Five of the best things to do in Calgary, according to this local

Stephanie Arsenault

Travel Alberta

Jan 08, 2018 - 3 minute read

No matter the weather, the time of year, or the occasion, Calgary is ready. Ready to eat and drink; to experience and adventure; to have a good time. It’s my hometown, so I know what I’m talking about!
Want to make the most of your time in Calgary? Here’s how I spend mine: 


One of my favourite ways to get around the city is by bike. In fact, Calgary has the most extensive urban bikeway and pathway system in North America! BYOB (bring your own bike), or rent one for the day, and explore the beautiful paths along the river, Prince’s Island Park, and St. Patrick’s Island.  Need a little guidance? Check out Calgary by Bike.

National Music Centre

Will you be Canada's next big pop star? Maybe not. But you can feel like one at the National Music Centre. 


Fact: Calgary is the music capital of Canada. OK, I made that up, but since it's now home to the National Music Centre, who’s going to argue? Head to the gorgeous building (seriously, it's a sight for sore architecture eyes) and take in an exhibition, a concert, or get creative in a workshop. You may not be a music prodigy (yet), but the National Music Centre sure has a way of making you feel like you're part of the magic.

The National

A pilsner and ping pong, anyone? Spend the afternoon soaking up the sun on a rooftop patio, sampling local brews.   


Patio season can extend far beyond summer months to any time that the sun’s warmth envelops the city. (Yes, that means winter too, during the city’s many warm spells, known as chinooks.) It is undoubtedly my favourite time of year. The Ship & Anchor, along with Last Best Brewing & Distilling, are great spots to soak up some sun (or warm up under a heater) with a beer in hand. 

In addition to those great patios, Brewster’s, Trolley 5, and Mill Street are all full-blown brewhouses within the downtown area; so, if you're a beer-lover, be sure to stop in for a fresh-as-can-be pint. 

Olympic Plaza

Lace up your skates surrounded by the big city lights at Olympic Plaza. 


Winter in Calgary is stunning. The sun shines more here than almost anywhere else in the country, and a layer of snow blanketed on top of everything makes the city glitter.  

I love to lace up my ice skates and pretend I’m good at skating on the ice at Olympic Plaza. There are often live musical performances and super-talented buskers to keep you entertained, and a hot mug of cocoa is never far away. Didn't pack your skates? There are rentals available on-site. 
On days where I'd rather just bundle up and stay cozy indoors, I make my way to Proof Cocktails & Curiosities for a creative libation, or put on my fancy pants and go for afternoon tea at the Fairmont Palliser

The River Café

Small plates, big plates, share plates. However you like to eat out, Calgary's restaurant scene will have it. 


There is not enough space on the Internet nor time in the world for me to profess my love for food in Calgary. The city is full to the brim with deliciousness. While there are so many incredible restaurants in Calgary, my go-to area is along 17th Avenue and 4th Street S.W., known locally as the Beltline. No matter what my belly is craving, there’s something to satisfy my hunger pangs, and new spots pop up on the regular. Guaranteed good eats: Model Milk, Calcutta Cricket Club, Una Pizza + Wine, Ox Bar de Tapas, Anejo, Shokunin, and Mercato.

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