Planning the ultimate Western Canada road trip? The dilemma of choosing where to stay in Edmonton will no doubt cross your mind.
Edmonton is the capital of Alberta and one of the top 5 biggest cities in Canada. The city’s a great place to explore—even if it lacks the mystique of other top places to visit in Alberta.
Searching for the best hotels in Edmonton, Alberta? Find the perfect accommodations with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Edmonton. In the guide, we include the top areas, neighbourhoods & 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. Its area is higher than most other major Canadian cities, including Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
For first-time travellers, staying in Downtown Edmonton is the easy choice. The city centre is home to many of the best Edmonton hotels. Staying here, you’ll be close to most of the top tourist attractions in Edmonton. In downtown, beautiful architecture like Alberta Legislature Grounds awaits. You’ll enjoy the city’s finest entertainment options. Downtown is also home to the North Saskatchewan River Valley. The sprawling greenspace is 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. It’s the largest shopping mall in North America and a destination unto its own.
Historical sightseeing is best served with a stay in Strathcona. The historic district is located across the North Saskatchewan River from downtown. It’s 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 centres 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. Great opportunities for shopping, including the South Edmonton Common shopping plaza, also await.
The best areas to stay in Edmonton include:
✓ 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 Downtown Edmonton’s museums & art galleries. Marvel at the modernist architecture of the Art Gallery of Alberta before checking out its over 6,000-strong collection. The gallery features art from local, Canadian, and international artists. Or step inside the Royal Alberta Museum. Here, you can 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. Not a die-hard raving ice hockey fan yet? Attending an NHL game in this hockey-crazed city is still a must for any Canada travel bucket list.
Besides the great selection of accommodations & attractions, downtown is full of excellent restaurants. From local farm-to-table dishes to international favourites like sushi and tandoori, it’s all here.
- The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald is the most famous luxury hotel in Edmonton, Alberta. The legendary Fairmont Hotel Macdonald hails from Canada’s grand railway hotel era. It’s one of most distinctive historical buildings tracing the skyline. Besides the elegant rooms, this luxurious hotel features excellent amenities. Enjoy the spa, indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, and its fine-dining restaurant, The Harvest Room.
- JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District is a 5-star hotel next to Rogers Place. The JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District is the perfect luxury pick for hockey fans and concert-goers. (Or anyone else wanting to stay in downtown in supreme style.) The amenities here are outstanding. They include a state-of-the-art fitness centre, indoor pool, and hot tub.
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton Centre Suites is a luxury hotel offering spacious & luxurious suites in the centre of town. Aside from usual flat-screen TVs and free WiFi, the hotel offers plenty of amenities. Extras at Delta Hotels by Marriott Edmonton Centre Suites include a on-site fitness centre with a steam room and hot tub. You’ll also enjoy the on-site restaurant when you book a room here. The attached shopping mall is a great extra for shopaholics.
- Courtyard By Marriott Edmonton Downtown is a 3-star hotel at the edge of central Edmonton. It’s perched along the lovely green riverside. The Courtyard by Marriott Edmonton Downtown is perfect for a stylish to stay in area without the usual high price tag. Retire to the hotel’s terrace to enjoy views towards the river valley. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate the end of a day of sightseeing.
- The Westin Edmonton straddles the border between luxury and mid-range. The 4-star Westin Edmonton offers spacious modern rooms in the centre of town for prices outside 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. For a most active stay, swing around kettlebells at the well-stocked fitness centre.
- Union Bank Inn is one of the top 4-star hotels in Edmonton. The Union Bank Inn is situated in a historic bank building with regal rooms & furnishings to match. 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 brings its brand’s budget hotel philosophy across the Pacific from Japan to Western Canada. The Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel by APA is one of the top budget hotels in Alberta’s capital. It’s a great choice for travellers who want to stretch their dollar further without compromising comfort or quality. The lodgings are fairly standard. You’ll find a few surprises, though, like Japanese-style washlet toilets. There’s even a whirlpool hot tub and salt-water pool for guest use.
- Matrix Hotel offers 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 wine tastings only add to the hotel’s mystique.
- Days Inn by Wyndham Downtown is one of downtown’s top budget hotels. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better deal in central Edmonton. Sure, the rooms are no-frills and standard value hotel chain stock. The location, three blocks from the ICE District, can’t be beat for the price, though.
✓ 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. It’s the largest shopping mall in North America and hosts several family-friendly attractions. Kids will love the mall’s fun-filled amusement park, indoor lake, and waterpark.
Aside from the West Edmonton Mall, the area also has plenty of excellent value hotels. Most are clustered a few blocks north of the shopping complex. The hotels cater mostly to budget and mid-range travellers and families. For true 4- and 5-star luxury, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
- Element Edmonton West is a 4-star hotel from Westin’s budget-friendly “boutique” brand. It features clean modern designs and is a fine choice when 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 is a great choice 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 offers pet-friendly accommodations. Feel free to bring your furry friend along on your road trip!
- Courtyard by Marriott Edmonton West is a 3-star hotel with laid-back contemporary style. It’s one of the coolest picks in the city’s western end. After a long day of sightseeing, you’ll love winding down to light conversation on the outdoor patio to the glow of a fireplace.
- Hampton Inn & Suites Edmonton/West is a favourite place to stay for families kicking around West Edmonton. The Hampton Inn offers both ample rooms & suites. The pool and complimentary breakfast are a nice surprise at its price range in a major Canadian city.
- Four Points by Sheraton Edmonton West is a 3-star hotel offering spacious mid-range-worthy rooms at budget hotel prices. Like its city centre sister property, there’s a great selection of amenities here. They include an indoor pool, hot tub, gym, restaurant & bar.
- Candlewood Suites West Edmonton is a delightful hotel offering bright and airy suites and studios. Book a room to enjoy all its amenities, including an indoor pool, fitness centre, and business centre. This property is a fantastic option for families and business travellers alike.
✓ Best area to stay in Edmonton for historic sightseeing & nightlife
Want to get acquainted with Edmonton’s past? Lay your head down in the Strathcona area. Located south of downtown across the river, Strathcona is one of Edmonton’s oldest districts. And the area offers plenty of historical architecture & 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. It’s a fantastic place to pick up organic local produce and handicrafts from over 130 vendors.
The University of Alberta campus is a few blocks west of Strathcona in the neighbourhood of Garneau. The student presence adds to the area’s livlieness. Unsurprisingly, Strathcona is one of Edmonton’s most popular dining & entertainment areas. Much of the neighbourhood’s action centres around Whyte Avenue (82 Avenue). The street & areas surrounding it burst with bars, nightclubs, cafés, and restaurants.
Strathcona’s penchant for entertainment also mirrors its status as Edmonton’s theatre district. Several performing arts venues & art house cinemas call Strathcona home. Popular venues include 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. Only Edinburgh’s massive festivities match it.
There’s a relatively limited selection of accommodations in Strathcona itself. Running out of options? Expand your search to the adjacent neighbourhoods of Garneau, Queen Alexandra, and Ritchie. In these areas, you’ll find a few more hotels & apartments.
- Varscona Hotel on Whyte offers fantastic accommodations thatt won’t drain your budget. With its warm, earthy colours, the Varscona Hotel on Whyte breathes comfort and sophistication into your stay. Wine lovers will dig the daily wine tasting menu. The hotel’s location in the heart of Strathcona on its main street is also a boon.
- Mettera Hotel on Whyte is a top-rated Old Strathcona hotel that greets you with a laid-back contemporary style. Upgrade to one of the deluxe rooms to enjoy your own private gas fireplace and balcony.
- Campus Tower Suite Hotel is located next the University of Alberta. This hotel offers modern suites with kitchenettes. You’ll also enjoy several useful amenities, including a fitness centre, free WiFi, and a business centre.
- HI Edmonton is one of the best places to stay in Edmonton on a tight budget. This popular hostel offers both private rooms and dorms. You’ll also love the chance to meet other travellers and relax in the spacious common areas.
- Days Inn by Wyndham Edmonton South sits 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. Reservations include a continental breakfast.
✓ Recommended district in Edmonton for budget-friendly hotels & shopping
Is staying front-and-centre is less important than sticking to your travel budget? Grab a room in Edmonton South. The area is about 15 to 20 minutes from downtown by car. It offers 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. They’re the two of the main thoroughfares that zip south of the downtown area. As you’re further from the centre, accommodations & lodgings here offer excellent value.
The massive West Edmonton Mall seem too intimidating? Edmonton South is another good choice for shoppers. The area is home to Southgate Centre. This high-end mall teems with 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 offers superb value for travellers wanting to stay south of the city centre. The inn charms guests with colourful rooms and elegant First Nations-inspired dining areas.
- Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Edmonton South is a simple, but comfortable, option for your travels. Aside from its excellent value rooms, the hotel offers a wide range of amenities. Extras include a fitness centre, indoor pool, hot tub, and laundry facilities.
- Holiday Inn Conference Centre Edmonton South is 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, and hot tub. You’ll also get your pick of two on-site dining options.
- Best Western Cedar Park Inn offers clean & comfortable accommodations in the city’s south. You can’t go wrong with grabbing a room at this excellent value hotel. Within walking distance, you’ll also find a barrage of great places to eat and shop.
- Argyll Plaza Hotel is located close to the neighbourhood of Ritchie. The Argyll Plaza Hotel is especially popular among budget travellers. It delights with large rooms with excellent value. Union Hall, one of Edmonton’s most popular live music venues, lies next door.
- Ramada by Wyndham Edmonton South offers budget-friendly lodgings south of the city centre. Perched on Calgary Trail, the hotel’s location is convenient for travellers with a car. Rooms are clean & comfortable and will make your stay in Alberta’s capital as pleasant as possible.