25 Fun Things to Do in Calgary | 2024 (with Photos)

Andreas Rukovski

Andreas Rukovski - Travel Writer

Published: July 3, 2023

Hey there! I'm Andreas, a passionate traveler and explorer of Calgary. Based on my amazing experiences in this vibrant city, I've curated a list of 25 exciting things to do in Calgary, accompanied by captivating photos. Make the most of your trip by planning ahead and have an unforgettable time exploring Calgary's wonders!

Diverse Fun Things to Do in Calgary: From Culture to Nature

Calgary is a city in Canada that offers a unique blend of urban amenities, outdoor entertainment, and cultural experiences.

With its thriving arts and culture scene, diverse dining options, and proximity to the Rocky Mountains, there's no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant city.

We'll discuss the top 25 diverse and fun things to do in Calgary, from exploring trendy neighborhoods and parks to experiencing world-class museums and entertainment venues.

Whether you're a local or a first-time visitor, this guide will help you discover the best that Calgary has to offer.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Calgary Stampede

Top Choice Hotel

Fairmont Palliser

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Charcut Roast House

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Cowboys Dance Hall

Best Time to Visit

Summer for festivals, winter for skiing and snowboarding.

Average Temperature

The average temperature in Calgary, Canada is cold.

Transportation Options

C-Train, buses, taxis, car sharing, bike lanes

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

Calgary, Canada is a vibrant city offering a range of activities for all travelers. Explore the picturesque beauty of Calgary by taking a leisurely stroll along the Bow River, enjoying the serene views of the surrounding mountains and greenery.

Additionally, don't miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique culture of Calgary by visiting the famous Calgary Stampede, where you can experience thrilling rodeo shows, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and witness the exhilarating energy of the city's western heritage.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Valid passport and any required travel visas.
  2. Appropriate clothing for the weather and activities.
  3. Comfortable walking shoes.
  4. Personal toiletries and medications.
  5. Travel adapters for electronic devices.
  6. Cash and/or credit cards.
  7. Printed or digital copies of important travel documents.
  8. Guidebooks or maps.
  9. Camera or smartphone for capturing memories.
  10. Any specific items or equipment needed for planned activities or hobbies.

What Not to Miss

  1. Calgary Stampede
  2. Banff National Park
  3. Heritage Park Historical Village
  4. Calgary Tower
  5. Glenbow Museum
  6. Calgary Zoo
  7. Stephen Avenue Walk
  8. Prince's Island Park
  9. Telus Spark Science Centre
  10. Canada Olympic Park

What to Avoid

  1. Rush hour traffic
  2. Street parking in busy areas
  3. Overspending on tourist attractions
  4. Going out without proper winter clothing
  5. Ignoring local customs and etiquettes
  6. Leaving belongings unattended in public places
  7. Not being mindful of street closures or construction areas
  8. Neglecting to check the weather forecast before outdoor activities
  9. Ignoring warnings and signs in National Parks
  10. Straying too far from well-lit and populated areas at night

1. Visit the Calgary Tower for Panoramic Views of the City

 Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city of Calgary. Standing 626 feet tall, the tower offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Visitors can take an elevator to the top of the tower and step out onto the glass floor observation deck, which allows them to see the city below from a unique perspective.

Additionally, the tower features a revolving restaurant, Sky 360, which offers incredible views of the city while diners enjoy delicious cuisine.

The Calgary Tower is a must-visit attraction for anyone looking to experience the best that Calgary has to offer and is sure to leave visitors with memories that will last a lifetime.

2. Explore Banff National Park

Banff National Park

Banff National Park, located just outside of Calgary, Canada is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, and for good reason. The park offers stunning natural scenery that includes snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and lush forests.

Visitors can participate in a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking.

Additionally, Banff is home to several hot springs, which are perfect for relaxing after a long day of outdoor adventure. Wildlife is also abundant in the park, with the chance to spot grizzly bears, elk, and bighorn sheep, among other species.

Ski enthusiasts can enjoy world-class skiing with over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain in the Banff and Lake Louise ski areas.

3. Visit Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park Historical Village is a living history museum in Calgary that offers visitors a chance to step back in time and experience what life was like in Western Canada during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Visitors can take part in various activities at the Heritage Park Village, such as riding on an authentic steam train, exploring an 1860s fur trading post, or trying their hand at traditional crafts like blacksmithing or candle-making.

Heritage Town Square, located in Heritage Park Historical Village, is home to a variety of shops and restaurants, offering visitors a chance to shop for unique souvenirs and enjoy a meal in a historic setting.

4. Learn About Culture and History at Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum

The Glenbow Museum, located in the heart of downtown Calgary, is one of the largest museums in Western Canada and is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in art, culture, and history.

The museum's collection features over 1.3 million objects, including works of art, historical artifacts, and cultural treasures from around the world.

The exhibits cover a wide range of topics, from the history of the indigenous peoples of Western Canada to contemporary art and culture. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that showcase works by both local and international artists.

Additionally, the Glenbow Museum offers educational programs and events for all ages, making it a great destination for families and school groups.

5. Spot Wildlife at Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary is a nature reserve located along the Bow River in Calgary, Canada. As its name suggests, the sanctuary is a prime location for bird watching. It is home to over 270 bird species, including waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, and more.

The Inglewood Bird Sanctuary offers over two kilometers of scenic walking trails that wind through the forest and along the river. It is home to a variety of other wildlife, including beavers, muskrats, and deer.

Visitors may also spot coyotes, foxes, and other small mammals. The sanctuary is an excellent place to observe and appreciate the natural beauty and biodiversity of the area.

6. Experience the Thrill of the Famous Calgary Stampede

The Calgary Stampede is one of the most iconic events in Canada and a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Calgary. The 10-day festival, which takes place every July, celebrates the city's western heritage with a wide range of rodeo events, live music performances, and other attractions.

Visitors can watch professional cowboys and cowgirls compete in events like bull riding, barrel racing, and steer wrestling, or enjoy live music performances from some of the biggest names in country music.

In addition to the rodeo and music, the Stampede features a wide range of food vendors, amusement rides, and other family-friendly attractions.

Elbow River Camp is located on traditional meeting grounds along the Elbow River and is a vibrant part of the Calgary Stampede.

7. Take a Stroll Through Prince's Island Park

Prince's Island Park

Prince's Island Park is a beautiful urban park located to the north of downtown Calgary. It offers visitors a peaceful and scenic escape from the bustling city, with its lush greenery, tranquil river views, and stunning floral displays.

Visitors can take a stroll or bike ride along the park's numerous trails, enjoy a picnic, or simply relax and take in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

The park also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including concerts, theater performances, and cultural events, such as Canada Day celebrations and the Calgary Folk Festival.

With its natural beauty, serene atmosphere, and abundance of activities and events, Prince's Island Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to unwind and reconnect with nature in the heart of the city.

8. Explore Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary

Fort Calgary is a living museum that shows the beginnings of Calgary, Canada from 1875, at the convergence of the Bow and Elbow River. The museum is set on the site of the original fort, which was established by the North-West Mounted Police in 1875.

Visitors can explore the fort's reconstructed buildings, including the barracks, stables, and mess hall, and learn about the daily life of the fort's inhabitants.

The museum also features interactive exhibits, artifacts, and educational programs that explore Calgary's history and the role of the North-West Mounted Police in the settlement of western Canada.

In addition to its historical exhibits, Fort Calgary also hosts events and programs throughout the year, including live performances and family-friendly activities. You can take a guided tour of the museum.

9. Explore Sound at the National Music Centre

National Music Centre

Situated in Calgary's East Village area, you can find Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. Studio Bell is a state-of-the-art facility that celebrates Canada's rich musical heritage.

The National Music Centre in Calgary, Canada features five floors of artifacts and memorabilia that showcase the evolution of music in Canada, from traditional Indigenous music to contemporary pop and rock.

Visitors can explore the center's collection of musical instruments, including guitars, pianos, and synthesizers, as well as take part in hands-on activities, such as playing a drum kit or recording a song in one of the center's recording studios.

The center houses several music-related attractions, including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

10. Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park

Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park

The Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park offer visitors a chance to see a wide variety of animals, plants, and fossils from around the world.

The Calgary Zoo features over 1,000 animals, while the Botanical Gardens boast over 50 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens and outdoor exhibits, including a butterfly garden, an alpine garden, and a rainforest exhibit.

The Prehistoric Park is a unique attraction that showcases life-sized dinosaur models and exhibits that allow visitors to experience what it was like to live among these prehistoric creatures.

Additionally, the facility offers a range of educational programs and events, making it a great destination for families, students, and anyone interested in nature and wildlife conservation.

11. Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park

The Dinosaur Provincial Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site located near Calgary, Alberta. The park is a vast fossil treasure trove, containing the richest dinosaur fossil deposits in the world.

Visitors can explore the park's badlands, which offer breathtaking views of ancient geological formations and unique landscapes.

Take a guided tour of the Dinosaur Provincial Park and explore its interpretive programs, where you can learn about the park's geological history and the different dinosaur species that once roamed the area.

Additionally, visitors can take part in hands-on activities, such as fossil casting and hiking through the park's trails. The Dinosaur Provincial Park is an excellent destination for families, students, and anyone interested in paleontology or natural history.

12. Explore the Bow River Pathway System

Bow River Pathway System

Exploring the Bow River Pathway System in Calgary is a must-do activity for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The pathway system offers stunning views of the Bow River and the surrounding mountains, with over 48 kilometers of paved trails to explore.

Visitors can take a leisurely bike ride or hike, stop for a picnic or enjoy the many parks and natural areas along the way.

The pathway system also provides easy access to many of Calgary's popular attractions, such as Prince's Island Park and the Calgary Zoo.

With its picturesque scenery and endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, the Bow River Pathway System is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Calgary's natural landscape.

13. Stroll Across the Peace Bridge

 Peace Bridge

The iconic Peace Bridge is a pedestrian bridge located in the heart of downtown Calgary that has become a beloved symbol of the city. The bridge spans over the Bow River, connecting the northern and southern river pathways, and features a unique design that has won numerous architectural awards.

The bridge's vibrant red color and curved shape make it a stunning and eye-catching feature on the Calgary skyline. Visitors can take a stroll across the bridge and enjoy views of the river and the city, or simply admire the bridge's striking design.

Additionally, the Peace Bridge is conveniently located near several other popular attractions in the city, making it a great starting point for exploring downtown Calgary.

14. Relax at Bowness Park

Bowness Park

Bowness Park is a picturesque park located along the Bow River in Calgary that offers visitors a wide range of recreational activities and attractions. The park features a large lagoon that is perfect for boating and fishing, as well as a seasonal water park that is popular with families.

The park's extensive network of hiking trails and walking trails is perfect for hiking, biking, and rollerblading, and in the winter, visitors can enjoy ice skating, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

Additionally, Bowness Park features several picnic areas, playgrounds, and a mini-golf course, making it a great destination for family-friendly fun. A great little train ride is also available for the kids to enjoy

15. See Classic Cars at Gasoline Alley Museum

Gasoline Alley Museum

The Gasoline Alley Museum features over 100,000 square feet of vintage vehicles, gas pumps, signs, and other automotive memorabilia, as well as interactive and engaging exhibits that showcase the history of the automobile and its impact on society.

Visitors can explore the evolution of transportation over the last century, from classic cars to motorcycles, bicycles, and even horse-drawn carriages.

The Gasoline Alley Museum is located within the Heritage Park Historical Village, which offers visitors a chance to experience life in a historical western town, complete with authentic period buildings, live demonstrations, and other attractions.

16. The Hangar Flight Museum

Hangar Flight Museum

The Hangar Flight Museum features a vast collection of aircraft, artifacts, and exhibits that showcase the evolution of aviation in Canada.

Visitors can explore the museum's collection of vintage aircraft, including a CF-100 Canuck fighter jet, a Waco biplane, and a de Havilland Vampire jet, as well as learn about the contributions of Canadian pilots during World War II and other conflicts.

The museum also features numerous exhibits, flight simulators, and a restoration workshop where visitors can see how aircraft are restored.

In addition to its extensive collection of aviation artifacts, the museum also hosts events and programs throughout the year, including guided tours, summer camps, and educational programs for school groups.

17. Visit the Military Museums in this Canadian City

The Military Museums

The Military Museums are dedicated to Canada's military forces and educating the public about the honorable role the navy, army, and air force have played in world history.

A collection of over 50,000 exhibits showcases the history of the Canadian military, including displays on the First World War, Second World War, and the Cold War.

The Military Museums are: The Founders' Gallery, The Naval Museum of Alberta, The Army Museum of Alberta, The Air Force Museum of Alberta, The Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Museum and Archives, and The Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) Museum.

Together, these museums provide visitors with a comprehensive view of the history and achievements of Canada's military forces. Visit any Calgary military museum to learn about Canada's military history.

18. Enjoy a Picnic at Nose Hill Park

Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Canada is a sprawling natural park that offers visitors a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. The park is one of the largest urban parks in North America, covering over 11 square kilometers of land, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Visitors can explore the park's hiking trails with stunning views of the city, or enjoy a picnic in one of the designated picnic areas. Nose Hill Park is also a natural habitat for various types of wildlife, including coyotes, rabbits, and even porcupines, making it an excellent destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

The park is also a popular spot for cycling and jogging, with its gently rolling hills providing an excellent workout for outdoor enthusiasts.

19. Visit WinSport (Canada Olympic Park)

WinSport (Canada Olympic Park)

WinSport (Canada Olympic Park), is an iconic sports facility located in Calgary, Canada. Originally built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, WinSport has become a popular destination for sports enthusiasts and tourists alike.

WinSport is one of the few Olympic facilities in the world that is open to the public. Visitors can explore the park's Olympic Museum, which features exhibits and artifacts from the 1988 Winter Olympics.

WinSport Olympic Park offers activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. In the summer, the park transforms into a mountain biking and hiking destination, with over 20 kilometers of trails to explore.

20. Explore Fish Creek Provincial Park

Fish Creek Provincial Park

Fish Creek Provincial Park is one of the largest urban parks in North America. The park offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, where visitors can take a break from their daily routine and immerse themselves in the tranquility of the natural surroundings.

Fish Creek Provincial Park is also a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The park features over 80 kilometers of hiking and biking trails, dense forests, open meadows, and along the banks of the Bow River.

Visitors can explore the park on foot, bike, or even on horseback. Fish Creek Park is home to more than 200 bird species, including bald eagles, hawks, and owls. Visitors can also see mammals such as deer, coyotes, and foxes.

21. Pet Baby Kangaroos at Cobb's Adventure Park

Cobb's Adventure Park

Cobb's Adventure Park is a family-friendly amusement park located just outside of Calgary, Canada. It is home to a kangaroo petting zoo where visitors can interact with these fascinating marsupials.

There are also opportunities for visitors to see birds of prey up close and watch a pig race. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities for visitors of all ages.

There are over 40 attractions, including a zip line, a giant slide, a rope course, and a bouncy pillow. The park also has a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other seasonal activities.

22. See Sporting Legends at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Canada's Sports Hall of Fame

Located in Calgary, Canada, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements of Canadian athletes and sports teams.

The Hall of Fame features exhibits on a wide range of sports, including hockey, football, basketball, skiing, and more, and showcases the accomplishments of some of Canada's most famous athletes.

Visitors can learn about the history of Canadian sports, explore interactive exhibits that test their athletic abilities, and even try their hand at some of the sports featured in the museum.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, Canada's Sports Hall of Fame also hosts a variety of temporary exhibits and events throughout the year.

Hot Tip: If you are a hockey fan, you can watch the Calgary Flames play their home games at the Scotiabank Saddledome, a state-of-the-art arena that can seat over 19,000 fans.

23. Go Downhill Karting by Skyline Luge Calgary

Downhill Karting by Skyline Luge Calgary

Downhill Karting by Skyline Luge Calgary is a thrilling activity that offers an exciting and unique way to explore the great outdoors. The experience involves riding a specially-designed kart or sled down a winding track that takes you through twists, turns, and dips.

Riders of all ages and experience levels can enjoy this adrenaline-fueled adventure, and the attraction is suitable for families, couples, and groups of friends.

With stunning views of the surrounding mountains and a fun, fast-paced experience, downhill karting by Skyline Luge Calgary is a must-try activity for anyone looking for an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

24. Visit the International Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows

International Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows

The Christmas Market at Spruce Meadows is an annual event held in Calgary, Canada during the holiday season. The market features over 300 vendors selling everything from artisanal foods and crafts to jewelry and home décor.

Visitors can browse the stalls and find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on their holiday shopping list. There is also live music and entertainment throughout the market, including carolers, musicians, and dancers.

The market offers a variety of family-friendly activities, including a petting zoo, pony rides, and an outdoor skating rink. There is also a train ride that takes visitors on a tour of the grounds and a visit from Santa Claus himself.

25. Take the Lake Louise Gondola

Lake Louise Gondola

Lake Louise is a stunningly beautiful glacial lake located in Banff, the national park, near the town of Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. It is surrounded by majestic peaks and glaciers, creating a breathtaking natural landscape that is sure to impress visitors.

Lake Louise has played an important role in Canadian history, serving as a hub for early explorers, mountaineers, and adventurers.

In the summer, visitors can go hiking, canoeing, and horseback riding. There are also opportunities for rock climbing, mountain biking, and fishing. During the winter months, Lake Louise transforms into a winter wonderland, offering skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.

Lake Louise is home to several luxury hotels and lodges, including the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This is a must-see attraction if you are spending some time in Calgary, Canada.

Let's also look at some frequently asked questions related to things to do in Calgary.

What is Calgary, Canada known for?

Calgary, Canada is known for its stunning natural scenery and thriving business and economic scene. It is also known for hosting the Calgary Stampede, one of the largest outdoor rodeos in the world. From paths and trails along the Bow and Elbow Rivers to the Rocky Mountains on the western horizon, there is a lot of stunning scenery to enjoy when visiting Calgary.

How to spend 3 days in Calgary, Canada?

Spend your first day in Calgary, Canada visiting the Calgary Tower and Glenbow Museum. On day two, take a day trip to the National Music Centre and go shopping on Stephen Avenue Walk. On the third day, visit Prince's Island Park or Fort Calgary, have a snack at one of the cafes in downtown Calgary, and visit the Calgary Stampede grounds in the evening.

What is the trendy street in Calgary, Canada?

17th Avenue SW, also known as the "Red Mile", is one of the trendiest streets in Calgary. It is located in the city's Beltline district and is home to a vibrant mix of restaurants, cafes, bars, boutique shops, and entertainment venues.

On 17th Avenue SW, you can find a diverse range of dining options, from casual pubs and bars to upscale restaurants and cafes. The street is also known for its lively nightlife scene, with numerous bars and clubs offering live music and entertainment.

What is cool about Calgary?

There are a lot of fun things to do in Calgary, Canada that make it a cool place to visit. For instance, the Calgary Stampede is one of the world's largest outdoor rodeos. Calgary is also home to numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including the Calgary Folk Music Festival, the Calgary International Film Festival, and the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Summing Up: Fun Things to Do in Calgary

Calgary, Canada offers an incredible range of diverse activities for locals and visitors alike.

Whether you're interested in exploring the city's parks and sports history at the Hall of Fame, checking out the local wildlife and the Calgary Stampede, or simply admiring the stunning Calgary skyline and views from the Calgary Tower, there's always something fun and exciting to do.

So why not take advantage of all that this vibrant city has to offer? With so many incredible experiences waiting for you, there's never been a better time to visit Calgary. Plan your next adventure today, get out there, and explore the many Calgary attractions.