Peace Bridge on a sunny day with multi-storey buildings in the background, Calgary, Canada

Things to do in  Calgary

Take the bull by the horns

Though often overshadowed by Alberta’s natural beauty, Calgary is more than just a gateway to the Canadian Rockies. While many travelers pass through seeking the outdoor activities of Jasper National Park and beyond, this vibrant metropolis—the fourth-largest city in Canada—has plenty to offer visitors. There’s its thriving craft beer scene, world-class Calgary Zoo, and historic landmarks like Heritage Park. And with museums like Studio Bell (home of the National Music Centre) plus a world-famous rodeo, visitors will find plenty of things to do in Calgary. The city is also a popular starting point for day trips to scenic spots from Lake Louise to Banff.

Top 15 attractions in Calgary

Calgary Stampede

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The Calgary Stampede is a grand celebration of Canada’s Western heritage that has been attracting visitors every year since 1923. Visit to experience small-town fun in a big way. The Stampede includes rodeo events, chuckwagon races, blacksmithing competitions, a midway, 300 performers on five stages, and First Nations cultural events.More

Calgary Tower

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Standing sentinel over the city’s downtown since 1968, Calgary Tower features an observation deck with a glass floor and a revolving restaurant 627 feet (191 meters) above ground. Both afford 360-degree views across the city to the snow-capped Rocky Mountains in the distance.More

Fort Calgary

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In 1875, the North West Mounted Police built a wooden fort—and it became the birthplace of Calgary. Visit Fort Calgary today to learn more about the city's formative years from 1875 to 1914 through interactive exhibits, replica barracks, guided tours, and an interpretive center.More

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre

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Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, is a state-of-the-art cultural center in Calgary. Spanning 160,000 square feet (14,865 square meters), the architecturally notable center includes a museum, performance hall, live music venue, recording studios, radio station, classrooms, and media center.More

Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site

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As one of Canada’s most significant historic coal mines, the Atlas Coal Mine is a National Historic Landmark and the site of the country's last standing wooden coal tipple (a sorting and loading machine.) It is a chance to dive deep into the country’s history of coal mining, as well as the time period during which mining was more prominent. Original mine buildings, hundreds of artifacts, roving characters, and unique machinery all bring history to life. There’s also a narrow gauge train tour and a coal car that takes visitors around the property, and an underground mining tunnel tour that recreates the experience of the miners.Outside of the mine itself, visitors can see well-preserved plant buildings and miner houses, including a lamp house, wash house, supply house, and blacksmith. The site of many historic structures, the mine is popular with photographers and well as history enthusiasts.More

Heritage Park

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Heritage Park in Calgary, Alberta, is an open-air historical and learning museum that gives visitors the chance to experience what life was like on the Canadian Prairies from 1860 to 1950. Costumed interpreters and many hands-on, interactive exhibits help you go deeper into your fun-filled encounter with the living past.More

TELUS Spark

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TELUS Spark encourages curious museum-goers of all ages to explore topics of science, engineering, technology, math, and art through a series of interactive exhibits and hands-on experiences. The center’s Dome Theatre hosts live planetarium shows and documentary-style movies on a huge screen.More

Heritage Park Historical Village

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Calgary’s Heritage Park Historical Village stretches out across 127 acres (51 hectares), creating an experience that immerses you in Canada’s past. As a living museum, the park features a working steam train, a 19th-century paddle wheeler, and horse-drawn wagons. From the sights to the sounds to the treats on offer, every effort has been made to help visitors experience life in a centuries-old Canadian town.More

Kananaskis River

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Winding through the front ranges of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the glacial blue waters of the Kananaskis River offer exhilarating white water rafting adventures. Considered one of the most scenic rivers in Alberta, the Kananaskis also affords mountain views and the chance to spy wolves, elk, eagle, and black and grizzly bears.More

Calaway Park

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Calaway Park, the largest outdoor amusement park in Western Canada, features 32 family-friendly rides and attractions, as well as live entertainment, from stage shows to street performers. Two dozen games, a 3D theater, and a splash park with 15 water features round out the fun. More

Glenbow Museum

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The largest cultural museum in Western Canada, Glenbow Museum showcases the history and culture of indigenous Canadians—particularly the Blackfoot Confederacy, whose traditional land Calgary occupies. The museum's impressive collection spans artifacts, artworks, archives, documents, and fun interactive exhibits.Please note: The Glenbow Museum is currently closed for renovations, but you can see exhibits curated by the museum at its satellite gallery, Glenbow at The Edison, in downtown Calgary.More

Calgary Zoo

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Possibly the city’s most popular attraction, the Calgary Zoo has been caring for animals and animal lovers since 1929. Surrounded by botanical gardens with a rain forest and butterfly enclosure, Canada’s second largest zoo is home to more than 1,000 critters representing dozens of species from all corners of the globe.More

The Hangar Flight Museum

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The collection of historic civilian and military aircraft on display at the Hangar Flight Museum highlights the history of Canadian aviation and the stories of the men and women who designed and flew these engineering marvels.More

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

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Much more than a static collection of sports memorabilia, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame honors the country’s most remarkable athletes with an electric 40,000 square foot space that echoes with the roar of fans. Tucked into one of the buildings that hosted the 1988 Winter Olympic Games, interactive exhibits educate visitors about the rules and challenges of more obscure sports and offer the chance to throw pitches for clocked speed, shadow box with Lennox Lewis, attempt a wheelchair race or balance on skis on a virtual downhill slope.There are sections dedicated to swimming and rowing, car racing, golfing and, of course, hockey, spread throughout 12 galleries. Over 1,000 culturally significant sports artifacts—including the shoe that amputee Terry Fox wore at the start of his epic cross-country cancer awareness run—are also on display. Each year new Hall of Fame honorees are inducted at a prestigious ceremony and featured, along with details of the more than 600 current members, in the Locker Room Gallery.More
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WinSport

WinSport

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A legacy of the 1988 Winter Games,WinSport, Canada's Olympic Park, has hosted Olympic events in ski jumping, bobsled, and luge. These days, its professional-standard facilities are mostly used for recreational purposes, with visitors flocking here not only to ski, snowboard, and bobsled but also to try other activities, such as ziplining.More

Top activities in Calgary

Calgary City Sightseeing Tour

Calgary City Sightseeing Tour

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Calgary to Banff (Canmore) Public Shuttle
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Calgary to Banff (Canmore) Public Shuttle

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All about Calgary

When to visit

This westerly city is at its liveliest and most vibrant in summer. By then, the long months of snow have blown off and the city’s events calendar is at its busiest. Every July, the Calgary Stampede rodeo festival draws scores of visitors. And the Folk Festival and International Blues Festival also attract music lovers to the city. For a totally different experience, visit in the winter to take advantage of the region’s winter sports.

Getting around

A robust public transportation network makes getting around easy. Options include the CTrain light rail system, which consists of two main lines, and numerous bus routes. Due to the city’s size, it can be helpful to travel by hired car or taxi. Guided sightseeing tours offer another easy way to explore. There are also more than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) of paved multi-use paths, making this a very bike-friendly place.

Traveler tips

Looking for a new perspective on the city’s skyline and landmarks? If you’re visiting in summer, rent a kayak or inflatable raft. You can go paddling right down the Bow River, which wends its way through the heart of the city. Routes from Baker Park to Prince’s Island Park take about three hours, and combine sightseeing and fresh-air activity.

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People Also Ask

What is Calgary most known for?

Calgary is most famous for the Calgary Stampede, an annual rodeo in July. The city’s Military Museums, Canada Olympic Park, and Heritage Park Historical Village are also well-known. Fort Calgary is a major historical site. The city is also a jumping-off point for trips to nearby Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains.

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Is there anything to see in Calgary?

Yes. There are many things to do in Calgary, including its Stampede rodeo (“the greatest outdoor show on Earth”). Then there’s the Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary Tower, and the Glenbow Museum. Many of the city’s attractions relate to its cattle-ranching history. And Spruce Meadows is a destination for equestrian events.

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Where in Canada is Calgary?

The city of Calgary is found in western Canada. It’s located in the south of the Alberta province. The city is around 600 miles (970 kilometers) northeast of Vancouver and 185 miles (300 kilometers) south of Edmonton.

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What can you do in Calgary for free?

Many of the best things to do in Calgary are free. Visit parks, such as Nose Hill Park and Bowness Park. You can also admire the Wonderland Sculpture, walk across the attractive Peace Bridge, and browse the city’s Farmers’ Market.

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Is Calgary worth visiting?

Yes. This city in North America is well worth visiting, even though it’s not the most popular tourist destination in Canada. There are a variety of museums, parks, and cultural attractions to enjoy. Plus, the city is a convenient point of departure and stopover city for visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

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What can you do with teenagers in Calgary?

If you’re traveling with teenagers, take advantage of the city’s outdoor and historic attractions. Come July, teenagers will likely enjoy the Calgary Stampede rodeo, which includes concerts as well as animal-related events. You can also take them to a Calgary Flames game.

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