Calgary’s nightlife options range from traditional pubs and hip spots with patios to raucous sports bars and buzzing clubs. Locals are friendly, festive and always ready to put away a big Alberta steak or a few drinks, especially on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. However, during the Stampede, Calgary transforms into a true party city.
Downtown is a fine place for a drink during the day or early evening and the partying continues at bars and clubs dotted throughout the area. If you want your action more concentrated, stick to areas like Kensington (with a diverse range of cafés, bars, restaurants and clubs) or 17th Avenue SW (west of 4th Street), where the pubs have more character and the restaurants veer more towards the ethnic.
You can find events and nightlife listings in Swerve, available with the Friday edition of the Calgary Herald (http://swervecalgary.com), in where magazine (www.where.ca/calgary) and in Avenue Calgary magazine (www.avenuecalgary.com). You can buy tickets for most gigs and cultural performances through Ticketmaster Canada (tel: +1 855 985 5000; www.ticketmaster.ca).
Bars in Calgary
Situated next to Eau Claire Market on the banks of the Bow River, the Barley Mill is a lively bar offering a multitude of beers and whiskies, with a great patio in the summer. Lunch and dinner menus offer sandwiches, burgers and typical hearty pub grub such as pies and fish and chips.Address: Eau Claire, 201 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, T2P 4R3
Telephone: +1 403 290 1500.
A super-cool neighbourhood hangout in Bridgeland across the river from Downtown, Cannibale is a barbershop and bar in one. Once you've had a beard trim, head to the bar for a mezcal-based Aztec Warrior cocktail or a beer-and-shot combo. Keep hunger at bay with share plates of sourdough pretzels and olive toast.Address: Bridgeland, 813 1st Avenue NE, Calgary, T2E 0C2
Telephone: +1 403 454 5808.
There's no jostling for space in Proof, a hip cocktail bar where everyone gets a seat. The drinks and food menu both change regularly, and you may need extra time to make your choice once you've cast your eyes over the wall full of bottles of every type of spirit imaginable.Address: Beltline, 1302 1st Street SW, Calgary, T2R 0V7
Telephone: +1 403 246 2414.
Clubs in Calgary
Commonwealth Bar & Stage
A chic spot in a converted downtown warehouse, this hip club is spread over two floors. The owners are music-mad DJs and producers, so you can expect a fun selection of dance tunes. Modern Vintage Saturdays see current hits played upstairs and old-school classics downstairs.Address: Downtown, 731 10th Avenue SW, Calgary, T2R 0B3
Telephone: +1 403 247 4663.
Habitat Living Sound
Branding itself as a 'micro-club', Habitat Living Sound is a DJ-owned dance spot specialising in electronica. The bijou lounge hosts both local and international DJs, with a particular focus on house and techno tunes. Crowds cram the dance floor late at night.Address: Beltline, 1217 1st Street SW, Calgary, T2R 0V3
Telephone: +1 403 263 5447.
The HiFi Club
You'll hear different music every night in HiFi, which churns out everything from house to disco to soul to a trendy, early-20s audience. The tiny club doubles up as a live music venue, attracting both local and international acts. Saturday is the night to come for guest DJs or live bands.Address: Beltline, 219 10th Avenue SW, Calgary, T2R 0A5
Telephone: +1 403 263 5222.
Live music in Calgary
Ranchman's Cookhouse and Dancehall
If you're in Calgary during Stampede, it's practically obligatory to party at Ranchman's, which plays non-stop live music from noon until the small hours throughout the festival. At other times of the year, you can still enjoy this true cowboy bar, whose walls are plastered with rodeo memorabilia. Tuck into steaks and ribs, then work it off in the dancehall.Address: Haysboro, 9615 MacLeod Trail South, Calgary, T2J 0P6
Telephone: +1 403 253 1100.
Enjoy a taste of the South at this lively dowtown venue. Upstairs, you can sip draught Albertan ale and chomp on pulled pork or Albertan beef - the meat is smoked in a huge BBQ pit. Downstairs, local and international bands play in the Showroom, where you can hear everything from rock to metal to hip hop.Address: Downtown, 109 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, T2P 0W5
Telephone: +1 403 532 1911.
While Wine-Ohs' ground floor is a stylish bistro where you can dine on lobster mac and cheese or bison ribs, the cellar is the go-to spot for live music. The intimate venue plays host to an eclectic line-up of emerging local talent. Sit back and enjoy the tunes as you sip your way through the impressive wine list.Address: Downtown, 811 1st Street SW, Calgary, T2P 7N2
Telephone: +1 403 263 1650.