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Blick auf die Skyline von Calgary, Bild: TRphotos / shutterstock

Calgary – Canada’s first Olympic city

Founded in 1875, the Canadian city of Calgary is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. This metropolis is not far from some of the country’s most beautiful national parks and is a great starting point for unforgettable excursions.

Canada’s first Olympic city is located on the plain, but only 90 minutes away by car in the west rise the impressive Rocky Mountains. Pure nature is also the order of the day in the center of Calgary, where hiking trails and rivers make their way through the metropolis.

Around Calgary

Calgary has a number of interesting sights, excellent shopping, and a vibrant arts scene. With around 1.24 million inhabitants, Calgary is the fourth largest city in Canada and the largest metropolis in the western Canadian province of Alberta.

Stay at a ranch on the outskirts of town and visit the famous annual Calgary Stampede rodeo festival. You can study Canada’s pioneering history at the Heritage Park Historical Village, and the Glenbow Museum gives a good insight into the history of the Canadian West, from the “First Nations” to the present day.

Where is Calgary?

Wonderland Sculpture, Calgary
The Wonderland sculpture, Image: Jay Yuan / shutterstock

The multicultural city is located in the estuary of the Elbow River, which flows into the Bow River. In the province of Calgary are the two Indian reservations Tsuu T’ina and Eden Valley 216.

  • Ideal starting point
    Canada’s fourth-largest city serves as the perfect starting point for many tourists for an unforgettable road trip to the Rocky Mountains. Whether it’s summer or winter, tourists love the route from Calgary via Banff, Jasper , and the drive along the Icefields Parkway. Calgary is also an excellent starting point for trips to the Northwest Territories or the Yukon.
  • Multicultural
    More than 120 different languages are spoken in the multicultural city.
  • 17th Avenue
    International Avenue runs from 26th to 61st Street and is known as a multicultural street. Here tourists will find restaurants from all over the world, markets and numerous shops.

Attractions in Calgary

Calgary Tower

The 191-meter-high tower is the highest observation deck in western Canada. The highlight of the Calgary Tower is the glass floor, through which tourists can look down. Adults pay about 12 euros for the ticket. The Calgary Tower, which is well worth seeing, is open every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. from June to August.

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Heritage Park Historical Village

The living museum of the metropolis is one of the most visited attractions. This 51-acre park brings Western Canadian history between the 1860s and the 1950s to life. Visitors can still admire original buildings, artefacts, costumes steeped in history, historic machines and equipment as well as vehicles of the time.

In four sections, life around 1880, the history of the Hudson Bay Company as well as the history of the settlers are shown.

On a trip to the good old days, visitors get to know replicas and originals of paddle steamers and trams and they can take a look at the traditional blacksmiths, bakeries and shops.

Gasoline Alley Museum

For car fans, a visit to the Gasoline Alley Museum is a must. The museum, which is open all year round, inspires with numerous vehicles steeped in history.

Glenbow Museum

Calgary Tower
The Calgary Tower, Image: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock

On 8600 square meters, visitors get to know the history of Western Canada as well as the history of Alberta and Calgary. There are more than one million exhibits on display. The Glenbow Museum provides an insight into the interesting cultural history of the First Nation and the lives of Alberta’s settlers.

Other attractions are the art collection with more than 28000 works of art and the library, which houses over 10,000 media.

Military Museum

This new facility houses not only the Museum of the Regiments, but also the Naval Museum of Alberto and an Air Force department.

Calgary Zoo

A worthwhile destination for animal lovers and families is the Calgary Zoo with its 119 different animal species and over 1000 animals. Animal lovers not only get to know the Canadian wilderness here, but also the prehistoric park.

National Music Centre

The music center of Bell Studio is housed in an architecturally successful building. Musicians and music lovers can admire the collection of over 2000 rare historical musical instruments. To ensure that boredom does not arise, live performance experiences, interactive educational programs and interesting exhibitions provide variety.

Calgary Farmers’ Market

The farmer’s market is a popular meeting place for locals and tourists who want to buy products and goods from the surrounding area. Visitors can buy meat, fish, dairy products, spices, snacks, alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea here.
Craftsmen exhibit their works of art and the round market hustle and bustle is rounded off with a rich assortment of clothing.

Calgary Stampede

If you travel to Calgary in July, you should pay a visit to the annual Stampede. This event lasts ten days and is the world’s largest rodeo event and exhibition of agricultural products. This event attracts more than a million visitors each year and is accompanied by rodeo events, covered wagon races and music.

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Highlights around Calgary

1. Banff National Park

Banff National Park
Lake Moraine in Banff National Park, Image: treisdorfphoto / shutterstock

Banff is about an hour and a half drive from Calgary and is one of the most famous national parks in Canada. Visitors can explore the stunning mountain landscapes, crystal clear lakes, and diverse wildlife. There are numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as winter sports opportunities in the ski resorts around Banff and Lake Louise.

2. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is famous for its bright turquoise waters and picturesque mountain backdrops. It is an ideal place for hiking, canoeing and ice skating, depending on the season. The views from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise are particularly spectacular.

3. Kananaskis Country

This recreation area offers a quieter alternative to the often crowded places in Banff. Kananaskis includes several provincial parks and offers excellent hiking, biking, horseback riding, and skiing. The scenery here is just as impressive as in the more well-known parks.

4. Drumheller

About 90 minutes east of Calgary is Drumheller, known as the dinosaur capital of the world. Visitors can tour the Royal Tyrrell Museum, one of the leading paleontological research centres. The surrounding Badlands offer unique hiking opportunities and stunning photo spots.

5. Canmore

Canmore is a charming mountain village located just minutes from Banff. It is known for its relaxed atmosphere and serves as a base for numerous outdoor activities. The proximity to several ski resorts and hiking trails makes it a popular destination all year round.

6. Columbia Icefield

Located on the Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper, the Columbia Icefield offers adventures like riding the Ice Explorer on the Athabasca Glacier. Visitors can also enjoy the views on the spectacular Skywalk platform that hovers over the Sunwapta Valley.

Sports venues of the Olympic Games

Calgary Peace Bridge
Calgary Peace Bridge Image: Timothy Yue / shutterstock

Sports fans can visit the sports facilities of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Calgary Olympic Park highlights include the fastest zipline in North America, the ski jump and a breakneck bobsleigh ride on the ice track.

A special highlight: Ice hockey game of the Calgary Flames
If you travel to Calgary in winter, you should not miss the legendary home games of the NHL team Calgary Flames .

Weather and climate in Calgary

No other city in Canada can boast as many hours of sunshine as Calgary, with over 2,400 hours of sunshine. In contrast, Freiburg has only 1,740 hours of sun per year.

The climate is similar to that in Germany, but it is drier and colder. From December to March, temperatures rarely exceed freezing. In winter, frosty temperatures often prevail in the double-digit minus range.

A foehn wind coming from the Rocky Mountains can also cause temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius in winter.

The first snowstorms can occur from September.

From June to August, temperatures often exceed 20 degrees during the day, but the nights are much cooler. The summers are very rainy, but the amount of precipitation is much lower than in Germany.

How to get there

Calgary International Airport is served by major airlines and charter lines.