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Edmonton is a city of champions. With the Oilers, Elks, and Stingers all being champions in their respective sports, there's no wonder that Edmontonians are proud to call this place home. This article will be a tourist guide for those visiting the great city of Edmonton as well as those who live here and want to explore it further!

Tours from Edmonton

Where is Edmonton?

 

Edmonton is in the province of Alberta, Canada, and lies on the North Saskatchewan River. If driving, it's approximately 300 kilometers from Calgary to its south, 500 km from Saskatoon to its east, 1300 km from Vancouver to its west, and 3000 km away from Toronto or 3500 km from Montreal.

How to Get Around in Edmonton

train trail in Edmonton city

Edmonton's public transit system includes buses, LRT (light rail transit), and bus/LRT combo. To get around the city, we recommend taking the LRT downtown because it takes only 20 minutes to go from the south to the north. After that, you can walk or take a bus depending on where your destination is!

Driving is another viable option to get anywhere in the city. Edmonton has an extensive road and freeway network, but if you're staying downtown, parking is limited!

General Information about Edmonton

  • Area – 767.85 sq km (296.47 sq mi)
  • Population – 932,546
  • LocationAlberta, Canada
  • Established - 1795
  • Best time to visit – Year-round
  • Top attractions – Fort Edmonton Park, Royal Alberta Museum, Elk Island National Park
Infographic about Edmonton city

A Brief History of Edmonton

Edmonton has a long history, dating back to 1795 when it was called Fort Edmonton. It later became an outpost for the Hudson Bay Company in 1821 and then eventually grew into its own settlement (now known as the city of Edmonton). After that, Edmonton kept growing and growing into the large city it is today.

aerial view of Edmonton city

What to Do in Edmonton

Looking for something fun to do in Edmonton? There are many things to see and do here, but these are the activities we recommend doing:

Watch a Sports Game

Edmonton is the city of champions, and you will be able to see that if you watch a game at Rogers Place (home of the Oilers) in Edmonton’s Ice District downtown, Commonwealth Stadium (the home field for the Edmonton Elks), or Clarke Field (home stadium for FC Edmonton).

Golf

There are many golf courses in the city of Edmonton, and the Edmonton region has more than 80 courses. The Lewis Estates Golf Course in the west end is one of the most popular, but you can also visit Highlands, Riverside and Victoria in the North Saskatchewan River Valley or The Ranch, Jagare Ridge or Raven Crest if you want to play some more challenging courses.

Go Ice Skating

On a frozen winter day in Edmonton, there's nothing better than going ice skating! There are many places to go ice skating in Edmonton. All you need to do is Google search "Ice Skating Rinks near me", and you'll most likely find a rink nearby.  Your best choices are in Victoria Park and Hawrelak Park in Edmonton’s river valley or downtown at City Hall. 

Go Shopping for Local Art

The Alberta Craft Council Gallery is full of local art, as well as the 104 Street Market, Downtown Farmers Market or the Old Strathcona Farmers Market on Whyte Ave.  Or you can also visit West Edmonton Mall which has a large selection of stores selling locally made goods!

Take in Some Art

Edmonton is home to many galleries and museums, such as the Art Gallery of Alberta near City Hall (which has some really neat exhibits), the Royal Alberta Museum, and much more!

Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton

Festivals

Edmonton is known as ‘Festival City’ and has more than 50 festivals year-round, one of the most popular being the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. It is a live theatre festival full of art and entertainment from around the world that takes place every August in Edmonton. Other large summer festivals include the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival, Taste of Edmonton, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Heritage Festival and K-Days.

Nightlife

Edmonton has great nightlife! There are many pubs, bars, and clubs in Edmonton where you can go to have fun. The most popular place for people 18-35 is Whyte Ave (82nd Street), but if you want something more family-oriented, check out Jasper Ave downtown.

friends drinking beer in Edmonton

Parks, Hiking and Walking

Edmonton has beautiful parks and amazing green spaces.  Edmonton’s River Valley is the largest urban park in Canada, with more than 160 km of maintained trails and pathways. Also in the River Valley park system, you will find Fort Edmonton Park a living history park that is a must-see when in Edmonton and Hawrelak Park which also holds the annual summer heritage festival, Kinsmen Park has a special park for kids called Kid City, and the Muttart Conservatory - one of Canada’s largest indoor botanical gardens.

scenery of Edmonton city

Eating

Edmonton is a great place to eat because it has tons of different cuisines and cultures, so if you're looking for some delicious food, this city is the one to go to! Whether you want a good old hamburger, some Ethiopian food in the "Eth-no-place," or fancy dinner downtown, Edmonton has something for you!

Edmonton has something for everyone! If you visit, make sure to explore as much as possible. There are tons of things to discover and do in Edmonton, so have fun exploring the city!

restaurant in Edmonton city

When to Visit Edmonton

Edmonton has four distinct seasons, and it is important to know which season you will be visiting, so that you can plan your trip accordingly. Edmontonians love their summers because the days are long and hot (with temperatures reaching 30°C) while winters tend to get rather cold (-20°C). Fall sees a mixture of both summer heat and winter cold. Spring is the time when you will see Edmonton at its prettiest with flowers everywhere and temperatures warming up to that of summer.

Edmonton city distance view in spring

Where to Stay in Edmonton

Edmonton has a variety of hotels and accommodations, but these are some of the best:

Best Western Plus City Centre Inn

This hotel is located downtown in the heart of it all, so you can walk everywhere. It's also right by Rogers Place if you're visiting Edmonton for an Oilers game!

Comfort Hotel & Suites

This hotel is also downtown, and it has great amenities like a pool, hot tub, fitness center, sauna room with steam bath, and a BBQ area for grilling your own food!

Holiday Inn Express

This hotel is located right on the edge of downtown, so it's great if you want to be close but still away from all of the noise.

Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

This hotel has a great view of the river valley, so if you want to take some pictures, this is definitely the place to stay.

Hotel Macdonald in Edmonton city

Best Western Plus South Edmonton Inn and Suites

This hotel is located in the South, so if you're visiting Edmonton for an FC Edmonton game, this might be your best bet.

Regardless of where you stay, Edmonton has tons of hotels and accommodations, so there is no shortage!

Concluding Thoughts on Edmonton

Edmonton is a great city with an abundance of activities, culture, food, and more! It's definitely one of the greatest places to visit in Canada! All in all, Edmonton is a fun place to visit with something for everyone!

Attractions near Edmonton