Calgary is the largest city of the province of Alberta in Canada. It is located in an area of foothills and prairie near the Rocky Mountains and has been voted one of the top cities to live in worldwide. Thanks to the oil industry Calgary quickly became a wealthy city in the 1950s. However the city quickly realized that its economy shouldn’t rely on the oil industry alone and cleverly diversified economically. Consequently, Calgary became more culturally diversified and transformed from a nondescript prairie city into an attractive cosmopolitan centre.
Calgary’s multicultural character is most notable in its downtown communities where you’ll find the city’s own version of Chinatown and Little Italy. Despite having a dense business area, sporting some of the tallest skyscrapers of Canada, the city centre has its own green lung in the form of Prince’s Island Park. This large island is flanked by the Bow river, running right through Calgary city, and is the perfect refuge for escaping city life. Rather see the city from above? Head to the 360° observation deck of Calgary Tower, formerly known as Husky Tower, for a spectacular view of the city.
Despite its international influences, Calgary has most definitely kept its original pioneer charm. The city is even nicknamed Cowtown because of its pleasant western image. Calgary’s western charm is at its peak in the second week of July when the annual Calgary Stampede festival is held. The Calgary Stampede is one of Canada’s largest festivals and includes rodeo’s, stage shows, wagon racing and much more. During this ten-day event the festival atmosphere is omnipresent in the entire city. Buildings and stores are decorated in cowboy themes, locals dress up in their best western gear and barbecues parties are held on every street corner.
One can’t speak of Calgary without mentioning the Rocky Mountains. The Canadian Rockies are a joy for hikers, climbers and anyone who enjoys gorgeous, scenic landscapes. A network of roads connects the protected mountain parks on the Canadian Rocky Mountains of which the most notable are Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. Explore hundreds of trails with lush forests, tranquil meadows, turquoise lakes and dazzling mountain peaks.
The alpine peaks of the Canadian Rockies are one of the most popular winter sport locations of North-America. Hit the slopes in world class ski and snowboard resorts on the snowy mountain peaks. Rather sharpen your skills first? The Canada Olympic Park is a remnant of the 1988 Winter Olympics hosted by Calgary and is conveniently located on the outskirts of the city. The Olympic Park is a favourite for young aspiring athletes and the perfect location for both avid beginners and freestyling experts. Don’t forget to give the bobsledding pipe a go too!