A Business Traveler’s Guide To Minneapolis-St. Paul


Minneapolis-St. Paul, the vibrant heart of Minnesota, seamlessly blends urban sophistication with natural beauty. As a major hub for industries such as finance, healthcare, and technology, the Twin Cities present numerous opportunities for business travelers to balance work and leisure. This guide will help you navigate the diverse offerings of Minneapolis-St. Paul, making your trip both productive and enjoyable.


  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, also known as the Twin Cities, is famous for its vibrant arts and culture scene.
  • Founded in 1849, Minneapolis became a city in 1867, while St. Paul was founded in 1841 and became a city in 1854.
  • The Twin Cities metro area is the 16th largest in the U.S., with a diverse and dynamic population.
  • Home to Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, the largest such garden in the country.
  • Known for its extensive park systems, with over 200 parks and 22 lakes, making it one of the best cities for outdoor activities year-round.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) – MINNEAPOLIS, MN


Where to Go:

How to Get to Downtown Minneapolis-St. Paul

Light Rail (METRO Blue Line)
Cost: $2.50
Time: Approximately 25-30 minutes

Cost: Approximately $39-$49
Time: 15-25 minutes (traffic dependent)

Cost: Variable
Time: 15-25 minutes (traffic dependent)


St. Paul Downtown Airport (STP) – ST. PAUL, MN


Where to Go:

How to Get to Downtown Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rideshare or Taxi
Cost: Variable
Time: 10-30 minutes (traffic dependent)

Flying Cloud Airport (FCM) – EDEN PRAIRIE, MN


Where to Go:

  • Eden Prairie Center: Shop and dine at this large mall, just a short drive from the airport.
  • Staring Lake Park: Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and picnicking in this scenic park nearby.
  • Braemar Golf Course: Play a round of golf at this beautiful course, located a short distance from the airport.
How to Get to Downtown Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rideshare or Taxi
Cost: Variable
Time: 25-45 minutes (traffic dependent)

Aerial view of Minneapolis and the surrounding landscape.

Minneapolis-St. Paul Dos & Don'ts

Take on Minneapolis-St. Paul with insight and awareness, ready to immerse yourself in the Twin Cities' unique blend of Midwestern charm, vibrant cultural scene, and natural beauty. Following these tips will ensure a rewarding and smooth experience as you navigate the area for business and leisure.


  • Dress in Layers: The weather in Minneapolis-St. Paul can be unpredictable, so dressing in layers will help you stay comfortable throughout the day.
  • Explore the Parks and Lakes: The Twin Cities are renowned for their extensive park systems and beautiful lakes. Take some time to enjoy outdoor activities like walking, biking, or boating.
  • Savor Local Cuisine: From the iconic Juicy Lucy burger to Scandinavian-inspired dishes, Minneapolis-St. Paul offers a diverse culinary scene worth exploring.


  • Underestimate the Cold: Winters in Minneapolis-St. Paul can be harsh. Make sure to pack appropriate winter gear if you're visiting during the colder months.
  • Ignore the Arts Scene: The Twin Cities boast a rich arts and culture scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and museums. Don't miss out on experiencing some local art and performances.
  • Forget About Traffic: Like any major metropolitan area, traffic can be an issue during rush hours. Plan your travels accordingly to avoid delays.
Light rail going through downtown Minneapolis

Minneapolis-St. Paul Public Transportation

Navigating Minneapolis-St. Paul is key to a successful business trip. Here's how to make the most of the Twin Cities' transportation options:

1. Metro Transit

Metro Transit's extensive bus network covers both Minneapolis and St. Paul, as well as surrounding suburbs, offering a reliable and affordable way to get around.

2. METRO Light Rail

The METRO Light Rail system includes the Blue Line and Green Line, connecting key areas such as downtown Minneapolis, downtown St. Paul, the University of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It's a convenient and efficient way to travel through the Twin Cities, especially during rush hours.

3. Rideshare and Taxis

Services like Uber, Lyft, and local taxis are readily available in the Twin Cities, providing a convenient option for destinations not easily accessible by public transit.

4. Skyway System

Downtown Minneapolis boasts an extensive Skyway system, a network of enclosed, climate-controlled walkways connecting buildings across the downtown area. This system is particularly useful during the cold winter months, allowing you to navigate the city comfortably.

Mural of Bob Dylan in downtown Minneapolis

Your Minneapolis-St. Paul Soundtrack

Minneapolis-St. Paul’s music scene is rich and diverse, reflecting the vibrant cultural heritage of the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. From the legendary sounds of Prince and Bob Dylan to contemporary acts like Atmosphere and Hippo Campus, the local music landscape spans genres from rock and funk to hip-hop and indie pop. As you explore the cities, let these iconic and modern tunes provide the perfect backdrop to your Minneapolis-St. Paul experience.


Skyline of Saint Paul

Best Business Hotels In Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis-St. Paul’s business-oriented hotels blend comfort, convenience, and Midwestern hospitality, providing an ideal base for your corporate visit.

The Saint Paul Hotel

Located in downtown St. Paul, The Saint Paul Hotel offers classic elegance with modern amenities. Known for its luxurious rooms and excellent service, the hotel features state-of-the-art meeting facilities, a fitness center, and multiple dining options, including The St. Paul Grill, which serves American cuisine in an upscale setting. Its central location makes it perfect for business travelers needing quick access to key business venues.

The Westin Minneapolis

Housed in a historic building, The Westin Minneapolis combines old-world charm with contemporary comforts. This downtown hotel features well-appointed rooms with high-speed internet, ergonomic workspaces, and a tranquil indoor pool. The hotel’s on-site restaurant, BANK, offers modern American fare, while its extensive meeting spaces make it ideal for business events and conferences.

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Situated on Nicollet Mall, the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis offers a stylish and convenient stay for business travelers. The hotel boasts modern rooms with stunning city views, a 24-hour fitness center, and an indoor pool. Its Prairie Kitchen & Bar serves locally sourced Midwest cuisine, and the extensive conference facilities cater to all business needs.

Hilton Minneapolis

Located in the heart of downtown, the Hilton Minneapolis is known for its spacious accommodations and thoughtful amenities. The hotel features a large fitness center, an indoor pool, and convenient dining options, including Ten 01 Social for everything from coffee and treats to salads, sandwiches and made-to-order pizzas. Its prime location and comprehensive business facilities make it a top choice for corporate travelers.

Aerial view of Minneapolis

Where To Work Outside Of Your Minneapolis-St. Paul Hotel

Boost your productivity by exploring Minneapolis-St. Paul's diverse work-friendly spots, perfect for a change of scenery.

Spyhouse Coffee (North Loop)

Spyhouse Coffee in the North Loop is a favorite among locals and visitors for its inviting atmosphere and exceptional coffee. This chic café offers a comfortable space for working, complete with free Wi-Fi and a menu featuring artisanal coffee, pastries, and light bites. The industrial decor and large windows provide a bright and inspiring environment.

Minneapolis Central Library

The Minneapolis Central Library, located downtown, provides a serene and resource-rich environment. With its modern architecture, quiet study areas, and free Wi-Fi, it’s an ideal spot for focused work, research, or meetings. The library also features a rooftop terrace with beautiful city views, perfect for a relaxing break.

Cafe Astoria

Combining a coffee shop, eatery, and social hub, Cafe Astoria caters to a variety of needs. Located in St. Paul, it’s a unique venue where you can work from a cozy booth, enjoy a meal, or relax with a specialty coffee or smoothie. The eclectic decor and lively atmosphere make it a popular spot for creatives and professionals alike.


Coco in downtown Minneapolis is a co-working space designed for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and business travelers. Offering day passes and a variety of workspaces, it’s a great spot for networking, collaborating, or working solo in a dynamic and inspiring environment. The space also hosts events and workshops, providing opportunities for professional growth and connection.

Nina's Coffee Cafe

Located in the historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood of St. Paul, Nina's Coffee Cafe offers a charming and laid-back environment for getting work done. With its cozy seating, free Wi-Fi, and a menu of organic coffee and delicious snacks, it's a perfect spot for productivity away from your hotel room.

Close up of clean glasses sitting on a bar in Saint Paul

Best Happy Hours To Entertain Clients In Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis-St. Paul's happy hour scene offers a delightful way to unwind and connect with clients, featuring a mix of great drinks and appetizing bites.

The Capital Grille

Located in downtown Minneapolis, The Capital Grille is renowned for its refined atmosphere and exceptional service. Its happy hour, known as the "Generous Pour," is perfect for client meetings, offering an array of fine wines and craft cocktails. The menu includes upscale items like truffle fries, lobster and crab cakes, and mini tenderloin sliders, providing a sophisticated backdrop for business discussions.

The Gnome

In the heart of St. Paul, The Gnome offers a cozy and welcoming atmosphere with an impressive selection of craft beers and whiskies. Their happy hour includes discounted drinks and a variety of delectable bar bites such as smoked wings, truffle fries, and cheese curds. The relaxed yet lively environment makes it an excellent choice for a casual business meeting.

Spoon and Stable

Located in the North Loop, Spoon and Stable is a renowned restaurant with a chic bar area perfect for happy hour. Known for its expertly crafted cocktails and elegant ambiance, it offers a range of discounted drinks and gourmet appetizers like pork belly sliders and charcuterie boards. It's an ideal spot to impress clients with both the culinary and drink offerings.


In downtown St. Paul, Meritage is a sophisticated French brasserie that provides an elegant setting for happy hour. With an extensive wine list, cocktails, and a menu featuring French-inspired small plates, it’s a perfect venue for a professional gathering. Clients will enjoy the upscale yet cozy atmosphere, making it a prime spot for networking and relaxation.

Rooftops in downtown Minneapolis

Best Rooftop Bars & Restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis-St. Paul's skyline and river vistas create the perfect backdrop for rooftop dining and socializing, blending stunning views with the city’s culinary innovations.

Brit's Pub

Located in downtown Minneapolis, Brit's Pub offers a unique rooftop lawn bowling green along with stunning views of the city. Known for its classic British pub fare and extensive beer selection, this rooftop setting is perfect for a casual and fun evening. Enjoy traditional dishes like fish and chips, shepherd’s pie, and a variety of ales while taking in the cityscape.

Union Rooftop

Union Rooftop, located in downtown Minneapolis, features a fully enclosed, year-round rooftop bar and dining area. With its retractable glass roof, you can enjoy the skyline views in any weather. The menu offers a mix of American classics and innovative dishes, along with an extensive cocktail and wine list.

The Lexington

In St. Paul, The Lexington offers a historic ambiance with a modern rooftop patio. Known for its classic American cuisine and craft cocktails, The Lexington's rooftop provides a charming setting with views of the city. The menu includes lobster rolls, prime rib sandwiches, and a variety of seasonal cocktails, making it a great spot for business and leisure.

Hewing Hotel Rooftop

The Hewing Hotel in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis features a chic rooftop bar and lounge with breathtaking views of the downtown skyline. The rooftop includes a pool, sauna, and a cozy lounge area with fire pits, making it a year-round destination. The bar serves an array of craft cocktails, local beers, and a menu of small plates, perfect for a relaxed yet upscale evening.

Pedestrian bridge in Minneapolis

Where To Exercise In Minneapolis-St. Paul

Maintain your fitness routine during your Minneapolis-St. Paul business trip with these versatile exercise options, from outdoor activities to state-of-the-art gym facilities.

Run or Walk Along the Mississippi Riverfront

The Mississippi Riverfront offers a network of scenic trails perfect for running or walking. Enjoy the beautiful views of the river and the Minneapolis skyline while staying active. The Stone Arch Bridge and Mill Ruins Park are highlights along this picturesque route.

Hotel Fitness Centers

Many Minneapolis-St. Paul hotels boast excellent fitness centers. These facilities are well-equipped with modern exercise equipment, providing a convenient option for guests to keep up with their workouts.

Yoga and Fitness Studios

Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to numerous yoga and fitness studios, offering a range of classes that cater to different levels and styles. Whether you're looking for a high-intensity workout or a calming yoga session, there's something for every traveler. 


Hike in the Theodore Wirth Regional Park

For those who enjoy outdoor workouts, Theodore Wirth Regional Park offers a variety of hiking trails. These trails provide a challenging workout with rewarding views of the park’s natural beauty, including lakes, forests, and rolling hills.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at Local Parks

Minneapolis-St. Paul’s parks, like Minnehaha Park and Como Park, are great for outdoor workouts. These parks offer a refreshing environment for jogging, cycling, or even a quick bodyweight exercise routine amidst the city's lush greenery and scenic landscapes.

Art in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Blend Work with Pleasure: Minneapolis-St. Paul Style

Minneapolis-St. Paul, where urban sophistication meets natural beauty, offers numerous opportunities for a fulfilling bleisure experience. Here's how you can enjoy the best of the Twin Cities' attractions at a comfortable pace.

Explore the Mill City Museum

After your coffee, take a stroll to the Mill City Museum, located on the historic Mississippi riverfront. This museum, built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, offers fascinating insights into Minneapolis' industrial history and spectacular views of the river.

Visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Immerse yourself in the arts with a visit to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. This expansive outdoor park showcases an impressive collection of contemporary art pieces in a serene, green setting.

Tour the Minnesota History Center

After your coffee, head to the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul. This interactive museum offers exhibits that delve into the state’s rich history, providing a fascinating and educational experience.

Stroll Around Lake Bde Maka Ska

Enjoy the natural beauty of Minneapolis with a walk or bike ride around Lake Bde Maka Ska, the largest of the city’s Chain of Lakes. The lake's scenic trails and vibrant surroundings offer a refreshing break from work.


Shop and Play at Mall of America

No trip to the Twin Cities is complete without a visit to the Mall of America in Bloomington. This massive shopping and entertainment complex offers a wide array of stores, restaurants, and attractions. Spend your afternoon shopping, dining, or exploring the many attractions, such as Nickelodeon Universe, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, or the Crayola Experience. It’s a perfect blend of work and play.


passport icon

The new home for business travelers.

BusinessTravel.com is the only booking engine on the internet designed specifically for business travelers, from novices to true road warriors.

Sign up to get the latest news from BusinessTravel.com, including early access to the platform.