Haven’t hit an ATM yet? No need to worry, there are lots of sites to see that are easy on the wallet all within a 15 minute walk from the Calgary Tower!
Exploring the streets in the downtown core is one of many ways to see downtown while remaining easy on your wallet!
STEPHEN AVENUE WALK
Take a stroll down Stephen Avenue Walk, a pedestrian walkway by day, and home to many sandstone buildings with rich history, unique public art displays, gardens and parks. While you’re walking along Stephen, take a glimpse at the grates surrounding the trees. You’ll find there are portraits of people painted on them. Known as the “Stephen Avenue Walk of Fame”, Downtown Calgary Association implemented this creation to curb littering in these grates by painting the portraits of influential Calgarians’ on them.
You can also make your way through Chinatown and explore the different cultural spots. If you walk over to the Chinese Cultural Centre, a replica of the Temple of Heaven, you are able to access the building at no cost and explore the traditional architecture and décor.
Be sure to check out surrounding parks nearby and pathways along the river!
CENTRAL MEMORIAL PARK
Central Memorial Park is located in the heart of beltline, is a great place to spend some time during a sunny day. Here, you’ll find a number of memorial elements and statues recognizing WW1 and the second Boer War. It is Calgary’s oldest park, and also Alberta’s oldest library. Definitely worth a visit!
The Olympic Plaza located at the east end of Stephen Avenue Walk is another great park with some historical elements to it. Originally built for Calgary’s 1988 Winter Olympics to hold the medal ceremonies, today, the park is a gathering place for families, locals and visitors and host to numerous festivals and events. Take a look at the bricks you are walking on in the plaza, these bricks were sold to locals in honor of the Olympics, where they could write names or messages.
Interested in some great views? Let the pathways along the bow river lead you through some with interesting public art, green space, and architecture. From Centre Street, if you take the pathway leading west you’ll discover Princes Island Park and the notable Peace Bridge crossing the river. Looking for a great view? Across from Princes Island Park on the north side of the river, you’ll find a set what looks like pretty daunting wooden stairs. They’re not so bad! From the viewing platform at the top, you’ll experience one of the most spectacular views of the downtown skyline.
CALGARY FOOD TRUCKS & VENDORS
Calgary Food Trucks/Vendors are a personal favourite!
Hungry yet? Make a point to look for one of Calgary’s street food vendors or food trucks that often frequent the downtown core’s streets, outdoor parks and pathways, offering great cheap eats on the streets!
DOWNTOWN CALGARY ART
Explore downtown Calgary’s art scene!
Walking through the streets downtown, you’ll find all sorts of outdoor art displays and sculptures. Some notable pieces nearby include the ‘Women are Persons!’ statue of the famous five at Olympic Plaza, and the ‘Conversation’ location on Stephen Avenue. Want to see more? Come to the visitor information Centre to pick up a public art tour guide and explore!
There are also a number of public art galleries near by. Contemporary Calgary is a popular spot within the downtown core, with exhibits on Stephen Avenue and in the Municipal Building. Up for a bit of a walk? You can also head east down 9th Avenue into Inglewood for the contemporary exhibits at the Esker Foundation. Be sure to check the operating hours of these galleries before you visit!
C-TRAIN FREE-FARE ZONE
Looking to get from one part of downtown to the other? Remember the C-Train is free to take along 7th Avenue between City Hall and Downtown West Kerby Stations in the downtown core.
GRAIN ACADEMY & MUSEUM
The Grain Academy & Museum is a hidden little gem where you can go to learn about the grain handling system, storage and transportation industries in Calgary and Alberta! Conveniently situated in the BMO Centre on the Stampede Grounds, this museum is admission by donation and has some fantastic displays for all ages! Be sure to pick up a Stampede Art Walk brochure from the Visitor Information Centre, and take a self-guided art walk of the stampede grounds while you’re there!