Minneapolis-Saint Paul

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

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Introduction

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StPaulMpls

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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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Neighbourhoods

  • Downtown - The central business district, major sports and theater venues, the city's main clubbing area in the Warehouse District, Loring Park, Elliot Park, and the historic mill ruins along the Mississippi River.
  • South - West Bank, Seward, Midtown, Nokomis, Longfellow, and Minnehaha Park
  • Southwest - Uptown, Lyn-Lake, Linden Hills, Eat Street, and the Chain of Lakes
  • North - Near North, Camden, Bryn Mawr and Theodore Wirth Park
  • Northeast - The birthplace of Minneapolis in Old Saint Anthony, old victorian houses on Nicollet Island, and further north the old working class enclaves of Northeast that are now home to a growing artist community.
  • Southeast - Dinkytown, Prospect Park, Como, and the University of Minnesota

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Sights and Activities

The major fine art museum in town is the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Whittier, which covers 5,000 years of art and has a particularly strong collection of Asian art. Not too far away is the Walker Art Center near Loring Park, one of the big five modern art museums in the U.S. Another (mostly) contemporary art museum is the Weisman Art Museum on the U of M East Bank campus; it tends to be more known for its Frank Gehry-designed building than any of the art collections inside. A more recent addition to the collection of art museums in Minneapolis is The Museum of Russian Art, housed in a former church in Southwest Minneapolis; its focus is on 20th century Russian art which naturally means there is also a strong collection of Soviet art.

For history buffs, there's the Mill City Museum near the Downtown riverfront, housed in the former Washburn "A" Mill. The museum chronicles the development of the flour milling industry in Minneapolis; the city was the world's leading producer of flour around the turn of the 20th century. Down in Whittier near the MIA is the Hennepin History Museum, a somewhat low-key museum with permanent and rotating exhibits covering the history of Minneapolis and Hennepin County. They also have an archival library (free and open to the public) covering local history.

Theater

Arts lovers, take note. In the past few years, Minneapolis has experienced unprecedented growth in our already rich cultural landscape. The infusion of $500 million dollars in 2006 from individual donors and foundations has created an arts boom that few communities ever experience. In Minneapolis, there will be always room for you to check out our rich theater scene. In "Amazing MN" by Lee Lynch, he states, "On a per capita basis, the Twin Cities are second only to NYC in number of theater tickets sold," (Pollstar). Whether taking in a world-class theatrical production at the Guthrie Theater or participating in one of our many theater-based festivals like the Minnesota Fringe Festival, there will always be a show for any taste and a place to showcase the grace of the Minneapolis theater scene.

  • Brave New Workshop - has been crafting audacious, hilarious, and thought-provoking original comedy, improv and satire in Minneapolis since 1958 – longer than any other theatre in the U.S. Founded by the legendary Dudley Riggs, the Brave New Workshop is a truly unique place to laugh, learn, think, and play.
  • Chanhassen Dinner Theater - Almost every night of the year, over 300 people come together to bring live theater to life at Chanhassen.
  • Children's Theater Company
  • Minneapolis Murder Mystery - America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis – University Area! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you feast on a fantastic dinner. Just beware! The criminal is lurking somewhere in the room, and you may find yourself as a Prime Suspect before you know it!
  • Guthrie Theater - The Guthrie Theater opened on May 7, 1963, with a production of Hamlet directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theater’s founder. The idea for the theater began in 1959 during a series of conversations among Guthrie and two colleagues – Oliver Rea and Peter Zeisler – who were disenchanted with Broadway. They wanted to create a resident theater that would perform the classics with the highest professional standards.
  • Orchestra Hall - Orchestra Hall, one of Minnesota’s cultural and architectural touchstones, opened in 1974 as the home of the Minnesota Orchestra, and since then has drawn upwards of 10 million people to its concerts. The Hall, located in downtown Minneapolis, is particularly renowned for its acoustics, originally designed by Cyril M. Harris. Each feature was planned to enhance the warmth and richness of sound in the space: the 100-plus large cubes that form a distinctive “falling rock” pattern on the auditorium ceiling, dispersing sound throughout the Hall; the wood floor and stage that enhance sound vibration; and the angle of the balconies, offering optimal reflection of sound. The acoustically brilliant space provides a superb aural experience.
  • Northrop
  • The Ordway - In 1980, Saint Paul resident Sally Ordway Irvine challenged her community to help her create a performing arts venue in which her dream of offering “everything from opera to the Russian circus” could be realized. She set an example by making the first donation to a fund that eventually built Ordway Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Orpheum Theater - Opened in 1921 and originally named the Hennepin, Orpheum Theatre is a grand 2,579 capacity entertainment venue located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Billed as the largest vaudeville house in the country when opened, its first performers included the Marx Brothers, and with attendance of over 70,000 guests during the opening week run, the theatre was destined for great things from the very beginning!
  • State Theater - The State Theater, which seats 2,181, opened in 1921 and was then considered the most technologically advanced and elaborate theater in the United States. One Minneapolis newspaper columnist described it as “a gilded pleasure palace, dedicated to the Hollywood dreams that captured America’s heart in the roaring ’20s.”

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Football - Super Bowl is the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, the Superbowl is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting. In 2018, Super Bowl LII was held in Minnesota, at the new U.S. Bank Stadium. This was the second time that a Super Bowl was played in Minneapolis, the northernmost city to ever host the event, after Super Bowl XXVI which was held at the Metrodome during the 1991 season.

Minnesota Vikings - NFL. The Vikings have won one NFL Championship, in 1969, before the league's merger with the American Football League (AFL). Since the league merger in 1970, they have qualified for the playoffs 27 times, third-most in the league. The team has played in Super Bowls IV, VIII, IX, and XI, though failing to win any of them.

  • Baseball - The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic. Minnesota Twins - American League in MLB. The Twins originally played in Washington, D.C. (1901–60), and were known as the Senators before relocating to Minneapolis in 1961. The franchise have won three World Series titles (1924, 1987, and 1991) six AL pennants (1924 1925 1933 1965 1987 1991), and 11 West/Central Division titles (1969 1970 1987 1991 2002 2003 2004 2006 2009 2010 2019).
  • Basketball - NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The series was initially known as the BAA Finals prior to the 1949–50 season when the Basketball Association of America (BAA) merged with the National Basketball League (NBL) to form the NBA. Minnesoa Timberwolves - NBA. The Minnesota Timberwolves last made the playoffs in 2018, when they lost the Western Conference First Round. They've been in the playoffs a total of 9 times in their 30 seasons.

WNBA Finals - The WNBA Finals are the championship series of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the conclusion of the league's postseason each fall. The series was named the WNBA Championship until 2002. The series is played between the winners of the playoff semifinals. At the conclusion of the championship round, the winner of the WNBA Finals is presented the championship trophy. The WNBA Finals has been played at the conclusion of every WNBA season in history, the first being held in 1997. Minnesota Lynx - WNBA. With four championships, the Lynx are tied with the Houston Comets for the most titles in WNBA history, and they have won more Western Conference championships than any other franchise.

  • Hockey - NHL Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise in North America, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers it to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The trophy was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who donated it as an award to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club.

Minnesota Wild - NHL. The Wild was founded on June 25, 1997, but did not start play until the 2000–01 season. The Wild were the first NHL franchise in Minnesota since the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993.

  • Soccer - U.S. Open Cup - MLS. The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, commonly known as the U.S. Open Cup (USOC), is a knock-out cup competition in American soccer. It is the oldest ongoing national soccer competition in the U.S. The 105th edition, held in 2018, was contested by 97 clubs from the two professional leagues sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation: Major League Soccer (MLS), and the United Soccer League. Minnesota United FC - MLS. Minnesota United FC is an American professional soccer club based in Saint Paul, Minnesota that plays in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer. The club began play in 2017 as the league's 22nd club, and replaced the North American Soccer League (NASL) franchise of the same name. On August 27, 2019, the club traveled to Mercedes Benz Stadium to take on Atlanta United in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup final, Minnesota's first final appearance since joining MLS. The match resulted in a 2–1 Atlanta victory.

Other Events and Festivals

  • Aquatennial The Minneapolis Aquatennial is the official civic celebration of the City of Minneapolis. Minnesota residents, workers and visitors have come to love and appreciate all that Minneapolis has to offer during the Aquatennial.
  • Minnesota State Fair The “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the region. The fair attracts more than 2 million guests annually - held the 12 days leading up to and through Labor Day.
  • Saint Paul Winter Carnival Since 1886, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival has brought family-friendly events and community pride to Saint Paul and the Twin Cities metro area. Through city-wide special events, fun activities and more, the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation celebrates winter like only Minnesotans can!
  • Holidazzle Minneapolis The Mpls downtown council is excited to bring Holidazzle to Loring Park. As downtown Mpls’ premier holiday celebration, Holidazzle has delighted residents, visitors and downtown employees for years. In 2019, this tradition is again bringing family-friendly programming to Loring Park and is free and open to the public. You and yours are invited to join in the festivities!
  • Z-Fest Film Festival The Z-Fest Film Project is an annual Twin Cities based contest-style film festival that features original, seven-minute, short films made by local filmmakers. The contest typically starts in the fall and culminates in screenings and an awards gala in late February/March.
  • Annual Uptown Art Fair Join us for the 57th Annual Uptown Art Fair, featuring over 350 artists, fine food and beverages from over 20 vendors, family activities, outdoor beer gardens, a youth art fair and culinary arts competition.

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Weather

With neither mountains nor large bodies of water nearby to moderate the climate, the Twin Cities experience extreme temperatures at both ends of the scale. Winters in Minneapolis can be very cold, while summer is often warm to hot and frequently humid. Snowfall is common in the winter, with at least a few blizzards occurring within the season. Thunderstorms with heavy rainfall occur during the spring, summer, and autumn. The winter cold from December to March can be brutal to the unaccustomed body, with temperatures sometimes dipping below zero. The summer heat from June to September can also be harsh, with temperatures sometimes reaching into the nineties or above, with high humidity. Spring and autumn can be pleasant, with temperatures ranging between the forties and seventies, but during particularly rough years weather-wise those two seasons may either start late or be cut short.

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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 Car

Interstate Highways 35W and 94 are the main arteries into town. Both will take you to the edges of downtown. I-35W runs north and south (for the most part) and I-94 east and west; both interstates will connect you to the I-494/694 beltway around the metro area. I-394 runs west from downtown to I-494, where it becomes US Hwy 12. Be sure to keep an eye on which lane you're in, as freeway interchanges come up fast, and traffic back-ups will occur at any time, day or night; the morning (7-9:00am) and evening (3-7:00pm) rush hours are predictably congested.

By Bus

Greyhound offers buses throughout the US.

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Getting Around

By Car

The city streets have a grid system that's helpful if you learn it. Minneapolis is divided into quadrants: North, South, Northeast and Southeast. Hennepin Avenue forms the divider between streets labeled N and S near downtown. This division continues through the smaller portion of Minneapolis east of the Mississippi, dividing it into Northeast (NE) and Southeast (SE). Further west of downtown, this division lies along Linden Avenue, just north of the I-394 freeway. In North, Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis, all roads carry N, NE, or SE prefixes on street signs. In South Minneapolis, the north-south avenues are marked S. The east-west streets are marked with W or E, depending if you are west or east of Nicollet Avenue. Even though street signs show these directions before the names, most locals read the addresses with them at the end. Thus "York Avenue South" appears on signs as "S York Ave" and "N 33rd Ave" is pronounced "33rd Avenue North".

Minneapolis is one of few cities to use multi-colored street signs. The colors indicate the priority of plowing during winter storms. Although plowing has since changed, they still indicate what sort of street. Blue signs indicate major roads which are "Snow Emergency Routes". These are still the first to be plowed. Rust-colored signs indicate roads that run primarily east-west. Light green signs indicate roads primarily north-south. Dark green signs indicate scenic parkways that ring the city and the lakes.

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.

By Public Transport

Metro Transit, ☎ +1 612 373-3333, is the operator of the public transit system in the Twin Cities. Single-ride fares (including unlimited transfers for 2.5 hours) for local and limited-stop services (including the METRO Light Rail) are $2.25 during peak service hours (M-F 6am-9am and 3pm-6:30pm, excluding certain holidays) and $1.75 at all other times. For express services, the fares are $3 during peak hours and $2.25 during off-peak hours. Other fare options are described below.

  • METRO Light Rail - The light rail system in Minneapolis consists of two lines, the Blue Line and the Green Line. Both lines run on 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis. Past downtown, the Green Line runs on Washington Avenue through the University of Minnesota campus and University Avenue through the city of Saint Paul, before terminating at Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul. The Blue Line heads to South Minneapolis along Hiawatha Avenue, and then passes through MSP Airport before terminating at the Mall of America in Bloomington.
  • Bus - Knowing your Route 2 from your Route 22 is considered one mark of a true-blue Twin Citian. The routes and fares are confusing to non-natives. The Metro Transit web site, however, is user-friendly. The Trip Planner lets you provide your beginning and ending points and times, and suggests the best route. You can customize this on walking distances, number of transfers, and the like. As routes are anything but linear, carry a schedule and map for any bus route you are riding; these are available on buses (generally right behind the bus driver) as well as at many city government buildings, libraries, and the like. Bus stops are nearly everywhere throughout the city, but some are served infrequently, and some are not labeled as to which routes serve them at which times. Be aware of the white Metro Transit notices sometimes posted at stops; routes often change due to construction or local events and parades.

Pass options
Unlimited ride passes are available in 1-day, 7-day, and 31-day formats. Stored value passes (pay-per-ride) are also available. Day passes are $6 and can be purchased online, at a Metro Transit Store, from a bus driver, or a ticket machine at any light rail station. 7-day ($22) and 31-day ($59-$113.50) passes must be loaded on a Go-To card, which can be purchased online, at a Metro Transit Store, or participating Metro Transit sales outlets. Stored value passes can be loaded on a Go-To card in increments of $10 (up to $400), and come with a 10% bonus on each purchase (e.g. a $10 purchase would give you $11 in fare value, $20 would give you $22, and so forth). Once in possession of a Go-To card, reloading it with new unlimited ride passes or stored value is easy and can be done online, at Metro Transit stores and outlets, or at light rail ticket machines.

By Foot

Covering most of an approximate 7x7 block region of central downtown, the Skyway is a series of public pedestrian spaces on the 2nd floor of downtown buildings connected by enclosed bridges between buildings. It is possible to walk through most of downtown and never go outdoors, a real advantage during winter. Additionally, the Skyway allows you to bypass stoplights and quickly move through the city. Beyond the core region, the Skyway reaches about 12 blocks in the north/south direction and 8 blocks east/west. The Skyway is home to multiple restaurants, stores, shops and malls. If visiting downtown Minneapolis during the winter, using a parking deck or staying at a hotel on or very near the Skyway is well worth the investment. Hours vary slightly, but most buildings are open noon-6pm Sunday, 6:30am-9pm or 10pm Monday-Friday and 9:30-8pm on Saturday.

By Bike

Biking in Minneapolis is a big deal. Over the years, the city has invested heavily in bike trails, lanes and "bicycle boulevards," and a good chunk of its populace uses the man-powered two-wheeler to get around. The larger Twin Cities area also offers a good mix of off-road bike trails; for example one can bike from Chaska to St. Paul using only bike trails, some thirty miles. A variety of maps show the web of on and off-road routes that span the greater metropolitan area. During the winter, major bike trails such as the Midtown Greenway are plowed at the same time as major streets. In some neighborhoods like Downtown, Dinkytown, Uptown, and near the University of Minnesota campus, bikes are seen almost as often as cars.

One of the country's largest urban bike rental programs opened in the summer of 2010. Nice Ride Minnesota two-wheelers are available for rent at 150 locations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Rides are priced at $4 per half-hour, or you can buy a 3-day pass for $10 which allows for unlimited free rides in 30 minute increments; extra charges can be avoided if you simply return the bike to a station and hop on a new one. If staying in town a bit longer, you can get a 30-day pass for $18, which has the extra benefit of allowing you to use a bike for one full hour without extra charges. You need a credit card to rent a bike or purchase a 3-day pass at a station; 30-day passes can only be purchased online.

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Eat

Don't miss Nicollet Avenue's Eat Street for a variety of ethnic fare; it is particularly heavy on Southeast Asian options. Options include Quang and Jasmine Deli for Vietnamese and the Black Forest Inn for German cuisine. Little Tijuana is a nice stop for alluring punk/goth waitresses and inauthentic Mexican plates. The Vietnamese restaurants are incredibly cheap ($5-10 per person) and have received consistently exuberant reviews since their openings.

The Dinkytown and Stadium Village areas near the University of Minnesota have great offerings mostly catering to the collegiate crowd. Plenty of Americanized Chinese and cheap burgers-and-fries joints.

Midtown is home to the Midtown Global Market, operating on the first floor of what used to be a large Sears store. It is now home to a variety of cafes and restaurants from all around the world. Favorites like Holy Land Deli and Bakery, Andy's Garage in Saint Paul, and several restaurants from around the city have opened satellite locations here. Mercado Central is another indoor market featuring several Mexican eateries. Outside of the markets, plenty of Mexican and other Latin restaurants dot the Lake Street strip.

Northeast contains a wide variety of establishments. Old Saint Anthony is home to decades-old Eastern European mainstays like Nye's Polonaise Room and Kramarczuk's Deli and newer favorites like Pizza Nea and Red Stag. Closer to Central and Lowry you can find well-regarded Middle Eastern eateries like Holy Land and Crescent Moon and Mexican restaurants such as Taco Riendo and Adelita's.

Local dishes

Traditional foods associated with Minnesota, including hotdish (casserole) and lutefisk (a Norwegian fish delicacy) are rarely found in restaurants. However, one uniquely Minneapolitan item that can be easily located is the Juicy Lucy (sometimes spelled Jucy Lucy), a cheeseburger variation in which the cheese is cooked inside two molded-together meat patties rather than on top. The cheese inside the burger is gooey and piping hot. While the origin, and spelling, of the Juicy Lucy is disputed, popular places to order a Juicy Lucy include Matt's Bar and the 5-8 Club in South Minneapolis, and a short distance across the river in Saint Paul at the Nook, among others.

8th Street Grill, 800 Marquette Ave (at 8th St), ☏ +1 612 349-5717. M-F 10:30AM-2AM, Sa 11AM-2AM, Su 11AM-midnight. Established in 1992 and known for its burgers and 32 on tap beers. 8th Street Grill serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night. $9-20.
Black Sheep Pizza, 600 Washington Ave N (at 6th Ave N; bus: 14), ☏ +1 612 342-2625. 11AM-1AM daily. The only pizzeria in Minnesota using coal-burning ovens. $7-20.
Bombay Bistro, 820 Marquette Ave (between 8th and 9th Sts), ☏ +1 612 312-2800, ✉ bombaybistromn@gmail.com. M-F 11AM-2PM and 5PM-10PM, Sa Su noon-3PM and 5PM-10PM. Lunch buffet $12, dishes $11-16.
Davanni's, 1242 Hennepin Ave (at 12th St), ☏ +1 612 338-0000. M-Th 10AM-11PM, F Sa 10AM-12:30AM, Su 11AM-11PM. Chicago-style pizza, beer on tap, good hoagies. $9-20.
Salsa a la Salsa, 1420 Nicollet Ave (between 14th and 15th Sts; Bus: 17, 18), ☏ +1 612 813-1970. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-9PM. Authentic Mexican food. $9-15.
112 Eatery, 112 N 3rd St (between 1st and 2nd Aves N), ☏ +1 612 343-7696. M-Th 5PM-midnight, F Sa 5PM-1AM, Su 5PM-10PM. Casual upscale dining with fresh seafood, lamb, bone-in pork tenderloin, baked chicken, country-style ribs, and many other great offerings. $16-23.
Atlas Grill, 200 S 6th St (at 2nd Ave S, inside U.S. Bank Plaza), ☏ +1 612 332-4200. M-F 11AM-7PM. Delicious global cuisine, a wonderful wine list and beautiful surroundings are perfect for an evening out or a celebration with friends and family. $12-20.
Barrio, 925 Nicollet Mall (between 9th and 10th Sts), ☏ +1 612 333-9953. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa noon-2AM, Su noon-1AM. Barrio has extra-cheap happy hour specials on its already-cheap small plates. You can get tacos for less than three bucks. And even during regular hours, Barrio's selection of small plates won't cost much more than $8. $8-20.
Cafe Lurcat, 1624 Harmon Pl (between Maple and Lyndale/Hennepin; Bus: 4, 6), ☏ +1 612 486-5500. M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F Sa 5:30PM-11PM, Su 5:30PM-9PM. Highly recommended. Chic establishment with French/fusion offerings. $18-40.
Gluek's Restaurant and Bar, 16 N 6th St (between Hennepin and 1st Ave N), ☏ +1 612 338-6621, fax: +1 612 343-9790, ✉ party@glueks.com. M-F 11AM-2AM, Sa noon-2AM. Gluek's is a 4th-generation brewery and restaurant. The food and the beer are good, but it is the history of this restaurant that sets it apart. Gluek's has been brewing beer since 1857 and there has been a bar on this site since 1902, except during Prohibition. The building burned in 1989, but was repaired and reopened in 1990. $10-20.
Hell's Kitchen, 80 S 9th St (between Nicollet and Marquette), ☏ +1 612 332-4700. M-F 6:30AM-11PM, Sa Su 7:30AM-11PM. A chef-owned restaurant known for its damn good food. Awesome atmosphere and full bar. $20-30.
Pizza Lucé, 119 N 4th St (between 1st and 2nd Aves N), ☏ +1 612 333-7359. M-Th 11AM-2:30AM, F 11AM-3:30AM, Sa 10AM-3:30AM, Su 10AM-2:30AM. Full bar, punk rock staff. You can get pizza by the slice or sit down and order a whole pie. It also offers brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM-2PM and a gluten-free menu.
Manny's Steakhouse, 825 Marquette Ave (at 9th St). Su-Th 6:30AM-10PM, F Sa 6:30AM-11PM. Voted favorite steakhouse by Mpls.St.Paul magazine. $50+.
Murray's Restaurant and Cocktail, 24 S 6th St (between Hennepin and Nicollet), ☏ +1 612 339-0909. M-F 11AM-2:30PM and 5PM-10PM, Sa Su 5PM-10PM. Murray's opened in 1946 and could be considered to be the best white tablecloth restaurant in Minneapolis, with prices to match. If on a budget, consider eating during lunch when you can enjoy the atmosphere without worrying about breaking the bank. Or go all out and get the 4-pound golden butter knife steak at over $100 and share it with the entire family. $50+.

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Drink

Minneapolis has one of the most vibrant and independent music scenes in the country. The city is probably most famous for its purple pop wonder, Prince, but also has bands such as Soul Asylum, The Replacements, The Jayhawks, Atmosphere and Hüsker Dü just to name a few. Several clubs in town play host to shows by local bands and your chances of finding a good one are better than average.

Downtown is home to the internationally renowned First Avenue. First Avenue is famous as setting for the film Purple Rain and for the silver stars that cover the outside of the building. The venue is split into three: the Mainroom which hosts national and international touring bands (usually of the punk, indie, and hip-hop variety), the smaller 7th Street Entry which hosts local and less-known touring bands, and the Record Room a small dance lounge primarily used for DJ's and smaller dance nights. Also in the area are the Fine Line Music Cafe, the Dakota Jazz Club, Grumpy's, Lee's Liquor Lounge, and Bunkers.
The West Bank contains the Cabooze, a biker bar featuring mostly classic rock-type music. Other venues include the Nomad, the Red Sea, and in the nearby Seward neighborhood, the Hexagon Bar.
Northeast has some venues scattered around like the Terminal Bar and the 331 Club. In nearby Dinkytown, don't miss the elegantly decorated Varsity Theater and college band favorite, the Kitty Cat Klub.

The nightlife in general can be vibrant in several areas. The Warehouse District is great for clubbers, Dinkytown is good for college party-goers, Uptown is good for those with a bit more money, and Northeast is great for dive bar aficionados. Minneapolis is not the 24-hour city that New York is, but bars close at 2 AM so that is still plenty of time, especially if you find a party to go to afterwards.

Minneapolis certainly accommodates those seeking a good drink, a tendency which certainly complements the alcohol culture endemic to the Upper Midwest. There are over a dozen Irish, German, or British pubs, such as The Local, Black Forest Inn, Brit's Pub, Gastoff's, O'Donovan's or Kieran's. Local dining, clubs, pubs, and bars tend to compete for the best Happy Hour specials. It's a good idea to pick up a City Pages or to do an internet search to find the best deals.

The Scandinavian and north African influence can be seen quite clearly in the ubiquitous access to coffee shops in Minneapolis. This is a place where important things are discussed over a cup of coffee. Caribou is a locally-based national chain that actually outnumbers Starbucks in Minnesota and has a similar feel and quality in the drinks, except the shots are 1.5 oz compared to Starbucks 1.0 ounce, and they usually offer free WiFi. Dunn Brothers is also locally-based and is third in chains for a number of locations, and their coffee is fresh-ground daily in the shop but somewhat stronger than most places in town. Their fantastic brewed coffee is a little more impressive than the espresso, but their shots are at least a mighty 3.0 oz. Dunn Brothers also excels at offering free WiFi access and (often) free Internet terminals. If you're looking for something a little less corporate, you can rest assured that there will be a coffee shop nearby in most parts of town, as Minneapolis' independent spirit has yielded good cups of coffee in so many places that one can hardly throw a rock without it landing in a latte. The number of independent coffee shops per block reaches critical mass near Uptown and Lyn-Lake and around the University of Minnesota neighborhoods. The density of coffee shops isn't quite as great in South and Northeast Minneapolis, but there will still be enough options to keep you satisfied. Comparatively speaking, North Minneapolis is somewhat of a coffee dessert, but there will still be a couple of options to which locals are fiercely loyal. There is also a growing specialty coffee shop movement in Minneapolis if you're willing to pay an extra dollar (or three) for a better cup.

First Avenue, 701 1st Ave N (at 7th St), ☏ +1 612 332-1775. Probably the oldest and most legendary club in town. Dance nights of various flavors (house, salsa, etc.) are hosted as are local and national bands and the occasional weird event such as pro-wrestling and the roller derby league. Housed in the former Minneapolis Greyhound station, the club is at the corner of 1st Avenue and 7th Street, and can be easily identified by its black exterior decorated with silver stars of all the noteworthy artists who've played there. First Avenue gained national notoriety in the mid-1980s as the club where Prince played out his rivalry with Morris Day and The Time in Purple Rain. The club is divided into two main parts. The Mainroom is where the dance nights are held and national touring acts perform. The Mainroom is regarded as one of the premier sites for live music in the country. Often compared to Chicago's Metro, or San Francisco's Filmore. it offers nightly drink specials and a limited kitchen. The 7th Street Entry is a smaller room off to the side where one is more likely to see local bands or lesser known national touring acts. Don't be put off by the small size. Hundreds of touring bands have graduated from the Entry to become major touring acts. Son Volt, Wilco, The Replacements and Jane's Addiction are among the list of bands that played first in the Entry before moving on to the Mainroom, much bigger venues and even arenas.
Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Ave N (between 3rd and 4th Sts), ☏ +1 612 338-8100. A smaller-sized music club on 1st Avenue, the Fine Line features national and local acts. The main level provides a close proximity to the acts, while the mezzanine offers meals and seating for a more expensive price.
Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Mall, ☏ +1 612 332-1010. Upscale jazz club.
Bunkers, 761 Washington Ave N (at 8th Ave N), ☏ +1 612 338-8188.
O'Donovan's Irish Pub, 700 1st Ave N, ☏ +1 612 317-8896. 4PM-2AM daily. A rather small-looking pub with a big inside, this is a good place to go for a pint. They have a nice variety of drinks on tap, from cider to stout to both ("Poor Man's Black Velvet"), and some authentic Irish food in case that isn't thick enough. The help can range from decent to good, and the regulars may even be rather welcoming as well. Fair prices, good beers, and even better food.
Lee's Liquor Lounge, 101 Glenwood Ave N (at N 12th St), ☏ +1 612 338-9491.
The Lounge, 411 2nd Ave N (between 4th and 5th Sts), ☏ +1 612 333-8800. Jeans are allowed inside the club, but the following attire is not: No white tennis shoes, baseball hats, athletic apparel, badly ripped jeans, baggy clothing, or white t-shirts.
Prohibition, 821 Marquette Ave (between 8th and 9th Sts, inside the Foshay Tower, 27th floor), ☏ +1 612 597-2413. Upscale bar on the 27th floor of the Foshay Tower.
Gay 90s, 408 Hennepin Ave (at 4th St), ☏ +1 612 333-7755. Happy hour bar M-Sa 8AM-2AM, Su 10AM-2AM (other bars in the club don't open until later in the evening). Historically a gay nightclub, these days the straight patrons often outnumber the gay patrons (sometimes to the chagrin of the latter). Six bars contained inside. Large dance floor with live DJ. Drag shows nightly.
Aqua, 400 1st Ave N (between 4th and 5th Sts), ☏ +1 612 232-3232. Th-Su 10PM-2AM. 18+ bar and dance club with a live DJ. Generally very loud and very crowded.
19 Bar, 19 W 15th St (between Nicollet and LaSalle; Bus: 11, 17, 18), ☏ +1 612 871-5553. M-F 3PM-2:30AM, Sa Su 1PM-2:30AM. This casual gay dive bar is also the oldest gay bar in town. Features pool, darts, an outdoor patio, and cheap beer.

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Sleep

There is a good variety of hotels. Downtown hosts many independent and international hotel chains from the mid-range to the high-end. The University of Minnesota campus, not too far from downtown, has many mid-range options. South Minneapolis has limited options but they are also close to downtown. The Twin Cities' only backpackers hostel is located near Eat Street and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Travellers getting by without a car will want to avoid staying in a hotel outside the city.

Best Western Normandy Inn and Suites, 405 S 8th St (at 4th Ave S), ☏ +1 612 370-1400. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. On site restaurant. Indoor pool, spa, and sauna.
Holiday Inn Express Minneapolis Downtown, 225 S 11th St (at 3rd Ave S), toll-free: +1-877-859-5095. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Within walking distance of Nicollet Mall and the convention center.
Aloft Minneapolis, 900 Washington Ave S (between 9th and 10th Aves S; Bus: 7, 22), ☏ +1 612 455-8400. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. In the Mill District, across the street from the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum, Gold Medal Park, and the Stone Arch Bridge. Includes an on site bar, XYZ.
Crowne Plaza Northstar, 618 2nd Ave S (between 6th and 7th Sts), ☏ +1 612 338-2288, fax: +1 612 673-1157.
The Depot Renaissance, 225 3rd Ave S (between 2nd St and Washington), ☏ +1 612 375-1700. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Indoor water park and seasonal ice skating rink in the historic Milwaukee Road train station.
DoubleTree Suites, 1101 LaSalle Ave (at 11th St), ☏ +1 612 332-6800. A few blocks from the Minneapolis Convention Center, and one block from Nicollet Mall.
The Hotel Minneapolis, 215 S 4th St (at 2nd Ave S), ☏ +1 612 340-2000. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. This boutique-style hotel built in a former bank (the old vault doubles as a wine cellar) offers classy and modern style all at once. Guest rooms are smaller but offer all the amenities of a luxury hotel. The lobby area is inviting with a beautiful lobby bar with free billiards, and a full service restaurant known as the Max.
Hilton Minneapolis, 1001 Marquette Ave (at 10th St), ☏ +1 612 376-1000.
Hyatt Place Minneapolis, 425 S 7th St (at 5th Ave), ☏ +1 612 333-3111, ✉ jae.dewald@hyatt.com. Large, comfortable rooms and free, hot breakfast.
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, 1300 Nicollet Mall (at 13th St), ☏ +1 612 370-1234, fax: +1 612 370-1463. Rooms start at $189 per night, but discounts can be had. The Hyatt is also home to two high quality dining experiences: Oceanaire and Taxxi.
Grand Hotel Minneapolis, 615 2nd Ave S (between 6th and 7th Sts), ☏ +1 612 288-8888. Luxury hotel and spa with rooms starting at $170 per night. Connected to the climate-controlled Skyway, letting guests walk to the Target Center, Convention Center and other buildings in any weather.
Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis, 35 S 7th St (between Hennepin and Nicollet), ☏ +1 612 339-4900, toll-free: +1-800-967-9033, fax: +1 612 337-9766. Built on the site of the original Hotel Radisson (which opened in 1909), Radisson Plaza Minneapolis has an important historical significance for Minneapolis, and continues to be a thriving hotel. Featuring the outstanding FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar (try the "purple rain" martini at the bar, and the... well, really just about anything from the kitchen), underground parking, skyway access, and affordable packages. From $170.
Westin Minneapolis, 88 S 6th St (at Marquette), ☏ +1 612 333-4006. Built into the historic Farmers & Mechanics Bank in downtown Minneapolis. The wine cellar is built into the former bank's vault. Appropriately, the bar/restaurant is called BANK.
Hotel Ivy, 201 S 11th St (at 2nd Ave S), ☏ +1 612 746-4600. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. In the heart of downtown. Connected to 7 miles of skyway, connecting guest to attractions such as the Convention Center, Nicollet Mall, Orchestra Hall and the Guthrie Theatre regardless of weather.
Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Ave (at 9th St), ☏ +1 612 767-6900, toll-free: +1-800-543-4300, fax: +1 612 767-6901, ✉ chambers@lemeridien.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Luxury hotel with modern art furnishings. Guests get free access to the Walker Art Center. The hotel also houses the Burnet Art Gallery. From $169.
Loews Minneapolis, 601 1st Ave N (at 6th St), toll-free: +1-855-775-6397. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. Directly across the street from the Target Center, the hotel is connected by Skyway to the entire shopping and business district.
W Minneapolis (The Foshay), 821 Marquette Ave (between 8th and 9th Sts), ☏ +1 612 215-3700. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. In the Historic Foshay Tower in the heart of downtown. Hotel includes an on-site bar, and famous Manny's Steakhouse. Just a block from Nicollet Mall.

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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.

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Quick Facts

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

Contributors

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Minneapolis-Saint Paul Travel Helpers

  • Sluggoaafa

    Have lived in and around the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area in my 20 years of living in The Cities. I've lived in Mahtomedi, Lakeville, Richfield, and Minneapolis. Worked in Roseville, and St Paul before working for a major airline. (Not Northwest or Delta)

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