The Ultimate 24-hour city guide to Calgary Canada

As part of her epic Canadian road trip, Travelista Editor Jessica Ruth Gibson shares her 24 hour city guide to Calgary Canada. From where to get good food in Calgary to the top things to do to make the most of your time in this beautiful city.

Calgary Canada is the largest city in Alberta, and can often be seen as the gateway to the Canadian Rockies. However this city is an incredible destination in itself. You should add it as a stay on your Rockies Road trip, and you can often search for cheap flights to Calgary. There’s enough to see and do in Calgary to last 3-4 days however if you only have 24 hours in Calgary Canada, here is your ultimate guide on where to eat, drink, explore and sleep.

Where to eat in Calgary Canada

Yellow Door Bistro
119 12 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0G8, Canada

Located within Hotel Arts, the contemporary Yellow Door Bistro serves food all day from breakfast to dinner. The brunch option is particular popular with dishes such as Chef’s Seasonally Inspired Feature Pancakes and the Pork Belly Hash. A choice of fun brunch cocktails are also on the menu if you’re in the mood.

200 8 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0K7, Canada

As one of the few remaining white-table cloth restaurants in Calgary, Teatro has a great history and an even better reputation. This fine-dining Italian restaurant is housed within an old bank and its food is as fabulous as the building itself. We were treated to an incredible Italian feast at Teatro on our last night in Alberta and it was some of the best Italian food I’ve tasted outside of Italy.

Analog Coffee
740 17 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2S 0B7, Canada

In the coffee district of 17th Ave you’ll find Analog Coffee, a family-run business with real spirit and an extraordinary passion for good coffee. Behind their coffee is an even better story that you can’t help buy into the minute you walk through the door.

Cold Garden
1100 11 St SE, Calgary, AB T2G 4T3, Canada

Cold Garden’s brews can be found on tap at over 15 of Calgary restaurants (including Yellow Door Bistro), but to really experience their creations head to their microbrewery tasting room in Inglewood, open daily excluding Mondays.

Where to stay in Calgary Canada

Hotel Arts Kensington
1126 Memorial Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3E3, Canada

I fell in love with the boutique design of Hotel Arts Kensington. With only 19 rooms, it’s got a really personal and intimate feel. It’s located in the fashionable neighbourhood of Kensington, so you’ll have bars, restaurants and the city right on your doorstep. I didn’t really rate the Eggs Benedict but the rooms are very spacious and have great views of the city skyline. Read Reviews and Book.

Find great savings on hotels in Calgary.

Top things to do in Calgary

Calgary Tower

Begin your morning with a trip up Calgary Tower for a 360 degree perspective on the city. Spiralling over 600 feet tall, the tower gives incredible views of some of the most iconic buildings in Calgary, as well as there being a revolving bar and restaurant at the top.

East Village

The East Village has such a cool and indie vibe, and is a great place to wander and explore. Make sure to visit its public art, boutique shops and eateries. Also within the East Village is Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, which is a destination in itself. 

17th Ave

Downtown Calgary is a brilliant area with lots of food and drink places and shopping places. Throughout the summer, you’ll find Summer on 17th which is a season of outdoor theatre, films, music and more. Make sure to visit Ollia’s macaroon shop whilst you’re there and rest tired feet at one of the many artisan coffee shops.


It’s only on the other side of the Bow River, but the neighbourhood of Kensington feels a world away from the high-rise streets of central Calgary. Similar to London, this Kensington has a well-to-do feel about it and is full of unique establishments such as the popular Regal Cat Café.

Have you visited Calgary? If you have, we’d love to hear your recommendations in the comments below. We have plenty of Canadian travel guides, so if you’re planning a trip to this wonderful country, make sure to check our Canadian road trip guide and our Edmonton city guide.

Check out some of the very best tours and experiences in and around Calgary with GetYourGuide.

Jessica Ruth Gibson is the Founder and Editor of Travelista and an award-winning travel content creator of 10 years. She lives in York, UK with her son and has travelled to over 50 countries; her favourites being Italy, Canada and Vietnam.

Leave a comment

Travelista is an online publication and community for the adventurous modern woman covering travel, style, family, home, career and wellbeing.