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33 BEST Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta (2024 Guide!)

33 BEST Things to do in Edmonton, Alberta (2024 Guide!)

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Edmonton is the gateway city to stunning landscapes and fantastic outdoor adventures in Alberta, Canada. But don’t count out all that this city has to offer!

While many travelers only pass through Edmonton on their way to hike or ski in Banff, Jasper, or Elk Island National Park, this city has a ton of the best activities in Alberta that shouldn’t be missed. I lived in Edmonton for a long time and am back frequently to visit family and friends, so this city has a special place in my heart.

In the summer months, Edmonton comes alive with extra long daylight hours (17 hours of daylight!), tons of city parks and green spaces to hang out in, and more than 50 different festivals!

The winters are frigid – but Edmonton knows how to make it fun with skating rinks, heated outdoor patios, so many delicious restaurants, and great indoor shopping centers (hello West Edmonton Mall!).

So if you’re looking for the most amazing things to do during your trip, read on for the 33 best things to do in Edmonton. Take it from a local – you’ll love Edmonton, Alberta!

Don’t have time to read the full article? Our absolute favorite things to do in Edmonton are:

  1. Go shopping at the iconic West Edmonton Mall.
  2. Explore the beautiful river valley on a Segway tour!
  3. Watch an NHL live hockey game.
  4. Get to know the city on a private guided walking tour.
  5. Visit the historic Fort Edmonton Park.

Things to do in Edmonton

1. Go on a walking tour

Walterdale bridge in Edmonton on a walking tour
Edmonton sure is beautiful!

There is so much to see in Edmonton that sometimes it can get a bit overwhelming knowing where to go! That’s why doing a walking tour with a local guide is the best way to learn about the city and explore. I love taking walking tours my first few days in a new city so I can find the absolute best spots to return to!

This private 3-hour walking tour will show you Edmonton’s iconic sights as well as hidden gems. You will see many geological wonders in the River Valley and learn about Edmonton’s past and indigenous peoples. You’ll even get to join a sharing circle with indigenous music and storytelling for a unique and enriching experience.

This private tour runs throughout the year, just be sure to bundle up on cold days and dress for the weather! You can choose from multiple different start times throughout the day to best fit your schedule and it costs about $307 CAD per person. You can book this walking tour here in advance.

If you are visiting Edmonton with your partner, I recommend doing this romantic private walking tour. Over the span of 3 hours, you’ll explore downtown Edmonton, ride the funicular, and end at a historic brewery. It costs $307 CAD per person and you can book this memorable experience here!

2. Drink craft beer

Bailey and her mum at Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton
Alley Kat is a favorite of mine!
A beer from Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton
Sit back and relax with a craft beer.

If you have a taste for the wonders of craft beer, then you’re in luck! With the number of local breweries in Edmonton steadily growing over the years, there are so many options to pick from.

One of my all-time favorite breweries in downtown Edmonton is Campio Brewing Co. Every time I visit, I can’t get enough of their juicy hopped-up ales – they always seem to be adding new creations as well. Campio Brewing Co. is well-known for local favorites like the Campio Premium Lager and the aptly named “Albertosourus” – a lovely fruit ale. Oh, and don’t forget to try their delicious pizza while there!

For the OG craft beer experience, I love popping into Alley Kat Brewing Company. It was the first microbrewery in Edmonton and they are still going strong! There are six main brews available year-round and rotating seasonal beers. Pop by for Happy Hour on weekdays from 5-6 pm to try any of their classic pints for only $5 CAD.

Alley Kat is actually located on Happy Beer Street, a strip of 8 craft breweries located along 99 St just south of Whyte Avenue. You can easily walk from one brewery to the next while hitting up some local favorites such as Sea Change Brewing and Odd Company.

Of course, for real beer lovers (like ourselves), then an organized beer tour is the way to go! I mean, how are you supposed to try all of the beer that you want without a designated driver and guide? This particular beer tour in Edmonton is super unique because it is the only beer tour in the city and is perfect if you have a group of 10-15 people.

On the tour, you’ll visit three different local breweries and have multiple beer samples included at each stop. The guide is super passionate about beer and you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how some of the breweries make their beer! Plus, custom pick-up and drop-off spots can be organized making for a really easy day out.

The tour runs on Saturdays and lasts about 3.5 hours. You must book a minimum of 10 people for this tour to run and it costs $120 CAD per person. You can book it easily online here!

3. Visit the West Edmonton Mall

Europa Blvd in West Edmonton Mall
Europa Boulevard is one of the neat themed streets in WEM.

With over 800 stores to lose yourself in, West Edmonton Mall (aka”WEM”) will satisfy even the most hardcore shopper! It is actually the largest mall in all of Canada and the 2nd largest in North America. At this mega shopping center, you’ll find large international outlets like Zara, H&M, and Lululemon, as well as plenty of smaller boutique stores to enjoy.

I actually worked at the West Edmonton Mall for about four years, so I know my way around, but I always like coming back to visit and see what’s new! There are so many interesting stores for every budget. It even boasts many premier stores such as Rolex and Louis Vuitton!

But there’s so much more to do in the West Edmonton Mall besides shopping. With an indoor skating rink, an entire amusement park equipped with roller coasters, and a waterpark with the world’s largest indoor wave pool, you could easily spend an entire day (or two or three!) here and not get bored.

To make sure you have enough time to explore everything, we recommend staying overnight in an amazing theme room at The Fantasyland Hotel located right inside the mall. This hotel is among the most unique hotels on the globe and the theme rooms are an experience! I personally love the Roman rooms, but the Space rooms with the spaceship capsule bunk beds are pretty fun too.

The West Edmonton Mall is perfect for taking the whole family, with so many fun activities to try. Be warned though – your wallet may be a bit lighter when you’re finished!

Related Read: Edmonton is a great place to start a road trip! There are so many amazing spots on the drive from Edmonton to Vancouver or Edmonton to Canmore!

4. Visit Elk Island National Park

A bison in Explore Elk Island National Park near Edmonton, Alberta
A bison in Elk Island National Park near Edmonton, Alberta
Bailey at Explore Elk Island National Park in Edmonton Alberta
Such a beautiful place so close to the city!

If you’re an animal lover looking to get up close and personal with some amazing wildlife, head to Elk Island National Park. This incredible and expansive preserve is home to free-roaming bison, elk, deer, moose, and 250 species of birds.

You can reach the park from Edmonton in just about 40 minutes by car, making it a great day trip from the city, or pack up the car with gear for a long weekend of camping under the starry night skies. The park is actually part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve so on a clear night the stars are spectacular with no city lights blocking your way. You can actually join one of their guided Dark Sky Experiences to learn about the night sky while on a hike in the park.

Keep an eye out for the majestic animals in their natural habitat, explore the rolling hills, and enjoy tons of easy hikes during your visit.  

One of my favorite hikes here is Beaver Pond Trail, which is about 3.6 kilometers (2.2 miles). On this trail, you’ll have a good chance of spotting lots of wildlife including Canada’s national animal, the beaver! You can view the full list of trails in Elk Island National Park here.

Admission to Elk Island National Park is $9.00 CAD per adult and any kids and teens under 17 are free.

5. Go on a Segway Tour

River Valley Adventure Company Segway tour
Photo credit: River Valley Adventure Company

During the warmer months, one of the most unique ways to explore Edmonton’s River Valley is on a Segway Tour! Exploring on a segway means you can cover more ground and see much more in a shorter amount of time – plus it’s a lot of fun!

We had so much fun on this 90-minute guided segway tour. It started with a training session to make sure everyone was comfortable riding the segway before heading out and exploring the gorgeous River Valley! The guide is also super knowledgeable and provides commentary throughout the tour. And have your camera ready because you’ll have some seriously great photo opportunities along the way.

You can also choose to do a 60-minute tour if you’re strapped for time, but we think the 90-minute tour is better since you get to explore for longer. Both tours have a maximum of 10 people so it feels personalized and not too crowded.

The segway tours run from April to November and anyone aged 14 and up can participate. The 60-minute tour costs $60 CAD and the 90-minute costs $85 CAD. They offer multiple start times throughout the day to fit your schedule, but are super popular and tend to book up fast! So make sure you book in advance here and you’ll get free cancelation up until 24 hours before the tour starts.

6. Watch an NHL hockey game

Oilers play the Calgary Flames at Rogers Place, Edmonton
Go Oilers!
Bailey and her sister cheer for the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place, Edmonton
Don’t forget your Oilers gear!

If there is one thing Edmonton is known for, it’s hockey! There’s nothing quite like seeing an NHL game live – especially in a hockey city like Edmonton. The stadium is always full of energy and cheering passionate fans – you’re guaranteed to have a blast!

Here in Alberta, you’ll find two NHL teams – the Calgary Flames and the incredible Edmonton Oilers (I might be a little bit biased). I’ve been a diehard Edmonton Oilers fan all my life and let me tell you, if you’re lucky enough to be in town for a game, then you just have to get tickets!

The games are always held in Rogers Place Arena located in Edmonton’s downtown Ice District. This lively area is full of great restaurants and pubs where you can enjoy a meal before going to the game. Alternatively, you can head inside the arena to enjoy a buffet dinner at Studio 99, or try your luck at the casino! I recommend showing up early to get your Edmonton Oilers merch and explore the stadium before puck drop.

In fact, you can check out this detailed guide to help you navigate game day before you arrive. Since hockey games are so popular here, it can be difficult to get tickets sometimes. You can check the official website or Stub Hub, a trusted site for second-hand tickets. Although I always like to purchase my tickets through Viator, they make the process super simple and they often have good availability.

If you can’t get tickets, I still recommend heading to Ice District to watch the game in one of the bars such as the Canadian Icehouse. It’s guaranteed to be full of fans and game-day energy!

If you want to stay near the arena, I recommend staying at the JW Marriot Ice District. It is so close it is actually connected to Rogers Place via an above-ground pedway – it doesn’t get any easier than that!

7. Explore the River Valley

Bailey walks across the Walterdale Bridge in the river valley in Edmonton Alberta
The Walterdale Bridge!
Bailey rides a bike along the Rover Valley in Edmonton Alberta
We love blue skies!

Edmonton’s River Valley is the largest urban park on the entire North American continent. It’s a gorgeous place to get outside for some exercise and is loved by locals and visitors alike.

The River Valley is actually 22 times larger than Central Park in New York City and offers more than 150 km (93 miles) of trails to explore (such as this Riverside Trail Walk).

In the warmer months, it’s best enjoyed by walking, biking, or on a segway. However, if you visit Edmonton during the winter, bundle up and try out cross-country skiing on the well-maintained snow-covered paths.  

My favorite way to explore the River Valley is to rent bikes and ride the endless trails. Along your route, stop to see Kinsmen Park, Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, and Ezio Faraone Park just to name a few!

8. Visit Fort Edmonton Park

Daniel walks to a saloon in Fort Edmonton Park
Fort Edmonton Park is just like stepping back in time.
an old truck parked on a street in Fort Edmonton Park
It takes you wayyyy back.

Fort Edmonton Park is a place that celebrates Edmonton’s diverse past and is a great place to learn about the local history.

You’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time as you walk through different eras of Edmonton’s past. Everything is recreated to be realistic to the particular time, including knowledgeable reenactors you can interact with and ask questions! The exhibits are super educational and massive – so make sure to wear good walking shoes!

The journey begins with the Indigenous Peoples exhibit, where you’ll learn all about the history, culture, and experiences of First Nations and Metis people. This is a stunning exhibit that really comes alive with music and stories told by Elders as you follow a lighted pathway through. You’ll see why this is an award-winning exhibit – it’s amazing!

After learning about the Indigenous history of the area, you can move through exhibits that span the ages, including the settlement era, the fur trading era, the municipal era, and the metropolitan era. I love popping into all the shops, homes, and even bars to experience what life used to be like!

We think this is a great activity for families or anyone interested in history. There are a ton of activities children will love such as the steam engine train ride, theatre, pony rides, and an amusement park with games, a fun house, and a Ferris wheel!

The park is open for general admission from mid-May to mid-September. Parking is free and admission costs around $26 CAD for an adult.

Related Read: If you’d like to go even further back in time, then the Dinosaur Provincial Park and Royal Tyrell Museum are places in Alberta you shouldn’t miss!

9. Cruise down the North Saskatchewan River on the Edmonton Riverboat 

The Edmonton Riverboat cruise
Photo credit: The Edmonton Riverboat

The Edmonton Riverboat that cruises up and down the North Saskatchewan River is iconic and one of my favorite ways to see the city.

The boat was originally called the Edmonton Queen and underwent millions of dollars in renovations in 2016. It’s now got a completely new look and offers one of the coolest experiences in Edmonton!  

There are a variety of different events hosted on the boat. You can go for a nice brunch on the water, a glamorous dinner, or a romantic sunset cruise. There’s often live music, and you may even witness two dueling pianos! The cruises usually depart about an hour after boarding begins and last about an hour and a half before returning to port.  

During your float, you will see some seriously gorgeous views of the Edmonton skyline and the beautiful wide river. Don’t forget to bring a camera because you’re going to want to snap hundreds of photographs (make sure you have plenty of storage space!). If you choose just the cruise option instead of a meal, there are snacks and drinks available onboard for an additional fee.  

It’s best to book tickets ahead of time because the cruises often sell out – especially during special events. Cruises generally run from spring until early September and prices begin at $42 CAD per adult for the cruise-only option.

10. Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village 

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village in Edmonton
Come and learn about the history and culture!

Take a trip back in time to when Ukrainian settlers first arrived in Alberta with a visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. This open-air museum feels more like wandering around a little mini-town as it was built to look like a historical settlement.

In fact, many of the buildings here (including a grain elevator!) are original and were actually transported from across east central Alberta. There are staff members here in costumes that really bring the whole experience to life with their storytelling.

You can even enjoy some amazing food from traditional borscht (beet soup) to more modern twists like the perogy poutine!

This is a really fun place for families to wander around. The museum and village are open from mid-May to early September.

It’s only a 25-minute drive east of Edmonton and close to Elk Island National Park making it easy to visit both on the same day. Admission is $15 CAD per adult and you can purchase tickets when you arrive.

11. Stroll down Whyte Ave

Bailey walks down the street of Whyte Ave on a sunny day
Whyte Ave is such a cute street, especially on a sunny day.
Daniel sits on a streetside patio at Julios Barrio restaurant on Whyte Ave with a huge margarita
Be sure to grab a drink at one of the street-side patios.

Located in the Old Strathcona area, Whyte Avenue (also known as 82 Ave) is one of Edmonton’s trendiest neighborhoods and well worth a visit. You can’t help but be impressed by the rich art and culture oozing from the unique stores, bars, and restaurants.

There are plenty of great shops to check out here as well, such as Bamboo Ballroom (one of my personal favorites). Here you’ll find stylish women’s clothes, as well as their incredibly warm Stockport jacket, which combines a coat and cardigan!

When you’re feeling a bit hungry, I recommend checking out The Next Act, which is a casual pub serving fantastic food. If you love burgers, you can’t go wrong with ordering options like The Critic and The Drama Queen. There’s a reason why it’s known as one of the best restaurants in Edmonton!

For something a little different, visit The Cat Café to enjoy hot drinks with some friendly felines. As Edmonton’s first cat café, it’s a unique experience featuring some furry friends who are up for adoption. For around $16-$18 CAD for adults you can visit for an hour at a time. This includes entry to the cat lounge and unlimited drinks!

12. High Level Bridge Streetcar  

the high level bridge street car in Edmonton from the outside
The streetcar!
Bailey poses on the outside of the high level bridge street car
I rode on the streetcar for my bachelorette party!

The High Level Bridge Streetcar is one of the coolest and most underrated attractions in Edmonton, dating back to the early 1900s.

You can use the streetcar to get around Edmonton as it runs through the heart of the city from downtown (Jasper Ave) to Old Strathcona (Whyte Ave), or simply ride it for fun to experience a piece of history and take in some amazing views.

The first streetcar ride took place on November 8, 1908, and when it was first built, it was considered super modern and high-tech. There are multiple different streetcars running, and they have all been brought in and refurbished from different parts of the world like Melbourne and Osaka just to name a few.

The trolley cars have windows that open, letting you enjoy the breeze in your hair as you gaze out at the scenery. The best part of the streetcar ride is crossing the High Level Bridge, which is over 100 years old and offers stunning views of the river. The bridge crossing is the highest streetcar river crossing in the entire world!

If you are staying in downtown Edmonton, I recommend taking the streetcar over to Whyte Ave to go for a stroll, have a bite to eat, or visit the farmer’s market before heading back downtown on the streetcar.

The High Level Bridge Streetcar only runs from Spring to Fall and costs $8 CAD per person for a roundtrip ticket and must be paid in cash.

13. Muttart Conservatory

Outside of Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta
The great pyramids of Edmonton.
A flower at Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton
Which flowers will you find?

On a visit to the Muttart Conservatory, you’ll experience one of Canada’s largest indoor botanical gardens. Whatever the season, you can immerse yourself in the lush greenery of what appears to be a never-ending variety of plant species. I personally like coming in the winter for a bit of a tropical escape!

The Muttart Conservatory is located super close to downtown and consists of three greenhouses, an expansive public garden, a cafe, a gift shop, and four large glass pyramids for displaying different plant species. Each pyramid houses plants from a different biome and the fourth pyramid is usually filled with a fun seasonal display.  

The pyramids are MASSIVE and have become a true landmark in Edmonton. In total, there are more than 700 different plant species for you to see. They are open every day of the week to all ages, except Wednesday night from 5-9 pm is adults only! The cost of admission is $14.95 CAD per adult.  

14. Attend a Festival

Bailey enjoys a dessert at K Days in Edmonton, Canada
K days!
Daniel plays a game at K Days in Edmonton
This game isn’t as easy as it looks!

Edmonton is actually nicknamed “Festival City” because it is known for hosting over 50 unique festivals throughout the year! Whatever the season, there is always something happening here that brings Edmontonians together. Check out the event calendar here to see what’s going on for when you’re visiting. Some of Edmonton’s most popular festivals include:

Edmonton Heritage Festival This festival is the world’s largest 3-day celebration of multiculturalism! It features more than 90 different countries and cultures through food, performances, art, and more. It is a family-friendly event that happens in early August every year. It is always so much fun to wander around the different county’s pavilions and learn all about their history and culture!

K-Days This summer festival spans 10 days usually in late July every year. It is a huge exhibition and amusement park full of food, rides, live music, shows, and shopping. There is truly something for everyone here, you’ll never get bored. They always bring great artists for live concerts, and last year I had so much fun watching the dog show!

Edmonton Fringe Festival Edmonton’s Fringe Festival is actually North America’s largest and longest-running fringe festival! It is an arts festival featuring hundreds of unique theatre performances. Across the city, different theatres host performances from local and international artists in all different categories from comedy to burlesque. You can purchase tickets ahead of time for certain shows or watch free street performance acts while enjoying a beverage at the beer gardens and a meal from one of the many food vendors.

Ice on Whyte Every winter International ice carving artists make their way to Edmonton to compete and show off their skills. You can vote for your favorite ice sculpture and try your hand at carving as well. There are also ice slides for the kiddos and plenty of warm beverages to go around!

Taste of Edmonton – At the end of July, over 50 local food vendors come together in downtown Edmonton to cook up their best dishes for you to try. You buy tickets and purchase food with your tickets. I love going there to try something new every year. There are also live music performances and a bar to keep you entertained while you feast!

15. Visit the Farmers’ Market

Daniel poses for the camera inside Strathcona Farmers Market in Edmonton
There is a ton to explore in the market!
a pretzel covered in cheese and jalepenos from Strathcona Farmers market
Don’t forget to grab a bite to eat, too!

Open year-round, the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market is our favorite farmers market in Edmonton! It is situated just off Whyte Avenue and is a great place to enjoy indoor shopping. The market opens from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, with free 2-hour parking available on market days in the parking lot across Gateway Boulevard.

All kinds of fresh food can be found here, from locally grown vegetables to handmade crafts. Edmonton’s cultural heritage really shines here, with authentic Ukrainian food (you MUST try the perogies) available at the Two Babas and a Stove booth. For those who love candles as much as me, then the cotton candy-scented candle from Eternal Flame can’t be missed.

The runner-up for me would have to be the 124 Grand Market, which is outside and only operates during the summer. You can find all of Edmonton’s awesome markets listed here.

If you’re visiting Edmonton in the wintertime, then you’ll find Christmas markets popping up all over the city. From November through to December, these markets are the perfect place to find a gift for a loved one, and you’ll know that these hand-crafted items were made with care. My favorite is the Edmonton Christmas Market at Fort Edmonton Park!

Related Read: Speaking of spending time at Christmas markets, hop on a road trip from Edmonton to Banff and see why Banff is another amazing location you can enjoy the holidays!

16. Go party!

Bailey and Daniel drinking beer at a popular pub in Edmonton
Cheers!

If you’re looking for a fun night out, you’ll enjoy Edmonton’s buzzing nightlife! There are plenty of great spots for bar hopping, some of my favorites being Jasper Avenue and Whyte Avenue.

If you’re in the mood for some live soul, funk, and blues music, then The Blues on Whyte is the place for you. It’s a historic hotel right in the middle of Whyte Avenue, featuring up-and-coming performers and all sorts of fun acts to enjoy.

If you’re feeling country, then Cook County Saloon is well worth a visit. You can practice your two-step and line dance, but the real challenge is riding the mechanical bull! There’s nothing quite like hanging on for dear life to really get the party going!

Union Hall and 99ten are intimate concert and dancing venues, getting you close to the stage where you can really feel the music. You’ll find plenty of EDM shows here as well as a dance floor where you can party the night away.

17. TELUS World of Science

TELUS World of Science in Edmonton
TELUS World of Science in Edmonton

If you have any kids along with you or are looking for great indoor activities in Edmonton, the TELUS World of Science delivers! The exhibits here are super interactive and constantly changing so there’s always something new to explore, even if you’ve visited in the past.

There are two levels of exhibits to see and while there’s a variety of themes, anything to do with space is always a big hit. If you have any budding astronauts, one of the permanent exhibits here lets them drive a lunar lander on the moon – how cool is that?! Kids can also have a blast exploring the “Curiouscity” where you can explore connected treehouses that look like Edmonton landmarks and even try their hand at directing airplanes from the Edmonton Airport Control Tower.

Once you’ve explored all the exhibits, catch a show in one of the unique spots here. There’s the Zeidler Dome which is a digital theater with fantastic laser shows. Or go big, reallllllly big, and watch a movie or documentary on the giant IMAX screen.

And if you’re a big kid who wants to visit while there are no children around, keep your eyes peeled for the “Dark Matters” events which are 18+ and have fun changing themes!

Admission starts at $23.95 CAD per adult and $18.95 CAD per child (3-12). Children under 3 can visit for free.  

18. Visit local distilleries

woman sitting at a distillery bar in Edmonton, Alberta
Trying a delicious craft cocktail at Lone Pine Distilling in Edmonton.

When small-batch distilling became legal in the province in 2013, the industry in Edmonton underwent its very own renaissance. You’ll now find several well-established distilleries offering a mind-boggling variety of products and even tours to show you the process.

One of my favorite distilleries to visit is Lone Pine Distilling. If you’re looking for a great cocktail, you will absolutely love this place. Some of the top drinks I’d recommend are the Lone Pine Classic G&T with two ounces of your chosen gin, as well as the Prairie Hand, which features Fentimans Pink Grapefruit tonic, grapefruit juice, and a cherry garnish.

If you’d like to take a look behind the scenes at Lone Pine, then you can go on a tour of where the magic happens in the impressive 8,000-square-foot (743-square-meter) facility. Tours are $15 CAD per person, however the tour is completely free if you purchase anything.

Another great distillery to check out is Strathcona Spirits, Edmonton’s oldest distillery. It’s unique because it is the smallest distillery in all of North America! But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver quality products, because all of its spirits are made using locally farmed grains and botanicals. I am such a fan of their Espresso Vodka – perfect for espresso Martini’s!

You can stop by anytime they’re open for a tasting. It’s $10 CAD and you’ll get to sample 4 spirits of your choice. Alternatively, you can book a Tour & Tasting experience on Saturdays for $15 CAD per person. You can reserve your tour here.

19. Ride the 100 Street Funicular

100 Street Funicular
100 Street Funicular
100 Street Funicular in Edmonton
Waiting to head back up!

The 100 Street Funicular is a relatively new Edmonton attraction that’s kind of like a big, glass elevator. It opened in December 2017 and lets you access the River Valley from downtown Edmonton.  

The funicular offers panoramic views and is completely free to ride! Unlike some funiculars, it doesn’t have an operator and essentially functions like a glass elevator allowing you to skip the steep set of stairs. It takes you down to the valley and then back up to a cool overlook and viewing area.

The funicular fits up to 20 people and is wheelchair accessible as well.

20. Go to a dinner theater

Bailey and Daniel at Spotlight Cabaret in Edmonton
Spotlight Cabaret in Edmonton

What happens if you combine great food with an evening of entertainment? Well, you get the dinner theater experience, which can be heaps of fun for small and large groups alike.

Jubilations Dinner Theatre is situated in the West Edmonton Mall and is a great spot to spend the evening with friends and family of all ages. The cast puts on hilarious parodies of popular movies, music, and TV shows, making you feel as if you’re part of the show!

Tickets for the evening shows start at $76 CAD and can be purchased online. We recommend parking in the West Edmonton Mall parking lot and entering through entrance #31 on the east side of the mall.

The Mayfield Dinner Theatre is a classy venue that can be found on the west end of the city. Attached to the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, the production quality of this venue is awesome – it’s even rated as Canada’s top dinner theatre!

Offering a high-end buffet complete with an incredible selection of desserts, tickets to the Mayfield Dinner Theatre start at $98 CAD per person. You’ll find shows taking place from Tuesday to Sunday at 5:30 pm, as well as the occasional morning show available at 10 a.m. Children under 6 are not permitted in the theatre.

With its dazzling roaring twenties theme, Spotlight Cabaret is situated less than a two-minute walk from the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market just off Whyte Ave. It offers a dinner entertainment experience like no other, featuring an intimate venue with adult-only comedy shows. Their first-class menu features tasty dishes using local ingredients, such as succulent beef sirloin or baked eggplant parmesan. Beginning at 6 pm, the entire experience lasts approximately 3 hours and tickets for this venue begin at $60 CAD.

21. See a show at the Winspear Center

The Francis Winspear Centre for Music, or the Winspear Center for short, is a performing arts complex located in the heart of downtown Edmonton. If you’re interested in experiencing some arts and culture during your trip, this is the place to go!

This is the home of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and if you are interested in classical music, you should absolutely try to catch one of their performances during your trip. Along with regular orchestra performances, there are plenty of unique shows and the schedule is constantly changing.

With the capacity to seat around 1,900 people, the interior of the theater resembles a modern take on the traditional ‘shoebox’ concert theaters from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Currently, there is a massive expansion happening which will add more performance spaces, classrooms, and additional areas open to the public.

Ticket prices vary but usually range between $20 – $100 CAD, so be sure to check what’s on during your stay!  

22. Visit the Alberta Legislature

The outside of the Alberta Legislature lit up with Christmas lights in Edmonton in the winter months
In the winter months, the Alberta Legislature is lit up with beautiful lights.

The Alberta Legislature is a truly magnificent building that lies at the heart of Albertan democracy.

Here, you can take a free 45-minute guided tour which gives you a detailed look around the building and an overview of Alberta’s political history. While you won’t need tickets for the tour, make sure you register ahead of time.

If the Assembly is taking place that day (meaning the politicians are here), then you can even watch the proceedings from the public gallery!

At the Legislative Assembly Visitor Centre, you’ll find featured exhibitions that vary throughout the year. We enjoyed the special film, “Our People Our Province” in the spectacular Phonan Theatre (with a 360-degree screen). The film lasts about 11 minutes and tells the story of the province. It’s shown every half hour with the last showing taking place at 2:30 p.m.

23. Go on a Ghost Tour

the neon sign museum in Edmonton
Edmonton is spooky at night!

If you are looking for a unique way to explore Edmonton and want to learn about its spooky history then look no further than Edmonton’s Ghost Tours!

These hour-long walking tours take place in multiple locations around Edmonton’s core, so you can choose the one that interests you most. From haunted theatres in Old Strathcona to a haunted pub tour along Whyte Ave, there are a variety of experiences for anyone brave enough!

The tours are led by award-winning storyteller, Nadine Bailey, who will masterfully share the urban legends of ghosts, hauntings, murders, and mysteries around Edmonton. We think this is such a fun and memorable way to learn about Edmonton and explore while you’re at it.

Tours start at $20 CAD per adult and only run during the summer season. You can book your tickets directly through the website.

24. Royal Alberta Museum

Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton
Photo credit: Royal Alberta Museum

The Royal Alberta Museum is in downtown Edmonton, making it easy to visit from all parts of the city. The museum focuses on human and natural history throughout the ages, with impressive exhibitions around every corner. It’s also the largest museum in Western Canada!

The museum has massive galleries about the natural and cultural history of Alberta. There is also a really cool display gallery that shows expeditions from Canada around the world.

The Children’s Gallery is awesome too and focuses on hands-on activities. If you don’t mind creepy crawlers, make sure to check out the bug exhibit, which has an invertebrate nursery and lots of live species.

The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday and admission for adults is $21 CAD and $10 CAD for kids under 17.

25. Art Gallery of Alberta

Edmonton has so many amazing museums and galleries worth exploring and the Art Gallery of Alberta is no exception. Founded in 1924, this art gallery has been collecting priceless art for a long time and it shows in their collection of over 6,000 works of art!

Located in the heart of the Arts District in downtown Edmonton, the Gallery is hard to miss as it’s a work of art itself. The large steel ribbons wound around and inside the building are supposed to represent the winding North Saskatchewan River and the Aurora Borealis.

Once inside you’ll be greeted with many collections to look through, such as the popular Canadian Abstract Painting and Sculpture collection featuring pieces from artists in the region. Another collection I found super interesting was the Contemporary and Historical Photograph collection displaying over 1,500 prints!

The gallery also hosts many different programs and events so be sure to check out their website to see what’s on while you’re in Edmonton! We think this is a must-do activity if you love art. Admission costs around $14 CAD per adult and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am – 5 pm, with the exception of Thursday when it’s open till 7 pm. It is also free to enter the gallery on the last Thursday of every month from 4- 7 pm.

26. Attend a comedy show

Bailey and Daniel at The Comic Strip in Edmonton
The Comic Strip!
Daniel and Bailey inside the Comic Strip in the West Edmonton Mall
Before the show starts!

Going to a comedy show is the perfect way to spend an evening and catch a few laughs. Here in Edmonton, there are a couple of different venues on offer.

The Comic Strip is a hidden gem situated on Bourbon Street in West Edmonton Mall. It’s also seen some famous faces, with comics who’ve been on The Daily Show, the Just for Laughs Festival, and The Tonight Show all making an appearance. Up-and-coming comedians also feature here, making it a great spot to hang out with local talent.

We highly recommend going to the 7 pm shows when there’s a headliner, as this is when you can get a 3-course dinner with the show for around $70 CAD. This package also includes a free ticket to see another show in the future too! If you’d like to stick to just the comedy, then tickets average $26 CAD per show, with a show taking place most nights of the week.

Other great comedy venues we recommend include The Grindstone Comedy Theatre & Bistro, The Comedy Factory, and Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club.

27. Play a round of golf

Lewis Estates Golf Course
Photo credit: Lewis Estates Golf Course
Hole at Lewis Estates Golf Course
Photo credit: Lewis Estates Golf Course

Golf is extremely popular during Edmonton’s summer months. The long days, which can offer up to 17 hours of sunlight, are perfect for golfers to enjoy their games well into the evening.

There are more than 80 golf courses around the Edmonton region, so if golf is an enjoyable pastime for you, then you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.  

There are golf courses located within the city limits of Edmonton and some are just a quick drive away. If you have your own clubs with you and want to practice a bit before hitting the courses, check out Dragon’s Head Par 3 Golf Course which is a public course with 18 holes and is great for every level of experience.  

If you’re staying right downtown, I’d recommend Victoria Golf Course. Tucked right into the River Valley, this city golf course is a lot of fun and won’t break the bank. It’s perfect for beginners or mid-handicap players.

Another golf course located within Edmonton is Jagare Ridge Golf Course, which can be found along Whitemud Creek. You’ll be in the city, but you’d never know it from the gorgeous surroundings and the natural scenery. The course has 18 holes and is quite challenging, making it perfect for experienced golfers.  

The favorite public course is Lewis Estates Golf Course, which is rated as the top course around here. It’s super green, well-manicured, and offers an awesome experience for locals and tourists. There are countless more options to choose from, making Edmonton a true paradise for golf lovers!  

28. See the animals at the Edmonton Zoo

meerkat looking at the camera at the Edmonton Valley Zoo
Don’t forget to check out the cute meerkats!

With over 250 animals calling The Edmonton Valley Zoo their home, it’s the perfect place to learn more about these incredible species. You’ll find a diverse mixture of outdoor and indoor spaces, as well as a full range of different climates and habitats, each perfectly engineered to suit the animals.

See the jaw-dropping snow leopards, the endangered but beautiful peregrine falcons, the prairie dogs and so much more. With exhibits constantly changing, you’ll find new inhabitants appearing with every visit. The latest member of the zoo is a unique species, a baby Grevy’s Zebra, which was born right here at the Edmonton Valley Zoo!

This activity is perfect for families and is actually quite affordable. You can purchase tickets either at the gate or online ahead of time. Prices are only $10.95 CAD for adults, $9.95 CAD for teens and $7.75 CAD for kids. 

29. Go skiing at Rabbit Hill

people at Rabbit Hill Snow Resort in Edmonton
Photo Credit: Rabbit Hill Snow Resort

Head towards the outer edge of Edmonton, on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River, and you’ll find Rabbit Hill. This ski and snowboard resort is one of the largest of its kind in the area, with over 40 acres of trails that are perfect for all ability levels. If you are new to skiing or snowboarding it’s the perfect place to learn before hitting the mountains in Banff or Jasper!

The friendly coaches at Rabbit Hill offer paid group lessons every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – perfect for those who have never skied before or are looking to brush up on their skills. You also don’t need to bring any gear with you, as the resort rents out all the equipment you would need.

Opening in mid-December through to the end of March, there’s plenty of time for you to visit and hone your skills. An all-day adult pass for the ski lift is about $50 CAD, making it an affordable way to spend the day – especially as it’s so close to the city!

If skiing or snowboarding seems too intense, why not go snow tubing instead? You’ll head up the hill on a conveyor belt then go down one of 3 runs on a tube. It’s a lot of fun! Plus, Rabbit Hill even offers summer tubing, which is basically the same thing minus the cold weather.

30. Explore Edmonton’s Parks

William Hawrelak Park
William Hawrelak Park
Daniel at the river valley in William Hawrelak Park, Edmonton
Beautiful views at the River Valley

When it comes to public parks and green spaces, Edmonton has it mastered. With over 460 parks in the city, there will always be a slice of nature at your fingertips!

Many parks offer day-use picnic areas with fire pits and facilities. During the summer families flock to these areas to enjoy some food, games, and quality time together. There are also many walking and biking trails through the parks that you can enjoy. Parks are free to use and there are many right downtown in the beautiful River Valley!

Some popular river valley parks are Buena Vista Park located next to the iconic Hawrelak Park (which is currently closed for restoration), Louise McKinney Riverfront Park, and Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park just to name a few. You can find the whole list of River Valley parks and addresses here.

During the winter some parks even have skating rinks for the public to enjoy! This is one of the best things to do in Edmonton in the winter. My favorites are the Victoria Iceway and the Rundle Park skating trails. There’s nothing better than bundling up, sipping on hot chocolate, and skating with friends!

There are actually some parks in Edmonton where you can legally consume alcohol. Our favorite is Constable Ezio Faraone Park, located right downtown just next to the High Level Bridge. This small park offers fantastic views over the river and is the perfect place to watch the sunset with a bottle of wine!  

31. Visit a local winery

wine bottles from Barr Estate Winery in Edmonton
Wine is just as good in the winter!

Edmonton may not be the place that comes to mind when you think of wine. The cold winters make growing grapes a challenge. But the crafty Albertans that started The Barr Estate Winery learned to create outstanding fruit wines made from raspberries, sour cherries, and rhubarb grown right on their farm! I loved my visit here because not only is it an incredible location to visit, but you can also take part in a wine-tasting tour.

This family-run business is just outside of Edmonton and started from only a few raspberry bushes and has transformed into an impressive winery with a wide selection.

I highly recommend picking up a bottle of The Other Red – Raspberry Wine. Made from hand-picked raspberries at peak ripeness, this full-flavor, medium-bodied wine is best served cold and is mind-blowingly good. Pair it with roast pork, white chocolate, or mango, and you’re onto a winner.

To join a tour, you’ll need to book in advance on their website. The tour includes a full view of how their wine is made, and you’ll enjoy a taste of what they offer along the way. These tours are $15 CAD per person and are offered every Saturday and Sunday during the warmer months.

32. Float down the North Saskatchewan River

two women float down the Pembina River on tubes
So fun!

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than being out on the water. The best way to do this in Edmonton is to do a River Float down the North Saskatchewan River!

Edmonton River Float will shuttle you up the river to the starting point and provide you with a comfortable tube, life jacket, and paddle. You will get some safety instructions before getting out on the water. The float lasts about 2-3 hours while you relax and take in the scenic river valley views. I recommend bringing water, music, food, and beverages with you as well as lots of sunscreen!

The tubes even connect to each other so you don’t have to worry about losing your friends or family along the float. And if you want a more educational experience, you can do one of their guided raft tours instead!

The river float costs $38 CAD per adult and the guided raft tour is $58 CAD per person. And don’t worry about bad weather, if it’s cold or rainy on the day of your booking, your float will be rescheduled or refunded.

33. Neon Sign Museum

Bailey walks along the Neon Sign Museum in Edmonton, Alberta
Neon Sign Museum in Edmonton, Alberta

Once the sun sets, the neon lights truly shine at The Neon Sign Museum in downtown Edmonton. It’s not really a museum, more like a section of the street lit up with an impressive collection of 20 neon signs from the city’s past. You’ll find the signs installed near Rogers Place Arena on the east side of the TELUS building on 104 Street and the south side of the Mercer Warehouse building – believe me, it’s hard to miss!

It’s very easy to access the area where the signs are, and you’ll find famous signs such as Hayden’s Furniture’s iconic rocking chair and the Canadian National Railway’s Freight Telegrams sign.

Once you’ve strolled down the street and taken all your pictures I recommend checking out one of the nearby bars and restaurants. This area of downtown is very trendy and is home to many great spots such as DOSC, known for its unique cocktail selection, and Baijiu, a hip spot with a twist on Asian cuisine and cocktails.

Where to Stay in Edmonton

Daniel poses in a room at Varscona Hotel Whyte Ave
Varscona on Whyte is a hotel we like to stay at!

Edmonton is a beautiful and historic city with so many things to see and do. So when it comes time to rest your head after a day of activities, you’ll want to make sure your stay is as relaxing as possible.

With lots of choices on offer, it’s a good idea to book your hotel to be close to activities that you’re interested in. That way, you’ll spend less time traveling and more time enjoying yourself! Here are our favorite hotels in Edmonton for a variety of budgets!

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald – $$$

The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald may look like a Disney castle on the outside, but inside you’ll find timeless luxury with all the modern amenities you could need. With stunning views of the River Valley, this hotel is fully equipped with a restaurant, indoor swimming pool, and a relaxing spa. Rooms start at around $320 CAD and you can check availability here.

Fantasyland Hotel – $$$

The internationally acclaimed Fantasyland Hotel offers a truly impressive hotel experience unlike any other. With 13 unique theme rooms and 15 luxury theme rooms, this hotel is an attraction in and of itself! What’s more, Fantasyland Hotel is located within West Edmonton Mall, a paradise for shoppers and a haven for family entertainment. Rooms start around $260 CAD and you can book here on Booking.com.

Varscona on Whyte – $$

With traditional room furnishings, Varscona on Whyte offers a calm and quiet stay, despite being situated right in central Edmonton! With easy walking access to Whyte Ave, you’ll find plenty of boutique shops, restaurants, and cafés right on your doorstep. Rooms here start at $161 CAD and you can check availability here.

Days Inn Edmonton Downtown – $

The Days Inn by Edmonton Downtown is situated in the heart of downtown Edmonton, offering a great launchpad into activities such as The Neon Sign Museum. The hotel also offers easy access to tram and bus links, which can take you straight to the West Edmonton Mall, for example. Rooms start at $119 CAD and can be booked online here.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter). Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable! Check out my review of Motorhome Republic here for tips before you book.

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at Alley Kat Brewing in Edmonton, Alberta
Thanks for reading!

I hope this guide to Edmonton has inspired you to get out there and see the sights of this incredible city! Having spent so much of my life here, I can’t wait for you to enjoy the amazing experiences, fantastic restaurants, and hidden gems Edmonton has to offer.

Make sure to leave us a comment and let us know what you’re looking forward to on your trip to Edmonton! Make sure you browse around our other blogs about Alberta including:

23 BEST Stops on the Drive from Edmonton to Lake Louise

27 Fun & Unique Things to do in Drumheller, Alberta

17 MUST-DO Indoor Activities in Calgary

11 BEST Stops on the Drive from Edmonton to Jasper