The Best Places to Visit in Calgary, Alberta

To learn more about Calgary’s past, visit Fort Calgary
To learn more about Calgary’s past, visit Fort Calgary | © Richard Cummins / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Elena Alston
30 September 2020

Calgary is the entry point to Alberta’s great outdoors. However, it’s also a destination in itself, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t stop to see at least a few spots on this list. These top attractions in Cowtown have the stamp of approval from Culture Trip’s local insiders.

Glenbow Museum

Museum
Map View
Curtiss Jenny JN4-D airplane replica at Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
© Witold Skrypczak / Alamy Stock Photo
Whether you’re a history buff or a self-proclaimed art fanatic, the Glenbow Museum is one of Calgary’s finest, featuring one of Canada’s largest indigenous collections, 33,000 works of art – including European art, Asian sculptures and West African pieces – and military artefacts. This downtown institution also has hands-on activities that’ll keep both you and the kids entertained for hours. Recommended by local insider Stuart Forster

Fort Calgary

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
Map View

If you want to get to the city’s roots, Fort Calgary is the place to do it. The fort, founded in 1875 as a political point to establish Canadian law, eventually became a focal point for settlers, ranchers and booming businesses. Today, you can follow their footsteps and tour the museum’s cultural exhibitions and historical displays. It has a long and complicated story to tell, but one that’s worth a listen. Recommended by local insider Stuart Forster

Calgary Stampede

Amusement Park
Map View

Want to see Canada’s toughest competitors go head-to-head in a rodeo? Attend the Calgary Stampede, also known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.” Every July, it hosts rodeo events, chuckwagon races, concerts, parades and a whole lot of Timbits (bite-size donut holes). Also, don’t forget to dress the part: denim, oversized belt buckles, neckties and cowboy hats. Recommended by local insider Yamila Godoy

WinSport

Sports Center, Stadium
Map View

This park is home to the only urban downhill ski facility in Calgary, offering snowboarding, zip-lining, mountain biking, luging, snow hockey and many other winter sports. It’s open year-round, and there’s an emphasis on learning, with qualified trainers teaching wobbly-legged beginners and polished experts alike – so if you’ve never even seen snow before, don’t be alarmed. Recommended by local insider Yamila Godoy

Devonian Gardens

Botanical Garden
Map View
The Devonian Gardens, year round indoor Park, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
© Michael Wheatley / Alamy Stock Photo

Hidden away inside the Core Shopping Centre is Devonian Gardens, an indoor garden comprising a full city block. In winter, when there’s a tundra outside, it can get downright nippy, so the tropical plants are a welcome sight. It also has koi ponds, a living wall and a food court, so it’s the perfect place to go if you need some downtime. There’s also a piano you can play when a professional player isn’t showing off their skills. Recommended by local insider Coco Hiu Tung

McHugh Bluff

Park
Map View
Calgary, Canada - October 7th, 2012: View of Calgary from McHugh Bluff Park Alberta Canada
© Stephen Meese / Alamy Stock Photo

McHugh Bluff is a gorgeous park that spans two northwest Calgary neighborhoods and has panoramic views of Bow River, Prince’s Island Park and downtown. While it’s also a popular place to watch the Canada Day fireworks, you should visit during the off-season and go at night to see Calgary lit up by the stars. It’s very “bright lights in the big city.” Recommended by local insider Coco Hiu Tung

These recommendations were updated on September 30, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.