Calgary Tourist Information and Tourism

(Calgary, Alberta - AB, Canada)

One of western Canada's biggest and youngest cities, Calgary lies in the south-central area of Alberta (AB) province. Calgary is close to the scenic Canadian Rockies and has grown around the fork of the Elbow and Bow Rivers. Following the oil boom in the 1970s, Calgary rapidly expanded and Calgary's downtown district features many stunning high-rise buildings and skyscrapers, together with over-street walkways and bridges which are known by locals in Calgary as the 'Plus 15' system.

Mainly flat and easy to travel around, the city of Calgary is split into four distinct areas, Calgary's northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast districts. Signposts and streets in Calgary are well organized and often refer to these parts of the city.

Calgary is home to a large university, sports venues, countless restaurants and an important business center. In 1988, Calgary was proud to host the Winter Olympic Games, when much of the city was renovated, redeveloped and modernized.

Home to a diverse selection of hotels, where to stay in Calgary depends upon your choice of attractions and activities. Hotels located in the heart of downtown Calgary, around the Eau Claire area and the city's Macleod Trail Strip are close to the best restaurants and entertainment venues. For a more peaceful area of Calgary, head to the city's outskirts, particularly around the Rocky Mountain Foothills and nearby Banff areas, where family-run bed and breakfasts provide the best value for money. Futher hotels in the Calgary area can be found close to the nearby Canada Olympic Park, and also around the Calgary International Airport (YYC), which stands on the northeastern side of the city. More information about Calgary Hotels.

Tourism is now a significant part of life in Calgary, with many businesses and hotels targeting the city's thriving tourism industry. The main tourist information center in the city is the Tourism Calgary office along 8th Avenue Southwest, which stocks city maps, walking-tour maps, brochures and general information about Calgary's top tourist attractions. Calgary Airport is also home to a number of useful tourist information booths, situated in both the arrivals and departures areas.

Calgary's main tourist attractions include the Olympic Plaza - the official spot where the medals were presented at Calgary's 1988 Olympic Games, featuring a large wading pool which is transformed into an ice skating rice during the winter; Calgary Tower - home to an observatory, planetarium, revolving restaurant and observation area, offering superb views across Calgary and beyond; Big Rock Brewery - the city's famous brewery, where tasting sessions and guided tours are available; and the Calgary Chinese Cultural Center - an eye-catching building situated in the center of Chinatown, containing the Hall of Prayers of the Temple of Heaven. More information about Calgary Tourist Attractions.

Some of Calgary's main museums and art galleries include the Art Gallery of Calgary - containing many impressive modern works and temporary exhibits, situated in Calgary's downtown district; the Calgary Science Center - providing fun for all ages, with a range of scientific information and general edutainment, featuring an indoor theater and Children's Discovery Center; Fort Calgary Historic Park - a historic fort dating back to 1875, with a visitors center and information about the native First Nations Indians; Glenbow Museum - housing a vast selection of local Calgary artifacts and information, together with other interesting exhibits and many seasonal events, displayed in over 20 galleries; and the Museum of the Regiments - known for being Western Canada's biggest military museum, with historic displays about Calgary-based regiments. More information about Calgary Museums and Art Galleries.

Tourist attractions located nearby Calgary include Banff townsite - a UNESCO World Heritage Site, standing on the northwestern side of Calgary, known for its superb skiing and magnificent scenery; the small city of Airdrie - just a short drive from Calgary, with outstanding golf resorts, walking trails and seasonal events; the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site - an authentic working cattle ranch offering guided tours and demonstrations, standing on the southern side of Calgary along Highway 22; and the Dinosaur Provincial Park - a World Heritage Site situated on the eastern side of Calgary, with many fossils and a host of information about the late Cretaceous period. More information about Calgary Attractions Nearby.

More Calgary Information / Fast Facts and Orientation