Tourists Guide to Manitoba, Canada

Updated on Apr 30, 2024 | Canada Visa Online

The Winnipeg Jets, the city's NHL franchise, are well-known internationally, but the city is also well-known nationally for its exceptional arts and culture scene. A very lively cultural life is enjoyed by the locals, also referred to as "Peggers," with everything from play and ballet to concerts and opera on offer. The spectacular Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the city's newest main attraction, has recently received prominence.

The centre of central Canada is Winnipeg, which is situated at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, halfway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These two rivers converge in The Forks, one of Winnipeg's most well-known attractions.

The variety of activities to do in Winnipeg varies by season due to the harsh environment of the city, which features hot summers and freezing winters. There is always a lot to love here, though. See our list of the top attractions in Winnipeg for suggestions on where to start your visit.

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The Forks

The Forks is a year-round vacation spot for residents and visitors, offering both indoor and outdoor activities. The Forks is a commerce and entertainment district housed in a variety of historic structures, situated where the Red and Assiniboine Rivers merge. Originally a railway repair plant, the location has undergone thorough restoration to host a variety of intriguing stores, eateries, and museums.

The primary structure is The Forks Market, where food vendors prepare a range of delectable delicacies and fruit and vegetable traders set up shop in the main hall. There are two levels of stores. For a bird's-eye perspective of the river and the city, you can also ascend the lookout tower. Another historical structure with a wide range of stores is the Johnston Terminal Building.

People visit The Forks in the summer to partake in indoor and outdoor dining experiences and to play on the river. A nice riverfront walking path called the Riverwalk connects you to the Legislative Building, another popular destination in Winnipeg. Skating at The Forks Ice Rink or on the frozen river is one of the most well-liked winter activities.

Festival du Voyageur

The most well-known winter celebration in Winnipeg is called Festival du Voyageur. This festival honours the customs of the French Voyageurs, or early Canadian fur traders, and it takes place in February. The festival offers entertainment and activities in both French and English for both adults and children.

At Voyageur Park and other locations across the city, sizable tents are set up outside where live music, food, dancing, and other activities are available. One of the festival's attractions are the breathtaking ice and snow sculptures, so make sure you don't miss them. The beard-growing competition is another festival custom. Prior to the festival, competitors had ten weeks to grow their best beard in one of four categories.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

The first museum in the world devoted to the "development, celebration, and future of human rights" opened its doors in 2014 and is called the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, which is directly next to the Forks, has six levels of moving exhibits that address topics like "What are Human Rights," "Turning Points for Humanity," "Protecting Rights in Canada," "Indigenous Perspectives," and "Examining the Holocaust."

The most modern landmark in Winnipeg, symbolising human rights in Canada and around the world, is this recent addition to the city's cultural landscape. The museum is renowned for both its magnificent physical design and its original approach to telling tales about human rights.

You enter the museum on the ground floor, move up through six levels, and explore 11 galleries as you do so. Despite being controversial in many respects, it is without a doubt a significant part of Canadian culture. The Israel Asper Tower of Hope, which offers stunning views of the city, is in addition to the galleries.

If you wish to see Canada at its most magical, there is no better time to visit than the fall. During the fall, Canada’s landscape bursts forth with a beautiful bounty of colors due to the abundance of maple, pine, cedar, and oak trees making it the perfect time to experience Canada’s iconic, mesmerizing feats of nature. Learn more at Best Places to Witness Fall Colors in Canada.

The Exchange District

A neighbourhood known for its refurbished warehouses and fantastic shopping.

The Exchange District, a 20-block neighbourhood that is distinctly artistic, is where you can enjoy in some of Winnipeg's most well-liked eateries, cafes, boutique stores, and artwork. The Exchange district, now a Canadian National Historic Site, was formerly Winnipeg's centre of business, with the grain industry and other industries finding a home here.

There is still a lot of business going on here today, but it has a more hipster feel. Old Market Square, a park that frequently hosts concerts and festivals, is one of the busiest gathering spots in The Exchange District.

Not to mention that The Exchange district's mural scene is great; I strongly suggest spending simply a day there. I urge you to just spend a day strolling around and seeing all the paintings in this area. Check out our Winnipeg Like a Local tour if you're looking for a personalised walking tour.

Winnipeg Folk Fest

An important part of Manitoban culture, the Winnipeg Folk Fest is a well-known annual summer folk event that takes place in July in Birds Hill Provincial Park.

There are typically more than 70 000 attendees, and you can anticipate hearing music in a variety of genres, including roots, electronic, indie rock, Celtic, and Americana. Every year, the roster features at least 75 acts, so there's a good chance you'll discover a show you like.

Bison Safari

One of the most famous things to do in Winnipeg is go on a bison safari (it also makes our list of the best day trips from Winnipeg). What could possibly be better than a trip with some of the most famous creatures to ever roam the prairies?

You may get up and personal with the largest land mammal species in North America at FortWhyte Alive park (in south Winnipeg) and learn about the history of the prairies while doing so. Don't forget your camera for this one since you'll even get to take some selfies with a buffalo!

The Manitoba Museum

The province's natural and human history is the main focus of the Manitoba Museum. The Science Gallery and Planetarium, which is extremely interactive, introduces the expanse of the night sky on its domed screen while the nine permanent galleries highlight the best that the province has to offer.

A 95-million-year-old fossilised Pliosaur, a display that simulates the Northern Lights, and a Hudson Bay fur trade post-recreation are among of the museum's highlights. The Nonsuch, a model ketch sailing ship from the 17th century, is one of the most well-known exhibits. Climb on board and tour the entire ship to learn about the difficulties faced by the intrepid people who first crossed the Atlantic. Near the Exchange District in downtown is where you'll find the museum.

Manito Ahbee Festival

What better way to recognise Winnipeg's strong connection to indigenous history than by taking in a festival that honours the community? Every year in May, there is the Manito Ahbee Festival, which celebrates indigenous music, art, and culture.

A traditional Pow Wow, a music conference, a trade show, an art competition, and a lesson are all part of the festival.

Red River Mutual Skating Trail

The Forks is a nice location to laze around in the summer, have some ice cream, and enjoy the summertime ambience, but in the winter, it transforms into a paradise for winter sports and activities.

The Red River Mutual Trail, one of the longest skating routes in the world at 9 kilometres, is a great place to lace up your skates and hit the water. You can stay warm and out of the winter wind thanks to the warming huts that are located along the route. If you enjoy a little bit of shinney, this is also a popular location. Show those Winnipeggers what you've got by renting some skates and grabbing a stick!

Although it may have originated in Germany, Oktoberfest is now widely associated with beer, lederhosen, and an excessive amount of bratwurst. Oktoberfest is a significant event in Canada. To commemorate the Bavarian celebration, both locals and travelers from Canada turn out to celebrate Oktoberfest in large numbers. Learn more at Travel Guide to Oktoberfest in Canada.

Saint Boniface

Saint Boniface is the place to go if you want to experience the greatest French Canadian culture Winnipeg, Canada has to offer.

One of the largest Francophone populations in the prairies is found in Saint Boniface, which is directly across the pedestrian bridge from The Forks. While you're here, stroll down Boulevard Provencher, visit the Cathedral, and stop by the French shops and cafes.

Osborne Village

Osborne Village, a different artistic district, is one of Winnipeg's top destinations for dive bars, pubs, music venues, vintage shops, and record stores.

Both Osborne Village and the Exchange District are noted for their art, however, Osborne Village is a touch more grungy while the Exchange District tends to be more upmarket. You won't get a better atmosphere in Osborne, but it doesn't mean one is better than the other.

If you're looking for a fun night out in Osborne Village, we suggest having a few beers at the Toad in the Hole Pub first before seeing a comedy show at the Gas Station Arts Center (or vice versa!).

Assiniboine Park and Zoo

Assiniboine Park, Winnipeg's oldest park, spans 445 hectares of lush lawns, historic trees, cultural amenities, and an English garden.

Within its grounds is the Assiniboine Park Zoo, which is home to a vast range of fauna, flora, and animals. There is a focus on northern-adapted animals, including a large number of polar bears, but there are also some exotic species like red kangaroos and Siberian tigers.

The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden is another point of interest in the park. You may browse through a sizable selection of his brass sculptures made using the lost-wax technique right here. His exquisite creations are shown in a gorgeous, colourful garden with water features and old trees.

The Leo Mol Gallery, a renovated schoolhouse where the artist produced several of his works, is situated nearby. Additional pieces can be found inside the structure, along with a demonstration of the lost-wax technique.

Riding the 4-8-2 miniature steam train in Assiniboine Park is entertaining if you're travelling with kids. The train departs from a location to the west of the Pavilion structure and travels along a small gauge track. In addition to running on weekends in September and October, the train travels every day throughout the summer. It costs very little to bike.

Looking for some natural beauty? The park is bordered to the south by a sizable nature reserve, where deer and other animals are frequently seen.

The mix of Montreal's history, landscape, and architectural marvels from the 20th century creates an endless list of sites to see. Montreal is the second-oldest city in Canada.. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Montreal.


Legislative Building

In 1919, the majestic Neoclassical Legislative Building in Winnipeg was finished. It was constructed from native Tyndall stone and Italian marble. There are mysterious numerical codes, Freemason symbols, and concealed hieroglyphics throughout the structure. Weekly tours are available, and they are led by an expert in architectural history.

The opulent grounds are decorated with statues, monuments, and well-kept gardens. The Golden Boy statue, a four-meter-tall bronze statue that weighs five tonnes and is covered in 23.5 carats of gold, sits atop the 72-meter-diameter dome. The sheaf of wheat on his left arm and a torch in his right hand represent Manitoba's enduring agricultural success.

Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery, located in a cutting-edge structure resembling a ship's bow, is home to 25,000 works of classic and contemporary art created by Canadian, American, European, and Inuit artists.

The previous Inuit Art Gallery has been renamed Quamajuq and will be brand-new in 2021. Over 14,000 works of Inuit art are housed in this brand-new, 40,000-square-foot structure with breathtaking architecture. The entire gallery features Inuit artistry, but the three-story-high Visible Vault, which houses 7,500 items, is the most spectacular section.

The Winnipeg Art Gallery, the oldest gallery in Western Canada, regularly presents events and a variety of artists, including poets and jazz performers. For views of the city, don't forget to check out the incredibly distinctive triangular rooftop sculpture garden. The Forks is not far from the gallery, which is downtown.

St. Boniface Cathedral

St. Boniface Cathedral

With its founding in 1818, St. Boniface Cathedral is western Canada's oldest cathedral. The structure was once regarded as Manitoba's finest example of French Romanesque architecture, but fires forced many rebuilding attempts; the current cathedral still features the original façade.

The cemetery is Western Canada's oldest Catholic cemetery and is located in a lovely park. It contains numerous ancient grave markers for early settlers and significant historical individuals, including Louis Riel's grave.

The Grey Nuns built the neighbouring St. Boniface Museum, Winnipeg's oldest structure, in 1846. It was the region's first convent, hospital, girls' school, and orphanage. It was restored in 1967 and turned into a museum that chronicled Manitoba's French past.

Fort Whyte Alive

Fort Whyte Alive, a 259-hectare property, is renowned for its five lakes, lush parkland, and bog boardwalks. A burrowing owl display and an aquarium can be seen at the interpretive centre. Visitors can observe the bison herd outside, go to bird feeding stations, see the sod house, or watch the prairie dogs at the prairie dog village while they play.

Seven kilometres of hiking and biking routes can be found at Fort Whyte Alive, and courses in sailing and paddling are offered during the summer on the small lakes. For those who want to venture outside in the winter and take advantage of the crisper air, there are a sizable ice rink, a toboggan run, and cross-country ski paths.

Ottawa, the provincial capital of Ontario, is renowned for its stunning Victorian architecture. Ottawa is located alongside the Ottawa river and is a well-liked tourist destination because there are so many sites to see there. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Ottawa.

Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint also creates coins for a number of other nations in addition to Canada. In actuality, nearly 55 billion coins have been made in this country. In the recently rebuilt tour area, you can watch the entire minting process. Interactive displays demonstrate the entire coin-making process.

The on-site museum does a fantastic job of illuminating the early history of coins and money for visitors. The triangular-shaped, ultra-modern structure also has a tropical garden and fountain. It is advised to make reservations for the 45-minute tours.

Manitoba Children's Museum

The Manitoba Children's Museum is located in The Forks in a cutting-edge building. There are 12 interactive permanent galleries inside this unusual structure that will interest kids of all ages.

The galleries include the Milk Machine, which has a large cow cube you can really enter, and the Engine House, which has a tonne of gears and levers for youngsters to operate. The Lasagna Lookout, where your children are permitted to play with their food, is another interesting location.

The museum provides visiting exhibits in addition to its permanent galleries and hosts special events during holidays like Halloween and Christmas.

Corydon Avenue

Locals gather on this busy, tree-lined street to relax, keep up with the newest trends, and take a break. Your interest will be piqued by small, hip stores that carry the newest, unusual clothing.

Restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, many of which have outside patios in the summer. Street art is also noteworthy; eight enormous metal figures that are shown every summer represent the nations of Scotland, Italy, France, Japan, Ukraine, Spain, Greece, and Argentina.

Additionally, most Friday and Saturday nights feature concerts with a wide range of musicians. Parking can be a little difficult in the main area, which is along Corydon Avenue from Daly Street to Harrow Street.

Manitoba Centennial Centre

Check out what's going on at the Manitoba Centennial Centre if you're seeking evening activities in Winnipeg, especially during the winter. This is the residence of the city's top performing arts groups, including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, and Manitoba Opera. It consists of the Centennial Concert Hall, Manitoba Museum, and Manitoba Theatre Centre. Attractive statues and fountains surround the structure, enhancing the gorgeous, terraced gardens.

Riel House National Historic Site

The Lagimodière and Riel families lived in Riel House, which belonged to their family. It has been rebuilt to depict the social, economic, and cultural aspects of life at the time. The Metis were led by Louis Riel, who also founded Manitoba.

In 1869 and 1884, he was the leader of multiple uprisings. His remains lay in state at Riel House for two days after his execution in 1885. The home's Red River-frame design is typical of dwellings built by early settlers in the Manitoba region. In this home, Riel's descendants resided until 1969.

McNally Robinson Booksellers

Are you looking for activities in Winnipeg that feature your favourite authors? the McNally Robinson Bookstore, which has locations in Grant Park and The Forks Market, should be visited next.

A fantastic way to learn about a city is to visit its independent bookshops, and Winnipeg's McNally Robinson Booksellers is one of the country's biggest. A benefit is that the bookstore frequently hosts performances by musicians, authors, and speakers.

Kildonan Park

The lovely Kildonan Park contains some of the oldest trees in the province as well as magnificent flower beds and a Hänsel and Gretel Witch's Hut. The park's 99 acres are divided up into 2.7 kilometres of recreational pathways, most of which follow the Red River.

The location is perfect for birdwatchers. Rainbow Stage, Canada's longest-running outdoor theatre, is in Kildonan Park. A golf course and outdoor pool are some more tourist attractions.

Québec is a sizable province that comprises roughly one-sixth of Canada. Its varied landscapes range from remote Arctic tundra to ancient metropolis. The region is bordered by the American states of Vermont and New York in the south, the Arctic Circle virtually to the north, Hudson Bay to the west, and Hudson Bay to the south. Learn more at Tourist Guide to Must Visit Places in Québec Province.

Prairie Dog Central Railway

A fully restored steam-powered locomotive called the Prairie Dog Central provides journeys from Winnipeg to Grosse Isle. Vintage carriages are used on the railway to transport passengers on this 60 to 75-minute excursion, which includes a halt, before arriving back in Winnipeg. There are other themed excursions available, such as train robberies, Halloween celebrations, and more.

Living Prairie Museum & Interpretive Centre

One of the few remaining patches of tall grass prairie is preserved on the grounds of the Living Prairie Museum. It includes a fantastic interpretive centre and 150 different native grass and wildflower types. Visitors can view the restored grassland, a once-vast ecosystem that originally stretched one million square kilometres of North America, from a platform on the second floor.

16.3 hectares make up the museum's grounds, and a self-guided walk around the entire thing. Grab a booklet and stop at the numbered posts along the walk to learn more about the plants and animals in the area.

Where To Stay In Winnipeg For Sightseeing?

In Winnipeg, staying close to many of the city's key attractions in the downtown area is the best option. These are found in the heart of the city and include The Forks, the Legislative Building, the Exchange District, and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Here are a few hotels with excellent reviews in good areas.

Luxury lodging:

  • In the centre of Winnipeg's downtown, at the intersection of Portage and Main Streets, the Fairmont Hotel enjoys a prominent location. From here, it's simple to enter the underground mall and travel by foot to The Forks, the Exchange District, a number of museums, and other locations.
  • Consider staying at Mariaggi's Theme Suite Hotel & Spa for a totally unique experience. The creatively constructed rooms have a variety of themes, and the rooms in the Caribbean and India even include waterfalls. The dining and leisure options in the Exchange District are also easily accessible from this hotel.

Mid-Range Hotels: 

  • The Inn at the Forks has one of the best locations for travellers, especially in the summer, as it is situated directly at The Forks. Modern furnishings, elegant blown-glass vanities, and the convenience of the on-site Riverstone Spa are all features of this boutique hotel.
  • Be sure to visit the 1913-built Fort Garry Hotel for a piece of history. Due to the period-appropriate design, the rooms are a little on the tiny side, but the hotel nevertheless captures the opulence and sophistication of the time. Conveniently situated across from The Forks is The Fort Garry.

Cheap hotels:

  • The Humphry Inn & Suites is a reasonable choice that is close to the city centre.
  • The Super 8 by Wyndham Winnipeg East is a wonderful choice if the Winnipeg Mint is your primary goal or if you are simply searching for a decent deal.

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