Are you thinking about visiting Downtown Calgary soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Downtown Calgary. These dynamic sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.
Ah Downtown Calgary! A place where the pulse of modernity beats in harmony with the serene whispers of nature. As you stroll its bustling streets, you’re greeted by towering skyscrapers that reflect the city’s ambitious spirit. Yet, just a stone’s throw away, the gentle Bow River flows, offering a tranquil escape right in the heart of the urban jungle. Amidst this juxtaposition, there’s an array of things to do in Downtown Calgary, from exploring the vibrant arts and culture scene to indulging in world-class dining and shopping experiences.
For the uninitiated, Downtown Calgary might seem like just another city center. But delve a little deeper, and you’ll uncover a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be explored. From the dizzying heights of the Calgary Tower to the historic charm of Stephen Avenue, there’s a story behind every corner. And let’s not forget the culinary delights that beckon foodies from all over, with restaurants that serve up a melting pot of flavors.
So, if you’re looking to uncover the best of what Downtown Calgary has to offer, you’re in for a treat. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or someone with a penchant for shopping, this city center promises a memorable adventure. Ready to dive in? Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Downtown Calgary.
Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Downtown Calgary? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Downtown Calgary places to visit.
Are you looking to explore impressive museums and contemporary art galleries? Or would you prefer engaging in lively festivals? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Downtown Calgary can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Downtown Calgary that you should know about.
Imagine strolling down a pedestrian-only street, flanked by historic sandstone buildings, modern sculptures, and a lively atmosphere that’s infectious. That’s Stephen Avenue Walk for you! Right in the heart of Downtown Calgary, this iconic avenue is a blend of the old and the new. It’s not just a place; it’s an experience.
From the early morning, when the first rays of sunlight illuminate the avenue, to the evening when the street performers come alive with music and dance, there’s always something happening here. Things to do in Downtown Calgary? Start with a leisurely walk down Stephen Avenue. Explore the boutique shops and savor gourmet meals at the local eateries. Or, simply soak in the vibrant street art that adorns its length.
One of the coolest activities in Downtown Calgary is attending the many festivals and events that Stephen Avenue hosts throughout the year. From summer street fairs to winter light festivals, there’s always a reason to celebrate. And if you’re a history buff, the avenue’s historic buildings, each with its unique architecture and story, will captivate you.
So, if you’re wondering where to go in Downtown Calgary, make Stephen Avenue Walk your first stop. It’s a delightful mix of culture, history, and urban energy that promises an unforgettable experience.
Elevate your Downtown Calgary experience, quite literally, at the Calgary Tower. Standing tall at 191 meters, this iconic structure offers panoramic views of the city’s skyline, the majestic Rocky Mountains, and beyond. It’s a must-see in Downtown Calgary, especially for first-time visitors.
As you step onto the observation deck, you’re greeted with a 360-degree view that’s nothing short of breathtaking. But here’s the kicker: a section of the floor is made of glass. This allows the brave-hearted to look straight down onto the bustling streets below. It’s one of those unique things to do in Downtown Calgary that gets your heart racing!
Hungry after all that excitement? The tower’s revolving restaurant not only serves up delectable dishes but also offers a constantly changing view as you dine. Talk about a meal with a view!
For those interested in the tower’s history, interactive displays and information panels provide insight into its construction and significance. So, if you’re pondering what to do in Downtown Calgary, make sure the Calgary Tower tops your list. It’s more than just a tall building; it’s an experience that towers above the rest.
Envision a tranquil getaway nestled in the heart of a bustling city. Welcome to Prince’s Island Park, where relaxation, rejuvenation, and immersion in nature’s splendor await. Cherished by both locals and tourists, this park is a cherished haven in Downtown Calgary.
Spanning over 20 hectares, the park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Downtown Calgary attractions often focus on the urban, but here, you can rent a paddleboat, stroll along the scenic pathways, or simply lay out a picnic. The park’s lagoon is a particular favorite, offering a tranquil spot to watch ducks and geese glide by.
Events? Oh, they’ve got them! From the Calgary Folk Music Festival to Shakespeare by the Bow, there’s always something happening here. It’s one of those unique places in Downtown Calgary where art, culture, and nature seamlessly blend.
And if you’re wondering where to visit in Downtown Calgary for some culinary delights, the park is dotted with cafes and eateries that serve everything from quick bites to gourmet meals. So, next time you’re in the city, make sure to step into this urban oasis. It’s a refreshing contrast to the concrete jungle and a reminder of nature’s enduring charm.
Stepping into the Calgary Central Library feels like entering a futuristic realm. This architectural masterpiece, with its captivating wooden arches and vast windows, is not only a visual treat. It’s also one of the cool destinations in Downtown Calgary for book lovers and design enthusiasts alike.
Inside, you’re greeted by a world of knowledge. With over half a million items in its collection, there’s a book, magazine, or digital resource for every curious mind. It’s one of those things to do in Downtown Calgary that cater to both the young and the young at heart. The dedicated children’s library is a paradise for little readers, while adults can lose themselves in the vast sections dedicated to various genres.
What to do in Downtown Calgary when you need a break from reading? Head to the library’s café for a refreshing drink or attend one of the many events and workshops that take place here. From author interactions to music performances, there’s always something intriguing on the calendar.
And if you’re someone who appreciates panoramic city views, the library’s upper floors offer a stunning vantage point. So, for a blend of modern architecture, endless reading options, and cultural events, the Calgary Central Library is the place to be.
If you’re wondering where to go in Downtown Calgary for a musical journey, look no further than Studio Bell. This iconic building, with its shimmering terracotta-tiled exterior, is more than just a visual delight. It’s a deep dive into Canada’s rich musical history and a testament to the nation’s love for melodies and rhythms.
Inside Studio Bell, you’ll find the National Music Centre, which houses a collection of over 2,000 rare instruments and artifacts. From the sounds of indigenous drums to the beats of contemporary pop, the centre covers it all. As you wander through, you’ll discover interactive exhibits that allow you to play instruments, mix tracks, and even step into a vocal booth!
One of the coolest activities in Downtown Calgary here is attending a live performance. The acoustics of the performance hall are unparalleled, making every note sound divine. And if you’re keen on learning, there are workshops and educational programs that delve into the intricacies of music production.
For those who believe music is the soul’s language, Studio Bell is a haven. It’s not just a museum; it’s a celebration of sound, culture, and the timeless bond Canadians share with music.
Dive deep into the rich tapestry of Western Canadian history at the Glenbow Museum, one of the must-see attractions in Downtown Calgary. Located right in the heart of the city, this museum offers a blend of art, culture, and history that captivates visitors from all over the world.
As you step inside, you’re greeted by a vast collection of over a million objects, each telling a unique story. From indigenous artifacts that trace back thousands of years to contemporary art pieces that challenge the status quo, there’s something for every kind of history buff and art lover here.
One of the coolest things to do in Downtown Calgary is to explore the museum’s rotating exhibitions. These exhibitions often feature international artists and themes, ensuring that there’s always something new to discover. And if you’re keen on diving deeper into the stories behind the exhibits, the museum offers guided tours that provide insights and anecdotes that aren’t available to the general public.
After a day of exploration, take a moment to relax at the museum’s café. With a cup of coffee in hand and the memories of the day’s discoveries, you’ll find yourself planning your next visit even before you leave.
In the heart of Downtown Calgary, Olympic Plaza stands as a testament to the city’s proud history as the host of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Today, visiting this plaza is one of the best things to do in Downtown Calgary offering a serene space amidst the urban hustle.
Originally constructed as the venue for the medal ceremonies during the Olympics, the plaza now serves as a multi-purpose public space. In the summer, it’s a favorite spot for picnics, outdoor concerts, and festivals. The gently cascading water feature is a hit with kids, making it a family-friendly destination.
Come winter, the plaza transforms into a magical ice-skating rink. Downtown Calgary attractions don’t get more enchanting than this! With twinkling lights overhead and the city skyline as a backdrop, it’s a picturesque setting for some winter fun. And the best part? Skating here is absolutely free!
Adjacent to the plaza, you’ll find the Famous Five statues, commemorating the women who played a pivotal role in advancing women’s rights in Canada. It’s a poignant reminder of the city’s progressive spirit.
So, if you’re pondering what to do in Downtown Calgary, Olympic Plaza offers a blend of history, recreation, and culture that’s hard to resist.
Stepping into Fort Calgary, you’re immediately transported back to the city’s roots. Established in 1875 by the North West Mounted Police, this fort played a pivotal role in the development of modern Calgary. Today, it’s one of the must-see in Downtown Calgary for history buffs and curious travelers alike.
The interactive museum within the fort paints a vivid picture of Calgary’s early days. From the challenges faced by the first settlers to the vibrant Indigenous cultures of the region, there’s a story here that resonates with every visitor. The Deane House, located adjacent to the fort, is another historical gem. Once the residence of the fort’s superintendent, it now operates as a restaurant, offering a delightful blend of history and gourmet cuisine.
But it’s not all about the past. The fort’s strategic location offers breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Bow River, making it a popular spot for photography enthusiasts. Cool destinations in Downtown Calgary rarely offer such a harmonious blend of the past and present.
So, if you’re wondering where to visit in Downtown Calgary, Fort Calgary offers a deep dive into the city’s history, all while providing a scenic backdrop that’s hard to beat.
Picture a locale where the city’s dynamism converges with a relaxed ambiance, and you’ll find Eau Claire Market. Nestled alongside the Bow River, this vibrant market stands out as one of the best places to go in Downtown Calgary. Here, shopping, dining, and entertainment seamlessly unite within a picturesque backdrop.
Start your visit by exploring the unique boutiques and shops. From artisanal crafts to trendy fashion, there’s a little something for everyone. Hungry? Dive into a culinary journey with a range of eateries offering everything from gourmet burgers to international delicacies. And if you’re in the mood for some entertainment, the market often hosts live music, festivals, and events that showcase Calgary’s vibrant arts scene.
But what truly sets Eau Claire Market apart is its proximity to nature. The adjacent Prince’s Island Park offers a serene escape with its walking trails, picnic spots, and scenic views. Unwinding in this place is one of the best things to do in Downtown Calgary after a day of shopping and dining.
So, if you’re pondering what to do in Downtown Calgary, Eau Claire Market offers a delightful mix of urban excitement and natural tranquility. It’s a destination that captures the essence of Calgary’s dynamic spirit.
Downtown Calgary isn’t just about skyscrapers and modern marvels. Tucked amidst its urban landscape is a vibrant enclave that transports you to the Far East: Calgary’s Chinatown. As one of the best places in Downtown Calgary, this neighborhood is a delightful blend of culture, history, and gastronomy.
Walking through its streets, you’re greeted by the aroma of authentic Chinese cuisine wafting from the numerous restaurants. From dim sum brunches to late-night noodle soups, foodies will find themselves in culinary heaven. And if you’re a fan of shopping, the area boasts a plethora of shops selling everything from traditional Chinese herbs to intricate handicrafts.
But beyond the food and shopping, Chinatown is a testament to Calgary’s multicultural fabric. The Chinese Cultural Centre, with its stunning architecture inspired by the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, is one of the best places to go in Downtown Calgary. Inside, you’ll find exhibits that delve into the rich history and traditions of the Chinese community in Calgary.
So, if you’re looking for a unique cultural experience without leaving the city, Chinatown is the place to be. Dive into its vibrant streets, savor its flavors, and immerse yourself in a world of tradition and history.
Discover a lush, tropical oasis nestled in the heart of a vibrant city at the Devonian Gardens. This is one of the coolest destinations in Downtown Calgary that seamlessly blends nature with urban living, creating a harmonious retreat where both elements thrive in harmony.
Spanning over one hectare, this indoor botanical garden is home to a myriad of plant species, koi-filled ponds, and even a living wall. As you meander through, the sound of cascading waterfalls and the sight of tropical palms and flowers transport you to a serene paradise. It’s a stark contrast to the urban hustle just outside its doors.
For families, the gardens offer a fantastic escape, providing a variety of Downtown Calgary things to do. Kids can have a blast at the indoor playground, while adults can find a quiet spot to relax and rejuvenate. And if you’re a photography enthusiast, the gardens provide endless opportunities to capture stunning shots.
Unique places in Downtown Calgary often revolve around its modern attractions, but the Devonian Gardens remind visitors of the city’s commitment to green spaces and the environment. So, on your next visit, take a breather from the urban jungle and lose yourself in this botanical wonder.
As you wander through Downtown Calgary, you might stumble upon vibrant murals that transform ordinary buildings into canvases of creativity. The Beltline Murals project is a testament to the city’s thriving arts scene, making it one of the coolest activities in Downtown Calgary for art enthusiasts and casual observers alike.
Every corner you turn, there’s a splash of color and a story waiting to be told. From depictions of Calgary’s rich history to abstract designs that challenge the observer’s perspective, these murals are more than just paint on walls. They’re a reflection of the city’s diverse culture, its artists’ talents, and the community’s appreciation for public art.
Taking a self-guided tour of these murals is like embarking on an urban treasure hunt. You’ll find yourself eagerly anticipating the next piece, each one unique and captivating in its own right. And the best part? This outdoor gallery is open year-round, rain or shine.
For those looking for unique things to do in Downtown Calgary, the Beltline Murals offer an experience that’s both visually stimulating and culturally enriching. So, grab your camera, lace up your walking shoes, and immerse yourself in this artistic journey.
Looking for more content on the top things to do in Downtown Calgary? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Downtown Calgary:
Downtown Calgary is a year-round destination, each season offering its own charm. Summers are vibrant with festivals, while winters are magical with twinkling lights and ice skating.
What is Calgary city famous for?
Calgary, a vibrant city in Alberta, Canada, is famous for several notable aspects:
- The Calgary Stampede: Often referred to as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” the Calgary Stampede is a world-renowned rodeo and exhibition held every July. It features chuckwagon races, bull riding, concerts, parades, agricultural competitions, and more, attracting over a million visitors each year.
- Winter Sports and the Olympics: Calgary hosted the 1988 Winter Olympics, leaving a lasting legacy in the form of various winter sport facilities like Canada Olympic Park. The region’s nearby Rocky Mountains offer exceptional skiing, snowboarding, and other winter recreational opportunities.
- Oil and Gas Industry: Often referred to as the “Energy Capital of Canada,” Calgary is a hub for the country’s oil and gas industry. The city’s economy is strongly tied to energy, with numerous major corporations headquartered there.
- Proximity to the Rocky Mountains: Calgary’s location near the Rocky Mountains provides stunning views and easy access to outdoor activities. This includes hiking, skiing, and mountain biking in areas like Banff and Jasper National Parks.
- Western Culture: The city embraces its Western heritage with a flair that includes cowboy hats and boots. There’s also the iconic Calgary Tower, which has a Western hat design incorporated into its architecture.
- High Quality of Life: Calgary frequently ranks high in global livability ratings. This is thanks to its clean environment, educational opportunities, healthcare system, and well-maintained public spaces.
- Diverse Culinary Scene: Calgary’s growing culinary scene offers a wide variety of dining experiences. They range from food trucks to high-end restaurants, reflecting the city’s multicultural population.
Absolutely! With its well-laid paths, pedestrian zones, and the scenic RiverWalk, Downtown Calgary is a walker’s paradise.
What is the prettiest street in Calgary?
Calgary is home to many picturesque streets and neighborhoods, and beauty can be subjective depending on personal preferences. However, one area that is often highlighted for its charm and attractive streetscape is Stephen Avenue Walk.
Stephen Avenue is a historic pedestrian street in downtown Calgary that’s known for its beautiful sandstone buildings, tree-lined walkways, public art, and lively atmosphere. The street is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists.
The well-preserved architecture and blend of modern and historic elements create a visually appealing environment. Whether it’s for shopping, dining, or simply taking a stroll, Stephen Avenue offers a vibrant and aesthetically pleasing experience.
Another honorable mention could be the residential streets in the Mount Royal area, known for its grand homes, well-maintained gardens, and sweeping views of the city.
Yes, from parks to museums and interactive installations, there’s something for every member of the family in Downtown Calgary.
Downtown Calgary boasts a lively nightlife with a plethora of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues that come alive as the sun sets.
Absolutely! Downtown Calgary offers a dynamic blend of cultural attractions, historic landmarks, and vibrant urban experiences, making it a must-visit for both travelers and locals alike.
To spend a day in Calgary, start by exploring the iconic Calgary Tower for panoramic city views, then head to the Glenbow Museum for a dose of culture and history. Round off your day with a stroll along Stephen Avenue, dotted with historic buildings, shops, and eateries, and perhaps catch a live performance at Arts Commons in the evening.
Downtown Calgary is more than just a business hub; it’s a vibrant blend of history, culture, art, and entertainment. Every street, corner, and alleyway has a story to tell, a mural to show, or a culinary delight to share. From its iconic landmarks to its hidden gems, Downtown Calgary invites you to experience its multifaceted charm. Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or someone just looking for a delightful day out, Downtown Calgary promises a memorable experience. So, next time you’re in the city, don’t just pass through; dive deep into its heart and discover all the must-see in Downtown Calgary. Your urban adventure awaits!