Blake Walsh

18 Best Things to Do in Edmonton

  • Published 2021/10/28

Situated right by the North Saskatchewan River, you can find the gorgeous city of Edmonton.

Serving as the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, you will find many sights to see when you come here.

This historical place is known worldwide for being rich in culture and history and blessed with breathtaking natural beauty.

Many tourists come here to witness its excellent attractions, and many of them like to return and enjoy the best this city can provide in terms of entertainment.

Here are some of the best things to do in Edmonton, Canada.

Discover the Collection Featured at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Art Gallery of Alberta

Jeff Whyte /

Apart from being historical, the Art Gallery of Alberta boasts an extensive collection of items that you can discover when you visit.

The gallery was established in 1924, and it serves as the oldest cultural institution in the area.

It features more than 6,000 items that they display on numerous exhibits, with objects from both Canada and worldwide.

Other than their impressive showcases of art, this gallery also hosts many classes and programs that are open to the public.

Tour the Alberta Legislature Building

As its name suggests, this building in Edmonton serves a function in the community.

However, it has also become a popular tourist destination in the city.

Here, the city’s Legislative Assembly and Executive Council meet to discuss the matters in running Edmonton.

Alberta Legislature Building

Vadim Gouida /

As a visitor, you can take part in guided tours through this famous building.

Guides called “Heritage Interpreters” teach visitors about Alberta’s history and culture.

They also share the roles of the Legislative Assembly in the community.

Apart from these, you also get to know more about the architectural design of the building.

There are many things to discover in this place that is integral to the city.

Learn About Botany at the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden

University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden

Bob Hilscher /

Discover the beauty nature provides as arranged in a gorgeous garden.

When you visit the city, consider checking out the University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden.

This place was founded back in 1959, and it’s among the largest botanic gardens in Alberta.

University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden

Bob Hilscher /

The 240-acre attraction has two areas – a 160-acre lot for plants set in a natural state and an 80-acre area with arranged gardens and greenhouses.

Here, you can either explore the gardens freely or join a guided walking tour to learn more about the plants and arranged gardens featured here.

Witness how gorgeous plants can be at this Edmonton attraction.

Watch One of the Fringe Theatre Adventures’ Shows

Don’t miss out on catching performances organized by Fringe Theatre Adventures (FTA) if you love performing arts.

The FTA regularly organizes and presents theater performances and festivals throughout the year.

One of the most popular festivals it’s known for is the famous Edmonton International Fringe™ Theatre Festival.

This theater group dedicates itself to showing world-class performances to let the world discover works of local, national, and international artists.

Step Inside the Muttart Conservatory

Muttart Conservatory

2009fotofriends /

One of the most striking buildings you will see in Edmonton is the Muttart Conservatory.

Here you will find an impressive botanical garden housed in four glass pyramids.

Three of the pyramids were designed to showcase different biomes, while the fourth features artsy exhibits and displays.

Apart from these outstanding displays, this place is also one of Canada’s most lauded institutions for plant science.

Muttart Conservatory

Jeff Whyte /

This museum houses one of the country’s largest botanical collections.

It also aims to educate the public regarding the study of plants.

Apart from the garden displays, the conservatory also hosts several events, art exhibits, shows, and programs that you can attend.

You can also take part in some of the classes and workshops they organize.

Stroll Through Historic Gardens at Fort Edmonton Park

Steam train at Fort Edmonton Park

Bruce Raynor /

You can find Edmonton Park along the city’s river valley.

This popular tourist destination is around 158 acres big, featuring wooded parkland that you can discover.

Here, you can find out that this park has four areas representing a different era between 1846 to 1920.

The park invites visitors to explore these sections by riding a steam train that goes through the park.

Fort Edmonton Park

NAB_Photography /

Apart from the train, you may opt to go around the park on carriages or streetcars.

Even old automobiles are available to ride around here.

Do you find this place interesting?

When you do come here, try to visit during long weekends or holidays as staff members in costume will be there to greet guests and tell you more about the park.

Learn About Natural History at the Royal Alberta Museum

Royal Alberta Museum

alarico /

Another popular tourist attraction in Edmonton is the Royal Alberta Museum.

This place dedicates itself to sharing the area’s natural history.

It has a variety of exhibits that showcase natural history, featuring wildlife, insects, and spiders.

This museum boasts a collection with more than 10,000,000 items showcased in three permanent exhibits.

Apart from the mainstay showrooms, this museum also hosts visiting exhibits and curated showcases.

Open from Friday to Sunday, visit the Royal Alberta Museum and learn more about the creatures that roam the Earth with you.

Discover the Wonders of Science at TELUS World of Science

TELUS World of Science

Ritu Manoj Jethani /

The TELUS World of Science or TWOS provides opportunities to learn more about science in a fun way.

Housed in a modern building in Edmonton, visit this place with the entire family for an exciting time, learning about many aspects of science and technology.

This site features interactive exhibits tackling a myriad of science-related topics, including space and robotics.

A planetarium and an IMAX theater are also connected to it, opening more opportunities for learning and having fun.

You can head to this site’s gift shop to find a souvenir or eat at the in-house cafe after a long day of exploring.

Ride a Streetcar Over the North Saskatchewan River at High Level Bridge Streetcar

A significant sight that you can witness in Edmonton is the High Level Bridge Streetcar.

The city’s first streetcars were introduced back in 1908.

Through time, Edmonton has become famous for a streetcar route that lets you go over the North Saskatchewan River.

High Level Bridge Streetcar

EdmontonMartin /

Given this exciting piece of history, you can check out a museum dedicated to this popular streetcar.

It houses a collection of photos, employee uniforms, tickets, and models all related to the streetcars of Edmonton.

You can even ride on a 1912 Edmonton streetcar that has been fully restored.

Experience this breathtaking and famous route, and check out the significant role in the city’s history and heritage.

Watch an Orchestra Show at the Winspear Centre

Winspear Centre

alarico /

Check out the home of the city’s local symphony orchestra when you visit Edmonton.

At Winspear Centre, you can watch live performances of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

This performing arts center has a vast concert call, boasting a seating capacity of more than 3,500.

Apart from live shows, you can also see the majestic Davis Concert Organ.

You can find this performing arts center right at the heart of the city, conveniently located near many establishments.

Concert Organ at Winspear Centre in Edmonton

The original uploader was Rob McAlear at English Wikipedia., CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Spend a Day at William Hawrelak Park

In Edmonton, you can find several popular parks that many locals and tourists visit.

One of them is William Hawrelak Park.

Measuring 168 acres, this park has a lake and incredible grassy landscapes.

William Hawrelak Park

2009fotofriends /

Here, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities that you can do.

You can do water-based activities here, like swimming and paddling.

Alternatively, you can go on land-based adventures here, too, such as hiking and going on a picnic.

In Winter, you can also try cross-country skiing and outdoor ice-skating at the park.

For the convenience of tourists, this park has a main pavilion with several shops and food stands.

It also has a playground, so your kids won’t get bored during your trip here.

You can also catch several fun festivals hosted here throughout the year.

Have a Picnic at Mill Creek Ravine Park

Mill Creek Ravine Park in winter

Vadim Gouida /

Have a fantastic and relaxing time with your family or travel buddies by checking out Mill Creek Ravine Park.

Another popular park among visitors and locals alike, this park located at the heart of the city provides you with opportunities to have a pleasant time with your companions.

Here, you can participate in a bunch of outdoor activities.

Bridge at Mill Creek Ravine Park

Petr Smida /

It features a network of trails that visitors can explore either on foot or on a bike.

For those who opt to have a relaxing afternoon, you can also go on a picnic here.

Places for swimming are also open for visitors to use.

Mill Creek Ravine Park

Vadim Gouida /

Get to Know the History of Aircraft at Alberta Aviation Museum

Aviation has always been an interesting aspect of history that many enjoy learning about.

You can find the Alberta Aviation Museum in Edmonton, which is filled with interesting displays related to planes.

Here, you can find many different aircraft on display, including two fighter jets.

When visiting this place, make sure to join a guided tour as it lets you discover a fascinating restoration area where many vintage aircraft have been rebuilt.

Discover the Province’s Railway Heritage at the Alberta Railway Museum

Alberta Railway Museum

Bruce Raynor /

Apart from aviation, the history of locomotives is also an interesting topic to learn about.

When you’re in Edmonton, you can learn more about the history of trains and rail systems in the province at the Alberta Railway Museum.

This museum was founded in 1976, and it aims to preserve Alberta’s railway heritage.

Here, you can find over 75 engines and railcars on display, several original railway structures, and artifacts related to locomotives.

Alberta Railway Museum

Bruce Raynor /

Explore Strathcona Historic District

Do you want to learn more about Edmonton’s history?

Take a step back in time by visiting Strathcona Historic District at South Central Edmonton.

Back in the day, this area served as the city’s central commercial district.

Despite being a historic district, you can also find the modern comforts of life here.

Apart from being lively, it has a lot of shops and cafes that you can visit.

Here, you can find many historic buildings that have become a significant part of the city.

Some of these include the Strathcona Hotel, the Southside Post Office, and the Princess Theatre.

Find Interesting Wildlife at Edmonton Valley Zoo

Edmonton Valley Zoo

IQRemix from Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Another popular tourist destination in this Alberta city is Edmonton Valley Zoo.

This place was established back in 1959, originally aiming to perform studies about threatened wildlife species.

It also serves as a home to over 350 animals that are both exotic and endemic to the province.

Edmonton Valley Zoo

IQRemix from Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you visit here, you can encounter some of the animals housed here, along with their caretakers.

Some fascinating species that you can find here include red pandas and snow leopards.

Apart from animal encounters, this zoo also has children’s rides.

Elephant at Edmonton Valley Zoo

IQRemix from Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Have a Blast at the West Edmonton Mall

A must-visit place in this city is West Edmonton Wall.

Apart from being popular among tourists, it also has the distinction of being the largest mall in Canada.

Inside this facility, you can find hundreds of establishments, including cinemas, shops, restaurants, and even a hotel.

West Edmonton Mall

Ronnie Chua /

Within this attraction, you can find Galaxy land, a large, indoor amusement park where the entire family can go on several exciting rides.

Apart from that, this mall also houses World Waterpark, a place you can go to if you want to have some fun in the water.

This mall has everything you need to entertain the entire travel party for several days, so don’t forget to check it out.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Have an Encounter With the Majestic Mammals at Elk Island National Park

Bison at Elk Island National Park

BGSmith /

Animal lovers will surely have a thrilling and wonderful time at Elk Island National Park.

It serves as a home to some of the tiniest and the largest land mammals that you can find in the North American continent.

Despite not being a large park, you and your friends can have a fantastic time when you visit.

Here, you can find many species of animals and birds, including pygmy shrews, wood bison, mule deers, lynxes, and more.

Are you interested in visiting?

You can find Elk Island National Park 40 minutes east of Edmonton.

Final Thoughts

When you visit Edmonton, you will find that the city has an attraction for every type of traveler there is.

From nature lovers to history buffs, you won’t run out of exciting activities to do in Edmonton.

Check this place out and experience its allure.

When you do, you’ll find yourself wanting to come back for more.

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