I love Edmonton, and I’m so happy to call it my home. It’s a city full of different and exciting things to see and do for everyone. Edmonton, the capital of the province of Alberta, is a place where something is interesting for both adults and kids. Whether you like learning about the past, enjoying nature, seeing art, or having fun, Edmonton has all of this and more. In this blog post, I want to show you some of the best places in Edmonton that you should visit.
I’ll take you through famous spots, cool museums, beautiful parks, and fun places to hang out. These places are great for families, people who like to explore on their own, art lovers, and anyone who wants to have a good time. So, get ready to find out about all the amazing things to do in Edmonton! Let’s start exploring the city’s top attractions.
The best things to do in Edmonton
1. Edmonton Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum is a must-visit attraction for history and culture enthusiasts. It is located in downtown Edmonton. The museum is home to a vast collection of artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Alberta. The museum’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including natural history, archaeology, ethnology, and paleontology.
One of the highlights of the museum is its Indigenous Peoples Gallery, which explores the rich history and culture of Alberta’s Indigenous communities. The gallery features artifacts, artwork, and interactive displays that provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the Indigenous peoples’ way of life.
The Royal Alberta Museum also houses a collection of fossils and dinosaur skeletons, including the world’s largest dinosaur species – the Tyrannosaurus rex. Visitors can learn about the prehistoric creatures that once roamed Alberta through interactive displays and hands-on activities.
2. Edmonton Valley Zoo
For animal lovers, a visit to the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a must. Located in the scenic river valley, the zoo is home to over 350 animals from around the world. From lions and tigers to monkeys and penguins, visitors can get up close and personal with a wide variety of species.
In addition to its animal exhibits, the Edmonton Valley Zoo offers a range of activities and events for visitors of all ages. From educational programs and behind-the-scenes tours to animal encounters and feeding sessions, there is always something exciting happening at the zoo.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo is also committed to conservation efforts and plays an important role in protecting endangered species. The zoo participates in breeding programs and works closely with other zoos and conservation organizations to ensure the survival of threatened species.
3. Edmonton River Valley: Muttart Conservatory
The North Saskatchewan River Valley is a natural gem that stretches across Edmonton, offering visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse themselves in nature. With over 160 kilometers of trails, the river valley is perfect for hiking, biking, and picnicking.
In addition to its outdoor activities, the river valley is home to several attractions that are worth exploring. The Muttart Conservatory, for example, is a botanical garden that features four glass pyramids filled with exotic plants from around the world. Visitors can wander through the gardens and learn about different ecosystems and plant species.
Another popular attraction in the river valley is the Edmonton Queen Riverboat. Visitors can take a leisurely cruise along the North Saskatchewan River and enjoy stunning views of the city skyline and surrounding nature.
Preserving the natural beauty of the river valley is of utmost importance to Edmontonians. The city has implemented measures to protect and conserve this valuable resource, ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy its beauty.
4. A good place to visit: Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park is a living history museum that takes visitors on a journey back in time to experience what life was like in Edmonton during different eras. The park features four distinct periods: 1846, 1885, 1905, and 1920, each with its own set of historical buildings, exhibits, and costumed interpreters.
Visitors can explore the fur trading era at Fort Edmonton, ride on a steam train from the early 1900s, or stroll through a bustling street from the 1920s. The park offers a range of activities and events, including live performances, historical reenactments, and interactive exhibits.
Fort Edmonton Park is not only a popular tourist attraction but also an important institution in preserving Edmonton’s history. The park works closely with historians, archaeologists, and Indigenous communities to ensure historical accuracy and authenticity in its exhibits and programs.
5. Top attractions in West Edmonton Mall
No visit to Edmonton is complete without a trip to West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes in the world and the largest mall in North America. With over 800 stores, a wide range of dining options, and numerous entertainment attractions, the mall offers something for everyone.
One of the highlights of West Edmonton Mall is its amusement park, Galaxyland. With over 24 rides and attractions, including roller coasters, bumper cars, and a Ferris wheel, Galaxyland is a paradise for thrill-seekers. The mall also features a water park called World Waterpark, which boasts numerous slides, wave pools, and even a surf simulator.
In addition to its shopping and entertainment options, West Edmonton Mall is an important contributor to Edmonton’s economy. The mall attracts millions of visitors each year, creating jobs and generating revenue for the city. This is why I personally make this mall and all it has to offer the best tourist attractions in the city of Edmonton.
6. Art Gallery of Alberta
The Art Gallery of Alberta is a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts. Located in downtown Edmonton, the gallery showcases a diverse collection of artwork from both Canadian and international artists. From paintings and sculptures to photography and installations, there is something for every art lover at the gallery.
The Art Gallery of Alberta also hosts a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, featuring both established artists and emerging talents. These exhibitions provide visitors with an opportunity to experience different art styles and movements.
In addition to its exhibitions, the gallery offers educational programs, workshops, and events that promote art and culture in Edmonton. The gallery’s commitment to fostering creativity and supporting local artists makes it an important institution in the city’s cultural landscape.
7. Best things to see: Telus World of Science
The Telus World of Science is a science center that offers a hands-on and interactive learning experience for visitors of all ages. The location features a wide range of exhibits and displays that explore various scientific disciplines, including physics, biology, chemistry, and astronomy.
Visitors can participate in interactive experiments, watch live science demonstrations, and explore its many exhibits. From the human body and outer space to robotics and environmental science, there is something for everyone at the Telus World of Science.
The science center also offers a variety of educational programs and events, including summer camps, workshops, and science-themed parties. These programs aim to inspire curiosity and promote science education among young people.
8. Edmonton High Level Bridge Streetcar
The Edmonton High Level Bridge Streetcar is a unique ride that takes you across the High Level Bridge, connecting downtown Edmonton to Old Strathcona. Riding this historic streetcar is like traveling back in time, offering a special view of the city. It’s more than just a trip; it’s a chance to see Edmonton from above the North Saskatchewan River.
As the streetcar moves along the tracks, you get amazing views of the river valley. This scenic journey is perfect for both people living in Edmonton and visitors. It’s a fun way to see the city’s beautiful sights from a high point.
This streetcar isn’t just a way to travel; it’s a piece of Edmonton’s history. It has been restored to look like the old streetcars from long ago. Taking a ride on this streetcar is a must-do for anyone interested in Edmonton’s past and for those who want a unique experience in the city.
9. Winspear Center Edmonton
The Winspear Center for Music is a world-class concert hall that hosts a wide range of performances, including classical music concerts, opera productions, and contemporary music shows. The center is home to the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and attracts renowned musicians and performers from around the world.
Visitors can enjoy the acoustically superb concert hall and experience the magic of live music performances. From symphonies and chamber music to jazz and pop concerts, there is something for every music lover at the Winspear Centre.
The Winspear Centre for Music also plays an important role in promoting music education and culture in Edmonton. The center offers educational programs, workshops, and outreach initiatives that aim to inspire young musicians and foster a love for music in the community.
10. Snow Valley Ski Club
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Snow Valley Ski Club is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Located just minutes from downtown Edmonton, the ski club offers a range of slopes and trails for all skill levels.
Visitors can take ski or snowboard lessons, rent equipment, or simply enjoy a day on the slopes. The ski club also features a tubing park, where visitors can slide down the hills on inflatable tubes.
This Edmonton ski club is not only a great place to have fun but also an important institution in promoting outdoor recreation in Edmonton. The club provides opportunities for people of all ages to stay active and enjoy the beauty of winter in Alberta.
11. Visit Edmonton Rogers Place: Edmonton Oilers
Rogers Place, right in the heart of downtown Edmonton, is more than just a building. It’s a key part of the places to visit in Edmonton. This modern arena is where the Edmonton Oilers play their exciting hockey games. It’s not just for sports fans but for anyone looking for a fun and lively experience in the city.
This place is a big part of the fun things Edmonton has to offer. Besides hockey, it hosts concerts and other big events. People from all over come here to see their favorite shows and artists. It’s a place where there’s always something exciting happening.
Going to Rogers Place means you get to feel the energy and spirit of Edmonton. It’s a spot where locals and visitors come together to have a good time. If you’re exploring Edmonton, make sure to stop by and see what’s happening at Rogers Place. It’s a place that shows what Edmonton is all about fun, community, and great entertainment.
12. Parks in Edmonton: Elk Island National Park
Elk Island National Park is a beautiful landmark in Edmonton. It is a perfect spot that a trip to Edmonton would not be complete without seeing. It’s close to the city, making it one of the best day trips from Edmonton. This park is a special place where you can see wildlife like bison, elk, and many birds.
In Elk Island, you can walk on trails through forests and fields or paddle in a canoe on Astotin Lake. It’s a peaceful place away from the noise of the city. At night, the park becomes even more magical. You can look up and see lots of stars, which is hard to do in the city.
This park shows some of the best things Edmonton has to offer. It’s a place where nature is close and beautiful. Whether you’re living in Edmonton or just visiting, Elk Island National Park is a great place to relax, see animals, and enjoy nature.
13. University of Alberta Botanic Garden
The stunning University of Alberta Botanic Garden is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. This beautiful Edmonton attraction is like a big outdoor museum of plants. It has many different gardens, each one showing a different kind of nature. You can see everything, from delicate flowers to big trees.
One special part of the garden is the Japanese Garden. It’s peaceful and pretty, with water and stones arranged specially. Another amazing spot is the Aga Khan Garden, which mixes ideas from Islamic gardens with plants from around the world. This place is not just about looking at plants; it’s about learning how people and nature can work together.
Visiting the University of Alberta Botanic Garden is one of the best things to see in Edmonton. It’s more than just a garden; it’s a place where you can learn and relax. Whether you’re interested in plants or just want to spend some time in a beautiful place, this garden is a great choice.
14. Alberta Railway Museum
The Alberta Railway Museum is a prominent museum in western Canada. I never knew about this museum until after my fourth year in Edmonton. Honestly, this is one of the best places to visit in Edmonton, as it offers a unique look into the history of trains. It’s also one of the top things to see for those interested in how railways have shaped our world. Here, you can see old trains and learn about their stories, making it a fascinating visit for both kids and adults.
This museum is more than just looking at trains. You can go inside some of the old railcars and feel what it was like to travel by train long ago. It’s a fun and educational experience, making the museum stand out among other Edmonton places to visit.
If you’re looking for things to do while visiting Edmonton, the Alberta Railway Museum is a great choice. It’s not just for train lovers but for anyone curious about history and technology. It’s a place where you can learn a lot and have a good time, too.
15. Alberta legislature building
The Alberta Legislature Building is a famous Edmonton attraction known for its beautiful architecture and important role in the city’s history. This large, impressive building is where Alberta’s government meets and makes decisions. It’s not just for politicians, though; visitors can take tours to learn about how the government works and see the beautiful design inside.
Besides learning about politics, the Legislature Building is part of the experiences in Edmonton that offer a look into Alberta’s history. The building has been around for a long time and has many stories to tell. There are also events and celebrations here, making it a lively place in the city’s cultural life.
Around the building are pretty gardens and open spaces where people can walk and relax. These grounds are a peaceful spot in the busy city, perfect for a break or a picnic. Whether you’re interested in history, politics, or just want to see a beautiful building, the Alberta Legislature Building is a great place to visit.
Bonus: Edmonton K-Days
I put this as a bonus because it is a festival and seasonal. The Edmonton K-Days is a big summer event that happens every year just north of Edmonton. For ten days, this festival turns the area into a lively place full of fun and excitement. It’s known for its thrilling rides, games, and the joy it brings to the city, making it a top thing to do in Edmonton during the summer.
At K-Days, you can enjoy lots of different things, like exciting carnival rides and tasty food that reminds you of happy times. There’s also live music for everyone, with bands and artists playing all kinds of songs. Plus, street performers add to the fun with their surprising acts.
This festival is more than just rides and music; it’s a chance for people in Edmonton to come together and celebrate. K-Days shows off the city’s diverse culture with special displays and events. It’s a perfect place for families, friends, or anyone looking for a good time and to make summer memories.
For other festivals in Edmonton, please read my list of the top 15 Edmonton festivals.
Conclusion: Top attractions in Edmonton
Edmonton is a city that truly has a plethora of experiences to offer its visitors. From the rich tapestry of history and culture to the breathtaking natural beauty, there’s something for every kind of traveler in this dynamic city. You can find everything here, whether you’re interested in the top museums in Edmonton, eager to see wildlife, enamored with art and music, or seeking to get close to nature. The views of the Edmonton skyline and landscapes are particularly stunning, adding to the city’s charm. As you explore around Edmonton, you’re sure to discover the countless reasons why this city is a cherished destination.