The Top 3 Major Attractions to See in Downtown Minneapolis

Major Attractions to See in Downtown

Minneapolis is one of the Midwest’s major commercial and financial centers. Downtown Minneapolis is where a lot of tourist attractions, headquarters of Fortune 500 companies, and commercial and residential establishments are situated. When you refer to “Downtown Minneapolis” it actually means the entirety of Downtown West and the Western portion of Downtown East.  Here are the top 3 major attractions located in Downtown Minneapolis.

Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis

Nicollet Mall

This transit mall is located in Downtown Minneapolis and features many shops, restaurants, and bars, including art and entertainment centers.  Nicollet Avenue has been known to be Downtown Minneapolis’ shopping district since the dawn of the 20thcentury when department stores like the now defunct Dayton’s began.  Nicollet Avenue’s popularity waned during the 1950s because of the current trend of the time where shopping centers and residential neighborhoods began relocating to suburban areas.  However, during the 1960s, skyways were constructed throughout the Downtown Minneapolis area, which connected offices and many residential buildings together. This removed much of the pedestrian traffic from the streets of the city.  By 1968, there was an effort to encourage shoppers to visit Downtown Minneapolis, and 11 blocks of Nicollet Avenue were closed to vehicular traffic and then reestablished into the Nicolett Mall complete with trees, benches and street art in order to entice visitors to stroll and see.

Today, the Nicolett Mall is a blooming commercial area in Downtown Minneapolis. You will find the striking Minneapolis Central Library as a modern building that anchors the north end, and Peavey Plaza as a bustling public area on the south end. There is a lot to see and enjoy in between.


As a huge mall, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy relaxing retail therapy. Enjoy Gaviidae Common, an indoor mall that spans two blocks located on the east side of the 500 and 600 blocks of Nicollet Mall. It features several independent stores including national retailer brands and even designer discount stores like Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th, an outlet store which is one of two premium outlet stores in the mall.  You can also find Neiman Marcus Last Call Clearance Center located on the fourth floor of the Neiman Marcus store.

Cathedral of St. Paul 

Known to be over a century old, the beautiful Cathedral of St. Paul attracts hundreds of visitors and churchgoers. The cathedral is the brainchild of Archbishop John Ireland and architect and loyal Catholic Emmanuel Louis Masquery.


Work on the Cathedral began in 1907 and the exterior completed in 1914. While work on the interior area progressed at a slow pace, as funding would allow however the Cathedral was able to celebrate its first Mass on Easter Sunday in 1915.  Architect Masquery died in 1917 before finishing the design of the interior while the Archbishop Ireland passed away a year afterwards His successors, Archbishop Dowling and Murray, oversaw finishing the interior which took up to 1941 to complete.


The Cathedral of St. Paul is known to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the country. The Beaux-Art style was inspired by the Renaissance period.

Guthrie Theatre

Guthrie Theater

Founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the Guthrie Theater opened on May 7, 1963 with a production of Hamlet directed by Guthrie himself. Currently, the theater hosts a bevy of classic and contemporary productions on 3 different stages. It has remained true to its vision of offering productions of Shakespeare’s works.  A new building was built after more than 40 years since its inception. The building constructed in 2006 is located along the banks of the Mississippi River. It is a unique building that showcases large images of previous performances on its exterior. Visitors can tour the facility and is quite fun to visit as every Friday and Saturday you can enjoy guided backstage tours.

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