Every city has those little things that put them on the map. For some, it's their landmarks, others their shopping malls, or perhaps their events, concerts, or buildings. There's endless things that make each part of Canada unique and interesting, and of course, when you visit a new city, you want to see the best that there is to offer!
In Alberta, Calgary is one of the main central hubs. With over a million people, there has to be enough stuff going on to keep us all entertained. We may not be the capital of Alberta, but we're just as qualified as Edmonton, and absolutely packed full of things to do.
No matter if you're a Calgary native, new to the city, or just passing through, looking to occupy some time, there's no shortage of cool spots to check out. We've got some of the most delicious treats you'll find at hotspots like Village Ice Cream or Rosso Coffee, some pretty cool landmarks, like the Calgary Tower, or the National Music Centre, and some rowdy nightclubs like Cowboys Dance Hall.
A lot of people like to assume that it's all cowboys and country here in Alberta, but that's where they've got it wrong. Our beautiful city is full of modern neighbourhoods, friendly folks, and amazing views. Next time you find yourself feeling bored, check out this list and explore some of the amazing wonders Calgary has to offer; you may just fall in love with our city all over again.
31. +15 Walkways
Why it's better: Of course, everyone wants to explore Calgary's gorgeous Downtown, but in the cold winters, or blistering hot summers, it can become a challenge. Next time you're in the mood to adventure, try a tour of the +15 Walkway, which will take you all through Downtown YYC, 15 feet above ground.
Why it's better: Anyone with a sweet tooth should have this spot on their radar. The Chocolate Lab, located in SE Calgary is always cooking up these not only beautiful, but also delicious treats for you and yours to enjoy. This spot may be tiny, but it sure is packed full of flavour.
Why it's better: Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that the Calgary Stampede is a spectacular event. 10 days, packed full of delicious food and drinks, huge concerts, gorgeous fireworks, and amazing concerts. This is one show you won't want to miss.
Why it's better: The Calgary Zoo has been around since 1912, and if that fact alone isn't impressive enough, just remember the amazing Zoolights display they put on every Winter. If you love animals as much as I do, a trip to the zoo to watch the penguin march, or check out all the other amazing animals could be just what you need to lift your spirits.
Why it's better: Not only was COP once home of the Olympic Winter Games, it is still currently home to an amazing ski hill, as well as bob sledding, zip lining, tobogganing, and much, much more. While you're here, we also recommend you check out Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.
Why it's better: Prince's Island Park has virtually the perfect location. It is just a few minutes walk from all the wonders that Downtown has to offer, including the Bow River and Eau Claire Market. In the summer you can enjoy entertaining outdoor concerts and plays, and in the winter, try your hand at snowshoeing!
25. Calgary Tower
Why it's better: It may not be as large as other Canadian towers, but it certainly boasts some beautiful views. Looking below at the gorgeous streets of Downtown Calgary, you'll definitely get a great picture for your Instagram. Their Sky 360 Restaurant is also a great place for a romantic dinner!
Why it's better: When naming off beautiful parks in Alberta, people are quick to list Banff and Jasper, but we can't forget about Fish Creek. Located in the deep South of Calgary, Fish Creek boasts some of the most beautiful views, as well as some amazing walking and biking paths.
23. Devonian Gardens
Why it's better: This super beautiful spot is like a slice of summer, no matter what the weather outside is like. It's totally free to come hangout here, and it actually makes an amazing spot to snap some cool pictures for your IG feed!
22. Glenbow Museum
Why it's better: The Glenbow in Downtown Calgary will not only take you back in time through Canadian history, but also gives you an opportunity to check out some really cool, modern exhibitions from around the world. They always have a free night on the first Thursday of every month for those of us who don't have much cash to spare.
Why it's better: If you're spending a day in Downtown Calgary, Eau Claire definitely has to be on your itinerary. This quaint little market is easily one of the best spots in the city to meet and mingle with local vendors, catch a movie, or do some shopping!
Why it's better: If you've ever driven through Downtown Calgary, it's likely that you've seen this enormous sculpture erected in front of the Bow Building. Built in 2013, it's a popular tourist destination, and a great spot to take some really cool pictures!
Why it's better: Located in Downtown's East Village, there's no way you can miss this gorgeous building. If you think the outside is picturesque, wait until you get a chance to check out the interior. Here you can tour the museum that will teach you all about music history, get some education on the subject, and, on occasion, enjoy a live show!
18. Peace Bridge
Why it's better: When it was opened in 2012, the infamous Peace Bridge made big waves around Calgary. It's $25 million price tag didn't please everyone, but the end result sure is pretty to look at. The bright red beams are any photographers dream, and the scenic background of Downtown Calgary and the Bow River make it even better.
17. Scotsman's Hill
Why it's better: If a picture-perfect view of Downtown Calgary is what you're after, Scotsman's Hill is the spot you'll want to be. This lookout, completely free of charge, is easily one of the best in the city, at any time of day. Snap a pic during golden hour, or after dark, when the skyline is beautifully lit up.
16. Stephen Avenue
Why it's better: Stephen Ave is notably a very popular spot for Calgarians to hang out. Whether you're looking to explore Downtown, or grab some delicious food and drinks, Stephen Ave has got it all. Bring along your camera to take some great pictures, and don't forget your wallet, because you'll definitely be tempted to spend.
15. Crescent Heights
Why it's better: Another popular YYC lookout, this spot is known to attract love birds, in particular. Not only can you see the amazing skyline from here, it's also the perfect spot to watch the Canada Day fireworks, or admire Christmas displays come winter time!
Why it's better: Even if you don't like the music, it's easy to admit that nobody does country quite like Cowboys. You'll feel like you're celebrating Stampede all year round here! From 75 cent draft on Thursdays, to their Stampede music festival, you can always anticipate a good time.
Why it's better: This park is easily one of the best kept secrets in Calgary. It literally looks like an enchanted garden, making it the perfect place for wedding, graduation, or even just everyday photo shoots. It's open from sunrise to sunset, so you'll have plenty of time to explore this beautiful spot.
Why it's better: Kensington is easily one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city. From restaurants and cafes and gorgeous wall murals, to local vendors and super friendly people, they've really got it all. If you're looking to spend a day exploring the best of what YYC has to offer, you have to check out Kensington.
11. Rosso Coffee
Why it's better: Proudly Calgarian owned, Rosso works hard to ensure they're always producing top quality coffee to start your day off right. Every location is beautifully decorated, and genuinely makes you feel at home. It's the perfect spot for a first date, or a study session.
10. The Beltline
Why it's better: The Beltline is another awesome section of Downtown Calgary that needs to be on your bucket list if it isn't already. Home to Calgarian favourites such as Monki Bistro and Re:Grub, you can grab some quick, tasty eats before you head out to explore the interesting art and activities around you.
Why it's better: If you've made a trip to Calgary without visiting one of our four National locations, I'm sorry, but you're doing it wrong. My personal favourite is National on 10th; they have a gorgeous roof top patio, a bowling alley, and some seriously amazing drinks. It's the perfect bar experience.
Why it's better: Calgary's Chinatown happens to have some of the most gorgeous architecture in the city, and not to mention, also some of the best eats. This Downtown district is full of culture, beauty, and history.
Why it's better: This Calgarian creation is the perfect sweet treat on a hot summer day. Their regular flavours are amazing as is, but their seasonal ones are a real treat; my personal favourite is the Pumpkin Spice come fall time. Every Village Ice Cream is also uniquely, but beautifully decorated, making your whole experience totally Instagrammable.
Why it's better: Luke's is the oldest independent pharmacy in Calgary, yet it somehow still manages to remain super cool and trendy. It's got a super vintage feel to it, and they serve up some of the best soft serve ice cream you'll find in the city.
Why it's better: If you want to transport yourself to the 60s for a night, check out Lloyd's! Although it is unfortunately closing soon, we won't soon forget the fun, vintage ambiance and entertainment that Lloyd's had to over. If you can make it before February 18th, you won't regret it!
Why it's better: Sure, SAIT is an amazing trades school with plenty of programs to offer, but let's not forget just how architecturally stunning the school itself is. Any photographer would dream of shooting here, with the modern set up and cool, monochrome colours.
Why it's better: This Calgary owned coffee shop has taken off in leaps and bounds since it's opening in 1991. There are now over 40 locations for Calgarians to enjoy, all of which are equally welcoming and delicious.
Why it's better: If there's one thing Calgarians are good at, it's crafting up tasty treats. Fiasco Gelato is a Calgary run business that is available not only at their locations, but also in grocery stores for you to bring home and enjoy! Since 2003 the business has grown immensely, and continues to do so.
Why it's better: The Plaza Theatre was originally built as a garage in the 1920's, and later turned into the theatre it is now in the 30's during the Depression. It's the last neighbourhood operating theatre in Calgary, located in the heart of Kensington, and they're always playing interesting, alternative films for you to enjoy!