One Day in Calgary: The Best Calgary Itinerary

Let’s go to one of the coldest places in Canada! Calgary, here we come. Ok, I’m joking, not the coldest. Calgary is gorgeous year round and should definitely be on your travel bucket list!

I’ve been to Calgary a number of times in my life as I have family out there and work conferences hosted there. I took all that I know and created this one day in Calgary itinerary for you to get the best out of this Alberta city.

I understand that a single day is just a small understanding of a destination, however, I made sure to highlight the must see things to do in Calgary, designed to make the most of every moment here!

Let’s dive into Calgary!

Some links in this Calgary in one day post are affiliate, if you click on them I may get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Wonderland Sculpture, Calgary
Wonderland Sculpture

1 Day in Calgary Map

How many days in Calgary, Alberta

Recommended length of stay in Calgary downtown: 1-2 days

My recent stays in Calgary: 1 day (as a stepping stone to visiting Banff), and a separate trip I spent 4 days in Calgary!

Getting Around Calgary

I recommend walking and/or taking transit to see the Calgary tourist attractions. Calgary is a walkable city, and enjoyable if you have nice weather!

I spent a full day walking around Calgary in -2˚C weather (28.4°F), and had a pleasant time walking in and out of shops and restaurants. I am from Toronto, so I can handle a little cold, haha.

Don’t let the colder weather freak you out.. just ensure you dress appropriately!

However, if you are using Calgary as a stepping stone to Banff or further on for a trip to Jasper, a rental car is a great choice to pick up whilst in Calgary, as there are many more options and cars available.

Check out Rental Cars for some deals.

Where to Stay in Calgary

If spending a day in Calgary, I recommend staying in the downtown core to be able to explore as much as possible.

Click here for Calgary Vacation Rentals.

Click here for Calgary Airbnb.

Luxury Calgary Hotels

For when you want to splurge a little:

Hotel Fairmont Palliser 

This historic luxury hotel in Calgary, Alberta has some of the richest history. Guests who have stayed at this iconic landmark include royalty, political figures and A-list celebrities. 

The hotel itself is considered a Canadian historical site, due to it’s ties to Canadian culture and architectural beauty. Featured in films, literature and documentaries, it is a large part of Calgary’s identity. 

Hotel Fairmont Palliser’s location is conveniently in the heart of downtown Calgary, offering ease and efficiency in your travels.

This hotel is best for: travellers who crave some pampering and luxury amenities.

Click here for prices & booking information for Hotel Fairmont Palliser.

Le Germain Hotel Calgary

Le Germain Hotel Calgary is a luxury boutique hotel located in downtown Calgary. The hotel is modern and sophisticated with comfortable accommodations and suites. 

Charcut Roast House restaurant is located within the doors of Le Germain Hotel Calgary, offering local cuisine to indulge in for your Calgary 1 day itinerary. 

This hotel is best for: travellers with pets, this hotel welcomes pets and includes pet friendly amenities!

Check their booking and price information here!

Hyatt Regency Calgary

Another gorgeous hotel in the heart of downtown Calgary! Hyatt Regency Calgary is more affordable than the above mentioned hotels, however, still holds the standards of luxury.

I recently stayed here and truly had the best time! The location was perfect for having a full walking day downtown.

This hotel is best for: travellers who want to walk the city and hit up all of the tourist hot spots!

Click here for Hyatt Regency Calgary’s prices & booking!

Mid-range Calgary Hotels

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites Calgary West

For a comfortable stay in Calgary at a great price, check out Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites. 

The hotel features suites with living rooms, kitchenettes and extra features, making this convenient spot if travelling with children or wanting to cook your own meals. 

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites Calgary West offers a pool and dining space.

This hotel is best forfamilies who would like more space (living rooms & kitchenettes available)

Click here for prices & booking Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Suites Calgary West!

The Westley Calgary Downtown

The Westley Calgary Downtown is a gorgeous and modern new boutique hotel in downtown Calgary, close to the Bow River.

Have a drink at the bar after a long day of sightseeing or head to the fitness centre for more activity! This hotel is pet friendly making it a great spot for those travelling with animals.

This hotel is best for: those who love a modern and clean boutique hotel, OR travelling with pets

Check here for prices & booking at The Westley Calgary Downtown.

Budget friendly Calgary Hotels & Calgary Hostels

There is nothing less than $100 CAD per night in the downtown core, unless you luck out with a deal. You will have to go further out/closer to the airport. 

Some options include:

One Day in Calgary Itinerary

1 day, 2 nights

You can easily split this itinerary up into a 2 day Calgary itinerary!

There are so many things to do in Calgary downtown, you will not have trouble filling up your time!

DAY 0: Arrive in Calgary

Travel day

Arrive in Calgary in the evening or night and head to your accommodations and get some rest for a busy day in the morning!

  • Uber (about $30.00 from YYC airport to the downtown core).
  • Taxi ($40.00-$50.00 from YYC airport to downtown core).
  • Rental car

DAY 1: Full Day in Calgary

1. Breakfast: Cafe or Restaurant

Start your day with some delicious coffee, or don’t, but I don’t know how to live without it, so here are my recommendations for breakfast.

I have a detailed list on the best places to eat in Calgary, you don’t want to miss it.


Head out for the morning!

2. The Bow & The Wonderland Sculpture

Wonderland Sculpture, Calgary
Wonderland Sculpture

While making your way over to Prince’s Island Park, I highly recommend passing by the mesmerizing Wonderland Sculpture.

It is located in front of The Bow, which is a gorgeous skyscraper in Calgary.

You can walk into the sculpture itself from the side (I didn’t even realize this while I was standing there, go there for me and report back lol).

3. Prince’s Island Park

Prince's Island Park, Calgary
Prince’s Island Park

With a full stomach of breakfast and caffeine head over to beautiful Prince’s Island Park.

In the warmer months, the greenery and walking paths are beautiful. The winter months, (usually snowy), travellers and locals can enjoy skating on the lagoon.

Spend however little or long you would like in the park!

4. Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge, Prince's Island Park, Calgary
Peace Bridge

Close by to Prince’s Island Park is the aesthetically pleasing Peace Bridge. It is also a pedestrian bridge so you can use it to cross the Bow River.

It adds a cool modern flair to the park around it.

5. Café Break

Alforno Bakery and Cafe, Clagary
Alforno Bakery & Cafe

Head to a coffee shop for a break from the cold and to relax from the steps you’ve taken!

Alforno Cafe & Bakery is close to the Peace Bridge.

Sit down and enjoy a coffee & pastry inside or take something to go!

6. Shopping on 17th Ave SW

Head over to 17th Ave SW for some shopping!

There are MANY shops on this street to enjoy. They also have tons of restaurants to check out while you are there.

My top three shops I visited were:

Reid’s Stationers

  • This store is so FUN. It has everything you can think of; games, socks, mugs, candles, stationary, gift ideas, embroidery kits, I can keep going.
  • Go check it out for yourself. I had so much fun in there!
  • I bought my white elephant Christmas gift in there last year.

Beyond Scarf

  • Beyond Scarf sells high quality scarves, purses/wallets from Italian designers and gorgeous jewelry and accessories.
  • This store was super chic, although I did not purchase anything, I would definitely return and hope to buy something next time!


  • The most stunning jewelry store. I was shopping around in early November and it was beautifully decorated for the Christmas season.
Rubaiyat, Calgary

It gave me such a happy feeling stepping into this store. The items were on the expensive side, and I could not afford most things, but I would definitely return!

7. Lunch

I am sure you’ve worked up quite an appetite by now! It is time for some lunch. Below are some recommendations that I have enjoyed. Be sure to check out my Calgary food blog as well!

  • Ten Foot Henry ($$-$$$): 1209 1 St. SW. One of the best restaurants I have eaten at. HONESTLY, so delicious.
  • National on 10th ($$): 341 10th Ave SW. They have 4 locations. The one on 10th also has a bowling alley. It is a great spot for beer lovers & pub food. I recommend the crispy chicken sandwich.

8. Go up the Calgary Tower

Check out the Calgary Tower at 101 9 Ave SW, which was built as a celebration for Canada’s 100th Birthday! HBD Canada lol.

The glass floor is super cool and a little scary if I am being honest. 

Make SURE to purchase tickets ahead of time, they charge more if you purchase on site!

Calgary Tower is easily one of the most popular things to do in Calgary Canada.

views from calgary tower, a must for one day in calgary
Calgary Tower views
Calgary Tower glass floor
Glass Floor at Calgary Tower

Buy tickets online here, (cheaper online), or walk-in tickets.

Online ticket prices:

  • General Admission (13-64 years): $19.00 CAD (in person is $22.00)
  • Seniors (65+): $17.00 CAD
  • Children (13 years and under): $9.00 CAD

Prices updated May 2024.

You can dine inside the Calgary Tower as well.

There are two restaurants. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, on the second floor of the building and Sky 360 Restaurant & Lounge.

If you make reservations at Sky 360 you can go up the Calgary Tower for free. This restaurant is revolving and moves once an hour.

9. Stephen Avenue Walk

Majority of my time was spent on Stephen Avenue Walk, as it was right next to the Hyatt Regency. I went to many of the bars, restaurants and shops on this street.

You will get lost (not literally, it’s one street), spending time here. As you can see, I went from daylight to night on this street.

This area was one of my favourite in downtown Calgary and it has such a fun vibe. I loved the Christmas decorations lighting up the street, it was so festive & sweet.

Stephen Ave Walk, Calgary
Stephen Ave Walk during the day
Stephen Ave Walk, Calgary
Stephen Avenue Walk during the night

10. Dinner & Drinks

You have many options for dining in Calgary. It is home to MANY restaurants that belong on Canada’s 100 Best list. Here are my recommendations:

  • Shokunin ($$-$$$): 2016 4 St. SW. This Japanese restaurant was probably one of the greatest culinary experiences of my life.
  • Ship & Anchor Pub ($): 534 17 Ave SW. Visited this bar on a Friday night and it was bumpin’!! Super busy, cheap drinks, good pub food (when you need it). It was a great time.
  • Bear & Kilt Freehouse ($): 110 8 Ave SW. Classic basement pub with cheap food/drinks and bar games (pool, darts, etc.)
  • Any of the above mentioned restaurants/bars from lunch!


Calgary at sunrise
Views from Hyatt Regency Calgary

More Time in Calgary

Glenbow Museum

Glenbow Museum is currently under renovations. However, they are hosting exhibits at The Edison, 150 9 Ave. SW. You can reserve a ticket for their exhibits online here. 

They are currently free, however reserved spot is needed.

Take a bus tour & visit Gasoline Alley Museum

Hop on a bus and visit Calgary’s best sites by bus on this guided tour. If taking a bus and having a guided tour is more your vibe then this is a great choice.

An added bonus to this tour is entry into Gasoline Alley Museum.

Inglewood Neighbourhood

This is Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood. It is so sweet! I love Inglewood for their cute little shops.

My top shops:

  • Silk Road Spice Merchant: 1419 9 Ave SE. I am obsessed with their everything spice blend (similar to everything bagel spice), I put it on my eggs daily.
  • The Apothecary in Inglewood: 921 9 Ave SE. Shop here for essential oils, bulk style herbs (think bulk barn for herbs), skin care and so much more!

Busy? Pin the Calgary Itinerary for later!

Need help with personal travel planning?

I create custom itineraries and activity guides starting at $25.00 CAD per day!

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Final Thoughts on Calgary in a Day

One day in Calgary is always a great time. Although your time may be short, Calgary is a great place for a short visit and a stepping stone for the beautiful mountain towns of Banff & Jasper.

Embrace the adventure, soak up the atmosphere and treasure these memories in Calgary!

Don’t miss out on a few days in Banff National Park after your time in Calgary, it is well worth a visit!

I even recommend driving from Banff to Jasper for more beautiful mountain views!

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