The North Saskatchewan River bisects the city diagonally. Along its banks, you'll find green spaces, lakes, ponds, and hiking and biking trails spread across the most urban parkland of any North American metropolis.
The contrasts continue in two of Edmonton's largest visitor attractions: West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall on the continent, and the vast emptiness that spreads across thousands of miles to the north of the city. All that variety means that Edmonton hosts residents and visitors with a diverse range of interests and priorities.
No matter what occasion brings you to Alberta's capital, choosing the right hotel is an important step in planning your trip to Edmonton.
When to Visit Edmonton, Alberta
If your Edmonton plans call for warm, sunny days, schedule your trip in the months of June, July, or August. High temperatures are usually in the 70s, but can reach into the mid-80s, and humidity tends to be low. The city is far enough north to enjoy long days in summer, with a full 17 hours of sunlight on June 21, the summer solstice and longest day of the year.
Locals and visitors make the most of summer by attending festivals — Edmonton's local nickname is "the Festival City" — including the Edmonton International Jazz Festival and Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. They also might explore the 48-kilometer stretch of parks, trails, and golf courses along the North Saskatchewan River, called the River of Green.
Edmonton winters are long and filled with snow, attracting visitors who come for winter sports. From October through March, temperatures often hover around freezing and can dip below the freezing mark. In 2009, a temperature of -36.6 degrees Celsius made Edmonton the coldest place in North America that day. Still, winters here are milder than in cities like Ontario and Quebec to the east, and low relative humidity makes the cold more bearable.
Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are popular winter activities. However, if you plan to spend a significant amount of time outdoors during winter, take some precautions, especially if you're not accustomed to such low temperatures. Dress in layers of wool or synthetic fabrics and avoid cotton, which retains moisture. Pack warm gloves, hats, earmuffs, socks, and waterproof boots to stay warm and dry in freezing temperatures, and remember to stay hydrated and protected against the harsh winter sun.
Weather can be unpredictable in the spring months of April and May, and in September's autumn, warmer temperatures are often punctuated by occasional heavy snow and rain. These seasons tend to attract fewer visitors, however. As a bonus, if you're in Edmonton between August and April, you may catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Edmonton, AB:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below we've posted 3 graphs displaying average nightly cost patterns by star rating class in Edmonton, AB. Analyze these illustrations to determine the best time to make a reservation in Edmonton for upcoming travels.
Luxury Hotel Options in Edmonton, Alberta
4 Star Average Prices: $181.84
Edmonton visitors looking to splurge on a luxury hotel have several opulent choices. While the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is in the center of the city, you'll feel like you're staying in a riverfront château.
This four-diamond heritage property opened in 1915 and features lush landscaped gardens and easy access to the urban park system along the North Saskatchewan River. The Fairmont is an eco-friendly property, and even has a Canine Ambassador, a Golden Labrador Retriever named Smudge, who will greet you upon arrival and is available to keep guests company on walks.
Only a three-minute walk from the Fairmont, you'll find the Union Bank Inn, a four-star boutique property for visitors in search of a more intimate hotel. The building features Renaissance-style architecture and is a historical landmark; it opened in 1911 as the Union Bank of Canada.
Today, the Union Bank Inn is home to 34 guest rooms divided into two wings. The Heritage Wing features specially designed rooms that pay tribute to the hotel's history, while the Modern Wing offers more contemporary décor. All rooms offer fireplaces and goose-down comforters, and your stay includes free Wi-Fi, a daily complimentary breakfast, and afternoon wine and cheese.
For those who prefer to stay a bit farther from the center of the action, the Edmonton Marriott at River Cree Resort can be found on the city's western border. The resort features five gourmet restaurants, a casino, and a sports complex for visitors who want to stay close to home. Guests can also take advantage of regular shuttle service to the West Edmonton Mall and airport.
Affordable Hotel Options in Edmonton, Alberta
3 Star Average Prices: $83.52
Save on lodging with an affordable hotel in Edmonton. Home2 Suites by Hilton West Edmonton offers clean, modern rooms, free breakfast, and an indoor pool. To keep dining costs down, some rooms have kitchenettes, and guests can use the available barbecue grills to prepare meals when weather permits. This Home2 Suites is close to the TELUS World of Science museum and to West Edmonton Mall.
Campus Tower Suite Hotel is an excellent choice in the southcentral neighborhood, home to the University of Alberta. The property incorporates eco-friendly policies, such as minimizing disposable food and beverage containers, offering paperless checkout, and encouraging guests to go car-free through the airport shuttle and nearby public transportation. Wi-Fi is complimentary, and coin-operated laundry is available, so you can pack light and save on checked bags.
Thanks to its central location, the Days Inn Edmonton Downtown lets visitors save on the cost of a rental car. Take the free airport shuttle to and from the hotel, and walk or take the LRT, Light Rail Transit, to popular nearby destinations, such as the city center, Francis Winspear Centre for Music, and the Shaw Conference Centre. If you have a car, hotel parking is complimentary.