The mission of the ALICE experiment at the LHC is to characterise the quark-gluon plasma produced in ultra-relativistic nucleus-nucleus collisions. By inferring medium properties, such as the equation-of-state and transport coefficients, from the produced final-state particles, one can make contact with predictions from first-principles QCD calculations. ALICE is a versatile QCD laboratory, and beyond the study of the quark-gluon plasma, the ALICE setup allows us to address several other topics including jet fragmentation, photon-nucleus scattering, hyper-nuclei production, and the strong interaction between unstable hadrons. We will give an overview of recent highlights from the ALICE experiment. We will also discuss how new or significantly improved measurements will be possible with detector upgrades for LHC Run 3 and 4, and with the planned ALICE 3 detector for LHC Run 5 and beyond.