, and programs that teach participants about different ecosystems and the importance of conservation.

Downhill Karting at Skyline Luge Calgary

Skyline Luge Calgary by daveynin via Wikimedia cc
Skyline Luge Calgary By daveynin from United States – Olympic View from below, CC BY 2.0, cc

Skyline Luge Calgary’s Downhill Karting is a popular summer activity at WinSport, a multipurpose arena owned by WinSport. With 1,800 meters of downhill twists and turns, this unique, fast-paced ride by gravity will surely leave its riders with adrenaline and exciting memories.

Lougheed House National & Provincial Historic Site

The Lougheed House National & Provincial Historic Site is a hub of events, experiences, and programs. Built in 1891 by Senator Sir James Alexander Lougheed and his wife, Lady Isabella Clarke Hardisty Lougheed, the Lougheed House is one of the finer residences in Canada. The historic site today can be explored to discover the history and evolution of Canada through lesser-known stories, such as the connection of the Lougheed family to Calgary’s history. The Beaulieu Gardens, one of Calgary’s most beautiful gardens and significant cultural landscapes, can be found in the historic Lougheed House.

Devonian Gardens

Devonian Gardens by Design148 via Wikimedia cc
Devonian Gardens By Design148 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The Devonian Gardens officially opened to the public in 1977 after being donated to the City by the Devonian Group of Charitable Foundations and Calford Properties. The indoor park has more than 50 varieties of plants, over 500 trees, a 900-square-foot living wall, separate themed gardens, a waterfall, two koi ponds, a children’s play area, a climbing wall, and a piano for public use.

Nose Hill Park

Nose Hill Park by JaredChamberlain via Wikimedia cc
Nose Hill Park By JaredChamberlain –, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Nose Hill Park is the biggest city park in Calgary, surrounded by 12 residential communities and covering 11 square kilometers of native grassland. Established in 1980, the park got its name from its nose-like shape with the help of a little imagination. Nose Hill Park has lots of hiking trails and dedicated off-leash areas. Aside from native grasses, the park is rich with aspen, willows, and other shrubs and wildflowers. Visitors can occasionally see deer, coyotes, porcupines, and ground squirrels roaming the grassland.

The Military Museums

The Military Museums, Calgary by Mack Male via Wikimedia cc
The Military Museums, Calgary By Mack Male from Edmonton, AB, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, cc

Dedicated to preserving the history and memories of the Canadians who served their country, The Military Museums holds special events and exhibits demonstrating the history of warfare and of the Canadian Armed Forces. The museum is a research and educational institution with thousands of books and documents in its library and archives. Visitors can explore other museums and galleries, including the Naval, Army, and Air Force Museums of Alberta, the four Regimental army museums, and The Founders’ Gallery.

Calgary Farmers’ Market

Farmers Market
Farmers Market

The Calgary Farmers’ Market opened its doors in 2004 before relocating off Heritage Drive and Blackfoot Trail in 2011. Every week, the market welcomes thousands of visitors who buy local produce and crafts from more than 50 vendors. Visitors and shoppers are greeted with a wide selection of fresh produce, meat and poultry, international goods, organic products, and artisan beverage.

Glenmore Reservoir

Glenmore Reservoir by Dwayne Reilander via Wikimedia cc
Glenmore Reservoir By Dwayne Reilander – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

The Glenmore Reservoir is an enormous reservoir constructed to supply Calgary with safe drinking water, reduce the impact of high river flows and equip the reservoir with recreational activities.

Activities popular at the reservoir include fishing, boating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, biking, and picnicking. The Glenmore Sailing School also operates in Glenmore Park, the largest sailing school in Canada that has programs for sailing, disabled sailing, dragon boat racing, rowing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Boating in Bow River

Boating in Bow River photo via Wikimedia cc
Boating in Bow River photo via Wikimedia cc

The fast-moving waters at Bow River make it another exceptional location for boating in the summer, especially rafting. Another watercraft welcome on the river includes paddle boards, drift boats, canoes, kayaks, and other watercrafts powered by human efforts. Aside from boating, visitors can take boat tours across the river or ride a bike along the Bow River.

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Fish Creek Provincial Park by Jtayl132 via Wikimedia cc
Fish Creek Provincial Park By Jtayl132 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Before the Fish Creek Provincial Park officially opened in 1975, it was first inhabited by the First Nations communities, then the first Europeans settled in the 1870s. Today, it is widely used by locals and tourists for its wide range of recreational activities, like biking, wildlife and bird watching, boating, fishing, picnicking, rollerblading, swimming, hiking, and tobogganing.

Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park Historical Village by Bernard Spragg NZ via Wikimedia cc
Heritage Park Historical Village By Bernard Spragg. NZ from Christchurch, New Zealand – The Heritage Village Calgary., CC0, cc

One of Canada’s most visited tourist attractions and largest living history museums, the Heritage Park Historical Village has55,000 artifacts and more than 180 exhibits and attractions spread across four separate areas from the 1860s to the 1950s. The Heritage Park has programs, field trips, camps, and exhibits that share Canada’s rich history. Visitors can also navigate the park on a self-guided walking tour at their own pace.

T’suu Tina Nation’s Powwow

The TsuuT’ina Nation holds a powwow celebration every year, bringing several nations together from the Treaty 7 territory and beyond. The annual event is held to celebrate the rich culture of the TsuuT’ina Nation. Visitors are welcome to see and witness these celebrations and have a good time.

Bowness Park

Bowness Park Calgary by davebloggs007 via Wikimedia cc
Bowness Park Calgary By Thank you for visiting my page from Canada – Bowness park Calgary, CC BY 2.0, cc

One of Calgary’s most popular parks, Bowness Park, was built by a local land developer before the First World War. Today, locals and tourists use the park for picnicking and accessing the Bow River. Bowness Park is also a popular gathering site in the winter, where residents skate across the lagoon and go cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on one of the park’s several trails.

Although one of the city’s biggest draws is the Canadian Rockies and the Calgary Stampede, the city offers many activities.

How to get there

Getting to the city is also fairly easy with transportation via land, whether by car, bus and train, or air, with the YYC Calgary International Airport serving as a hub for major Canadian airlines, being very accessible. Whether you’re looking for a city escape or a wilderness adventure, Calgary’s convenient location, close to parks, and as a city full of life make it a worthwhile destination.

Our Top Hotel Picks for Calgary, Canada

Calgary Travel and Tour Packages

Check out our list of cheap Calgary Canada hotels and resorts via Agoda, Booking, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.

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