Compiled by the Road Trip Alberta team
Last updated on January 1, 2024
A visit to Calgary is complete when you take a trip up the Calgary Tower and see the 360-degree city-wide view. From 191 metres up, you’ll be able to see the Rocky Mountains to the west, the prairies to the east and stand on a glass floor while looking straight down on a busy 9th avenue below. And be sure to make it a special evening by catching a sunset and then enjoying a meal with one of the best views in the city. A trip up the Calgary Tower is an experience you won’t soon forget.
Guide to Visiting the Calgary Tower
What is the Calgary Tower?
Found in downtown Calgary, the Calgary Tower is a notable landmark in the city skyline at a whopping 191 metres. With arguably the best view in Calgary from its observation deck, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the city, the nearby Rocky Mountains, and the prairie landscape. There’s also a pretty cool glass floor that is sure to get the adrenaline pumping!
Constructed of concrete and steel, the tower was originally built in order to honour Canada’s centennial celebrations as well as to promote the downtown core.
Today, it is one of the city’s most recognizable icons and a major tourist destination; not only is it one of the best things to do in Calgary, it’s also a popular dining spot. And while it’s no longer the tallest structure in Calgary – that title belongs to Brookfield Place – it’s still a fantastic way to look out over the bustling city below.
Calgary Tower Fun Facts
- There are 802 steps in the stairwell up the tower. Start training!
- If stairs aren’t your thing, need not worry. There are two elevators in the tower and will bring visitors up the tower in a mere 62 seconds.
- The Calgary Tower is the world’s largest Olympic Torch.
- There are 132 LED lights on the exterior of the tower.
Construction of the Calgary Tower began in February 1967 and was completed in June 1968. Originally called the Husky Tower, it was renamed in November 1971 to honour Calgarians.
Notable renovations over the years include a huge overhaul of the observation areas in 1985, the addition of a glass floor in 2005, and exterior LED lights in 2014 (which is how the Calgary Tower puts on such a fantastic light show every night). In 2018, the 50th anniversary of the tower, a theatre room was opened to the public that includes 21 screens on a curved wall.
Location and Parking
The Calgary Tower is located at 101 9 Ave SW. Found in the downtown core of Calgary, it’s fairly easy to spot… just don’t forget to look up! You can easily visit the tower on foot, by car, or by public transportation.
Accessible by many bus routes, the Calgary Tower is only a short walk from many downtown C-Train stations. The closest bus stops are 5518, 3884, and 7380, while the closest C-Train stations are 1st Street SW or Centre Street.
If you are driving your own car to the Calgary Tower and require parking, try the Palliser Parkade. It is located at 120 -10th Avenue SW and can be easily accessed via 9th Avenue or 10th Avenue. Both hourly and daily rates are offered.
Calgary Tower Opening Hours
Thankfully, the opening hours at the Calgary Tower are very consistent, and it is open every day of the week. In June, July, and August, the tower is open from 10 am to 10 pm daily. From September to May, the tower is open from 10 am to 9 pm daily. Make sure to check the website to guarantee the tower is open before you visit, as these hours may change and/or national holidays may affect the opening times.
There are two types of prices of admission to the Calgary Tower: online and walk-up. You can definitely save a few dollars if you buy your tickets online, so we recommend doing so. The prices of admission to the Calgary Tower are as follows:
- General (ages 13-64): Online $19, Walk-up $21
- Child (ages 4-12): Online $9, Walk-up $10
- Infant (age three and under): Free
- Senior (age 65+): Online $17, Walk-up $19
Note that these prices do not include GST, which will be added at checkout.
If you have a group of 15 people or more, make sure to inquire about group rates by calling (403) 781-8518 or by emailing email@example.com.
Thankfully, the Calgary Tower, as well as the Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge, are both wheelchair accessible. Service dogs are also welcome inside the tower.
Things to do at the Calgary Tower
Enjoy the View from the Observation Deck
If you want amazing views over the entire city as well as of the majestic Rocky Mountains, a visit to the Calgary Tower is a must. You’ll have fantastic views of buildings such as Brookfield Place, The Bow, Bankers Hall, and the Saddledome, and you can even try to spot the Calgary Zoo, the YYC Airport, and much more, including the Rocky Mountains in the distance.
Walk over the Glass Floor
If you want a little rush of adrenaline, make sure to walk over the glass floor at the tower! Put your courage to the test by stopping to take a photo looking 191 metres down on 9th avenue for a brand new way of looking at the city.
Enjoy a Meal at Sky 360
The Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge is one of the most unique places to eat in Calgary. This revolving restaurant – which completes a full 360° turn over the course of an hour – gives you a beautiful view of the city and the surrounding landscapes, all while you enjoy a wonderful meal. Open for dinner every night and for brunch on weekends, we highly recommend reserving a spot at sky360.com.
Take a Multimedia Tour
Available to download on your mobile phone, Calgary Tower has a multimedia tour that gives you a ton of information about the tower itself as well as what you’re seeing from the observation level. With tons of interesting facts as well as insider knowledge about the structure, you’ll walk away feeling you know a whole lot more about the city of Calgary.
Visit the Theatre Room
With 21 screens over a curved wall, the Theatre Room showcases an original short film – Calgary Tower – Building and Icon – as well as footage from Travel Alberta of this beautiful province. Shows start every 15 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm.
Browse the Souvenir Shop
Found in the lobby, the souvenir shop has a lot of original memorabilia as well as apparel and keepsakes from all over Canada. It’s the perfect spot to pick up a souvenir of your time in the city… even if you’re a local!
Calgary Tower Sky 360 Restaurant
Yes! One of the best things to do at the Calgary Tower is, in fact, to eat at the Sky 360 Restaurant and Lounge. Make a reservation on sky360.com for dinner (Sunday to Thursday: 5 pm – 11:30 pm, Fridays and Saturdays: 5 pm-midnight) or for brunch on weekends (Saturdays and Sundays: 10 am to 2 pm). This rotating restaurant is the perfect spot for a romantic or memorable meal.
Another option is Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, which is located at the base of the Tower on the 2nd level. Walk-ins are welcome.
Hotels Close to Calgary Tower
Location: 133 9 Ave SW
A stone’s throw from the Calgary Tower on 9th Avenue, the Fairmont Palliser is a majestic building the in downtown core. With 407 guest rooms, there’s an air of class and elegance as soon as you step into the lobby of the Fairmont Palliser. With amazing service as well as a ton of amenities, it’s a fantastic choice for a hotel near Calgary Tower.
Hotel Le Germain
Location: 899 Centre St S
Another great choice for hotels near the Calgary Tower is the Hotel Le Germain. With 143 rooms, the artistic decor, as well as the high-class amenities, give this hotel its reputation as one of the most romantic in the city. Also, take advantage of the full-service spa and the wonderful dining options.
Location: 119 12 Ave SW
The Hotel Arts is a beautiful hotel in downtown Calgary. This boutique hotel provides a ton of luxury as well as one of the best pools and poolside services in the city. With a modern vibe and amenities such as a fitness centre, a spa, golf simulators, and a bike program, there’s lots to love about the Hotel Arts.
If you want to get out and explore the rest of the city, check out our complete guide to visiting Calgary.
Many thanks to Tourism Calgary for the passes up the Calgary Tower.
Pete is a co-founder of Road Trip Alberta. Growing up in Edmonton he has an extensive knowledge of Alberta and everything the province has to offer. He loves to eat good food, hike (especially in the winter), play tennis and curl. Apart from running Road Trip Alberta, he is a director with HMI, a digital media agency, half of the Hecktic Travels duo, and a co-creator of the popular card game Trip Chaser.