The best places to live in Minneapolis
The areas and suburbs in Minneapolis are a diverse blend of old and new, budget-friendly and luxurious. Each neighbourhood of Minneapolis has its advantages and drawbacks.
While apartments and houses in urban areas tend to be packed fairly closely together, the proximity to the city centre means that residents will have easy access to the public transport network and a short commute to the business districts. The outer suburbs are generally more affordable and offer more opportunity for big backyards and open spaces, but commute times into the city are longer.
Below is an overview of some popular areas and suburbs in Minneapolis.
Young and trendy areas in Minneapolis
Close to the Mississippi River, Central Minneapolis is home to the city's downtown area. Accommodation here mostly consists of high-rise apartment buildings and condo complexes, some of which are converted warehouses. There are also a few old Victorian homes in the neighbourhood.
Property prices are relatively high due to the proximity to the river, great eateries, pubs and, for those with children, a selection of exceptional schools. It is also close to the business district, so many residents are able to walk to work. Some of the trendiest nightclubs in Minneapolis can be found here, and it's the centre of Minneapolis’s coffee culture, so it’s popular with singletons, students and young families.
The University neighbourhood, as its name implies, is home to the University of Minnesota’s main campus. It goes without saying that the area is popular with students, and venues and activities largely cater to the student population. Besides a vibrant nightlife scene, there are plenty of parks and recreational activities for residents to enjoy during the day. Accommodation is mostly in the form of houses, apartments and condos, and prices are generally reasonable.
Northeast Minneapolis is an up-and-coming area popular with younger families. It offers a fashionable mix of residential, retail and industrial space, with plenty of galleries and studios alongside an eclectic mix of restaurants and shops. Accommodation in these areas takes the form of smaller houses and residential high-rises with loft and studio apartments. Larger condos and apartments are also available closer to the river.
Family life in Minneapolis
Calhoun Isles is an affluent area built around Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles. These lakes, along with many city parks in the neighbourhood, offer outdoor activities for the whole family to enjoy.
Housing in Calhoun Isles ranges from large Tudor-style homes to bungalows and fancy penthouses, and property prices are among the highest in Minneapolis. Calhoun Isles is home to some of the best schools in Minneapolis, so it is popular with families. The Uptown neighbourhood is also part of Calhoun Isles, and is especially popular with young professionals, as it is a centre of Minneapolis' nightlife and home to many upscale shops and restaurants.
Plymouth, located a short distance from Downtown Minneapolis, is a picturesque place to live. It is particularly popular with outdoor enthusiasts thanks to Medicine Lake and the many parks in the neighbourhood. Residents here will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping and entertainment.
►For information on transport and driving in the Twin Cities, see Getting Around in Minneapolis
"Avoid North Minneapolis and West St. Paul. The best options are South Minneapolis, Uptown, NE Minneapolis, and the suburbs."
Learn more about the best neighbourhoods in Minneapolis in our interview with Armenian expat Emma.
Are you an expat living in Minneapolis?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Minneapolis. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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