15 Best Things To Do in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis with a population of 413,651 is the larger one of twin cities of Minnesota- Minneapolis-St Paul, both located on the banks of Mississippi river. The city abundant with water and natural scenery boasts of lots of things worth seeing and lots of memories to be made. The extremely friendly and courteous locals make one visit the city again. Minneapolis has got so much to offer that covering all in one trip might not be possible in a short span of time. Without further ado, here is the list of top tourist attractions in Minneapolis.

Let's explore Minneapolis points of interest and 15 best things to do in Minneapolis:

1. City Hall

The building of the City Hall is sometimes referred to as the Municipal building and is a registered National Historic Landmark.  Whether one is history buff or an architecture appreciator or not, one would definitely be smitten by the elegance and majestic of the structure. The inside of the hall is astounding and one can feel the history emanating from it.  The stunning rotunda and the Father of Waters statue are worth watching, especially after sunset when they are lit. One can rub Father of statue’s toes, who knows one might get bestowed with good luck. The hall is also known to be haunted and draws paranormal enthusiasts from all over the world.

2. Guthrie Theatre

Named after the founder Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theatre was opened in 1963 with Hamlet being its first production. Even after 40 years since its inception, the theatre remained true to its commitment to offering Shakespearean plays staging classic and contemporary productions on three different stages. The friendly and helpful staff and ever ready to assist and guide the visitors. The theatre also provides guided backstage tours to its visitors on Friday and Saturday mornings. Even if one has been unable to get himself a ticket to one of the stupendous plays, one can take his time to explore the beautiful structure overlooking the Mississippi River.  

3. Basilica of St. Mary

Basilica of St. Mary,Minneapolis - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The cathedral designed by famous architect Masqueray was the first basilica to be established in the United States. The structure of the church is astounding, and the interior comprising of lots of colored glass, big altar, statues and the impressive dome is gorgeous. The talented choir who provide chorus music on Sunday mornings are worth listening too. If one appreciates the beauty of Romanesque architecture and tradition of Catholic worship, then this place is a must to include in the trip to Minneapolis.

4. Chain of Lakes

Rightfully called the “Gem of the city,” Chain of Lakes Regional Park has five different shorelines connected by pedestrian trails and lush greenery. Wishing for a day to relax in the lap of Mother Nature? This is the perfect place for boating, biking, strolling, sunbathing or even just relaxing on the park bench. One can spot families having cheerful picnics, people taking selfies, and sailboats and sailboards. It doesn’t matter if one visits it with family or alone, the relaxing and soothing atmosphere and ambiance is sure to rid one of worries and tiredness.

5. Mall of America

A visit to any tourist destination is incomplete without a trip to a shopping destination. Mall of America housing over 500 stores is a perfect place to shop till you drop. And what’s best? There’s no sales tax charged on the goods purchased. Even if one isn’t keen on having some extra shopping bags to carry back home, one can enjoy several family-friendly attractions complete with 25 different exciting rides. The mall also boasts of the Sea Life Aquarium and offers the visitors to discover more than 4,500 sea creatures. 

6. Minneapolis Institute of Art

Founded in the year 1889, this museum shelters a collection of approximately 80,000 pieces from a wide variety of culture and spanning over 5,000 years of world history.  On display are variety of things to see, from paintings, drawings, and prints to sculptures and photographs. It is one of a kind facility which provides special effects consisting of light, sound, and aroma which is very unique and impressive. 

7. Stone Arch Bridge

Stone Arch Bridge - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The National Civil Engineering Landmark built in 1882-83 is a must-visit location for any architecture buff. The 2,100-foot granite and limestone bridge features a total of 23 arches. The bridge which aided the city’s development by increasing the movement of goods and people is the only bridge to have ever been built across the Mississippi River. One can have a peaceful bike ride between Father Hennepin Bluffs Park on the east side and Mill Ruins Park on the west while enjoying the spectacular views of Downtown Minneapolis. Visitors vow that the best time to adore the architecture is dusk when the lights are turned on and are reflected beautifully on the river water.

8. Minnehaha Park

The 193-acre city treasure Minnehaha Park is one of the oldest and most popular parks in the city and receives a whopping 800,000 visitors every year. The beautiful park houses 53-foot-high majestic and breathtaking Minnehaha Falls and also the statues of the chief characters of Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha-Hiawatha and Minnehaha. One can find respite from the city’s hustle bustle here by strolling through the garden, riding a bike through the well-paved path or playing outdoor games in volleyball courts and playground.

9. Weisman Art Museum

Weisman Art Museum - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The Weisman Art Museum is located at the University of Minnesota and is designed by the avant-garde architect Frank Gehry. The building is an attention-grabbing four-story structure made of stainless steel which is sure to make one wonder about the exact shape of the magnificent building. The museum features a collection primarily on traditional Korean furniture and ceramics, American Modernism, and ancient Mimbres pottery from the American Southwest. 

10. American Swedish Institute

The American Swedish Institute is a beautiful tribute to the American-Swedish heritage. Tourists put it near the top attractions of Minneapolis as it gives a pleasant understanding of the past one didn’t know about. The museum houses three floors depicting the history and Swedish culture. The house built around 1900 is a fun and educational place to visit.  Visitors can browse through the original carved oak, Swedish glass, fine art and textiles on display.

11. Fort Snelling

The designated National Historic Landmark and a “national treasure,” the fort located at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi river is a perfect location for someone who enjoys interactively learning history. Significant efforts have been put into detailing the video and displays throughout the site to make the tour of the fort more informative while being enjoyable at the same time.

If visiting during special celebrations, one can have the opportunity to see the cannons firing, live music by the historic band, actors re-enacting battles and also the lives of the people who lived in the fort.

12. Walker Art Center

Even if one is not an art enthusiast, a stroll through the Walker Art Center is definitely worth a few hours. The facility founded by lumber baron Thomas Barlow Walker is dedicated to contemporary art comprising of sculptures, paintings, and photographs of both European and American artists. The award-winning center hosts 700,000 visitors each year attracting them with numerous exhibition galleries, a theatre, lounges, eateries, and terraces. One of its major attractions is the Sculpture garden which stands adjacent to it.

13. Sculpture Garden

Places to visit in Minneapolis - ImageImage Source: pixabay.com

The Walker Art Center houses a lovely 19-acre urban space showcasing more than 40 famous pieces of art. One of the most famous sculptures is of the Claes Oldenburg’s Spoonbridge and Cherry. Park with great artworks is a pleasant place to stroll around, getting some exercise with some scenic backdrops. One can enjoy an evening breeze while watching a baseball match in the adjacent playground. The garden after receiving major renovations in 2017 has become greener than ever and is a must-see and visit destination for visitors of all ages.

14. Children’s Theatre Company

Whether one is in the company of children or not, Children’s Theatre Company is definitely a must-visit site for an enjoyable and affordable visual treat. The theatre excels in presenting plays for all ages including ones to inspire the current generation. Many of its productions are based on classic children’s literature and are performed in beautiful sets by impressive performers. The plays backed by beautiful acoustics and great stage props are presented from January through June. Age is no bar to enjoy a fine play in this facility.

15. The Escape Game

Anyone visiting Minneapolis cannot miss out the 60-minutes of adventure and thrill at the Escape Game. The visitors are formed into a team and are asked to select an exciting challenge which they need to complete in an hour and escape. The atmosphere is incredibly engaging, and the staff is very helpful and courteous. Who says that a visit to any tourist location is just about historical monuments and landmarks? The Escape Game is a must experience to get the adrenaline pumping and the gears of the brain working.

Author
After five years of her teaching career, Shraddhanvita decided to make 'travel' her passion. For her 'a rolling stone does gather moss'. She is a wanderlust driven soul, a poet, a pluviophile, and a humanist. Fascinated by nature's bounty, she finds ...

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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Must see places in Minneapolis ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Minneapolis and point of interests to visit.

  1. Target Field

    # 1 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 1253 times in trip plans
    Target Field

    Tags: Sport, Stadium, Entertainment, Games

    Address: 353 N 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a baseball field in the Downtown area of the city. It is the home ground of the Minnesota Twins. The team got its name due to the name of the twin cities, Minneapolis- Minnesota. This stadium ...Read more

  2. Minneapolis Institute Of Arts

    # 2 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 1086 times in trip plans
    Minneapolis Institute Of Arts

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Museum

    Address: 2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55404, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a government funded art museum that is spread over a large area of around 8 acres. The place was earlier known as Morrison Park. The Park Board Museum Fund is the main sponsor of this museum. ...Read more

  3. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

    # 3 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 1024 times in trip plans
    Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

    Tags: Garden, Sculpture

    Address: 725 Vineland Pl, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    This is the largest urban sculpture garden in the garden. The garden features some of the master pieces of world famous artists and sculptors. There are over 40 permanent exhibits and the others keep ...Read more

  4. Lake Harriet

    # 4 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 449 times in trip plans
    Lake Harriet

    Tags: Water Sport, Lake

    Address: Minneapolis MN 55419

    Timings: 06:00 am - 10:00 pm Details

    It is a lake in the south western part of the city and is surrounded by a park land. It is just beside the Calhoun Lake and forms a part of the Chain of Lakes. It is the deepest among all the lakes of...Read more

  5. Walker Art Center

    # 5 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 480 times in trip plans
    Walker Art Center

    Tags: Art And Culture, Art Museum

    Address: 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403, United States

    Timings: 11:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    It is a multidisciplinary contemporary art museum that was the first of its kind in the Mid- West. It is also rated among the top 5 museums of the country. The museum was first set up as a private gal...Read more

  6. American Swedish Institute

    # 6 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 235 times in trip plans
    American Swedish Institute

    Tags: Art And Culture, Museum

    Address: 2600 Park Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407, United States

    Timings: 12:00 pm - 05:00 pm Details

    This is a vibrant museum and culture center in the Philips West neighborhood of the city. This is listed in the National Register of Historic Landmarks. It is the best place if you want to get knowled...Read more

  7. Lake Of The Isles

    # 7 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 592 times in trip plans
    Lake Of The Isles

    Tags: Lake

    Address: Minneapolis, MN, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This lake is the most beautiful in the city and is connected with the Lake Cedar and the Lake Calhoun. It is known mostly as a winter skating and ice hockey destination. There are also a number of sta...Read more

  8. Minneapolis Skyway System

    # 8 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 426 times in trip plans
    Minneapolis Skyway System

    Tags: Bridge

    Address: Minneapolis, MN

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    It is an interlinked connection of all the foot bridges of all the 69 blocks over the 11 miles of the Downtown area of Minneapolis. It helps pedestrians to walk around in comfortable climatic conditio...Read more

  9. University Of Minnesota

    # 9 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 217 times in trip plans
    University Of Minnesota

    Tags: Educational Site, University

    Address: Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    This is the largest and oldest university of Minneapolis. It is a public research university with several campuses. Minneapolis Campus: This overlooks the Mississippi River and the St. Anthony Falls....Read more

  10. TCF Bank Stadium

    # 10 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 283 times in trip plans
    TCF Bank Stadium

    Tags: Sport, Stadium, Entertainment

    Address: 420 SE 23rd Ave, Minneapolis, MN, United States

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is an outdoor stadium in the campus of the University of Minnesota. It is the home ground of the Golden Gophers as well as the temporary home of the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football Lea...Read more

  11. Weisman Art Museum

    # 11 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 193 times in trip plans
    Weisman Art Museum

    Tags: Art Museum

    Address: 333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis, MN 55455, United States

    Timings: 10:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    This is an art museum situated inside the campus of the University of Minnesota and used as a teaching museum since 1934. The museum has been named after Frederick R. Weisman who was a famous art coll...Read more

  12. Nicollet Mall

    # 12 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 213 times in trip plans
    Nicollet Mall

    Tags: Mall, Shopping Center

    Address: Minneapolis, MN, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 09:00 pm Details

    This is an 11 block portion that runs through the heart of the downtown area of the city. This is an awesome shopping mall where you get the latest trends starting from things that are of the flee- ma...Read more

  13. Lake Harriet Rose Garden

    # 13 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 183 times in trip plans
    Lake Harriet Rose Garden

    Tags: Garden

    Address: 4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis, MN 55409, United States

    Timings: 07:30 am - 10:00 pm Details

    The Lake Harriet Rose Garden, popularly known as Lyndale Park Rose Garden is a paradise on earth where you will feel like being transferred to a world of roses of all colours and size. With a mission ...Read more

  14. St. Anthony Falls

    # 14 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 181 times in trip plans
    St. Anthony Falls

    Tags: Waterfall

    Address: Minneapolis, Minnesota, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This waterfall located downtown of Minneapolis in the north eastern part was the only natural waterfall at the time it was formed. Later it was replaced by a concrete apron as the falls had partially ...Read more

  15. Grand Round Scenic Byway

    # 15 of 2569 Things To Do in Minneapolis | Added 118 times in trip plans
    Grand Round Scenic Byway

    Tags: Outdoors, Park

    Address: Minneapolis, MN, US

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    This is a linked series of parks of the city that makes a roughly circular pattern. There are also pathways for automobile Traffic as well as for pedestrians and cyclists. Much of these places were bu...Read more

Find Your Minneapolis Attractions on Map

Find more places to see in Minneapolis

  • Purcell Cutts House

    2328 Lake Pl

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest

    4330 Cedar Lake Rd S

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Washburn Park Water Tower

    401 Prospect Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Foshay Tower

    821 Marquette Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Summer Branch Library

    611 Emerson Ave N

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Como-Harriet Streetcar

    2330 W 42nd St

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Lake of the Isles

    2500 W Lake of the Isles Pkwy

    Lakes
  • Cedar Lake

    Cedar Lake Parkway

    Lakes
  • Brownie Lake

    Cedar Lake Pkwy

    Lakes
  • Chain of Lakes

    W Calhoun Pkwy

    Lakes
  • Round Lake Park

    16691 Valley View Road

    Lakes
  • Lake Josephine

    Lexington Ave

    Lakes
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  • Walker Art Center

    725 Vineland Pl

    Museums
  • Bell Museum of Natural History

    10 Church St SE

    Museums
  • Minnesota Center for Book Arts

    1011 Washington Ave S

    Museums
  • Weisman Art Museum

    333 E River Pkwy

    Museums
  • Edina Historical Society

    4711 W 70th St

    Museums
  • Hennepin History Museum

    2303 3rd Ave S

    Museums
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  • Jim Lupient Water Park

    1520 Johnson St NE

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Pump It Up

    3500 Holly Ln N

    Amusement Parks
  • Minnesota Developmental Basketball

    2040 W 98th St

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Grand Slam Sports & Entertainment Center

    12425 River Ridge Blvd

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Amazing Mirror Maze

    353 N Garden

    Amusement Parks Arcades
  • Summit Amusement

    2274 University Ave W

    Amusement Parks Arcades
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  • Truce

    1428 W 32nd St

    Bars Vegan and Vegetarian
  • Northgate Brewing

    783 Harding St NE

    Breweries Bars
  • Seven Steakhouse Sushi Ultralounge & Skybar

    700 Hennepin Ave

    Bars Steakhouses Sushi
  • Sticks Restaurant-Acme Comedy

    708 N 1st St

    American Music and Show Venues Bars
  • Stub & Herb's

    227 Oak St SE

    American Bars
  • Cardinal Tavern

    2920 E 38th St

    Bars American
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  • Carousel Bingo

    7324 Lakeland Ave N

    Casinos and Gaming Restaurants
  • Las Vegas Tonight

    1500 Jackson St NE

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Minneapolis Casino & Poker Rentals, Casino Party Planning

    3109 W 50th St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Sure Bet

    4924 33rd Ave S

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Spanos Vas Blackjack Experts

    4621 Bryant Ave S

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Southwest Casino & Hotel Ventures

    2001 Killebrew Dr

    Casinos and Gaming
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  • Crosby Farm Park on Great River Passage

    2595 Crosby Farm Rd

    Natural Parks
  • Battle Creek National Park

    Natural Parks
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  • Lyndale Farmstead Park

    3900 Bryant Ave S

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Minnehaha Park

    4801 Minnehaha Ave

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Lake of the Isles Off Leash Recreation Area

    2845 E Lake of the Isles Pkwy

    Playgrounds Dog Parks
  • Gateway Dog Park - Off-Leash Play Area

    1001 4th Ave N

    Dog Parks
  • Dakota Park

    2601 Dakota Ave S

    Dog Parks
  • Carlson Dog Park

    2541 Nevada Ave S

    Dog Parks
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  • Mississippi River Gorge

    West River Parkway

    Beaches
  • Lake Nokomis

    52nd Street and Cedar

    Beaches
  • Hidden Beach

    21ST St

    Beaches
  • Cedar Point Beach

    Beaches
  • Phalen Beach

    1000 Wheelock Pkwy E

    Beaches
  • Bush Lake Beach

    9140 E Bush Lake Rd

    Beaches
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  • Midtown Greenway

    Lake Street

    Hiking
  • Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway

    4800 Minnehaha Ave

    Hiking
  • Minnehaha Creek

    Hiking
  • Rice Creek Regional Trail Corridor

    5959 Lexington Ave N

    Hiking
  • Dakota Rail Regional Trail

    Hiking
  • MN River NWR - Bass ponds

    Hiking
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What To Do in Minneapolis: Day-Wise Ideas

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