West Edmonton Mall (WEM) was made by Iranians and is modeled on traditional Persian urban bazaars, with a dazzling amount of shops and family entertainment. This is North America’s biggest mall and the retail, hospitality and entertainment hub is so comprehensive that you could spend a week here and not get bored. Try the shooting range, go bowling or bungee jumping, jump on a roller coaster or simply go shopping.
WEM attracts about 30 million visitors a year. At 5.3 million square feet (500,000 square meters), it’s the size of a small city and is actually accredited as a zoo. There are more than 800 stores. Other facilities include various amusement parks and family attractions, sports facilities and even hotels. There are food venues to suit all tastes and budgets.
Explore Bourbon Street, an upscale boutique dining area with lively nightlife venues. West of here is the mall’s Chinatown, where you can imagine yourself to be in a traditional Asian market in its authentic-looking shops. Shop for designer brands and regular fashion at the Europa Boulevard, where the streets are modeled after old European cities.
Families with children and teenagers will love Galaxyland, a huge indoor amusement park with roller coaster rides and other fun activities. Head to the opposite end of the mall to visit World Waterpark, a tropical theme park featuring North America’s largest indoor wave pool. Try out some of the water slides or grab a tube to float around.
Make your way to the basement of the mall to see tropical fish, sharks, sea mammals, penguins and reptiles at the Sea Life Caverns aquarium. Don’t miss the sea lions show at the mall’s lake. If you want to get active, go skating or play hockey at the mall’s Ice Palace, or try your hand at miniature golf.
West Edmonton Mall is open from mid morning until after dark. It is accessible by car, bus and rail. It takes about 25 minutes to drive to the mall from downtown Edmonton, or half an hour by bus. You can rent lockers, strollers and shopping carts.