Places to Visit

10 Famous Places to Visit in Calgary

Places to visit in Calgary

Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and is also called Canada’s Oil Capital.

 It is one of North America’s most significant economic and financial hubs. It is also a beautiful city with various places to visit and enjoy. 

Due to the proximity of the mountains and its well-known national parks, Calgary is a fantastic destination for skiing, hiking, or sightseeing trips. 

But there are also several tourist attractions for those looking for entertainment directly in the city. Some include heritage sites, picnic spots, parks, museums, zoos, etc.  

Top 10 Famous Places to Visit in Calgary:

1. Prince’s Island Park

Prince's Island
Photo by rabbit75_dep from depositphotos

A sizable 50-acre park known as Prince’s Island Park is situated north of Calgary’s City Center.

The park, located next to the Eau Claire Market and situated on an island in the Bow River, is frequently visited by this popular tourist destination.

It was opened in the 1950s and has several picnic sites, kid-friendly water features, playgrounds, meandering hiking routes, flower beds, and access to the river for canoes in the summer.

Cross-country skiing and outdoor skating on the lagoon are great winter activities, and the River Café, a renowned restaurant, is the ideal place to unwind with a coffee.

Sometimes when you need a break from the nonstop sightseeing, a day to spread out a blanket, have lunch, and see a city from the viewpoint of a native, this is the place for you.

The park, which is connected to the mainland by three footbridges, features places for walking and biking as well as summertime outdoor performances of plays and concerts.

The Chevron Learning Trail, a recreational resource and environmental teaching pathway built around a protected wetland area, snakes along the park’s east end. Make sure to carry your camera for amazing photos.

The Calgary Folk Festival and Canada Day celebrations are only two of the major events that take place in the park every year.

It is considered one of the most famous places to visit in Calgary and is a fun and lively place to visit with your friends and family.

2. Spruce Meadows

Spruce Meadows, a renowned equestrian complex, welcomes guests all year to explore the stables, observe show jumping and dressage champions in action, and stroll the lovely grounds.

Spring is when outdoor tournaments are held, and other seasons are when indoor competitions are held.

On the 505-acre property, there is a football stadium, shops, and restaurants. The agricultural fair, arts and crafts stores, and different entertainment options offered by Spruce Meadows are available during the tournament days.

Additionally, Spruce Meadows raises, trains, and sells Hanoverian horses and hosts the well-liked annual “Name the Foal” Competition, where members of the public can give a newborn foal a name.

Two indoor arenas, seven stables, six grassed outdoor rings, and a television production centre that creates the show-jumping-related TV series Spruce Meadows Chronicles are all present.

Enjoy picnics on the Meadows grounds, fishing in the pond by the east entrance, and foal watching in addition to the outdoor competitions during the spring and summer.

The Meadows holds numerous indoor competitions throughout the fall and winter, including an International Christmas Market in November. Take in the Christmas decorations as the Spruce Meadows are decked out in lights and decorations.

This makes it one of the most famous places to visit in Calgary. Make sure to carry your camera for amazing photos.

Children as young as three can participate in a range of interactive educational activities at Spruce Meadows that cover topics like agriculture, horse anatomy, health and welfare, equestrian history, and wetland habitats.

Dining is only available during the tournaments. A parking facility is also available there.

The park is full of adventures, and you can enjoy the various facilities provided by them.

3. Fish Creek Provincial Park

Fish Creek Provincial Park
by Butlerstockphotography1 from depositphotos

Fish Creek Provincial Park, the second-largest urban Park in Canada, has an area of around 14 square kilometres.

This vast green area in the far south of Calgary is well-known for its numerous pleasant walking routes that wind through forests and alongside a creek, some of which connect to other trails around the city.

The Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Center, Sikome Aquatic Facility, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant, and Fish Creek Environmental Learning Center are all located there.

The park’s more than 80 km of walkways make it a popular place for riding, hiking and walking. With more than 200 bird species recorded here, bird watching is another popular pastime.

Regardless of age or physical capability, Fish Creek Provincial Park provides a wide range of options for recreational activities all year long.

Summertime activities include day camping, rollerblading is not allowed inside the buildings or on the paved trails around Sikome Lake for the safety of other park visitors, and fishing is allowed in the Bow River and Fish Creek, as well as wading, swimming, and beach play in Sikome Lake.

Cycling is also allowed on all paved and shale trails in the park, with the exception of the paved trails around Sikome Lake and in front of the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Center.

Winter activities include cross-country skiing tracks in the west end, ideal for both beginners and more advanced skiers. There are also paved trails for walking and hiking. In the park, tobogganing is not recommended.

Artisan Gardens, a place that honours Alberta’s history, nature, and art in a special and culturally relevant way by focusing on First Nations history, family, and the natural world, is also present there.

Visitors can learn about and engage with the park’s 8,500-year human history at the archaeological interpretive center located inside the Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Center.

Visitors get the opportunity to explore ancient and historical items unearthed from sites throughout the park in this area, which features a variety of interactive archaeological displays and a working laboratory.

You can enjoy a date during full moon nights. This place is an amazing escape from your hectic schedule.

4. WinSport, Canada Olympic Park

Canada Olympic park
Photo by jewhyte from depositphotos

The odd-looking WinSport buildings, Calgary Olympic Park’s home, rise in the foothills of the mountains to the west of the city. The park, once known as Paskapoo Ski Hill, is run by WinSport Canada.

Currently, it serves as a venue for winter sports, high-performance athletic training, and general public pleasure. The park served as the main venue for the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988.

Mountain biking, the park zipline, summer bobsleigh rides, mini golf and indoor skating are among the summertime attractions. Various competitions and informal sessions are also there to keep the tourists entertained.

Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, toboggan and bobsleighing. The downhill racing part, the casual section, and the terrain park are the three sections of the hill.

Enjoy the thrills of going downhill in skyline luge on a 1.8 km long track on a wheeled ride. The Calgary Skyline may be seen in its entirety from the top of the ski-jump slope on a guided ski-jump tower tour.

The kids’ play areas include the Climbing Wall, Spiderweb, and Eurobungy. It also holds summer and winter camps for children.

The Sports Hall of Fame and Museum are also located in the park, making it one of the most famous places to visit in Calgary.

They do not charge any parking fee from the visitor. Entry is free, and the fees are charged according to the activity undertaken.

It is a top-notch location for thrill-seekers.

5. Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre 

The National Music Centre’s home, Studio Bell, in Calgary’s East Village neighbourhood, debuted its brand-new, cutting-edge space in 2016.

The massive building, which has musically-related attractions such as The Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and The Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection, can be traced back to 1987. 

The structure is quite gorgeous, especially on the inside, where there are more than 226,000 lovely terra-cotta tiles.

Along with its numerous exhibits—many of which are interactive and hands-on—Studio Bell also presents a varied schedule of educational activities and workshops, daily performances, and concerts.

Guided tours are available, and fun backstage pass tour where you may try out some of the instruments you see.

A 160,000-square-foot building in Calgary’s East Village called the National Music Centre is devoted to fostering a passion and appreciation of music.

The center, which was created by Portland architect Brad Cloepfil and is housed in the Heritage Customs House Building, has more than 2,000 rare instruments and artifacts in its collection, including an Elton John piano and items from the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

It also offers guided tours conducted by docents and features a range of interactive and interesting exhibits, displays, and daily performances for guests to enjoy.

A staggering 2,000 music-related artifacts, including many vintage and rare instruments, are housed in this group of institutions. A mobile recording studio that originally belonged to the Rolling Stones and an Elton John piano are two of the major exhibitions.

The historic King Edward Hotel, which is a component of the National Music Centre building, hosts live music seven nights a week. You can have a great learning experience there.

6. Bowness Park

Bowness Park is a sizable 74-acre urban green space situated in the northwest of the city and is especially well-liked by families.

Before the First World War, local land developer John Hextall constructed Bowness Park. It was constructed in Bowness as a weekend getaway for local Calgarians.

A swimming pool, carousel, and orthopedic device were previously present at the park. 

In the summer, you may take a nice paddleboat trip, have a picnic, or have a BBQ. They also have a splash pool, riverside trail, restaurant and the old forest on the west side. They also provide fire pits for barbeques.

There is also a fantastic small train ride for the kids’ enjoyment. They also have a wading pool, a lagoon with a tea house on the side and boat rentals.

In the winter, skating is the main form of entertainment, along with the interesting new activity of ice biking. Ice biking refers to using bikes on skates.

Isn’t it interesting and something new? This makes it one of the most famous places to Visit in Calgary.

Cross-country skiing, ski trails, crokicurl, hockey, and curling are different winter sports. When the leaves change colours in the fall, it’s an extremely lovely area to visit.

Parking at the Park is limited, and they do not charge parking fees from visitors. They are well-equipped with restaurants and concession stands. The place is usually crowded on weekends and provides a fun new experience.

7. Heritage Park Historical Village

The largest living history museum in Canada, Heritage Park Historical Village, has more than 200 exhibits and activities scattered around 127 acres of immaculately kept natural parks.

With a large number of historically accurate structures that have been faithfully recreated and engaging costumed interpreters from four distinct eras, Calgary’s Heritage Park is a typical pioneering hamlet.

The park offers a wide variety of sights and activities, including a First Nations Encampment and 1860s Fur Trading Fort, 1880s Pre-Railway Settlement, the Heritage Town Square, and Heritage Park Historical Village.

A living historical town from the early 1900s with a variety of displays illustrating the way of life of the period is the Heritage Park Historical Village.

A feature of a visit is riding the old steam engine that offers transportation around the park, in addition to displays and structures that range from an 1860 fur-trading fort to a 1930s town square.

Heritage Park is a fun as well as a great learning experience. Along with providing gorgeous rides across the Glenmore Reservoir, this paddlewheel tour boat also provides plenty of fantastic sightseeing and photo opportunities.

Additionally, the reservoir is a well-liked location for water sports like sailing, canoeing, and rowing.

Make sure to add a little additional time to your Heritage Village agenda so that you can stop by the Gasoline Alley Museum, which is well-known for its interactive, hands-on experiences with unique antique cars.

Discover a real steam train, a vintage midway, and some enterprises and shops, including a bakery, an ice cream shop, a working printing press, and a blacksmith shop. This makes it one of the most famous places to visit in Calgary.

8. Glenbow Museum 

The Glenbow Museum, which opened in 1966, houses a number of unique exhibits that trace the evolution of Western Canada throughout history. People are encouraged and inspired to engage with art and culture through the Glenbow Museum.

The museum, which well-known benefactor Eric Lafferty Harvie founded, houses the greatest art collection in Western Canada as well as a number of internationally recognized touring and permanent exhibitions.

The museum takes visitors back in time as it examines early fur traders’ lives, the North West Mounted Police, Louis Riel’s Métis rebellion, and the growth of the oil industry.

Temporary exhibitions from all around the world are also held at this intriguing museum of art and history. There are also accessible guided tours and educational events.

The museum’s holdings, which number over 33,000 pieces and span the 19th century to the present, are centred on pieces from the northwest region of North America. Numerous ongoing exhibits on the third floor of the building explain the history of Southern Alberta and the West.

In addition to providing various art-based educational programs for kids of all ages, the Glenbow Library and Archives serves as a crucial research hub for historians and students alike.

These programs include the School Programs and Chevron Museum School.

The Glenbow Museum offers a 210-seat theatre, meeting rooms, and three gallery levels as event space that may be rented for corporate and individual events.

They do not charge entrance fees. There is no parking at the museum. Parades are across the street and off 9th Avenue, not far from city hall.

They believe that art is for everyone. This makes it one of the most famous places to visit in Calgary.

Their mission is to activate art, history, and ideas, so everyone who experiences Glenbow leaves with something to share. Overall, it will be an enriching experience.

9. Calgary Zoo

Calary Zoo
Photo by tom@tnphoto.ca from depositphotos

The Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park, one of Canada’s largest animal parks with more than 1,000 animals representing around 272 species inclusive of rare and endangered species, along with botanical gardens, a butterfly conservatory, and Centre for Conservation and Research, living in a variety of natural and unique habitats, is situated on St. George’s Island in the middle of Bow River.

There are several well-known zoos in Canada, and the Calgary Zoo not only joined the group but also takes the lead in terms of effective breeding programs, animal diversity, funding for research, and educational initiatives.

A unique nocturnal exhibit called Creatures of the Night, a Mesozoic landscape with 22 life-size dinosaur replicas known as Prehistoric Park, and the endangered ecosystems of Canada are just a few of the ecosystems the zoo offers visitors the chance to observe the animals as they would be in the wild.

The Land of Lemurs, Destination Africa, and the Canadian Wilds are three popular must-see areas. The latter is where you can get up-close views of exotic animals like grizzly bears and, the most recent additions, a pair of pandas.

Spending time exploring the six-acre dinosaur attraction’s full-size model dinosaurs is another enjoyable activity. Visit the annual Zoo Lights Christmas Festival here at night if you’re travelling in the winter.

Make sure to carry your camera for amazing photos. They charge admission as well as parking fees.

Try coming in spring because that is the time for newborn arrivals. This place is perfect if you are an animal lover or planning a trip with your little ones. 

10. Calgary Stampede

Calgary, Stampede. famous places to visit in Calgary
Photo by klevit.shaw.ca from depositphotos

The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit community organization that hosts a year-round calendar of events, including exhibitions, expositions, galas, concerts, conferences, and rodeos, in order to maintain and celebrate western heritage, culture, and dedication to the community.

The annual Calgary Stampede, a massive rodeo festival with a variety of live music, entertainment, exhibitions, food and beverage booths, and of course, rodeo shows, is the most well-known event on the calendar.

The 10-day Calgary Stampede, which has roots dating back to the 1880s and is the summertime high point of Calgary, Alberta, solidifies this city’s status as Canada’s “Stampede City.”

It is known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth” and was held in July. This makes it one of the most famous places to visit in Calgary.

 Accordingly, the locals and up to a million tourists alike dress, and blue jeans and vibrantly coloured Stetsons become the uniform of the day.

A large parade, rodeo contests, exciting chuckwagon races, a real First Nations village, concerts, stage acts, a fun fair, pancake breakfasts, and agricultural displays are among the events.

The Calgary Stampede also provides a variety of community events and youth projects to engage the local population and foster interest in and understanding Western culture.

The festival’s permanent location, Stampede Park, is easily accessible by public transportation or driving, and there is enough parking.

One of the best things to do in Calgary is to visit and take a tour of the city or attend a concert there, even if you are there during the off-season.

It is worth planning your visit in the month of July to witness this Stampede.

In the End

These were the 10 famous places to visit in Calgary in Canada. Calgary is a collection of all these wonderful places. These places offer fun yet different activities.

Some would teach about history, some would be great picnic spots, and some would want you to chill. Overall, all these activities are worth the visit and will make your experience in Calgary memorable.

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