The Top 30+ Attractions in Edmonton
With Edmonton being Alberta’s capital city, there’s an abundance of things to do, see, and experience that won’t let you down. Whether you want to see animals at the zoo, discover new plants at the Muttart, or enjoy the scenery of the River Valley, there’s something for everyone around the city.
While the past year may not have been the best of years to experience new attractions and places, it’s always worth making a list and putting it all onto your future goals. Local small businesses, beloved historic buildings, and other attractions are waiting for you in Canada’s Festival City!
How to pick your next visit
Whatever you’re in the mood to see and do, here’s a few checkpoints to look for:
Time – How much time do you have to spend while in the city, or how many hours are you free during the day? Do you enjoy early mornings or later nights? Try to divide your time between what might take a few hours or a few minutes, and when during the day works best for you.
Cost – Some attractions are free, and some have costs ranging from cheap to expensive. Budget what works with what you want to see and plan accordingly.
Difficulty – Do you want a moderately difficult hike or adventure, or do you want to take it easy and relax? Whichever you prefer, there’s something for everyone.
Why Trust Us
While travelling and exploring a new city or wanting to find some hidden gems where you already live, our team has spent over 10 hours researching and finding attractions based on peer reviews, searches, and our own personal experience living in this wonderful city.
Must-See Attractions in Edmonton
Needing no introduction, West Edmonton Mall was once the world’s largest mall. With the largest indoor waterpark, Galaxyland amusement park, multiple theatres, indoor ice rink, themed hotel rooms at the Fantasyland Hotel, and hundreds of stores – It’s easy to see why it’s a must-see when you’re in the city.
While some of the older attractions have been taken down over the years, such as the fire-breathing dragon in the Scotia Bank Theatre, West Edmonton Mall still has much to discover and see. There’s bowling, blacklight mini-golf, regular mini-golf, the Ice Palace skating rink, go-kart driving, the Marine Life tour with aquatic animals such as penguins, and the Sea Lion’s Rock that has the resident California Sea Lions putting on shows – just to name a few.
The World Water Park has 17 unique waterslides, a wave pool, and a zipline all located in a tropical oasis set to around 31 degrees Celsius. It’s fun for the entire family, when you need to get away from the cold winter months, and you can even rent a private cabana within the park.
Besides that, there are hundreds of shops, restaurants, and Bourbon Street that has piano bars, and other festive events.
General admission to the World Waterpark is $30-49, and a season pass is $120.
With changing events, exhibits, and online compatibility, the TELUS World of Science is a must-see for kids and adults alike. From nature to space, there’s something for everyone.
There’s a large activity space that’s always changing from giant functioning piano keys on the floor to rock wall climbing, it’s a fun time for learning. Included is the ‘Curioscity’ for younger children focused on childhood development and inspiring youth towards science and learning.
The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery is a reimagining of one of the city’s best-loved gallery spaces, with planets and the solar system, commanding a lunar lander while exploring the surface of the Moon, see an Aurora Borealis, and more! There are also 3D immersive IMAX videos that take you wherever you’d love to travel and see – Space and otherwise, such as an underwater dive.
Of course, there’s the gift shop and other things to take home, including the ability to explore and research online from our own living room.
The price for entry is $24.95 for adults $19.60 for children aged 3-12, youth aged 13-17 or students with ID + Seniors 65+ is $21.55
The Chinese Garden in the Louise-McKinney Riverfront Park is a must-see for tourists and residents alike. It’s a beautiful 1.25-hectare landscaped garden that is home to authentic Chinese statues, architecture, and horticulture.
It’s free to explore and walk through, there are rock ponds, Zodiac statues, a stone pillar monument devoted to Chinese pioneers, and much more can be experienced while walking through. Take your time to enjoy the lush gardens and architecture.
It generally opens at 8 am and closes at 11 pm, so be sure to make time for this beautiful landscape.
The French Quarter is located in the heart of the Francophone district on 86th Avenue and 91st Street near the Bonnie Doon Shopping Centre and several family-friendly green parks.
In addition to the Farmer’s Market that runs there, it also hosts a myriad of special events such as the City of Light and Flying Canoe Adventure Walk. There are also pubs, restaurants, boutiques, salons, and other location businesses that call this area home.
It’s worth checking out while you’re in the city, and especially when you want to experience some French-Canadian hospitality and adventure while you’re here in Western Canada.
With the added bonus of getting to explore and see the exhibits in 3D at home from your computer, you’re never out of reach to experience the Royal Alberta Museum. A must-see attraction while in Edmonton.
The Mammoth Pass for adults is $35, a family pass is $70, seniors are $30, and youth are $20. Mammoth Passes allow you to visit the museum an unlimited amount of times within a year for the same cost as two regular passes.
The Metro Cinema Garneau is a well known and amazing theatre that has older films, short films, indie productions, and everything in-between. It’s a fantastic piece of history and a gorgeous building.
Evening and Matinee prices for adults are $13, Evenings are $10 for students/seniors and $8 for the matinee. Children 12 and under are $8. There are also many different cinema passes available, such as the Silver Screen Pass for $300.
Attractions for Kids
Going to the zoo is always a fun time for adults and kids alike, and the Edmonton Valley Zoo is no exception!
With hundreds of animals and some wonderful attractions, the Valley Zoo is the place to be. Admission for Adults is $15, and there are annual memberships available as well if you’re looking to visit more often! Children are $10, Youth is $13, and Seniors are $13.50.
Galaxy Land within West Edmonton Mall is an absolutely magical place when you want to experience the thrills of a theme park and also want to stay warm and toasty inside.
There are dozens of themed rides, including the Mindbender – which is the world’s largest indoor triple-loop coaster, makes this a fun trip for anyone in the family. There are arcade games, other fairground rides, and to this day Galaxy Land is still the world’s largest indoor amusement park.
Entry is free for children under two years, Seniors are $35, Guests with disabilities are $27, anyone under 48-inches tall is $33, and there are all-day passes as well as other types of plans if you intend to visit Galaxy Land more often.
While most wouldn’t think of a library as the most fun place for children, EPL has a wonderful reputation for helping and entertaining all ages. There are puppet time shows, storytimes, game times, and all while learning and having fun. Video games can even be rented, along with books, digital copies online, and nearly anything else you could want.
The entire world is at your fingertips with the Edmonton Public Library and all of the librarians and staff are fantastic and knowledgeable. It’s always worth checking out and taking some time. There are over 14 million physical and digital copies of whatever you’d like from films to games, you can attend language classes, there are business and tech software classes online, and you can even use their 3D printer!
A library card is entirely free at any EPL branch, you just need an ID and an address!
Snow Valley Ski Club is a ski hill on Rainbow Valley Road NW that is fun for the whole family whether you’re new or old to skiing and snowboarding.
Lift tickets are $25-35 for four hours or less of hill time, and there are annual and discounted passes available for purchase if you’d like to do so. If you have a Marmot Basin ESCAPE Card or any other discount type passes, you can call Snow Valley’s Guest Services to inquire about different prices as well for some possible deals.
You can rent equipment if you don’t have your own, and don’t want to purchase anything before going. Snow Rider, the shop behind Guest Services, has everything you’ll need and there is even a tuning & repair service shop that can help tune up any equipment you might have with you. There are programs and lessons, including private lessons if you’re wanting to learn more / by yourself.
There is a beginner park and the main park, including rails and jumps for beginners!
This Winter Fest is fun for everyone. There are workshops, cultural stories, artist panache everywhere, and for a visual treat, there are generally ice sculptures, art installations, and more!
You can also volunteer or support the festival if you’d like, and it’s a veritable winter wonderland worth bundling up for and checking out. From plays to DIY workshop projects that are fun for the whole family and more there’s something for everyone and you even learn more about local artists and cultural history while doing so.
There are snow wagon rides, live music, cuisine, a giant ice slide, various local markets, and more. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.
Churchill Square is the main downtown square in Edmonton. It hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the entire year, including the Edmonton International Street Performers Festival.
There are many attractions to check out around Churchill, including the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton City Centre and all of the surrounding local stores for any shopping you might want to do, restaurants and bars, and if you’re here at the right time – festivals!
The 100th Street Funicular is a project that was completed in 2017 that gives more and easier access to the River Valley and stands as the connection from downtown to the Valley.
While being the main prominent attraction, there are also now more developed stairs, viewpoints, the pedestrian bridge, artworks, and an elevator for much easier access to go for a nice walk around the River Valley and downtown area, whereas before it was quite limited.
Admissions are free and the Funicular and elevator are open from 7 am to 9 pm daily, while the promontory, stairs, promenade, bridge, and Frederick G. Todd Lookout are open from 5 am to 11 pm daily. The washrooms located in Louise McKinney Park are open and available from 9 am to 9 pm daily.
The Muttart Conservatory is Edmonton’s premier horticultural space and attraction, nestled within the River Valley in a beautiful pyramid-shaped glass building.
There are more than 700 species of plants in three different climate-regulated biomes – arid, temperate, and tropical – and a featured biome within the pyramids. The featured biome changes at least eight times a year depending on the current featured plants.
It is accredited for conservation and is one of Canada’s largest botanical collections. If you’re wanting a real treat, it also houses Putrella – the resident Giant Corpse Flower. She blooms once a year! The 275-pound, 10-foot-tall beauty is housed in her own custom flowerpot and would love for you to visit! The bloom lasts only two to four days if you can catch it at the right time.
Admission is $6.50 to $10.50 to visit and is well worth it!
The Rutherford House is a historical building (and museum) within the Strathcona area of Edmonton.
The building was home to the first Premier of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford, and has subsequently been designated as a provincial historical site.
It’s worth going to see and learn some history about the province and Canada while you’re there. It’s free for children aged 0-6, Youth is $5, Seniors and students are $6, and adults are $7. There are also $20 family passes, for two adults and a maximum of 8 youths. It’s also free for Canadian military and families, along with Cultural Pass Access holders.
There is also the Vintage Fork culinary experience and a gift shop. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm.
The Mackenzie Ravine is a shorter, steep ravine that you can see from 142nd Street, between 94th and 92nd Ave. It has a 1km hiking trail that links the top of the ravine down through the River Valley trails network.
There a few steep staircases, but from the top of those, you can see the North Saskatchewan River, and Edmonton’s beautiful skyline. A gravel path, a boardwalk section, and during the summer when everything is in full bloom there are green trees and lush bushes lining the entire ravine for a gorgeous view the entire way while walking or running.
Interestingly, there are also remains of an old, abandoned bomb shelter on the north end of the ravine, built-in 1953 to protect a select bunch of city officials from possible Soviet nuclear attacks. It’s a wonderful walk and well worth the views to check out some nature within the city.
If you love history and want to sprinkle in some fun while learning, Fort Edmonton Park is where you want to be.
Covering eras from 1846 to the 1920s, Fort Edmonton Park is known for its fun and interactive spaces. There’s the 1846 Fort: The Fur Trading Era, 1885 Street: The Settlement Era, 1905 Street: The Municipal Era, and 1920 Street. All of which have their own activities and attractions, from watching and learning heritage skills such as boat building, beadwork, fur-grading or learning some Cree syllabics to mini-golf, a 4D Northern Lights experience, or games and ice cream.
There’s something for everyone and it’s always a great time. They’re currently closed due to a large renovation but are still open for private events and other gatherings of the sort. If you’re interested in their spaces, so make sure to check them out. It’s one of the best sites worth seeing while in the city.
If shopping is your thing, look no further than Whyte Avenue and Old Strathcona.
Home to countless local small and large businesses, there is something for everyone regardless of their shopping or restaurant tastes. Bars, storefronts, and even festivals take place here. Historic sites and old buildings dot the streets.
It’s generally very busy all year, even during the cold winter months. Some stores have been in business for quite a long time, calling Whyte Ave and Old Strathcona home for 100+ years. Jewelry, cafes, eclectic alternative clothing and merchandise will all be found here, including the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market that is Edmonton’s original indoors farmers market, having been open on Saturdays since 1983.
There is everything from baked goods to plants to grains and fish. If you want to shop local for food and plants, this would be the area to do so.
The Starlight Casino is located in West Edmonton Mall, and is the place to play some table games, poker, or slots.
There are multiple places to eat there as well, and the buffet is about $6 for non-Encore members. Whatever your game and being around some glitz and glamour for fun seems up your alley – do make sure to check out the casino while you’re in West Edmonton Mall.
They are currently closed at the time of this writing, but they have posted that they may be open again sometime in late 2021.
For getting out in nature
Elk Island National Park is a national park in Edmonton that has played an important role in the conservation of the Plains Bison. The ‘island’ of conservation is about 35km east of Edmonton and along the Yellowhead Trail, which goes through the park itself.
It’s open 24 hours and is great for hiking and camping. Stargazing and wildlife watching are also popular attractions and fun to do when you have the time to get out into nature from the city.
It’s an important refuge not only for Bison, but also Elk, and over 250 species of birds. It’s an oasis for day picnics or overnight camping to watch the stars. There are over 80km of trails to explore, cycling paths, and you can view wildlife by foot, bike, or even in your car just driving through!
Hawrelak Park is a 68-hectare park (formerly known as Mayfair Park) that was originally going to be developed into a 500-lot subdivision, however, in 1922 the city obtained the title for the land and kept it as a beautiful park.
It has open meadows, is great for picnics and walking, and hosts several major festivals and events throughout the year. It’s a fantastic place to visit and wind down, for Edmonton residents and visitors alike.
With nearby parking and benches along the way, the Edmonton Skyline Lookout is a great viewpoint to find and check out for yourself.
A beautiful view of the entire city skyline can be seen from here, along with pretty and lush trees and bushes nearby. It’s a prime location for wedding and landscape photography and is worth the walk or drive to find.
Especially at night with the entire city lit up with lights and the bridge.
Laurier Park located in the west end is open from 5 am to 11 pm. The washrooms in the summer are open from 9 am to 9 pm, and in the winter they’re closed.
Named after Canada’s eighth Prime Minister. There are numerous picnic sites, a playground, and a recently launched boat launch are just a few of the things visitors can do. Walking trails, boat trailer parking, a horseshoe pit, a natural playground, washrooms are in the amenity building.
Emily Murphy Park is located on the south bank of the North Saskatchewan River between Kinsmen Park and Hawrelak Park, and is named after Edmonton’s most famous citizens, women’s activist – Emily Murphy.
A noteworthy feature is the Forest Capital Trail that connects the Kinsmen Park to Emily Murphy. Seven interpretive signs along the trail allow users to learn about Edmonton’s forestry and urban forest in general.
The City of Edmonton has fixed up the End of the World with stairs, seats, trails, fencing and is officially called Keillor Point.
It’s one of the best lookouts in the entire city, with animals, lush grasses and the view is spectacular. They did a $1.5 million renewal of the area, making it a different attraction than before, but still one worth seeing and doing while you’re in the city.
How we picked
For this guide, we used our own personal experiences and other user reviews to compile this list of attractions and must-see spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I see the skyline in Edmonton?
The Edmonton Skyline Lookout point is a great spot to view the city skyline, located around 9239 Strathearn Dr NW. There are many viewpoints to see the skyline from, but the Skyline Lookout is rated as the best.
What is the best picnic spot in Edmonton?
Hawrelak Park, Laurier Park, and Emily Murphy Park are great picnic spots to enjoy some sunshine and snacks when the weather is nice enough for picnics.
How long does it take to visit the Royal Alberta Museum?
Generally, it’s about two hours to see everything, but depending on how fast you want to get through or take your time that can vary.
What is the best park in Edmonton?
Hawrelak Park and Victoria Park are known as two of the best parks in Edmonton, whether you just want to go for a little stroll, have a picnic, or enjoy the fresh air.
Are there things to do in Downtown Edmonton?
Downtown Edmonton has plenty to do. From the library, Art Gallery of Alberta, Churchill Square that hosts year-round festivals, and the ICE district that has the new hockey arena, casinos, and restaurants. The Legislative Grounds have wading pools, picnic spots, and a seasonal skating rink.
What is the best place for brunch in Edmonton?
Under the High Wheel is a top-rated brunch spot, and for good reason. With delectable choices and wonderful presentation, they’re the brunch place to hit up.
Who has the best patio in Edmonton?
El Cortez is a well-known spot for patio dining, and they’re even pet friendly!
What is the most unique wedding venue in Edmonton?
The Foundry Room and Studio 96 are highly reviewed unique wedding venues to use around the city, and EJH Events is one of the best to help you plan events and even rent tents for your wedding needs as well!
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