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Exploring Edmonton

Edmonton, Alberta

Exploring Edmonton

Edmonton serves up the perfect blend of big city vibes and exhilarating outdoor adventure. Explore the vast boreal landscapes where the bison roam during the day, then dine at some of Canada's hottest local taprooms and innovative eateriesExternal Link Title at night. With an endless list of attractionsExternal Link Title, Edmonton is the perfect place to make memories in Western Canada.

Attractions to discover


At the top of the list is West Edmonton MallExternal Link Title, the largest indoor shopping and entertainment complex in the world. Also in the 'world's largest' department: the mall's indoor wave pool, indoor lake, and indoor amusement park. At the equivalent of 48 city blocks and spanning over 5.3 million square feet, the mall is the size of a small city, so you'll definitely have no problem finding what you're looking for. Go on, give your wallet a run for its money!


West Edmonton Mall
West Edmonton Mall - Credit: Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

The Art Gallery of Alberta External Link Titleis a must-visit for lovers of classical and contemporary art. A collection of over 6,000 works, a regularly changing schedule of period pieces, and modern exhibitions means that you will never have the same experience twice. The architecture of the building is as fascinating as what's inside - with a swirling exterior of zinc, glass and steel inspired by Edmonton's unique northern environment, its silver colour reflects the shimmering, multi-coloured Aurora Borealis. 

The Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton
The Art Gallery of Alberta - Credit: Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

The Royal Alberta MuseumExternal Link Title (or RAM as it's known to locals) is Western Canada's largest museum, located just blocks from the Art Gallery of Alberta. Each of the more than two million objects in the RAM's collection has its own unique story to tell. When pieced together, you will begin to discover what makes the province so remarkable.

Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton
Royal Alberta Museum - Credit: Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

Amiskwac?w?skahikan, also known as Edmonton, is located on Treaty 6 Territory, home to many nations including the Cree, Saulteaux, Blackfoot, Sioux and M?tis People. Edmonton is lucky to boast the second largest Indigenous population in Canada, full of talented performers, artisans, musicians, and entrepreneurs. Immerse yourself in the culture on a day-trip to M?tis CrossingExternal Link Title, take an Indigenous-led tourExternal Link Title, or taste the inventive meals created by trailblazing Indigenous chefsExternal Link Title.  

Metis Crossing, Edmonton
Metis Crossing - credit: Travel Alberta/Roth and Ramberg

Take time to explore the North Saskatchewan River ValleyExternal Link Title, the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America at 22 times the size of New York City's Central Park. The 160 kilometres of trails and pathways that make up the river valley are perfect for running, cycling or walking in the summer, or snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. Take a Segway tourExternal Link Title along the riverside or discover the North Saskatchewan River by canoe, kayak or paddle board. The river valley is also home to the Edmonton Valley ZooExternal Link Title.

Edmonton River Valley
Edmonton River Valley - credit: Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

A perfect day in Edmonton


June through August, the sun can rise as early as 5:00 am and sets as late as 10:00 pm. That's 17 hours of vitamin D, and plenty of time to pack in warm-weather activities. The sun even sticks around when the temperature drops in the winter, which makes for Instagram-worthy shotsExternal Link Title of Edmonton's snow-covered landscapes. No matter when you visit, Edmonton is made for exploring. Here are some ideas for a fun-filled day in Alberta's capital.


Start the day off at one of the city's iconic local restaurants. Edmonton is the youngest capital city in Canada, and that means that its chefs aren't afraid to experiment. Sweet or savoury brunch items are easy to find with restaurants like Caf? MosaicsExternal Link Title, The Duchess BakeshopExternal Link Title, Little Brick Caf?External Link Title, and MeatExternal Link Title on the culinary roster.

MEAT – Authentic Southern BBQ in Old Strathcona
MEAT – Authentic Southern BBQ in Old Strathcona - credit: Edmonton Economic Development Corp.

Once you're fueled up and ready to go, head to the beautiful grounds of the Alberta LegislatureExternal Link Title and take a free guided tour. This marvel of marble pillars, carved oak, and beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture is stunning in summer, winter, or any season in between. Set atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, this is the backdrop to the province's political action.


Alberta Legislature
Alberta Legislature - credit: Government of Alberta

If you'd rather spend the morning shopping, take yourself on a stroll along Whyte Avenue External Link Titlefor some of the best independent boutiques in the city.  The funky, bohemian spirit and historic buildings blend with youthful exuberance in this trendy neighbourhood. The city's celebrated arts and cultural community makes its home here, as does one-of-a-kind art galleries, music shops, trendy restaurants and caf?s.


Pick up lunch (keep your eyes peeled for the various farmers' marketsExternal Link Title around the city), then head out on an outdoor adventure to Elk Island National ParkExternal Link Title. In the wintertime, try your hand at snowshoeing, skating or cross-country skiing. The park is home to free roaming plains bison, moose, deer, elk and over 250 species of birds. Also, both the largest and smallest terrestrial mammals in North America make their homes here, the wood bison and pygmy shrew. Stick around in the evening, and you may get a glimpse at the swirling chorus of pulsating lights know as the Aurora Borealis.

Grazing bison at Elk Island National Park
Grazing bison at Elk Island National Park - credit: Robin Laurenson @motherpixels

To close out your adventure, head to one of the city's legendary local taprooms and unwind after a long day of exploring. Polar ParkExternal Link Title, CampioExternal Link Title and Sea Change Brewing Co.External Link Title serve up craft beer and tasty bites that are far from the ordinary. You can even take your brewery-hopping experience to the next level with the Explore Edmonton Brewery PassExternal Link Title, a digital passport which offers discounts to the best brews in the city.