Find out the top things to do, where to stay, where to eat and drink, and some insider information to help you plan your holiday to Edmonton, Canada.
When it comes to popular destinations in Canada the same few come up time and time again. Banff and Jasper National Parks for their scenery, Whistler for skiing, and Vancouver and Toronto for being super cool cities. Recently I visited Edmonton in Alberta, and can see plenty of reasons why it’s worthy of being added to the hot list! It’s fun, quirky, creative, buzzy and has an AWESOME food scene.
If you’re heading to Alberta to explore the stunning Rockies in Jasper or Banff, checking out Athabasca Glacier or Lake Louise, then add Edmonton into your itinerary.
So time to reveal why Edmonton is a worthy addition to your Canadian bucket list!
Edmonton, Canada: Why Visit?
Edmonton is one of Canada’s fastest growing cities, beating the likes of Vancouver and Toronto. It’s got plenty to see and do, diverse scenery and the most sunny days in the whole of the country. Yes, along with Calgary, Edmonton is the sunniest place in Canada – reason enough to visit in my opinion!
Downtown brings industry, culture, skyscrapers, plenty of shops and restaurants and the buzz that city-lovers enjoy.
But nature is so close too. The peaceful Elk Island National Park is under 30 minutes drive from the city, and is home to so much wildlife. Oh and Edmonton’s river valley parks give you that feeling of countryside, right in the city itself.
It’s the food scene that was the huge draw for me. Friends in other parts of Canada had mentioned it before my trip. Sure enough, every night I enjoyed a different cuisine in some of the city’s coolest, most creative restaurants and bars.
The weather plays a huge part in Canadian holidays, and that’s no different in Edmonton! Winter sees lows in the -30s (ouch!) accompanied by several feet of snow, and plenty of icy activities.
Meanwhile summer brings lovely long days, plenty of sunshine (well this is one of the sunniest places in Canada!) and tonnes of arts, music and food festivals. The Edmonton International Fringe Festival is the largest in North America with over 850,000 people attending last year! It’s comparable to ours in Edinburgh, showcasing the best in comedy, theatre and more.
Edmonton, Canada: Flights From The UK
When I visited, I travelled with Icelandair from London Gatwick to Reykjavik (Iceland), and then on to Edmonton.
Meanwhile, WestJet has twice-weekly flights non-stop direct from London Gatwick to Edmonton. The airport is around 25 minutes from the city centre. Taxis aren’t too pricey in the city, and there is a decent public transport network. If you want to venture outside of the city to explore the national parks, consider hiring a car.
Edmonton, Canada: Best Time To Visit
This is a tricky one! As mentioned above, this is a city that dramatically changes from winter to summer. I visited in summer and after hearing about the extreme cold (lows in the -30s) and many feet of snow, I just don’t know how I’d cope. However, I spotted the guys from Hand Luggage Only visited in winter and it looks absolutely stunning (you can see what they got up to here).
I loved that in June it was light until around 11pm at night and the temperatures were comfortably warm. I guess the nice thing with a destination like this, is that you could return again at a different time of year and have a totally different experience. And with that, lets find out what there is to do.