Planning the ultimate Western Canada road trip? The dilemma of choosing where to stay in Edmonton will no doubt cross your mind.
The capital city of Alberta and one of the top 5 biggest cities in Canada, Edmonton is a great place to hang your hat and explore—even if it doesn’t have the same mystique as other top places to visit in Alberta.
Searching for some of the best hotels in Edmonton, Alberta? Find the perfect accommodations search started with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Edmonton including the top areas, neighbourhoods, and hotels for travellers at every budget…
Best places to stay in Edmonton
As the third most populous city in Western Canada, figuring out where to stay in Edmonton can sometimes be a challenge for travellers. The Albertan capital spreads out over 684 square kilometres, placing its area higher than most other major Canadian cities including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
For most first-time travellers, staying in Downtown Edmonton is the easy choice. It’s home to many of the best Edmonton hotels. In downtown, you’ll also be close to many of the top tourist attractions in Edmonton including the beautiful Alberta Legislature Grounds and the North Saskatchewan River Valley, one of North America’s finest urban parklands.
Of course, there’s more to Edmonton than the city centre.
For families, West Edmonton is an excellent choice. The area is home to the world-famous West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America and a destination unto its own.
Historical sightseeing is best served with a stay in Strathcona. This district, located across the North Saskatchewan River from downtown, is home to some of Edmonton’s oldest heritage buildings. Thanks to the nearby University of Alberta, Strathcona is also the best area to stay for nightlife. Much of action here is centred upon lively Whyte Avenue.
For a quieter stay in Edmonton while saving a few loonies & twoonies, set your sights on Edmonton South. Located south of the city centre, this neighbourhood has a cluster of excellent value hotels along with great opportunities for shopping including the South Edmonton Common shopping plaza.
The best areas to stay in Edmonton include:
Downtown Edmonton✔ Best place to stay in Edmonton for first-time visitors
If you’re looking for a simple answer for where to stay in Edmonton, look no further than Downtown. The downtown area is home to a majority of the best hotels in Edmonton along with most of the city’s top places to visit.
History and art lovers will love perusing the museums & art galleries in Downtown Edmonton. Marvel at the modernist architecture of the Art Gallery of Alberta before checking out its over 6,000-strong collection of art from local, Canadian, and international artists. Or step inside the Royal Alberta Museum and walk through the history of Alberta from pre-historic times to the modern day.
Downtown Edmonton also hosts Rogers Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League. Even if you’re not a die-hard raving ice hockey fan (yet!), attending an NHL game in the hockey-crazed city Edmonton is a must for any Canada travel bucket list.
Aside from the great selection of accommodations and attractions, downtown is full of excellent restaurants serving everything from local farm-to-table dishes to international favourites like sushi and tandoori.
- The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald: The most famous luxury hotel in Edmonton, Alberta, the legendary Fairmont Hotel Macdonald hails from Canada’s grand railway hotel era and is one of most distinctive historical buildings tracing the skyline. Besides the elegant rooms, this luxurious hotel features a spa, indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and a fine-dining restaurant, The Harvest Room.
- JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District: Located adjacent Rogers Place, the 5-star JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District is the perfect luxury pick for hockey fans, concert-goers, or anyone else wanting to stay in Downtown Edmonton in supreme style. The amenities here are outstanding including a state-of-the-art fitness centre, indoor pool, and hot tub.
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton Centre Suites: For spacious & luxurious suites in the centre of town, book yourself in at the lovely Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton Centre suites. Aside from usual flat-screen TVs and free WiFi, this luxury hotel offers guests an on-site fitness centre with a steam room and hot tub along with an on-site restaurant. The attached shopping mall is a great extra for shopaholics.
- Courtyard By Marriott Edmonton Downtown: Looking to stay in the downtown area in style without the usual higher price tag? The Courtyard by Marriott Edmonton Downtown is the perfect choice. This 3-star hotel is perched at the edge of central Edmonton along the lovely green riverside. Retiring to the hotel’s terrace with views towards the river valley is a fantastic way to celebrate the end of the day.
- The Westin Edmonton: Straddling the border between luxury and mid-range, the 4-star Westin Edmonton offers spacious modern rooms in the centre of town at prices outside of the norm for this popular hotel brand. You’ll not only love chillin’ out in your room, but also relaxing in the sleek indoor pool area or swinging around kettlebells at the well-stocked fitness centre.
- Union Bank Inn: Situated in a historic bank building with regal rooms & furnishings to match, the Union Bank Inn is one of the top 4-star hotels in Edmonton. It’s within 10 minutes walking distance of both the Royal Alberta Museum and Art Gallery of Alberta, two of the city’s top things to see.
- Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel by APA: Bringing its popular budget hotel philosophy across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to Western Canada, the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel by APA is one of the top picks in Alberta’s capital for travellers looking to stretch their dollar a little further without compromising comfort or quality. The lodgings here are fairly standard, but you’ll find a few surprises like Japanese-style washlet toilets and a whirlpool hot tub and salt-water pool for guest use.
- Matrix Hotel: Offering mid-range quality rooms at budget prices, the Matrix Hotel is one of the coolest places to stay in Edmonton thanks to its hip modern style & decor. The classy evening wise tastings only adds to this hotel’s mystique.
- Days Inn by Wyndham Downtown: You’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal in central Edmonton than at this top budget hotel. The rooms are decidedly no-frills and standard value hotel chain stock, but the location, just 3 blocks from the ICE District, can’t be beat for the price.
West Edmonton✔ Most popular area to stay in Edmonton for families
For families, there’s no better area to stay than West Edmonton. The district is popular among visitors for the world-famous West Edmonton Mall. This massive complex isn’t just the largest shopping mall in North America, but hosts a number of family-friendly attractions including an amusement park, indoor lake, and waterpark.
Aside from shopping and letting the kids play to their heart’s content at the West Edmonton Mall, the area has a superb selection of excellent value hotels, clustered a few blocks north of the shopping complex. The hotels cater mostly to budget and mid-range travellers. For true 4- and 5-star luxury, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- Element Edmonton West: Featuring clean modern designs, this 3-star hotel from Westin’s budget-friendly “boutique” brand is a fine choice if you find yourself searching for a place to stay at this end of the city. Extras include a pool, hot tub, and shared lounge area.
- Hyatt Place Edmonton West: If you’re craving space for the whole family, you’ll love the cavernous rooms at this top mid-range Edmonton hotel. The hotel also offer pet-friendly accommodations, so feel free to bring your furry friend along on your road trip!
- Courtyard by Marriott Edmonton West: With its laid-back contemporary style, this 3-star property is one of the coolest pick in the city’s western end. After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll love winding down the night with some light conversation in front of the fireplace on the outdoor patio.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Edmonton/West: Thanks to its ample rooms & suites, the Hampton Inn is a favourite place to stay for families kicking around West Edmonton. The pool and complimentary breakfast are a nice surprise at this price range for a major Canadian city.
- Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton West: Like its city centre sister property, this 3-star hotel offers spacious mid-range-worthy rooms at budget hotel prices. There’s a great selection of amenities here including an indoor pool, hot tub, gym, restaurant & bar.
- Candlewood Suites West Edmonton: Bright and airy suites and studios await when you book yourself into this delightful hotel. All the requisites amenities including an indoor pool, fitness centre, and business centre make this property a fantastic option for families and business travellers alike.
Strathcona✔ Best area to stay in Edmonton for historic sightseeing & nightlife
For getting most acquainted with Edmonton’s past, lay your head down in the Strathcona area. Located just south of downtown across the river, Strathcona is one of Edmonton’s oldest districts with plenty of historical architecture and cultural activities to prove it.
Among the most popular places to check out in the area is the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. Set in an early-20th century red-brick warehouse, this indoor market is open year-round and is a fantastic place to pick up organic local produce and handicraft from over 130 vendors.
With the University of Alberta campus just a few blocks to the west in the neighbourhood of Garneau, Strathcona also postures as one of Edmonton’s most popular dining & entertainment areas. Centred around Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue), the neighbourhood bursts with bars, nightclubs, cafés, and restaurants.
Strathcona’s penchant for entertainment also mirrors its status as Edmonton’s theatre district. There’s a number of performing arts venues and art house cinemas here including the Varscona Theatre, the Princess Theatre and the Garneau Theatre.
Visiting in August? Strathcona plays host to the Edmonton International Fringe Festival. It’s the largest fringe festival in North America and the second-largest in the world next to Edinburgh’s massive festivities.
There’s a relatively limited selection of accommodations in Strathcona itself. If you’re running out of options, expand your search to the adjacent neighbourhoods of Garneau, Queen Alexandra, and Ritchie where you’ll find a few more hotels & apartments.
- Varscona Hotel on Whyte: With its warm, earthy colours, the Varscona Hotel on Whyte breathes comfort and sophistication into your stay without draining your travel budget. Wine lovers will dig the daily wine tasting menu as well as the hotel’s location in the heart of Strathcona on its main street.
- Mettera Hotel on Whyte: A laid-back contemporary style greets you as you step into this top-rated Old Strathcona hotel. Upgrade to one of the deluxe rooms to enjoy your own private gas fireplace and balcony.
- Campus Tower Suite Hotel: Located next the University of Alberta, this hotel offers modern suites with kitchenettes plus a handful of useful amenities including a fitness centre, free WiFi, and a business centre.
- HI Edmonton: One of the best places to stay in Edmonton on a tight budget, this popular hostel offers both private rooms and dorms with plenty of spacious common areas to meet other travellers and relax.
- Days Inn by Wyndham Edmonton South: Located just a few blocks south of Strathcona in Queen Alexandra, this budget hotel is one of the best choices in the city centre in the sub-$100 range. A continental breakfast is included in your reservation.
Edmonton South✔ Recommended district to stay in Edmonton for budget-friendly hotels & shopping
If staying front-and-centre is less important than sticking to your travel budget, grab a room in Edmonton South. Although it’s located just 15 to 20 minutes from downtown by car, the area has a more residential/suburban vibe to it than the districts closer to the city’s core.
Most of the hotels in Edmonton South lie along Calgary Trail and Gateway Boulevard, two of the main thoroughfares that zip south of the downtown area. As you’re a little further from the centre, the accommodations & lodgings here tend to offer excellent value.
When the massive West Edmonton Mall seems a tad too intimidating, Edmonton South is another good choice for shoppers. The area is home to Southgate Centre, a high-end mall full of designer fashion boutiques, home stores, and electronics shops. Further south, you’ll enjoy shopping at the bigger “box” stores of South Edmonton Common.
Most of the accommodations in the area straddle the budget and mid-range segments of the market.
- Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre: With its colourful rooms and elegant First Nations-inspired dining areas, this inn offers superb value for travellers wanting to stay south of the city centre.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Edmonton South: A simple but comfortable option for your travels, this hotel offers a wide range of amenities here including a fitness centre, indoor pool, hot tub, and laundry facilities.
- Holiday Inn Conference Centre Edmonton South: Located on Gateway Boulevard, one of Edmonton’s main drags, this chain hotel is a great option for business travellers and families alike. Amenities here include an indoor saltwater lap pool, hot tub, and two on-site dining options.
- Best Western Cedar Park Inn: You can’t go wrong with grabbing a room at this excellent value hotel. The accommodations here are clean & comfortable. Within walking distance, you’ll also find a barrage of great places to eat and shop.
- Argyll Plaza Hotel: Located closer to Ritchie, this hotel is popular among budget travellers for its large rooms with excellent value. Union Hall, one of Edmonton’s most popular live music venues, lies next door.
- Ramada by Wyndham Edmonton South: Perched on Calgary Trail, these budget-friendly lodgings offer a convenient location and clean, comfortable rooms for your stay in Alberta’s capital.