Nicknamed the ‘festival city’, thanks to its year-round programme of word-class entertainment from rodeos to rock concerts, Edmonton is in the south of the country, lying on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, with endless trails and green spaces creating the largest connected urban parkland in North America.
Shoppers will be dazzled by the West Edmonton Mall, which until 2004 was the world’s largest and boasts everything from an indoor wave pool, artificial beach and casino as well as hundreds of stores and, of course, what every good mall needs - a theme park!
If you’re looking to get back to nature, then just an hour away from the buzz of the city is Elk Island National Park, home to a host of indigenous wildlife including moose, beaver and wood bison.
If you’re visiting between November and March, don’t forget to pack a warm hat, mittens and lots of layers as it will be chilly, but despite its cold winters, Edmonton gets much less snow than many other Canadian cities and enjoys periods of mild weather which makes outdoor fun and games popular with children and adults alike.
Fans of winter sports will love the cross-country ski trails in the city parks and the many outdoor rinks. Prefer to enjoy your sport sitting down? Find out why Canada is hockey mad and get a ticket to see local heroes, the Oilers, play at the 16,839 seat Rexall Place.
Eats & drinks
For gourmet meals from around the world try the Whyte Ave district. Looking for Canadian specialities like cedar planked salmon? Try Earl’s, a Canadian chain founded in Edmonton. Drink like a local and ask for an Aprikat from the Alley Kat micro-brewery which uses regional ingredients to create outstanding beers. Coffee lovers should head to Transcend in Agyll for one-off roasts and take-home beans.
- The Canadian Finals Rodeo Championships
The city has a safe, inexpensive and integrated public transportation system with hundreds of different bus routes and the speedy LRT train system. Day passes can be bought for just C$8.250 approx. Feeling sporty? The city has excellent cycling routes and thanks to its relatively flat terrain, won’t leave you feeling too worn out!