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Edmonton Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in EdmontonWhere to Stay
The best accommodations in Edmonton are found in its bustling downtown, in the historic Old Strathcona neighborhood or near the world-famous West Edmonton Mall. Downtown hotels offer convenience for business travelers and close proximity to some great restaurants, shopping and nightlife. Adjacent to the University of Alberta, Old Strathcona is Edmonton’s trendiest neighborhood. Hotels here are within walking distance to eclectic eateries, fashionable shops and the best live music venues in the city. If shopping ‘til you drop is more your style, then a hotel near West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America would be your best bet.
Caution: Hotels in downtown are generally more expensive than those located in other areas of the city.
What to Eat
Edmontonians take their food culture seriously and that dedication is reflected in the amazing number and variety of dining experiences available. The main restaurant districts are located downtown, in Old Strathcona and along Calgary Trail/Gateway Boulevard. Downtown, you’ll find some of the city’s most sophisticated lunch and dinner options. Restaurants in Old Strathcona offer everything from ethnic cuisine to comfy coffee houses and bistros to some of our more innovative dining experiences. In the summer, it’s great to take advantage of the sidewalk cafes that crowd the area.
Be Sure to Sample: Some of Alberta's famous beef, bison or other game meat. Another Edmonton specialty is Ukrainian food. Yum, pirogues!
Things to See
Edmonton boasts many cultural attractions and historic landmarks. Visit Fort Edmonton, the largest living history museum in Canada, or the Royal Alberta Museum to view the cultural and natural history collections. Edmonton is also known as “Festival City” because of its many world-class festivals held throughout the year, from the The Works Art and Design Festival in spring to the International Fringe Festival in summer to Ice on Whyte in winter. If you’re visiting Edmonton, there’s sure to be a festival going on.
Hot Tips: A complete listing of Edmonton and area festivals can be found on the city's website — look for the current Festivals & Events brochure.
Places to Party
After dark, Edmonton comes alive with entertainment options. Theatre is alive and well at the Citadel theatre downtown, hosting national touring shows, and in Old Strathcona - home to eight independent theatre companies. Live rock and jazz performances abound at venues throughout the city, although most are clustered downtown and in Old Strathcona. Also downtown and in Old Strathcona are a great variety of bars, where you can have a beer with friends, and clubs, where you can dance the night away.
Caution: Plan your ride ahead of time as Edmonton is very strict about drinking and driving laws and they are well-enforced.
Take It or Leave It: To sample a variety of Edmonton's trendiest clubs and bars, just take a walk down Whyte Avenue.
Where to Shop
Want to shop? You’ve come to the right place. Edmonton is home to West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America, and Alberta’s number one tourist attraction. The mall’s 5.3 million square feet feature over more than 800 stores and services, 10 world-class attractions, 2 hotels and over 100 dining venues. Great shopping is also found in the stylish downtown area featuring a selection of over 500 shops and department stores. If you’re looking for the unique and eclectic, stroll down Whyte Avenue in the heart of Old Strathcona.
Hot Tips: Downtown shopping areas are linked by 13 km of indoor ped-ways so you can avoid cold and inclement weather.
Ready for Your Dream Vacation?
Alberta's capital, an inviting city located on the vast northern prairie, is both cosmopolitan and down-to-earth. From its early days as a fur-trading outpost, to its rise to prominence as a center for coal and oil, the city has been a mainstay in western Canada. As a result of the oil booms in the last century, Edmonton grew increasingly wealthy, and the money gave rise to a town of culture and sophistication. These days, oil-related technology businesses anchor the local economy, and the city is also home to Alberta's legislature. Downtown, the Arts District has a variety of cultural offerings; across the river, the Old Strathcona neighborhood features terrific shopping and entertainment options. Thanks to the North Saskatchewan River valley, which bisects the city, Edmonton also has a wealth of green space, popular for outdoor festivals and recreational activities.