Edmonton is the capital city of the Canadian province, Alberta. Based right on the North Saskatchewan River, the city offers the best of two worlds: a paradise of natural beauty and a buzzing urban metropolis. The city is a worthwhile destination in its own right, but given its proximity to many national parks, many people also use it as a base to explore the region. Edmonton is a place you can visit at any time of the year, with snowy landscapes and skiing in the winter, and an array of outdoor activities in the summer. You can also experience a day that has 18 hours of daylight if you visit during the latter!
A weekend in Edmonton
Edmonton is the type of destination that caters to all kinds of travelers. Whether you are looking for a mini couples getaway, an active weekend trip with friends, or a solo adventure, this a city that can offer it all. The hardest part about having limited time is deciding what attractions to prioritize, so we’ve put together some ideas to help you make the tough decisions. It’s also a good idea to make the most of local services like luggage lockers in Edmonton. This way, you won’t waste a second of your trip held up by your bags.
- West Edmonton Mall- If you enjoy ticking off record-holding attractions, you won’t want to miss this mall. With all of the usual shops and restaurants you’d expect from a modern establishment, this mall was the biggest in the world until 2004 and remains the largest in North America today.
- World Waterpark - Looking for some good, old-fashioned water fun? Head to World Waterpark. There’s a range of waterslides and attractions that will entertain all ages.
- Muttart Conservatory - The pyramid structures in this garden are some of the most recognizable in all of Edmonton. A visit to this stunning botanical garden is well worth it and you can even join a tour to learn more.
There’s nothing worse than being stuck with your luggage. Sure, late check-ins and early check-outs are a part of travel, but that doesn’t take away the inconvenience when all you want to do is get out and explore. The good news is that you can drop your bags at a safe and secure bag storage in Edmonton. You’ll never be put out by your luggage again!
Off the beaten path in Edmonton
Getting off the beaten path is a great way to explore a different side of a destination. This is no different in Edmonton, where straying from the main tourist circuit can offer a hugely rewarding experience.
We recommend checking out these hidden gems for yourself.
- The Secret River Valley Swing - Take a stroll along the south side of the North Saskatchewan River to find this glorious swing. You’ll be able to take the perfect snap for your socials!
- MacKenzie Ravine Boardwalk - Head to the Hawrelak Park end of the ravine and you’ll be rewarded with various boardwalks and trails. A great place to get active and explore.
- The End of the World - This site is growing in popularity so we recommend you get there as soon as you can. That being said, just because more people are learning about it, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the visit. Well worth visiting at sunset for the views over the river.
What to do alone in Edmonton
There’s nothing quite like the freedom of taking a trip on your own and Edmonton is the perfect place to embrace this type of vacation. Even if you are slightly restricted and in town on business, you’ll enjoy the warm embrace of this city. Remember to make the most of local facilities like luggage lockers that will take care of your things when you have nobody else to watch them.
Stuck for itinerary ideas? These attractions are perfect for visiting on your own.
- Fort Edmonton Park - A visit to Fort Edmonton Park will transport you back in time. Learn more about the city’s history and enjoy the historic passageways, buildings, and restored train.
- Elk Island National Park - Immerse yourself in nature with a trip to this park. Make sure to keep an eye out for birds, bison, and, of course, elk!
- Alberta Legislature Building - This impressive structure is an important parliamentary building. Take a tour to learn more or simply enjoy the beauty of the grounds and architecture.
The best souvenirs in Edmonton
Finding the perfect souvenir can be challenging, but there are plenty of options in Edmonton. Popular tourist attractions like the Legislature Building or Royal Alberta Museum have gift shops where you can purchase items specific to the site or general Canadian memorabilia. For something a little more unique, head to the shop at the Art Gallery of Alberta. You can get some great pieces of art or handmade goods. Tix on the Square is also a good choice if you’re looking for something a bit different.