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5 awesome things to do in downtown Calgary

Calgary cycling

5 awesome things to do in downtown Calgary

This post by Stephanie Arsenault was originally published on the Travel Alberta websiteExternal Link Title.


No matter the weather, the time of year, or the occasion, Calgary is ready. Ready to eat and drink; to experience and adventure; to have a good time. It's my hometown, so I know what I'm talking about!

Want to make the most of your time in Calgary? Here's how I spend mine: 


1. Bike, bike, baby

One of my favourite ways to get around the city is by bike. In fact, Calgary has the most extensive urban bikeway and pathway systemExternal Link Title in North America! BYOB (bring your own bike), or rent one for the day, and explore the beautiful paths along the river, Prince's Island ParkExternal Link Title, and St. Patrick's IslandExternal Link Title. Need a little guidance? Check out Calgary by BikeExternal Link Title.


2. Listen to some tunes

Fact: Calgary is the music capital of Canada. OK, I made that up, but since it's now home to the National Music CentreExternal Link Title, who's going to argue? Head to the gorgeous building (seriously, it's a sight for sore architecture eyes) and take in an exhibition, a concert, or get creative in a workshop. You may not be a music prodigy (yet), but the National Music Centre sure has a way of making you feel like you're part of the magic.


3. It's beer o'clock somewhere

Does a pilsner and ping pong on a sunny rooftop patio sound like your idea of a good time?


Alberta is in the midst of a craft brewery boomExternal Link Title, and Calgary's Inglewood neighbourhood is ground zero. Check out Cold GardenExternal Link Title for a casual tasting room and some funky new tasters like birthday cake beer, or the Dandy Brewing CompanyExternal Link Title for unfiltered and unpasteurized beer made in naturally conditioned bottles, kegs, and casks.


4. Baby, it's cold outside

Winter in Calgary is stunning. The sun shines more here than almost anywhere else in Canada, and a layer of snow blanketed on top of everything makes the city glitter.  

I love to lace up my ice skates and pretend I'm good at skating on the ice at Olympic PlazaExternal Link Title. There are often live musical performances and super-talented buskers to keep you entertained, and a hot mug of cocoa is never far away. Didn't pack your skates? There are rentals available on-site. 

On days where I'd rather just bundle up and stay cozy indoors, I make my way to Proof Cocktails & CuriositiesExternal Link Title for a creative libation, or put on my fancy pants and go for afternoon tea at the Fairmont PalliserExternal Link Title.


5. Don't get hangry

There is not enough space on the Internet nor time in the world for me to profess my love for food in Calgary. The city is full to the brim with deliciousness. While there are so many incredible restaurants, my go-to area is along 17th Avenue and 4th Street S.W., known locally as the Beltline. No matter what my belly is craving, there's something to satisfy my hunger pangs, and new spots pop up on the regular. Guaranteed good eats: Model MilkExternal Link TitleCalcutta Cricket ClubExternal Link TitleUna Pizza + WineExternal Link TitleAnejoExternal Link TitleShokuninExternal Link Title, and MercatoExternal Link Title.