West Edmonton Mall – Alberta
The numbers attached to this mall are astronomical all on their own, and they must be seen just so this gargantuan shopping extravaganza can be put into perspective. The complete area of the mall reaches an astonishing 490,000 square meters and is the largest mall in North America and up until 2004 it was the largest in the world. So if you really have to choose one mall to shop in, you might as well choose this one since it boasts an incredible 800+ stores inside its complex. But because this place is so popular, prepare yourself for crowds you haven’t even imagined during the busy periods like November until January. The Festive period can double the crowds here reaching heights of 200,000 daily shoppers which is 10 times more than the capacity of its underground car park, so good luck finding a space.
The scale of this shopping center is overwhelming so you may struggle to get your bearings, also those with little ones will want to keep a close eye on them as the potential to lose anybody here on any day is significantly high. In order to help you orientate yourself and to showcase just how massive this place is there are several themed areas. All based on actual locations around the world these separate courts all have their own unique décor, eateries and suitable outlets. There is Bourbon Street in a New Orleans style area where several restaurants and clubs simulate the night life of the famous southern strip. Above it is Chinatown stylised with oriental rich reds and ornamental furnishings as well as cherry blossoms. There is also Europa Boulevard, fashioned to look like the streets of European town where you will find many French and Italian Eateries and fashion outlets.
What separates the West Edmonton Mall from all others regardless of its scale is that it functions as much more than a place for shopping. This incredible building is also home to a number of attractions that make it a sort of indoor city. There is an indoor shooting range, which thanks to it being in Canada and not its trigger-happy neighbour hasn’t caused any incidents. There is also an 18-hole adventure golf course and a 24 hour gym, a functional ice rink and unbelievably an indoor water park which is the second largest in the world. If this is too much for you to handle already try to forget that there is also Galaxyland, an entire indoor theme park (also the world second largest). Here 24 different rides ranging from teacups to Ferris wheels to the biggest indoor coaster on the planet create an experience you never though you would have at a mall. If this wasn’t enough, sporadic live demonstrations of everything from cars, gadgets and games consoles are scattered throughout the stores here. Finally if you managed to survive a trip to this gigantic indoor universe but cant find the energy to head home, or find the will to hunt for your car, luckily the two on site hotels will give you the much needed rest you deserve. If you go to one mall in Canada, there is no grander a place than here.