As the capital city of Alberta, it's no secret that Edmonton has high standards to uphold. Typically, capital cities are full of fun and unique things to do, in order to keep their large populations and constantly inflowing tourists happy and occupied.
Anyone who's been to Edmonton will let you know that city does a pretty great job of meeting these standards, as there's no shortage of amazing restaurants, landmarks, and activities to be enjoyed. No matter what time of year, if you can handle the always extreme Alberta weather, you'll be sure to have an amazing time.
From K-Days in the hot summer months, to the astounding Ice Castles in the winter time, you can get outside and explore the beautiful city of Edmonton 365 days a year. Of course, everyone knows of the infamous Whyte Ave and West Edmonton Mall, but have you heard of the amazing, lowkey restaurants like Zwicks Pretzels and Ohana Dounterie?
Grab a quick bite to eat before heading out into the city to explore; trust us, after all the adventuring you get done, you'll be hungry for more! There's plenty of art galleries for those of you with a passion for the finer things in life, gorgeous landmarks like the Muttart Conservatory and the Legislature Building, and unique, cultural spots like the Garneau Theatre and High Level Bridge Streetcar.
If you find yourself looking for something to do in Edmonton, peruse through this list and pick something new and exciting to explore! Maybe you can even make it your 2018 mission to cross all of them off of your bucket list.
Why it's better: The Royal Alberta Museum, reopening this year, is going to be bigger and better than ever before. It's got an amazing history of Alberta and Canada, but even more impressive are its fossils, and aquariums of native fish and live insects.
Why it's better: Anyone who loves the great outdoors will appreciate a park this beautiful, but on top of all the gorgeous scenery, Elk Island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including moose, elk, deer, and most importantly bison. This park played an important role in the conservation of this massive, gorgeous animals.
Why it's better: If you thought we wouldn't include West Ed on this list, you're obviously crazy. As the largest mall in North America, it's more than earned it's spot amongst the best of Edmonton. No matter if you're looking to spend a day shopping, get your adrenaline pumping at Galaxyland, go for a skate, or rave at Soundwave in World Waterpark, you can do it all under one roof!
Why it's better: These gorgeous pyramids are a must see for any Edmonton local, or tourist alike. The insides are filled with beautiful devonian gardens for you to admire, or even take a few photos with, and the outside provides an amazing view of the Downtown Edmonton skyline.
Why it's better: Not only is the Legislature Building designed beautifully, it's also a great place to go to learn more about our province! In the winter, it's decorated with an amazing light display, and in the summer, it's the perfect spot to cool off by the fountains.
Why it's better: The outside of the Art Gallery of Alberta is a work of art itself; it's got an interesting, eye-catching shape that will definitely lure you inside to the gorgeous art within. They offer all kinds of fun events, like adult art classes!
25. K Days
Why it's better: Of course, everyone knows Alberta for the Calgary Stampede. But if you haven't heard of K-Days, you're definitely missing out. This festival is like a much less country version of the Stampede, still full of amazing rides, concerts, and tasty treats for you to enjoy during the summer months!
Why it's better: Who doesn't love a trip to the zoo? Those cute animals will always cheer you up if you're feeling down (the Edmonton Valley Zoo has more than 350), and in the winter, they've got a spectacular light show that makes braving the cold more than worth it!
Why it's better: If you grew up watching Bill Nye, and still have a passion for all things science, live out your childhood dreams at TELUS World of Science. They've always got new and fun exhibits to keep you entertained, as well as a monthly Adults Only night, with booze, live music, and more mature exhibits.
Why it's better: These outdoor gardens are some of the most beautiful that the province has to offer. Located just outside of the city, you're sure to have a great time exploring them no matter what time of the year it is. They're particularly beautiful in the spring and summer, but in the winter, you can check out Luminaria; a gorgeous display of lights.
Why it's better: Like a little slice of France, located right in Edmonton. If you have a sweet tooth, you will rejoice at our city's own Duchess Bake Shop. Hand crafting up everything from macarons to eclairs, once you have a taste, you'll undoubtedly be back for more.
20. Garneau Theatre
Why it's better: This old-style cinema, is Edmonton's only surviving from the art-deco-era. It has a very vintage feel to it, right down to the seats in the theatre. This is the perfect spot to catch an alternative film with friends while snacking on some popcorn.
19. Junque Cellar
Why it's better: Hey Edmonton, can we go thrift shopping? If you're one for old, antique, or retro things, let this become your new favourite hangout. Junque Cellar is located in Old Strathcona, and has everything from old typewriters and lava lamps to comic books and vintage clothes.
18. 124 Grand Market
Why it's better: The best of Edmonton, located in one area. 124 Grand Market brings Edmonton vendors and shoppers alike together for your convenience. Grab a bite from the city's best food trucks or do some shopping, whether it be Christmas, a birthday, or simply a treat for yourself!
17. Remedy Cafe
Why it's better: This Edmonton cafe is the perfect spot to go if you're craving comfort food made healthy. There are five locations around the city, proving just how delicious and popular this adorable little cafe is. If you haven't checked it out already, you'll want to ASAP.
16. Rogers Place
Why it's better: The brand new Rogers Place is well worth every penny that was spent on its construction. Not only do the infamous Edmonton Oilers now have a new home, our great city can now welcome a ton of artists looking to tour in Alberta; talk about exciting!
Why it's better: Sir Winston Churchill is the perfect Edmonton hangout any time of year. In the summer you can relax by the fountain and play giant chess or ping pong. In the winter, the square is beautifully decorated with lights to celebrate the festive season.
14. Whyte Avenue
Why it's better: Having been named one of the five best shopping neighbourhoods in Canada, it's no surprise that Whyte Ave has made it on our list. This neighbourhood is full of trendy cafes and restaurants, cute boutiques, and endless sights to be seen.
13. Neon Sign Museum
Why it's better: Anyone who's as fascinated by neon signs as I am will love this spot. Located on the east wall of the Telus building, this museum is not really a "museum" in the typical sense, as you don't have to pay, and its all outdoors! Check out this amazing collection of signs that tell the story of Edmonton's past.
Why it's better: The view from Forest Heights Park is, admittedly, one of the best and most romantic in the city. It's not uncommon to catch couples here, but it's also a great place to go with friends, family, or pets! Plan a picnic in the summer time, or try snowshoeing in the winter.
Why it's better: Whoever says they don't love graffiti walls is probably lying. Something about them just makes your Instagram feed look so much more bright and enticing. This one, under the Highlevel Streetcar is the perfect spot to snap some really cool pictures that will keep all your IG followers interested!
10. Talus Dome
Why it's better: The Talus Dome is widely known as one of the city's most expensive, and also most provocative pieces of public art. It's composed of nearly 1,000 hand crafted stainless steel balls, arranged in a unique talus shape. This piece of art is sure to catch your eye, and make for some interesting photos.
9. Ice Castles
Why it's better: These astounding ice castles may be chilly, but they sure are pretty. Apart from Winnipeg, Edmonton is the only spot in Canada where you can explore these amazing, hand crafted creations, and trust us, you'll definitely want to.
Why it's better: One thing the flat, prairie landscape is great for is giving you a great view of the stars. Sure, laying in a park and checking out the views can be fun, but why not get up close and personal at the U of A Observatory?
Why it's better: This gorgeous, historical experience will set you back just $5. Hop on the street car, and ride from Old Strathcona to Downtown Edmonton. Of course, it's pretty any time of day, but when the sun is setting is when you'll get the best views.
Why it's better: Let's be real; who doesn't love a good pretzel? Nobody does pretzels quite like Zwicks! This spot serves up both sweet and savoury treats for you, so there's something for everyone to enjoy. If you're ever in Edmonton, you HAVE to check them out.
Why it's better: If Edmonton does anything best, it's cooking up sweet treats. These Hawaiian style donuts are more than delicious, and definitely satisfy any cravings you've been having. They inject the filling and apply the frosting right in front of you upon ordering, so you know you're getting some top quality stuff!
Why it's better: Easily one of the prettiest cafe's you'll visit anywhere, ever. Zocalo is a cafe and plant shop all in one, making it the perfect location for your next Instagram photoshoot.
Why it's better: This 250 metre long bridge began construction in 2008, and cost a total of $28.2 million. It's the perfect scenic spot to take a break during your run or walk, or another great spot to snap some pictures of our beautiful city.
Why it's better: Yet another great, quasi-romantic lookout spot can be found in Ramsay Heights. This is the perfect spot to bring a date, have a picnic with friends or family, or walk your dog.
Why it's better: This French Art Nouveau restaurant, located in Oliver was ranked one of the best new restaurants in Canada for 2017. It's got class, elegance, and above all, great food.