Minneapolis, USA: the largest city in the state of Minnesota that’s known for its parks, lakes and the Minnesota Vikings football team.
And it’s neighboured by the state capital of St. Paul, which has earned both places the nickname of the “Twin Cities.”
Given that Minneapolis is approximately four hours away from my long-distance boyfriend’s hometown of Green Bay, we decided to go there for an impromptu weekend away. It was conveniently just before the Super Bowl so we could see what this exciting hub of arts, culture and entertainment had to offer before it was swarming with tourists.
And what a great 48 hours it was!
First things first, getting to Minneapolis from the UK is reasonably straightforward.
Simply hop on a direct plane from London with Delta Airlines. Or you can fly from Manchester to Amsterdam and then onto Minneapolis.
Either way, the journey time will take you between 9 and 13 hours.
Once you get to Minneapolis, you’ll be happy to hear that the Downtown area is easily walkable.
However, you can also take the bus, which will connect you to St. Paul, The Mall of America and other attractions. The details of which are below:
You can also take an Uber, Lyft or taxi wherever you need to go.
Not sure where to go and how to spend a weekend in Minneapolis? Not to worry – here are my top recommendations.
Firstly, if you’re an art lover like myself, be sure to head to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Situated on the outskirts of the city, this museum has an extensive collection spread out over three floors.
And did I mention that it also has a killer view of the city’s skyline from its floor-to-ceiling windows?
Even though it won’t take you all day to meander around the institute, it’s still worth doing to get your cultural fix.
Located in the very heart of downtown Minneapolis, Nicollet Mall features some of the most-loved American shopping chains.
(And it’s confusingly a street name as well as an actual mall down one street.)
Nicollet Mall is also a central hub for some of the most exciting goings-on in the city. For instance, this area was packed with food stalls, bars and stages while we were there in preparation for the Super Bowl.
There were people everywhere and the atmosphere was electric, especially at night when local musicians would perform for large crowds in the street.
(If only we had the heart to stay out and brave the MINUS 12-degree Celsius cold for longer!)
Like Italian food? Be sure to eat at Zelo, a fabulous Italian restaurant that’s well-known in Minneapolis for its incredible cuisine.
In fact, the ambience at Zelo made for a very romantic and enjoyable date night. Think: soft candle light, white tablecloths and leather booths.
For this reason, I couldn’t recommend it enough.
(Limoncello optional, but we like to go hard or go home.)
Additionally, even if you’re not an American football lover, the US Bank Stadium is still worth checking out.
Built on the former site of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, this indoor stadium opened in 2016 and is an amazing piece of architecture.
Go have a nosy and make sure that you don’t forget your #StadiumSelfie! (We got ours.)
Finally, if you’re looking for a cute restaurant that does a variety of yummy breakfast food, Hen House Eatery is an ideal place to eat brunch.
Why? Well, it’s popular with an exciting atmosphere, has modern decor and the menu is spot on.
Seriously, what’s not to like?
Located in Bloomington just outside of the city, you simply can’t go to Minneapolis without stopping off at the Mall of America. It’s one of the top tourist destinations in the USA and has a variety of stores and entertainment attractions, which makes it a rather fun place to spend an afternoon.
Oh, and it has a freaking theme park in the middle of it – so there’s that. (Wait, what?)
One word: go.
Even though Minneapolis is one of the lesser known cities of the United States for those who aren’t natives, this doesn’t mean that it’s not a wonderful place to visit.
In fact, whether you’ve been before or are a total Twin Cities newbie, Minneapolis has certainly got a lot to offer the average traveller. The look and feel of downtown alone is enough to make you want to continue in your exploration of the city (and the state!).
Have you ever been to the Twin Cities? Do you have any recommendations in terms of how to spend a weekend in Minneapolis? Let me know in the comments below!