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A Calgary City Guide – energetic city of big business and big fun, with a taste of the Wild West

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Calgary a big, brash city with a lot to brag about. Sprawling out at the cusp of the Rocky Mountains, it's got streets thumping with lively bars and clubs, the dining scene will get anyone's mouth watering, and then there's the annual Stampede, with its raucous rodeos. A gateway to the big outdoors as well as being a gleaming commercial hub, it's a city not to be forgotten.
Where to eat

 

 

Calgary is stuffed to the brim with great places to fill your face, regardless of your budget. Always broadening its palate, the city has an excellent and ever-growing reputation for food. There's modern, cutting-edge cuisine to be found here in places like Downtownfood, a bistro on bustling Stephen Avenue which is known for its bold use of ingredients grown very locally. 17th Avenue is another foodie paradise, with Model Milk being one of its hip eateries, based within a historic dairy building. A tasty brunch in Kensington, or perhaps a gourmet hot dog at Spolumbo’s on 9th Avenue, will not disappoint. While in "Cowtown" be sure as well to get your fair share of beef.

 

Where to shop

 

 

Spending money in Calgary is an absolute treat. Regardless of what you’re in the market for, you’re sure to find something that’ll grab your fancy in just about every one of the city’s thriving shopping destinations. Both Downtown and 17th Avenue are ablaze with places perfect for kitting yourself out with the latest trends and accessories – the former being decorated with sparkling malls and shopping centers while the latter is scattered with designer boutiques and galleries. Inglewood is the city’s oldest neighborhood and comes with a suitable aged charm. Great for antiques, marvelous for vintage style, and even better for recycled junk, it really is a must.

 

Where to stay

 

 

If you want a prime perch in the heart of the action, a hotel either in Downtown or across the Beltline should hit the spot. In the former you can find some of the swankiest accommodation Calgary has to offer, with plenty of plush and endearing quirks sure to catch your eye, not to mention shimmering pools and indulgent spas that guarantee some restful downtime. If during Stampede season you want a place from which to crawl straight to and from the party, then the Beltline is the place to be. Its suites and apartments allow for self-catering and quality sleep. For low budgets and close-to-the-airport convenience, with golf nearby, the northeast part of Calgary is ideal.