Where to Stay in Calgary (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

Calgary is a vibrant and eclectic city that offers so much more than just cowboys, mountains and outrageous weather.

But Calgary is a massive city and choosing where to stay is super important.

Which is exactly why we put together this insider’s guide for where to stay in Calgary.

This guide was written for travellers by travellers. It lists the best neighbourhoods to stay in Calgary organized by your travel needs.

So no matter what you’re looking to do, you’ll be able to find the best place to stay based on your travel goals and dreams.

Let’s get right to it. Here are our top picks for where to stay in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Calgary

  • Where to stay in Calgary first time – Downtown
  • Where to stay in Calgary on a budget – Victoria Park
  • Best area to stay in Calgary for nightlife – The Beltline
  • Coolest place to stay in Calgary – Inglewood
  • Best neighbourhood in Calgary for families – Bridgeland

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

Downtown
Downtown is a large neighbourhood located at the heart of Calgary. It is where businesspeople and buskers rub elbows, and where you’ll find a great selection of historic landmarks and popular tourist attractions.
Places to Visit:
  • Admire the amazing design of the Calgary Public Library.
  • Browse the exciting exhibits at the Glenbow Museum.
  • Catch a performance by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Where to Stay in Calgary

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Calgary.

 

Best Hostel in Calgary: Wicked Hostels – Calgary

The Wicked Hostel is our favourite hostel in Calgary because it has a wonderful location and a plethora of amenities. Guests can enjoy fast wifi, a filling breakfast, free laundry service and unlimited coffee, tea and hot cocoa. In addition to this, there are comfortable beds and spotless common spaces.

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Best Hotel in Calgary: Hotel Elan Calgary

The Hotel Elan is a modern and rustic four-star hotel and our choice for the best hotel in Calgary. This hotel is comprised of 62 spacious and stylish rooms. Each is outfitted with a variety of amenities and guests can enjoy a myriad of services.

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Calgary Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Calgary

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Downtown

  • Downtown is a large neighbourhood located at the heart of Calgary. It is where businesspeople and buskers rub elbows, and where you’ll find a great selection of historic landmarks and popular tourist attractions.
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Victoria Park

  • Situated south of the downtown core is the historic neighbourhood of Victoria Park. One of the oldest communities in the city, this community is best known for its heritage houses and relaxed atmosphere as well as it’s eclectic shops, delicious restaurants and cosy cafes.
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The Beltline

  • You won’t find a livelier neighbourhood than Calgary’s Beltline. Set southwest of the city centre, the Beltline is the place to see and be seen. It’s home to a large selection of restaurants and cafes, as well as unique boutiques and local shops.
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Inglewood

  • Inglewood is one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods. It was the site of Calgary’s original downtown core and for decades was the hub of all that was happening in Calgary.
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Bridgeland

  • Bridgeland is a beautiful neighbourhood located north of the Bow River. It sits adjacent to both the Downtown and Inglewood neighbourhoods and is well-connected throughout the city.
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Calgary is an enormous and sprawling metropolis. It is the largest city in the province of Alberta and is Canada’s fourth largest metropolitan area, after Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

Nestled between the prairies and the foothills of the Rockies, Calgary is an energetic city where urban cowboys and big city glamour collide. It has a world-class restaurant scene, rich and diverse cultural offerings, and is one of the rowdiest sports towns in the country. With so much to see, do and eat, it’s no wonder that Calgary is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations.

The city is divided into four main quadrants. Each quadrant is home to a diverse set of communities and neighbourhoods. In total, there are nearly 200 neighbourhoods for visitors to explore and experience.

To help you plan your time in Calgary, this guide will explore the five best neighbourhoods.

Starting with downtown. Set at the centre of the city, downtown Calgary is home to popular tourist attractions and landmarks, as well as restaurants, bars, and cultural venues.

To the west is the Beltline. This lively and vibrant neighbourhood is where you’ll find Calgary’s entertainment district packed with bars, clubs and delicious restaurants.

Victoria Park is a historic neighbourhood situated southeast of downtown Calgary. It is renowned for heritage homes, vibrant shops, and electric restaurants and bars.

Across the Bow River is the Bridgeland community which boasts the amazing Calgary Zoo and the interesting TELUS Spark, as well as a variety of other family-friendly attractions.

And finally, head south from here and you’ll arrive in Inglewood. One of the coolest neighbourhoods in the city, here you’ll find independent boutique and local coffee shops as well as craft beer, tasty treat and plenty of delicious food to eat.

Still not sure where to stay in Calgary? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

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Calgary’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Calgary based on your travel interests and budget.

 

#1 Downtown – Where to stay in Calgary first time

Downtown is a large neighbourhood located at the heart of Calgary. It is where businesspeople and buskers rub elbows, and where you’ll find a great selection of historic landmarks and popular tourist attractions. Because there is so much to see and do, downtown Calgary is our pick for where to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.

This neighbourhood is also a haven for fearless and adventurous foodies. Packed throughout this vibrant neighbourhood is a plethora of world-renowned restaurants offering creative and unique dishes from cuisines from around the world. So whether you’re craving a savoury steak or vivacious Vietnamese, there’s something for every taste in downtown Calgary.

Downtown, Calgary

 

Things to See and Do in Downtown

– Admire the amazing design of the Calgary Public Library.

– Browse the exciting exhibits at the Glenbow Museum.

– Catch a performance by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.

– Climb to the top of The Calgary Tower and enjoy panoramic views of the city.

– Discover The Famous Five by visiting the monument.

– Go for a stroll down the Stephen Avenue pedestrian mall.

– See a range of performances and exhibits at the Arts Commons.

– Sink your teeth into premier Alberta beef at Saltlik Steakhouse.

– Snap a picture in Olympic Plaza.

– Take a relaxing stroll through the Devonian Gardens

– View incredible works of art at The Art Gallery of Calgary.

 

Best Hostel in Downtown: HI Calgary City Centre

This newly renovated property is our favourite hostel in downtown. It is a quick walk from the city centre and is close to great bars, restaurants and shops. We love this hostel because it offers so many amenities, including free all-you-can-eat breakfast, individual lockers, bed lights and more!

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Best Hotel in Downtown: Homewood Suites by Hilton Calgary Downtown

The Homewood Suites is centrally located. It is close to the Glenbow Museum and plenty of popular tourist attractions and restaurants and within walking distance. This hotel has comfortable rooms, modern amenities, a rooftop terrace and a pool. Because of these great features, this is our pick for where to stay in downtown Calgary.

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Best Hotel in Downtown: Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Downtown

This excellent hotel offers four-star luxury at the heart of the city. It has a variety of features, including laundry facilities and an on-site restaurant. This hotel is ideally located near Calgary’s top tourist attractions and a vast array of eateries and cafes are just a short walk away.

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#2 Victoria Park – Where to stay in Calgary on a budget

Situated south of the downtown core is the historic neighbourhood of Victoria Park. One of the oldest communities in the city, this community is best known for its heritage houses and relaxed atmosphere as well as it’s eclectic shops, delicious restaurants and cosy cafes.

Victoria Park is also where you’ll find a good selection of budget accommodation option. From vacation rentals and B&Bs to our favourite hostel in town, this lovely community is our top pick for where to stay if you’re looking to save a little money while you explore Calgary.

Victoria Park, Calgary

 

Things to See and Do in Victoria Park

– Dance the night away at the legendary Cowboys Dance Hall.

– Don’t’ miss the exciting, lively vibrant and world-renowned Calgary Stampede, which takes place every summer.

– Feast on mouthwatering Mexican fare at Native Tongues Taqueria.

– Root for the hometown Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

– Sample one of the delicious and unique flavours available at Village Ice Cream.

– Savour Indian dishes at the Calcutta Cricket Club.

– Sip urbane drinks at the Proof Cocktail Lounge.

– Wander along the stunning Elbow River or rent bikes and explore the banks on two wheels.

 

Best Hostel in Victoria Park: Wicked Hostels – Calgary

The Wicked Hostel is our recommendation for where to stay in Victoria Park because it has a wonderful location and a plethora of amenities. Guests can enjoy fast wifi, a filling breakfast, free laundry service and unlimited coffee, tea and hot cocoa. In addition to this, there are comfortable beds and spotless common spaces.

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Best Hotel in Victoria Park: Suite Digs Alura

The Suite Digs Alura is centrally located – and is our top pick for where to stay in Victoria Park. This property is close to the Calgary Tower and Scotiabank Saddledome and offers easy access throughout the city. This hotel boasts comfortable rooms and guests have access to laundry facilities and a lift.

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Best Hotel in Victoria Park: Suite Digs Arriva

This two-room hotel is a quaint and cosy place to make your base in Calgary. It is conveniently located near popular tourist attractions and landmarks and there are plenty of restaurants, shops and bars nearby. Rooms have comfortable beds and offer a variety of amenities to ensure a comfy stay.

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#3 The Beltline – Best area to stay in Calgary for nightlife

You won’t find a livelier neighbourhood than Calgary’s Beltline. Set southwest of the city centre, the Beltline is the place to see and be seen. It’s home to a large selection of restaurants and cafes, as well as unique boutiques and local shops.

The Beltline is also home to Calgary’s infamous 17th Avenue – or the Red Mile. The heart of the city’s entertainment district, 17th Avenue is home to a vast array of lively bars, bustling pubs and boisterous nightclubs where you can dance from dusk until dawn. That’s why the Beltline gets our vote for where to stay in Calgary if you’re looking for nightlife!

The Beltline, Calgary

source: Qyd (Wikicommons)

 

Things to See and Do in The Beltline

– Choose from a wide range of Canadian craft beers at National on 17th.

– Dress to impress at Bespoke, an upscale lounge in the Beltline.

– Drink, dance and party all night long at Twisted Element.

– Enjoy a night of good food and great drinks at Last Best Brewing & Distilling.

– Grab drinks at the Ship and Anchor.

– Indulge in a mouthwatering burger or outrageous milkshake at Regrub.

– Kickstart your day with a delicious breakfast at Monki.

– Sip creative and urbane cocktails at The Milk Tiger Lounge.

– Sneak a peek at the intriguing Chinook Arc installation.

– Spend a fun night at the Commonwealth Bar & Stage.

 

Best Hotel in The Beltline: NUVO Hotel Suites

The Nuvo Hotel Suites is your best bet for budget-friendly accommodations in The Beltline. It has large and modern rooms with air conditioning and kitchenettes. Guests can also enjoy free wifi, a golf course and laundry services. Ideally located in Calgary, this hotel is a quick stroll from top tourist attractions and bars.

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Best Hotel in The Beltline: Best Western Plus Suites

Large rooms, wonderful views and an unbeatable location – it’s no wonder we love this Calgary hotel! Set at the centre of the city, this hotel is close to shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. It boasts a variety of features, including a Jacuzzi, a sauna and free wifi.

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Best Hotel in The Beltline: Hotel Elan Calgary

The Hotel Elan is a modern and rustic four-star hotel and our top choice for where to stay in the Beltline. This hotel is comprised of 62 spacious and stylish rooms. Each is outfitted with a variety of amenities and guests can enjoy a myriad of services.

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#4 Inglewood – Coolest place to stay in Calgary

Inglewood is one of Calgary’s oldest neighbourhoods. It was the site of Calgary’s original downtown core and for decades was the hub of all that was happening in Calgary.

But don’t come to Inglewood expecting the neighbourhood to be old and outdated. In fact, Inglewood is one of the coolest neighbourhoods not only in the city but in all of Canada. It is one of the most culturally diverse areas of Calgary and is where you’ll find everything from bikers bars and local boutiques to antique stores, art galleries and creative restaurants.

So whether you’re a culture vulture, a fabulous foodie, a fashionista or an art aficionado, this neighbourhood has something to offer travellers of all tastes and styles.

Inglewood, Calgary

source: Tracy (Flickr)

 

Things to See and Do in Inglewood

– Down a pint at the Cold Garden Beverage Company.

– Enjoy local cuisine and stylish drinks at The Nash.

– Explore the lush and expansive Inglewood WIldlands and visit the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary.

– Grab a late night snack at the Blackfoot Truck Stop.

– Indulge at Bite – Grocer & Eatery.

– Kickstart your day at Delightful Café.

– Listen to live music at the Ironwood Stage & Grill.

– Sample from a great selection of creative brews at High Line Brewing.

– See brilliant exhibits at the Esker Foundation.

– Sip a cappuccino or cocktail at Gravity Espresso & Wine Bar.

– Unleash your inner animal at Gorilla Whale.

 

Best Bed & Breakfast in Inglewood: Novel Bed and Breakfast

Enjoy a relaxing and comfortable vacay in Calgary by making your base at this delightful B&B. It offers four cosy rooms each outfitted with modern amenities. Guests can also enjoy free wifi, luggage storage and a library. It is ideally located for exploring Inglewood, the city and surrounding countryside.

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Best Hotel in Inglewood: Executive Suites by Roseman

Located at the heart of the neighbourhood, this hotel is close to all of Inglewood’s most popular restaurants, bars and tourist attraction. It offers easy access throughout the city and is conveniently situated for exploring. This property provides comfortable and spacious rooms with modern amenities and a garden.

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Best Hotel in Inglewood: O Stays Sobow

The O Stays Sobow is our pick for the best place to stay in the Inglewood neighbourhood because of its great central location near bars, restaurants and shops. This modern hotel has comfortable and spacious rooms with cosy beds and a variety of great amenities. There’s also a garden and terrace for guests to relax in.

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#5 Bridgeland – Best neighbourhood in Calgary for families

Bridgeland is a beautiful neighbourhood located north of the Bow River. It sits adjacent to both the Downtown and Inglewood neighbourhoods and is well-connected throughout the city.

Home to Calgary’s Little Italy, Bridgeland has made a name for itself in recent years thanks to its excellent selection of bistros and cafes which serve delicious and satisfying breakfasts and brunch.

This neighbourhood is also home to two of Calgary’s top family-friendly attractions, the Calgary Zoo and TELUS Spark. Because of these two fantastic attractions – and a handful of others – Bridgeland is our pick for where to stay in Calgary for families.

Bridgeland, Calgary

 

Things to See and Do in Bridgeland

– Dine on a delicious and filling breakfast at OEB Breakfast Co.

– Eat an incredible bowl of ramen at Shiki Menya Ramen.

– Feast on local dishes at the Blue Star Diner.

– Grab a slice of savoury and saucy pizza at LCV Pizza Bar.

– Have your mind blown at the groundbreaking TELUS Spark science and discovery centre.

– Pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon in Tom Campbell’s Hill Natural Park.

– Rent bikes and explore the Bow River pathway.

– See your favourite animals, reptiles, apes and aquatic creatures at the incredible Calgary Zoo.

– Snack and sample your way around the Riverside Farmers’ Market.

– Try one of the best burgers in Calgary at Burger 320.

 

Best Apartment in Bridgeland: McPherson Place

This comfortable apartment was designed with travellers in mind. It offers a wide range of essential amenities and has a comfortable bed and lounge area. Conveniently located in Bridgeland, this apartment is a short stroll from Fort Calgary and the Calgary Zoo. Downtown is also just a short drive away.

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Best Apartment in Bridgeland: Vento

This apartment is a fantastic place to stay if you’re travelling with family. The property boasts two comfortable beds with a flat-screen TV and a full kitchen. Guests have access to a private balcony as well as free wifi. There are plenty of great attractions, shops and restaurants nearby.

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Best Hotel in Bridgeland: Executive Suites by Roseman

The Executive Suites by Roseman is our top choice for where to stay in Bridgeland because it offers comfortable and clean accommodations at a reasonable price. This property boasts two cosy apartments with a variety of essential amenities. There’s also an outdoor terrace and a relaxing garden to enjoy.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Calgary

Calgary is a city that shouldn’t be missed. It’s a great sports town, has a world-class restaurant scene, and offers a variety of lively bars and vivacious clubs to choose from. No matter your age, budget or interests, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Calgary, Alberta!

In this guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in Calgary. Although there aren’t many hostels in the city, we’ve done our best to include apartment rentals and bed and breakfasts alongside mainstream hotels. If you’re still not sure which area is right for you, here is a quick recap.

Wicked Hostels – Calgary is the best hostel in the city because of its central location, a variety of amenities and its delicious free breakfast.

Another excellent option is the Hotel Elan Calgary in the Beltline because it is surrounded by eateries, shops, clubs and landmarks.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email hostels@thebrokebackpacker.com to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


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