I've noticed a lot of repeat questions being asked recently from visitors who are coming to Winnipeg for the FIFA Women's World Cup (June 8-16). Here are the most common questions: I can add to this if anyone has any suggestions. Where is the stadium? Investor's Group Field
is at the University of Manitoba on the south end of the city. Where should I stay?
There've been several news stories about how all the hotels in Winnipeg - even the Alt Hotel, which just opened - are booked solid. Sorry.
However, you can try alternatives:
(With suggestions from majikmonkie
). How do I get to the stadium from my hotel?
FIFA put together a guide on transportation options
. The first two options are for driving, but I would recommend NOT doing that, especially if you're driving there during afternoon rush hour. Pembina Highway (which is the main route to the stadium from downtown) will probably become a parking lot in the afternoon with all the additional traffic.
However, there are four Park-n-Ride locations:
- McPhillips Station Casino at McPhillips Street.
- Club Regent Casino - 1425 Regent Ave West
- Church of the Rock – 1397 Buffalo Place
- Victoria Inn Hotel - 1808 Wellington Avenue
The Park-n-Ride costs $5 for people over the age of 12. Buses start departing 2 hours before afternoon kickoff. You might want to make a point of catching one of the first couple buses, since Pembina Highway is going to be a nightmare.
A note from werno
- DO NOT try parking on the residential streets around the stadium. You will be ticketed and possibly towed.
Beaver Bus and Greyhound will also be operating a downtown hotel shuttle (also $5). Buses start departing 2 hours before afternoon kickoff. You might want to make a point of catching one of the first couple buses, since Pembina Highway is going to be a nightmare. If you're staying downtown, look for a shuttle stop (white circles) near your hotel: https://i.imgur.com/hyFSt9Z.jpg
(With suggestions from majikmonkie
In not-stadium-specific transit news: Downtown Biz is going to be offering a free trolly
to get around downtown. Winnipeg Transit also has free buses that will get you around downtown; #1,2, and 3 are all free all the time
. (Thanks to supercantaloupe
for the addition.) I'm coming in from [country]. Do I have to get my money exchanged or will establishments take my US dollars/pounds/pesos/bits?
If you're using your credit card, most places will take a Visa and Mastercard regardless of country of origin. Most credit cards will give you a pretty fair exchange rate. However, you might still want cash for small purchases, bus fares, parking, etc.
Some places might take US dollars, but it will either be at par (which would be a horrible deal for you) or at an unfavourable exchange rate. It's probably a good idea to get your cash exchanged
if you plan on carrying cash.
Also, plan on getting handfuls of change back when you pay. Canada has coins for $2 and $1, so after a few transactions you've got a handful of big coins to carry around. Also also, Canada no longer uses the penny, so all cash transactions will be rounded up or down to the nearest $0.05. Debit and credit transactions are still charged to the penny.
(With suggestions from Becau5eRea5on5, kent_eh
). How do I drive to Winnipeg from the US?
(Info via scopar
). There are several border crossings between Manitoba and the US, with 3 crossings from Minnesota and 11 from North Dakota. However, all of the border crossings a very small except for the Emerson, MB/Pembina, ND crossing that is at the end of the I-29. This crossing has multiple lanes and is open 24 hours a day. The other border crossings are usually single lanes and have limited hours of operations. You can find information on the border crossings from North Dakota
US citizens need proof of citizenship to enter Canada: a passport, birth certificate, or citizenship certificate. A passport will make your crossing the least stressful, and will probably make getting back into the US easier as well. The CBSA has information on identification requirements on their website
. If you have a criminal record, you may have trouble at the border
. This includes a DUI, which will probably prevent you from entering Canada. The US/Canada share access to criminal record databases so they will look it up.
Don't bring firearms or ammo with you. Canada has very different and more restrictive gun laws than the US. There is no constitutional right to bear arms in Canada, so please leave them at home. The CBSA link above has a information on prohibited items. There are also limits on the amount of booze/cigarettes you can bring with you. When crossing the border (both ways), it's always best to be upfront and don't hide anything. If they discover you lied about something, you're more likely to be pulled over and searched. I'd highly suggest doing a search of your car before you hit the road to make sure you don't leave anything unwanted in there. Where can I get a drink?
(Info via landlubber1976
). Legal drinking age is 18. Drinking in public (i.e. outside a restaurant, hotel or private home) isn't recommended and is illegal. We're not Europe. You probably won't get too much hassle, but it might cause someone to call the police on you. Don't drink and drive, please.
Alcohol generally more expensive than the US, by a fair bit.
- Beer Vendors. These are connected to or in the parking lot of hotels. Will only sell beer and maybe some ciders for the most part. No hard alcohol or wine. Beer is sold cold here. Many locations throughout the city. Selection is usually limited to standard beers, and not many craft brews. Most beer here is sold in 6, 12 or 24 packs.
- Liquor Mart. These are the government run alcohol stores. They will sell everything: beer, wine, hard liquor. Some locations have more than others. Biggest and most extensive selection is Grant Park, but not by a huge amount over others. Beer is often sold off the shelf and, apart from a small selection in fridges, is room temperature. These places are your best bet for craft beers, and most are available individually. Staff are overly helpful sometimes!
- Liquor Mart Express. Somewhat new to us in Manitoba, but they are opening small versions of the above liquor marts in grocery stores. Smaller selection of everything, but convenient if you are already at a grocery store with one or in the area. There are not many though.
Most restaurants will be licensed, and some may allow you to bring your own bottle of wine, but unless that bottle means something special to you, it probably isn't worth it after they apply their corkage fee. You can order a bottle of wine with dinner and you can take what you didn't finish home with you. Just make sure it is in the trunk if you're in a car, or at least not accessible. Is there an official FIFA FanFest in Winnipeg?
Here's the lowdown (thanks to scopar
for the info):
Winnipeg Fan Zone
What: Open to the public (free) on June 6 (with a viewing party of Canada’s opening match). Open to FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Winnipeg Stadium ticket-holders on matchdays only.
Where: Winnipeg Stadium (Investors Group Field)
Hours of Operation
What else should we do while we're in Winnipeg?
- Saturday, June 6: 15:00 – 22:00 (Open to public with a viewing party of Canada’s opening match)
- Monday, June 8: 13:00 – 15:00 (and between matches)
- Friday, June 12: 14:00 – 16:00 (and between matches)
- Monday, June 15: 13:00 – 15:00 (and between matches)
- Tuesday, June 16: 14:00 – 16:00
Well, there's lots to do
. Special things happening while you're here:
- West Side Story is playing at Rainbow Stage June 4-19. This is a covered, outdoor theater in Kildonan Park that would make for a nice evening.
- The Winnipeg Art Gallery has two great exhibits on right now: Olympus, which has Greek and Roman art from the National Museums in Berlin, and an exhibit of Ron Mueck's work (the guy who did the big baby scupture and other works).
- The Winnipeg Pride Festival is happening June 5-14, with the parade on June 14 at noon (starting at the Legislature Building). There are lots of events happening for the festival.
- The Winnipeg Jazz Festival runs June 11-21.
- The Red River Ex starts June 14. This is sort of like a county fair, only with more rides and less livestock. (Thanks to supercantaloupe for the suggestion.)
Anyway, welcome to Winnipeg!
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