Table of Content

Introduction

Jump onto an unforgettable adventure with the Minneapolis Visitor Guide, your key to unlocking the treasures of the vibrant Twin Cities. Nestled along the banks of the Mississippi River, Minneapolis beckons with its unique blend of modernity and history. In this guide, we unveil the city’s hidden gems and showcase the essence of a visits to the Twin Cities. Let’s set the stage for your perfect journey into the heart of Minneapolis, where every moment promises a new discovery. Welcome to the Minneapolis Visitor Guide – your passport to an extraordinary experience in this dynamic city.

Minneapolis Visitor Guide at a Glance

Bridge in Minneapolis

Unlock the secrets of Minneapolis effortlessly with the Minneapolis Visitor Guide at your fingertips. Navigating your way into this vibrant city with comprehensive insights into key elements is a breeze. Our guide ensures a smooth transition from touchdown at well-connected airports to syncing with the local time zone. Dive into the local currency, brace yourself for the climate, and get to know the friendly locals.

Airports

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).
  • Located 7 miles (11 km) south of downtown Minneapolis.
  • Offers direct flights to over 250 destinations worldwide.

Time Zone

  • Minneapolis is located in the Central Time Zone (UTC-6).
  • Daylight Saving Time is observed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

Currency

  • The official currency of the United States is the United States dollar (USD).
  • The current exchange rate is approximately 1 USD = 0.95 EUR = 1.33 CAD = 141 JPY.

Climate

  • Minneapolis has a humid continental climate with four distinct seasons.
  • Summers are hot and humid, with average highs in the mid-80s Fahrenheit (29-32 degrees Celsius).
  • Winters are cold and snowy, with average lows in the single digits Fahrenheit (-15 to -18 degrees Celsius).
  • Springs and falls are mild and transitional, with average temperatures in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit (10-16 degrees Celsius).

Population

  • Minneapolis has a population of approximately 429,993 people (2022 estimate).
  • The Twin Cities metropolitan area, which includes Minneapolis and St. Paul, has a population of over 3.5 million people.

Languages

  • English is the official language of the United States.
  • Spanish is also widely spoken in Minneapolis, particularly in the neighborhoods of Whittier and Powderhorn Park.

Visitors per year

  • Minneapolis attracts over 19 million visitors each year.
  • The city is a popular destination for business travelers, conventioneers, and tourists.

A City Steeped in History

Pre-European Settlement:

  • Dakota people inhabited present-day Minneapolis, calling it “Bdote,” meaning “heart of the earth.”
  • It is considered sacred by the Dakota and believed to be the place of world creation.

European Exploration and Settlement:

  • 17th-century French fur traders explored the area.
  • In 1680, Louis Hennepin named the falls on the Mississippi “Saint Anthony Falls.”
  • Fort Snelling was established in the early 19th century for protection and fur trade.

Growth and Development:

  • The mid-19th century saw rapid growth due to Saint Anthony Falls powering sawmills and flour mills.
  • Became a major center for lumber and flour production.
  • By the late 19th century, one of the largest U.S. cities with a diverse immigrant population.

Industrial Decline and Urban Renewal:

  • The early 20th century witnessed a decline in lumber and flour milling industries, leading to economic depression.
  • Urban renewal projects in the 1950s and 1960s aimed at revitalizing the city.

Revitalization and Renaissance:

  • The late 20th century saw Minneapolis revive as a cultural and economic hub.
  • Home to Fortune 500 companies (Target, General Mills, UnitedHealth Group).
  • Flourishing arts scene with museums, theaters, and music venues.

Getting to Know Minneapolis

Explore its rich culture, savor delicious cuisine, embrace outdoor adventures, and join lively festivals. Dive into this urban oasis for an unforgettable Minneapolis travel.

A City of Lakes and Parks

City of Lakes:

  • Minneapolis is known as the “City of Lakes.”
  • Iconic lakes include Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and the Mississippi River.

Outdoor Recreation:

  • An abundance of lakes allows for boating, fishing, kayaking, and swimming.

Extensive Park System:

  • Over 150 parks in Minneapolis.
  • Parks provide green spaces for relaxation, picnicking, and sports activities.

A Cultural Tapestry

Artistic Haven:

  • Home to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, featuring an extensive collection of European, African, and American masterpieces.

Melodic Symphony:

  • Orchestra Hall hosts the Minnesota Orchestra, providing classical and contemporary musical performances.

Theatrical Vibrancy:

  • Guthrie Theater, a renowned regional company, offers vibrant theatrical productions for theater enthusiasts.

A Culinary Adventure

Diverse Flavors:

  • The culinary scene mirrors city diversity, offering everything from Jucy Lucy cheeseburgers to global cuisines.

Signature Dish:

  • Try Jucy Lucy, a unique cheeseburger with cheese cooked inside the patty, representing Minneapolis’s culinary identity.

Global Cuisine Exploration:

  • Eat Street and Nicollet Avenue showcase Minneapolis’s global culinary influences through various restaurants.

A Haven for Outdoor Enthusiasts

Expansive Park System:

  • Minneapolis boasts an extensive park system, inviting outdoor activities and recreation.

Scenic Chain of Lakes:

  • Stroll or bike along the Chain of Lakes, a serene escape interconnected by scenic lakes.

Urban Outdoor Adventures:

  • Theodore Wirth Regional Park offers urban hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, and canoeing along the Mississippi River.

A City of Festivals and Celebrations

Twin Cities Jazz Festival:

  • A premier jazz event, adding lively energy to the city’s cultural calendar.

Aquatennial Celebration:

  • Summer celebration featuring parades, fireworks, and water-themed activities showcasing Minneapolis’s vibrant spirit.

Holidazzle Festival:

  • Winter wonderland transformation with dazzling lights and festive decorations, creating a magical atmosphere in the city.

Fun Facts About Minneapolis

Stone Arch Bridge Minneapolis Minnesota

Minneapolis, often hailed as the cultural and economic hub of the Upper Midwest, offers a treasure trove of interesting facts for travelers. Here are some tidbits to enhance your Minneapolis travel experience:

City of Lakes

With over 20 lakes within its city limits, Minneapolis rightly earns the nickname “City of Lakes.” These serene bodies of water provide ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, from kayaking and paddleboarding to simply enjoying a leisurely stroll along their picturesque shores.

Home of Prince

Minneapolis is the proud birthplace of music icon Prince, whose enigmatic persona and groundbreaking artistry continue to captivate fans worldwide. Pay homage to the Purple One by visiting Paisley Park, his former recording studio, and now a museum dedicated to his legacy.

Birthplace of Everyday Products

Minneapolis has a knack for producing innovative products that have become household staples. The city is credited with inventing Scotch tape, the Bundt pan, Bisquick, and even the pop-up toaster.

“Holy Cow!” and the Origins of a Popular Exclamation

The phrase “holy cow!” was first uttered by Minneapolis sports announcer Halsey Hall in 1929 during a radio broadcast of a baseball game. The exclamation caught on and has become a popular expression of surprise or excitement.

Honeycrisp Apple

A Minnesota Creation: The Honeycrisp apple, known for its crisp texture and sweet-tart flavor, was developed by the University of Minnesota’s fruit breeding program. This culinary gem has become a favorite among apple lovers worldwide.

Minneapolis’ Largest Park System

With over 5,000 acres of parkland, Minneapolis boasts one of the most extensive park systems in the nation. The city’s green spaces offer ample outdoor activities and relaxation opportunities, from the iconic Minnehaha Falls to the sprawling Theodore Wirth Park.

Guthrie Theatre

A Regional Gem: The Guthrie Theatre, the largest regional theater in the United States, has been a cornerstone of Minneapolis’ vibrant arts scene since 1963. Its innovative productions and commitment to artistic excellence have earned the theater national acclaim.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

An Urban Oasis: The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, nestled within the heart of the city’s downtown, is a haven for art enthusiasts. This 11-acre oasis showcases an impressive collection of modern and contemporary sculptures, providing visitors with a unique artistic experience.

Home to Fortune 500 Companies

Minneapolis is a hub for Fortune 500 companies, including Target, UnitedHealth Group, and Best Buy. The city’s strong economy and entrepreneurial spirit have attracted diverse businesses, contributing to its dynamic and ever-evolving landscape.

Per Capita Golfing Enthusiasm

Minneapolis boasts the nation’s highest number of golfers per capita, reflecting the city’s passion for outdoor recreation and its abundance of well-maintained golf courses. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a casual player, Minneapolis offers ample opportunities to hit the links.

Best Time to Visit Minneapolis

Minneapolis, nestled amidst Minnesota’s scenic lakes and lush greenery, invites visitors to explore its vibrant urban landscape and embrace outdoor adventures throughout the year. Choosing the best time to visit Minneapolis depends on your preferences for weather, activities, and crowd levels, ensuring a personalized experience during your visits to the Twin Cities.

Summer: (June – August)

Summer is the most popular time to visit Minneapolis, as the city comes alive with warm weather, outdoor festivals, and a buzzing atmosphere. Temperatures range from the mid-70s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit, perfect for enjoying the city’s numerous lakes, parks, and gardens. Summer is also the peak season for festivals, including the Twin Cities Pride, Rock the Garden, and the Minneapolis Aquatennial.

Summer in Minneapolis

Pros:

  • Warm, sunny weather.
  • Lively atmosphere.
  • Abundance of outdoor activities and festivals.

Cons:

  • Peak season with higher prices and larger crowds.

Fall: (September – October)

Fall brings a refreshing change of pace to Minneapolis. Temperatures start to cool down, but the days remain pleasant, with averages in the mid-60s to mid-70s Fahrenheit. The vibrant fall foliage paints the city in a beautiful tapestry of autumnal hues, making it an ideal time for scenic walks and drives.

Fall in Minneapolis

Pros:

  • Comfortable temperatures.
  • Beautiful fall foliage.
  • Fewer crowds and lower prices.

Cons:

  • Some outdoor attractions may start to close.

Winter: (December – February)

Winter in Minneapolis is a wonderland of snow-covered landscapes and frosty adventures. Temperatures can drop below zero Fahrenheit, but the city embraces the winter spirit with outdoor activities like ice skating, skiing, and snowshoeing. Winter also brings festive cheer with holiday celebrations and cozy indoor attractions.

Winter in Minneapolis

Pros:

  • Unique winter experiences.
  • Festive holiday atmosphere.
  • Lower prices and fewer crowds.

Cons:

  • Very cold temperatures.
  • Some outdoor attractions are closed.

Spring: (March-May)

Spring awakens Minneapolis from its winter slumber, gradually increasing temperatures and a burst of fresh greenery. The city’s parks and gardens come alive with blooming flowers, and outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and kayaking become more enjoyable.

Spring in Minneapolis

Pros:

  • Pleasant temperatures.
  • Blooming flowers and lush greenery.
  • Fewer crowds and lower prices.

Cons:

  • Weather can be unpredictable, with occasional rain or snow.

Minneapolis Events and Programs

Regarding Minneapolis travel, there’s more to explore than just the city’s skyline and landmarks. Dive into the vibrant tapestry of Minneapolis events and programs, ensuring your visits to the Twin Cities are nothing short of spectacular.

Festivals and Events Happening Throughout the Year

Music Festival in Minneapolis

Throughout the year, the city hosts diverse festivals, events, and programs catering to various interests. From arts and culture to music and food, there’s always something happening in Minneapolis that will pique your curiosity and leave you wanting more.

Here’s a glimpse into the eclectic mix of festivals and events that await you in Minneapolis:

  • Rock the Garden: This annual music festival held in July showcases a diverse lineup of rock, indie, and alternative artists, attracting music lovers from all over the region.
  • Minneapolis Aquatennial: This summer tradition, held in July, features a vibrant parade, a carnival filled with rides and games, and a spectacular fireworks display.
  • Northern Spark: This free two-day arts festival in June transforms the city into an open-air art gallery with interactive installations, performances, and workshops.
  • Holidazzle: This winter wonderland, held in December, brings a festive atmosphere to Loring Park with twinkling lights, holiday markets, and ice skating rinks.
  • Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival: This annual event in April showcases a diverse array of independent, international, and documentary films from around the globe.
  • Minneapolis Farmers Market: Held every Saturday from May to October, this bustling market offers a bounty of fresh local produce, artisanal goods, and live music.
  • Open Streets Minneapolis: On select Sundays throughout the summer, streets are transformed into car-free zones, hosting a variety of activities, from biking and rollerblading to live music and food trucks.

Special Holiday Celebrations in Minneapolis

Minneapolis knows how to celebrate the holidays in style. Throughout the year, the city comes alive with special events and festivities that capture the spirit of each season.

  • New Year’s Eve: Minneapolis rings in the new year with a vibrant celebration at Peavey Plaza, featuring live music, fireworks, and a countdown to midnight.
  • Valentine’s Day: The city offers a variety of romantic options for celebrating Valentine’s Day, from candlelit dinners at cozy restaurants to couples’ skating lessons at outdoor rinks.
  • St. Patrick’s Day: Minneapolis’ Irish community comes out in force for St. Patrick’s Day, with parades, pub crawls, and traditional Irish music filling the streets.
  • Halloween: Minneapolis transforms into a spooky haven during Halloween, with haunted attractions, costume parties, and pumpkin carving contests.
  • Thanksgiving: The city hosts a variety of Thanksgiving events, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Turkey Trot races, and community service initiatives.
  • Christmas: Minneapolis embraces the holiday spirit with festive decorations, twinkling lights, and a variety of Christmas markets and holiday shows.

Getting to Minneapolis

Grand Rounds Minneapolis

Entering a Minneapolis travel adventure is an exciting prospect, but the journey begins with the essential logistics of getting there.

Visa and Travel Requirements

Whether a foreign visitor or a domestic traveler, checking Minneapolis’s visa and travel requirements before embarking on your trip is essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide to ensure a smooth and hassle-free entry into the city.

  • Visa Requirements for Foreign Visitors

Foreign nationals from certain countries may require a visa to enter the United States. The U.S. Department of State provides an online visa wizard to help determine if you need a visa and the type required. You can also contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance.

  • Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows eligible citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business stays of up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. To participate in the VWP, you must meet specific requirements and apply for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before your departure.

  • Passport Requirements

All foreign visitors must possess a valid passport from their home country regardless of visa status. Your passport should have at least six months of validity beyond your intended stay in the United States.

  • Additional Travel Documents

Depending on your purpose of travel, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as proof of onward travel, financial means of support, or a letter of invitation for business or study purposes.

Transportation Options

Minneapolis is well-connected to the rest of the country and the world, offering various transportation options for visitors.

  • Air Travel

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is the major airport serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. It is a major hub for Delta Air Lines and offers direct flights to destinations across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, Asia, and Africa.

  • Rail Travel

Amtrak, the national passenger rail service, provides train connections to Minneapolis from various cities across the Midwest and beyond. The Amtrak station is conveniently located in downtown Minneapolis, within walking distance of many attractions.

  • Bus Travel

Several bus companies, including Greyhound and Jefferson Lines, offer bus service to Minneapolis from various United States and Canadian cities. Bus travel is a more affordable option but can take longer than air or rail travel.

  • Driving

Minneapolis is easily accessible by car, with several major highways connecting the city to surrounding areas. If you plan to drive, familiarize yourself with local traffic regulations and parking options.

  • Public Transportation

Minneapolis offers a comprehensive public transportation system, including buses, light rail trains, and streetcars. The Metro Transit system serves the city and surrounding suburbs, providing convenient access to popular destinations.

  • Taxi Services

Taxi services are readily available in Minneapolis, and ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft are widely used.

  • Biking and Walking

Minneapolis is a walkable and bike-friendly city, with numerous trails and bike lanes throughout downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. Biking rentals are available for those who want to explore the city on two wheels.

Must-Visit Attractions of Minneapolis

From world-renowned museums to serene parks and lively theaters, Minneapolis offers various attractions that cater to every taste. Whether exploring the city for the first time or planning a return visit to the Twin Cities, consider embarking on tours highlighting these Minneapolis tourist attractions. This Minneapolis Visitor Guide aims to curate a list that will make your trip unforgettable:

1. Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia)

Minneapolis Institute of Art (MIA)
  • Over 90,000 artworks spanning 5,000 years.
  • Masterpieces from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
  • Works by Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, and Warhol.

2. Minnehaha Park

Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis
  • A tranquil oasis along Minnehaha Creek.
  • Cascading waterfall inspiration for Longfellow’s poem.
  • Breathtaking views of the Mississippi River Gorge.

3. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
  • Open-air gallery with contemporary sculptures.
  • Iconic works: “Spoonbridge and Cherry,” “Supermarket Lady.”

4. Mill City Museum

Mill City Museum Minneapolis
  • Housed in ruins of Washburn A Mill, once the world’s largest flour mill.
  • Interactive exhibits on Minneapolis’s industrial history.

5. Weisman Art Museum

Weisman Art Museum Minneapolis
  • Collection of modern and contemporary art.
  • Works by Calder, Bourgeois, and Johns.
  • Thought-provoking exhibitions on art and society.

6. Minnesota Zoo

Minnesota Zoo
  • 5,000+ animals, 500+ species, immersive exhibits.
  • Diverse ecosystems: African savanna to Northwoods forest.
  • Conservation efforts for endangered species.

7. Minneapolis Institute of Art

Minneapolis Institute of Art
  • A vast collection spanning 90,000+ objects globally.
  • Galleries showcase African, Asian, European, and American art.

8. Target Field

Target Field, Minneapolis
  • MLB experience at the home of the Minnesota Twins.
  • Retractable roof, retro design, unparalleled fan experience.
  • Indulge in classic ballpark fare during games.

9. Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater Minneapolis
  • Leading regional theater with innovative productions.
  • Repertoire from Shakespeare to contemporary works.
  • Plays, musicals, and educational workshops.

10. Lake of the Isles

Lake of the Isles, Minneapolis
  • A scenic urban oasis for nature enthusiasts.
  • Paddle Boat or canoe rental for serene water exploration.
  • Lakeside paths for strolls, biking, jogging, and picnics.
  • Winter ice skating on the lake.

Where to stay in Minneapolis

Hotel in Minneapolis

Minneapolis, a city that effortlessly blends modernity with a rich history, offers various accommodations to enhance your visit to the Twin Cities. Whether on a Minneapolis travel adventure or exploring the city through guided tours, where you stay is pivotal in shaping your overall experience. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 hotels that promise a comfortable stay in Minneapolis:

1. Hotel Ivy, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Minneapolis 

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 201 S 11th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

2. Loews Minneapolis Hotel 

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 601 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

3. Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 245 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

4. The Chambers Hotel 

  • Rating: 4.4
  • Address: 901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

5. InterContinental Minneapolis – St. Paul Airport

  • Rating: 4.3
  • Address: 5005 Glamack Dr, Minneapolis, MN 55450, United States

6. Emery, Autograph Collection

  • Rating: 4.3
  • Address: 215 S 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55401, United States

7. Moxy Minneapolis Uptown

  • Rating: 4.3
  • Address: 1121 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408, United States

8. Hilton Minneapolis

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Address: 1001 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

9. The Westin Minneapolis

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Address: 88 South 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402, United States

10. Radisson RED Minneapolis Downtown

  • Rating: 4.2
  • Address: 609 S 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55415, United States

Where to eat in Minneapolis

Where to eat in Minneapolis

Are you gearing up for an exciting Minneapolis travel adventure or planning a visit to the Twin Cities? Your journey will only be complete with indulging in the culinary delights that Minneapolis has to offer. As you embark on your Minneapolis tours, satisfy your taste buds at the city’s top 10 restaurants.

1. Holy Land Bakery, Grocery and Deli

  • Rating: 5
  • Address: 2513 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418-3725

2. The Capital Grille

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 801 Hennepin Ave LaSalle Plaza, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1818

3. Spoon and Stable

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 211 N 1st St, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1480

4. Murray’s

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 26 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402-1571

5. Alma

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414-1716

6. Al’s Breakfast

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 413 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414-2005

7. Dangerous Man Brewing Tap Room

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 1300 2nd St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413-1132

8. Quang Restaurant

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 2719 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408-1631

9. Lotus Vietnamese Restaurant

  • Rating: 4.5
  • Address: 113 W Grant St, Minneapolis, MN 55403-2339

10. Matt’s Bar

  • Rating: 4
  • Address: 3500 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407-2339

Conclusion

As we draw the curtains on our exploration, let’s reflect on the key elements that make Minneapolis an ideal destination. The Minneapolis Visitor Guide acts as your compass, navigating through cultural landmarks, scenic parks, and vibrant neighborhoods.

Embarking on Minneapolis travel promises a kaleidoscope of experiences, and the Minneapolis Visitor Guide is your personalized gateway to this urban haven. So, embrace the charm, diversity, and allure that define Minneapolis. Your perfect trip awaits—let the adventure begin! Explore Minneapolis with us, where every street is a story waiting to unfold.

FAQs

Q1: Is Minnesota good for tourists?

Yes, Minnesota is a great destination for tourists. It is known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” for its abundance of natural beauty, and it offers a variety of activities for visitors of all ages and interests. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are home to world-class museums, theaters, and restaurants, while the rest of the state offers stunning scenery, charming towns, and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.

Q2: What food is unique to Minnesota?

Minnesota has a number of unique culinary offerings, including:

  • Jucy Lucy: A cheeseburger with the cheese melted inside the patty
  • Tater tot hotdish: A casserole made with ground beef, tater tots, and cream of mushroom soup
  • Walleye: A freshwater fish that is a popular catch in Minnesota
  • Wild rice: A native grain that is often used in soups and stews
  • Honeycrisp apples: A variety of apple that is known for its crispness and sweet-tart flavor

Q3: What is the hottest month in Minneapolis?

The hottest month in Minneapolis is July, with an average high temperature of 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). The average low temperature in July is 67 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius).