5 free things to do in Calgary

Calgary Skyline
Christine Laroche

No money? No problem! These activities—and even eats!—don’t cost a thing, so leave your wallet at home and enjoy some of the best Cowtown has to offer.

1. Go on a walking tour


Photo: Jeff Samsonow

Discover the history that shaped some of the city’s most prominent neighbourhoods like Mission and Inglewood with a self-guided walking tour courtesy of the city. Simply download and lace up your shoes.

2. Escape to an urban oasis

Devonian Gardens

Photo: Devonian Gardens

How many shopping centres can say that they have an indoor garden, complete with tropical palm trees and fish-filled ponds? Downtown’s The Core can. When you’re done window-shopping, escape to Devonian Gardens, a peaceful oasis in the heart of the concrete jungle.

3. Take a hike

Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

Photo: Inglewood Bird Sanctuary

While there are spectacular hikes to be had outside Calgary, those located within city limits definitely hold their own. In fact, Calgary is home to the two largest urban parks in the country: Fish Creek and Nose Hill parks. Another fave is the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary, home to hundreds of bird, mammal and plant species. Don’t forget the binoculars!

4. Enjoy island time

St Patrick's Island

Photo: St-Patrick’s Island

Open since last summer, St-Patrick’s Island offers 31 acres of beautiful vantage points, public art installations, play areas, a small amphitheatre and more. It also boasts water access, making it a lovely spot to launch into the Bow River for a leisurely float, another quintessentially Calgary—not to mention free—summertime activity.

5. Eat pancakes



While Stampede weekend offers plenty to see and do, the stand out for any food lover has to be the plethora of pancake breakfasts happening around the city. It’s true: From July 8th to the 17th, you don’t have a to drop a single dime on brekkie. Not sure where to go? There’s an app for that. Wahoo!

About the author

Christine Laroche

Christine Laroche

After graduating, Christine followed her passion for writing and shopping straight into the offices of LOULOU magazine. Several years and countless pairs of shoes later, she went on to work at and RICARDO. Today, she lives in Calgary and splits her time between freelance writing and exploring the Rockies.

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