7 Things to Do in Calgary, Alberta

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. 

Calgary Tower
101 9 Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 1J9
Canada

calgary tower: daytime

calgary tower: daytime

calgary tower: night 

calgary tower: night 

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
Canada

stephen avenue walk

stephen avenue walk

more shops at stephen avenue walk

more shops at stephen avenue walk

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. 

galleria trees

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. 

Devonian Gardens
317 7 Ave SW | CORE Shopping Centre
Calgary, Alberta T6G 2E1
Canada

The Gardens were closed for renovations when we visited, so hopefully, they'll re-open soon! 

devonian gardens

devonian gardens

devonian gardens

devonian gardens

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 has a farm-to-table ethos. 

Charcut Roast House
101-899 Centre Street S
Calgary, AB T2G 1B8
Canada

charcut roasthouse
charcut menu

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. 

steak board with poutine: before

steak board with poutine: before

Somehow we managed to clear the whole board. It was THAT good. 

steak board with poutine: after

steak board with poutine: after

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
Canada

prince island park

prince island park

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. 

peace bridge
peace bridge

peace bridge

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.

River Cafe
25 Prince's Island Park
Calgary, AB T2P 0R1
Canada

river cafe

river cafe

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. 

calgary chinese cultural center

calgary chinese cultural center

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. 

calgary court

calgary court

The lunch special that day was Portuguese baked chicken and pork with spaghetti, milk tea, mushroom soup, and garlic toast, all for CAD $10! 

lunch special