The 10 Best Calgary Tourist Attractions
Whether you have just moved to Calgary and are looking for the city’s best attractions. Or if you’re moving out of Calgary and want to experience all the best places to before the move, we’ve made a top ten list of the best Calgary tourist attractions. Tourism in Calgary is growing every year and new attractions have been adding to the life of this city every year!
Calgary’s nickname has been “Cowtown,” a name derived from the history as the centre of a large cattle-rearing region. This name has defined much of what Calgary is to this day. From the Calgary Stampede every July to Heritage Park, a wild, wild west image and the romanticizing of cowboys and western culture is the epitome of what drives tourism in Calgary. The city has done a lot to preserve its rich and vibrant identity intertwined with its history. However, it has also made large strides to modernize itself. This has led to the city having a beautiful mix of old and new, which brings us to the first attraction on our list.
#1 – The Calgary Central Library
This new central library is just over a year old. It has already seen over 1.74 million visitors and offered over 5,100 programs. This $235 million project was named one of the “100 Greatest Places of 2019” by TIME magazine. From its stunning interior and exterior architecture, to its innovative programs the new central library is truly a marvel. What makes it stand out so much more is its location in East Village. Where another beautiful attraction is housed: Studio Bell. Here in East Village the old mixes with the new and you get a rich and vibrant experience of everything Calgary is, from its past, present and future. This is the newest attraction for tourism in Calgary with many more new attractions on the way!
Address: 800 3 St SE, Calgary
#2 – Calgary Stampede
“The greatest outdoor show on Earth” is the 10-day outdoor show makes its appearance once every year in July. The success and fame of the Calgary Stampede has been recognized worldwide dubbing Calgary as Canada’s “Stampede City”. Attracting over one million visitors annually, most attendees dress up in their “cowboy” attire with jeans, plaid shirts and cowboy hats. The show offers rodeos competitions, large parades, a First Nations Village, plenty of rides and games, stage shows and concerts, pancake breakfasts, agricultural shows and much more.
Address: 1410 Olympic Way SE, Calgary
#3 – Banff & Lake Louise
No Calgary experience is complete without a day trip to Banff and Lake Louise. Banff National Park is one of the most picturesque locations in all of Canada. Its beauty attracts scores of tourists from all across the world. The 90-minute drive from Calgary itself provides you with perfect conceptualization of the region’s grasslands, foothills and mountainous areas. The town of Banff is a great place to explore full of renowned restaurants, scenic views and historical sites. With a plethora of trails, lakes, and activities such as rafting, off-roading and rock climbing, a day trip to Banff and picturesque Lake Louise is definitely worth a trip.
#4 – WinSport: Canada Olympic Park
The main sight of the XV Olympic Winter Games in 1988, the unique looking towers atop the foothills in west Calgary is open to skiing and snowboarding to this day. With beautiful views of both the city and the Rocky Mountains from the top of the hill, Canada Olympic Park is an iconic spot to visit. Other activities to do at WinSport include: zip-lining, bobsledding, tobogganing, snow tubing, downhill karting, and mountain biking. If you’re looking for a more historic place to be, Canada Olympic Park definitely delivers on that front as well with being home to the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
Address: 88 Canada Olympic Road SW, Calgary
#5 – Princes Island Park
Calgary downtown is home to North Americas largest urban park: Princes Island Park. Set on an island in the middle of the bow river, spilling over into downtown Calgary, the 50-acre park offers a unique and beautiful perspective of Calgary. Adjacent to the Eau Claire Market the park houses many concerts and shows and flower gardens during summer months. During winter, you’re able to cross country ski through the park and an outdoor skating rink is opened with a beautiful backdrop of Calgary’s downtown to top it off as well as the fairly new Peace Bridge, Princes Island Park is a must see.
Address: 698 Eau Claire Ave SW, Calgary
#6 – Heritage Park Historical Village
Heritage Park takes you back in time to a pioneering village set in three areas: an 1860s fur trading and First Nations camp, an 1880s pre-railway settlement and a 1910 prairie railway town. With lively costumed interpreters at every stop, you can take a horse drawn wagon tour of the park, ride aboard an authentic antique steam train and discover the hands-on Gasoline Alley Museum, or go for a sail on the S.S. Moyie paddleboat across the Glenmore reservoir. This is one of the oldest attractions for tourism in Calgary and still one of the greatest!
Address: 1900 Heritage Drive SW, Calgary
#7 – Calgary Tower
No image of Calgary is complete without its iconic skyscraper: the Calgary Tower. At the very top of this Calgary tourist attraction, you’ll find a glass floor viewing platform and a revolving restaurant called “Sky 360.” The tower was opened in 1968 and until 1984 was the tallest building in Calgary. However, it still offers stunning views of the entire region. The beauty of the tower can truly be taken in at night, when it is lit up, occasionally even the cauldron atop the tower.
Address: 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary
#8 – Calgary Zoo
Canada’s largest and among the most visited Zoos, the Calgary zoo is an astounding 120-acre space sat on St. Georges Island on the Bow River. It is home to over 1,000 animals from over 270 species, as well as its lush botanical gardens. With the arrival of the newborn animals, spring is always a great time to come visit the Zoo. Popular destinations in the Zoo include the Prehistoric Park, Land of Lemurs, the Canadian Wilds and Destination Africa. If you’re looking for something to do in winter, the Zoo offers “Zoo Lights,” a night time Christmas light festival.
Address: 210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary
#9 – Glenbow Museum
Founded in 1966 the Glenbow Museum takes you back in time where you can explore the lives of the early fur traders, the establishment of the North West Mounted Police, the development of Alberta’s oil industry and the Louis Riel and his Metis uprising. The museum boasts both art and historical exhibits from temporary worldwide exhibits.
Address: 130 9 Ave SE, Calgary
#10 – Devonian Gardens
As one of the most unique Calgary tourist attractions, this garden may come as a surprise to many as it is located on the fourth floor of the Core shopping centre in downtown Calgary. The mall itself is a beautiful place to stop by to look and shop around however, when you reach the floral paradise on the fourth floor, it’ll be sure to capture your attention. Approximately 10,000 plants comprise this garden with fish ponds, sculptures, and a 900-foot living wall.
Address: CORE Shopping Centre, 333 7 Avenue SW, 4th floor, Calgary
So whether you’re planning on moving to Calgary soon, or experience what the city has to offer before you move out, give us a call at 403-402-7992. We’ll show you why we are the moving destination in Calgary.