Getting Around Minneapolis - St. Paul
The best way to get around Minneapolis-St.Paul is by car and on foot, so take to the streets – the downtown area is especially easy to navigate. The Minneapolis Skyway, a system of enclosed heated walkways, allows visitors to meander the dense areas of town. A car is also a great option – it will allow you to venture into the suburbs and around the lakes, while taxis are useful downtown. Because of numerous garages, parking in the downtown area is rarely a problem, but similar to other big cities, traffic can still be a hassle. Metro Transit operates bus and light rail routes that course through both cities and are convenient. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) is also accessible by Metro Transit. If you're planning to take a cab from the airport to downtown Minneapolis, expect to pay between $39 and $49. Trips to downtown St. Paul generally cost between $31 and $38. Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft also service the Twin Cities.
|On Foot or By Bike|
Walking around downtown will give you the true feeling of this warm metropolis (by warm, we mean the residents – certainly not the weather). The area is dense enough to be walkable, even in winter: The Minneapolis Skyway, in downtown Minneapolis, allows pedestrians to be unhindered by the rain, sleet or snow that they might encounter outdoors.
You'll also find bike-sharing stations scattered throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. The bikes, operated by Nice Ride, are only availabe from April to November (the city pulls them for the winter season). You can purchase a pass that's valid for 24 hours for $6. One 30-minute ride costs $2. Passes can be purchased at any of the Nice Ride stations around the metro.
Cars are necessary for exploring the suburbs and lakes (not to mention storing your purchases from the Mall of America). You can rent a vehicle at the airport, but be sure to get one with four-wheel drive if you're visiting in winter. Parking is plentiful downtown; if you can, pick one next to a Skyway entrance. Traffic can crowd the highways at rush hour, but you shouldn't be too fearful about the weather. The area is very well-equipped to deal with winter storms, employing a large fleet of snow plows.
Cabs are an easy way to get around either downtown Minneapolis or downtown St. Paul. Taxis are plentiful in the downtown areas, but if you're having trouble finding one on the street, ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft also operate in the Twin Cities.
Although it's still growing, the light-rail is an efficient public transit option. There are three lines, the blue line, the green line and the red line. The blue line offers service between the Mall of America and Target Field; the red line travels along Cedar Avenue, providing Bus Rapid Transit between the suburb of Apple Valley (where the Minnesota Zoo is located) and the Mall of America; the green line operates between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. It costs $2 normally and $2.50 during rush hours (6 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 6:30 p.m.). There is a "Downtown Zone" fare for only 50 cents, which allows you to travel on a bus or the light rail within central Minneapolis and St. Paul. Day and week unlimited passes for both the bus and train are also available.
Non-linear routes confuse many tourists, even if you do have a map (we do suggest you grab one). If you can figure out the paths, the buses are convenient and inexpensive ($2 and $2.50 in rush hour). However, most of the attractions are downtown, so you won't need to use the buses. If you're exploring the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, you can use the university's free shuttle buses to get between each campus.
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