Areas to Avoid, Minneapolis
I would say avoid the whole area. Overpriced and Over-hyped, that is the Twin Cities. The downtown MPLS is freaking dirty, trash cans at just about every corner in downtown MPLS but crap is still on the ground along with cigarette butts, chewing gum, and loogies!. A bunch of bums downtown in MPLS. But if you have to come here. I would say any apart of the Twin Cities is fine. Don't move to Richfield, it really sucks especially if you want to have conversations in English with your neighbors. Don't go to the Central library in MPLS, it just a hang out spot, its very LOUD.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are very clean and safe, I'd avoid North Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park and Brooklyn center, but these are not really areas you'd have any reason to venture into any way. St Paul, Stillwater, south Minneapolis Uptown and Edina are all very nice clean safe ares and the twin cities overall has very little crime. I've lived here my entire life and have never had a problem.
I grew up in S. Mpls. and have lived on the north side a few times. Back in the 60s and 70s Lake street and even the north side was not too bad. Now it is a different story. It has been infested with dirtballs. Listen to yourselves, "don't go out at night", "don't act paranoid", "don't talk to strangers", what a bunch of crap. If I want to walk my dogs at night, I should be able to without having my hand on a loaded Glock in my pocket. After all, I'm not dealing drugs or casing houses to rob. No wonder we have someone like Al Franken as a senator. Yes a guy could stay and fight but, when you are totally outnumbered with creeps, it is just not worth it anymore. A losing battle that makes life very hard for a law abiding citizen. Thank you liberals. Call it "white flight" or whatever. Show me a "black city" and I'll show you a "bad city". Statistics are not racist. Same thing has happened to the east side of Saint Paul. You can pretend you are living in a cheap rent "la la" land but, you have just been lucky so far. I suggest you get a concealed carry permit because your number will come up living where you do.
I have lived in North Minneapolis, Harrison neighborhood for the past year. I live right where it is supposed to be "dangerous". As a 26 year old skinny white boy who goes to work in a suit everyday I would seem to be a clear target for a crime right? Well, not if you use common sense. Park in a garage, don't wander at night, be aware of your surroundings, don't act paranoid, don't talk to strangers and don't pull out your cell phone and you will be fine. My roommate is a extremely attractive small girl and she has been fine as well. When you live in a big city and near downtown of course there is a higher amount of crime, that is normal and should be understood. If you stay out of other peoples business you should be fine, and able to take advantage of cheap rent, affordable homes and great local parks. While this area isn't "fun" like uptown, it's cheap and for young professionals saving for a home, that is a great option.
The neighborhood I would avoid is whatever gated community MonteS11 lives in. Neighborhoods like north Minneapolis and Phillips are full of hard working, committed people fighting to overcome poverty and oppression. White supremacist jerks like the above mentioned poster are, happily, not typical of Minneapolis, so don't worry, kind traveler, it is safe to visit here.
For your own safety you will want to stay out of the poor black neighborhoods. These are extremely high crime areas. A lot of the people living there have moved from Chicago and Gary, Indiana to take advantage of the liberal welfare system in Minnesota. These people are the worst of the worst and should be avoided at all costs. Don't end up learning the hard way. This is probably the best advice you are going to get. Definitely stay out of North Minneapolis and the Philips neighborhood in south Minneapolis. Minneapolis ranks high in crime and rates 30th out of 450 metropolitan cities in the U.S.
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.