Nothing beats the excitement of exploring the bright lights and nightlife of Canada’s buzzing cities. As one of Alberta’s largest cities, Calgary has plenty to offer on your holiday in Canada when the sun goes down.
An urban gateway to the stunning Canadian Rockies and home to world-renowned events such as the Calgary Stampede, the city is the perfect starting point for your big adventure in Canada. Its airport serves as the perfect hub, so make the most of cheap flights to Calgary from many major cities in the UK.
Our new Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise tour kicks off with a night’s stay in Calgary before you depart on your train adventure through the Canadian Rockies and onwards to cruise the North Pacific Ocean. To make sure your short introduction to Calgary is sweet, here’s our pick of the best evening activities in one of Alberta’s leading cities.
Night-time views from Calgary Tower
There’s no better introduction to the city than the panoramic views that await those brave enough to venture all the way up to the top of the Calgary Tower. Sitting at 191 metres above the Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary, the Tower’s partially glass-bottomed observation deck is open every day from early morning until 10pm throughout the summer. It is the perfect way to spot other iconic buildings such as the Scotiabank Saddledome arena, so named for its shape and as a nod to Alberta’s rodeo roots.
Whether you’re celebrating a special anniversary or simply keeping an eye out for the best views, Calgary Tower’s revolving restaurant SKY 360 is the ideal place to mark the start of your Canadian holiday and see the city’s twinkling nightlights.
Enjoy a stroll around the city
Acquaint yourself with the city by taking a walk along Calgary’s newly developed East Village. Join local residents on this area’s popular RiverWalk, a scenic open space that attracts pedestrians, cyclists and joggers to its 2km of riverfront pathways on the Bow River. Remember to stop and take in the colourful Albertan sunset over Calgary’s waters.
Alternatively, you could visit the Peace Bridge, which connects downtown Calgary with the southern Bow River pathway. Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, the unusual and intricate bridge spans 130 metres and lights up in the evening to guide pedestrians across. Other notable architecture in the city includes the castle-like Mewata Armouries and The Bow skyscraper – both worth a detour if you’re exploring the city on foot.
Popular evening activities
Be inspired by the local nightlife and head to one of Calgary’s many lively bars. Ranchman’s offers everything you might expect from a cowboy saloon – cool beer and hot steaks on the menu, as well as live bands every Thursday to Saturday and the bar’s dancehall even offers lessons so you could learn how to dance to the upbeat American country music. If you’re feeling particularly brave, why not start your rodeo career ahead of this year’s Calgary Stampede on Ranchman’s mechanical bull?!
Likewise, The Palomino offers up crowd-pleasing honky tonk tunes alongside a delectable selection of Southern style dishes – you have to try the Albertan BBQ smoked beef, it’s obligatory while in the province!
If a crowded bar isn’t so much your thing, a romantic evening trip out on Calgary’s waters provides a an opportunity to visit the Heritage Park Historical Village after hours and experience a part of the city’s past aboard the timeless S.S.Moyie Paddlewheeler. This two-hour scenic Captain’s Cruise from the Glenmore Reservoir, runs from 6.30 pm until 8.30 pm and will also give you your first glimpse of the spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains before you depart on your Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise.
Image Credit: abdallahh (flickr.com), Chronus, Ryan Quan, BriYYZ (wikimedia.org)