On our recent trip to see the Canadian Rockies, we flew into Calgary International Airport (YYC) and rented a car to drive to Banff. We spent 24 hours in Calgary and stayed at the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel (watch the video at the end of the post for hotel details).
7 Things to Do in Calgary
1. Calgary Tower
Calgary Tower is located in the heart of downtown. The tower has a 360° panoramic view of the city, and there's also a revolving restaurant. If you dine at the restaurant, you can gain complimentary access to the observation deck.
101 9 Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 1J9
2. Stephen Avenue Walk
Stephen Avenue Walk is a historic pedestrian mall located steps away from Calgary Tower.
Stephen Avenue Walk
8 Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 1B3
The Galleria Trees sculptures are an iconic part of Stephens Avenue and located between 2nd and 3rd Street SW. There are ten metal trees designed to reduce the wind gusts on the block. The Galleria Trees are also equipped with an audio system and LED lights.
3. Devonian Gardens
The Devonian Gardens is a large indoor park and botanical garden located in the CORE Shopping Centre (entrance is where the Galleria Trees are on Stephen Ave). Take the escalators up to the 4th floor to explore the gardens.
317 7 Ave SW | CORE Shopping Centre
Calgary, Alberta T6G 2E1
The Gardens were closed for renovations when we visited, so hopefully, they'll re-open soon!
4. Eat at Charcut Roast House
Alberta is famous for their steak. Charcut Roast House is the brainchild of Chefs John Jackson and Connie Desousa (a Top Chef Canada finalist). The restaurant has a rustic-chic vibe and a farm-to-table ethos.
Charcut Roast House
101-899 Centre Street S
Calgary, AB T2G 1B8
We ordered one too many items, but it was all delicious. Get the duck fat fried poutine, prime rib of Alberta beef, and the CHARCUT sausage share burger. All the items are farm-to-table and the servers are incredibly knowledgable about the farms each ingredient was sourced from.
Somehow we managed to clear the whole board. It was THAT good.
5. Prince's Island Park
Prince's Island Park is an urban park near downtown Calgary. There are plenty of picnic areas, hiking trails, and flower gardens.
Prince's Island Park
200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, AB T2P 4R5
The Peace Bridge is a pedestrian and bike bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It's located on the far west side of Price's Island Park.
6. Eat at River Cafe
River Cafe is one of the most popular restaurants in Calgary. It's located in the heart of Prince's Island Park and has a great view of the Bow River. Be sure to make a reservation in advance.
25 Prince's Island Park
Calgary, AB T2P 0R1
7. Visit Chinatown
Take a stroll in Calgary's Chinatown and grab a bite to eat. Chinatown is located along Centre Street in the northeast area of downtown.
If you're craving Hong Kong style food, stop by Calgary Court Restaurant. I recommend the lunch specials or a classic bowl of wonton noodles.
The lunch special that day was Portuguese baked chicken and pork with spaghetti, milk tea, mushroom soup, and garlic toast, all for CAD $10!