The Definitive Guide to Downtown Minneapolis

Picture of Downtown Minneapolis

Guide to Downtown Minneapolis

Established in 1856, the city of Minneapolis developed around the business of timber and hence sawmills were everywhere during that time. Thereafter, flourmills also flourished because of St. Anthony Falls on the Mississippi River. During the middle of the 20thcentury though, newer industries began to take over milling and by then the west bank of the river was considered the commercial epicenter of the city.

Getting There

Getting to the Twin Cities is very accessible by air or by road.  There are several flights from 16 commercial airlines and destinations all over the US, Mexico and Canada that go to Minneapolis-St. Paul every day.  All of which are can be accessed easily from Downtown Minneapolis which is just eleven miles away.


There are two neighborhoods that comprise downtown Minneapolis and these are: Downtown East and Downtown West. The city center is surrounded by Uptown Minneapolis and busy suburbs and neighborhoods. To the southeast are located the Downtown and neighborhoods of St. Paul.  You can find lots of skyscrapers, the warehouse district and Nicolett Mall in Downtown West.  The Metrodome, the historic mill district and commercial and residential buildings are located in Downtown East.

The official designation between the two areas is a zigzag down Portland Avenue, Fifth Street South, and Fifth Avenue.  The moniker “Downtown Minneapolis refers to all of the areas of Downtown West and the Western half of Downtown East. This section encompasses all of the buildings and most major attractions of the Downtown neighborhoods.

Businesses in Downtown Minneapolis

Downtown Minneapolis is considered one of the major financial and commercial centers in the Midwest. Some of the major Fortune 500 companies with operations and headquarters in the area are Target (1000 Nicolett Mall), Wells Fargo (90 South Seventh Street), Xcel Energy (414 Nicolett Mall) and Ameriprise Financial (IDS Center at 80 South Eight Street)

The tallest building in Downtown Minneapolis is 792 feet tall is the IDS Center. This is followed by Wells Fargo at 774 feet tall.


Downtown Minneapolis is buzzing with lots of cultural activity, arts, theater and opera.  The Guthrie Theater is located in Downtown East along the Mississippi. The Hennepin Theatre District features three historic theaters such as the Orpheum, the Pantages and the modern Hennepin Stages located all on Hennepin Avenue.  The Minnesota Orchestra’s home is Orchestra Hall, which features a sophisticated technicolor building also known to non-opera fans as “the place with the big tubes outside”. Meanwhile not technically in Downtown Minneapolis but just a couple of blocks away are the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.


The Minnesota Vikings call the US Bank Stadium home and is located in Downtown East. Target Field is home to the Minnesota Twins the newest ballpark located on the western part of Downtown.  Target Center located in Downtown West is home to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx basketball teams.


During the wintertime, the historic Depot’s has the enclosed ice rink for all to enjoy.  If you prefer to have a leisurely stroll in Downtown Minneapolis there are a lot of attractive areas to enjoy such as the Mill District, Historic Theatre District and just about anywhere along the banks of the Mississippi or across the Stone Arch Bridge.


If shopping is your thing then you will not be disappointed as the world-famous Mall of America is in Minneapolis.  In Downtown Minneapolis you will find the Nicollet Mall. There are chain stores that dot the mall including a two-level Target store and a Macy’s. There are a couple of exclusively summer only farmers markets located in Downtown Minneapolis and these are the Nicolett Mall Farmer’s Market on Thursdays and the Mill City Farmer’s Market just next to the City Museum on Saturdays.


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