Confident, cultured, and captivating, it’s more than just a pit stop on the Trans-Canada trip, but a stop in its own right, with a remarkably diverse dining scene and a couple of world-class museums. Explore its boom of specialty coffee shops and craft beer breweries, stroll its historic districts, and lap up a vibe that fancies being the butt of a Simpsons joke and revels in one of the world’s most desirable fringe theatre festivals.
Things to do in Winnipeg
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights
For museum lovers, this should be your first address. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights or (CMHR) is Canada’s original museum built for the sole purpose of illustrating the crisis, evolution, and future of human rights globally. In the spirit of the social narrative, this museum is emotional, engaging, and inspiring. Coming to terms with our painful history, Canada’s human rights policies have been embraced and celebrated worldwide, but growth is a journey, and the CHMR is the tale of the global fight for equality.
Assiniboine Park Zoo
A climactic alteration has set the zoo as one of the best in its field and an excellent place for family fun and exploration every season. Expedition to Churchill, the zoo’s breathtaking northern species exhibit, brings you close with jaunty seals, polar bears, and other Arctic animals. Highlights of the presentation include the Sea Ice Passage — marine tunnels that offer unbelievable views of swimming seals and polar bears, the Tundra Grill — a casual restaurant that overlooks the most massive polar bear garden, and the indoor Polar Playground.
And there’s more to explore at the zoo! With over 80 park-like acres to enjoy, the zoo offers visitors the chance to socialize with close to 220 animal species from all corners of the world. Explore Toucan Ridge, an indoor tropic oasis featuring animals and plants from Central and South America. Visit the Kinsmen Discovery Centre, a fabulous exhibit featuring snakes, amphibians, bats, fish, and cute meerkats. The McFeetors Heavy Horse Centre — home to sumptuous Percheron horses — connects visitors with Manitoba’s agricultural and rural roots and offers sleigh rides and seasonal wagon. In summer, visitors can also visit the Australian Walkabout and the Shirley Richardson Butterfly Garden.
The Forks National Historic Site
Delve 6,000 years into the history at Winnipeg’s “Meeting Place” while soaking up the bustling ambiance at The Forks National Historic Site. Here, you can learn how two prominent rivers at the center of the continental united the prairies to the world and drew traders and trappers from lands far away. Don’t forget to discover how a way of life transformed for the Indigenous peoples who socialized, traded, fished, and camped here for ages. Trace the routes of the railroad as it traced a path that shaped the world once again.
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre
Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre is Canada’s oldest English-language regional theatre. Next to the Shaw Festivals and Stratford, MTC has higher annual attendance than any other theatre in Canada. MTC produces grass-roots shows on the main stage and more daring works at the MTC Warehouse. Don’t give it a miss if you love the theatre.
What to eat at Winnipeg
Winnipeg locals love their food. There is a fantastic array of restaurants catering to every budget and taste. Tipping is customary in Winnipeg and is not covered in the price of the food. Some eateries may add a tip charge for bigger groups. Tips typically range from 10–20%
Here are the local Winnipeg cuisines worth trying.
- Winnipeg goldeye: a smoked fish available at most fish markets and grocery stores.
- Winnipeg-style rye bread: It is best bought unsliced directly from a good bakery.
- Russian mints
- Winnipeg-style cream cheese: It is is a good accompaniment for Gunn’s bagels.
- Manitoba maple syrup. If you love maple, Winnipeg is the place to be.
- Kielbasa or Kubasa, a ready-to-eat Eastern European pork garlic sausage smoked daily.
- Mennonite farmer’s sausage (for barbecuing or frying).
- Tourtière, a French-Canadian meat pie.
- French-Canadian desserts like sucre à la crême (similar to fudge) and tarte à sucre (like pecan pie, minus pecans).
- Chili Burgers
- Aboriginal foods, including bison, elk, and bannock.
- Fresh pickerel filets and cheeks.