A modern and populous city, Calgary is located 80km from the rocky Canadian mountains and 300 km from the US border. If you’re thinking about studying English in Canada, Calgary is a great option as its ranking 4th amongst the best cities to live in the whole world! Full of attractions and natural beauty, here are 10 places no international student should miss when in Calgary.
1. Banff National Park and Lake Louise
The park is one of UNESCO's world heritage sites and is the oldest in Canada. The park and its mountains and surrounding countryside are visually stunning and not to be missed. Lake Louise is the most famous lake in the region and a symbol of Canada itself. One thing to do is rent a kayak and row through the lake’s crystal clear blue waters.
2. Calgary Stampede
Known as the world’s biggest rodeo, Calgary Stampede takes place exclusively in the month of June. It gathers together riders from all over the world to compete in riding and rope competitions. A truly stunning spectacle.
3. Visit a local brewery
If you like craft beer, or you have never tried it, you will find all kinds of beers for every taste in the High Line Brewing independent craft brewery. Inaugurated in November 2016, the small brewery located at 1318 9th Avenue SE, in the Inglewood neighbourhood, in Calgary, is open from Tuesdays through Sundays at the following times: Tue to Thu from 4 PM – 10 PM, Fri to Sat from – 00 AM and Sun from 12 PM – 6 PM.
4. Watch a hockey game
If you want to experience Canadian culture, then you must go to an ice hockey game and watch the home team, Calgary Flames. The sport originated in Canada and the country is the world’s biggest winner of international ice hockey competitions. It is like a religion to Canadians.
5. Visit Drumheller
90 minutes from Calgary, the town of Drumheller hosts the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a Canadian tourist attraction and a famous palaeontology research centre due to its collection of over 13,000 fossils. The large museum boasts over 40 fully assembled dinosaur skeletons! Also in Drumheller you can find the Badlands Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO world heritage site, where excavations still take place to this day. No other place on planet Earth is so vastly rich in remains of prehistoric creatures, in quantity or in quality.
6. Visit Alberta’s 4 Glacier Lakes
Morain Lake, also considered a UNESCO's heritage site, is located inside the Banff National Park and one of the most attractive lakes to tourists in Canada. Peyto Lake, also in the Banff National Park, can be found easily by following a marked park trail. Minnewanka Lake is located a couple of kilometres away from Banff. The lake attracts tourists from all over the world with the natural beauty of its turquoise water.
7. Chasing Summer Festival
The festival takes place in August, during summer, at the Marc Bell Center Festival Grounds and includes multiple attractions and outdoor concerts during each day.
8. Take a ride through the Bow River
During summer, it’s possible to take a boat ride through the Bow River. There are multiple options and the trip is filled with gorgeous views of stunning natural scenery. If you want some more adrenaline though, you can try rafting, kayaking or taking an inflatable boat!
9. Visit ski stations
From November through to April, you can have a great time visiting the Canadian Rocky Mountains ski stations, it is a truly unmissable experience! Winter sports are a main attraction of Calgary and you can join in at WinSport located at the Canada Olympic Park. If you’re willing to go a bit farther, the Sunshine Village and Nakiska stations on the outskirts of Calgary are also great options.
10. Visiting Prince’s Island Park and Peace Bridge
One of Calgary’s picture postcards is the Peace Bridge, located upstream on the Bow River, it has an amazing view of the city. It’s very common for Canadians to take strolls or bike rides along the river and across the bridge. Close to the bridge you’ll find Prince’s Island Park, an amazing park right in the middle of the city that holds events and big celebrations on Canada Day. There are also park spaces to practice sports, have picnics meeting your new Canadian and international friends.
Stafford House Calgary offers courses to students over 16 years old, with many programs and durations to choose from.