A Tourist Guide to Winter in Calgary

Hotel Arts
January 11, 2022
Whether you're here for a quick pitstop or planning to stay and explore, here is our Tourist Guide to Calgary during the winter months.

So, you’re looking to plan a trip to Calgary during the winter months? First off… Welcome! 

Calgary is a vibrant and young city that attracts people from all over the world. Whether you’re flying in for business, planning to head out to the Rockies or you’re on the hunt for an inner-city getaway, Calgary is a city you won’t want to overlook. 

While we encourage you to bundle up during the winter months that certainly shouldn’t stop you from experiencing the best Calgary has to offer. So let’s jump right into our Tourist Guide to Calgary in Winter.


There is no doubt that the rocky mountains are what most people come to Calgary to see. Only 45 minutes by car and you’re transported to a winter wonderland with views that will take your breath away. 

But, what most people don’t realize, is that there are several things right here in town that you NEED to see if you’re coming through Calgary. From skyline views to outstanding architecture, here are our recommendations. 

The Calgary Tower

The Calgary Tower is the heart of Calgary and is a staple if you’re visiting the city. Although it’s not the tallest building in Calgary, it does provide panoramic views that let you see the downtown skyline, vast prairies, rolling foothills and the Rocky mountains at the same time. 

You can test your courage by stepping onto the glass floor, which finds itself 160 meters above ground level. Don’t worry, it’s totally acceptable if the thought of that makes you uneasy. The Calgary Tower is also home to the Sky 360 Restaurant, which revolves fully around every hour and offers a very unique dining experience.

Winsport Tube Park

With no skill necessary, Snowtubing is a great winter activity to get your heart pumping with all the thrill that the winter season brings.

Winsport’s Canada Olympic Park, home to the ‘88 Winter Olympics, offers one of the largest snowtubing parks in western Canada. All you need to do is dress for the weather (yep, we’re talking gloves, snowpants, and winter boots) and Winsport will supply you with everything else you need. 

Calgary Flames Home Game

If you’re lucky enough to visit during a Calgary Flames home game, we highly recommend you go! The Calgary Saddledome, located just on the outskirts of downtown is a quick Uber or train ride away.

Experience the C-of-Red by grabbing a beer, some popcorn and a pocketdog at the Saddledome. Game tickets can run you anywhere from $25 – $300 depending on where you choose to sit. But whatever your budget is, it’s sure to be a fun way to spend an evening. 

Pro tip: Plan a stay at Hotel Arts or eat at Yellow Door Bistro to take advantage of free parking a few blocks from the Saddledome!

Calgary’s Central Library

If you’re an architecture buff, the Calgary Central Library will be right up your alley. Even though a library typically wouldn’t be the first stop on your mind as a tourist, it’s certainly worth visiting, both for the outside and the indoor architecture.

While you’re there, we recommend trying some of Luke’s soft-serve which is offered at both the cafe and restaurant at the library. We know… we know… it’s winter. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some ice cream, right? 

National Music Centre

Are you a music fan? If yes, then the National Music Centre at Studio Bell is a stop you won’t want to skip. Explore five floors of exhibits that tell the story of music in Canada. Celebrate music icons at multiple Canadian Halls of Fame, rock out with interactive instrument installations, and sing along to classic jams in the sound booths.

For all you architecture fans, Studio Bell should also be on your must-see list.

Skating at Olympic Plaza

Olympic Plaza was built in 1988 for the Olympic Winter Games in Calgary as the site of the medal presentation ceremonies. This venue is now home to many special events and festivals throughout the year and in the winter Olympic Plaza is transformed into an outdoor skating rink.

If you’re looking for a fun winter activity, bust out your skates and take a lap around Olympic Plaza. With skate rentals available, this rink is the perfect inner-city winter wonderland. 

Telus Spark Science Centre

TELUS Spark, Calgary’s science centre, is a city jewel. When it opened in its current location in 2011, it was the first purpose-built science centre in the country in 25 years. TELUS Spark is a space for people of all ages and abilities to let go and embrace the desire to explore and get closer to science, technology, engineering, art and math. Whether you’re visiting with a family or just by yourself, a visit to TELUS Spark is a fun way to spend an afternoon.


Calgary is home to some fantastic chains and independent hotels around the downtown core. Our 2 hotels in Calgary offer a unique experience for visitors of the city. 

Our primary hotel, located in the Victoria Park district of downtown, is Calgary’s first Urban Resort. Just blocks from Calgary’s top attractions, you can explore the city with Hotel Arts as your starting point. With a year-round 25 degree outdoor pool and upscale guest rooms, Hotel Arts offers an inner-city oasis, unlike any other hotel in Calgary. 

Our second venue, Hotel Arts Kensington, is an exceptional 19-room boutique accommodation in Calgary’s charming Kensington neighbourhood. With cafes, restaurants, the Bow River and specialty shops all within walking distance, you will get to experience the neighbourhood as a Calgary native. 


The food and cocktail scene in Calgary has certainly made a name for itself in the last few years. With tons of independent restaurants and speakeasies popping up around the city, Calgary is a foodie’s paradise. Here are a few restaurants we would recommend during your visit.

Ten Foot Henry

Located just around the corner from Hotel Arts, Ten Foot Henry is a vegetable-anchored restaurant that focuses on fresh and creative culinary offerings. For plant-based and meat-eaters alike, this restaurant offers a unique take on family-style dining.


Shelter is an intimate and upscale cocktail bar located in Victoria Park/ Beltline community. Combining elements from high-end hotel bars across the USA and original industrial grunge styles from Berlin and Eastern Europe, Shelter is a juxtaposition of opulent and casual. 


Enjoy comfort food favourites with a lavish twist. Nestled in Hotel Arts Kensington, Oxbow offers you a cozy gathering place to enjoy imaginative food & drink with good company. 

The culinary team loves to play with the menu, infusing traditional comfort food favourites with a twist. Crafted with local and seasonal ingredients, Oxbow welcomes you to appreciate dining as it was meant to be: honestly uncomplicated.

Betty Lou’s Library

Betty Lou’s Library is a Calgary favourite speakeasy. Sip, savour and socialize in the unique space that marries the American 1920’s Prohibition-era with Paris’ Lost Generation. If you’re planning to visit, be sure to make a reservation and keep an eye out for a message from the librarian with your password to enter. 

Yellow Door Bistro

Yellow Door has continued to surprise and delight guests since it opened its yellow door in 2013. Whimsical touches abound, the award-winning restaurant features bistro-style cuisine with contemporary and seasonal twists.

If you’re visiting on the weekend, we highly recommend trying out Yellow Door Bistro’s brunch buffet. Named Calgary’s Best Brunch, you certainly will not be disappointed. 


Well there you have it… our tourist guide to Calgary during the winter months. Whether you’re here for a quick pitstop or planning to stay and explore, this list can act as a “to do” during your visit. We hope you enjoyed the read and look forward to welcoming you to Calgary, Alberta.