Visiting a museum is always a unique experience, as each one has its own distinct characteristics, style, and of course, content. Museum subjects vary greatly from city to city, and can range from firefighter's museums to fine art, to sports. If you need help making a selection, our 10Best list highlights the top spots to visit in Edmonton.


Alberta has changed drastically throughout the course of its short history, and this museum illustrates how, through the advent of mechanization, it's all happened. Displays detail how farming, transportation and industry have been transformed by machinery. Galleries showcase vehicles, planes and agricultural equipment from the 1890s to the 1970s. Many of the machines are still used regularly, including the cars and planes for the entertainment of visitors, along with the tractors and threshers, which are used on farmland around the museum.

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This is one of Canada's most popular museums. Situated in a park-like setting just west of downtown, the museum takes visitors on a journey through time and space to explore the human and natural history of western Canada. Behind the scenes, 13 curatorial programs are responsible for building and making accessible some of the finest human and natural history collections in the country. The Wild Alberta gallery is like no other museum experience in Canada – it is a journey across, over and even under Alberta's landscapes. With the award-winning Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture, The Natural History Gallery and feature galleries presenting world-class exhibitions from museums around the world, a trip to the Royal Alberta Museum lets you explore Alberta and discover the world!

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Alberta's prosperity is linked closely to the oil industry, and even today, much of its business revolves around oil. This visitor center on the Leduc-Woodbend Oilfield traces the discovery of oil in the province, illustrating the story with derricks, models, oil equipment and other displays. Kids and adults who are fascinated by machinery will be especially thrilled. A gift shop offers artwork, clothing, books and souvenirs.

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Alberta Railway Museum

If the romance of the railroad era has you in its thrall, this museum is a mandatory destination. You'll find cars, machinery and artifacts from the past 100 years on display, inviting you to explore and play to your heart's content. Equipment from two of Canada's major railways (Canadian National and Northern Alberta Railways) provide an overview of the heyday of rail travel in the west. On certain weekends, visitors are even able to ride one of the steam-powered trains.

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This prestigious gallery presented its first exhibit, consisting primarily of borrowed art, in 1924. Now, more than 75 years later, the gallery maintains 5000 works in its permanent gallery, rotating them in a variety of exhibitions. The AGA also invites traveling displays and includes artists of local, national and international reputation. Among the media represented are drawing, sculpture, photography, painting and performance art. Tours and classes are available, as are a children's interactive gallery, gift shop and coffee bar. A sales gallery lets visitors purchase favorite works of art from Albertan artists.

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C & E stands for Calgary and Edmonton, the two cities this railroad served a hundred years ago. The museum, housed in a replica of the original Old Strathcona station, documents this railroad and the changes it brought to Alberta. Artifacts and photos pay tribute to the pioneers who came to settle along the river during the province's early days. Visitors can easily see the distinct differences between what the city was anticipated to be and what it's become today. During the winter, the museum is open only by appointment.

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Housed in a WWII-era hangar, this museum dedicates itself to preserving historical aircraft and educating the public on aviation in Alberta in general and Edmonton in particular. On display are planes from as far back as 1920; also represented are aircraft from the era of the World Wars and from early commercial aviation. Restoration by volunteers takes place in-house. Notable examples include the De Havilland Mosquito, the Cranwell CLA4, the McDonnell F101 Voodoo, and the Waco Model UIC. The museum also has a library of photographs, historical documents and books. A gift shop is available as well.

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Its first priority is to highlight Alberta's original infantry unit, which has been in operation since 1908, but the museum also supports other military efforts, especially those originating in Alberta. Two galleries showcase military paraphernalia, along with display cases of historic uniforms. Visitors will also see medals, trophies, weapons, and a variety of documentation and personal effects.

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As a tribute to Alberta's Ukrainian settlers and in an effort to preserve their heritage, this museum acquires and displays artifacts relating to the culture. Visitors will see an array of traditional clothing, including the costumes of important women through the ages. Handicrafts such as embroidery, weaving and woodcarving are on exhibit too, as are elaborately-decorated Easter eggs and musical instruments from the native land. Many religious items illustrate the importance of their faith to Ukrainian immigrants; an early Slavonic Bible from 1751 is among the artifacts displayed. The museum's archives also contain a wealth of diaries, letters and manuscripts.

Read more about Ukrainian Canadian Archives & Museum →

Edmonton's space and science center is a bonanza of delights for those who love the natural world. Exhibition galleries let you explore the mysteries of the body, the intricacies of crime-solving, the relationship between nature and weather, and the pioneering spirit of space exploration. There's also a display on sports that lets you jump into the action, and a stage where live demonstrations about various scientific principles are presented. In the planetarium, you'll find star shows and laser-light spectacles, among other attractions. The IMAX theater alternates about 10 films on many different topics.

Read more about TELUS World of Science →