What to Do in Calgary, Alberta

With culinary culture and a revitalized core, Canada's prairie town has its moment.

Calgary skyline at night with Bow River and Centre Street Bridge, photo
Calgary skyline at night with a delicately lit Centre Street Bridge over Bow River.
Jeff Whyte / Shutterstock

Calgary Brewery Tours

Launched in 2016, Calgary Brewery Tours leads participants to distilleries and beer makers experimenting with local grains and the Canadian Rockies' glacial water. Tastings might include Wild Rose Brewery's Velvet Fog or kombucha beer from Tool Shed Brewing Company.

Calgary Stampede

If you're here in July, don't miss the Calgary Stampede, an annual event that transforms the city into a continuous outdoor party for 10 days with rodeos, livestock exhibits, and a parade.

CharCut Roast House

CharCut Roast House confirms Alberta's reputation as Canada's beef capital with such fare as a shaved Alberta Angus prime rib sandwich. But don't skip the veggies fried in duck fat or Canada's gift to the world: poutine.

National Music Centre

With architecture paying homage to Alberta's landscape, the National Music Centre honors Canada's musical heritage in exhibits of artifacts and interactive experiences such as the mobile recording studio once owned by the Rolling Stones. In addition to a 300-seat performance space, the center incorporates the Canadian Music Halls of Fame, an exhibit featuring musical artifacts, memorabilia, and tributes to inductees including Bryan Adams and Neil Young.


Pigeonhole transforms everyday ingredients into genre-defying dishes—say, charred cabbage atop a jalapeño-and-Mimolette-cheese emulsion—served with a wink on china.

Simmons Building

The Simmons Building heralds a new era for the East Village. In the former mattress warehouse, find Canada-meets-Argentina charcuterie at Charbar, single-source espresso from Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, and Sidewalk Citizen Bakery's artisanal loaves featuring traditional grains.

St. Patrick's Island

Pedal new bike lanes to St. Patrick's Island, 31 acres in the center of Calgary. Dotted with public art and playgrounds, the site symbolizes the city's progressive streak.


This article was first published in Summer 2016 and updated in February 2019.