Located at a two hours drive from the iconic Banff National Park, the city of Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and the third biggest city in Canada, with a population of approximately 1.2 million people. Having 20 buildings over 150 meters, the skyline of the city is certainly a view you would not want to miss.
As the city is relatively flat (the mountains are too far away to have a clear view of the city), it can be tough to find a great lookout point to enjoy the scenery. To help people find the best viewpoint of the city, we’ve put together a list of the best scenic lookout points in Calgary and we’ve made sure to include lookout points that are free to visit, as you don’t necessarily have to pay to enjoy a beautiful view.
#5: The calgary tower
With its 191 meters height, the Calgary Tower is a tough-to-miss building when you explore Calgary. It was built in 1967 to celebrate Canada’s centennial. Its observation deck offers you a fantastic view of the city and its surroundings. The fact that the tower is located in downtown Calgary might make it less attractive for photographers as you can’t fit the whole city at once in one picture but the view is definitely worth it. In addition, the tower offers plenty of things to make your experience unforgettable, such as a glass-floor balcony, a multimedia tour directly on your mobile device, restaurants and a gift shop. Head on to their website for more information on the experience offered and pricing.
#4: Mt Pleasant View Point
Located on the south side of the Bow River, on top of a small hill, Mount Pleasant viewpoint offers a beautiful view of downtown Calgary, the Bow River and the historic Centre Street Bridge. Unlike the Calgary Tower, the viewpoint is free, as it is in a park and it’s easier to take a picture of the whole city in one shot as the park is outside downtown. This scenic viewpoint is ideal for dog owners as a dog park is next to the lookout spot.
#3: Peace Bridge
While Calgary’s Peace Bridge might not be the best lookout spot to view downtown, it’s certainly a must when you’re visiting Calgary, especially for photographers. As we can see in the picture below, the combination of the beautiful, modern bridge, the Bow River and a part of downtown Calgary gives us a wonderful view. This viewpoint is the perfect place for photographers or people who just want to enjoy the ambiance. Due to its proximity to downtown Calgary, the bridge can easily be accessed and is reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, which makes it safer.
#2: Scotsman’s Hill and Skyline View
At number two on our viewpoints list for Calgary, we regrouped Scotsman’s Hill and Skyline View together as they are close to each other and both offer a similar view. These 2 lookouts give people a more complete view of the city as they offer a view of the Calgary Tower and the Scotiabank Saddledome, two iconic buildings in Calgary. Both lookout points have benches where you can sit and enjoy the view or take pictures. The only downside to these viewpoints is the distance from downtown, but the view is worth a longer drive.
#1: Crescent Heights Lookout Point
Finally, at number one, we have Crescent Heights Lookout Point. Located close to Prince’s Island Park, an island surrounded by the Bow River, Crescent Heights Lookout offers a fantastic view of Calgary. From there, we can see downtown and its tallest buildings such as The Bow and Prince’s Island with its stunning vegetation and the bridge leading to the island. People who like walking could easily go from downtown to the Crescent Heights Lookout, passing through Prince’s Island Park before enjoying Calgary’s best scenic viewpoint.
In short, Calgary’s skyline is one of the most scenic skylines in Canada and everyone passing by or living in this city should at least visit one of the lookout spots listed here to have an awesome time. As we can see, yes, Calgary is flat, but there’s no shortage of breathtaking viewpoints to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We invite you to visit our lookout points map to find even more scenic viewpoints in Calgary or in other cities of the world if you’re not in Calgary right now.