Just be sensible. I am 22 and I have lived here my whole life. Minneapolis and St Paul are like any other cities. There are spotty areas around downtown to avoid, but pretty much nowhere is a good idea to be in the middle of the night unless you are in the suburbs. Still even then nighttime can be dangerous. Specific areas to avoid might be the Payne-Phalen area east of downtown St Paul and Philips on the South Side of Minneapolis. Also, I have never had a bad experience riding on the light rail and I have done it quite a bit, so use the trains and buses as they are very helpful. For the most part the Twin Cities is a great place to walk around or hang out in.
Okay I live on the northside of Minneapolis. It isn't that bad. Yes we have some gang members and murders. But nothing major happens. People act like the northside is gonna eat you up and spit you out. Before you judge a place, try going there and giving it a try.
Minneapolis isn't really that dangerous. But I have to agree, the worst would be North Mpls, but that really isnt anything compared to places like NYC, LA, or Miami. And what's with the descrimination against blacks on here? People are acting like any neighborhood with blacks has people that will maul you. That's not true. I live across the street from a black family and theyre very nice and funny. I became best friends with a black girl who had the greatest sense of humor. The one thing that annoys me the most is when people make assumptions.
At night is probably the worst time to take a walk or be out on your own. Once it gets dark, stay off the streets till dawn. Some places, like what richard97 said, can be safe, but four in the morning can be pushing it.
there are lots of beaches in the minneapolis area and it's very fun to go swimming after dark (even though it is technically illegal). i went to "hidden beach" around upton around south mpls/ uptown around midnight and the cops came within 15 minutes and gave us all hundred dollar tickets. they check the beaches a lot and don't hesitate to write people up.
in addition, one of the cops was telling me about how they have found men lurking around in the bushes around these park/beaches with rope, presumably to attack any girls who might go swimming at night. theres also the occasional drunk weirdo who will come upto you and try to get some of your liquor. so if you're gonna go to the beach at night and you are a girl make sure there are a couple of guys with you and that you don't wander off alone.
Having lived downtown from 1996-2006, I have a pretty good perception on what's 'safe' and what's not. The actual neighborhoods in Minneapolis which generate the most media attention (north Minneapolis) are places you wouldn't be going anyways because there are no real sights there for visitors. They are like neighborhoods in any other cities with modest homes and parks. The places to use caution are downtown and the areas surronding it.
The biggest change I have noticed is the presence of open drug activity in Loring Park and downtown sidestreets (Yale Place, Harmon Place, Nicollet & Grant - Loring Towers, etc). This was NOT a common occurrance in 1996 but with the lack of police downtown today, it's something I'm afraid will get worse as the summer nears. I'm already seeing it. I know that most of this goes on matter what police do, but I guess it bothers me that this goes on as much as it does and God help the person who unknowingly rounds the corner in the middle of a deal or a fight.
Your safety downtown depends on common sense you would use in any city. Don't go out alone dressed nicely and drunk - you're asking to be robbed. I worked for the city 911 call center for years and after a while learned how the game works - most of the criminals downtown wait just before bar closing to go after people because they know the police are occupied with dispersing crowds from bars and clubs - so if you get robbed around 1-2 am, it's gonna be a long time before the cops get to you. Almost 100% of the time the crooks are long gone by then and never caught. During the day, and into the evening, downtown Minneapolis is one of the safest (and rapidly becoming the wealthiest) areas I've been in. The presence of $2 million condo owners downtown will likely result in a demand for more protection and police presence, and with the convention center being downtown, generally your stay in downtown will be a pleasant one.
why are people so afraid of predominantly black neighborhoods? people are so ready to buy into the stereotypes without even experiencing it for themselves!!
and on that note:
if you're afraid of black folks, stay out of the north side. it's people like you who got blacks living in poor neighborhoods to begin with.
if you either love black folks or you are black yourself: go STRAIGHT to the north side. that's where you'll find the best soul food, the best barbershops and hair salons, and the best after-hour parties... not to mention a whole slew of good-looking, eligible black men and women.
This place is the epitomy of temperature extremes...Mpls. is SUPER HOT AND HUMID ALL DAMN SUMMER - JUNE-AUGUST.
then like a psychotic delusion - it's Sept. - MN state fair which has usually broiled temps. - ends.
AND THEN YOU HAVE 2 DAYS OF LOVELY FALL AND BE PREPARED TO SPEND LOTS OF $$$$ ON ARCTIC WINTER WEAR.
this place is so f&cked up weather wise, it's INSANE.
I haven't been to Chi-Lake in a few years but it had a HUGE liquor store that all sorts of scummy flotsam seem to love hanging out at.
Mpls. has relatively few panhandlers but this is one of the real hot spots...it you feel kind and some one panhandles from you - just go in the liquor store & buy them a 40 oz. of malt liquor. DO IT DISCREETLY so EVERYONE doesn't think you are gonna buy 4 them!
WHY do I endorse buying a 40 oz. of Malt Liquor for these peeps? Because I've worked with homeless people and live in San Fran - Golden Gate of Panhandler's Galore...
... my point is if you're homeless in MPLS you deserve a 40 oz. of malt liquor. I knew someone who lived under a BRIDGE ALL WINTER LONG IN THIS FRIDGED HELL and FINALLY got off the street; I am amazed at this person.
Point - homeless people are human beings just like everyone else; be nice to them because you never KNOW when YOUR day might come and you have a major heath care problem -you're employer is an non empathic bastard and....well you get the idea I hope.
If you have chosen to walk to the Mall of America from your hotel during the day, remember you have to return back to the hotel later. The day time walk is enjoyable, but the evening return can be daunting.
If you choose to cross the parking lot at night, be aware that you are alone out there, and many RVer's choose to park in the lot, plus we have noticed vans cruising the area. This could be a source of DANGER. You are laden down with parcels, you are tired, and often the only thought is of a warm shower and pajamas. Be wary, but even better, use the hotel courtesy van to come home. Check with your hotel for the 'pick up point' as well as times of pick up. Every hotel has one.
Courtesy Vans are free, but a gratuity for the driver would be appreciated.
Avoid the area around Lake and Chicago avenue at night... its seedy, and just dark and icky.
Don't walk around the lake or river, or in the parks alone at night... perverts like to lurk in the bushes litterally...
Parking meters are really enforced.:(
Its not a dangerous city, but its spread out so if you're in a bad area walking, it may take awhile to get out of it.. public transport isn't that great either, and taxis are really expensive.
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