Here we are, in Edmonton – the capital of Alberta. By first glance it feels like Edmonton’s rival Calgary might be a more fun city to visit, but we thought we’d give Edmonton a chance – and we haven’t regret it after spending three days here!
Since the weather might not be the best (I don’t like the winter so it’s not the best time of the year for me to be travelling to be honest) our choices of things to do is a bit limited, but I still feel like we’ve seen some nice parts of the town!
Out of all the things we’ve done here, I’ll give you my 5 higlights:
1. Muttart Conservatory
Isn’t this a cool looking conservatory? We never went in, as you know we’re travelling on a small budget, but just the look of it caught my attention! This is a horticultural attraction for everyone who loves plants – the three pyramids have over 700 species inside. It’s open all year round, except Christmas Day, and the admission is $12.50. To find out more, visit the city of Edmonton’s website. If plants are not your thing, you still have a nice view of downtown from here!
2. Hawrelak Park
I love parks! We went here on a cold but sunny day and I can imagine it being even nicer here during summer. It’s a small but lovely park with a lake in the middle – during the cold winter months you can go skating on the ice!
3. North Saskatchewan River
To walk along the river is a great way to explore the town. We went in two different directions, from Hawrelak Park to University Ave and also towards the Muttart Conservatory from Kinsmen Park. That walk gives a nice view of downtown, but the one I like the most is the one from Hawrelak Park – you get an amazing view over the valley and river!
There’s a lot to do in downtown, but sadly most of the things include spending money. Still, it’s free to stroll around and look at places, buildings and sculptures, which we did one day! If you’re into art, the Art Gallery of Alberta is in the heart of the city. It’s quite hard to miss with it’s unique building. And of course, if you’re into hockey and have money to spend – go to Rogers place and watch an NHL-game!
5. Alberta Legislature Building
I can also suggest visiting the Legislature building. Just the building itself is quite nice if you’re into architecture. We never went in since we visited the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg just a week ago, but here in Edmonton you can even enjoy a free tour inside! Being a backpacker, “free” is always appreciated! You don’t have to book the tour in advance, but for anyone who likes planning it’s possible to do so and to find more information here.
I also want to add this even though it’s not on my list- West Edmonton Mall. We haven’t been there yet but might go tomorrow. It’s about 30 minutes with public transport if you take the West Edmonton Mall Super Express bus from downtown. It’s the third biggest mall in the world and looks really cool, I recommend you to check out some pictures of it! In addition to a lot of stores and restaurants, they also have a waterpark, adventure golf and bowling – just to mention a few of all attractions.
Have in mind that my suggestions (sadly) are based on us not having a car. If you do, I would definitely suggest going to some of the parks outside of the city, they look really nice! Especially Elk Island National Park with its animals and beautiful nature!