When Fredrik and I travelled by train across Canada, we gave ourselves plenty of days to visit Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba – because we could! However, we quickly realized that all the things and places we wanted to see in Winnipeg are really close to each other. I personally love travelling slow, but I understand that everyone doesn’t have that opportunity – so if you’re in a hurry, I’d say Winnipeg in one day definitely is doable!
If you only have one day in Winnipeg, here’s the itinerary I would recommend:
Start your day
Start your day around 7-9 in the morning, depending on how far away from central Winnipeg you are. Have breakfast or coffee, if that’s what you need to get started. I suggest having breakfast before coming to Winnipeg/heading out from your accommodation to explore town, or grab it at your closest cafe. I love a long, relaxing breakfast but today is not the day – you have a new town to explore and not too much time!
Stop #1 – Canadian Museum for Human Rights
When you’re done having breakfast, it’s time to go! Begin your visit by going to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. They open at 10am – try to be there by then to avoid the big crowds, but also to keep up with your schedule for the day. Take your time to visit the museum though!
Location: 85 Israel Asper Way, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0L5
You will need: 2-3 hours
Good to know: The museum is closed on Mondays.
Stop #2 – Esplanade Riel and lunch
When you’re done at the museum, walk towards Esplanade Riel. It’s a bridge, but a quite special one – the structure is rather interesting and I’ll now give you two options before moving on:
If you’ve followed the itinerary so far, it should be afternoon already. That means, it’s time for lunch! Quite possibly a light one, since I have some exciting dinner plans for you. I would recommend continuing past the bridge (not crossing) until you get to The Forks Market. There, you’ll find lots of different restaurants and cafes for you to choose between. If you prefer to go to a specific restaurant directly with a special touch, there’s actually a restaurant right on Esplanade Riel – the choice is yours!
Location: Esplanade Riel, Winnipeg, MB
You will need: 1-2 hours
Good to know: The restaurant on Esplanade Riel, Mon Ami Louis, is only open between May-September.
Stop #3 – The Forks
Enjoy your lunch before it’s time to head on. If you’re not already at The Forks, a mix of a historic site and a green space, make your way over there – luckily it’s really close to Esplanade Riel. Stroll around, pop into some of the boutiques at The Forks Market and check out the surroundings.
Location: Forks Market Rd, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4S8
You will need: 1 hour
Good to know: The Forks Market is open between 7am-11pm, but the hours may vary for individual merchants.
Stop #4 – Manitoba Legislative Building
Now it’s time to walk to one of you last stops for the day. The best part of all this walking? It’s along the water, which is always nice, and the distance between your attractions is never far. However, if you rather want to take a taxi, you can of course do so. With that in mind, it’s most likely already late afternoon for you – and it’s time to visit the Manitoba Legislative Building!
This majestic place is free to visit, and there might even be a free tour for you to attend. You can check out more about operating hours and tour hours here. Stroll around in this beautiful building and explore as much as you want, depending on what you’re interested in!
Location: 450 Broadway, Winnipeg, MB R3C 1S4
You will need: 1-2 hours
Good to know: Manitoba Legislative Building is open between 8am-8pm.
Stop #5 – Dinner at Prairie 360
Depending on how much time you’ve spent on each place by now, it should be early evening somewhere between 5-7pm. It’s time to round off the day with a nice and memorable dinner!
The restaurant I suggest for you is less than a 15 minutes walk away from Manitoba Legislative Building, and it’s called Prairie 360. The name might give you a hint – this is a turning restaurant, 30 floors up in the building. If you feel like you haven’t seen all of Winnipeg yet, you definitely will from here!
Location: 83 Garry St, Winnipeg, MB R3C 0R3
You will need: 2 hours
Good to know: Prairie 360 closes at 9pm. Check out their menu here.
Disclosure: This section contains affiliate links, which means no extra costs for you – but I’ll earn a commission if you click and make a purchase.
Are you staying for the night? Here are three suggestions in central Winnipeg, in three different price ranges:
$ Winnipeg Holiday
- This is the one I would go for, but as you might know already, I’m backpacking and living on a budget. With that in mind, this place is definitely worth the money! You’ll have your private room and bathroom, free wifi and parking and there’s even a common kitchen if you prefer to cook your own meals!
Read more about Winnipeg Holiday and book your stay here*.
$$ The Fort Garry Hotel
- This place is beautiful. If I ever would pay more for an accommodation, this would be the one. The Fort Garry Hotel is a historic hotel and one of the city’s landmarks. The rooms are gorgeous and the amenities great – there’s even an onsite restaurant.
Read more about The Fort Garry Hotel and book your stay here*.
$$$ Inn at The Forks
- You’ve been at The Forks already, so why not stay there for the night? Stylish, luxurious and comfortable would describe this outstanding accommodation. Ready to treat yourself? This is the option for you.
Read more about Inn at The Forks and book your stay here*.
Winnipeg in one day, or even more?
Do you have one more day to spend in Winnipeg or would you like to do something else than what I’ve suggested? Here are some other things to check out:
- Assiniboine Park – this park is huge, and we spent our second day in Winnipeg here. There’s a zoo, a pond and a sculpture garden right outside of the park. Just be aware of the geese!
- Winnipeg Art Gallery – this gallery, with several different exhibitions, is perfect for a rainy day!
- Visit Fort Gibraltar, a former trading post, and go on a history tour.
If you would like to see more than just Winnipeg, I’ve been told one of the best seasons to explore Manitoba is during winter – I definitely hope to come back one day to see more of this interesting province!