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The top 10 attractions in Calgary

Calgary skyline at night

The top 10 attractions in Calgary

Western culture meets cosmopolitan in Calgary, Alberta, a fun-loving city of skyscrapers and urban cowboys on the doorstep of the Canadian Rockies.

Calgary Stampede

First Nations Village
Calgary Stampede First Nations Village

They don't call Calgary Cowtown for nothing. The same applies to "the greatest outdoor show on earth," a nickname well-earned by the Calgary StampedeExternal Link Title. This annual citywide phenomenon is a huge part of Calgary's identity and is not to be missed each July. Expect 10 days of high-adrenaline rodeo events as well as chuckwagon races, pancake breakfasts, concerts, a First Nations Village, and boot-stomping, Western-style entertainment. Pack your jeans and join the hoopla.

Calgary Olympic Park

Canada Olympic Park
Adrenaline Combo at WinSport Canada’s Canada Olympic Park - credit: WinSport Canada

WinSport runs Calgary Olympic ParkExternal Link Title, the site of the 1988 Winter Games. Today, athletes train here and you can get into it, too: ski, skate, snowboard, and bobsleigh in winterExternal Link Title; luge, zipline, mountain bike, mini-golf, and the summer bobsleigh or Challenge Course in summerExternal Link Title. Don't miss the Sports Hall of FameExternal Link Title either.

Nose Hill Park

Nose Hill Park
Nose Hill Park - credit: Travel Alberta

Panoramas of downtown are worth a trip to high-plains, aspen-flanked Nose Hill ParkExternal Link Title, a delightfully wild open areaExternal Link Title northwest of town and one of North America's largest urban parks. Hike or bike extensive trails covering the 11 square kilometres and pause for a picnic with a view. Look for two stone circles, former "tipi rings," and important archaeological sites.

Dinosaur Provincial Park

Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park - credit: Travel Alberta/George Simhoni

Fossils are what you'll find in the unusual badlands of this UNESCO World Heritage SiteExternal Link Title, about two-and-a-half hours outside Calgary near Brooks. Archaeologists have unearthed some 300 fossils here, making it the world's biggest source of Cretaceous fossils. HikeExternal Link Title, campExternal Link Title, or tour an active dig siteExternal Link Title and take it all in.

Prince’s Island Park

Prince's Island Park
River Cafe, Prince's Island Park - credit: Asymetric/Dustin Parr

On an island in the Bow RiverExternal Link Title you'll find leafy Prince's Island ParkExternal Link Title, a green, urban oasis where you can stroll, cycle, paddle, ski, or take in an outdoor play or concert. Popular celebrations happen in the park, including the Calgary Folk FestivalExternal Link Title and Canada Day events. Pair your visit with a trip to Eau Claire MarketExternal Link Title for lunch or drinks on the patio.

Heritage Park

Heritage Park Historical Village
Heritage Park Historical Village train - credit: Heritage Park Historical Village

Canada's largest of its kind, 127-acre Heritage Park Historical VillageExternal Link Title is a spot to learn about 1860s to 1950s Western Canadian historyExternal Link Title. Tour preserved heritage buildings and homesteads, look at antique vehicles, see nearly 200 exhibits, tour by steam train or paddleboat, shop, and dine year-round.

Calgary Tower

Calgary Tower
Views from Calgary Tower are impressive

Get a 360-degree view of the skyline, foothills, plains, Rocky Mountains, and  beyond from the glass floor and observation deck of Calgary's signature TowerExternal Link Title 191 metres up. Two restaurants offer elevated dining: the rotating SKY360External Link Title is ideal for festive drinks, and high-end Ruth's Chris SteakhouseExternal Link Title is the place to sample top-notch Alberta beef.

Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum
Glenbow Museum is Calgary's culture hub.

Originally a gift from philanthropist Eric Lafferty Harvie, downtown's sprawling Glenbow MuseumExternal Link Title is Calgary's culture hub, with accessible art and history to the tune of one million objects on display. High-profile international exhibitionsExternal Link Title show here, and permanent collections External Link Titleinclude rare cultural artefacts, photographs, historical documents, and artwork of all kinds, many of which helped shape Calgary into the place it is today.

Western-wear shopping

Calgary boots
Pick up some stylish boots for The Stampede.

Time to pick up some stylish boots, jeans, and a Stetson. Calgary sports some of the best Western-apparel retail therapy there is. Unleash your inner cowpoke at Smithbilt HatsExternal Link Title, Lammle's Western Wear & TackExternal Link Title, and Alberta Boot Co.External Link Title

Rocky Mountaineer

The Rocky Mountaineer
The Rocky Mountaineer - credit: Rocky Mountaineer

Slow it down and ride in style from Vancouver, British Columbia, all the way to Calgary on the white linen-and-china-style Rocky MountaineerExternal Link Title. This luxurious train line follows the historic Canadian Pacific Railway route. It's hard to beat the views of iconic Lake Louise, Kicking Horse Pass, and towering glaciers from your own cushy seat in the domed coachExternal Link Title while enjoying a gourmet meal and glass of Canadian wine.


Yes, Calgary is the traditional launch point for skiing, trekking, national park touring, and Canadian Rockies road trips, but this high-octane Western city has enough going for it to warrant a vacation all on its own.