The Top Things to Do and See in Minneapolis

See the mighty Mississippi during your visit to Minneapolis
See the mighty Mississippi during your visit to Minneapolis | © Michael Snell / Alamy Stock Photo
Benjamin M. Smith

The northern metropolis of this Minnesota city offers a dynamic mix of culture, history and entertainment to its many annual visitors. From the attractions of Mall of America, to the beaux-arts architecture of Basilica of St Mary, Minneapolis has something for everybody. Here are our top 10 things to do and see on your trip.

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Shop at Mall of America

Although shopping might not be the most inspiring use of time while travelling, shopping at Mall of America is a different story entirely. Spread over the same space of around seven Yankee Stadiums, with 520 operating stores and counting, and an amusement park, an aquarium, a flight simulation center and a movie theatre, Mall of America really does deserve its self-professed title.

Tour Fulton Brewery

Be sure to have a beer or two while touring Minneapolis. Being a city proud of its Scandinavian heritage, and as one of the USA’s up-and-coming beer cities, Minneapolis is a great place to learn more about the blossoming American brewing industry. A case in point is Minneapolis’s Fulton Brewery: with humble origins making home-brews out of a south Minneapolis garage, it’s become one of the Twin Cities’ most celebrated breweries in recent years. Tour their taproom to get the whole story, and a few complementary pints on the house.

Visit the Basilica of St. Mary

As the first basilica constructed in North America, the Basilica of St Mary stands in testament to the hard-working immigrant communities that built it in 1907. Designed in the beaux-arts architectural style, both the basilica’s exterior and interior are marvellous to behold. Attend a Saturday or Sunday mass to experience a fundamental part of Minneapolis’s religious life.

See the Bell Museum of Natural History

Located on the University of Minnesota campus since 1872, the Bell Museum of Natural History has one of the best taxidermy collections in the country. Be prepared to get up-close-and-personal with the museum’s 16 large dioramas and 90 smaller ones, showcasing mammals all sizes. The Bell Museum of Natural History is a great museum stop while visiting the ‘U’, offering stunning visuals and a journey through the history of Minnesota’s beautiful natural environment.

Eat Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts

Ingebretsen’s stands today as the delicious result of a mass Scandinavian emigration to the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood in Minneapolis’s West Bank, as well as one family’s unwavering commitment to tradition. After 90 years, this Minneapolis deli has continued to make traditional Swedish, Danish and Nordic food for the city, which boasts the largest Scandinavian ancestry in the nation. Eat where the locals go for some of the finest traditional meats and cheeses in Minneapolis.

Tour the Mill City Museum

Located on the historic Mississippi Riverfront, the Mill City Museum was once the world’s largest flourmill. Dating back to the 1870s, the building and part of its ruins are now incorporated into the museum, and were once the site for the Pillsbury A Mill, home to Minneapolis’s then world-leading flour milling industry. A tour through the Mill City Museum will shed light on Minneapolis’s industry growth during the Industrial Revolution, especially the history of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.

Visit the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum

Named after the influential philanthropist and entrepreneur, and built by the architect Frank Gehry, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum is truly a sight to behold on the University of Minnesota’s East Bank. The building was finished in 1993, and is currently used as a teaching facility, museum, and is an exceptional work of art in its own right. With a collection of over 20,000 images and its capacity to hold separate exhibitions, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Musuem is a necessary stop in Minneapolis.

Catch a Game at Target Field

Nothing could be more American than attending a baseball game on a hot summer’s afternoon, cheering on a team while munching on traditional sports treats. Target Field presents the perfect opportunity to do just that, and is the beautiful home of the Minnesota Twins, Minneapolis’s home town team. Catch a game featuring a winning franchise and learn about America’s pastime at this Minneapolis destination.

Walk over the Stone Arch Bridge

Being more than 120 years old, the Stone Arch Bridge has seen its fair share of Minneapolis history. Originally purposed to be a rail road bridge, the structure was eventually decommissioned in 1965 and became a National Historic Engineering Landmark in 1980. Today, the bridge is primarily used by walkers, cyclists, and sightseers enjoying the view of St. Anthony Falls.

Have a Sausage at Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company

Kramarczuk’s Sausage Company is nothing short of legendary in Minneapolis. Dishing up classic Eastern European fare, Kramarczuk’s specializes in home-made sausage, but carries other kinds of meats, as well as salads, American favorites, and Eastern European sweets. The constant line at this establishment indicates its sway with the locals.

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