Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta, Canada, is a modern, bustling business town that’s packed with plenty to see and do. The city is probably best known for being the home of North America’s largest shopping mall, and not to mention its epic annual fringe festival. It’s also one of the few cities in the world that is completely rat-free. That might not sound like much, but there’s a surprising number of fun things to do in Edmonton, you just have to know where to look!
The city is filled with green spaces and has the North Saskatchewan River flowing through it. It also sits within reach of breath-taking landscapes, parks and wilderness. Don’t just take our word for it though, keep scrolling to see some of the best things to do in Edmonton if you’re ever in the area.
View the displays at the Art Gallery of Alberta
Whilst in Edmonton, you’ll definitely want to catch a glimpse of the futuristic looking Art Gallery of Alberta (formerly the Edmonton Art Gallery). It’s a refreshing sight amongst the towering skyscrapers. Get Instagramming outside this impressive photogenic building and then step inside to discover a collection of 6000 pieces of historical and contemporary art. The AGA is focused on connecting people, art and ideas.
Look at the world’s largest collection of insects at the Royal Alberta Museum
You can’t go to Edmonton without visiting the awesome Royal Alberta Museum. Get a real insight into Alberta’s aboriginal culture, see the world’s largest collection of insects, and make sure you check out the Wild Alberta gallery. If you are fascinated by aviation then you may also want to check out Alberta Aviation Museum
Gaze at the Northern Lights
You might not know this but you can occasionally see the Northern Lights in Edmonton. It’s one of the best places in Canada to see Mother Nature’s masterpiece. Head out after dark, just before midnight to a spot just outside of the city. AuroraWatch can help you to predict when it’s the best time to see the lights.
Spot Wildlife at Elk Island National Park
For any nature lovers out there, this is one of the best things to do in Edmonton. If you venture outside of the city centre, you’ll soon find yourself in Elk Island National Park, which is just under an hour’s drive away. It’s a stark contrast to the busy city, and if you’re lucky, you will find wildlife such as elk, bison, moose, deer and coyotes. Elk Island is a special island of conservation where you can go hiking, camping and bird watching.
Uncover Edmonton Mall – the largest water slide in the world
The famous mall is something you should definitely see whilst in Edmonton. When we say mall it’s more of a small city and theme park. On top of the endless rows of shops, the Edmonton Mall houses an ice rink, a fake reef, a hotel, an amusement park and the largest water slide in the world. You could actually stay at the mall for an entire week and not get bored.
Discover the Telus World of Science
The Telus World of Science is by far one of the coolest things to do in Edmonton. If you love the natural world then this is the place to be. The Telus World of Science is a science centre with exhibits on the human body, robots and much more. It has an IMAX theatre, planetarium, observatory and science stage. This is a must see place when on vacation in this part of Canada.
See one of Canada’s largest botanical collections by venturing inside the pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory. One of the most well-known landmarks of Edmonton, the conservatory incorporates three city operated greenhouses, public gardens as well as three pyramids that have a specific climate (tropical, temperate and arid), and one pyramid that changes its flowers depending on the season. They are pretty cool to see from the outside, but step inside and you will suddenly be surrounded by hundreds of plants. A year round escape into the world’s plant life.
Meet the animals at Edmonton Valley Zoo
Another big tourist attraction in Edmonton is the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Stand metres away from an amazing collection of animals and wildlife including tigers, wolves, snakes, elephants, zebras and monkeys. Edmonton Zoo is located on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. It’s a small zoo ‘that provides authentic and engaging animal experiences.’
The Canadian Rockies are by far one of the most beautiful places on Earth and the city of Edmonton is the perfect starting point for visiting the mountain town of Jasper, an alpine town in western Alberta. Although Jasper is just four hours west of Edmonton, it will feel like you’ve stepped into another world. A trip to the Canadian Rockies will transport you into breath-taking landscape, you will discover excitement visit charming alpine towns and explore thrilling vistas.
Appreciate local art at Whyte Avenue Art Walk
Whyte Avenue Art Walk is the place to visit if you want to see local artwork. It’s free to wander around and admire the work of local artists who display their work on the streets. The display is 4 kilometres long and you can see 450 visual artists in action.
Are there any fun things to do in Edmonton we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.