At the end of our Canadian road trip, we had two nights in the lovely city of Calgary.
It ended up providing us with some of the highlights of our trip and is definitely worth a visit!
It is the perfect place to either start or end an adventure through the Rocky Mountains. (I’m currently working on a huge post outlining the ultimate Rocky Mountain experience so keep an eye out!)
We had 48 hours in this cool city, read on to find out what you can experience whilst you’re there.
WHAT TO DO:
- $18 dollars per adult for amazing 360 views of the City
- A glass floor, if you’re brave enough!
- Free audio guide with hundreds of cool facts. For example:
- Calgary has the largest expanse of walkways in North America. The city has 16km of walkways which take you from building to building so you don’t have to venture outside in their sub-zero winter! Cool huh?!
- Open late so why not go up at sunset so you get to see the city from a height at both day and night.
8TH AVE SHOPPING & DEVONIAN GARDENS
- 8th Avenue and its vicinity is full of lovely restaurants, and home to the CORE shopping centre.
- Devonian Gardens is on the 4th floor of CORE. It is an indoor botanical garden featuring lots of real plant/flower walls, a play area, ponds and fountains. A great place to relax with a coffee for a chat and to rest your legs after shopping. There are over 500 trees in there too!
- They have pandas.
- THEY HAVE PANDAS.
- Seriously, go and see the pandas they are the cutest thing you will ever see. They are now my favourite animal, although I still couldn’t quite believe they were real, I swear they were men in suits haha!
- Entry is $34.95 per adult
- We took the tram from 7th Avenue 3rd Street SW Station and a return ticket was $6.60 each. We couldn’t work the machine so we bought tickets from the supermarket right next to the tram stop.
- Caesar’s Steak House – one of the best steak dinners we have ever had! Not cheap but worth it for the quality food and service. All steaks/main course prices include soup, bread and salad too.
- The Guild – lovely restaurant with a good menu and a cool interior. Try the Wild Rose cocktail if you like prosecco/gin!
PEACE BRIDGE AND PRINCE’S ISLAND PARK
- The Peace Bridge is a cleverly designed/unusual brige which takes you across the Bow River. It was first opened in 2012.
- Prince’s Island Park is a beautifully manicured park in Downtown Calgary. It is a great location for a stroll/a picnic/people-watching/flower admiring. There are also 10000000000 million geese so watch out!
- The park also hosts lots of events and festivals, so do some research to see if anything is on whilst you’re in the area.
- This landmark was on our list to visit and we came across it by accident on our way to the Calgary Tower.
- An impressive sculpture that is worth a look and a photo.
- (It doesn’t usually have the yellow barriers there, they were doing construction on the building)
WHERE TO STAY:
I cannot recommend The Westin Hotel enough. From the moment we arrived we were treated like royalty! We had a gorgeous room on the 15th floor with a balcony looking over downtown.
After 2 weeks of exploring/hiking/canoeing/walking/sight-seeing, the fact the Westin has a strong focus on wellness was perfect for us. They provide you with gorgeous smelling toiletries, sleep spray for your pillow and even have a special ‘superfood’ in-room dining menu. After an abundance of ‘beige food’ to fuel us for hikes in the mountains we definitely took advantage of the health-foods at the Westin, starting with this gorgeous breakfast spread!
We also chose to forego housekeeping whilst we were there. They left us a card which informed us that by doing so we saved:
- 37.2 gallons of water
- 0.19kWh of electricity
- 25,000 BTU of natural gas
- 7 oz. of cleaning product chemicals
Throughout our trip we noticed just how much more environmentally conscious Canada is than the UK and it was really impressive.
Other benefits of staying here:
- Self/valet parking was great as we didn’t have to trawl the city looking for a car park (driving in foreign cities is SO stressful! And I was only the passenger…)
- They are pet friendly! We noticed this with quite a few hotels in Canada whilst planning the trip. Therefore, even if you don’t have a pet with you, your chances of meeting a cute pup are 100% increased = winning.
- A great pool and fitness centre – and if you have forgotten your workout gear you can rent top brand fitness clothes from the hotel for cheap $$.
- Location – the hotel is right in the middle of town. You are less than 10 minutes’ walk from The Calgary Tower, the tram stop (for the zoo), 8th Avenue shopping centre, hundreds of restaurants and Prince’s Island Park/The Bow River.
Our 2 night stay in Calgary was the perfect end to one of our favourite trips ever!
Check out my YouTube video highlighting the best bits of our trip!:
Any questions? Write them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!
You may also be interested in my other destination guides:
- Cyprus: An Island Guide
- The Perfect Weekend in Venice
- Carcassonne, France: A Fairytale Weekend
- A Weekend of Waterfalls: Yorkshire, UK
- Sri Lanka: Climbing Sigiriya Rock
- Luxury in Singapore