By Aiden Collins
Calgary is easily one of the cultural capitals of Canada. So if you want to take a quick trip to remind yourself of all the best things to do in Calgary, you’ve come to the right place!
With a diverse population and culture, there’s always something to discover and enjoy here. It can be an interactive exhibit, a glorious festival, or even just a nice breath of that Calgary breeze.
Whether you’re a tourist or a local, you’ll surely appreciate the city’s rich culture with this list of the best things to do in Calgary!
1. Reminiscing History with Glenbow Museum
|BEST FOR||Historical Artifacts, Artistic Exhibits|
|PRODUCTS||Art Collections, Historical Exhibits|
|ADDRESS||130 9 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0P3|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 268‑4100|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Saturday–Sunday, 12:00pm–5pm|
Glenbow Museum is a centre for arts and history with interactive and informative exhibits. The Glenbow Library has 100,000 resources about Western Canada’s cultural, political, social, and economic developments.
Aside from these resources, Calgarian history can be found in the 33,000 works of art at the place. Glenbow has collected landscape paintings, wildlife art, and modernist prints from acclaimed artists like Sybil Andrews.
History is also present in their vast selection of artifacts. They have pottery, textiles, and pieces of the oldest rocks in the world. European and Japanese armor and Albertan military artifacts are also part of their historical collections.
Learning is one of the best things to do in Calgary—and you can do it with the Glenbow Museum!
- Historical artifacts
- Painting collections
- Free admission every first Thursday of each month
- Traveling limited exhibits
There’s always something new to visit at the Glenbow Museum. Here are reviews of locals and visitors who claim that visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Calgary.
“Love visiting this museum. Every first Thursday of the month is free entry at 5pm. Easy to go through with kids with lots to see. Stroller friendly. Really easy to get to from transit, right by the Calgary Tower.”—Sarah Campbell
“The Glenbow is a treasure trove of information. From local history to travelling international exhibits, there is some things for nearly anyone. Art, style and colourful characters are all around for your perusal. Displays change regularly and many are limited engagements, so you can go fairly often and still see new things. It is good for people of all ages to enjoy.”—John Fujimagari
2. Sightseeing at the Calgary Tower
|BEST FOR||Sightseeing, Audio Tour, Revolving Restaurant|
|PRODUCTS||Observation Deck, Theatre Room, Restaurant|
|ADDRESS||101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J9|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 266-7171|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Monday–Friday, 11:00am–9:00pm|
Standing 190.8 metres tall, the Calgary Tower is not just the sight to see, but also the structure to help you see. It was the first earthquake-proof structure in western Canada as it was designed and constructed to withstand different kinds of natural disasters.
The Calgary Tower has LED lights light up during holidays, festivals, and sports events. Sometimes, the tower is even lit up to support causes and advocacies.
Sightseeing from here is one of the best things to do in Calgary. From the tower, you can see all of Calgary, the surrounding prairies, and of course, the Rocky Mountains.
Aside from sightseeing, you can also watch short films in the skyscraper’s theatre room. You can also dine in a restaurant that revolves every 45 minutes to give you a 360 view of the city.
- Glass floors for a bird’s eye view of the city
- Theatre room with 21 55” TV screens
- Revolving restaurant
- Sightseeing of the skyline and the Rocky Mountains
Sightseeing at the Calgary Tower and just enjoying the breathtaking view are just some of the best things to do in Calgary. Here’s what other tourists have to say about the Calgary Tower.
“Nice way for an alternative view on the city. Audio tour does add a lot of information on the city and is presented in a fun way.”
“A spectacular 360° view of the foothills and majestic Canadian Rocky Mountains. The glass floor will give you an unforgettable perspective of the bustling streets. It lits up beautifully in the night. And do enjoy the revolving sky 360 restaurant while sitting and relaxing the beautiful views.”
3. Enjoying Music with Studio Bell
|BEST FOR||Musical Exhibits, Instruments, Concerts|
|PRODUCTS||Interactive Exhibits, Music History, Hands-on Instruments|
|ADDRESS||850 4 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0L8|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 543-5115|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Saturday–Monday, 10:00am–5:00pm|
Studio Bell, the home of the National Music Centre, is a museum focused on Canada’s music. They have 2,500 rare instruments and a handful of interactive exhibits for your appreciation of local music.
Aside from the exhibits, Studio Bell also hosts several live performances from choirs, bands, and orchestras. The building’s great architecture and acoustics allow for the best propagation of sound and music.
Studio Bell’s interactive exhibits and hall of fame encourage you to learn more about the country’s musical history. They also encourage artistic development by offering educational programs and musical resources.
- Live in-house performances
- Canadian musical hall of fame
- Displayed musical instruments
- Interactive exhibits
These recommendations will convince you that chilling out and enjoying music at Sound Bell is indeed one of the best things to do in Calgary.
“This is a perfect venue for music lovers of all ages. Lots of interactive exhibits, instruments to play and a sound booth to hear what you sound like 🙂 We were there for 90 minutes but could have easily stayed a couple of more hours. Don’t forget to look at the interior…”
“Had a great time at this beautiful building today. Learned some neat things about Canadian music history and enjoyed a choir performance. Sundays are cheaper admissions. Website is easy to navigate and has an event schedule you can look at.”
4. Learning Science through TELUS Spark
|BEST FOR||Science Exhibits|
|PRODUCTS||Interactive Exhibits, Short Films,|
|ADDRESS||220 Saint George’s Drive Northeast, Calgary, AB T2E 5T2|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 817-6800|
E-mail: [email protected]
|OPERATING HOURS||Wednesday–Friday, Sunday, 10:00am–4:00pm|
Monday, Saturday, 10:00am–5:00pm
TELUS Spark is one of the biggest science exhibits in the country. It houses interactive exhibits like Brainasium, Creative Kids Museum, Energy & Innovation, Earth & Sky, and Being Human.
Apart from these, TELUS Spark has an open studio where children and adults are free to design their own inventions and innovations. They also have educational films shown in their dome theatre.
All of these science-related educational efforts are nor just for kids, but also for adults who want to bond with their young ones and continue learning.
- Dome-shaped theatre and short films
- Interactive and educational science exhibits
- Great for family bonding
The science museum is for anyone curious. These reviews will explain how exploring TELUS Spark and learning science from them are the best things to do in Calgary.
“was a lovely experience coming here today with my group of service animal friends and today was amazing! we were treated with respect and kindness and nobody bugged us. will continue to visit as it was amazing” —Blu Munro
“Fantastic time and very kind and helpful staff! The exhibits – Animals inside out was visually stunning and captivating both for my 9 yr old and the kid inside me! We enjoyed the Brainasium 🧠 outdoor playground and finished the day with a Super Dogs IMAX show in the Big dome theatre! Excellent value!”—James Bilcox
5. Strolling the Heritage Park
|BEST FOR||Theatre, Restaurants, Historical Exhibits|
|PRODUCTS||Historical Exhibits, Dining, Walking Tour, Merchandise|
|ADDRESS||1900 Heritage Dr SW, Calgary, AB T2V 2X3|
|CONTACT DETAILS||Phone: (403) 268-8500|
|OPERATING HOURS||(Gasoline Alley Museum) Wednesday–Sunday, 10:00am–5:00pm|
(Historical Village)Saturday–Sunday, 10:00am–5:00pm
The Heritage Park is a 127-acre tourist spot with over 180 exhibits or analogues, replicas, and restored original artifacts. Some of their famous attractions include the Historical Village and the Gasoline Alley Museum.
At the park, you can ride a real steam train, watch live outdoor theatre performances, tour old and historical structures, and enjoy amusement park rides.
What makes Heritage Park one of the best things to do in Calgary is its perfect view of the Rocky Mountains. If you want to have a perfect balance of history, nature, and fun, you’ve got to visit Heritage Park!
- View of the Rocky Mountains
- Historical attractions and tours
- Live performances
- Boat rides
The Heritage Park is the best site to visit with all your loved ones. Its vast area and numerous attractions will surely give everyone in your group something to look forward to.
Here are just some of the reviews expressing the customer’s fun experience.
“It’s really a place for families and friends. The live theatre on the street is fun to watch. The train ride always brings back the child in me, same goes for the rides in their amusement park area. Lots of places to eat. The cinnamon roll in the bakery is always good. It’s a good place to eat, have a nice day out, and learn about a bit of history 😊”—missy camacho
” A quaint little village with some nice picture places restaurants a little train ride and dock and lake for boats. A good place to visit in Calgary if you like history and such it shouldn’t take any longer than 30 minutes or so to see everything there is to see so there’s no reason to miss out. if you enjoy skipping rocks there’s a little trail past the rail road that leads to a nice spot with lots of flat rocks.”—Kavin Thirukonda
Now you know where to go, so what else are you waiting for? It’s time to finally schedule your visit, book your tickets, and just enjoy the cultural centres of Calgary!
But if you want to spend your visit on a day with the city’s natural reserves, you better check out our list of the best camping sites in Calgary!