Winnipeg, in Manitoba, is earning a reputation as one of the coolest, most stylish cities in Canada.
Here’s a little weekender’s guide to some of the best places in the city, from fascinating history to serene spas.
Day 1: Beer, Myths and Legends
Morning: Exchange District Tour
After enjoying a restful slumber at the Alt Hotel Winnipeg, set out on foot for the Exchange District, just a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Pre-book and meet your guide at Exchange District BIZ for a 1.5 hour walking tour to discover the history and dramatic stories of the iconic 20-block district in downtown Winnipeg.
Architects from Chicago visited Winnipeg to practice their craft and designed many of the exquisite buildings here, which earned the city the nickname 'Chicago of the North.’
Don’t miss the eerie Pantages Playhouse Theatre and movie set-like 150 Princes Street, built between 1880 and 1920.
Evening: Brewery Tour
Craft beer is very much in vogue across the globe. Tour the city's trendiest breweries with Winnipeg Tasting Tours.
Meet up at the PEG Beer Co for a quick tour, flight of beers, and a delicious stone-baked pizza to get things off to the right start. You'll soon discover whether you’re more of a stout enthusiast or a citrusy pale ale fan.
Noteworthy beers on the tour include The Witty Belgian at Torque Brewery, a refreshing ale with lemon, lime and orange notes, and the maltier 1919 at Little Brown Jug, which is infused with herbs and spices. Visit in the late afternoon, when the bar is bathed in sunlight which adds to its rustic feel and atmosphere.
Day 2: Nature and nurture
Morning: Assiniboine Park Zoo
If you can’t fit in a visit to see the polar bears in the town of Churchill, Northern Manitoba, Assiniboine Park Zoo is a great alternative.
Naturally the Arctic section is a must-stop to admire these white bears gracefully gliding around the aquarium. Linger long enough and the vision of their huge paws hitting the glass will prove just how powerful they are.
As you meander through the 30-plus exhibits, look out for the elusive prairie dogs darting across the park with ninja-like stealth. Extra points if you can capture them in a photo!
Afternoon: Canadian Museum for Human Rights
The exhibits at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights encourage you to delve into the strength and power of the human spirit, and you’ll leave ever more open-minded.
There’s seven floors of exhibition space, with the eighth reserved for the best and highest viewpoint over the city. This physical and metaphorical journey from darkness into light is designed to represent the passage of global human rights.
Evening: Thermëa Spa
Head into the woods to enjoy the idyllic Thermëa Spa, which will ease you into chill out mode.
Work your way around the hot, cold, and relax circuit of saunas, steam rooms, pools, and chill out zones to still the mind and rest your body.
Finish up with the delectable three-course degustation menu as part of the Twilight Spa experience for a complete state of taste and body bliss.
Day 3: Art and Architecture
Morning: Winnipeg Art Gallery
Time for a cultural fix at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The gallery is home to the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art and you could easily while away hours unearthing the stories behind each creation — especially the collection of stone sculptures.
Afternoon: The Forks
Book a Parks Canada Tour for an in-depth look at life stretching back 6,000 years, and discover the life of the indigenous peoples who traded, socialised, and fished here for generations.
The Forks is and has always been the central meeting place in Winnipeg for dining, drinking, and shopping.
Stop off at the Forks Market and you'll soon slip into the pace of its buzzing atmosphere. The Common is a great place to sip on craft beers and wines, and take in all the action and hubbub that surrounds you.
In the early 1900s, the market was a stables and transport hub for trading furs which you can still observe remnants of today. Nowadays it’s a place for trading stories, news, and gossip.
Evening: Manitoba Legislative Building
If you’re fascinated by puzzles or mysteries, a tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building is a must.
Architectural historian Dr Frank Albo spent a decade unearthing the building’s secret features. Join his tour to unlock the astrology and numerology codes which are hidden around the building.
Check in at The Fort Garry to bring a little luxury to your last night in Winnipeg, and if you have time, book the Ten Spa Hamam treatment for an extremely indulgent treat which will set you up for a restful night's sleep.