Being of the biggest cities in Alberta, Edmonton is often seen as a gateway to Jasper National Park and the gorgeous places to visit in Alberta. That being said, Edmonton isn’t just a gateway city, it’s actually a great city to visit in its own right. With heads of the best things to do in Edmonton dotted all across the city, it’s the kind of place you can stay for a few days, before heading into the great outdoors.
Over the years, we’ve visited Edmonton and loved our stay. There are heaps of restaurants, the iconic Ice Castles of Edmonton, fat biking routes and so much more. It’s the kind of Albertan city that’s great at any time of the year. Even if the winter weather can be a tad cold.
Heck, what am I saying, it can be freezing! But don’t let that put you off, it just makes for incredible things to do in Edmonton.
So, take a look at some top places in Edmonton to visit on your trip. Have an amazing time exploring Alberta.
1.) Muttart Conservatory
Visiting Muttart Conservatory might not seem like one of the best things to do from the outside, but don’t let that fool you.
All the great stuff inside the glass pyramids. You see, hidden inside is one of Canada’s largest botanic gardens and well worth visiting at any time of year.
Best of all, Muttart Conservatory holds, well over, 700 different plants from all over the world. And guess what, you don’t just need to be a botany fanatic to fall in love with this place. It’s such an incredible way to learn how these ecosystems work.
Oh, and if you’re running out of time, the Muttart Conservatory sometimes have later evening times on certain days of the week. Plan ahead and book tickets before going. You’ll love it.
2.) Fort Edmonton Park
First off, Fort Edmonton is huge! You’re going to need lots of time to see it all – but don’t let that put you off.
Perfect for the whole family, Fort Edmonton is an excellent place to learn more about the history of First Nations populations, European settlers and Canadians that called this area home.
It’s such a great way to see a slice of history and the teams that run and showcase the history and are so passionate. One thing to note, it can get really busy on weekends. To avoid the crowds, visit mid-week.
After a morning in the park, head park to Edmonton city centre and grab a seat at the Little Brick Café for lunch.
This totally informal and cute cafe is such a treat and the food is so wholesome and tasty.
3.) Rogers Place
Okay, Rogers Place was my first-ever venue for a hockey game, and I loved it! I can still remember the chant – let’s go oilers!
Though, truth be told, I never realised how violent Hockey is. There’s some serious shoving and pushing going whilst on the ice. Thankfully, we weren’t playing and watched from the seats (with hot dogs in hand).
We totally loved it and it was one of the best things to do in Edmonton on an evening in the city. Before arriving in the city, check out the website for tickets and book ahead. It’s such a great atmosphere and totally fun.
3.) Edmonton Mall
So, the Edmonton Mall might just be one of the biggest malls I’ve ever visited! I swear we don’t get them this size in London.
Visiting is one of the best things to do in Edmonton on a cold or dreary day. You see, it’s all inside, which makes it perfect in the chilly winter months.
Anyway, the great thing about Edmonton Mall is that it’s not just a typical mall filled with shops. Yeah, the firm favourites and branded stores are all there but it’s so much more than that.
Honestly, you can spend days inside, especially in the huge water park, bowling alley, and indoor theme park. In fact, it’s got one of the highest indoor rollercoasters in the whole world. Yes, I admit, I screamed the house down whilst riding it.
4.) Elk Island National Park
Although, technically not in Edmonton itself, Elk Island National Park is a short car ride away.
Home to all kinds of wildlife, the park has lakes and wetlands, and it is so scenic. Go watch the buffalo roam in the fields in the summer or head out biking, too.
If you’re visiting in winter, pop out on a guided tour to go, snowshoeing. We totally loved it and it really made for a special experience.
Looking for a dinner spot after getting back to Edmonton? Book at Baijiu.
It has an Asian-inspired menu that’s totally yummy and the vibe is really cool. We loved it… even the roasted cauliflower which I’d normally turn away from.
5.) Alberta Legislature Building
Alberta Legislature Building stands tall over Edmonton and is probably one of the city’s most famous spots.
If you plan well, you can go on a free guided tour on Saturday (between 12-3 pm) throughout the halls and take in the history and development of the Alberta Legislature Building.
Once inside, you’ll get to learn all about the history of how the building came to be in 1913 and its present-day functions. Not only that, but you’ll also come across some cool ancient architecture.
6.) TELUS World of Science
Probably the largest science centre in all of Alberta, visiting TELUS World of Science is one of the best things to do in Edmonton when visiting with the family.
You see, it’s filled to the brim with cool science facts and quirky exhibits that make it all so much fun with kids. It’s all hands-on and so much fun. Oh, and don’t forget to see the theatre and planetarium exhibits that are out-of-this-world!
Before going, grab a tasty breakfast at District Café. The food here is amazing and their pastries and eggs are so good.
7.) Art Gallery of Alberta
Nestled in Churchill Square, the Art Gallery of Alberta is one of the biggest and best galleries to explore in all of Alberta. You can literally spend hours inside, especially with all the seasonal and permeant exhibitions that make it so special.
Once here, be sure to check out the building itself. It’s not just the art that’s beautiful here. Honestly, the architecture is just stunning. Anyway, that aside, check out the modern art galleries which we loved.
Just be warned, parking can be tough around this area, so plan ahead.
Want to keep costs down? The Art Gallery of Alberta gives totally free entry between 4-7 pm on the final Thursday of every month.
8.) Edmonton Fat Biking
Okay, this is an Edmonton winter activity that we loved.
We booked our tour with Revolution Cycle and totally loved our trails around the city. It was such a great way to explore, even in freezing temperatures.
Just be sure to book your fat biking tour of Edmonton before arriving. Spaces can be limited, especially at peak times.
Afterwards, head over to one of the tastiest Mexican restaurants in Edmonton.
It’s called Rostizado and their tacos are just so good! Plus, their cocktails (with lashings of mezcal) are delicious.
9.) Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market
This is one of the best Farmer’s Markets in Alberta – hands down! We totally loved popping in whilst staying close by and it was always our go-to for snacks and sweet treats.
It’s just off 82nd Avenue (NW) and within easy reach of the main streets. You kinda can’t miss it on a Saturday.
Once here, be sure to stroll through the hundred, or so, local vendors and grab some local goodies. It’s one of the best things to do in Edmonton, though, you will leave stuffed, I guarantee it!
They have cool wine sellers, Grandma Bear with the tastiest baked goodies and so much more.
10.) Neon Sign Museum
Okay, so the Neon Sign Museum might not seem like one of the best things to do in Edmonton – but hear me out! Yeah, it’s not your typical type of place you might visit but it’s not too far from Rogers Place and really easy to visit if you’re around that area.
The museum itself is totally outdoors and totally free to see from the sidewalk (24 hours a day). Yes, you might only stop for 5-10 minutes, but it’s worth seeing as you wander Edmonton’s streets.
Afterwards, get yourself over to MEAT that’s not too far from Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. If you’re a meat lover, you will love this spot. Their ribs are just so good and juicy.