Ever thought about taking a trip to Edmonton, Alberta? We give you all the reasons to pack your bags, hop on a flight, and head over to this diverse city.
Edmonton, the capital of Alberta, is the fifth-largest city in Canada. It is a major cultural and educational centre, and has been referred to as “Canada’s Festival City.” Among its most popular landmarks are West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America, and Fort Edmonton Park, the largest living history museum in Canada. Read on and find out 8 reasons to travel to Edmonton. Check out Skyscanner’s Edmonton travel guide and plan your next vacation!
Why Travel to Edmonton:
1. The West Edmonton Mall
Edmonton has some fantastic shopping malls and the most famous among them is West Edmonton Mall. This popular shopping mall has an area of 490,000 square metres, houses over 800 stores, employs over 24,000 people and features a number of attractions. It remained the largest mall in the world from 1981 until 2004 and it is still the largest mall in North America.
Several of the West Edmonton Mall’s attractions hold individual world records. These include Galaxyland, the largest amusement park of the world, and World Waterpark, the largest indoor waterpark in North America.
2. Parks Abound
Another popular attraction in Edmonton, Fort Edmonton Park, is the largest living history museum in Canada. It showcases the history of Edmonton through historical structures, a stream train, streetcars, events, live shows, and 4D movies. The museum also has costumed interpreters during summer.
Located 48 km east of Edmonton city centre is Elk Island National Park, notable for its contribution in conserving American bison. It is a fully enclosed park with a “knob and kettle” landscape. Activities in the park include hunting, hiking, kayaking, camping, skating, cycling, and animal watching.
3. Fun Festivals
Sit Winston Churchill Square in downtown Edmonton is a great place to hang out because it hosts a number of festivals and performances. The Works Art & Design Festival is held in June-July and the Edmonton International Street Performer’s Festival is held in July. Other major festivals and events in Edmonton include K-Days, Sourdough Raft Races, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and the Edmonton International Fringe Festival.
4. Arts and Culture
The Art Gallery of Alberta, also located near Churchill Square, has a huge collection of historical and contemporary artwork by national and international artists. Royal Alberta Museum is another leading museum dedicated to Alberta’s people and history. The Telus World of Science, the Alberta Aviation Museum, and the Prince of Wales Armouries Heritage Centre are some other museums worth a visit.
The Old Strathcona district in south-central Edmonton is home to a number of big theatres, like the ATB Financial Arts Barns, the Varscona Theatre, and the Walterdale Playhouse. Other good venues for music and performing arts include the Francis Winspear Centre for Music, Citadel Theatre, and Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
5. Family Fun
Muttart Conservatory is a popular botanical garden in Edmonton, best known for its collection of tropical and arid biomes. Edmonton Valley Zoo, with over 350 animals and exciting rides, makes for a fun visit with the family.
For ideas of Edmonton activities for kids, check out the Trip guide “Best Kids Activities in Edmonton.”
6. Endless Food Options
From food trucks and mom and pop joints to fine dining restaurants with multi-cuisine menus, Edmonton offers something to suit all tastes and budgets. Downtown Edmonton, Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona, and 124th Street have the highest concentration of shops, restaurants, and bars.
Food trucks are parked at designated spots on the streets and serve a wide variety of food including vegan sandwiches, gluten-free gravy, soups, butter chicken pops, meats, sausages, and ice cream.
Some of the popular food venues in Edmonton include Cocoa’s Restaurant & Lounge for casual eating, Sofra Turkish Restaurant & Wine Cellar for traditional cuisine, Ruth’s Chris Steak House for beef, Tres Carnales Taqueria for Mexican, Corso 32 for Italian, La Ronde for cocktails, Russian Tea Room for burgers and pasta, and Japanese Village for seafood.
7. The Nightlife
Whyte Avenue (also known as 82 Avenue) in Old Strathcona is the most popular nightlife hub of Edmonton. It has bars, clubs, and after-hours party venues located all over, especially west of Gateway Boulevard. In Downtown Edmonton, most of the clubs are located along Jasper Avenue.
Some of the best places to enjoy Edmonton nightlife are the Bower, Union Hall, Black Dog, Cook County Saloon, Avenue Downtown, Gas Pump, and Envy Nightclub. West Edmonton Mall also has some vibrant nightlife venues like Palace Casino and Bourbon Street.
8. It’s Easy to Navigate
Edmonton city roads mostly follow a grid plan with south-to-north running streets and east-to-west running avenues. The city also has over 200 kilometres of trails for bicycles and pedestrians, making it a fun city to explore ina eco-friendly way.
The Light Rail Transit connects 18 stations across the city. There are also a fleet of buses offering services to various neighbourhoods. With major car rental companies like Budget, Thrifty, and Enterprise, renting a car is yet another option to conveniently get around the city.
Edmonton Travel Guide: Climate
Edmonton has a humid continental climate. Summer lasts from June through September and winter lasts from November through March. Fall and Spring are short and mild. Summers in Edmonton are relatively dry, with peak temperatures reaching around 18 degrees Celsius. Winters are snowy with average temperatures in January falling below -10 degrees Celsius. July sees the highest amount of rainfall. Make sure to check the weather before packing!
Edmonton Travel Guide: When to Go
The best time to visit Edmonton is from June through August. The weather is mild and the city celebrates several major festivals during this period. As summer is peak tourist season, Skyscanner can help you search and compare the best hotels in Edmonton for a great deal.
Flying to Edmonton
Edmonton International Airport (EIA) connects Edmonton with major cities in the U.S., Europe, and Mexico. There are also several flights to Edmonton from a number of Canadian cities including Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Kelowna, and Grande Prairie.
Ready to make your way and visit Edmonton? Check out Skyscanner’s flight search to get the best deal. Remember to check the weather before booking!