The Top Attractions in Edmonton

Feb 21, 2022

Your Edmonton vacation (or staycation) bucket list starts here! We've gathered a list of Edmonton's best tourist attractions and local gems, perfect for making memories to last a lifetime. You'll find everything from kid-friendly outings to free outdoor experiences, immersive museums to inspiring galleries, and more.

Blaze your own trail through the North Saskatchewan River Valley, take a deep dive into Alberta's history at the Royal Alberta Museum, then give your wallet a run for its money at West Edmonton Mall. Step back in time at Fort Edmonton Park, hang with the free-roaming bison at Elk Island National Park, and finish the day cheering on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. It's all in a day's work, folks! These top attractions and experiences are ready to welcome you with open arms.

Remember, this list is just the tip of the attractions iceberg. For even more to see & do, check out our Attractions & Experiences Listing. We've got fun tours, live theatre & concert venues, culinary programming, outdoor adventures, indoor family fun, and the list goes on!

North Saskatchewan River Valley

The North Saskatchewan River Valley comes in at 22 times the size of New York City’s Central Park – that's a whole lot of green space to explore! This natural attraction is the perfect place to spend the day, no matter the season. Here you can picnic, snowshoe, bike, run, kayak, skate, canoe, stand-up paddleboard, cross-country ski, or Segway. And that's just the beginning!

Pro-tip: take your river valley adventures up a notch when you explore the Commonwealth Walkway with the help of an interactive app and step into Edmonton's rich history!

West Edmonton Mall

Welcome to North America's Mt. Everest of shopping and entertainment! Pack those comfy shoes and dive into 48 city blocks of shops, restaurants, roller coasters, and more at West Edmonton Mall. New additions include Drive – an exciting multi-level go-karting experience. Galaxyland has also transformed three-and-a-half acres of its amusement park into Hasbro-themed attractions. And there is SO MUCH MORE! You could spend a whole week at the mall and never run out of things to do.

The Royal Alberta Museum

Feed your curiosity at the Royal Alberta Museum! Located in the Arts District downtown, RAM’s expansive galleries will immerse you in stories of Alberta's people and natural environment. Kids will beg to spend hours exploring the wonders of the Children's Gallery. The Human History Hall is a beautiful representation of both historical and contemporary Indigenous stories in Alberta. The museum also holds the Manitou Asinîy, a sacred meteorite believed to hold great power and significance to many Indigenous communities. With hundreds of stories, thousands of objects, and a million opportunities for discovery, a day at RAM will fly by faster than you can say Woolly Mammoth!

Elk Island National Park

Thirty-five minutes east of Edmonton lies a wild oasis. Elk Island National Park is the perfect place to day-hike, canoe, snowshoe, skate, and more. This is also a designated dark sky preserve – meaning it's an incredible place to spot the Northern Lights. Get your cameras ready! Canada’s largest fully enclosed park is a refuge for moose, elk, lynx, black bears, gray wolves, 250 species of birds, and of course, herds of plains bison.

Camping at Elk Island is a perfect summer activity – if you want to avoid the hassle of buying and setting up your own gear, Elk Island National Park offers you the luxury of calling one of their Tipis, Cabins, or oTENTiks home.

Alberta Legislature

Set atop the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, the Alberta Legislature is a marvel of marble pillars and carved oak. Discover the Legislature on a free guided tour, offered hourly – don’t forget to listen for the phenomenon known as the “magic spot”! Just north of the Legislature Building, you'll find the Visitor Centre on the main floor of the Federal Building. Open year-round to the public, it features the Pehonan Theatre, the Agora Interpretive Centre, and the Borealis Gallery. Plus, strolling around the grounds is just as magical in the winter as it is in the summer. Get a taste of history, right in the heart of the city!

The Art Gallery of Alberta

A striking architectural landmark, downtown’s Art Gallery of Alberta is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon expanding your mind. The over 6,000 paintings, sculptures, and installations on display include historical and contemporary works. The AGA has six gallery spaces, a rotating installation in the main hall, and more. There are 3 gallery spaces on level one (including a dedicated kids gallery), 2 gallery spaces on level two, and the largest exhibit space on the third floor. Click here to learn more about the exhibits currently on display!

Has appreciating all that art made you work up an appetite? We HIGHLY recommend making a reservation at May, the incredible restaurant inside the gallery. You'll find an elevated dining experience that is truly one of the best in the city.

Rogers Place and the Edmonton Oilers

Rogers Place is sure to make your jaw drop. Home to young phenom, Connor McDavid, and the Edmonton Oilers hockey team, the arena features state-of-the-art technology including one of the largest high definition screens in the National Hockey League. Rogers Place also regularly welcomes some of the world’s biggest music acts all year long. Located in the heart of the city's Ice District, you'll find shopping, entertainment, world-class accommodations, and countless unique restaurants nearby.

University of Alberta Botanic Garden

The next attraction on our list is the perfect place for the ultimate picnic. Be amazed by the wealth and diversity of nature at the stunning University of Alberta Botanic Gardens – a must-visit for lovers of flora, fauna, and beautiful things. Don’t miss the Aga Khan Garden – 4.8 hectares of modern architectural beauty. It is also home to Luminaria, one of Edmonton's most anticipated yearly festivals. We promise you, it is nothing short of magical!

Fort Edmonton Park

History comes to life at Fort Edmonton Park! Here, you'll have the opportunity to learn about four time periods: 1846, 1885, 1905, and 1920. The brand new Indigenous Peoples Experience is an awe-inspiring addition to the park's exciting offerings. Gather and explore life through the diversity of First Nations' and Métis Peoples' histories and perspectives. The stories, music, artwork, and text in the experience come from local Indigenous perspectives and voices, gathered through engagement with local Indigenous communities and research. The park is also home to DARK, one of the spookiest and most legendary Halloween events in the city. This attraction is open from spring to fall with special event days throughout the winter months.

Metis Crossing

Take a day-trip to Métis Crossing and discover how the Métis lived as trappers, learn about historical families and their homes, understand how plants are used as medicine, and much more. Métis Crossing is the first major Métis cultural interpretive centre in Alberta, sitting on 512 acres of land designed to engage visitors in immersive experiences. This incredible facility is located about an hour and a half outside of Edmonton, in Smoky Lake, Alberta. Discover new experiences as they open including a boutique lodge, the 'Visions, Hopes and Dreams Wildlife Park', cross country ski trails, and the 'Whispers from the Stars Stargazing Experience'.

Telus World of Science

Telus World of Science - Edmonton has recently undergone a massive renovation, meaning there's even more excitement around every corner! Visitors can explore the new Health Zone in the Allard Family Gallery – get ready to be placed at the centre of your own health story through hands-on experiences and experiments. Step inside a giant laboratory and come face-to-face with small sea creatures, learn to program a robot, and explore the limits of outer space. With astonishing permanent exhibit galleries to explore (as well as featured exhibits on rotation), there is something for the whole family to discover!

Muttart Conservatory

Obsessed with plants? We are too. Spend an afternoon at the Muttart Conservatory, and you'll be inspired to take your green thumb to the next level. Bathe yourself in the lush Tropical pyramid, alive with delicate orchids, a weeping fig, towering banana trees, and huge palms. The Arid pyramid bites back, with its spiky cactus and exotic desert species. Australian pampas grass and Eucalyptus trees are two colourful species you’ll find in the Temperate zone. Inventive Muttart staff create seasonal explosions of texture and life in the Feature Garden. Don't leave before paying a visit to the resident superstar, a giant Amorphophallus titanium, nature’s tallest flowering plant, also known as the corpse flower!

Edmonton Valley Zoo

Nestled in Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park, the Edmonton Valley Zoo is home to more than 350 adorable animals that are very excited to make your acquaintance. Bring along the kids for a chance to see the endangered peregrine falcon, native prairie dogs, zebra, fox, bighorn sheep, and more. Bird lovers can meet the snowy owl, bald eagle, and great-horned owl. The Polar Extremes exhibit gives visitors an up-close view of seals, sea lions, and arctic foxes. The zoo is also home to Zoominescence, one of the city's favourite events of the holiday season. You'll find a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations, skating, hot chocolate and fun for the whole family!

Commonwealth Stadium

We love sports, and we don't care who knows! Commonwealth Stadium is home to the Edmonton Elks football team, with seating capacity for 56,400 fans. The Elks live for rivalries, so be sure to get tickets for the Battle of Alberta where they take-on the Calgary Stampeders. Look for painted faces in stands, and a historic battle on the field. This 42-acre complex has also hosted many unforgettable events such as the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 106th Grey Cup. The stadium routinely welcomes some of the most legendary names in music too, so keep your eyes peeled for concert announcements!

The Citadel Theatre

All the world's a stage! A hive of live theatre, the Citadel Theatre is Edmonton’s multi-stage entertainment hub where the city’s finest actors and comedians strut their stuff. When the lights dim and the heavy red curtains swing open, you can expect an evening immersed in laughter, excitement, raw emotion, and pure entertainment. A five-theatre multi-purpose complex in the Downtown Arts District, the Citadel is Canada’s biggest regional performing arts centre.

The Francis Winspear Centre

From Bach to Wagner, Baroque to folk, and Broadway to cabaret the Francis Winspear Centre for Music showcases diverse international performances. Set on Downtown’s Sir Winston Churchill Square, it is ground zero for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. Another special musical resident is the grand, three-storey tall Québec-created Davis Concert Organ with 6,551 formidable pipes that resonate through a listener’s soul.

Every Season is Festival Season

In Edmonton, every season is festival season. Shakespeare under an open sky? You got it. A winter festival with sculptures made of ice and…fire? Done and done. If you’re in Edmonton, there’s a festival going on. Over 50 festivals annually means there’s no shortage of excitement to fill your stay - whether it’s 30 degrees above or below. Mark your calendars and check out our Festival City page for a list of some of Edmonton's best yearly celebrations.