Being the capital city of Manitoba, Winnipeg is home to a vibrant culture and lengthy history. Visitors encounter award-winning restaurants, stunning architecture, and nature escapes close to the city. Whether you’re in town for work or play, Winnipeg’s lively urban core will keep you busy and wanting more.

With so much to see and do, creating an itinerary can be a tall task, and we want to help. Here are some of the must visit attractions in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Say Good Morning with an Espresso at a Fools & Horses Location in the City

There is perhaps no better way to start your day than with a visit to one of three Fools & Horses locations in the city. Owned by five passionate Winnipeggers, they are serious about local producers and sustainable practices. Before you even order, you’ll be amazed by the interior design, with European and Australian influences. International tourists from these locations have proclaimed how it reminds them of establishments back home.

What about the menu? If you’re looking for something different from a standard espresso, try their nitro cold brew coffee. This coffee is brewed for 16 – 20 hours in a fridge, which gives it a unique flavor, minus the bitterness or acidity. It’s a great way to start your day off strong. Pair any drink with one of their delicious pastries. Fools & Horses also takes pride in their Modbar espresso machine. This system is minimalistic, with much of the hardware out of sight. Its design is meant improve the face-to-face interaction between guests and employees without being obstructed by large machinery. This establishment is one of only a handful across Canada to use this system.

Dine at the Lively Forks Market: Enjoy Lunch at CORTO or Dinner at PASSERO

A visit to The Forks is undoubtedly one of the top things to do in Winnipeg. Located at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, it has been a meeting spot for well over 6,000 years. Initially, Indigenous peoples frequented the location for trading. This eventually grew to include European fur traders, railway pioneers, and others. Today, The Forks remains a popular place to explore history, meet friends and family for meals, and shop at local retailers.

For those looking for some Winnipeg culinary highlights, a visit to CORTO and PASSERO is a must. Both are at the same location in The Forks Market. CORTO is open for lunch, serving some delicious sandwiches, like roast beef and chicken parm. They also offer up plenty of items that are perfect for snacking. It’s an ideal place to visit when you need to refuel before continuing your exploration of The Forks or the city. PASSERO is a modern yet fancy dining room that opens at 5 PM. If you’re looking for an intimate dining experience, this is a great option. Menu highlights include a beef tartare and a Canadian lobster carbonara.

Go on a Local Shopping Spree at the Exchange District

One of the most unique things to do in Winnipeg is to visit the Exchange District. Whether you’re looking to do some local shopping, admire the architecture, or a little bit of both, you’ll find it here. This National Historic Site is nicknamed the Chicago of the North,’ thanks to its extraordinary collection of heritage buildings built between 1880 and 1920, including some grand warehouses and terracotta-clad buildings. The narrow, angled streets and cobblestone walkways contribute to the beauty of this vibrant neighborhood.

The scenery and history here are remarkable, though it isn’t the only reason to visit. The Exchange also features a variety of local boutique shops (more than 40), art galleries, museums, and more. There are also many places to enjoy some food and drink. Although you could walk the Exchange in 10-minutes, we think you’ll be spending more time there than that!

Escape into Nature at Assiniboine Park

Covering an area of 1,100 acres, Assiniboine Park is one of the top Winnipeg attractions for families. This nature escape is just a short drive from downtown Winnipeg, but you’d never guess it once inside. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long week of work and city hustle & bustle.

Sitting south of the Assiniboine River, visitors will enjoy vast green spaces, gardens, and even a Zoo, home to several exhibits and an array of animals like polar bears, arctic foxes, harbour seals, and more. Children can enjoy the Nature and Adventure Playground, while the Pavilion, a historic landmark, houses a museum and art gallery. Make sure you allow plenty of time in your schedule to explore the extensive grounds.

Read more: Explore the Best Manitoba Provincial Parks

Be Inspired by Important Stories and Stunning Architecture at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

One of the best Winnipeg indoor activities is found at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Through technology, storytelling, and art, this attraction is home to 4,366 square meters of total exhibit space focused on human rights themes, especially related to Canadian history. The Museum’s goal is to enhance the public’s understanding of human rights and to encourage reflection and dialogue. Bilingual exhibits and programs are plentiful, so guests can enjoy their visit in both of Canada’s official languages.

While the interpretive pieces will educate and inspire you, the architecture aims to captivate you. The innovative structure consists of curvy lines, irregular surfaces, and walls slopped at unusual angles. The bold geometry, designed by award-winning architect Antoine Predock, is found throughout the 24,155 square meters of venue space. With a wide variety of content and programming, visiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is valuable for families with small children or even those coming solo. Be aware that the Museum is only open from Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10 AM to 5 PM.

Visit one of Canada’s First Civic Art Galleries – the Winnipeg Art Gallery

The Winnipeg Art Gallery, often referred to as WAG, is one of Canada’s leading visual art museums. This world-renowned attraction was initially founded in 1912, also making it one of the country’s first civic art galleries.

Housed in an iconic downtown Winnipeg building, visitors will find more than 27,000 artworks, primarily by Canadian artists. These pieces focus on topics like culture, media, and more. The WAG is also home to the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art across the globe. One of the most inspiring Winnipeg tourist attractions, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is open to visitors from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11 AM to 5 PM.

Special thanks to the staff of The Clarion Hotel & Suites, in Winnipeg, MB for their suggestions.

Choice Hotels in Winnipeg