City guide: 

Visit Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

YOU'LL LOVE EDMONTON IF YOU'RE...

For the uninformed, Edmonton might be overlooked as a frigidly cold 'stop-over' city, before heading to the mountains (specifically, Jasper National Park), but we know better... 

Having spent the first four years of our Canadian adventure calling this city our 'home' (although, we're now living in Calgary), we've got some notes. Lately, Edmonton has been catching the attention of top travel lists, and for good reason: the food scene is booming with award-winning restaurants that are catching the attention of all the foodies.

Truth be told, it's easy to be underwhelmed if you

don't know where to go. But that's the point: it's a place you have to get to know. And if you're visiting for a few days, that's going to be a little difficult. 

That's where I come in—your personal, virtual travel agent with a no BS list of everything you need to know about one of Canada's sunniest cities, so you can make the most of your time here. Edmonton will pleasantly surprise you. 







Well, it's more than a stopover CITY, PROMISE.

What's the deal with Edmonton?

A foodie, who is into the arts-cultural scene and loves to explore new places in Canada.







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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO    •   WHAT TO WEAR   •   WHERE TO STAY   •    WHAT TO DO   •   BLOG POSTS   •   ITINERARIES

For the uninformed, Edmonton might be overlooked as a frigidly cold 'stop-over' city, before heading to the mountains (specifically, Jasper National Park), but we know better... 

Having spent the first four years of our Canadian adventure calling this city our 'home' (although, we're now living in Calgary), we've got some notes. Lately, Edmonton has been catching the attention of top travel lists, and for good reason: the food scene is booming with award-winning restaurants that are catching the attention of all the foodies.

Truth be told, it's easy to be underwhelmed if you don't know where to go. But that's the point: it's a place you have to get to know. And if you're visiting for a few days, that's going to be a little difficult. 

That's where I come in—your personal, virtual travel agent with a no BS list of everything you need to know about one of Canada's sunniest cities, so you can make the most of your time here. Edmonton will pleasantly surprise you. 


Since Edmonton is best known as 'Canada's Festival City', you might want to coincide your visit with one of the many festivals held throughout the year including Fringe Theatre Festival, the Folk Music Festival and the Carinval, K-Days (2020, July 17th - 26th).

The Canadian currency is the Canadian Dollar (CAD). Gratuities are seldom included on the bill in Canadian restaurants. It is customary to tip approximately 15-20% on the total bill before tax, less for poor service, more for truly exceptional service.

The plugs in Canada are type B (the same as the US). The standard voltage is 110-120 V, and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Edmonton is safe city to walk around.

Edmonton's weather can be a huge deciding factor on when to visit since we do experience all four seasons and of them all, very harsh winters. 

Edmonton weather is the best during the late Spring (May) and Summer (June - August), when it's warm and the days are longer because the sun doesn’t set until 10 p.m, which means more time to explore.

Although hotel rates are higher, it's always fun to co-ordinate your Summer visit with the Folk Festival in early August (2020, 6th - 9th).

Winter lasts from November through March, with the majority of snowfall occurring between December and February, with much shorter days. Winter can be pretty harsh and you can expect snow and temperatures dropping to -30, so if you don't enjoy the cold, it's unlikely going to be the best time to go. 

If you’re arriving by air, you’ll be flying into Edmonton International Airport (YEG), located in Leduc just 30 minutes from Downtown Edmonton. You can book transport with SkyShuttle into Downtown Edmonton for $18 per adult and $10 per child or use Uber, estimated $40-50 per trip.

You can also take the train with Via Rail service which goes through Edmonton to Jasper, and then onto Vancouver.

Once you're Downtown, most things are within walking distance, but you can also use Transit. Edmonton Transit provides extensive bus and light rail transit (LRT) services. The LRT provides fast and convenient service to 15 stops around the city. You can pay per trip or get a day pass.

A current popular form of getting around the city is the electric scooter rentals, which you can book through the Lime or Bird apps.

Good to Know:

When to Go:

Getting to Edmonton:

Edmonton is also said to be taking Canada's food scene by storm! So, of course my perfect itinerary is food-orientated. Scatter in some coffee shop stops and a stroll along Whyte Avenue and I'm pretty happy. It's the kind of itinerary that would work in Winter or Summer, but I'd add in a couple seasonal activities or events too. 

I'd skip West Edmonton Mall and the Zoo and opt for more unique and quintessential Edmonton sights like my below picks that you cannot miss on your visit to Edmonton!

If you'd like to extend your stay, you could roadtrip 3 hours or fly 45 minutes to the neighbouring Albertan city (and our new home), Calgary.

During summer, temperatures average around 21- 25°C, but can reach highs of over 30°C, meaning shorts and flip-flops are a must! A sunhat and loads of SPF is a must for those outdoor patios.

In Spring (April - May) or Fall (September - October), temperatures are crisp, and average 11°C to 17°C.

During winter, temperatures vary between low positives, to -30°C. The key to surviving the harsh cold is dressing in layers and thermal gear. A thick winter jacket, beanies (or so-called toques in Alberta), mitts, and warm winter boots are all a must!

See below for outfit suggestions!

The best area to stay in is the Downtown area, along or close to Jasper Avenue. Edmonton doesn’t have the best hotel scene, but the Union Bank Inn (more traditional) and Matrix Hotel (more contemporary) are solid options for those looking for small hotels with character.  

If you’re looking for something grand Downtown, the Fairmont Macdonald — the place that looks like a castle overlooking the river valley — is your best bet. If you're looking for something new, luxurious and modern, the new Marriott in the Ice District Downtown is perfect for you. (We haven't been yet, but we can't wait to try it out)

Alternatively, you can also stay in Old Strathcona, on or near Whyte Avenue. Metterra or Varscona are good options located on Whyte Avenue.

We have also stayed at Airbnbs in the area. You can use this link for CAD $45 off your first booking

What to Do:

What to Wear:

Where to Stay:

What not to miss:

Planning to visit Edmonton soon? Here’s your guide from a somewhat ‘local-tourist’. We spend our weekends literally exploring Edmonton like it’s our weekend getaway. That means we are basically (self-proclaimed) pros on the topic and we will happily be your guides around town. We’re pretty keen on Edmonton, and you should be too. So, how’s about you book the plane ticket and I’ll plan the rest for you, deal?

Let's start with what NOT to miss. You'll notice that many of these sights are included in our Edmonton Instagrammable Spots List

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Alberta Legislature

Landmark

FREE

Muttart Conservatory

SIGHTS

$5 - 30

U of A Botanic Gardens

SIGHTS

$0 - 16

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post

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post

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post

>

>

Keilor Point 

SIGHTS

FREE

Oliver Building

IG WALLS

free

Little Brick Cafe

brunch + coffee

$

>

>

Walterdale Bridge

Landmark

FREE

Queen Boat, River Valley

SIGHTS

$5 - 30

Alberta Legilsature

SIGHTS

free

>

>

Whyte Avenue

Landmark + SHOPs

FREE

Ace

COFFEE

$3 - 5

Alberta Legilsature

SIGHTS

free

in EDMONTON

What to Wear

From May to June, the sun is shining, it's warmer outside, and the city feels busier. July & August is officially summer & high-tourist season. It's also when the city is host to several different festivals. 

You must pack: comfortable walking shoes, casual comfortable clothes & a lightweight jacket (I usually take my denim jacket with me everywhere, which I think suits the Edmonton-alternative-style and goes with almost everything).  Find more looks & packing lists here.

For SUMMER >

From September to October, the sun is shining, it's warmer outside, and the city feels busier. July & August is officially summer & high-tourist season. It's actually my favourite time of the year to travel most places. 

You must pack: jeans, a cute turtleneck or sweater and a lightweight puffer jacket like this one

For FALL >

From November to March, the sun is shining, it's warmer outside, and the city feels busier. July & August is officially summer & high-tourist season. We've been in August which is a busy month for events including the Pride Parade and & the Celebration of Light. 

You must pack: comfortable walking shoes preferably waterproof or rain-boots, casual comfortable clothes, a lightweight hooded rain-jacket & an umbrella (although some high-end hotels have some on hand for you).

For WINTER >

Spring arrives early in February or March,

You must pack: comfortable walking shoes preferably waterproof or rain-boots, casual comfortable clothes, a lightweight rain-jacket & an umbrella (although some high-end hotels have some on hand for you).

For SPRING >

SUMMER         FALL          WINTER          SPRING

Where to Eat

Cafe Linnea 🍳

Pip 🍳🥑🥓

The Moth Cafe

Pip

El Cortez 🌮

Bundok

Uccellino 🍝

Tzin Wine Bar

Sabor 🍤

Canteen 🍳

Biera

Rostizado

OEB 🍳

MEAT

Bundok

LUNCH:

BREAKFAST:

DINNER:

Edmonton's foodie scene is booming, so you must make time to try out some of our local favourites. We've started off by ranking our top 5 for each meal of the day, but we also share our favourites according to area and budget. Just click the filters accordingly. 

Price key:
$ = Less than 20 CAD (less than $15 USD)
$$ = 20 to 49 CAD ($15 to $40 USD)
$$$ = 50 to 100 CAD ($40 to $75 USD)
$$$$ = More than 100 CAD (more than $75 USD)




Coffee & Cafes

Where to Stay

THE BEST HOTELS IN EDMONTON  >

Element (B + Eco-friendly)

Coast Plaza

Courtyard Marriott

Metterra Hotel

Doubletree by Hilton 

Crash Hotel

Fairmont Macdonald

Union Bank Inn (B)

Renaissance Airport (Leduc)

Home 2 Suites by Hilton

Westin Downtown

JW Marriott Ice District

Airbnb Apartments

Fantasyland (West Ed Mall)

Matrix Hotel (B)

$$:

$:

$$$:

CHECK HOTEL AVAILABILITY IN EDMONTON:

Booking.com

Edmonton

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