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Minneapolis-Saint Paul

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Minnesota Minneapolis-Saint Paul

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Introduction

Frozen Mississippi

Frozen Mississippi

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Minneapolis-Saint Paul actually contains two separate cities. These cities, right across the river from each other are know as the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. It's most known for its hockey, and for hosting the largest indoor mall in the United States, hosting over 520 stores, an amusement park, underwater adventures, a waterpark, and attracting over 40 million visitors per year. It's also know as the "Icebox" of the nation for having such extreme cold temperatures, although there are many more smaller places with colder conditions.

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Getting There

By Plane

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is the main gateway to Minneapolis-Saint Paul. It has dozens of airlines serving hundreds of destinations throughout the country and outside. Destinations include London, Cancun, Reykjavik, Orlando, Chicago, Atlanta, Denver, New York, Anchorage, Las Vegas, Toronto, Tokyo, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, Vancouver, Los Angeles and Amsterdam. There are many more flights within the region and the US.

To/from the airport
Several large parking ramps are available for cars. Most other connections are made at the Hub Building and adjacent Transit Center, which has city and shuttle bus, taxi, light-rail, and rental car service.

  • Rail: The Hiawatha Line has stops at both the Hub Building (Lindbergh Station) and Humphrey Terminal (Humphrey Station). It connects the airport with downtown Minneapolis as well as with the Mall of America in nearby Bloomington, and operates as a shuttle service between the two airport terminals. Travelers can use the rail line to go between the two sites at all times. It is the only part of the line that operates continuously through the night (the rest shuts down for about four hours between 1:00am and 5:00am). Passengers going between the two terminals may ride free of charge, but those riding beyond the airport grounds must pay a standard fare.

By Train

The Empire Builder, operated by Amtrak, travels between Chicago, Illinois and Seattle, Washington, stopping en route in St. Paul/Minneapolis.

By Bus

Greyhound offers buses throughout the US.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Hostel38th Hiawatha AveHostel-
Minneapolis International Hostel2400 Stevens Avenue SouthHostel59

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Quick Facts

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Population
3,502,891
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 44.949978
  • Longitude: -93.199768

Contributors

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This is version 18. Last edited at 13:23 on Jul 11, 13 by Utrecht. 36 articles link to this page.

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