Set dramatically between prairies and peaks, the Stampede City of Calgary is a modern urban landscape surrounded by natural grandeur. Here you can savor the Rocky Mountain wilderness by day and enjoy world class cuisine and entertainment by night. It is one of Canada’s key business centres, but also embraces its rich western heritage.
If you really want to get Immersed in Calgary’s Wild West spirit, then a visit to one of the biggest rodeo shows on the planet – the Calgary Stampede is a must. Held every year in July, over one million revelers visit the city for ten days of non-stop action.
Ask our Travel Designers about Food and Walking tours to take in the city like a local!
Explore Summer and Winter trip ideas below!
Besides being the gateway to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, exploring exciting tourist attractions in Calgary will guarantee to keep the whole family entertained. Travel back in time, expand your imagination and see attractions larger than life with all that Calgary has to offer. Here are some of the top attractions in the city of Calgary.
Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame CANADA’S SPORTS HALL OF FAME Inspiring Canadians – In Sport and Life Come enjoy our 40,000 square foot international award-winning facility located at Canada Olympic Park. We have 12 galleries and over 50 hands-on interactive exhibits including shadow boxing against Olympic Gold Medallist Lennox Lewis, 3D goalie and back-catcher experiences, sport challenges, wheelchair racing against Paralympic Gold Medallist Chantal Petitclerc and more.
Calgary Zoo Discover Life On Earth at the Calgary Zoo! From the splendour of the Rocky Mountains to the heart of Destination Africa, The Calgary Zoo takes you to see over 1,000 animals from around the world. Trek through the gorilla’s rainforest, safari over the Savannah to watch the hippos swim, or climb the Canadian Wilds to see a grizzly bear.
Canada Olympic Park No visit to Calgary is complete without a visit to WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park, the most visible legacy from the 1988 Games. WinSport has taken the Olympic legacy to new heights with the goal of becoming a world-class Winter Sport Institute and helping Canadian athletes reach the podium at World Cup events and the Olympic Games. In the summer, a visit to Canada Olympic Park is the perfect tonic for adrenaline junkies! Rush down North America’s fastest zipline, reaching speeds of up to 140 km/h from the top of the 90m Ski Jump Tower, or rumble down the sliding track at 100 km/h in a four-man summer bobsleigh.
Calgary Tower Located 191 metres above the downtown core, the Calgary Tower offers the best view in the city and is a must-see on any visitor’s itinerary. On the Observation Deck you’ll experience a spectacular 360° view of the bustling city, the majestic Rocky Mountains, the foothills, and the prairies. Stand on the amazing glass floor for a birds-eye view of the city streets below. Enjoy a complimentary tour and learn about Calgary’s history, landmarks, and future plans.
Heritage Park Discover ’How the West was Once’ at Heritage Park Historical Village. The Park has a lot to offer both the history buff and the pleasure seeker, alike. It’s the perfect balance between historical fact, adventure, discovery and of course, fun – that makes our story of western Canadian settlement so distinctive. With 127 acres, 180 exhibits, an antique midway, paddle wheeler and authentic steam train, there is more to explore!
Shopping Whether you’re looking for big brand names or smaller, more eclectic collections, you’ll find both in Calgary’s shopping centers and districts. Check out our markets for locally grown produce and crafts by local artisans. And it definitely helps with no provincial tax! Downtown Calgary is all about original experiences – the city’s finest and most unique shopping, dining and entertainment. Together, TD Square and Holt Renfrew make up the CORE – Calgary’s most expansive urban shopping destination. Located in the heart of downtown along Stephen Avenue, the CORE – TD Square – Holt Renfrew features four storeys of shops and services, a large food court, and an indoor tropical garden. For a trip down memory lane, head to Inglewood; Inglewood bears the distinction of being Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood, having been established adjacent to Fort Calgary in 1875. Today, Inglewood is a vibrant, eclectic and ever-evolving arts and culture-filled district, with more than 100 shops, boutiques and eateries attracting locals and tourists alike. Comprising an expansive area surrounding 9th Avenue S.E., the community is also home to Sunfest, the Calgary International Fringe Festival, the Calgary Zoo, the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, Bow Habitat Station and the Inglewood Wildlands Park.
Dining Calgary’s dining scene is in blossom and rapidly developing an international reputation. Ambitious, creative chefs and restaurateurs are launching exciting new projects as many established eateries are hitting their stride. Hungry patrons demand excellence and innovation, while chefs and restaurateurs have much of both to give; it’s a delicious feedback loop. The top 50 list of restaurants in Canada has brought even more attention to Calgary. Vacay.ca’s Top 50 list placed Calgary 8 establishments in the top 50 with 3 of those in the top 15. For the local specialties and home chefs: Calgary Farmers’ Market is the place to go if handmade bison sausage, artisan bread, fruit wines and fresh local produce sound to you like “tonight’s dinner.” Vendors at this year-round market bring in products from local farms each week. In addition to favourites like Alberta beef, fresh cheese and bread made from western grains, the Calgary Farmers’ Market offers local specialties like pork, bison, chicken and even elk. The Calgary Farmers’ Market is open all year round, Thursday- Sunday 9am -5pm
In Calgary, there’s something exciting going on every month of the year, from major sports events and big-name concerts to festivals and the arts. 2016 marks the Year of Music in Calgary as they are hosting the 45th annual Juno Awards in late March and the city is buzzing with music happenings all year! Here are just a few of the exciting events to be a part of this year.
Calgary International Film Festival: Mid-Late March The Calgary International Film Festival (CIFF) is an 11-day showcase of international and Canadian cinema. Screening over 200 multi-genre films from around the world, and hosting gala events, awards ceremonies and special presentations, CIFF has something for everyone.
Big Taste Calgary: Early-Mid March Each year at the beginning of March, The Big Taste offers fixe-prix menus at more than 70 inner-city restaurants. Multi-course meals, culinary events and wine pairings are just some of the great reasons to enjoy The Big Taste in Downtown Calgary.
Calgary Stampede: Early July The Calgary Stampede is called The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth for good reason. For 10 days every July we welcome the world to a spectacular celebration of western heritage and values. The Calgary Stampede attracts visitors from other provinces, countries and continents. No matter where you’re coming from, you can always be assured of a warm welcome!
Calgary Folk Music Festival: Late July The Calgary Folk Music Festival, annually features 70 artists from over 16 countries on 9 stages in 100+ distinct concert and unique on-the-fly collaborations at urban, forested retreat of Prince’s Island Park to daily audiences of 13,000. Like a mini town, the site boasts an interactive family area, international craft market, global culinary delights, a record tent and tree-shaded beer garden.
Calgary International Blues Festival: Late July – Early August The festival takes place at Shaw Millenium Park, offering non-stop mainstage performances, a beer tent and nightly dance parties that run late into the night. This family friendly event draws audience members from around the world, who enjoy the grass-roots feel and fun for all.
GlobalFest Fireworks Festival: Mid-August GlobalFest – Alberta’s Most Explosive Festival – a Top 100 Event in North America by the American Bus Association, is located at Elliston Park in East Calgary. Come see the Trico Homes International Fireworks Festival, the biggest annual pyromusical fireworks festival west of Quebec and east of the Canadian Rockies!
In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 29 °C (84 °F) anytime in June, July and August, and occasionally as late as September or as early as May. As a consequence of Calgary’s high elevation and aridity, summer evenings tend to cool off.
Calgary has the warmest winters of all the major prairie cities, based on the average nighttime temperatures from December to February. The climate is greatly influenced by the city’s elevation and proximity to the Rocky Mountains.