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Where to Stay in Minneapolis: 10 Best Neighborhoods & Areas

Where to Stay in Minneapolis: 10 Best Neighborhoods & Areas

If you’re looking for where to stay in Minneapolis, you’ll have plenty of options. The city is home to a wide variety of hotels, from budget-friendly chains to high-end resorts. But where should you stay? Here are some tips on the best neighborhoods and areas to consider when booking your next trip to Minneapolis.

Minneapolis is a city filled with great global and local culture, art, history, cuisine, and entertainment.

This Midwestern city (and my hometown) is perennially underrated in terms of neighborhoods, attractions, activities, and all different types of scenery.

To those cynics I’d say, the city really is all about what you want to make out of it. There is a ton of great things to do in Minneapolis and there’s also a ton of equally great accommodation in Minneapolis, including everything from boutique hotels, and charming bed and breakfasts, to luxury hotels, and classy Airbnb options.

Best Minneapolis Accommodation Overall

We get it, TLDR dude, so here’s our neighborhood and area breakdown of the best places to stay in Minneapolis.

We’ve listed our top picks on where to stay in Minneapolis by types of lodging such as luxury hotels, budget hotels, and even vacation rentals for you to check out.

If they aren’t your bag, read on for more!

Best Luxury Hotel in Minneapolis Hotel Ivy, A Luxury Collection Hotel
Best Boutique Hotel in Minneapolis Hewing Hotel
Best Hotel for Families
The Marquette Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Best Budget Hotel Graduate Hotel

Getting Around Minneapolis

To get around Minneapolis you can easily find a Lyft rideshare or it is incredibly cheap and easy to take public transportation.

Renting a car really isn’t necessary unless you are planning on taking trips outside the city – or you’re visiting in winter and you’re the independent sort who hates the cold.

The Minneapolis light rail is one affordable mode of transportation that links downtown Minneapolis to south suburb Bloomington, which means that there are plenty of light rail stations.

You can also ride the light rail from the airport directly to downtown Minneapolis. It even stops at the Mall of America!

However, if you plan on staying around others areas of Minneapolis, then rent a car by booking directly on Kayak. This offers the best prices and comparisons of rental car options.

What to Know About Minneapolis Layout

As a resident of Minneapolis for nearly my entire life, I can tell you that the city has an interesting layout and zoning.

South and Central Minneapolis is a cluster of residential homes without many hotel options at all. But those areas to stay in Minneapolis make for great neighborhood vibes if you can find a home-away-from-home in a quaint Airbnb or vacation rental. An example if you love lake life, you’ll definitely need to check out these areas.

Minneapolis is greatly defined by the river that divides it from its sister city, Saint Paul. The mighty Mississippi River also cuts right through several iconic neighborhoods and is very, very near downtown Minneapolis.

Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Minneapolis

Let’s get into our favorite neighborhoods and areas to stay in Minneapolis to make the most of your trip.

Downtown Minneapolis for first-time tourists and sports fans

Baseball Game in a Stadium

If you’re looking for a centrally located area to stay in Minneapolis, downtown is a great choice.

Downtown Minneapolis is home to a variety of hotels and lodging options, from budget-friendly chains to high-end luxury. You’ll find plenty of nightlife and restaurants in the area, as well as tourist attractions like the iconic IDS Tower, the Capella Tower, the Foshay Tower.

If you’re in town for a sporting event or large concert, you’ll be within walking distance to the Target Center (where the Minnesota Timberwolves), Target Field (where the Minnesota Twins play), and US Bank Stadium (where the Minnesota Vikings play).

If you are visiting in winter, don’t fret! All of those venues are connected directly to downtown hotels via the fascinating skyway, which is basically its own city within a city.

Other attractions in this area include the legendary live music venue of First Avenue, the Hennepin Theatre District, Dakota Jazz Club, and the Fine Line Music Cafe are easily walkable if you stay downtown.

If you’re looking for a true downtown experience, the Marquette Hotel is a great option – it’s located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis and puts you close to all the action.

Mill District for history, culture, and a little bit of everything

Mill City Museum in Minneapolis

Mill District is a historically significant part of Minneapolis. The district is located inside the larger neighborhood of Downtown East, known for being a historic and cultural center. It’s a place where you can see the best parks in Minneapolis.

Mill District is known for the Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theatre, and the legendary West River Parkway, the starting point of the national scenic byway called Great River Road.

If you love excellent theatre, you will be located by the nationally renowned Guthrie Theater.

Although slowly being developed to provide more housing, it has many buildings from a time when it was a purely industrial area that was recognized as the world’s largest flour mill which is now where the Mill City Museums is located.

Many old mills are now converted into housing developments where you don’t get to explore the interior. However, the area has revitalized some excellent green spaces with the always amazing Gold Medal Park as a prime example.

From the Mill District, you’ll have the chance to enjoy great views of the Mississippi River and have easy access to the Stone Arch Bridge, another iconic Minnesota landmark that you need to see.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Minneapolis that embodies a great blend of city life and culture, this is a great pick for you.

See Related: Where to Stay in Charleston, SC: 8 Best Areas & Neighborhoods

North Loop/Warehouse District for nightlife

Huge Bob Dylan Mural

The North Loop/Warehouse District of Minneapolis is the best place to stay if you like up-and-coming neighborhoods. If you are thinking about where to stay in Minneapolis and want a walkable, modern, and revamped place to visit, this is your spot.

In this neighborhood, you can walk to dozens of trendy restaurants, bars, and shops. Also called the Warehouse District, this neighborhood was largely made up of empty warehouses and historic industrial buildings that had fallen into disuse.

It wasn’t until very recently, new life was breathed into this carcass of industry. Today, the Warehouse District is a vibrant neighborhood filled with top restaurants, lively nightlife, and condos that fly off the market.

One of the top hotels in the North Loop (and in Minnesota) is the Hewing Hotel, a boutique hotel offering a rooftop offering excellent views of the Minneapolis skyline.

The North Loop/Warehouse District is located next to Target Field so it is an ideal place to stay in Minneapolis if you are going to a Minnesota Twins game or concert downtown.

The North Loop/Warehouse District is within walking distance from the main downtown area and easy to get to theaters and clubs. If you stay in this area, make sure you check out the Bob Dylan mural on Hennepin Avenue; it’s a great spot to snap a photo for the ‘gram.

Uptown Minneapolis for a neighborhood experience and visiting the Chain of Lakes

Man in a Lake and Skyline View

Uptown Minneapolis is where you’ll find the more eclectic crowd. There are amazing restaurants and a gorgeous Lake Bde Maka Ska (formerly Lake Calhoun) within steps of each other.

Checking out the Uptown attractions is the best thing to do in Minneapolis on your visit.

Uptown is a great spot to stay if you are looking for more nightlife that isn’t as “clubby” as downtown. There is a German beer house, Williams, and a country bar that stays open late.

There are also plenty of shops – from Apple stores to funky vintage shops there is something for everyone.

There is more to Uptown than partying. Lake Bde Maka Ska is just steps from the hustle and bustle and is a supremely gorgeous lake to walk around.

Motorboats are not allowed on the lake so you can kayak, swim, sail, or canoe from Lake Bde Maka Ska to the surrounding lakes in the chain or you can check out some of the best beaches in Minneapolis at Cedar Lake.

There is also a wonderful trail that will take you into Lake of the Isles – the most elite neighborhood in Minnesota.

See Related: Best Lakes in Minnesota (Ranked!)

Dinkytown, a youthful area in Minneapolis with great nightlife

Contemporary Building

Dinkytown is right by the University of Minnesota, the perfect place if you are wondering where to stay in Minneapolis for a Gopher game!

Dinkytown has an urban feel and eclectic spots to eat, drink, and shop. The people-watching is also fabulous!

Dinkytown is a great place to stay for younger folk, or if you are looking to travel on a lower budget. Since it is a student-focused area, it is easy to snatch a great deal on a budget hotel. While you are in the area, make sure you stop by the Weisman Art Museum.

Dinkytown is also home to Hotel Alma, a historic Minnesota traditional and boutique hotel. Hotel Alma has a phenomenal restaurant and Scandinavian design that make it cozy and approachable.

St. Anthony Main, a stunning little corner of town is within walking distance of Dinkytown. This charming street is home to many historic Minnesota restaurants and a fully-cobblestoned road perfect for romantic strolls. Here you will find the street’s namesake movie theater, St. Anthony Falls, and a river walk with gorgeous views of downtown Minneapolis.

From here, you can also easily walk into the Mill District over the Mississippi River by walking on the Stone Arch Bridge, a historic old railway bridge with great views.

See Related: 13 Best Breweries in Wisconsin: Craft Beer & Taprooms

Northeast Minneapolis, an artsy neighborhood with dive bars, breweries, and great restaurants

Giant Spoon and Cherry Sculpture

Wondering where to stay in Minneapolis that mingles high culture with street art, dive bars, craft beers, and breweries? This is the neighborhood for you.

Northeast Minneapolis is home to some of the best breweries in Minneapolis and the best dive bars. There is even a dive bar named after an otter!

Northeast is also known for being funky. Here you will find a year-round biker bar with a tiki theme called Psycho Suzi’s – shag carpet is included. A few blocks away is the 1950s, extra funky bar with a Ferris wheel.

And a few blocks from that is one of the top craft breweries in Minnesota, Dangerous Man.

You can only get their beer in their taproom – they do not distribute it. It’s a Minnesota secret, but the peanut butter porter is one for the memory box.

Lowry Hill is an ideal location for art museums and a neighborhood experience

Our favorite place to recommend to visitors asking where to stay in Minneapolis is the Lowry Hill neighborhood. This area is the most walkable to the legendary art galleries that Minneapolis has to offer and easy to get around by public transport, Lowry Hill is filled with culture and things to do.

Nearby Lowry Hill is the Walker Art Center. The Walker Art Center is one of the top contemporary art museums in the US and is home to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden which is free to visit.

Visitors love to walk the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and see the infamous Cherry and the Spoon, and the newer placement of newer modern art sculptures from nationally renowned artists.

If you want to continue your art escapade, you’ll be in a great spot to visit the always-free Minneapolis Institute of Art, one of the best art museums in the entire United States.

Downtown East for US Bank Stadium events

Huge Architectural Building in a City

Next on the list for where to stay in Minneapolis is Downtown East. This location is central and developed around the nearby US Bank Stadium. Known as Downtown East, this neighborhood has completely changed since the old Metrodome left the scene.

Filled with new restaurants, a not-for-profit brewery called Finnegan’s Brewing, and excellent events for travelers.

Downtown East is located adjacent to the Mill District so you can also walk to Mill Ruins Park, Gold Medal Park, Mill City Museum, Guthrie Theater, and the Mississippi River. Downtown East is among the greatest spots to take pictures of Minneapolis.

If there are no events in the area, this neighborhood can get a little quiet. You’ll still be in easy cab distance to other neighborhoods and areas mentioned in this piece like Northeast or Uptown, plus US Bank Stadium has its own light rail station.

Downtown West for a quiet experience or visiting other suburbs

Wells Fargo Building and Skyline

While the neighborhood’s name is Downtown West, it really isn’t downtown at all. This neighborhood is on the fringe of the first-ring suburb of St. Louis Park.

However, Downtown West is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing experience in the Twin Cities.

This neighborhood is known for its excellent shopping with the West End shopping center being the center point of the neighborhood, so you can easily find everything you need without having to leave the area.

You’ll also be close to some of Minneapolis’ best restaurants and bars outside of the main downtown area of Minneapolis, making it easy to still get out and explore the city.

Downtown West is easily accessible to and from other suburbs of the Twin Cities. However, if you stay in this neighborhood it’s highly recommended that you rent a car, as there is no light rail station to get to this area from the airport or other areas of central Minneapolis.

Mall of America Area for shopping and easy access to the airport

One of the things I respond with when people ask me why they should visit Minneapolis is;

“*cough* The Mall of America – the largest mall in the country”.

Okay, it’s not really Minneapolis, but I gotta look out for my shopaholics!

If you’re looking to stay near the Mall of America, there are plenty of great options for you to choose from. Again, keep in mind this is not Minneapolis; it’s actually Bloomington, so when looking to book a hotel be sure you check the location.

There are tons of hotel options near Mall of America given that it is right next to Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. These hotels also claim to be in Minneapolis but they aren’t. That’s okay though because Bloomington is really not that far from the Minneapolis city limits.

Obviously, this is a great place to stay in Minneapolis if you’re looking to shop until you drop.

Thanks to the Mall of America, Bloomington is arguably the best suburb to stay near Minneapolis, since you can access downtown Minneapolis and a number of other neighborhoods from the light rail.

The light rail connects between Mall of America, the airport, and all the way to the Warehouse District stop at Target Field and Target Center.

FAQ

Where to stay in Minneapolis?

Let’s start by exploring where to stay if you don’t have a car when visiting Minneapolis for leisure or business.

If this is the case, there are three options for great Minneapolis places to stay, which include Downtown Minneapolis, Mill District, or the Warehouse District.

Along with great shopping and entertainment options in each area, both neighborhoods offer plenty of closeby attractions which makes it easier than ever before to enjoy an entire day in either location without your car.

What Minneapolis neighborhood should I stay at?

Downtown Minneapolis is the best neighborhood to stay in Minneapolis for first-time visitors or people looking for a blend of activities.

This area in the city is great for easy access to a variety of things to do such as Orchestra Hall as well as business venues such as the Minneapolis Convention Center. You’ll also be within walking distance of some great restaurants, Minneapolis bars, and entertainment.

Is it safe to stay in downtown Minneapolis?

Downtown Minneapolis is a safe area to stay in Minneapolis, and there are plenty of hotels and accommodations available if you choose to stay there.

The Mall of America is also located in the suburbs of Minneapolis, and it is a popular tourist destination where you can find plenty of shops and restaurants. You can also take the light rail back to downtown Minneapolis if you need to go back during the daytime hours.

Where should I avoid in Minneapolis?

Hawthorne, Midtown, Phillips East, Ventura Village, and Folwell are the most dangerous parts of Minneapolis. There is a 20-30% higher crime rate than the national average, so avoid these areas. Aside from those areas, Minneapolis offers safe lodging in general.

What is the nicest part of Minneapolis?

The neighborhoods of Linden Hills and Kenwood are known to be the most prestigious and nicest areas in Minneapolis.

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