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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 Rockies.

Calgary Stampede

First Nations Village
Calgary Stampede First Nations Village

They don't call Calgary Cowtown for nothing. Same for the "greatest outdoor show on earth," aka The StampedeExternal Link Title. This annual July citywide phenomenon is a huge part of Calgary's identity and is not to be missed. Expect 10 days of high-adrenaline rodeo events and 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, site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Today, athletes train here and you can get into it, too: ski, skate, snowboard, and bobsleigh in winterExternal Link Title; in summerExternal Link Title, luge, zipline, mountain bike, mini-golf, and try the summer bobsleigh or Challenge Course. 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 -- one of North America's largest urban parks. Hike or bike extensive trails covering the four square miles 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 -- the world's biggest source of Cretaceous fossils. HikeExternal Link Title, campExternal Link Title, or tour an active dig siteExternal Link Title.

Prince’s Island Park

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

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

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 1860 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 4,029 feet 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 artifacts, photographs, historical documents, and artwork of all kinds that's shaped 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, BC east to Calgary on the white linen-and-china-style Rocky MountaineerExternal Link Title, a luxe train line that 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 over a gourmet meal and glass of Canadian wine.


True, Calgary is the traditional launch point for skiing, trekking, national park touring, and Rockies road trips, but this high-octane Western city has enough going for it to warrant a vacation all on its own. Tuck into a big steak, or try the city's thriving vegetarian scene, plus plenty of honkytonk.

Plan your trip now at the Visit Calgary website.