16 Things To Do in Winnipeg Canada

 

The City of Winnipeg in the Canadian province of Manitoba may not be the first place on your radar to visit in the Great White North. But it should be. Not only are the people friendly and welcoming but there is an embarrassing number of things to keep you busy any season you’re there. We could have written a list of 1000 things to experience in this vibrant city, but we’ve narrowed it down to 16 of the absolute musts to give you a head start.

Winnipeg Sign

 

16 Things To Do in Winnipeg

1. The Forks

So named because it is located where the Red River and Assiniboine River diverge, this mixed-use marketplace and all-around hangout is both the number one tourist attraction in Winnipeg and a place enjoyed by locals. You can get a beer or wine (or try a flight!) at Common and then wander around the huge outdoor patio and indoor areas. The Forks has a comprehensive license so you can take your drink with you all over the place. The outdoor space has communal tables where you can make friends, bistro tables for your intimate group and Adirondack chairs for you to relax alone or among others.

Beer Flight from The Common in The Fork Winnipeg
Beer Flight from The Common in The Fork

In the winter, ice takes over the area and we’re told that people wear skates and go all over, sometimes in hockey gear as well. The repurposed railway center’s Food Hall is filled with incredible dining options ranging from pizza and burgers to Asian fusion dishes and casual fine dining. Try Pasero, a delicious take on Italian fare and one of renown local chef Scott Bagshaw’s four eateries. Then take a trip upstairs and shop around for local wares, crafts, clothes and more. Don’t forget to take your beer or wine with you.

Delicious dining at Pasero in the Forks Winnipeg
Delicious dining at Pasero in the Forks

2. Hermetic Code Tour

Hermetic Code Tour. If you’re a fan of history, architecture and mysterious codes, you’ll get a heady dose of all three when you take the Hermetic Code Tour at the Manitoba Legislative Building. The tour comes from Dr. Frank Alb’s 10-year obsession with the hidden symbols, ancient languages and Freemasonic mysteries contained within the building.

Manitoba Legislature Building Winnipeg
Manitoba Legislature Building Winnipeg

The Hermetic Code Tour takes you on a fascinating journey of discovery, including the history of the architect, ancient civilizations, great temples and hidden symbolism. This unique structure holds many fascinating secrets and wildly enthusiastic Dr. Albo serves as the guide who will make sure you learn about and experience all of them.

3. Clementine Cafe 

Breakfast or Brunch at Clementine Cafe. We love it when a menu offers so many good choices that we don’t know which one to pick. Clementine is a delicious hideaway in the historic Exchange District that has been hailed as having the best brunch in the city. You’ll look at the menu and want to order one of everything. Turkish Eggs, Spring Grain Bowl, Braised Bacon Benedict, Roasted Mushroom Toast and Brussels Style Waffle are just a few of the unique and thoughtful offerings here. You’ll enjoy stepping down into this cozy spot that feels like a hidden gem, though we’re told it gets quite busy particularly on the weekends.

 

4. Winnipeg Trolley Tour

You know we’re big fans of getting an overview of a place so you can to optimize your time there. The Winnipeg Trolley Company’s Heart of a Nation City Tour does that and much, much more. In this 2.5 hour journey, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about so much of what makes Winnipeg unique and amazing. The St. Boniface French quarter, the Exchange District with all of its historic buildings, Osborne Village, which was voted one of Canada’s greatest neighborhoods and Wellington Crescent full of gorgeous mansions are just part of what you’ll discover.

Winnipeg Trolley Company
Winnipeg Trolley Company

Learn about Winnipeg’s connection to so many famous characters, from James Bond to Winnie the Pooh. And, you’ll have a chance to stop and visit the wonderful Assiniboine Park where, at the time we visited, adorable goslings and their watchful parents cheerily wander the grounds. You can try a ghost tour or brewery tour for even more fun.

Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg
Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg

Another highlight of the Winnipeg Trolley tour is in the alleys of Wolseley. What? Yep, artist Kal Barteski started painting the garage doors in her neighborhood soon all the neighbors wanted one of her artic wildlife paintings on their garage. Who wouldn’t?

Kal’s passion for the artic animals drove her to found the Polar Bear Fund to help honor polar bears and their place in the artic eco-system. This is one alleyway that is worth a stop. If you’re lucky, like us, you’ll run into Kal painting.

 

5. Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The first and only museum in the world focused on the broad spectrum of human rights education and awareness, the museum is a powerful interactive experience. The imposing structure draws you in and as you start in darker levels you ascend toward the light of greater understanding. Engaging technology, art and interactive experiences blend seamlessly to tell many different stories and provoke thoughts about the importance of human rights.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights Winnipeg
Canadian Museum for Human Rights Winnipeg

Special exhibits (while we were there it was Nelson Mandela’s story) add to the many different galleries that explore every aspect of human rights. Take the elevator all the way to the top of the Tower of Hope and gain a perspective of the city along with the light of greater understanding. Women, indigenous people, religion, gender, the holocaust and nature are among the areas explored in this compelling and important museum. While you are there, you may choose to have a meal at ERA Bistro. You’ll enjoy ERA’s focus on tasty local, organic, free-trade and sustainably sourced ingredients.

Veggie Burger at ERA Bistro in Canadian Museum for Human Rights
Veggie Burger at ERA Bistro in Canadian Museum for Human Rights

 

6. Deer + Almond Restaurant

For a totally chill dinner, you’ll want to try one of Winnipeg’s super smart, eclectic and delicious restaurants. Deer + Almond is the brainchild of chef Mandel Hitzer. The dishes come in sharable portions ranging in size and heft. Pick three for two people and see how that goes. Each dish we tried was better than the next – roasted seasonal asparagus with prosciutto and parmesan to start, then beet salad with oranges, tahini, candied pecans and creamy Halal feta, finishing with a hearty risotto with portobello, kewipie, raw macadamia, and manchego cheese.

Cocktails at Deer + Almond Winnipeg
Cocktails at Deer + Almond

Together with a creative cocktail menu, a great music soundtrack in the background at the right sound level and funky décor, Deer + Almond is the total package. Also note, for the super-foodie in you, Deer + Almond’s pop-up “RAW + Almond” features a temporary restaurant on a frozen river in the coldest months of winter. A cavalcade of celebrated chefs has joined the project and tickets for this one-of-a-kind experience sell out fast.

Beets & Orange salad deer + almond Winnipeg
Beets & Orange salad deer + almond Winnipeg

 

7. Festivals

Winnipegers (as they call themselves) love a good festival. Chances are whenever you visit, there will be many around the city from which to choose. Indigenous Day Live, Fringe Theater Festival, Folklorama, International Children’s Festival, Comedy Festival, and the International Jazz Festival are just a few examples. Fests can take place in venues around the city, many with free events, concerts and activities. We popped over to listen to some great music at the Jazz Fest, which features global hitmakers as well as tremendous local and regional talents. People enjoyed dancing, chatting, munching on treats and generally having a wonderful time. Check what’s happening around the time that you visit so you can plan ahead.

Jazz Fest Winnipeg
Jazz Fest Winnipeg

 

8. Get a Different Nightcap

Get a Different Nightcap. Winnipeg is full of options for finishing off the night in a tasty way. Go for something fun and different. One possibility is the Amsterdam Tea Room. There you’ll find a huge selection of loose-leaf teas as well as tea-infused cocktails and a few bites. If you want a creative cocktail scene try out Langside Grocery.

Amsterdam Tea Room Winnipeg
Amsterdam Tea Room Winnipeg

You can also get a tasty charcuterie board there to soak up your late-night drinks. For something sweet to finish the night, grab an ice cream at one of the several spots dishing up homemade and unique flavors. Neon Cone at The Forks uses local Manitoba ingredients. Chaeben Ice Cream offers super-premium flavors made in-house from scratch.

Chaeben Ice Cream Winnipeg Manitoba
Chaeben Ice Cream Winnipeg Manitoba

 

9. Breakfast/Bakery Crawl

Winnipeg is brimming with wonderful bakeries and breakfast spots. Take a morning to wander through the city and taste a little bit from several of them. You can start at Forth with a delicious toast loaded with local fresh ingredients. Roasted beets labneh walnuts and pomegranate was one of our faves, enjoyed al fresco at a patio table.

Fourth Breakfast
Fourth Breakfast

Next head over to La Belle Baguette, where chef/owner Alix Loiselle wows you with creative and delicious offerings. A baking resume that includes the Chateau Lake Louise and working for Daniel Boulud at the Ritz Carlton should remove any doubt about digging in here.

Everything Croissant at La Belle Baguette Winnipeg
Everything Croissant at La Belle Baguette

We love doughnuts and Oh Doughnuts offers a great variety of gourmet unique and surprising specialty choices. Flavors range from sweet to savory with some regular favorites always around and new ones popping up for a visit. Expect the unexpected with doughnut flavors like Everything Bagel, Jalapeno Cheddar, Taco Dip, Orange Creamsicle, and Almond Joy, just to name a few. There are also vegan and gluten-free options.

Everything Bagel Donut at Oh Donuts Winnipeg
Everything Bagel Donut at Oh Donuts

10. Go to the Farmers’ Market

Check out the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ Farmers’ Market. If you’re visiting from June through October, you’ll want to visit the lively farmers market that puts smiles of the faces of everyone around. There are many different types of vendors from all over Manitoba offering a variety of goods like fresh produce, honey, bison meat, vinegars, jams, spices and more.

Winnipeg BIZ Farmers Market
Winnipeg BIZ Farmers

You might also spy an opportunity for indulging in a little sweet ice cream from a Chaeban ice cream cart or the BDI (Bridge Drive-In) truck. There’s also plenty of great people-watching, so grab a snack and hang around for a while to watch the show.

 

11. Take A Bison Safari

As you know, we’re wild about wildlife. If you are too, you’ll jump at the chance to go on a bison safari at FortWhyte Alive to see these magnificent animals and learn more about their place in Manitoba’s history. You’ll get up close and personal with these huge creatures and get the inside scoop on their breeding, eating and socializing habits with a knowledgeable guide who will help you get the pictures of a lifetime while staying at a safe distance.

Fort Whyte Alive Winnipeg Canada
Fort Whyte Alive

While you’re there, explore the rest of the area’s forest trails, birding hotspots and more. If you have the time, activities available include fishing, paddling and hiking in the summer with snowshoeing, skating, cross-country skiing and tobogganing in the winter. Get a breath of fresh air any time of year and explore the local nature scene.

 

12 Super Spa Experience

After all the zipping around you’ll want to do in Winnipeg, you might enjoy taking some time to unwind. Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature is one of the most unique ways to relax, refresh and renew you’ll find anywhere. A short 8km drive from downtown, Thermea feels like a world away.

Thermea Nordic Spa Winnipeg Canada
Thermea Nordic Spa

Their three-step process follows Scandinavian traditions, taking you through hot, cold and temperate baths, saunas, exfoliation and total relaxation. Take time to hang on one of the grown-up swings, sit by a crackling fire and allow your senses to take it all in. Enjoy a fabulous and tasty meal in the terrace restaurant where you can dine in your bathing suit and robe. Ah, heaven!

Thermea relaxing hammocks Winnipeg
Thermea relaxing hammocks

 

 

13. Watch the Birdies

For a fantastic way to feel even more a part of nature, head to Oak Hammock Marsh for their Bird in the Hand experience. Bird banding is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Winnipeg. One of North America’s most active bird viewing areas, this wetland is not only a significant natural resource but also a birder’s paradise. Learn from knowledgeable scientists how they band and track birds. And get a chance to help hands-on and set the bird informants free. It’s an exhilarating opportunity to see the important information that comes from research as well as to get up close with some of our wonderful feathered friends.

Bird banding at Oak Hammock Marsh Things to do in Winnipeg
Bird banding at Oak Hammock Marsh

When you’ve set your birdies free, explore the rest of the 36 square km marshland with its hiking trails, marsh boardwalks and educational center. Learn how to paddle a canoe and explore the more than 300 species of birds along with mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish that call the wetland home. Did you know you can eat cattail? Neither did we, but we learned how from our knowledgeable guide as we floated by them in our canoe!

Oak Hammock Marsh Things to do in Winnipeg
Oak Hammock Marsh

 

14. Polar Bears

Few things in life are as exciting as polar bears. So it’s no wonder the Journey to Churchill exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo is a hit with visitors of all ages. This award-winning exhibit takes you through a comprehensive exploration of biodiversity, climate change and conservation issues that are impacting the northern species from polar bears and muskoxen to arctic foxes and more.

Photo Credit Assiniboine Park Conservancy Winnipeg
Photo Credit Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Of course, you’ll see actual polar bears too, including the amazing walk-through viewing area where you can watch the polar bears swim right above you. Devoted to wildlife preservation, they only house rescued polar bears that could not survive on their own.

Interpretive signage and interactive displays as well as an impactful 360-degree movie help tell the story of Churchill and the polar bears, and help us understand the importance of actively working now to preserve our natural resources for generations to come.

Journey to Churchill Assiniboine Park Zoo Things to do in Winnipeg
Journey to Churchill Assiniboine Park Zoo Winnipeg

 

15. Get Some Relax Your Face Time

Being good to yourself sometimes means taking a small indulgence. The Face Bar Winnipeg makes it easy to do with their 30-minute affordable high-quality skincare services. Take a break and treat yourself to one of their four different condensed facial processes like Tricia’s Supercharged Signature Peel, Glow on the Go facial and Hot Lift or Power Purge facials. You’ll be in and out before you know it with a rejuvenating treatment that fits into even the busiest schedule.

Yoga Public Studio Winnipeg
Yoga Public Studio

If you’re a fan of yoga, you might also want to check out the Yoga Public Studio in the same facility. It’s a state-of-the-art fitness center that offers yoga in many forms and for all levels. It’s the largest studio in Canada and offers everything from hot yoga classes to a nap room with weighted blankets and puffy clouds. Yes, a nap room! We can’t think of a better way to wind up your trip before you head to the airport.

16. Fairmont Winnipeg

You’ll want somewhere centrally located when you’re doing all those things to do in Winnipeg. We were fortunate to be hosted by the Fairmont Hotel Winnipeg. Steps away from the Exchange District, The Forks and connected through the underground concourse are the RBC Convention Center and BellMTS Place.

Comfy beds and top service at the Fairmont Winnipeg
Comfy beds and top service at the Fairmont Winnipeg

Spend your down time relaxing in the saltwater swimming pool or stay in shape at their well-appointed health club. Upgrade to Fairmont Gold level, which includes access to the private lounge where you’ll find personalized service, beverages, snacks, and a wonderful breakfast too. We’ve been fans of the Fairmont for many years staying with them in Toronto, Charlevoix,  Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Their consistent service and careful attention to detail brings us back every time.

Afternoon Snacks at the Fairmont Winnipeg Gold Lounge
Afternoon Snacks at the Fairmont Winnipeg Gold Lounge

 

Things To Do in Winnipeg, Canada

As you can see, you’ll find plenty of amazing things to do in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Make sure you plan enough time to get out and explore a little bit beyond the downtown as well as the many pleasures of this vibrant, friendly and beautiful Canadian city. While our list is far from definitive, we hope it provides you with a few ideas on how you can enjoy some variety on your visit. We’ll be showing you a little more beauty from other parts of Manitoba in another post soon!

Pin To Your Winnipeg Travel Boards on Pinterest

 

Our trip was hosted by Tourism Winnipeg as always all opinions we share are our own and reflect our personal experience in the destination. 

31 thoughts on “16 Things To Do in Winnipeg Canada

  1. You forgot! Visit Winnipeg Best Pizza Restaurant Santa Lucia Pizza!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation Veronica! Looks like we need to go back and check out Santa Lucia.

  2. Thanks for sharing this list of 16 things to do in Winnipeg. We will be traveling to Quebec City in September, as our first Canadian blogging visit. Your well rounded overview of Winnipeg makes us think that it would be a good city to visit in the future.

    1. Thanks Jeff! You’re in for a real treat. Stay tuned for move coverage. Let us know if you have any specific questions.

  3. Canada is definitely on our bucket list. And now you’ve absolutely tempted me to include Winnipeg as a definite destination. There looks to be so much to see and do, and your photos really do it all justice in the temptation stakes! The food looks pretty good too!

  4. So many fun things to do in Winnipeg. I’ve only every been to Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

  5. There are so many wonderful things to do in Winnipeg. I never thought of making it a travel destination before this. Definitely worth a visit somewhere down the line.

  6. I can’t wait to visit Canada one day. I want to hit the slopes there during the winter.

  7. What a gorgeous place Winnepeg is! I certainly would love to go there and explore the area as well as enjoy the food.

  8. There definitely seems to be a ton of things to do in Winnipeg. I would like to do the architecture tour.

  9. I am so excited to see this! I’m traveling to Winnipeg next summer and I haven’t even made reservations or knew what to do. This will be a huge help. Pinning!

  10. My main squeeze and I are tentatively planning an extended road trip through Canada next summer, and now I’m including Winnipeg in that trip. Looks like some great things to see. I’m not much of a foodie (Kary is), but I will not pass up the chance to visit with Doreen and have some chocolate!

  11. The food looks delicious and all the activities look like fun. I have to add this location to our travel list for the future

  12. Definitely a few more things to add to my list for the next time I’m in Winnipeg! Oh Doughnuts intrigues me. And I love polar bears, so must stop in to see them. What was your fav of all the restaurants?

    1. Hi Allison! So many wonderful spots to choose from. I’d have to say that Passera was definitely one of our faves.

  13. Winnipeg has lots of tremendous locations to offer. A place you wouldn’t ran out of things to do. That polar bear mural looks realistic.

  14. This is a great post! I would love to go to Canada and this looks like the perfect place to go!

  15. Wow, looks like such a fun city! I want to go visit now!!

  16. I had no idea there was so much to do, see, and eat in Winnipeg! It is definitely going on my travel bucket list. I think I would like exploring The Forks.

  17. What an amazing looking place Winnipeg seems like it would be to go and visit. I love places that have a lot to offer, sometimes it is nice to go out and do all different things when you are away from home.

  18. All those different dinning options look amazing! I’d love to ride on a trolley someday!

    1. That trolley ride is very comprehensive that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Gosh this really makes me want to plan a trip to Winnipeg. I’d definitely be interested in doing some exploring and learning more of the history.

  20. You got an amazing tour of the highlights of Winnipeg, my hometown. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to visit us and enjoy the great summer weather. Come back again soon!

    1. We really enjoyed ourselves Doreen. The icing on the cake was getting to see you if even for a brief visit. We hope to visit again soon.

  21. Wow, what a great list here. I’ve never been to Canada before. I need to get there one day. All the food you shared looks incredible.

    1. It truly is a fantastic place to visit. I hope you get there someday Amber.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.