***This post was updated March 04, 2014 — more updates regarding accommodations coming soon.***

The University of Alberta is located at the heart of the city of Edmonton, with transit access to anywhere in the city. If you are planning on booking a room in the University’s suggested hotel, Campus Towers, you will be right across the street from the University of Alberta Fine Arts Building (FAB), University Station, and the bus depot. The LRT, or Light Rail Transit, is the name of the train system. University Station is right on campus. The LRT will take you across the river to downtown Edmonton in 10 minutes. This will bring you to the Art Gallery of Alberta (above Churchill Station), or Southbound, the LRT will take you to Southgate Mall, a newly renovated shopping centre, in 15 minutes. Whyte (or 82) Avenue, a popular eating, shopping, cultural, and entertainment area, is southeast of campus and may be reached on foot or by an easy 5 minute bus ride from the University bus depot. There are also several buses that will take you to West Edmonton Mall in about 30 minutes to 50 minutes, depending on the time of day.

Tickets for the LRT and bus system are integrated and can be purchased at all train stations or at the convenience store 1 min east of Campus Towers (or most any convenience store). Edmonton Transit System individual, adult fare is $3.20, day passes are $9, and ten packs are $24.

Restaurants and nightlife can be accessed on Whyte Avenue as well as a couple of blocks east of campus on 109th Street. Of the several restaurants, coffee shops and pubs in the surrounding area we especially recommend Transcend Coffee, Kyoto Sushi, The Sugar Bowl (great beer selection and good Western-type food – breakfast, lunch and dinner), Phởbulous (Vietnamese) – all of these are located about 5-10 minutes, walking distance, east of Campus Towers on 109 Street. At the base of the hotel there is a good (but small) Korean restaurant, an Earl’s, a Booster Juice, and a coffee/soup and sandwich café. Lastly, there is a convenience store about 1 min east and a grocery store within 10 minutes south of the hotel.

Though the campus area is very safe — there are lots of people around all the time — there are campus peace officers and student volunteers who are available to escort you anywhere around campus you need if you feel unsafe. The transit system is also very safe.

It is hard to tell what the weather here will be like in mid-May — it could be cool, or getting warm.  It is a good idea to bring some layers. Check last year’s weather Weather Statistics.

For further information:

Edmonton Transit System

Campus Safewalk

Campus Protective Services

Edmonton Tourism Center

Places to stay:

Campus Towers Hotel (recommended for convenience, approx. $180 per night)

Metterra Hotel (located on Whyte Ave, rates start at $140)

For the budget conscious check out the HI Hostel which is also close to campus, with rates starting at about $30/night in a shared room.