Planning a weekend away in Calgary? This guide has everything from food to nightlife to live entertainment to where to stay, and more. Calgary is a bustling city full of amazing artists, incredible restaurants, and a lot of fun people to share it all with. Alberta’s biggest city has a lot to offer, just come and see for yourselves. You can easily whip up an itinerary from the following tips, so read on to find your perfect weekend plans in Calgary!
10 Best Places to Visit During a Weekend Trip
Calgary is full of amazing places to visit and things to do. We’ve created our top 10 favourites to make sure you don’t miss the best of the best. With a little something for everyone, these spots guarantee a great time.
1. National Music Centre at Studio Bell
If you’re a music fan, you’ll love NMC. With a full music museum and an auditorium offering amazing shows throughout the year, this is the place to learn everything about Calgary’s musical past, present, and future.
2. Stampede Park
The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, the Calgary Stampede is an amazing time to visit this great city. From July 3-12, 2020, come check out the rodeo, live music, carnival rides, and a whole lot more.
3. Calgary Tower
It has become a symbol of Calgary since it’s erection in 1968, and even though it’s no longer the tallest building in the city, it remains as the glowing heart of downtown. Check out the revolving restaurant and the 360 degree view.
4. Glenbow Museum
Calgary’s art museum is an amazing way to spend the afternoon. Check out their most recent installations and long term pieces.
5. Calgary Zoo
With their conservation efforts and many life-saving initiatives, the Calgary Zoo is at the forefront of North American zoos. Check out the penguin exhibit and come visit all of your favourite animals.
6. Heritage Park
Go back to a simpler time at Heritage Park. A living history museum spanning the 1860s to the 1930s with train rides, the Gasoline Alley Museum, and much more.
7. Calaway Park
Find your sense of adventure at Calaway Park! Enjoy roller coasters and water rides at this amusement park.
8. Canada Olympic Park
If you’re coming to Canada for the snow, head to the Canada Olympic Park to try snowboarding, skiing, skating, or tubing. Food and hot cocoas available on site. During summer, enjoy the thrills of going downhill on a 1.8 km long track on a wheeled ride.
9. Spruce Meadows
This world class facility celebrates horses and athletes together. Hosting international competitions and royal visits, come join the fun and be a part of Calgary’s history.
10. Bowness Park
Offering year-round fun, this park has skating and curling in the winter, and amazing walking trails in the summer. Bring your camera, you’re likely to see some local wildlife.
Where to Experience Calgary Vibe
If you’re trying to get a feel for what Calgary has to offer, check out the following areas for a glimpse into life in Calgary. Whether it’s nightlife and food, or music and the great outdoors, Calgarians are passionate about life and have a lust for adventure. Try something new today in the chinook capital of Canada.
17th Ave (The Red Mile)
Visit during the day for unique shopping, local wares, and great brunch options (try MARKET or Nellie’s Cosmic Cafe). Visit at night for Calgary’s notorious Red Mile nightlife where you’re sure to catch the Flame’s game and try delicious locally crafted beer.
Inglewood is the neighbourhood that started it all. The 100 year old buildings mix with modern shops and local talent to create a haven for music junkies and shopaholics alike. Be sure to check out Gorilla Whale for dinner, Gravity Espresso and Wine Bar for live music, and Ninth and Brick for fun local finds.
Prince’s Island Park
Prince’s Island Park is a dreamscape no matter the season. Try outdoor skating or cross-country skiing in the winter, or enjoy the flower gardens and water fountains in the summer. Host to the Calgary Folk Music Festival, this park might be your favourite stop in Calgary.
Calgary Nightlife Guide
If you’re looking for a party, Calgary’s got it! Calgary’s nightlife is more than 17th Ave. Although it’s a great place to check out if you’re looking to bar hop, try a few of these ideas for something a little different: open mic night (comedy at Broken City, music at Two House Brewing or Ironwood Stage and Grill or Koi), arcade games (PinBar, Greta Bar, Revival Brewcade), or two-stepping (Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall, Cowboys)
There’s nothing better than live! Whether it’s dance, music, comedy, or otherwise, there’s a magic about seeing something that can’t be edited or altered. Just pure art, happening right in front of your eyes. Check out these Calgary staples for live entertainment.
Keen on seeing a stage performance while in Calgary? Theatre Calgary offer an array of plays, check out the current line-up on their site.
Join the Alberta Ballet with performances at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. Let yourself be enveloped in the story and movement that only ballet can offer.
This amazing live music venue boasts huge shows with lots of energy. If your weekend plans include an epic night of dancing and raging, this is your place.
The Blues Can
The Blues Can offers a different sort of live music: a smaller, more intimate venue with soulful acts and unforgettable nights. Stop by this refurbished airplane hangar if you love hearing music the way it’s meant to be heard.
The Laugh Shop
It’s always a good night at the Laugh Shop. There’s something so exhilarating about live comedy. No redos, just good time and laughter.
Sporting Events in Calgary
Calgary has a long history of amazing sports teams. If there’s a game in town, be sure to get tickets and check it out!
Football: Calgary Stampeders.
Lacrosse: Calgary Roughnecks.
Soccer: Calgary Foothills FC.
Where to Eat When in Calgary – Calgary Food Guide
Calgary has a wide range of food options, but two things seems to be on every street: barbecue and brunch. For the best of barbecue, try Bridgette Bar and for a favourite local brunch place, try The Beltliner. Other honorable mentions to match up with our Calgary Vibe Guide: River Cafe in Prince’s Island Park, Una Pizza and Wine on 17th Ave, and The Dandelion near Inglewood. Fusion restaurants and plant-based options seem to be the trend these days in the city: hit up Anju for Korean fusion, and Ten Foot Henry for modern vegetable forward plates.
Breweries and More
Wild Rose Brewery
Check out Wild Rose Brewery for one of Calgary’s long-time favourite craft brewers, amazing food like bison burgers, and fun theme nights like trivia and name that tune.
Last Best Brewing and Distilling
This awesome Brewery in the heart of downtown offers an unbeatable menu and some of Calgary’s finest beers. They also run knowledgeable tours with experts brewers.
Tour Calgary’s bars and pubs on a 15 person bike! This super fun adventure gets you outdoors, truly exploring this amazing city and all of the best watering holes.
Confluence offers $1 tours of their incredible distillery. They make craft gin and vodka that you will definitely want to try.
How to Get Around in Calgary
Calgary can be a bit confusing to drive in. Drivers from out of town often note the quadrant system to be less than ideal to someone who doesn’t live here. Luckily for you, there are other options. There are ride share apps like Uber and taxis galore. In the summer you can also jump on the new Lime bikes and scooters to take you where you need to go. Calgary Transit System includes regular buses to take you all around the city and the C-Train line that gets you quickly around downtown and beyond.
Where to Stay in Calgary
Calgary has plenty of options for a place to rest your head. Check out Airbnb for a local touch. The Hotel Fairmont Palliser is an icon. Great for romantic stays if you want something extra special. On the other end, try Wicked Hostels for a more economical solution. There are plenty of in between options depending on where you’re staying in the city.
Places to Stay in Calgary – Airbnb, Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts
By: Carrie is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys writing songs, cooking new vegan dishes, and being a plant mom. She loves living in Calgary and pretending she likes the snow.