Skip to Content

Weekend in Calgary – What to do with Two Days in Calgary!

Weekend in Calgary – What to do with Two Days in Calgary!

This blog may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy for more info.

Planning a weekend getaway in Calgary? You’ve come to the right place! When we lived in Canmore, we’d often head to Calgary for the weekend. So we know how much there is to do here, and how difficult it can be figuring out exactly how to spend two days! 

To make the most of your time, we compiled this itinerary and filled it to the brim with Calgary’s best sights. From where to eat to thrilling activities, and our favorite breweries, you’ll find a little bit of everything. It’s streamlined so you can easily move from one activity to the next, and we also left options so you can tailor it to fit your travel style!

Day 1

Breakfast at the Namo Cafe Bistro

a selection of colorful breakfast foods from Namo Cafe Bistro
It almost looks too good to eat! Photo Credit: Namo Cafe Bistro

The best way to start a weekend full of activities is to grab breakfast! I mean, who doesn’t love going out to breakfast? I’ll let you in on a Calgary local spot: Namo Cafe Bistro

This cafe has some of the best breakfasts in the city and puts a unique spin on each dish. They have a whole menu section dedicated to Benedict’s, so I was easily pleased! Some of these benny’s include lamb, lobster, or truffle mushroom. How good does that sound? 

My favorite aspect of this cafe is that they locally source their ingredients, and therefore the menu changes seasonally. They are always serving up something fresh, and I can certainly taste it! The staff was also super friendly and the service was fantastic, I don’t think my coffee cup was ever empty. 

A meal here averages around $20 CAD, which isn’t terrible for the fresh quality you’re getting. This place is a true gem, and it can get quite busy, especially on the weekends. But no matter what day of the week you go, I highly recommend making reservations or else you’ll be waiting for an hour or more. That would certainly throw a wrench into the itinerary I have planned for you!

There are two Namos in Calgary, but we recommend going to the one located on Edmonton Trail.

Spend the morning exploring Canada Olympic Park

view of Olympic Park in Calgary from the luge
The Luge track in Olympic Park!

Now that you’re all fueled up, it’s time to burn some of that energy at WinSport Canada Olympic Park! This park was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, but don’t worry, you won’t be doing any Olympic-level activities, but there are a lot of other fun things to do here. 

During the summer you can try out the downhill go-kart, which is as thrilling as it sounds! Daniel and I got really competitive and I couldn’t believe how fast these things went. If you’re visiting during the winter, you’re also in for a treat. This area is equipped with some awesome ski and snowboard runs, so obviously this is a must-do activity!

You can reach the Olympic Park by a 20-minute drive from Namo via driving yourself or taking a taxi or Uber. Calgary’s public buses also go along this route, but it takes about an hour and a half, and honestly, you have a lot of things to fit into today so I don’t recommend this!

Have a blast going downhill karting

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at the Luge in Calgary
Go-karting is so much fun!
People ride down the Luge on the track in Calgary
Gotta go fast!

The most thrilling activity during the summer is downhill go-karting. This isn’t your average track though, this is actually the world’s longest go-kart track at 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles). To add fuel to the fire, it’s all downhill. So you can imagine how fun this is!

If you’re a little worried about the intensity of this go-kart track (I know I was!) don’t worry, you have full control! You can steer and brake, so if you don’t want to fly down the track, pump the brakes. 

Go-karting opens at 10 am, so that gives you plenty of time to enjoy breakfast and head down to the Olympic Park. Best to check the opening hours online before you go, just in case something changes! I recommend allotting 1 to 2 hours here, as each lap takes about 20 minutes, and I guarantee you’ll want to go a few times. 

Best of all this thrilling activity doesn’t break the bank, especially when you pick up tickets online. You can snag 2 rides for just $28 CAD, and buying 4 rides is $36 CAD. Not bad for a few hours of fun!

If you finish up the go-karts and want some more action, we enjoyed playing a round of mini-golf and also flying down their zipline! Yet another record-holding activity, this is the fastest zipline in North America.

Hone your skiing and snowboarding skills

People skiing at Olympic Park in Calgary on a sunny winter day
In winter, this is the place to be! Photo Credit: jewhyte on Deposit Photos

While visiting in the summer is fun, I think the Olympic Park is best experienced in the winter! It was built for the Winter Olympics after all. 

Luckily, the runs aren’t just for advanced or Olympian-styled skiers, it’s great for newbies and kiddos too. They have a range of slopes whether you’re a beginner or advanced. I will note that these runs aren’t as long as those at traditional ski resorts, so it honestly wasn’t the best skiing I’ve ever encountered. But, it’s still pretty epic to know that Olympians skied here too!

The unique aspect of this park is that they have two different terrain parks, so you can also freestyle ski and snowboard. The Progression Park is great for beginners who want to practice smaller tricks, like a mini pipe and a magic carpet. WinSport Terrain Park is best suited for experienced freestyle riders and they have 30 different obstacles, such as jumps, rails, and jibs. 

But the holy grail of obstacles is the Under Armor Super Pipe – 22 feet (6.7 meters) tall and 548 feet (167 meters) long you’ll need some guts to tackle this one!

You can get a 4-hour lift ticket for $59 CAD for adults and $34 CAD for kids 6-17, which is wildly cheaper than most ski resorts in Alberta. I recommend renting gear from Sports Rent if you didn’t bring your board or skis along. Ski rentals start at $45 CAD. 

Stop by a brewery for lunch (or the farmers’ market!)

the indoor farmers market in calgary inside seating area of the food court
The indoor market even has a food court area where you can sit down and eat!

We love going for a beer and food after any adrenaline-filled activity, so that’s what’s next! There are tons of breweries here, and most of them serve up a tasty lunch too. I’ll list my two favorite breweries in the city to help narrow down your options.

And if you aren’t into craft beer, the Calgary West Farmers’ Market is a fun alternative. They have a plethora of food options and indoor seating. It’s a good place to do some souvenir shopping too. Who doesn’t love a locally made goodie to remember your vacation? 

Grab a tasty meal at a brewery…

selfie of Bailey and Daniel drinking craft beer at a brewery in Calgary
Cheers!

Prairie Dog Brewing

Choosing just two breweries to list here is a challenge, but one of my all-time favorites has to be Prairie Dog Brewing. It’s a spacious spot with an awesome beer selection and some seriously delicious food. Plus, they have a dog-friendly patio in the summer!

For lunch, this is a Southern-style BBQ menu so you’ll find a mean pulled pork sandwich along with mac and cheese and corn fritters. For lunch, we recommend the customizable lunch platter where you can choose anything from brisket to ribs. The hardest part for us was narrowing it down!

Paired with lunch, their core beers stand out like Tail-Twitcher IPA and Crispy Gurl Cold IPA, which is one of my go-to’s. If you aren’t sure what to try, a tasting flight of 4, 5, or 6 choices from their core brews, seasonal brews, guest brews, cider, or mead is the way to go!

They open at 11 am and stay open until late on the weekends if you fancy coming back again! Prairie Dog Brewing is located about a 20-minute drive from Olympic Park close to the Chinook Mall.

Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co.

Ol’ Beautiful Brewing Co. is another really popular brewery in Calgary, and between the food and the beer – we understand the hype! I personally love their atmosphere, it has that mid-century modern vibe that is cozy during the winter and a huge patio area that’s ideal for the summer! 

Instead of a traditional kitchen, they run a burrito food truck that is all the rave! My favorite is the tender pork shoulder burrito, but they also have quesadillas and tacos. Everything is good here, so you definitely won’t order wrong! 

But, this is a brewery – so let’s talk beers! They have a wide range of your standard brews, such as IPAs, lagers, and pale ales, as well as seasonal offerings. One of the most unique beers I’ve tried is the Okami Kasu Japanese Ale. It’s light and smooth like most Japanese beers but has a little creamy finish because of the Saké Kasu – I love the details that go into craft beer!

You won’t spend a fortune here, burritos are about $12-$15 CAD. The brewery is open from 11 am to 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Ol’ Beautiful is about a 20-minute drive from Olympic Park, located downtown.

… Or stop by Calgary West Farmers’ Market!

Bailey walks through the indoor Farmer's Market in West Calgary
This indoor market is HUGE!
a selection of donuts on display for sale at the farmer's market
There is also a lot of food for sale…the donuts are really good!

While we love craft breweries, the Calgary West Farmers Market is also a great spot for lunch! The market is indoors, so you can visit any time of year. It’s also conveniently located across from the Olympic Park, so you don’t have to go too far. 

There are over 75 vendors here, so you’ll have your options when looking for lunch. My go-to is Bangkok Street Food, which as you can guess from the name, serves Thai food that is super authentic! We also always stop by the donut stand, as they are my favorite treat! You’ll also find vendors selling produce, clothes, flowers, and handmade items, so we like to wander for a while. 

Most vendors will accept credit cards, but you might need to have some cash on hand. There is also onsite parking and they often hold events – check their website for the most up-to-date info! It’s open from 9 am to 7 pm Wednesday to Saturday, and until 5 pm on Sundays. 

Visit Calgary Zoo or Heritage Park in the afternoon

penguins in the snow at the calgary zoo
The penguin walk at the Calgary Zoo is my favorite!

On to the next activities on this jam-packed weekend itinerary. Next, we’re heading to activities suited for the whole family. But honestly, Dan and I had so much fun doing these activities with just the two of us! 

You’ll only have time for one of these activities, so choose between visiting the Calgary Zoo or Heritage Park. I’ll describe them both below!

Make some new friends at the Calgary Zoo

the calgary zoo is on of the best indoor activities in Calgary
The hippos are huge!

Calgary has quite an impressive zoo! They are known for their conservation efforts and ethical treatment of animals, so it’s a pleasure to visit here and know the animals are being taken care of well. 

The Calgary Zoo is huge, so you can easily get lost amongst the animals here. They have a beautiful butterfly conservatory that you can actually walk through! You’ll also find gorillas, bears, flamingos, penguins, and Komodo dragons, just to name a few. 

They host a load of events that kids really enjoy, you can check the schedule here to see if there’s anything you fancy! 

Opening hours are 9 am to 5 pm daily, and you’ll probably spend a few hours here. You can buy tickets in advance here, which makes your day a little simpler. Entrance is around $37 CAD for adults and $26 CAD for children. 

Immerse yourself in history at Heritage Park

Gasoline Alley Museum at Heritage Park
Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park.

For a more Calgary-specific activity, you have to check out the Heritage Park Historical Village. This is known as a living history museum, and even though I’m not the biggest museum fan, I have to admit that this park is a fun attraction. 

When they call it a “living history museum” they truly mean it! You’ll wander through buildings decorated in olden times, paired with staff dressed in historic clothes, and horse-drawn carriages rolling down the street. 

The most popular attraction in the park is Gasoline Alley, which also happens to be our favorite part! It has dozens of antique cars dating back to the start of the 20th century to the mid-1950s. This gallery is open year-round, so it’s a great activity even if you are stopping by in the winter. 

You can also visit Heritage Town Square any time of the year, where you’ll find old-fashioned shops. Stop by my favorite store, Harvey’s Confectionary, if you have a sweet tooth like I do! They have some surprising old candies and serve yummy ice cream. 

Admission starts at $15 CAD (depending on the time of year).

Head downtown for dinner

Bailey walks through Downtown Calgary
Downtown Calgary

Phew – what a full day! It’s time to wind down for a relaxing dinner downtown. There are hundreds of amazing restaurant options, so to make your decision a bit easier, we’ve outlined two of our favorite stops below. 

I recommend going to dinner either before or after sunset. We have a surprise for you next, and it’s best enjoyed at sunset!

Caesar’s Steakhouse and Lounge

a selection of steak and seafood at Caesar's Steakhouse and Lounge in downtown Calgary
So yum! Photo Credit: Caesar’s Steakhouse and Lounge

If you are looking for a fancy night out, you can’t go wrong with Caesar’s Steakhouse and Lounge. Alberta is famous for its high-quality beef (I’m sure you’ve heard of it before) so indulge a bit at one of the top-rated steakhouses in the city. This restaurant has been in business for over half a century, so they definitely know what they’re doing!

In terms of dinner options, my top recommendations are rib-eye or barbecue baby pork back ribs. It’s hard to even describe how perfectly prepared these dishes are, so juicy and full of flavor, cooked just enough. I’m drooling while writing this! If you’re like me and like to get excited for your meal beforehand, check out their expansive menu offerings here

But, what’s a good steak without wine to pair with it? They have a huge spread of wine and cocktails, and they make all of their mixed drinks with 3 oz, so sip them slowly!

I can’t forget to mention the ambiance here. Dark and cozy, with impressive chandeliers, and staff who make this experience luxurious. Best to wear your fanciest outfit here!

Steaks range from $54-$130 CAD and starters are around $30 CAD, you are certainly paying for quality here. Caesar’s is open every day except Sunday, you can find their location and hours here. You’ll want to make reservations, as it can be booked up weeks in advance.

The Coup

a bowl of Guacamole and chips from The Coup in Calgary
Fresh and delicious! Photo Credit: The Coup
a bright place of vegetarian sushi from The Coup in Calgary
This is vegetarian sushi! Photo Credit: The Coup

We know a fancy steak dinner isn’t for everyone (or for every occasion), so we have another amazing option! The Coup is a delicious plant-based restaurant that uses locally sourced ingredients. You won’t believe every menu item is vegetarian or vegan, some of the dishes taste better than the originals in my opinion! The highlights include drunken noodles, hot pots, sushi, and more!

One thing I really love about The Coup is that they are committed to supporting local businesses. Nearly everything on their menu is sourced from nearby farmers, brewers, and distillers – don’t get me started on their cocktails, they are crazy good! They can also do all of their cocktails as mocktails, so everyone can enjoy them. 

The atmosphere is casual and relaxed, making it a comfy place to chill out after a busy day of exploring. I always feel super welcome by the staff, and they are passionate about high-quality food. You can expect to pay around $22 CAD for a large portion, and sushi starts around $6 CAD for two pieces. 

You can swing by this restaurant from 11:30 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday, and 10 pm Fridays and Saturdays. I also recommend making a reservation, as it is a popular spot among Calgary locals.

Enjoy panoramic sights from the Calgary Tower as the sun sets

Bailey stands on the glass viewing deck on the Calgary Tower
This is much scarier than it looks!
View of Calgary from the Calgary Tower in Canada
What a view!

I mentioned a surprise earlier, which is why you need to time your dinner around sunset. As you can guess from the title of this section, the surprise is heading up the Calgary Tower to watch the sunset with the best views of the city! Even if you don’t catch the sunset, the Calgary Tower is impressive at any time. Not only do you see the city below, but you can also see the spectacular Rocky Mountains in the distance!

This is best experienced if you can get here about 30-40 minutes before sunset to beat the crowds and explore around for a bit. You can’t miss standing on the glass floor and looking at the city below. It certainly gave me butterflies in my stomach, but was really cool all the same. 

The tower is open every day from 10 am to 9 pm and until 10 pm during the summer. Entrance to the Calgary Tower is $19 CAD, you can book tickets in advance here

For an even more intimate experience, you can have dinner at the rotating restaurant located at the top of the tower, Sky 360! This is another luxurious dining experience with even more impressive views. You need to make reservations in advance to dine here. 

You’ve had a seriously epic day in Calgary, and we still have tomorrow!

Related Read: Have an extra day to fill while in Calgary? Check out our favorite day trips from the city – there’s so much to explore from here!

Day 2

Breakfast – Eat at River Café 

Eggs Benny at the River Cafe in Calgary
Eggs Benny at the River Cafe in Calgary
Drinks at the River Cafe in Calgary
We opted for beer and cider instead of coffee!

Treat yourself to another tasty breakfast at the River Cafe! Sitting right on the Bow River, we love sitting on the patio for lovely morning views. Although inside it’s rustic and cozy, perfect if you’re visiting during the winter. 

They are yet another restaurant in Calgary that cares about the quality of their food, and they use locally sourced meat and produce – I love that! The menu rotates seasonally, so you can always get something different, but know that it will be amazing regardless. I loved the farm egg plate, which had eggs any way you like, perfectly cooked potatoes, and your choice of meat!

Brunch is only available on the weekends from 10 am to 4 pm (good thing this is a weekend itinerary!), but if you happen to be here on a weekday, lunch is from 11 am to 4 pm. They are also open for dinner from 5-10 pm. As with most restaurants in Calgary, reservations are recommended.

Morning – Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary 

dogs playing at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary
dog at Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Photo credit: Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary

If you’re looking for a totally unique experience during your weekend in Calgary, you have to check out the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary! Located about 45 minutes northwest of Calgary, this non-profit organization rescues wolfdogs. So you can go and see these adorable fluffy creatures!

You can experience the wolves in a few different ways. They offer a self-guided Sanctuary Walk for $33 CAD or an Intro Tour, which includes a guide and photos for $47 CAD. And if you are a big animal lover, you’ll get the most out of the Interactive Tour. This tour has to be booked in advance, but it gets you up close and personal with the wolf dogs, sometimes they let visitors hand-feed them!

They do not allow children under 6 years old and no faux fur or real fur clothing items are allowed. You can visit the sanctuary from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday through Monday. These dogs are incredible, and getting the chance to interact with them is so special, so we just had to add it to this itinerary. 

Lunch – Walk Stephens Ave/ArtWalk

Daniel poses for a photo on the art walk on Stephens Ave
Cool art everywhere!
Bailey at a display on Stephens Ave at the art walk
Enjoying the Art Walk!

Stephen Avenue is a can’t-miss street in Calgary – literally, you’ll probably run into it before you even realize you’re on it! This is the main pedestrian-only street with so much to do. It’s teeming with historic buildings, more cafes and restaurants than you know what to do with, and tons of art and locally-owned shops. 

If you happen to be in town in September, Calgary’s ArtWalk is one of the best events in the city. All of the galleries open up special exhibitions and workshops, and offer tours to the public. All of this for free! 

However, that’s a pretty small window to hit, but you can still enjoy a self-guided art walk any time of year. The city of Calgary put together a Public Art Map, so just follow it around the city. We had so much fun exploring on our own!

While you’re down here, I recommend stopping for lunch. There are too many good options to choose from! Check out The Wednesday Room, a 1960-themed upscale lunch spot to keep on our art and history theme.

If you’re looking for something more casual, I recommend The Cactus Club. Stop by for a late lunch and catch their daily happy hour from 2-5 pm! And a true hidden gem nearby is Thai Thien Sub for some authentic Vietnamese food and cheap prices – the perfect lunch combo!

Afternoon – Walk/bike along the river

View of the river valley in Calgary in Fall
In the fall, the views are just stunning!

One thing I love about Calgary is that even though it’s a major city, you can still find a lot of outdoor adventure! A sprawling network of walking and biking trails that run through the city, the best of which are the Bow River Pathway and the Elbow River Pathway.

My favorite part of these trails is the Peace Bridge because it connects downtown to the Bow River Pathway, making it super easy to escape the concrete and enjoy nature. You can follow this trail map and explore on your own, which is a great option if you’re walking. 

But if you want to cycle, I highly recommend joining a bike tour! We took this 3-hour bike tour that followed the Bow River and it was perfect, as we didn’t have our bikes with us. Our guide took us to Prince’s Island Park, Fort Calgary, and the Beltline, and we got an insider’s perspective of the city. Plus, we made some friends along the way, so it was super fun!

This bike tour is $136 CAD and includes the bike rental, helmet, and your guide.

Dinner – Eat Alberta beef! 

Alberta Beef dish from a restaurant in Alberta
Alberta Beef is famous around the world!

You’ve managed to eat some incredible food during your weekend in Calgary, so we are finishing off this itinerary with even more! Alberta Beef is world-famous so it only makes sense to indulge while you’re here. 

There are a handful of top-rated spots in Calgary to try Alberta Beef, and one of the best is Vintage Chophouse & Tavern. Not only do they serve up the finest cuts of juicy local beef, but I also love their atmosphere. It’s trendy and lively, and they often have live music. 

CattleBaron Steakhouse is another good option that’s known as being a more “causal” steakhouse. All the AAA steaks are sourced from ranchers in the area. While the beef is the star of the show, the family recipes for all the homemade sauces and soups are worth a mention too!

And of course, you might have tried it at Caesar’s Steakhouse + Lounge last night. If you didn’t, you can add this to the list of options too!

Once you sink your teeth into Alberta Beef for the first time, you’ll understand why we are raving about it!

Night – Mini Golf at Taiko Canteen 

Daniel plays minigolf at Taiko Canteen in Calgary
Such a fun atmosphere!
Bailey sips a cocktail at Taiko Canteen   
Oh, and the cocktails are fantastic!

To round off your weekend, we are squeezing in just one more fun activity! Taiko Canteen is the spot where adults can pretend to be kids for a bit with drinks, food, and mini-golf. Not like you’ll need any more food after that delicious Alberta beef dinner, but you can enjoy the cocktails and putt-putt all the same!

The “Lucky Putt” is a 9-hole mini-golf course that is actually so much fun and surprisingly challenging! We joined some friends and got way too competitive here, but what’s a little golf without some competition? 

Their cocktails are also delicious (more delicious than you’d expect from a mini-golf place). I couldn’t get enough of their watermelon mules, which is perhaps why I won!

Best of all, this whole night out isn’t very expensive. Mini-golf is $10 CAD for 9 holes, and the food and drinks are well-priced. It’s the perfect end to a weekend in Calgary!

Related Read: If you’re visiting Calgary from Edmonton, check out our favorite stops along the way for an epic road trip!

Where to Stay in Calgary

the outside of the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire
This hotel is huge! Photo Credit: Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire

Calgary is a large city so there are plenty of places to stay. The trick is to pick a hotel with a great location depending on the activities you plan on doing. Most of these activities are in the downtown area, so all of these hotels aren’t too far.

Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire – $$$

For luxury travelers, check out the Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire. This hotel overlooks the river valley and comes with an indoor pool (with waterslide), hot tub, fitness center, hair salon, and gift shop. Obviously, the rooms are extremely beautiful and the views are spectacular, plus it’s located very close to downtown!

Rooms start around $260 CAD and can be booked on Booking.com.

Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites – $$

A fantastic mid-range budget option is the Coast Calgary Downtown Hotel and Suites. The suites have a full kitchen which is nice for homemade meals which can save you a lot of money. The rooms are beautiful, breakfast is included, and they even have a fitness center. On top of that, the hotel’s location is ideal, in the middle of downtown.

A night’s stay here starts at $175 CAD and can be booked on Booking.com.

Wicked Hostels – $

In the center of the city, Wicked Hostels – Calgary is a good choice for budget travelers. The hostel is clean, comfortable, and located in a good area. They offer mixed dorms and private rooms, plus they offer free breakfast every morning (I’m talking Nutella and waffles type of free breakfast!).

Rooms start at $60 CAD for a mixed dorm and can be booked on Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a photo in the Calgary Tower
Thanks for reading!

You’re in for a weekend of fun in Calgary! We followed a similar itinerary on our last trip here, and while we were busy, we felt like we got the most out of our time in the city. Whether you hit every activity on this list, or pick and choose your favorites, you’ll definitely get the ultimate Calgary experience.

Thanks for sticking around til the end! If you found this blog helpful, check out our other Alberta blogs to assist in your travel planning. Here are a few to get you started:

5 AWESOME Lake Louise Tours from Calgary to See All the Highlights!

How to Get from the Calgary Airport to Banff: Transfer, Bus, or Rental Car 

20 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Jasper (via Icefields Parkway)