With less than a day at Calgary, it was almost impossible to venture too far from the city for any sight-seeing.
To be honest, there wasn’t much to do in Calgary other than shopping and visiting the Calgary Tower, one of the only attractions in the city. The entry to Calgary Tower was covered with our package with the Rocky Mountaineer – it seemed like the Rocky Mountaineer likes to offer Tower experiences, because at Vancouver, we were also entitled to the Vancouver Lookout!
After checking into the International Hotel and Spa Calgary in the late afternoon, we decided to make use of the remaining daylight hours to visit the Calgary Tower. It was within walking distance from the International Hotel and Spa Calgary and really hard to miss, it being one of the tallest building in city of Calgary.
Our admission tickets and a complimentary audio guide, that was issued only if you use your passport as a deposit – something that cautious travellers like ourselves were uncomfortable with.
In almost any major cities that we had been to, a trip to its observation tower or its restaurants was usually included in our itinerary – the most recent ones being at Kaoshiung as well as Taipei. We soon learnt that the experience at any observation tower was largely dependent on the landscape of the city at your feet. At Calgary, it was quite evident that the city was considerably smaller and less developed than that at Vancouver.
Having been to so many observation towers, this one at Calgary was a tad disappointing. If not for the fact that it was already included in our package, we could never bear to fork out CAD18 each for the admission tickets.
Perhaps the only redeeming feature of the Calgary Tower was this glass floor which allows visitors to stand on and view the streets 190m below.
The glass is supposedly able to take on a large amount of weight, but the scaredy-cat in me still refuses to place my trust (and my life) on it. One foot was all that I dared to put here.
For the shopping enthusiast, there is a souvenir shop up here at the Calgary Tower, but even a shopping fanatic like myself could not feel any excitement in this shop.
The night view of Calgary Tower.
Nightlife @ Calgary
If you are looking for food or entertainment in the evenings at Calgary, take note that most shops close early here. We could not even find a restaurant that was open for business in the early evening here.
Shopping @ Calgary
If you are into some shopping, you will find that the heart of its downtown lies in Stephen Avenue which was a 10 minutes walk from the International Hotel and Spa Calgary.
In the meantime, explore Calagry’s CBD and you will likely find many unique pieces of architecture here….
One of my favourite stores in Canada which we first came across in Vancouver was Winners – here, you will find brand names at discounted prices, very much like the premium outlets stores in the USA.
There are also a few shopping centres in downtown Calgary, but if you really need to choose, then the CORE Shopping Centre is your best bet.
This article completes our stay at Calgary. Join us next we travel to Los Angeles for our flight back home to Singapore.