As the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta, Edmonton offers all the attractions, festivals, shopping and other amenities you'd expect from a major urban destination – but this metropolis is also surprisingly close to nature, with numerous opportunities to swap the bustling streets for mountains and green space. Whether you're interested in museums and culture, or prefer retail therapy or outdoor adventure, this dynamic Canadian city has plenty to offer.
Start your visit with a look at local history at Fort Edmonton Park, a former Hudson's Bay Company trading station that is now a living history attraction, complete with costumed interpreters and a vintage steam train. You can learn even more about the province's human and natural history at the Royal Alberta Museum, which is in the process of moving to an expansive new building, and the Alberta Railway Museum – a must for train lovers.
In summer, Edmonton comes to live with a selection of exciting festivals, including the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival – the largest in North America (and second largest in the world, after Edinburgh). There's also a lively theatre and music scene, and art enthusiasts will enjoy browsing the Art Gallery of Alberta, housed in a stunning, modernistic structure. More interested in science? TELUS World of Science has hands-on exhibits perfect for families, while the Muttart Conservatory houses four distinct ecosystems within its distinctive glass pyramids.
Those keen on retail therapy, meanwhile, have come to the right place. The famous West Edmonton Mall is the biggest shopping centre in North America, and home to over 800 separate businesses – from high street and designer shops, to an indoor amusement park, ice rink, aquarium, waterpark and more.
Want to get outdoors? The peaceful North Saskatchewan River Valley cuts a scenic green swathe through its centre, with extensive trails perfect for walking, running, cycling or even cross country skiing in winter. There are also a number of alpine ski hills and golf courses within easy reach of the city, and Elk Island National Park – home to wildlife such as moose, deer, bison and elk – is just an hour's drive away. If you're eager to venture a little further afield, you can head west to the stunning Jasper National Park in the Rockies.
At the end of the day, relax and enjoy the fabulous dining and nightlife along Whyte Avenue, a historic district near the University of Alberta, or explore the diverse establishments in the Downtown core, where you'll also find a great selection of international cuisines.
Ready to explore Edmonton for yourself? Marriott offers a selection of hotels in locations around Edmonton – book your room and start planning your visit today.