Minneapolis/Downtown

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

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Introduction

Downtown is the central business district of Minneapolis. It is sprinkled with architecturally interesting skyscrapers, most of which are interconnected, mainly on the second level above the street level, by a growing web of skyways, now approaching eight miles in total length. Nicollet Mall is the main semi-pedestrianized shopping street in downtown Minneapolis. Downtown proper is anchored by the Downtown East, Elliot Park, Loring Park, and North Loop neighborhoods.

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Sights and Activities

Music Wall, 94 S 10th St (parking lot at S 9th St & Marquette Ave). Giant five-story mural on the side of the old Schmitt Music Building, considered a landmark of the Minneapolis music scene. free.
Gold Medal Park, S 2nd St and 11th Ave S, ☏ +1 612 904-5607. 6AM-10PM daily. Gold Medal Park is a 7.5-acre park next to the Guthrie Theater. A 32-ft-high mound, reached by a spiral walkway, offers great views of the riverfront.
Mill Ruins Park, 102 Portland Ave (at W River Pkwy), ☏ +1 612 230-6400. 6AM-midnight daily. Archaeological site at the location of former flour mills and other industrial buildings. A canal that ran through the area has been restored. Free.
Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, 726 Vineland Pl (at Hennepin/Lyndale), ☏ +1 612 230-6400. 6AM-midnight daily. The Sculpture Garden is an outdoor exhibition of sculptures from many different artists, including the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry. It takes up 11 acres and is one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country. Free.
Stone Arch Bridge, Portland Ave and W River Pkwy. A former railroad bridge of the Great Northern Railway spanning the Mississippi River; it was abandoned in 1978 and sat idle until it was repaired and adapted for pedestrian and bicycle use in the early 1990s. The Stone Arch is famous for its graceful arches and breathtaking views overlooking the Saint Anthony Falls.
Foshay Museum, 821 Marquette Ave (30th floor), ☏ +1 612 215-3783. 11AM-5PM daily. Museum of the Foshay Tower, the former tallest building in Minneapolis from 1929-1971. The art deco tower was modeled after the Washington Monument. Outdoor observation deck on the 31st floor offers spectacular views of Minneapolis landmarks. $10 adults, $8 children ages 4-14, free for children ages 3 & under.
Mill City Museum, 704 S 2nd St (at Park), ☏ +1 612 341-7555, ✉ mcm@mnhs.org. Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. This interactive museum, an arm of the Minnesota Historical Society, recounts Minneapolis' history as the flour milling capital of the world. The eight-story "Flour Tower" ride describes life in the mills, and leads to an observation deck atop the Washburn A Mill, formerly the world's largest flour mill. $12 adults, $10 seniors (65+) and college students, $6 children ages 5-17, free for children under 5.
Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave (at Vineland, where Hennepin and Lyndale meet; Bus: 4, 6), ☏ +1 612 375-7600. Tu W Su 11AM-5PM, Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-6PM. One of the "big five" modern art museums in the United States, which underwent expansion in 2005. $15 adults, $13 seniors (62+), $10 students, $7.50 active military, free for children 18 and under. Free admission for all on Thursdays after 5PM and all day on the first Saturday of each month.
Dayton's Building, 700 Nicollet Mall (between 7th and 8th Sts). This building was once the flagship store of Dayton's, a highly-renowned Minneapolis institution that was the dominant department store chain of Minnesota, and also had some presence in surrounding states. That all ended when it was rebranded as Marshall Field's in 2001; five years later the Marshall Field's brand would also become a thing of the past when the chain was bought by Macy's. The store floundered under Macy's ownership and was closed in March 2017. The building is vacant but is being redeveloped for offices and retail, and is expected to open in 2020.
Basilica of St. Mary, 88 N 17th St (Hennepin Ave between 16th and 17th Sts; Bus: 4, 6), ☏ +1 612 333-1381. M-F 6:30AM-5PM, Sa 8AM-6:30PM, Su 6:30AM-7:30PM (guided tours Su after 9:30AM and 11:30AM masses, excluding holidays and Holy Week. Self-guided tours also permitted). Opened in 1914 as a pro-cathedral, Pope Pius XI lifted its rank to that of minor basilica in 1926, making it the first basilica in the United States. It serves as co-cathedral for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis along with the Cathedral of St. Paul. Free.

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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

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday 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.
  • 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.

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Getting There

By Metro Ligth Rail

The Blue Line and Green Line run on 5th Street through Downtown Minneapolis. The Blue Line links to South Minneapolis, the airport, and the Mall of America in Bloomington, while the Green Line links to the University of Minnesota and Saint Paul. The METRO is probably the easiest way to get into Downtown if you are coming from any of those areas.

By Rail

The Northstar Line runs from the northwest suburbs and terminates in Downtown Minneapolis at Target Field Station, which is also a transfer point to the light rail. However, service hours are limited and geared more towards weekday commuters than average visitors. Trains mostly run inbound during weekday mornings and outbound during weekday afternoons. There is also some limited service on weekends and special service timed around Twins and Vikings games.

By Car

Interstate 35W from the south suburbs or the northeast suburbs.
Interstate 94 from Saint Paul and the east suburbs or the northwest suburbs.
Interstate 394 from the west suburbs. I-394 directly connects to some parking garages along the western edge of downtown.
Hiawatha Avenue (Minnesota State Highway 55) from the airport and the southeast suburbs.

By Bus

Numerous buses serve Downtown Minneapolis, far too many to name individually. Local buses from Southwest or Northeast Minneapolis generally run along Hennepin Avenue or Nicollet Mall (a pedestrian/transit mall). Buses from the University of Minnesota and Saint Paul mostly run along 4th Street. Buses from North and South Minneapolis are less predictable, and may run along 4th, 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th Streets depending on the route and the direction it is traveling in.

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Getting Around

Although most of the city's grid is along a strict north-south/east-west layout, the area near downtown on both sides of the river lies at an angle to the rest of the city's grid to better align with the river. Here streets run parallel to the river, and avenues run perpendicular (except for Washington Avenue, which parallels the river). Downtown contains mostly numbered streets and avenues, although a few important ones are named. Most of Downtown is within South Minneapolis, although the Warehouse District extends into North Minneapolis. This is the only part of town, other than the West Bank, where you will encounter streets as well avenues designated "South". The intersection of S 2nd Ave and S 5th St is many blocks from the intersection of S 2nd St and S 5th Ave!

Much of downtown uses a series of Skyways to connect downtown shops and businesses. Navigating the skyway system can be confusing since one often has to take a curcuitous route to reach their destination. However, it's often a welcome alternative to walking outside in Minneapolis' harsh winter cold. For example, one could walk from the Convention Center in Minneapolis to Washington Avenue (a block before the Mississippi) without going outside, and without stopping at a pedestrian traffic light. Interstate 394 feeds into heated parking garages, so that a Wayzatan suburbanite could enter her vehicle, drive the length of 394 to the heated lot, go to work, shop at Target or Neiman-Marcus, see a movie, have dinner, and return home - all without having to wear a coat or change clothes, even in -20 °F (-29 °C) weather.

If you get tired of walking, Metro Transit buses are only $0.50 per ride within the Downtown Zone; keep in mind that no transfers are issued when paying the downtown fare. You can also ride a light-rail train between Target Field and U.S. Bank Stadium stations for this same fare. In addition, certain buses on the Nicollet Mall are marked "Free Ride"; specifically, they are the northbound Route 18 and southbound Route 10 buses. You can board these buses without paying a fare.

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Eat

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

Hennepin Avenue is probably the single best-known street for drinking and clubbing in Minneapolis. The street is lined with late-night bars, dance clubs, and music venues. Similairly 1st Avenue which is the next street directly west of Hennepin Avenue, is also lined with late night destinations. There is also a good cluster of bars and nightclubs in the Warehouse District, which is just north-west of Hennepin Avenue and very much within walking distance.

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. F
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. edit
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

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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This is version 4. Last edited at 10:21 on Oct 1, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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