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11 Best Things To Do In Calgary In Summer (2023)

Calgary is the largest city in the province of Alberta and while many tourists flying into the city immediately head to the Canadian Rockies, this buzzing Canadian city has plenty to offer on its own!

From natural parks and outdoor activities to delicious restaurants and interesting museums, Calgary offers something for everyone.

So please spend a day in Calgary (or more!) before making your way to the famous National Parks of Banff and Jasper, you won't regret it.

Read about the best things to do in Calgary in summer and have fun planning your Calgary itinerary.

Things to do in Calgary in summer

Calgary skyline with Rocky Mountains

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). We're very grateful when you use our links to make a purchase:-).

This post is written by Mayuri, the creator behind Canada Crossroads and To Some Place New. She travels with her husband and lives in Western Canada.

As an Indian-Canadian traveler and a historian (by qualification), she loves to capture historical and cultural nuances from all over the world, especially Europe.

Planning a trip to Calgary: things to know before you go

Summer months in Calgary

Temperatures in Calgary in the summer range from 10°C to 23°C (the summer months are from June to mid-September). Rain is quite frequent during these months, though it rarely rains the entire day.


The official currency in Canada is the Canadian Dollar ($ or CAD). Here you can find the current exchange rates, at the time of writing €1 is approximately 1,50CAD and $1 is around 1,35CAD.

Travel visa

Travelers to Canada on a US passport staying for less than 180 days don't need visas.

European Union nationals are visa-exempt (for up to a six months stay), however, they do need to complete an Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA) online before boarding a flight to Canada.

Most other nationalities need to apply for a visitor visa from the country of residence prior to arriving in Canada. On the official Canada immigration website, you can easily check which visa criteria apply to you.

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How to get around Calgary?

Calgary Airport to downtown Calgary

From YYC Calgary International Airport, the easiest way to reach downtown Calgary is with the Calgary Airport Shuttle.

The shuttle leaves every 30 minutes from 8 am until midnight (seven days a week). To catch the shuttle, go to Bus Bay 8 on Arrivals Level 1.

Within Calgary city center

Being a metropolitan city, Calgary has a well-connected and reliable public transportation network, including buses and light rail trains.

There are multi-day and monthly passes available for those planning a longer trip to Calgary.

Downtown Calgary with beavertail food truck

Calgary accommodation: best Calgary hotels

In the table below you can find the best hotels in Calgary. Further down in the post, you can read more details about these hotels.

HI Calgary City Centre Hostel8.4/10US$147 / 189 CADClick here
Alt Hotel Calgary East Village☆☆☆9/10US$155 / 199 CADClick here
Residence Inn by Marriott☆☆☆9.1/10US$171 / 220 CADClick here
Hilton Garden Inn☆☆☆☆8.1/10US$180 / 232 CADClick here
The Fairmont Palliser☆☆☆☆8.4/10US$237 / 305 CADClick here
Hotel Le Germain Calgary☆☆☆☆☆9/10US$201 / 259 CADClick here

Note: Prices for these hotels depend on the time of year and how far in advance you book. Use ‘click here' to see the latest prices on Booking and book ahead to get the best deal.

Calgary summer activities: map

Click here for the interactive map

Calgary things to do in summer

  1. Wander around downtown Calgary
  2. Enjoy summer at the Stephen Avenue Walk
  3. Climb the Calgary Tower (click here to book your ticket)
  4. Bike or walk the Peace Bridge
  5. Admire the River Valley and embark on a RiverWalk
  6. Explore Fort Calgary Historic Site
  7. Visit Calgary Zoo
  8. Step into the past at the Calgary Heritage Park
  9. Enjoy summer drinks at World Bier Haus Restaurant
  10. Find your inner cowboy at the Calgary Stampede
  11. Enjoy nature in Fish Creek Provincial Park

Best summer activities in Calgary

1. Wander around downtown Calgary

Calgary office skyline

Calgary downtown is the delightful core and city center. From sky-rise buildings, state-of-art hotels, fancy restaurants, and museums to green spaces, this is the place to be during your summer trip to Calgary.

Here are some of the places you must stop by:

  • Glenbow Museum
  • Calgary Tower
  • Fairmont Palliser hotel
  • Eau Claire Park
  • Bow Building and the Wonderland sculpture
  • CORE Shopping center
Wonderland Sculpture in downtown Calgary

2. Enjoy summer at the Stephen Avenue Walk

With warm weather outside, there are tons of things to enjoy in the summer months in Calgary. The Stephen Avenue Walk is a pedestrian-only lane in Calgary downtown, lined with cafes, stores, and historical remnants.

Summer months also bring in local artisans and craftsmen to town, along with food festivals and live music!

This trendy part of town should definitely be on your summer itinerary for Calgary, regardless of which time of the day you choose to visit, there is always plenty to do.

3. Climb the Calgary Tower

Calgary Tower from below

Located in the heart of Calgary downtown is the iconic Calgary tower. It is a 190.8-meter freestanding observation tower with a glass floor…

Pose for Instagrammable photos or take in those amazing street views when standing on the glass floor (if you dare…).

Click here to book your ticket(s) to the Calgary Tower online.

Views from up there are gorgeous! You can get a bird’s eye view of several of the following popular attractions in Calgary:

  • Calgary Saddledome
  • South Saskatchewan River
  • Downtown skyscrapers
  • Bow Building and more

The Sky 360 restaurant located inside the Calgary Tower is a perfect place to celebrate your visit to the city (or an anniversary). You will also find a souvenir store on the ground floor of the Calgary tower.

4. Bike or walk the Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge in Calgary

The beautiful red and white Peace bridge is a Calgary must-do. This iconic bridge features in many Calgary pictures, however, it's actually a relatively new recent addition to Calgary's downtown core (it was finished in 2012).

The Peace Bridge was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is built over the Bow River. During the summer months, hop on a bike and enjoy the warm weather.

Not into biking? Take a walk, and make your way to Eau Claire Park and market from here.

5. Admire the River Valley and embark on a RiverWalk

Eau Claire Park Calgary

The RiverWalk is a stretch of the route that follows along the Bow River in downtown Calgary. During the Calgary summer, it is a perfect time to put on a pair of comfortable shoes and go for a stroll.

Along the RiverWalk, weekly events are organized, ranging from yoga classes, music fests, and fireworks (on Canada Day, which is July 1st). You will also find food vendors and restaurants along the way.

Some of the notable stops at the RiverWalk include St Patrick's Island, Eau Claire Market, Prince's Island Park, National Music Centre, and Chinatown, to name a few.

6. Explore Fort Calgary Historic Site

Located very close to downtown is Fort Calgary Park. This historic site features a wooden fort that was built in 1875 by the Northwest Mounted Police.

Plan to spend at least 2-3 hours here, to learn about Calgary’s history and to explore the various exhibits and rooms that display items from that period.

7. Visit Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the country. The zoo grounds are pretty spread out which allows animals to stay in a natural setting as much as possible.

There is a dino section inside the zoo, which showcases the evaluation and history of the dinosaurs. And with gorillas, lemurs, penguins, and leopard tortoises, visiting the Zoo is one of the best things for kids in Calgary, you can easily spend an entire day here.

The Zoo is easily accessible by Calgary Transit Center (public transportation) and there are tons of parking spaces available for visitors.

Calgary zoo has an ethical setup to ensure animals are taken good care of. Learn more about it here.

8. Step into the past at the Calgary Heritage Park historical village

Heritage Park Calgary

Another excellent Calgary summer attraction is Heritage Park where you can spend an entire summer day.

Heritage Park is a living museum, where you can step back in time and discover what Calgary was like from the 1860s through the 1950s.

Inside the park, you can hop on a steam train, visit beautifully preserved heritage buildings, and even take pictures with people from the past!

Yes, you can meet and greet people (employees and volunteers) who dress up in period costumes.

The Gasoline Alley Museum is a popular attraction inside the Calgary Heritage Park and is open all year round (you'll have to purchase a separate ticket for this museum).

It has a nice display of pre-1950s cars, automobile-related exhibits, old-timey gas pumps, and vintage signage.

>Buy a ticket for the Heritage Park
>Buy a ticket for the Gasoline Alley Museum

9. Enjoy summer drinks at World Bier Haus Restaurant

Summer in Calgary brings in the patio weather! As winter in Calgary is very cold, during summer locals love to hang out at outdoor cafes and patio dining restaurants.

Our top pick is the World Bier Haus Restaurant, spending a couple of hours here is definitely one of the fun things to do in Calgary at night.

Order a burger, pizza, or salad and enjoy one of the many varieties of beer that are on the menu. Eastside Village and Inglewood also have breweries and cocktail bars that are worth a visit in the evenings in the summer!

10. Visit the Calgary Stampede

Young cowgirl at Calgary Stampede

If you are lucky enough to travel to Calgary during the Calgary Stampede, this is the Calgary event of the year.

Also known as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, this 10-day event is when Calgarians let out their inner cowboy and cowgirl.

The aim of the Stampede is to preserve and celebrate the western heritage, culture, and community spirit of Calgary.

There are special family and kids events as well as many shows, both during the day as well as in the evening. Find all the information you need to plan your visit at the Calgary Stampede website.

11. Enjoy nature in Fish Creek Provincial Park

Fish Creek Provincial Park is an expansive urban provincial park in the southern part of Calgary. There are lots of activities to enjoy, such as hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.

There are also lots of great opportunities to spot wildlife, including deer, elk, and lots of birds. Additionally, the park is home to a wide variety of plants and flowers, making it a great place for nature lovers.

Finally, the park offers an array of educational programs, so you can learn more about its ecology and history. All in all, Fish Creek Provincial Park is a lovely place to spend a morning, afternoon or a full day!

The best day trips from Calgary

Calgary is the perfect base to explore more of Alberta, here are some excellent Calgary day trip ideas. Rent a car and make a road trip to one of the following destinations…

Banff National Park

Icefield Parkway Canadian Rocky Mountains

Located just an hour and a half from Calgary is the stunning Banff National Park. Spend an entire day or head there for the weekend.

The summer months are a great time to explore the outdoors and go hiking, camping, or canoeing in any of Banff’s pristine glacier lakes.

For a short Banff day trip, stick around Banff Avenue and take a gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.


Horsethief Canyon Drumheller

Located about an hour and a half from Calgary is the land of dinosaur trails and the world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum.

Drumheller is home to the largest dinosaur figure in the world, as well as a large collection of dinosaur fossils.

Beautiful Badlands Provincial Park is also located near the town of Drumheller and is a great place to enjoy day hikes or overnight camping from Calgary.


The capital city of Alberta, Edmonton, is 3 hours away from Calgary. Edmonton downtown and the river valley are not to be missed in summer.

Make time to visit the Ledge Grounds (Alberta Legislature Building) and enjoy a free tour of the building (on Thursdays). Don’t miss out on the quirky Strathcona neighborhood for dinner and drinks. You will find many Instagrammable walls and restaurants here!

Where to stay in Calgary

There are lots of accommodation options available in Calgary, suitable for any budget. Below are some of the best places to stay in Calgary.

Best hostel in Calgary

Best 3-star hotels in Calgary

Best 4-star hotels in Calgary

  • Hilton Garden Inn: a lovely 4-star hotel (pictured above) that is also very centrally located in downtown Calgary. With comfortable beds, coffee-making facilities in the room, and courteous staff you'll surely enjoy your stay here. Click here to book.
  • The Fairmont Palliser: with a large indoor pool and hot tub (see below), spa, fitness facilities, very comfortable beds, and beautifully decorated rooms the Fairmont Palliser is a wonderful place to stay during your winter Calgary trip. Click here to book.

Best 5-star hotel in Calgary

Where to eat in Calgary?


Try one of the excellent breakfast poutines at OEB Breakfast Co. Poutine is a typically Canadian dish you should taste at least once during your Canada trip.

A small warning: poutine is quite a heavy dish and may not be everyone's favorite food to start the day with.

Alternatively, grab a grilled cheese sandwich at Janice Beaton Fine Cheese & Grill or have breakfast at the 1886 Buffalo Cafe at Eau Claire.

For coffee and baked goods, visit Sidewalk Citizen Bakery in downtown Calgary.


A great spot for lunch is ZCREW Cafe where all ingredients are locally sourced. Try one of their Incredi-Bowls or one of their dishes with witty names like The Missing Link and Finding Nemo.

End your meal with a prettily decorated cappuccino and you are ready for another afternoon of fun things to do in Calgary.


One of the best things to eat in Calgary is Alberta steak. The cows are ethically-raised and the beef is 100% antibiotic-free.

Try Alberta steak at one of the restaurants downtown, good places are Caesar's Steak Restaurant & Lounge, Pampa’s, and Hy’s Steakhouse.

Alternatively, enjoy fine dining at the Fairmont Palliser Hotel restaurant, or Sky 360 (the restaurant at Calgary tower)

What to do in Calgary in the summer: in conclusion

I hope you will enjoy your trip, the city of Calgary is beautiful and won’t disappoint you! If you have any questions about this Calgary summer itinerary, leave a comment below or send me a message.

Visit my Canada page for more Canada travel inspiration!