48 Hours In Winnipeg, Manitoba

48 Hours In Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg is often nicknamed Winterpeg. So what better city to visit in winter than Winnipeg? Just like other ‘Nordic’ Canadian cities (Ottawa and Quebec City), this city embraces the winter with a major festival – Festival du Voyageur (Feb 12-21st). This event is the perfect venue to embrace a Manitoba winter while enjoying unique entertainment. The festival includes everything from snow sculptures to live music and delicious French-Canadian food (yes, there is a large French Canadian population here) and much more. Festival du Voyageur is one great big kitchen party and is not to be missed. But what else does this city offer in the dead of winter?

What to see

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first new national museum created since 1967 and the first outside the National Capital Region. International architect Antoine Predock designed the museum to reflect the natural beauty of Canada: the trees, ice, and the northern lights. The museum features 10 permanent galleries that trace the various themes of human rights rather than specific events with a focus on human rights in Canada and the indigenous peoples.

What to do

Winnipeg is also a theatre city with a multiple theatre productions going on throughout the year; check out the listings at the Pantages Playhouse Theatre and The Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (Canada’s first regional English- speaking theatre with more than 250 performances annually). Of course, anyone who follows ballet (or who’s partner follows ballet) knows that this city features one of Canada’s most recognized world-renowned ballet company – The Winnipeg Royal Ballet. Nature fanatics can partake in many outdoor activities in the area – from snowmobiling and ice fishing to dog sledding but if you prefer your nature a little closer to home, we suggest The Zoo at Assiniboine Park. The zoo features an exhibit called Journey to Churchill featuring polar bears, muskoxen, artic wolves and many other northern species. This is your ticket to the arctic without the travel expense. If you prefer to relax in the outdoors than the Thermea by Nordik Spa-Nature is for you. This is a 50,000-square-foot outdoor spa featuring year round thermal pools, hot tubs, an outdoor waterfall, cedar saunas and steam rooms. This is the perfect way to spend the day relaxing in nature.

Where to eat

The city has been having quite the food revolution as of late with many new and critically acclaimed restaurants opening in the past few years. Enoteca is one of the newest restaurants on the scene and was recently named one of the best new restaurants in Canada by EnRoute magazine. The restaurant is driven by an amazing wine selection and inventive food. Try the scallops with cured pork loin. Deseo (owned by the same mastermind behind Enoteca) is a small plates restaurant that will have you loving every bite; try the lobster-stuffed guinea hen. Deer and Almond is eclectic and playful with influences from the Deep South and the Middle East. Be sure to try the Crispy-fried shiso leaf-wrapped lemongrass prawns with roasted pepper hot sauce. And why not try their cocktail named the Rye ‘n’ Goslings? A perennial favourite is Segovia but be warned: it does not take reservations. This restaurant serves traditional Spanish tapas plates, like patatas bravas or chorizo and peppers but also features an ever-changing list of contemporary dishes. Segovia is sure to warm you up on a cold winter night. If you are here in February, be sure to try Raw Almond – a restaurant like no other. It lasts for only 3 weeks and is located right on the frozen river at The Forks National Historic Site. The food is delicious and the experience will make you wish more cities did pop-up ice restaurants.

Where to drink

The King’s Head is an iconic British Pub that features lives music and a vast selection of beer on tap. Albert Street Cocktail Company is known for their great craft cocktails. The Palm Lounge at Fort Garry Hotel is a classic hotel bar from a bygone era (think Downton Abbey) with refined service and cocktails. Rae & Jerry’s Steakhouse is a Mad Men dream. The lounge hasn’t changed since 1957—and that’s a very good thing. Red leather bucket swivel chairs and matching red carpet will make you think you are in Vegas in the 60s. Be sure to order a classic martini from one of the hip bartenders. The List on McDermot is the latest lounge to open in the exchange district – this place redefines swanky lounge with great DJs and an amazing aesthetic. This is your go-to location to meet some of the influential locals.

Where to stay

Fort Garry Hotel is one of the original hotels built by the CN Railroad back in the heyday of Winnipeg (did you know it was once the third largest city in Canada?). The historic hotel has retained all its original splendour with modern updates.


Tags: Manitoba, Travel Guide

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