Edmonton is a historic Canadian city located on the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta. The destination offers something for everyone: Fort Edmonton Park for history buffs, the Art Gallery of Alberta for art lovers, the TELUS World of Science for science fans and Winspear Centre for music enthusiasts. Edmonton is also home to beautiful gardens, neighborhoods and parks which you can explore on your own or with the help of a local tour guide. Here are the best things to do in Edmonton, Canada. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Alberta Legislature Building
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The Alberta Legislature Building is the meeting place of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council of Edmonton. Visitors can enjoy guided tours through this famous building where knowledgeable Heritage Interpreters share the political history and culture of Alberta and the daily routine of the Legislative Assembly.
The tour also takes an in-depth look at the design and architecture of the building and the parliamentary traditions and ceremonies that take place within it. Tours last approximately 45 minutes, can be pre-booked or simply joined, and are conducted free of charge.
10800 97 Ave NW, 780-427-7362
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The Muttart Conservatory is a unique and innovative botanical garden set in four glass pyramids, three of which represent different biomes, and the fourth houses creative exhibitions and displays. Leading the way in plant science in Canada, the accredited museum grows and preserves one of Canada’s largest botanical collections and aims to share, inspire, and educate the public about botany and the science of plants.
The Conservatory hosts quite a few events throughout the year, including live music and dance shows, fine art exhibitions, handcrafting and arts and crafts programs, and community outreach workshops and classes. Culina Muttart, the Muttart Conservator’s restaurant, offers an unforgettable dining experience.
9626 - 96A Street, 780-442-5311
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3.Fort Edmonton Park
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Spanning 64 hectares (158 acres) along Edmonton’s river valley, Fort Edmonton Park is a beautiful wooded parkland named after the first enduring European post in the area. It is also the largest living history museum in the country.
The park is made up of four sections, each representing a different era, namely the fort of 1846, 1885 Street, 1905 Street, and 1920 Street, and visitors are invited to explore the various sections on a fully functional steam train that travels the length of the park.
Visitors to the park can also use horse-drawn carriages, streetcars, and automobiles to get around the park, and during national holidays and long weekends, costumed historical interpreters are on hand to interact with visitors, share the history of the park, and answer any questions.
7000 143 Street, 780-442-5311
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4.Art Gallery of Alberta
© Art Gallery of Alberta
Founded in 1924, the Art Gallery of Alberta is the oldest cultural institution in the region and is dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of art and visual culture. The Gallery boasts a collection of more than 6,000 objects showcased in exhibits and displays that focus on historical contemporary art both locally and from around the world.
The AGA also offers a variety of art education and public programs for adults and children, including talks, films, family activities, Late Night Wednesdays, and Alberta Culture Days.
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square, 780-422-6223
5.Royal Alberta Museum
© Royal Alberta Museum
The Royal Alberta Museum was formerly called the Provincial Museum of Alberta until a visit from Queen Elizabeth in 2005 bestowed royal patronage on the museum, and it was renamed to the Royal Alberta. The museum is dedicated to natural history, and it has an array of exhibits and displays showcasing natural history, wildlife, entomology, and arachnology.
The museum’s current collection, which has over 10,000,000 objects displayed in three permanent galleries, namely the Wild Alberta, Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture, and Natural History. The museum’s current collection has over 10,000,000 objects. The Royal Alberta Museum also features rotating galleries that house traveling exhibits and curated collections; it is only open Friday through Sunday.
12845 102nd Avenue NW, 780 453-9100
6.TELUS World of Science
© TELUS World of Science
TELUS World of Science is all about science and aims to encourage, inspire, and educate visitors about the world of science and technology and the important roles the play in today’s society. The center is home to two state-of-the-art theaters, one of which is a new IMAX Laser 4K Projector theater, a range of science-related exhibitions and displays, and a modern observatory where visitors can learn about the night sky.
The TELUS World of Science also offers a variety of programs, workshops, and camps, including guide and scout camps, spring break and summer camps, sleepover camps, and adult astronomy classes.
11211 142 Street NW, 780-451-3344
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7.High Level Bridge Streetcar
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Run by the Edmonton Radial Railroad Society and steeped in history, the High Level Bridge Streetcar is an important component of the city’s heritage. Streetcars were first introduced to Edmonton in 1908, and the city became famous for its unique streetcar ride over the North Saskatchewan River, one of the highest river crossings by a streetcar in the world.
The streetcar’s rich and colorful history can be explored in the small streetcar museum in the Streetcar Barn at Strathcona, which features old photographs and pictures, uniforms, tickets, and several streetcar models. Visitors can enjoy a ride on the fully restored 1912 Edmonton Streetcar #33 across the High Level Bridge and take in the beautiful views.
Strathcona Streetcar Barn & Museum, 780-437-7721
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© Winspear Centre
Winspear Centre is a world-class performing arts center and home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Pro Coro Canada. Built in 1997, the center is named after Dr. Francis G. Winspear and features a vast concert hall with a seating capacity of over 3,500.
The Winspear is also home to the magnificent Davis Concert Organ, which is made from wood and metal and features 96 stops, 122 ranks, and 6,551 pipes. The Winspear Centre is located in the heart of Edmonton's vibrant downtown and is within close proximity to a variety of restaurants, bars, and cafés.
Box Office #4 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Corner of 99th Street and 102 Avenue, 780-428-1414
9.Edmonton Ghost Tours
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Discover the darker side of Edmonton on a fascinating ghost tour with Edmonton Ghost Tours. Dedicated to bringing Edmonton’s ghostly past back to life by exploring off-the-beaten-track parts of the city, these walking tours give an exhilarating insight into Edmonton’s rich history.
Featured tours include A Ghostly Walk through Old Strathcona’, the University of Alberta/Garneau History & Haunted Walk, and Halloween Haunt at the Rutherford House. The walking tours travel along the city streets and last for approximately one and a half hours. Warm clothing and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Private tours can be arranged on request.
10.River Valley Adventure Co.
© River Valley Adventure Co.
River Valley Adventure Co. offers a range of guided tours throughout Edmonton, and they also provide sports equipment for visitors’ use on self-guided tours. With offices in the Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, River Valley Adventure Company offers guided Segway tours through North America's largest urban parkland, and they also have high-end mountain bikes to explore the city.
The company also offers a variety of sporting equipment such as badminton and volleyball sets, footballs, and croquet and bocce sets to enjoy with friends, as well as a range of fishing equipment to use on the river. Relax at the Urban Green Café over freshly brewed coffee and sustainable snacks after your outdoor adventure.
9735 Grierson Hill NW, 780-995-7347
11.The University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden
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The University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden, established in 1959, is home to a variety of cultivated gardens, impressive plant collections, indoor conservatories, and a beautiful nature trail system. Spanning 240-acres southwest of Edmonton, highlights of the Garden include a Tropical Show House with exotic butterflies, an exquisite Kurimoto Japanese Garden, Native Peoples Garden, curated collections of lilacs, lilies, peonies, and roses, herb gardens, alpine forests, and show houses for temperate and arid plants.
The Garden, which attracts thousands of visitors each year, is also home to a modern research center, and offers a few children and adult educational programs, classes, and workshops.
Hwy 60, 5 km north of Devon, 780-987-3054 (website)
12.William Hawrelak Park
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William Hawrelak Park is a beautifully maintained public park in Edmonton’s river valley. Named after former mayor William Hawrelak, the park spans 68 hectares and features a tranquil lake and rolling grassy landscapes. The park offers a variety of activities to enjoy from swimming, paddle boating, hiking, and picnicking in the summer to cross-country skiing and ice-skating during the winter months.
The main pavilion in the park houses a few shops and food outlets, and there are also playgrounds for children. The park hosts a number of festivals and performances throughout the year, including the Freewill Shakespeare Festival, the Edmonton Heritage Festival, and the Bright Night’s Festival at Christmas time.
9930 Groat Rd NW, 780-442-5311
© Old Strathcona
Old Strathcona is a charming neighborhood located on Edmonton’s vibrant south side that is home to an eclectic crowd of artisans, performing artists, and other colorful characters. Home to the largest theater district in Edmonton, Old Strathcona is famous for hosting an array of festivals, as well as featuring a rich heritage and history, beautiful architecture, one-of-a-kind antique and vintage stores, animated buskers, and horse-drawn sleigh rides.
Resting at the heart of this dynamic village is the Old Strathcona Farmers' Market, which boasts over 130 vendors selling a range of fresh farm produce, fruits and vegetables, home baked goodies and artisanal fare, home décor, jewelry, and arts and crafts.
#202, 10345 Whyte Avenue, 780-437-4182
14.Fringe Theatre Adventures
© Fringe Theatre Adventures
Fringe Theatre Adventures (FTA) is a dynamic performing arts company that presents a range of theater, shows, and festivals throughout the year, including the world-renowned Edmonton International Fringe™ Theatre Festival. The company is dedicated showcasing and honoring a variety of world-class performing arts featuring local, national, and international artists to the public with the aim of celebrating the cultural fabric of the local communities.
In addition to the annual Fringe Festival, the FTA also hosts a number of traveling artists, exhibitions, and shows, and it offers a variety of educational programs for young learners, adult enthusiasts, and theater-lovers.
10330 – 84 Avenue, 780-448-9000
15.Mill Creek Ravine Park
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The Mill Ravine Creek Park is picnic and activity park located in the heart of Edmonton. Named after an 1878 grist mill that was once operated by a local pioneer named William Bird, the park begins on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River and stretches south along a gentle ravine.
The park is home to a network of trails known as the River Valley Trails, and visitors can enjoy walking, hiking, mountain biking rollerblading, swimming, and picnicking in the area. Picnic tables and BBQ pits are available for use, as well as a large swimming pool, a playground for young children, and rolling grass lawns. The Mill Creek Ravine Park is situated near to the Millwoods Golf Course and the Jackie Parker Recreational Area.
8120 93 St NW, 780-442-5311
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16.Elk Island National Park
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Elk Island National Park is an area of natural conservation located east of Edmonton. Spanning 75 square miles (194 square kilometers), the park is the largest fully enclosed park in Canada. It is home to a variety of diverse ecosystems and habitats, including native grasslands, northern prairies, boreal forests, and aspen parklands.
The park is a wildlife haven, and it the best place to see the world’s largest and smallest mammals – the wood bison and the tiny pygmy shrew. Visitors to the park can enjoy an array of activities such as hiking, wildlife watching, camping, kayaking/canoeing, and golfing in the summer, while the winter provides snow thick enough for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Trans-Canada Highway, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, 780-992-2950
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17.Hide 'n' Seek Indoor Playground
© Hide N Seek Indoor Playground
Hide 'n' Seek is a fun-filled indoor playground for children of all ages offering a healthy and safe environment in which to play. Designed to create an interactive and educational experience for children through play, the indoor playground features ball pools, trampolines, rope climbs, zip lines, 3D motion play, block zones, slides, and a car track.
The Market Place provides a quiet place for younger children to read and play while the Games Arcade offers easy-to-win games and tempting prizes. Parents can relax at the Orange Tree Café while their kids are at play and enjoy healthy snacks, gourmet sandwiches, and fresh coffee.
10830 170 Street NW, 780-482-7244
18.Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site
© Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site
Once the home of Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first Premier of Alberta, Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site has been beautifully restored to its former glory and is now open for the public to explore and enjoy. The exquisite home, which was built in the Edwardian era, is fully furnished with unique antiques and vintage décor.
Costumed interpreters lead visitors on guided tours through its hallowed halls to experience what life was like in the early 1900s. Named after the white lilacs planted in the estate’s magnificent garden, The Lilac Tree Museum gift shop has a lovely selection of gifts, memorabilia, and home décor items to browse and purchase and is open during the same hours at the museum.
11153 Saskatchewan Drive, 780-427-3995 (website)
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Previously known as Fantasyland, Galaxyland is the world's largest indoor amusement park. Located in the West Edmonton Shopping Mall, the park features more than 24 exhilarating rides, games, and themed play areas for children of all ages. The park also has The Mindbender, one of the tallest roller coasters in the world, and a mammoth 12-story indoor tower ride. Other adrenalin-rush-inducing rides include the Rockin’ Rocket, the Sonic Storm, Drop of Doom, and the Lazer Maze.
There are also several tamer rides and games to enjoy, such as harbor cruises, bumper and paddleboats, and balloon rides. The park features a variety of restaurants and cafés serving all types of food and drinks.
1755, 8882 170 Street, 780-444-5321
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20.Silver Skate Festival
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Silver Skate Festival is Edmonton’s oldest winter festival, a 10-day long sport, art, culture, and recreation extravaganza for the whole family. For the last 28 years, for 10 days every February the whole town celebrates winter and welcomes visitors from all over North America and beyond. People come to enjoy the sculpture garden, try their hand at jam-can curling, watch the skate racers at the Kortebaan, check out the Capital Classic Hockey Tournament, or wander along the frozen Silver Skate Folk Trails. As the sun goes down, Night Works begins and the musicians and street performers take over the streets.
9930 Groat Road, Edmonton, AB T6G 2A8, Canada, 780-488-1960
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21.The Alberta Railway Museum
© The Alberta Railway Museum
The Alberta Railway Museum (ARM) is an interactive museum that aims to preserve the history of the Alberta Railway. Replicating a small terminal with a station, a water tank, and several shops, the museum is an authentic outdoor display of railway equipment and buildings with a collection of cars and locomotives from railways around the country.
Visitors can explore over 75 cars and locomotives at the museum, look at railway maintenance equipment, and learn about the history of the railways in Alberta through exhibitions and galleries. Ride on a vintage train or a speeder for a fun, hands-on experience.
24215 - 34 Street, 780-472–6229
22.Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market (SWEFM)
© Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market (SWEFM)
The Southwest Edmonton Farmers’ Market (SWEFM) is a famous farmer’s market that supports local farmers, artisans, and producers and provides fresh, locally grown, and sustainable produce to residents and visitors of Edmonton. The market is home to an incredible spectrum of vendors selling their wares, from artisans and craftspeople to local farmer’s selling fresh fruit and vegetables.
You can also find charcuterie and cheeses, buskers, food trucks, and bakers boasting warm bread and freshly baked pastries. Visitors can enjoy nutrition tours around the market, learning all about the healthiest foods to choose, and a special Sprouts Kid’s Club is designed to introduce children to healthy foods and empower and encourage them to make healthy eating choices and decisions when it comes to food.
c/o Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council, #5, 2051 Leger Road NW, 780-868-9210
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23.Old Strathcona Antique Mall
© Old Strathcona Antique Mall
The Old Strathcona Antique Mall is the place to go to find both old and new treasures. Owned by the dynamic mother-daughter team of Betty and Bobbi, the market has long been an institution among antique lovers and treasure hunters. It boasts the best collection of antiques, vintage jewelry and clothing, and retro furniture under one roof.
Featuring over 300 booths and over 130 antique dealers selling the finest antiques and collectibles, the market has been running for 16 years, and it continues to be one of the city’s most popular attractions. The market has an old-fashioned café where you can relax over some home-baked goodies, local ice cream, and freshly brewed coffee.
10323 78 Avenue, 780-433-0398
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World Waterpark is a family-friendly themed water park located in the West Edmonton Shopping Mall and is the second-largest indoor water park in the world. Home to the largest indoor wave pool, the park also features 83-foot high water slides – the Twister and the Cyclone – as well as a variety of small, intermediate, and advanced slides for all ages.
Other attractions in the park including the Tsunami, a sheet wave surf simulator for flow-boarding and bodyboarding, the world’s largest permanent zip line, and two inviting and relaxing hot tubs. Visitors can enjoy refreshing drinks at one of two bars and light meals and snacks at Coconut Grove and Beachview Snacks.
1755, 8882 170 Street, 780-444-5321
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25 Best Things to Do in Edmonton, Canada
- Alberta Legislature Building, Photo: Courtesy of Jeff - Fotolia.com
- Muttart Conservatory, Photo: Courtesy of ronniechua - Fotolia.com
- Fort Edmonton Park, Photo: Courtesy of Vibe Images - Fotolia.com
- Art Gallery of Alberta, Photo: Art Gallery of Alberta
- Royal Alberta Museum, Photo: Royal Alberta Museum
- TELUS World of Science, Photo: TELUS World of Science
- High Level Bridge Streetcar, Photo: Courtesy of alarico73- Fotolia.com
- Winspear Centre, Photo: Winspear Centre
- Edmonton Ghost Tours, Photo: Courtesy of vladthefool - Fotolia.com
- River Valley Adventure Co., Photo: River Valley Adventure Co.
- The University of Alberta Devonian Botanic Garden, Photo: Courtesy of dashtik - Fotolia.com
- William Hawrelak Park, Photo: Courtesy of senorgogo - Fotolia.com
- Old Strathcona, Photo: Old Strathcona
- Fringe Theatre Adventures, Photo: Fringe Theatre Adventures
- Mill Creek Ravine Park, Photo: Courtesy of vadimgouida - Fotolia.com
- Elk Island National Park, Photo: Courtesy of BG Smith - Fotolia.com
- Hide 'n' Seek Indoor Playground , Photo: Hide N Seek Indoor Playground
- Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site, Photo: Rutherford House Provincial Historic Site
- Galaxyland, Photo: Courtesy of Rosario Rizzo - Fotolia.com
- Silver Skate Festival, Photo: Courtesy of Newman Studio - Fotolia.com
- The Alberta Railway Museum , Photo: The Alberta Railway Museum
- Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market (SWEFM), Photo: Southwest Edmonton Farmers' Market (SWEFM)
- Old Strathcona Antique Mall, Photo: Old Strathcona Antique Mall
- World Waterpark, Photo: Courtesy of tatyana - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of ronniechua - Fotolia.com
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