When planning a trip to Western Canada, sorting out where to stay in Calgary is a must. Calgary is the largest city in Alberta and the second-largest in Canada’s west. It’s an essential stop on the Western Canadian travel trail.
Fortunately, choosing among the best areas to stay in Calgary is easy for travellers. Most of the best hotels in Calgary sit in & around Downtown Calgary. The downtown area is home to many of the top things to see & do in Calgary. The city’s main festivals, including the world-famous Calgary Stampede, also take place here.
Ready to book your Calgary accommodations? Get started with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Calgary. In the guide, we cover all the top areas, neighbourhoods & hotels for visitors!
Best places to stay in Calgary
Calgary straddles the banks of the Bow River. It’s the fourth-largest city in Canada and the most populated city in Alberta.
Located in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Calgary is the urban gateway to Canada’s rugged west. From Calgary, you can easily visit Western Canada’s top outdoor destinations. Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore, and Jasper are all within driving distance.
With the Albertan city’s size & popularity with travellers comes the dilemma of choosing where to stay in Calgary.
Luckily, Calgary is compact and easy to navigate. Many of the best hotels & accommodations options in the city fall within the neighbourhoods in & around the downtown core. These areas are also home to many of the top tourist attractions in Calgary.
The best areas to stay in Calgary include:
✓ Best area to stay in Calgary for first-time visitors & sightseeing
If you ever needed a quick & easy answer for where base yourself on your Calgary trip, it’s simple: Downtown Calgary. Downtown is the city’s financial & cultural hub. The area is home to the city’s top restaurants, cafés, bars, and shopping experiences. You also stumble upon many of the city’s most popular tourist attractions here. In the area, you’ll find Calgary Tower, the Glenbow Museum, and Studio Bell, home to the National Music Centre.
Much of the action in Downtown Calgary resides along Stephen Avenue (8th Avenue SW). The stretch between 1st Street SE and 4th Street SW is most vibrant.
There’s a ton to do around here. Spend time eating & drinking at the barrage of cool restaurants, bars & cafés. Or roam around the Core Shopping Centre and Banker’s Hall. These two shopping centres offer Calgary’s finest shopping experiences.
With their prime location, hotels in Downtown Calgary fetch a premium. Downtown is also home to the best luxury hotels in Calgary. It’s the perfect neighbourhood for a luxe getaway in Calgary.
If you’re keen on making the most of your trip, it’s well-worth the extra cost to saddle up in downtown!
- Holiday Inn Express and Suites Calgary offers both regular rooms and suites without breaking the bank. This hotel is a great option if you’re eyeing a self-catering option within the heart of the city. There’s an on-site fitness centre for sportier visitors.
- Regency Suites Hotel is perfect if you’re searching for a self-catering stay in downtown on a budget. These city centre suites are well-stocked and central.
- Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire is a great choice if you need suites with more flash. You’ll love the amenities at this excellent hotel in Eau Claire. They include a pool, hot tub, water slide, and gym.
- Hyatt Regency Calgary is a centrally-located hotel that delivers spacious modern rooms. They’re splashed with a handful of extra amenities including a fitness centre. There’s also an excellent on-site Canadian restaurant, Thomsons Kitchen + Bar.
- Delta Hotels By Marriott Downtown is a contemporary hotel in the middle of the central city. It features well-appointed rooms and a stylish indoor swimming pool. You’ll also enjoy a seasonal sun deck with views over the city.
- Hotel Le Germain is a lovely boutique hotel that ranks among the best luxury hotels in Calgary. It matches a superb location with spacious & luxurious rooms. You’ll enjoy several memorable experiences staying at Hotel Le Germain. Chill out with a relaxing massage at the Santé Spa. Savour a juicy steak at the Charcut Roast House. Or sip a nightcap at the Lounge Central 899 to make the most out of your visit.
- Calgary Marriott Downtown is a downtown hotel that delivers the unforgettable accommodations experience its brand is famous for. The Marriott Downtown is a great choice for tourists thanks to its prime location. It’s located beside Calgary Tower and the Glenbow Museum. You’ll love the breadth of amenities here. They range from an indoor pool & fitness centre to several on-site restaurants.
- The Fairmont Palliser is a luxury Calgary hotel connected to the Telus Convention Centre. It’s one of the top choices for business travellers visiting the city. A host of luxurious amenities await including an indoor pool, hot tub, day spa, and fitness centre.
✓ Best neighbourhood to stay in Calgary for nightlife & entertainment
The Beltline is located south of the downtown core. It’s the coolest place to stay in Calgary for travellers looking to partake in the city’s nightlife. There’s also a wealth of entertainment options here.
The neighbourhood is located between the Calgary LRT to 17th Avenue SW. It’s bordered by 14th Street SW and the Bow River to the east.
For a great night out in Calgary, head for 17th Avenue SW. The Beltline’s main street is action-packed. It runs west from the Calgary Stampede grounds and BMO Centre (the former Saddledome). It’s home to many of the city’s most popular bars, nightclubs, and restaurants.
You’ll no doubt catch a crowd in the neighbourhood throughout most of the year. The Beltline is at its craziest, though, during the Calgary Stampede. The world-famous festival overtakes the city every July. The area is also wild when the Calgary Flames are playing at the nearby BMO Centre. (Especially, when they’re on a Stanley Cup Playoff run!)
Visiting Calgary during Stampede or planning to take in a hockey game or concert? You’d do well to stay in The Beltline.
Like in Downtown, accommodation prices in The Beltline are higher than elsewhere in Calgary.
- Best Western Plus Suites Downtown Calgary offers comfortable and fully-equipped suites. For the price, they’re unbeatable; you won’t find anything better in The Beltline. The 17th Avenue shopping & entertainment area is also 10 minutes away by foot.
- NUVO Hotel Suites for Residence offer beautiful & modern suites that are perfect for an extended visit. They’re budget-friendly and within walking distance of the best of the city.
- Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown Beltline District is a 3-star hotel that’s among the top picks in the area. It offers roomy suites along with a ton of excellent amenities. Highlights include a restaurant, fitness centre, and bar. You’ll also enjoy a shared lounge with excellent city views.
- Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott comprise a handful of charming suites. The units feature a sleek contemporary design aesthetic. They’re a great mid-range lodgings option for staying in the city’s entertainment hotbed.
- Hotel Arts is the trendiest option in the area. This boutique hotel delights with artistic designs. It’s home to a host of smashing extras. Enjoy the outdoor pool and two on-site restaurants and bars, the Yellow Door Bistro and Raw Bar.
- Monki Di Executive Suites – Alura offers suites close to the Telus Convention Centre. They’re a great option for business travellers or anyone with extended travel plans for the city. The units here are self-catering. They offer everything you need to qualify as your home-away-from-home in Calgary.
✓ Coolest neighbourhood to stay in Calgary for a hip & trendy local experience
East Village has recently emerged as one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Calgary. The area is a great choice if you’re looking to blend in a more local feel to your time in Calgary.
The East Village area is wedged between downtown to the west and The Beltline to the south. The Bow River forms its eastern edge. Thanks to its great location, it’s a quieter alternative to the other two top areas.
Even though it’s a little east of the city centre, there’s a handful of attractions in & around East Village. Points of interest include St. Patrick’s Island and Fort Calgary. Music fans will get a kick out of Studio Bell, home to the National Music Centre. Also nearby is the King Edward Hotel, Calgary’s most famous historical live music venue.
The accommodation selection in East Village isn’t huge. There are, however, a small handful of hotels, apartments, and rental-by-owner properties. If you choose to stay here, you shouldn’t have a problem finding something to suit your needs.
- Alt Hotel East Village is the hippest hotel in the area. This property features a trendy design aesthetic. It blends in perfectly with the feel of this cool neighbourhood.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton offers comfortable suites with full kitchenettes. This hotel is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for a “homier” feel for your stay. For music lovers, Studio Bell is two minutes away by foot.
- Hilton Garden Inn is a newer hotel that’s a top pick for travellers looking for moderns rooms without spending the usual city centre price tags. It’s located next to the Homewood Suites.
✓ Best place to stay in Calgary for a quieter experience within a historic neighbourhood
If the hustle & bustle of central Calgary is too much for your tastes, head southeast to Inglewood. This beautiful area is one of the only places in Calgary to catch a glimpse of the city’s historical roots. The area dates back to Calgary’s earliest days. As you wander about Inglewood, you’ll discover handsome historic buildings. Hidden within them is a barrage of small local shops, restaurants, and bars.
Inglewood is a quieter place to stay than the city centre, adding a more local element to your trip. Inglewood is one of the better options in the city for visitors eyeing an extended visit in Calgary. You’ll need your own car though; it’s a little far removed from most of the main attractions. The one exception is the Calgary Zoo. It’s located just north of the district over the Bow River.
- Novel Bed & Breakfast is the only “traditional” accommodations open in the Inglewood neighbourhood. This lovely B&B is as close as you’ll get to the feel of staying with a friend in Calgary.
✓ Top-rated neighbourhood in Calgary for families & hipsters
Kensington is perched on the northern banks of the Bow River. It’s a great area for travellers looking for a quieter local experience in a trendy neighbourhood that’s steps from the city centre.
Along with Hillhurst to the north, Kensington bursts with interesting places to visit. You’ll find cool & trendy local cafés, bookstores, pubs, and ramen bars. Several relaxing greenspaces are also scattered throughout the area.
In recent years, Kensington’s become one of the most popular areas to live in Calgary. It’s especially popular among young professionals & families. Why not test it out on your stay, too?
- Hotel Arts Kensington offers the area’s coolest accommodation. Like its sister property closer to downtown, this boutique hotel charms with a trendy Euro-inspired design. It also sits in lovely riverside location. The city centre is two minutes away, on the south bank of the river.
- Westmount River Inn is a great alternative to a traditional hotel stay. This guesthouse features luxurious ensuite rooms on the banks of the Bow River.