A Backpacker’s Ultimate Guide To Calgary, Canada

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There are many things to do in Calgary. No matter where you are visiting from, it is a sure thing that you will find at least one cool place to visit, many things to see, and lots of options for backpackers, all in Calgary, Canada. 

Do you want to see some famous buildings you’ve only seen in photos? Maybe you want to relax with a nice cold beer? Do you want to have fun with animals? Would you want to take a walk in a nice place? Perhaps you would like to visit a local museum and extend your knowledge base? Yes to all and more! Everything you just read, you can do in Calgary, Canada and so much more.

Calgary is a city in the Canadian province named Alberta. Two rivers meet where the city is located — the Bow River and the Elbow River. The city is the third-largest one in Canada with more than 1,200,000 people living there. It was officially a town in 1884 and become a city ten years later, in 1894. 

Fun fact: the city of Calgary has a few other unofficial names—a few nicknames if you would like: Cowtown, Stampede City, and Mohkínstsis are among them. 

Now, let’s dive into some activities and cool things to do in Calgary while backpacking.

Calgary Tower Is One Of The Cool Places To Visit

Calgary Tower
Image by Daven Froberg on Unsplash

One of the coolest things to do in Calgary is to go see the Calgary Tower. The building is 191 meters high or 626 feet and was built to celebrate Canada’s centennial independence in 1967.

Two fun facts about the Calgary tower: 60 percent of the building is below ground level and it weighs 10.884 tonnes. The cost of this impressive building was 3,500,000 dollars. 

Before it got the Calgary name, the tower was known as Husky. It was formally changed in 1971 as a tribute to the Calgarians. 

It is located at 101 9th Avenue SW. You can easily get there by any means of transportation. Of course, you can see the tower from many other places around the city, but it will be a unique opportunity for you to get to see it up close. 

The tower opens at 9 am and closes at 9 pm every day of the week.

Calgary Zoo On Top Of Things To Do In Calgary 

Calgary Zoo
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Backpackers all over Canada and even the world love to visit the Calgary Zoo. Most of us live in urban areas, and even if we live in villages, we don’t actually get the chance to spend some time with all types of animals that populate the Earth. 

When you are in Calgary, Canada is a great opportunity to see the zoo. On the official website of the Calgary Zoo, you can find out more about how they take care of the animals. 

You can also find special events and programs organized by the zoo. Not to mention they also offer other services like eating spaces, play areas, and shopping areas. 

One ticket for adults costs 29.95 dollars. The zoo opens at 9 am and closes at 9 pm. 

Put the Calgary Zoo on your things to do in Calgary list and you won’t be sorry for the amazing experience you will have. 

Heritage Park Historical Village

Heritage Park Historical Village In Calgary, Canada
Image by Marilyn Peddle on Wikicommons

This museum in Calgary, Canada is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the city. The Heritage Park Historical Village is also the second-largest living history museum in the country. 

You should include it on your things to do in Calgary just because of that. But wait, there is more! The park truly offers a wide range of things to see like exhibitions, things to do like a playing area for the kids, and things to eat and where to eat. The mission of the park is not only to entertain guests but also to educate. They put a great deal of attention into the history of the early west. 

You can find the park at 1900 Heritage, Dr. SW. The Calgary Heritage Park Historical Village opens every morning at 8:30 and closes in the afternoon at 4:30. 

Lots Of Things To See At Glenbow Museum 

Glenglow Museum
Image by WikiCommons

Now that you have a taste for learning more interesting things from wherever you travel the world, why not pay a visit to the Glenbow Museum? It is a museum that mostly exhibits art pieces and historical items. 

Like any other museum, they have permanent and temporary exhibitions. They also organize special events, some of which will be of great interest for most backpackers traveling to Calgary, Canada. 

Art is for everyone, so why not experience it firsthand? This museum is surely one of the cool places to visit on a quiet afternoon. The museum is an independent one and operates as a non-profit organization. 

You can find it at 130 9th Ave SE. One ticket for adults cost 18 dollars and one ticket for kids cost 11 dollars. The museum is closed on Mondays, but it’s open every other working day at 9 am. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, it closes at 5 pm and on Fridays, it stays open until 8 pm. You can also visit it on weekends, but you have to check the hours beforehand. 

Try The Flapper Pie In Calgary Canada

Flapper Pie In Canada
Image by Elsie Hui on Wikicommons

What would be a trip without some delicious local food?

The Flapper Pie is a staple item from the Canadian prairie culture. Make sure you get a taste! You sometimes find it under the name of “Wafer Pie” on some restaurants’ menus.

It consists of vanilla custard, topped with meringue—made from whipped egg whites and sugar, and Graham crackers. The pie dates from the 19th century and it is a must-have when looking for things to do (or eat!) in Calgary. 

Sing-Along At The Blues Can 

Calgary Canada Pub
Image by https://canada247.info

In the mood for some live music? The Blues Can is the place for you! 

The location is a Live Blues Bar, which you can rarely experience these days, so make sure you don’t keep it from your cool-places-to-visit list. 

They mostly feature local performers, but from time to time, big names join for a chance to sing there. Besides the live, wonderful music, you can order food with your drinks too. This way, you can have a complete experience for more than one of your senses. Listen and taste the relaxed atmosphere and join the club. 

The Blues Can is located in historic Inglewood, at 1429 9th Avenue SE. 

Sail On The Bow River In Calgary, Canada

Bow River In Calgary, Canada
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As we mentioned before, Calgary, Canada is at the confluence of two rivers. One of those is the Bow River, which you definitely must put on your things to see in Calgary list. 

The river has a length of more than 500 kilometers. If you would walk this distance by foot, it would take you 90+ hours to complete it with stops along the way—that is more than three days, almost four. 

The Bow River starts its course in the Rocky Mountains and it represents an important source for irrigation and drinking water in the country. 

It is an amazing and unique place to see. The fun part is that the locals frequently organize tours at the river, so why not join them? 

Backpackers from any place in the world experience it like this. It is an opportunity to learn more, not only about Canada’s natural life, but about how the Calgarians live. This way, you can also catch some tips about what to do next and maybe make some new friends at the same time. 

Calgary Canada Sports Hall Of Fame

Calgary Canada
Image by WikiCommons

Learning about a new culture can be fun. In Canada, sports are a big, important part of one’s life. When you are going to be there, going to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary will get you closer to the local traditions and history. 

Even if you are not a sports fan, you should list this location as one of the cool places to visit. It is not about practicing sports, but about learning as much as you can about the area you are visiting. 

The Sports Hall of Fame in Calgary, Canada even offers great ways for guests to try new sports, educational programs for children, and they support athletes by offering them awards for their activities. 

Check it out at 169 Canada Olympic Rd SW. General access costs 12 dollars for adults and 8 dollars for children.  

Have A Beer Taste At Big Rock Brewery

Big Rock Brewery In Canada
Image by Evan Dvorkin on Unsplash

After all this walking, meeting new people, and having amazing educational experiences, maybe it is time to take a break. What better place to do it in than a local brewery? 

The Big Rock Brewery is the place to go. They make, at their own brewery, tens of types of craft beers. They will even help you decide which one to pick based on your taste and offer you a chance to visit the place where everything is made. 

With a nice cold beer, it is only natural that you would want something to eat. No worries, they serve food too. You can find the Big Rock Brewery at 5555 76 AVE SE. 

Join The Calgary Canada Stampede Party 

Calgary Stampede Party
Image by Andy Holmes on Unsplash

The Calgary Stampede is informally known as the “greatest outdoor show on earth.” Right here is enough reason for backpackers traveling to Calgary, Canada to join it. 

First, you must start with a solid breakfast, which you can get all over the city. During the Stampede, some restaurants offer free pancakes. Need we say more? 

The Calgary Stampede features rodeo events, chuckwagon races, party tents with cowboys, a parade, and many, many more activities that you need to put on your things to do in Calgary list. 


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