Welcome to Winnipeg, Canada!
Winnipeg comes from the Cree word for “muddy waters.” and although the natives have been living here for thousands of years before Europeans came, the name stuck. Winnipeg has always had importance in Canadian history. Because it sits on the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine River, just south of Lake Winnipeg, it has become a popular trading post for fur traders and natives. Finally, when the railroad expanded westward into the prairies, Winnipeg grew even more as an important transportation hub.
Due to the importance as a meeting place for generations, Winnipeg has become a cultural, historic, and multicultural hotspot in Canada. The city might not be as big as Montreal or Vancouver but Winnipeg should be on everyone’s travel list. A worldwide local knows that those middle-of-the-country cities are important too, and this guide will help you navigate through the Peg.
Worldwide Local Tip: The prairies are pretty far and spread out so a vehicle is your best bet for getting around town as public transport in Winnipeg is a little lackluster. However, Winnipeg has seen a problem with car theft in recent years. Never leave anything valuable showing in your car, and always keep it locked. Rather than parking on the street, check to see which of the Winnipeg hotels have private garages.
Start with One of the Best Things to Do in Winnipeg
Winnipeg is, conveniently, located in an area of Canada with a great amount of space. That means spending time outdoors in Winnipeg is basically a quintessential experience. Start your journey in Winnipeg by heading to Assiniboine Park. The park is massive and is a local favorite spot, probably because there is so much around here to see and do. Pack a picnic and dine outside, toss a frisbee around, wander through the English garden, or in the winter go cross-country skiing, tobogganing, or skating.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re traveling with young ones, they might appreciate the zoo in Assiniboine Park or the observatory. There’s also a statue dedicated to Winnie the Pooh, who was named after the city of Winnipeg. It’s definitely a place worth checking it out.
Don’t Miss Out on Corydon Avenue
For those looking to hit the city streets, inarguably the hottest street in town is Corydon Avenue. The area around Winnipeg’s Little Italy neighborhood is a popular spot with locals and visitors, as this area is where you’ll find plenty of entertainment from fine dining to bars and cafes, to some of the best shopping areas in town. During Winnipeg’s warm (but short) summer months, the area is full of people just hanging out enjoying the Winnipeg weather and doing a little people watching.
Worldwide Local Tip: The downtown area has some great shops, as well. Shops like The Forks Market should be a must-visit for people shopping in Winnipeg, as the store sells aboriginal crafts and food. There’s also Ten Thousand Villages which is run by the Mennonite community of Winnipeg and whose proceeds go to struggling families from around the world. All their stuff is fair-trade and handmade.
Discover Winnipeg, Manitoba
As a worldwide local, you’ll want to experience the history and culture of the people that made Winnipeg what it is. There are a lot of museums around, but The Manitoba Museum is a great way to explore Manitoba’s rich and diverse history through nine different galleries and 68,000 square feet of the museum. It covers everything from all regions of Manitoba and is pretty affordable at only 8$ CAD ($6.08 USD).
Worldwide Local Tip: The Canadian Center for Human Rights is another popular museum in the city, and is the only National Museum located outside the capital. The building and museum are new and aim to promote human rights throughout the world. The building has a large spire that can be climbed, and at the top, you’ll witness an amazing view of downtown Winnipeg. Don’t forget your camera!
Enjoy Your Stay!
Winnipeg might get cold during the winter, but that doesn’t stop people from loving the city, and certainly not a worldwide local. Winnipeg is a great place all year round, full of incredible culture and amazing people. Make sure you don’t overlook “the gateway to the west!”