Calgary is a fascinating, multifaceted city with nine distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique vibe. No matter which neighborhood you choose, there are plenty of great Calgary hotels to stay at. Great lodging is just the beginning. Read on to find out what’s on and what to do in each of Calgary’s most popular neighborhoods.
Described as funky, fun and upbeat bohemian, this neighborhood has plenty to offer. Kensington’s hub is located at the intersection of Kensington Road and 10th Street NW. This neighborhood is the city’s premier coffee district and a stop at Higher Ground or at The Roasterie is well worth it. And because any great coffee needs great literature to go with it, be sure to stop in at Pages Books, an independent bookstore featuring author readings and hard-to-find titles. If cinema is more your thing, catch a film at the art house, Plaza. There are also plenty of places to get a bite to eat or a sweet treat. Try Vero Bistro Moderne and Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut. You can walk or bike it off on the north shore of the Bow River.
With over 400 clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and shops, it’s no wonder Uptown 17th Avenue SW is known in Calgary as, “Party Street.” This area also goes by the nickname, “Red Mile,” earned in 2004 after Calgary’s National Hockey League team, the Flames, competed for the Stanley Cup. Flames fans dressed in red Flames jerseys flooded the street after each game creating a “C of Red.” Time has marched on but the nickname has remained.
This revitalized neighborhood is located between 18th Street SW and 22nd Street SW and along 33rd Avenue SW and 34 Avenue SW in South Calgary. Pedestrian friendly, Marda Loop offers a wide variety of restaurants featuring a broad range of fare from world cuisine to pub grub. There are also plenty of gift shops and boutiques, as well as coffee shops where you can grab a cup and relax. For an off-the-beaten path blast from the past visit My Favorite Ice Cream Shoppe, a neighborhood favorite with 72 flavors of ice cream to choose from.
Inglewood is a great spot for both history buffs and lovers of antiques. Old Atlantic Avenue (9th Avenue SE) is home to over 200 buildings dating back to before 1914, some of which are award-winning restaurants and theaters. Historians will also appreciate the Fort Calgary site, home to a museum as well as replicas of the Fort’s 1875 palisade and 1888 barracks. For the shopping aficionados, there are plenty of boutiques and antique shops to peruse.
Canada Olympic Park
While considered more of an attraction than a neighborhood, any visit to Calgary must include a visit to this iconic spot located at the western end of the city. Canada Olympic Park is a Mecca for winter sports enthusiasts with an incredible selection of activities and events ranging from skiing and snowboarding to winter bobsleigh and luge rides.
With these five neighborhoods, there is truly something for everybody.