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Ultimate Guide to the 10 Best Tours of Calgary

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Welcome to the heart of Western Canada, where the busy energy of the city and the beauty of nature blend together perfectly. When you start The Ultimate Guide to the 10 Best Tours of Calgary, you’ll go on a carefully planned trip showing you hidden gems and famous sites. Calgary has a lot to offer thrill-seekers, history buffs, and people who want to learn about the culture of the area. Get ready to explore the many things this fascinating city has to offer and find the must-see top tours in and around Calgary that will leave you with lasting memories.

10 best tours of Calgary and its surroundings

1. Walking Tour in Calgary for lovers: 2 hours (approx.)

A young couple enjoying tours of Calgary.

Are you prepared to discover the romantic side of Calgary? Accompanied by an experienced local guide, you will leisurely wander through the city center. You will be captivated by breathtaking vistas and enchanting streets. Additionally, you will explore fashionable neighborhoods and observe notable landmarks, such as the World’s Tallest Mural. Furthermore, you will have the chance to relax in Central Memorial Park and savor intimate moments with your loved one. This tour offers an ideal opportunity to spend a day filled with romance in Calgary! 

Meeting point 

Meeting point World’s Tallest Mural 105 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0B8, Canada Open in Google Maps Meet the guide in front of the mural. 

Endpoint 

Central Memorial Park 1221 2 St SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0W5, Canada Open in Google Maps The tour will be at the Central Memorial Park.

You’re expected to visit the following attractions:

1. The world’s tallest mural: A beautiful, bright piece of art that makes a great backdrop for photos. 

2. The Calgary Tower: A tall building with an observation deck on top that gives amazing views of the city. 

3. Downtown Calgary: A lively area with always busy streets and places great for a date. 

4. Central Memorial Park: A quiet green spot with beautiful gardens and an impressive pond.

2. Spooky “Side” of Calgary Tour: 3 hours (approx.)

A group of people on motorcycles taking tours of Calgary.

Experience a unique and exclusive ghost tour of Calgary designed specifically for adults. This thrilling adventure takes you through the city’s historic areas, including Fort Calgary, Inglewood, and Scotsman’s Hill. Throughout this Calgary tour, you’ll be captivated by spooky tales of infamous Calgary residents, haunted locations, and the city’s dark history. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy non-alcoholic refreshments or indulge in an alcoholic beverage at your own expense in some of Calgary’s historic pubs. 

Embark on this entertaining and unconventional night out in Calgary with a ghost tour by sidecar, where you’ll gain insights into the lesser-known aspects of the city’s past. 

Explore landmarks such as Fort Calgary, Inglewood, and Calgary Tower, and make the most of breaks for bathroom visits and beverages in atmospheric old pubs.

Departing point 

Calgary Tower 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary. Lobby of Calgary Tower. Start time 07:30 PM. Tours leave from the base of the tower.

Endpoint 

This activity ends at the meeting point.

What To Expect in this Tour

1. Fort Calgary: Visit the fort grounds and hear stories about its darker days. 15 minutes

2. Inglewood (Pass By) Roll through Calgary’s downtown first, and learn all about the spirits that inhabit this location 

3. Calgary Stampede (Pass By) Visit Scotsman’s Hill, overlooking the Calgary Stampede grounds 

4. Calgary Cemetary Hill: Learn all about the notorious and infamous bad guys buried there.

5. 2437 4 St SW May stop for a refreshment and bathroom break as needed in the Mission area (formerly Rouleauville) of Calgary. 

6. Calgary (Pass By) Drive by the famous Rose and Crown pub that was once a funeral home. 

7. Lougheed House Learn about this famous family and its original home.

8. Calgary Tower. 

3. Walking private tour of Calgary – 2 hours (approx.)

An indoor garden in Calgary offering tours, featuring a fountain and various plants.

There’s a certain charm to exploring a city on foot, and embarking on a 2-Hour Private Walking Tour might just be the best way to experience Calgary. Walking allows you to immerse yourself in the city’s rhythm, getting up close and personal with its architectural wonders, historic nooks, and vibrant street life. As you stroll through its streets and lanes, guided by a knowledgeable local, you’ll gain insights into Calgary’s rich history and cultural tapestry that most tourists might miss.

Beyond the landmarks, the beauty of this walking tour lies in the nuances you’ll encounter. From the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting from a corner café to the murmur of locals discussing their day, every detail adds depth to your journey. As you see the city from this intimate vantage point, you’ll appreciate Calgary for its major attractions and hidden gems and stories waiting to be discovered around every bend.

Meeting point 

Calgary Tower. 101 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 1J9. The tour departs from outside Calgary Tower.

Endpoint 

This activity ends at the meeting point.

Places to visit on this tour:

1. Calgary Tower: The tour starts with introductions and expectations. After that, your guide will reveal the history of Calgary Tower and its relevance to the area. 

2. Stephen Avenue Walk: You’ll walk down the beautiful, picturesque street of Stephen Avenue and share the history of how this historic avenue came to be. 

3. St. Louis Hotel: The St. Louis Hotel is not only a beautiful thing to look at, but it’s also been in some of your favorite movies and was a local hangout of a controversial politician. 

4. Calgary Central Library: The architecture of this building will blow you and your guests away. It is a must-visit location in Calgary.

5. Calgary’s +15 Skywalk: Calgary’s indoor public sidewalk is home to unique and interesting sites. Don’t fray because your guide will lead the way through this confusing yet unique site in Calgary. 

6. Wonderland Sculpture: Jaume Plensa’s incredible sculpture of his daughter’s head in front of the Bow Tower. This sculpture suits the area and will be perfect for the social media feed. 

7. Devonian Gardens: Indoor botanical gardens that sprawl the rooftops of the whole block within Calgary’s downtown. It brings you back to your roots and is a breath of fresh air and humidity. 

8. Fairmont Palliser: Beautiful architecture with a rich history that will piece the tour together before saying goodbye. The Palliser helped Calgary become the landmark that it is today. 

4. Small-Group Calgary City Tour – 3 hours (approx.)

A red bridge in Calgary over the water where people stroll during tours.

Opting for a small group tour in Calgary offers an intimate yet sociable way to explore this magnificent city. Instead of getting lost in a large crowd, you have the opportunity to build connections with fellow travelers, ask detailed questions, and enjoy a more tailored exploration. The beauty of such a tour lies in its balance – it’s personalized enough to allow for spontaneous stops yet structured enough to ensure you capture the essence of what there is to see in the city.

With its rich history, culture, and modernity, Calgary is a city best enjoyed in the company of curious individuals. On a small group city tour, every corner turned, or story shared becomes a collective experience, making the journey as memorable as the destinations.

Meeting point

Hotel lobby. Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel & Suites by APA, 610 4 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0K1. 

Endpoint 

This activity ends at the meeting point.

What to expect on this tour:

1. Calgary Tower: The city’s Landmark, located 191 meters above the downtown core, offers the city’s best view. 

2. The New Central Library: Located just east of City Hall in East Village, with 240,000 square feet of functional, flexible, and beautifully designed space, it is a friendly city icon for Calgarians and visitors to gather, learn, read, relax, hang out, and connect. 

3. Stephen Avenue Walk: A major pedestrian mall in Calgary’s downtown, known for some of Calgary’s finest restaurants, cafes, pubs, and bars, as well as high-end retail stores.

4. City Hall: Take pictures of this early 20th-century, 4-story sandstone building with a central clock tower, which currently houses the Mayor’s and city councilors’ offices.

5. Peace Bridge: A pedestrian bridge accommodates pedestrians and cyclists crossing the Bow River in Calgary. The design follows strict requirements with no piers in the water and restricted height. It has also been designed to withstand Calgary’s one-in-100-year flood cycle and to allow barrier-free access for people of all mobility types.

5. Classic Rocky 5 Days tour: Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper & Yoho

Tours of Calgary: View of Calgary Tower

Venturing into the heart of the Canadian Rockies aboard an air-conditioned tour bus promises not just comfort but an immersive experience into some of North America’s most breathtaking landscapes. The 5-Day Classic Rocky Tour, covering Banff National Park and Jasper National Park, Lake Louise, and Yoho, offers travelers the perfect blend of luxury and adventure. As you journey through pristine alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, and snow-capped peaks, the modern comforts of the bus ensure you’re relaxed and refreshed, ready to soak in the next mesmerizing view.

But this tour is more than just a visual treat. After each day’s explorations, travelers can unwind in style as the package includes four-night hotel accommodations – a standard room with four breakfasts. Waking up in the embrace of the Rockies, indulging in hearty breakfasts, and preparing for another day of discovery is an experience that’s hard to match. This comprehensive package, paired with expert guides, ensures that every traveler gets a taste of the Rockies’ grandeur while ensconced in comfort and luxury.

Meeting point

2000 Airport Rd NE, Calgary, AB T2E 6W5. 

Complimentary Airport Pickup Services. Two pickup times is available: 11:30 or 17:00. 

Endpoint 

DoubleTree by Hilton Calgary North 2120 16 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 1L4.

What’s included in the package:

  • Day 1-Calgary City Tour: Calgary Tower, Chinatown, Peace Bridge, and Downtown. 
  • Day 2-Calgary to Banff tour: Lake Louise, Banff Gondola, Bow Falls, Hoodoos Trail, Surprise Corner, and the town of Banff.   
  • Day 3-Banff, Icefield, and Jasper tour: Banff National Park, Crowfoot Glacier, Columbia Icefield Discovery Center, Columbia Icefield Skywalk, and Athabasca Falls.
  • Day 4-Jasper to Yoho: Maligne Lake, Maligne Canyon, Peyto lake, Bow lake, and Jasper national park.
  • Day 5-Yoho to Calgary: Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, Johnston Canyon, Spiral tunnels, and Lake Louise Summer Gondola.

6. Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway – Full-Day Tour

A stunning blue lake nestled amidst towering mountains and lush trees, ideal for Calgary tours.

For those pressed for time but eager to dive into the unparalleled beauty of the Canadian Rockies, the 1-day trip to Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway stands as an impeccable choice. Often touted as one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Icefields Parkway stretches its majestic landscape between Lake Louise and Jasper. It’s a journey through time, showcasing millennia-old glaciers, turquoise lakes, and rugged mountain peaks. Opting for this full-day tour is a great way to experience both Lake Louise’s serenity and the Icefields’ raw beauty in a condensed timeframe.

Enhancing the entire experience is the transport by private vehicle. Gone are the worries of navigating unfamiliar roads or searching for the best viewpoints. With an experienced driver at the helm, travelers can relax, focus entirely on the unfolding landscapes, and capture memories without any distractions. This private journey ensures a comfortable, intimate, and personalized tour, allowing visitors to maximize their day in one of Canada’s most iconic regions.

Pick-up and drop-off points vary.

What to expect on this guided tour:

  • Lake Minnewanka
  • Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake
  • Icefields Parkway (Pass By)
  • Bow Lake
  • Crowfoot Glacier
  • Peyto Lake

7. Columbia Icefield Adventure 1-Day Tour from Calgary or Banff

A group of people on tours of Calgary standing next to a white bus.

Among the most iconic day trips from Calgary and Banff lies the enthralling Columbia Icefield Adventure. Just a drive away from the urban hubs, the majestic icefields present a stark contrast to the cityscape. This sprawling expanse of ancient ice and snow, situated outside Calgary, offers a journey into the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. As the glaciers glisten under the sun and the rugged mountains stand as silent witnesses to eons gone by, travelers are reminded of the timeless beauty that nature holds.

Embarking on this 1-day tour means more than just sightseeing; it’s an educational journey. With a knowledgeable guide by your side, every crevice, glacier, and viewpoint comes alive with stories and facts. These tales, woven with science, history, and local lore, enhance the overall experience, making the trip both visually and intellectually rewarding. Whether you’re starting from the bustling streets of Calgary or the picturesque town of Banff, the Columbia Icefield Adventure promises a day of awe and wonder.

Pickup and dropoff vary.

Where to visit on this tour:

  • Bow Lake
  • Peyto Lake
  • Crowfoot Glacier
  • Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre

8. 1 Hour Bow River Ride on a Horse from Banff

A group enjoying scenic horseback rides near a picturesque lake during Calgary tours.

Among the many ways to soak in the unparalleled beauty of Banff, the 1 Hour Bow River Ride stands out as one of the most immersive. This horseback journey allows travelers to experience the serene landscapes of Banff in a way that’s both intimate and timeless. With lead and tail guides ensuring the safety and direction of the group, even those new to horseback riding can feel at ease as they meander along the river’s edge, captivated by the majestic mountains and lush forests that define Banff’s iconic scenery.

Over the years, this ride has cemented its place among the most popular tours in the region. The gentle rhythm of the horse’s gait, combined with the tranquil ambiance of the Bow River, makes this a truly meditative experience. Every twist and turn of the trail offers a fresh perspective, a new photo opportunity, and a deeper appreciation for the natural wonders of Banff. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or trying it out for the first time, this tour promises a memory you’ll cherish for years to come.

Meeting point

Banff Trail Riders – Stables. 100 Sundance Rd, Banff, AB T1L 1B9

Endpoint

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

9. Athabasca Glacier Snow Trip from Banff

A woman explores a glacier during tours of Calgary.

If you’re looking for the top Banff trips, the Day trip to Athabasca Glacier from Banff is a must. Here, you can walk on old ice and gaze at the stunning glaciers. You’ll see parts of the last ice age, and it’s really amazing to see. Many people who have taken this trip say it’s great and would highly recommend this tour. It’s a special way to see nature’s beauty and learn about our planet’s past.

Meeting point

Mount Royal Hotel. 138 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1A7

Endpoint

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

Places to visit:

  • Bow Lake
  • Crowfoot Glacier
  • Icefields Parkway (Pass By)
  • Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre 

10. 2-hour wagon ride in Banff National Park

A horse drawn wagon offering tours along a riverside path in Calgary.

For those looking to combine the nostalgia of the old west with the natural beauty of Banff, the Covered Wagon Ride with Western Cookout stands out among the various tours and visits available in the region. This expert tour not only lets you relive the days of pioneers but also offers a unique vantage point on the landscapes, making it a highlights tour for many visitors. As the wagon rolls through scenic trails, the gentle sway and rhythmic clip-clop of the horses’ hooves add a rustic charm to the experience.

Meeting point

Banff Trail Riders – Stables. 100 Sundance Rd, Banff, AB T1L 1B9.

Endpoint

This activity ends at the meeting point.

Conclusion: Tour of Calgary in Alberta

There are many activities in Calgary that cater to both the city lover and the nature enthusiast. Calgary Tours provides a comprehensive view of this Canadian gem, from the bustling streets echoing with history to the tranquil landscapes awaiting just beyond the city limits. Every tour guide in the city is equipped with stories and facts that enrich the visitor’s experience, making each outing a journey of discovery.

For those seeking an escape into nature, the nearby national park tour options present an opportunity to witness the majestic Rockies and pristine lakes, further solidifying Calgary’s status as a premier travel destination. With a range of tour operators offering specialized experiences tailored to diverse interests and durations, there’s no doubt that Calgary stands as a must-visit location for every traveler. 

What is a national park tour?

A national park tour is a guided tour that takes you through one or more of the stunning national parks in the Calgary area, such as Banff National Park or Jasper National Park.

Are there any day trips from Calgary?

Yes, there are several day trips you can take from Calgary to explore the nearby attractions. Some popular options include visiting the Canadian Rockies, taking a bike tour of Calgary, or going on a craft beer tour.

What is a Canadian Rockies tour?

Canadian Rockies tour is a guided tour that takes you through the breathtaking landscapes of the Canadian Rockies, including iconic destinations like Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper.

What are Toonie tours?

Toonie Tours are affordable guided tours in Calgary that cost only two Canadian dollars. They are a great way to explore the city on a budget. Learn more.

Is there a free walking tour available in Calgary?

Yes, there is a free walking tour available in Calgary. It allows you to discover the city’s highlights on foot with an experienced guide without having to pay for the tour.

Are there any street art tours in Calgary?

Yes, there are street art tours available in Calgary that take you through the city’s vibrant art scene, showcasing the best street art and murals.

Can I take a bike tour in Calgary?

Absolutely! You can take a bike tour in Calgary to explore the city’s scenic pathways, parks, and neighborhoods on two wheels.

What is a craft beer tour?

A craft beer tour is a guided tour that takes you to some of the best craft breweries in Calgary, allowing you to sample a variety of locally brewed beers.

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