Welcome to Edmonton, the vibrant capital city of Alberta, Canada. With its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and thriving urban scene, Edmonton is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a food lover, a culture enthusiast, or a shopaholic, this city has got you covered. In this one-week itinerary, we’ll explore the best of what Edmonton has to offer, ensuring you make the most of your visit.
Before we dive into the day-by-day activities, it’s important to note that Edmonton is a city that experiences various weather conditions throughout the year. Summers are warm and inviting, while winters can be snowy and cold. Make sure to pack accordingly and check the weather forecast before your visit.
Edmonton is well-connected with an efficient transportation system, making it easy to navigate the city. Whether you choose to rent a car, use public transportation, or utilize ride-sharing services, getting around won’t be an issue.
Now, let’s dive into this epic one-week itinerary, packed with exciting activities and memorable experiences that will make your time in Edmonton truly unforgettable.
Day 1: Exploring Downtown Edmonton
Begin your adventure by exploring the heart of Edmonton – downtown. Start your day with a visit to the iconic Alberta Legislature Building, located in the picturesque Legislature Grounds. Marvel at the stunning architecture and take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of this landmark.
Next, head to Jasper Avenue, one of Edmonton’s main streets known for its vibrant atmosphere and diverse range of shops and restaurants. Take a stroll along the avenue, browsing through boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores. Consider stopping for a delicious brunch at one of the many local cafes or restaurants dotted along the street.
Afterward, make your way to the Art Gallery of Alberta, a stunning contemporary art museum that showcases a diverse collection of Canadian and international works. Explore the exhibits and immerse yourself in the world of art and culture.
No visit to downtown Edmonton is complete without a visit to Churchill Square. This bustling public square is home to a variety of festivals, concerts, and events throughout the year. Take some time to soak in the vibrant atmosphere, snap photos with the public art installations, and relax in the beautiful surroundings.
For dinner, venture to the trendy 104 Street Promenade, a lively area known for its culinary offerings. Here, you’ll find a range of restaurants serving up delectable dishes from around the world. Indulge in a memorable dining experience before ending your first day in Edmonton.
As night falls, consider catching a performance at the Winspear Centre or the Citadel Theatre, both of which host a variety of live shows and performances throughout the year.
End your day by taking in the breathtaking views of the cityscape and the North Saskatchewan River Valley from the Edmonton River Valley Lookout. This picturesque location offers a panoramic vista of the city, providing the perfect end to your first day of exploration in downtown Edmonton.
Day 2: Discovering the Natural Beauty of Edmonton
On day 2, immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds Edmonton. Start your day by visiting the North Saskatchewan River Valley, one of the largest urban parks in North America. Lace up your walking shoes and explore the extensive trail system that winds along the river, offering stunning views and peaceful surroundings. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a bike or take a kayak on the river to enhance your experience.
Next, make your way to the Muttart Conservatory, an architectural gem that houses four distinct pyramids, each showcasing different climates and plant species. Take a leisurely stroll through the lush gardens and immerse yourself in the tropical, arid, and temperate climates.
For lunch, head to the Highlands area, known for its charming streets and beautiful historic homes. Enjoy a meal at one of the local cafes or restaurants while taking in the scenic views.
In the afternoon, visit Elk Island National Park, located just a short drive east of Edmonton. This stunning national park is known for its abundance of wildlife, including herds of bison and elk. Take a scenic hike through the park or embark on a guided wildlife viewing tour to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.
As the day winds down, make your way to the Edmonton Valley Zoo, where you can continue your encounter with wildlife. The zoo is home to a variety of animals, including polar bears, red pandas, and lemurs. Take your time exploring the exhibits and be sure to catch one of the informative animal presentations.
End your day by enjoying a picnic or barbecue at one of the many beautiful parks in Edmonton. Hawrelak Park or Rundle Park are both great options, with plenty of green space and amenities to make your evening relaxing and enjoyable.
With a day filled with natural attractions and wildlife encounters, day 2 is sure to leave you in awe of Edmonton’s natural beauty.
Day 3: Immerse in Edmonton’s Cultural Scene
Day 3 is all about immersing yourself in Edmonton’s vibrant cultural scene. Start your day by visiting the Royal Alberta Museum, the largest museum in Western Canada. Explore the diverse exhibits that showcase the natural and human history of the region, including fascinating artifacts and interactive displays.
Next, head to Old Strathcona, a historic district known for its unique charm and lively atmosphere. Take a walk along Whyte Avenue, lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and cafes. Browse through the shops and pick up some locally made souvenirs or artwork.
While in Old Strathcona, be sure to visit the Old Strathcona Farmers’ Market. This bustling marketplace is the perfect place to grab some fresh produce, sample local delicacies, and experience the vibrant energy of the community.
For lunch, indulge in a taste of Edmonton’s multicultural cuisine. With its diverse population, the city offers a wide range of international dining options. Whether you’re craving Indian, Mexican, Vietnamese, or Ethiopian food, you’re sure to find something to satisfy your taste buds.
In the afternoon, expand your cultural horizons by visiting one of Edmonton’s art galleries. The Art Gallery of Alberta is a must-visit, but you can also explore smaller galleries in the city. Keep an eye out for special exhibitions or events happening during your visit.
Continue your cultural journey by attending a live performance at the Winspear Centre or the Citadel Theatre. Edmonton is known for its vibrant performing arts scene, with a variety of shows ranging from plays and musicals to symphony performances and live concerts.
As the evening approaches, head to the ICE District, Edmonton’s entertainment hub. Here, you’ll find a fantastic selection of restaurants, bars, and lounges. Enjoy a delicious dinner before immersing yourself in the lively nightlife scene.
End your day by catching a show at the iconic Garneau Theatre, a historic cinema that screens a mix of new releases and classic films. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a truly cinematic experience.
With its rich cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene, day 3 will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the diverse culture of Edmonton.
Day 4: Indulge in Edmonton’s Food and Drink
Day 4 is dedicated to exploring Edmonton’s vibrant culinary scene and immersing yourself in the local food and drink culture. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at one of the city’s popular brunch spots, such as Café Linnea or District Café and Bakery. Indulge in a hearty meal and fuel up for a day of culinary exploration.
After breakfast, make your way to the Old Strathcona area, known for its diverse range of dining options. Take a culinary walking tour and sample a variety of local treats. From poutine and gourmet burgers to artisanal chocolates and craft beer, you’ll get a true taste of Edmonton’s culinary delights.
In the afternoon, visit a local brewery or distillery to learn about Edmonton’s craft beer and spirits scene. Take a tour, participate in a tasting session, and gain insight into the brewing and distilling process. Some popular options include Blind Enthusiasm Brewing Company, Strathcona Spirits Distillery, and Alley Kat Brewing Company.
For lunch, explore the trendy area of 124 Street. This vibrant neighborhood is home to a variety of unique dining establishments, from trendy cafes to upscale restaurants. Try out a farm-to-table restaurant, sample international cuisine, or indulge in some gourmet sandwiches.
In the evening, treat yourself to a fine dining experience at one of Edmonton’s top-rated restaurants. With its emerging culinary scene, the city boasts a number of award-winning establishments. From contemporary Canadian cuisine to international flavors, satisfy your palate at places like RGE RD, Bündok, or Corso 32.
After dinner, continue your food and drink adventure by exploring Edmonton’s thriving cocktail scene. Visit a speakeasy-style bar like Clementine or Woodwork, where expert mixologists will create unique and delicious concoctions for you to savor.
End your day on a sweet note by visiting one of Edmonton’s dessert cafes. Indulge in delectable pastries, desserts, and specialty coffees before calling it a night.
With its diverse culinary offerings, day 4 will tantalize your taste buds and showcase the incredible food and drink scene that Edmonton has to offer.
Day 5: Outdoor Adventures in and Around Edmonton
On day 5, get ready for some exhilarating outdoor adventures in and around Edmonton. Start your day by heading to Elk Island National Park, located just outside the city. This pristine park offers a range of activities, including hiking, wildlife viewing, and even camping. Embark on a scenic nature walk or rent a canoe to explore the park’s tranquil lakes.
After spending your morning in nature, make your way to the West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes in North America. While it may not be an outdoor activity per se, the mall features exciting attractions, such as the World Waterpark and Galaxyland Amusement Park. Take a break from adventuring outdoors and enjoy some indoor fun and excitement.
For lunch, grab a bite to eat at one of the mall’s numerous food courts or restaurants. From international cuisine to classic Canadian dishes, you’ll have a wide variety of options to choose from.
In the afternoon, explore the beautiful North Saskatchewan River Valley. Choose from a range of activities, such as biking, hiking, or picnicking in one of the many parks and trails that line the river. With over 160 kilometers of maintained trails, you’re sure to find a path that suits your skill level and interests.
If you’re up for more adventure, consider visiting the Snow Valley Ski Club during the winter months. Hit the slopes and enjoy skiing or snowboarding in a stunning natural setting, just a short drive from downtown Edmonton.
For a unique outdoor experience, head to the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. Explore the captivating gardens, featuring a variety of landscapes, including ornamental gardens, wetlands, and woodlands. Take a leisurely walk, stop for a picnic, or participate in one of the guided tours offered.
As the day comes to an end, consider embarking on a sunset river cruise along the North Saskatchewan River. Relax and enjoy the breathtaking views as the sun paints the sky with vibrant colors.
End your day with a delicious dinner at one of Edmonton’s riverside restaurants, where you can savor the flavors while enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the river. Indulge in a well-deserved meal and reflect on the outdoor adventures you’ve experienced throughout the day.
Day 5 promises an action-packed day filled with outdoor exploration and exciting activities, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in nature and embrace Edmonton’s adventurous spirit.
Day 6: Shopping and Entertainment in Edmonton
Day 6 is all about shopping and entertainment in Edmonton. Start your day by exploring the West Edmonton Mall, one of the city’s most popular attractions and a mecca for shoppers. With over 800 stores, including high-end fashion brands, unique boutiques, and specialty shops, you’ll find everything you need and more.
Spend the morning browsing through the mall’s extensive retail offerings, which range from clothing and accessories to electronics and home goods. Take your time to explore different sections of the mall, such as the luxury brands in the Europa Boulevard or the lively atmosphere of the themed streets in the World Waterpark area.
For lunch, choose from the multitude of dining options available within the mall. From casual eateries to upscale restaurants, there’s something to satisfy every craving and palate. Whether you’re in the mood for quick street food or a leisurely sit-down meal, the mall has it all.
In the afternoon, take a break from shopping and head to the nearby ICE District. This vibrant area is home to Rogers Place, the state-of-the-art arena where you’ll find exciting sports events and concerts. Check the schedule in advance and catch a game or show to experience the electric atmosphere of the venue.
Afterward, explore the surrounding area of ICE District, which offers a range of entertainment options. Visit The Starlite Room, a renowned music venue that hosts live performances by local and international bands. Or, if you prefer, immerse yourself in the gaming world at The Rec Room, where you can enjoy arcade games, virtual reality experiences, and delicious food and drinks.
In the evening, head to the trendy neighborhood of 124 Street, known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and unique dining experiences. Explore the local shops, where you can find one-of-a-kind fashion items, artisanal goods, and artwork.
For dinner, indulge in a culinary adventure at one of the neighborhood’s many restaurants. From farm-to-table fare to international cuisine, there’s an array of options to suit every taste. Try out a new fusion restaurant, sample local flavors, or savor a fine dining experience.
End your day by unwinding with a drink at one of Edmonton’s hip bars or lounges. Whether you prefer craft cocktails, local beers, or fine wines, you’ll find a spot to relax and enjoy the vibrant nightlife.
Day 6 offers the perfect blend of shopping and entertainment, allowing you to discover unique treasures, immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture, and enjoy a memorable evening out.
Day 7: Farewell to Edmonton and Departure
On the final day of your one-week adventure in Edmonton, it’s time to bid farewell to this incredible city. Although your journey is coming to an end, there are still a few things you can do before your departure.
Start your day with a leisurely breakfast at a charming local cafe, reminiscing about the wonderful experiences you’ve had throughout the week. Take a moment to savor the flavors and reflect on the memories you’ve made in Edmonton.
After breakfast, take a stroll through the city’s beautiful river valley one last time. Breathe in the fresh air, enjoy the scenic views, and capture any last-minute photos to remember your time in this stunning natural setting.
Before you leave, consider visiting one final attraction or museum that piques your interest. If you’re a history enthusiast, the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village or the Fort Edmonton Park offer glimpses into Edmonton’s past. Alternatively, if you have a love for science and discovery, the TELUS World of Science is worth exploring.
As lunchtime approaches, indulge in one last culinary experience. Head to one of Edmonton’s diverse neighborhoods, such as Little Italy or Chinatown, and savor the flavors of international cuisine. Alternatively, you can opt for a classic Canadian dish like poutine or tourtière.
After lunch, take some time for relaxation and reflection. Visit a local park, find a cozy spot by the river, or simply enjoy some downtime in your hotel. Reflect on the incredible experiences you’ve had, the new friendships you’ve formed, and the memories that will stay with you long after you leave.
As the day draws to a close, make your way to the Edmonton International Airport for your departure. While saying goodbye can be bittersweet, remember that the memories and experiences you’ve gained during your time in Edmonton will stay with you forever.
As you board your flight, carry the spirit of Edmonton with you and cherish the moments you’ve had in this lively, diverse, and captivating city. It’s not a goodbye, but rather a “see you again” as you depart, knowing that Edmonton has left an indelible mark on your heart.
Safe travels, and until we meet again!
As your epic one-week journey in Edmonton comes to a close, you can reflect on the incredible experiences, diverse attractions, and unforgettable memories you’ve created. From exploring downtown and immersing yourself in the city’s cultural scene to indulging in Edmonton’s food and drink offerings and embarking on outdoor adventures, this itinerary has provided a comprehensive taste of all that this vibrant city has to offer.
Edmonton’s natural beauty, from the enchanting river valley to the stunning national park, left a lasting impression on you. The city’s cultural scene, with its world-class museums, art galleries, and live performances, immersed you in a world of creativity and expression. And the culinary delights of Edmonton, from local specialties to international flavors, treated your taste buds to a culinary journey like no other.
But Edmonton is more than just a destination; it’s a place that leaves an indelible mark on your heart. The warmth and hospitality of its people, the unique blend of urban and natural landscapes, and the sense of community and pride that permeates the city all contribute to its charm. Edmonton is a city that welcomes visitors with open arms and leaves them with memories that will last a lifetime.
As you say goodbye to Edmonton, remember that your adventure doesn’t have to end here. Carry the spirit of this incredible city with you as you continue to explore the world. Share your stories, photographs, and recommendations with others, allowing them to experience the magic of Edmonton through your eyes.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, a foodie, or a thrill-seeker, Edmonton has something to captivate and inspire you. So, until your next visit, keep the spirit of Edmonton alive in your heart and let it remind you of the remarkable experiences you had in this Canadian gem.