Central Minneapolis
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Central Minneapolis

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Minneapolis-St Paul travel guide

Two halves of one metropolis, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul form a harmonious mix of old and new on the banks of the Mississippi River.

These two urban areas may be joined at the hip, but they are far from identical. With its striking contemporary buildings, Minneapolis is the more modern and cosmopolitan sister. St Paul, with its 19th- and early 20th-century buildings, is more refined, in the manner you’d expect from a place that doubles as the Minnesota state capital.

Both cities are multicultural melting pots, with significant Hmong and Somali populations. And both are rich in arts and culture, and in all of North America, only New York entertains more theatregoers each year. One top venue is the Guthrie Theater, home to Shakespearean productions and experimental plays, while the Hennepin Theatre District features music and comedy. Elsewhere, the modern works displayed in the Walker Art Center are worth anyone’s time.

Also in Minneapolis, the Mill City Museum commemorates the Twin Cities’ role as the centre of American flour production in the 19th century, while across the river, the marble dome of the State Capitol building soars proudly over St. Paul.

In addition to the Mississippi, this is a place with no fewer than 949 lakes lying within its metropolitan area, so it’s no surprise that outdoor recreation plays an important role. One popular excursion is a ride along the river aboard the Minneapolis Queen paddle-wheeler. Back on dry land, the Mall of America draws in 40 million bargain hunters every year, and is said to be the busiest shopping mall in the world.

At night, Minneapolis’ Warehouse District is the place to head, not only for a pre-theatre dinner, but also for a chic cocktail, and is also home to several energetic nightclubs. Elsewhere, the centre is filled with trendy cafés and bistros, while starched linen and crystal glasses are the order of the day across in St. Paul.

With so much diversity on offer, everyone is sure to find something to their liking.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.