Although Edmonton might not come to mind when one thinks of visiting Canada, there are actually a lot of things to do in Canada’s northernmost major city. From world-class shopping to world-class festivals to beautiful snow-capped mountains just a few hours away, Edmonton has something for everyone and this guide will help you get the most out of your trip.
Locally known as “The Festival City”, Edmonton’s year-round entertainment keeps the city interesting and fun. During the summer months, there’s usually a festival every weekend such as The Works Art and Design Festival, The Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival, The Edmonton Folk Music Festival, and K-Days, which is the biggest festival in the city.
North America’s Biggest Mall
Formerly the world’s biggest mall, West Edmonton Mall is an attraction in itself. With over 800 stores, a full-size skating rink, one of the world’s largest indoor waterparks, a cinema, mini-golf, an amusement park with rollercoasters, a lake with a full-size ship, dozens of restaurants, and a themed hotel, you could actually stay at the mall for an entire week and not get bored.
The Canadian Rockies are one of the most beautiful places on Earth and Edmonton is the perfect starting point for visiting the mountain town of Jasper, Alberta. Though Jasper is just four hours west of Edmonton, it will feel like you’ve stepped into another world. If you have more time, you can also drive the Icefields Parkway all the way to Banff, which has been proclaimed the most scenic drive on the planet. If driving isn’t your thing, it’s also accessible by train for an old-fashioned Canadian adventure.
Fort Edmonton Park
While Fort Edmonton Park may not enter your mind when flying into Alberta’s capital, it’s certainly worth adding to your itinerary. Representing the history of Edmonton, Canada’s largest living history museum is a great place to travel back in time and see what life was like back in the late 1800’s. The park features many historical structures from Edmonton’s past and has historical interpreters wearing costumes from different eras during the summer months. If you’ve always wanted to be entertained while learning about the past, this is the place to go.
Edmonton’s River Valley
If you’re visiting the city during the warmer months, it’s worth taking time to visit the North Saskatchewan River Valley, which is home to the longest expanse of urban parkland in North America. This is a wonderful area to experience the city like a local by going for a jog, a bike ride, or even cross-country skiing if you visit during the winter months. Besides scenic landscapes you’ll also find the Valley Zoo and the very impressive Muttart Conservatory, which houses various climate-controlled greenhouses in futuristic pyramid-style buildings.
While this list is only a short guide to Edmonton’s top attractions, it’s a great starting point for planning an exciting trip to the former City of Champions. Once you find a hotel in Edmonton, it will be hard to stay inside with all the fun activities available throughout the city.
This article was written as part of the hipmunk #citylove project. As a paid writer for hipmunk, I’ve written about many cities around the world including Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria.