The airport you will most likely arrive at is closer to Leduc than Edmonton, very far south of the city. The train depot is just north of Downtown, while the mall is (surprise) far in West Edmonton. The post which was previously mentioned gives some good information about the hotels which are available close to Via. There is an airport downtown (although it is in the process of being closed down) which would be close to the Via Rail station. I know that when I look for flights on Expedia, it is still sometimes listed as an option, but very few flights arrive/depart from it.
Thanks for the info.
It seems that it would be more cost efficient to get a hotel near the via station for a short a.m. taxi ride. We can take transit to the west Edmonton mall or downtown on our full day. I am assuming transit is in the area of the train station - is that correct?
Transit service near the Via station is OK for getting downtown, but is less convenient to West Edmonton Mall. I would suggest that you find a hotel downtown instead, so you can take the very convenient express bus number 100 to West Edmonton Mall. Downtown is still an easy taxi ride to the VIA station (perhaps 5-7 minutes farther away than the hotels closest to the station). There is also more to do in the area immediately around the downtown hotels.
I second krp's first post and also chucklebelly's (cb's) post #5. Especially cb's recommendation.
Thanks - downtown sounds like a good choice. We like to wander and explore cities so we can walk the downtown area. Don't plan to spend all day in a mall although I know we could find lots to do - basically just want to have a look at the set up. Can't shop much as we don't want to carry extra "stuff" on our travels.
Depending on which area you're in, downtown Edmonton tends to "roll up the sidewalks" after 6 pm when all the office workers have left, leaving mainly the panhandlers on the streets. They are not generally aggressive, but it can be a bit disconcerting to be approached for spare change several times in a block and to see few other people around. If you want nightlife and a busier street scene, I'd suggest the Whyte Avenue area on the southside of the river rather than downtown.
I don't think there are any few panhandlers on Whyte Avenue than downtown.
I have never had a problem with panhandlers. I always talk to them, and always say "Sorry, I don't have any money."
Much depends on where you are downtown. Not all of downtown Edmonton is deserted in the evenings, as there are a lot of condos and restaurants downtown.
You will be fine anywhere downtown during daylight hours. There are also lots of areas downtown you'll be fine at night, it just depends on where you decide to stay.
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