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Destination Calgary

Close to the world famous Canadian Rockies, Calgary’s International Airport is a favourite destination to start or end your Canadian travel adventure.

It’s worth to spend a few hours around downtown Calgary. Even if you’re on vacation in Canada solely for the fabulous natural scenery and exciting wildlife!

viewpoint of downtown Calgaryviewpoint of downtown Calgary

On this page:

Map of Calgary

Highlights -in and around- downtown Calgary

Brief history of destination Calgary

1875 - Calgary is founded by the North-West Mounted Police.

1883 - The railway arrived, and with it, cowboys settled in the area, as pieces of land were
          leased for just 1 cent per acre!

1912 - the first Stampede: ‘the largest  Wild West show on earth’.

1914 - Local farmers became rich by the discovery of oil in the region (Turner Valley). 

1988 – Calgary Winter Olympics

Today - With a population of over 1 million, Calgary is Alberta’s largest city.

The oil and gas industry are still one of the leading branches in the ‘Heart of the New West’.

Map of Calgary

Description of the highlights at destination Calgary

From my experiences as a tour guide, I hereby list my favourite Calgary highlights.

All of the described highlights are marked on the map of Calgary.

bull downtown calgarythat's me 'riding' a cow!
Viewpoint downtown Calgary

Stephen Avenue

Calgary Stampede

Devonian Gardens

Olympic Oval

Heritage Park

Other things to do

Viewpoint downtown Calgary

The downtown viewpoint is my ‘secret’ free alternative for the Calgary Tower.

This viewpoint offers a splendid view of

  • skyscrapers in downtown Calgary,
  • Stampede Grounds,
  • Calgary tower,
  • Saddledome (home of the Calgary Flames, playing in the National Hockey League),
  • Calgary’s vicinity,
  • Rocky Mountains (on a clear day) approximately 90 km/55 mi west.

From Calgary International Airport, it takes about 20-25 min. to get to this viewpoint.

It all began at Stephen Avenue

Declared as a National Historic Site in 2002, Stephen Avenue (1880) is nice for a stroll, shopping or to enjoy lunch.

Historic buildings accommodate exclusive boutiques, shopping centres with high-end retail, and the finest restaurants.

Devonian Gardens

The ‘Devonian Gardens’ are botanical gardens inside the Scotia shopping centre at Stephen Avenue. 

These, -1 hectare- indoor gardens count over 550 palm trees, several fishponds and many flowering shrubs.

Free admission.

The Calgary Stampede

Every year -starting the first weekend of July and the following ten days- downtown Calgary is home to the largest Wild West show on earth.

Calgary Stampede official website 

Olympic Oval

Calgary's speed skating oval, built for the 1988 winter Olympics and home the fastest ice in the world.

Free admission.

Website Olympic Oval

Heritage Park

If your road trip ends in Calgary and you have some time left before your departure, I advise you to visit Calgary’s heritage park. 

In this historic village, you seem to be in the early West. Costumed interpreters educate and entertain guests of all ages. Heritage Park’s exhibits span the early 1860s fur trade to the petroleum and automobile-dominated 1950s.

Heritage Park official website 

Other things to do in Calgary

Visit Calgary for more visitor information such as restaurants, other things to do, and accommodation in Calgary.   

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