Twin Cities – Minnesota’s Metropolis


My hometown and where I spent 20+ years of my life, I absolutely love Minnesota’s Twin Cities. For those who are less familiar with Minnesota, the Twin Cities are Minneapolis and, the state’s capitol, St. Paul. These two cities are only about 9 miles apart and are home to about 55% of Minnesota’s total population. There are endless things to do in the Twin Cities, so check out my guide on how to make the most of your visit!

Need to Know:

Currency: US Dollar

Language: English



Electrical Outlets: 120V supply voltage and 60Hz

Planning Your Trip

Accommodation – I hardly ever need a place to stay in the Twin Cities since my parents still live here, but if you need accommodations, there are tons of great Airbnbs listed. I recommend staying in Downtown Minneapolis if you don’t have a car so that you are close to the light rail.

Food – There are countless great restaurants, breweries, coffee shops and more in this area. A couple of my absolute favorites are Red Cow, Hai Hai, Young Joni, El Burrito Mercado, and Cafe Latte.

Getting Around – Public transportation in the Twin Cities is decent if you just want to stay in the cities. You can take the light rail, rent bikes or lime scooters, take the bus, or walk. If you are looking to go anywhere outside the cities, I highly recommend you rent a car.

Andrea Abroad Red Cow
Andrea Abroad Minneapolis
Andrea Abroad Breweries

Things to See and Do in Twin Cities – St. Paul

Ordway and Rice Park: Just one of the theaters in the Twin Cities, The Ordway always has spectacular shows including everything from broadway musicals to orchestras, from comedians to the Blue Man Group. Before or after the show, check out Rice Park, right out in front of the theater. In the winter, the trees are all lit up with Christmas lights and there is an ice skating rink in front of the landmark center, just a block over.

Grand Avenue: This popular shopping street is known for cute boutiques, some big name brands, and delicious cafes. When I lived in St. Paul, I lived right on Grand Avenue so I am biased towards this part of town. Check out the mansions on Summit then grab a cone from Grand Ole Creamery on a hot summer day. Or stop in Cafe Latte for a delicious coffee and swing by one of the many shops nearby. 

Minnehaha Falls: This beautiful park and waterfall is a great stop during any season. In the winter, the rushing waterfall turns into an icy masterpiece. During the summer, hike around the park and along Minnehaha creek to explore the lovely nature. I’d also recommend grabbing some fish tacos at Sea Salt Eatery in the summer, or swinging over to Quixotic Coffee for a warm latte in the winter. 

Allianz Field: If you’re into soccer, check out a Minnesota United FC game at the brand new Allianz Field! Grab a local Minnesota beer from the brew hall and cheer on Minnesota’s MLS team. Get your scarf ready and warm up your singing voice because if MN United wins, the whole stadium will sing “Wonderwall” by Oasis. You can also go to the pre-game party at Surly brewing, on of Minnesota’s most famous breweries. 

Science Museum: One of my absolute favorite places growing up, this is a great museum for all ages. Adult entry tickets start at $19.95 and kids at $14.95. There is an Omnitheater with a featured picture always rotating through (tickets cost extra). Check out the many Minnesota focused exhibits, as well as the more global experiences such as seeing one of only four real triceratops on display in the world!

Keg and Case Market: This is an indoor market that has many different food vendors and restaurants. You can buy sauces, honeys, soaps, and more. The upper floor of the market is a popular brewery called Clutch Brewing.

Lowertown: This bustling, downtown area of St. Paul always has something going on. Saturday and Sunday mornings you can check out the St. Paul Farmers Market selling a variety of local produce and food. On Thursday nights in the summer, check out Music in Mears Park. There are also tons of great restaurants and bars right around this area of town, some of my favorites being Barrio, Big River Pizza, and Dark Horse Bar & Eatery

Can Can Wonderland: Check out this funky indoor mini golf with fun food options and creative cocktails. This is a great option for a date night or an evening out with friends. They also occasionally have live music so check their schedule for the latest. 

Minnehaha Falls Andrea Abroad
Allianz Field Andrea Abroad
Lowertown St. Paul Andrea Abroad

Things to See and Do in Twin Cities – Minneapolis

Midtown Global Market:I love exploring the Midtown Global Market and trying food from all over the world. This is a perfect place to meet a friend for lunch because there are endless options of delicious food, as well as groceries, handicrafts, and a brewery. The market is also located right off the Midtown Greenway bike trail, so it is easily accessible by bike if you’re coming from Downtown or Uptown.

Walker Art Center: Famously known for the sculpture garden with the iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture, the Walker has indoor exhibits as well as the outdoor garden. In the summer, be sure to check out the Skyline Mini Golf for a fun and unique outdoor activity. Admission to the museum is free every Thursday night from 5-9 PM. 

Mill District: One of my favorite spots in Minneapolis, check out the Mill District and stroll over the Stone Arch Bridge. On this pedestrian bridge you will overlook the “Mighty Mississippi” while getting a lovely view of the Minneapolis skyline. You can also walk along the Mill City Ruins and stop in the Mill City Museum to learn more about the history and dangers of flour milling. I also always stop by Izzy’s Ice Cream for a sweet treat, then later go in the Guthrie Theater and head up to the Endless Bridge for another great view. 

Dinkytown: The most popular area for University of Minnesota students to live and go out, Dinkytown has a wide array of restaurants and bars to check out, right on the U of M campus. Check out the Loring for some great Italian food, as well as some spicy salsa dancing almost every Friday and Saturday night starting at 10 PM. If you’re looking for a classic burger and shake, you can’t miss Annie’s Parlour, a Dinkytown classic. Also home of arguably one of the best breakfast diners in Minneapolis, Al’s Breakfast. With one little counter with only 8 or so seats, be prepared to wait a bit to be served.

Uptown: A popular area for young adult and graduate students to live and go out, Uptown has some great bars and restaurants with the added bonus of being right on the beautiful Lake Bde Maka Ska. I love walking or running the 3 miles around the lake, or taking advantage of the warm weather by renting a paddle board or kayak to venture out on the water. There are way too many good restaurants to even try to list them, but a few of my favorites are World Street KitchenIndia Palace UptownOrigami, or Lake & Irving.

Minneapolis Institute of Art: Full disclosure, visual art isn’t really my thing, but this is an impressive museum. The MIA has a wide variety of art from all over the world, as well as rotating exhibits. In high school, I came here to see the Terracotta Warriors. 

Mall of America: I think this would be on the top of the list for many people, but I honestly don’t like MOA very much. It is cool to see the gigantic amusement park and the myriad of stores (520 to be exact), but at the end of the day, it’s just a big mall. I go maybe once a year for a special event or to bring a friend from out of town, but it is definitely not my go-to shopping destination.

Twin’s Game: Hanging out at Target Field, local beer in hand, cheering on the Minnesota Twins is a perfect way to spend a summer night in Minneapolis. This is a beautiful stadium with tons of great (but overpriced) food options. The Minnesota Twins games have a great, family-friendly atmosphere that’s fun for everyone. 

If you’re planning on visiting the Twin Cities in the summer, check out my blog on how to spend a perfect summer weekend in the Twin Cities!

Minneapolis Andrea Abroad
Twins Game Andrea Abroad


Top Experiences in the Twin Cities

Saint's Game Minnesota's minor league baseball team, the St. Paul Saints, play right in Lowertown at CHS Field. This is the perfect venue to enjoy the atmosphere of a baseball game even if you don't really care about the baseball. Thursday nights they have $1 beer night, and you can get cheap tickets before the game to sit on the Berm - just a grassy lawn over looking the field. This is a great activity for a nice summer evening.
Brewery Hop Minneapolis has a ton of great breweries to check out, pick a few and try out the local brews. A few of the breweries with my favorite beers are Dangerous Man Brewing Co., Indeed Brewing Company, and Surly Brewing. Some breweries with big spaces and great atmosphere are Utepils Brewing, Able Seedhouse + Brewery, and Lakes & Legends Brewing Company.
Catch a Show There are a bunch of awesome theaters in Minneapolis, one of the biggest ones is the Orpheum. Part of the Hennepin Theater Trust, the Orpheum hosts traveling broadway shows. There is also the State Theater, the Guthrie Theater, and the Northrop Theater. Minneapolis also has tons of great music venues such as First Avenue and the Armory.
Cheer on the Gophers You will surely feel the Minnesota pride when you cheer on Gophers! My favorite games to go to are Gopher Football at TCF Bank Stadium (``The Bank``), Gopher Hockey at Mariucci Arena, and Gopher Volleyball at Maturi Pavillion.
Axe Throwing Although this is gaining popularity in other parts of the country, I can't think of anything more Minnesotan than wearing a flannel and throwing an axe while sipping on a local brew. You're probably thinking, ``beer and axe throwing - doesn't sound so safe.`` These places have instructors that teach you how to throw safely and they have plenty of safety measures in place so that you feel completely comfortable. I've only been to Bad Axe Throwing.
Riverboat Tour Padelford River Boats offer tours or private events cruising down the ``Mighty Mississippi.`` Public sightseeing cruises start at $18 per adult to explore the river on a beautiful boat.
Orpheum Andrea Abroad
Axe Throwing Andrea Abroad
Andrea Abroad Gophers

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