So, you have one day in Calgary? Get out of your hotel room and use this guide to ensure you have the best experience in the beautiful city. Here is a choose your own adventure that guarantees amazing views of the city, unforgettable food, fun infused landmarks, and top notch entertainment. Spend one day in Calgary, and you’ll see why we love it so dearly. If you live here, use this to take visitors around the metropolis you’re proud to call home. Tell them it was all your idea, we won’t mind. They’ll think you’re a pro, thank us later.
We’ve got taxis, Uber and Lime Scooter’s to help you get around if you’re not up for driving. A lot of Calgary is connected by beautiful pathways, so you can walk in between a lot of these places as well.
For more ideas, see:
- Trip to Calgary & Banff – Itinerary
- Places to See in Calgary
- 25 Day Trips from Calgary
- Weekend Itinerary Calgary
We’ll start you off with the most important meal of the day. Head to Inglewood for some delicious brunch food. Try Madison’s 1212 for $1.50 mimosas on the weekends and daring comfort food or Monki Breakfastclub and Bistro for a fun atmosphere and not-so-classic breakfast staples. Either choice is great, and sets you up for the next adventure. Follow up breakfast by taking a stroll through Inglewood, Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood. Now full of trendy shops and historical landmarks, you’re sure to find some treasures.
Make your way down to the walking trails along the river and up through East Village and you’ll end up right at an ever-growing arts district, all the while enjoying a beautiful section of the river valley. Once you’ve hit downtown, head to Studio Bell and enjoy the amazing National Music Centre or hop up the street to the Glenbow Museum. If you’re a big history buff or arts lover, make time for both. Both capture and display amazing Canadian and international artists that will surprise you and transport you into another world altogether. Learn something new so you have some fun factoids for your next stop.
Then it’s time for lunch! We suggest something fun, like #REGRUB where you can get an amazing burger and a milkshake topped with a doughnut and cookies and more ice cream. Seriously. Or hit up Free House in Kensington, for locally crafted beer and truly decadent lunch offerings. Whichever you choose, make sure you leave some room for dessert from Village Ice Cream, you’ll want it for what’s next.
The lookouts of Calgary are treasured to say the least. Take an easy stroll and you’ve got beautiful views of the amazing downtown skyline, the river valley, as well as the Rocky Mountains in the not so distant background. Sit down, take it all in, and enjoy your ice cream! Try McHugh Bluff or Scotsman’s Hill. Both are great places to get some insta worthy photos and enjoy the awe inspiring landscape.
Now, that will for sure have made you thirsty, so it’s off to the Red Mile for a quick drink before dinner. Check out The Ship and Anchor to see a true local hangout or Mill Street Brewery for fresh locally crafted beer. If you have more time, this is ideal timing to have a small pub crawl along one of Canada’s most notorious bar streets. Just go for a stroll, you’ll be sure to find more places to have a cocktail before dinner.
The Ship and Anchor Instagram
Calgary is known for its Alberta Beef. If you’re going to try it, get the best. Check out Caesar’s Steak House for the best in the city. It’s been around since 1972: they know what they’re doing. If you’re looking for something a bit less classic and a bit more meaty, get to Pampa’s Steak House, where you will not be disappointed in the portions. If you’re not much of a meat eater, get to Ten Foot Henry, the new go-to for impressing dates.
But the night’s not over yet. Be sure to see what’s happening at the Saddledome, home of the biggest names in entertainment, or try the Palace Theatre for up and coming bands touring the country. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more intimate, see what’s playing at Theatre Calgary.
Whatever you decide to do in Calgary, just get out there and explore. The city has so much to offer and there are always fun events going on. Check back to see what’s happening on any given day. If you follow this guideline, you’ll quickly see that one day isn’t enough. See you again soon!
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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.