The best spots to take photos in Calgary

While it doesn’t have centuries-old architecture like Europe or glittering temples like you’ll find in Asian cities, Calgary’s urban streetscapes combined with its proximity to the mountains makes it a great spot for photographers. Here are some of the most photogenic spots in the city, whether you’re looking for a backdrop worthy of a bridal party or simply want to beef up your Instagram gallery.

The Rundle Ruins

One of the city’s best-kept secrets, you’ll find this group of ruins along 12 Ave. S.E. near the Saddledome. There are a few different sandstone formations, which means there are still plenty to go around if you find yourself there at the same time as a bride and groom—which is pretty much guaranteed to happen if you visit on a Saturday during the summer.

The Ramsay Ruins. calgary

The Rundle Ruins.

Wonderland sculpture

This huge metal sculpture sits in front of the massive Bow Tower on Centre Street and 6 Avenue. A wire portrait of a girl’s head, it was the subject of scorn when it was first unveiled. However, Calgarians have grown to love it and it’s now become a famous site in the city—just don’t try to climb it!

RELATED: The best things to do in Calgary, Alberta

'Wonderland' sculpture. calgary

The ‘Wonderland’ sculpture can be found on Centre Street and 6 Ave.

East Village

This area has been completely transformed over the past decade into a vibrant, hip, happening area. Sandwiched between the Bow River and downtown, it has one of the city’s most enviable spots and makes the most of it. Photogs love the glimmering National Music Centre which changes colour depending on the sunlight, as well as the historic Simmons Building.

National Music Centre

The historic Simmons Building in the East Village

A pop-up space in the East Village

Peace Bridge

Another one of those controversial art projects (due to its $25 million price tag), the Peace Bridge has arguably become one of the most photographed spots in the entire city since opening in 2012. The bright-red steel beams are a shutterbug’s dream, and the fact that its backdrop happens to be the glittering downtown skyline and the bright green river doesn’t hurt much either. You can find the Peace Bridge along the Bow River pathway, just off 7 Street S.W.

RELATED: A stylish stay at Calgary’s Hotel Arts Kensington

The Peace Bridge. calgary canada

The Peace Bridge.

Scotsman’s Hill

Scotsman’s Hill in the southeast community of Ramsay is a favourite of photographers thanks to its unique perspective of the city. Overlooking the aptly-named Saddledome arena, it offers a fantastic vantage point of the city’s high-rises and is also a prime spot for watching fireworks during the Calgary Stampede.

The downtown Calgary skyline as seen from Scotsman's Hill.

The downtown Calgary skyline as seen from Scotsman’s Hill.

Stephen Avenue

Surrounded by towering skyscrapers, 8 Avenue has made the most of its surroundings thanks to some cool sculptures that line the popular thoroughfare. Of note are the 10 ‘tree’ sculptures which reach up to 26 metres high, and can be found near the twin Bankers Hall buildings. Another popular spot for portraits and wedding photos is the walkway alongside the Hudson’s Bay building on 1 Street S.W.

Stephen Avenue

Stephen Avenue

Crescent Heights

A favourite spot for lovebirds, the views from this affluent community just outside the city centre are extraordinary. After heading up a steep hill, you’ll reach the cliff side which looks straight over downtown. Not only is this a great place to watch the Canada Day fireworks, but it’s also great for checking out Christmas lights during the holidays.

RELATED: 21 signs you’re from Calgary, Alberta

canada-calgary-crescent-heights-downtown

The view of downtown Calgary from Crescent Heights.

Central Memorial Park

The site of a historic library, this beautiful park in the heart of downtown Calgary is a great place to unwind. Not only is the library itself a great backdrop, but there are also meticulously manicured gardens, numerous fountains including some that light up at night, war memorials and a great little restaurant. Central Memorial Park is located on 12 Avenue and 2 Street S.W. in the Beltline.

Memorial Park Library

Hillcrest Avenue lookout

This tiny slice of land boasts one of the best vantage points in the city. With an unobstructed view of the downtown skyline as well as views of the Mission and Beltline communities, it’s also a prime spot for watching the Calgary Stampede fireworks. Located in the community of Mount Royal, the quiet park has pretty gardens and a couple of benches, perfect for sitting back and enjoying the view.

Have any great spots to add to the list? Share them below!

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17 Responses

  1. Dsn Wardlaw says:

    Few other spots, Calgary Airport, just outside of Calgary south on #2 coming into city (wonderful cityscape) from the Calgary Tower 360 degree view.

  2. Frank King says:

    Carburn Park, in the southeast community of Riverbend, is another great spot.
    And Princes Island Park provides wonderful combinations of trees, parkland and skyscrapers (plus wildlife in the ponds).

  3. Ray says:

    I’m heading to Calgary in about three weeks for a work event. It will be my first time there, and I really only have the Monday to do some exploring. Thanks for these suggested vantage points. Once I find out which hotel we are staying at, then I will refer back to this blog post for some ideas.

    Scotman’s Hill would be my first choice as it generally the most famous scenic shot of Calgary. I lost count how many times Hockey Night in Canada has used it for its opening shot anytime they broadcast Calgary Flames games from the Saddledome!

  4. Jane Lang says:

    Do you have any photographs of the Calgary skyline looking west at the Rocky Mountains?

  5. Ronnie says:

    Once i visit in East village and Peace Bridge. I still have photograph with this great memory.

  1. August 26, 2014

    […] READ MORE: The best spots for photography in Calgary […]

  2. September 2, 2014

    […] up in Calgary, Alberta, I can be a bit judgmental when it comes to the province’s capital city. I blame it on the Battle […]

  3. August 4, 2015

    […] The best spots for photographs in Calgary […]

  4. August 4, 2015

    […] Prince’s Island Park hosts many of the city’s large celebrations like Canada Day, and also has Shakespeare in the Park productions. One can’t-miss spot is the famous Peace Bridge, a bright red pedestrian bridge which has regularly been placing on top architecture lists since being completed in 2012. You’ll find it on the west end of the park, and if you visit on a Saturday chances are you’ll end up in some wedding photos! […]

  5. June 6, 2016

    […] The best spots to take photos in Calgary […]

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    […] ALSO ENJOY: The best things to do in Calgary, Alberta 21 signs you’re from Calgary, Alberta The best spots to take photos in Calgary SHARE THE PINSPIRATION! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO PIN: Globe Guide experienced a Calgary staycation […]

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    […] The best spots to take photos in Calgary […]

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