Downtown Calgary Walking Tour
The downtown Calgary walking tour will take a full day, if one plans to tour the museums and do some shopping along the way.
It is mainly a walking tour (Total walking distance – 4.5 km + 2 km, if you add Peace bridge, see the map below), though for the first part of the tour one can use public transit or a car. Plan to have lunch in one of restaurants at Stephen Avenue Walk.
Most of this tour, except Fort Calgary, can easily be done even in the thick of winter by using +15 skywalk, map here.
There are many interesting public art installations, interesting architectural structures along the way. These are not mentioned in the list below. Consider taking a guided walking tour with Calgary Walks –hear fascinating stories about Calgary and let Calgary history come alive!
Before you start, download Mobimaps of Calgary city centre.
Verify current Hours & Rates from official websites.
Time required to visit : Minimum time excluding wait time/ ticket lines
1. Fort Calgary
Start your walking tour at Fort Calgary. Fort Calgary was the northernmost link of the western branch of the Old Forts Trail. Now a historic site, there are displays in the interpretive centre cover the life of Natives, early pioneers, and the North West Mounted Police, Canada’s world-renowned Mounties.
Time required to visit : Approximately one hour.
806 9 Ave SE
AB T2G 0S2
Year-round – 9:00AM – 05:00PM
Closed Jan. 1,
Dec. 24-26, Dec. 31.
Seniors (+65)/Students: $11.00
Youth (7-17):$ 7.00
Children (3-6):$ 5.00
Children (2 and under):Free
Next in the itinerary is Calgary Tower.
To reach the tower, walk a distance of 1.5 km ( 20 minutes) along 9 Ave SE (right from the Fort). The Glenbow museum is on the right. One can also use public transport.Route 1 or Route 305. Alight at SB 1 St@7 Av SE (Stop ID: 7830). Then walk south using the Calgary Tower as the landmark.If using car, park at Museum parking lot or at any of the public parkades near Calgary tower.
Best place to get ones bearings, to get a birds eye view of the city, and to enjoy the views of the Rockies. A glass floor allows one to stand right on top of the 9th avenue .
Time required to visit : 30 minutes.
101 – 9 Ave. S.W.
Calgary, AB,T2P 1J9
Sept – June : 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m;
July – August : 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Closed on X-mas day
Seniors (65+): $16.00
Children (4-12): $9.00
Children (3 and under): Free
Glenbow Museum is across the road. Also connected through Plus 15 pathway system.
Glenbow museum houses art works, sculptures and other artifacts originating from many corners of the world, providing insight into the life in Western Canada from the late 19th century to the present day.
Time required to visit : 1.5 – 2 hours.
AB T2G 0P3GPS: 51.044814,-114.060779
Tuesday – Saturday: 9am – 5pm
Sunday: 12pm – 5pm
Adult (18+) : $16
Senior (65+)/Student :$11
Youth (ages 7-17) : $10
Child (Ages 6-) : Free
Walk (4 minutes) to Olympic Plaza along 1st street SE. Approximately 250 meters.
4. Olympic Plaza & Stephen Ave
Constructed as the venue for 1988 Winter Olympic Games medal ceremonies the Olympic Plaza is an urban park in downtown Calgary.
Address :7th Ave. SE and Macleod Trail SE, T2N 1J9 . Ph:403-268-2300
Time required to visit – 10 – 30 minutes
To reach Devonian Gardens, walk about 750 m along the 8 Ave SW(Stephen Avenue walk).
Update for 2017: Devonian Gardens is closed for renovation.
Stephen Avenue Walk is situated along 8 Ave SW (Stephen Avenue) and spans from 1 St SE to 4 St SW.
Declared a Canadian Historic site in 2002, it is home to unique boutiques , restaurants, historic buildings like Old City Hall, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the old Bank of Montreal Building.
5. Devonian Gardens
Located in the The CORE Shopping Centre, it is a large indoor park and botanical garden decorated with waterfalls, bridges, koi ponds and sculptures by local artists. Time required to visit: Half an hour to one hour.
400, 317 7 Ave. S.W.
Closed for renovation.
Monday – Wednesday & Saturday
9:30 AM – 6:00 PM Thursday & Friday
9:30 AM – 8:00 PM Sunday & Holidays
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
To get to Chinese Cultural Centre, one has to walk approximately a km. Head north on 3 St SW toward 7 Ave SW. Turn right onto 4 Ave SW.
Turn left onto 1 St SW. The centre will be on the left.
If you are planning to undertake the tour by car, pick up the car now and drive to the Chinese cultural centre.
Park in the parking lot of Eau Claire Market .
The cultural centre is in the middle of a vibrant and colourful Asian town. The main attraction of the cultural centre, the main hall has 561 dragons and 40 phoenixes which decorates the the 70 foot ceiling, which is supported by 4 columns with gold ornamentation representing each season. The outer surface of the dome is covered in blue tiles imported from China. There are nice Chinese restaurants around the centre and a shopping mall.
Time required to visit : Thirty minutes to one hour.
97 First Street SW
Alberta T2P 4M4
9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Closed Stat Holidays
One may plan to take a coffee break at Eau Claire Market, located near the Prince’s Island Park.
7. Peace Bridge
If you are upto walking additional 2 km, continue along Bow River Pathway to Peace Bridge. You can also rent a bike at Eau Claire Rapid Rent located at Eau Claire Market (open May 1 through to September 30) and bike rest of the pathway.
Peace Bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava connects Northern and Southern Bow River Pathway. Enjoy views of downtown Calgary from the bridge and get great pictures.
If you are biking, cross the bridge, continue east along Bow River Pathway and use the north bridge to cross back to Prince’s Island Park (~3 km to reach River Cafe from Cultural Centre via the route shown in the map). If you are walking, retrace your steps and reach Prince’s Island Park via the first foot bridge you see on your way back. This walk takes about 40 minutes (2 km – Cultural Centre to Peace Bridge to Prince’s Island Park). See the map.
View Downtown Calgary Tour in a larger map
Enjoy one of the many festivals held,watch the buskers or just stroll enjoying the birds, the water fountains and sculptures.
Time to required to visit : One hour.
4 St. & 1 Ave. S.W.
AB T2P 4R5
Daily, 5:00 AM – 11:00 PM, daily
Complete the day by having dinner at the River Cafe located in the park.
Another option is to start the tour at the Calgary tower. Follow the rest as it is and then stroll along the Bow river on the pathway (a nice evening walk, if you plan accordingly) from the Prince’s Island Park to Fort Calgary. This walk will take approximately 40 minutes (2.5 km). Be aware that Fort Calgary closes at 5:00 PM. On select days, Mystery Dinner Theatre is held at the Fort Barracks.
Tip : Check calgaryattractions.com for coupons for some of the above mentioned attractions.