Saint Paul (or St. Paul) is the capital city and the second-largest city of the US state of Minnesota. Along with the slightly larger Minneapolis it forms the urban core of the Twin Cities region, the third largest metropolis in the Midwest.
Saint Paul is in the Upper Midwest along the Mississippi River, just east and downstream of its sister city Minneapolis. Its location near the head of navigation on the Mississippi River led to its historical development as a transportation hub for freight from the west and to the east and south. The geologically recent Mississippi River is a prominent feature of the landscape, traversing the the city from the upscale riverside homes in Highland Park to the undevelopable floodlands near the junction with the Minnesota River, through the historic downtown riverboat landings and railroad infrastructure, the Mississippi River is the defining feature of Saint Paul.
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Winters in Saint Paul can be very cold, summer is often warm to hot and frequently humid, snowfall is common in the winter and thunderstorms with heavy rainfall occur during the spring, summer and autumn. If you are not fond of the cold, May-October would be the best time to visit Saint Paul. Downtown Saint Paul has a skyway system to allow you to escape the elements in bad weather, although it isn't nearly as extensive as the one in downtown Minneapolis.
- Saint Paul Visitor Information Center, 75 W 5th St (inside the Landmark Center between Washington and Market), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM.
See the Twin Cities page for more information.
MSP Airport Terminals
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (IATA: MSP) is just outside the southeast corner of the city. It is a major hub for Delta Air Lines and also a hub for local discount carrier Sun Country Airlines. Metro Transit provides bus service between the airport (at Terminal 1) and downtown Saint Paul on Route 54, which runs along West 7th Street. The bus comes by every 15 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, every 20 minutes on Sundays, and the trip time from the airport to downtown is roughly 20 minutes. If your flight arrives at Terminal 2, take the light rail (free fare between terminals) one stop north to Terminal 1 and transfer to the bus. Taxi fare from the airport to downtown is around $31-38.
- Amtrak, 730 Transfer Rd (Midway Station). Station hours: Daily 6AM-12:30AM. Ticketing hours: Daily 6:30AM-11:30PM. Amtrak's Empire Builder stops once daily in each direction from Chicago, Seattle, or Portland. Since 2012 and likely through 2014, service from points west is routinely delayed by 2-6 hours from the scheduled times because of track work and traffic in the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Midway Station is located in an industrial area on the western edge of the city with nothing noteworthy within walking distance. Public transit access is provided by Route 16 buses along University Avenue, one block south of the station, which heads east to downtown Saint Paul every 10-15 minutes days and evenings, less frequently late evenings and weekends, at least hourly through the night. (if you get on a westbound bus you'll end up in Minneapolis). Route 87 also stops there, which heads north to the Saint Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and south to Highland Park. By early 2014 Amtrak has plans to move back to the renovated Union Depot downtown, which they haven't operated from since the 1970s.
Greyhound doesn't directly serve Saint Paul, but they serve downtown Minneapolis, from which reaching Saint Paul is fairly easy. Jefferson Lines provides some service to Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul, although their services from downtown Minneapolis are a bit more extensive.
- Jefferson Lines, 240 E Kellogg Blvd (Union Depot). Limited services from Duluth, Des Moines, Kansas City, Green Bay, and points in between. The bus station is at Union Depot in downtown.
- Megabus, N Pascal St and St Anthony Ave (at NW corner in the parking lot for Midway Shopping Center). Service from Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison.
PLEASE NOTE: Construction related to the METRO Green Line light rail project has resulted in some lane closures along University Avenue plus full street closures and public bus reroutes in downtown Saint Paul. These disruptions are mostly finished as of 2013-08. Bus passengers using routes traveling along University Avenue (routes 16 and 50) should expect occasional delays. Up to date information on bus reroutes can be found on Metro Transit's Rail Construction page.
Interstate 35E and Interstate 94 travel through Saint Paul. US 52 also is a freeway connecting Saint Paul to the southern suburbs.
By public transit
Bus service in Saint Paul is not quite as reliable as it is in Minneapolis, with a few exceptions. The 54 runs fairly often between downtown Saint Paul and the airport via West 7th Street. The 16 also runs regularly along University Avenue, connecting the downtowns of both cities. The 84 runs frequently along Snelling Avenue.
- Minnesota Children's Museum, 10 W 7th St (between Wabasha and St Peter), ☎ . M 9AM-4PM (Memorial Day to Labor Day), Tu-Th 9AM-4PM, F-Sa 9AM-8PM, Su 9AM-5PM. At Minnesota Children's Museum, kids will have a blast discovering an exciting, immersive world that arouses their curiosity, increases their understanding, and ignites an appreciation for learning. Each of the Museum's seven galleries is uniquely designed to provide a hands-on, stimulating environment for children six months to 10 years old. Roving "funstigators" engage kids in fun and interactive smart play as they blow bubbles, toss balls, play with finger puppets, and provide a variety of stimulating play experiences for children of all ages. $8.95, children under 1 are free. Free for everyone on the third Su of the month.
- Minnesota Museum of American Art, 332 N Robert St (at 4th St, in the Pioneer Building), ☎ . Th-F 4PM-9PM, Sa-Su noon-5PM. The address above is for the MMAA Project Space, a small gallery in Lowertown with rotating exhibits; the MMAA also hosts temporary exhibitions at other venues around the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. A more permanent location for the museum is in the works. The MMAA is committed to representing the great cultural, racial, socioeconomic and regional diversity of American art and artists – past, present, and emerging. Free.
- Summit Avenue. Noted for its historic mansions. This neighborhood is also remarkable in its connection to the writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was born in Saint Paul.
- James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave (between Nina and Selby, near the Saint Paul Cathedral), ☎ . The house is open W-Sa 10AM-3:30PM, Su 1PM-3:30PM. The art gallery is open W-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1PM-4PM. Tour the 1891 mansion of the famous railroad tycoon. $8 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 6-17, free for children under 6 years. If you just want to visit the art gallery, admission is only $2.
- Grand Avenue. Runs parallel to Summit one block to the south. Noted for its multitudes of shops, although chain stores are increasing their presence at an alarming rate.
- Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd (near University between Park and Cedar), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 8:30AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-3PM, Su 1PM-4PM (guided tours M-Sa 10AM-2PM, Su 1PM-3PM; groups of ten or more need to reserve tours two weeks in advance). The headquarters of the Minnesota state government, completed in 1905 (construction started in 1896). This is the third building to serve as the state capitol—the first two are no longer standing—and it features the second-largest unsupported marble dome in the world, only bested by the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, which the Minnesota Capitol dome was partially modeled on. General tours are free.
- Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr (between Midway and Lexington Pkwys), ☎ . Oct-Mar 10AM-4PM daily, Apr-Sep 10AM-6PM daily. The zoo may occasionally close earlier. Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory are free, but the zoo asks that visitors consider making a voluntary donation of $2 for an adult and $1 for a child.
- Wabasha Street Caves, 215 S Wabasha St (south of Plato Blvd; Bus: 67), ☎ . Cave tours start at Th 5PM, Sa-Su 11AM; they take 45 minutes. Special tours start at other times. Tour these sandstone caves, which had been home to gangsters and speakeasies in the 1920s. $6 adults and free for children 5 and under for the basic cave tour. Special tours cost extra.
- Landmark Center, 75 W 5th St (between Market and Washington, across from Rice Park), ☎ . M-W 8AM-5PM, Th 8AM-8PM, F 8AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Originally built as a post office and a federal courthouse, this historical building now houses galleries and exhibits.
- Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 W Kellogg Blvd (at Washington), ☎ . M-Sa 9:30AM-9PM, Su 9:30AM-7PM. The Science Museum overlooks the Mississippi River and has a permanent exhibit devoted to the river. The museum also has a dinosaur fossils gallery and an experiment gallery with various hands-on activities. The collections gallery includes several quack medical devices from the now-defunct Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. $13 adults, $10 children 4-12 and seniors 60+. Access to omnitheater and special exhibitions will cost extra.
- Minnesota History Center, 345 W Kellogg Blvd (at John Ireland), ☎ . Tu 10AM-8PM, W-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM (also open M holidays 10AM-5PM. Library hours Tu noon-8PM, W-Sa 9AM-4PM). The state of Minnesota's main history museum, operated by the Minnesota Historical Society. Permanent and rotating exhibits on view. $11 adults, $9 seniors (65+)/college students/active military, $6 children (6-17), free for children 5 and under (free admission for everyone Tu 5PM-8PM).
- Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Ave E (between Jackson and Interstate 35E), ☎ . W 10AM-4PM, Sa 10AM-4PM. An old railroad roundhouse where historic locomotives and rolling stock come for restoration and maintenance. Also offers train rides.
- Cathedral of Saint Paul, 239 Selby Ave (at Summit/John Ireland; Bus: 21, 65), ☎ . Su-F 7AM-7PM, Sa 7AM-9PM. Serves as co-cathedral for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis along with the Basilica of Saint Mary.
Music and performing arts
- A Prairie Home Companion Radio Show, 10 E Exchange St (in the Fitzgerald Theater, between Wabasha and Cedar), ☎ , fax: +1 651 290-1195, e-mail: email@example.com. A dedicated piece of Americana A Prairie Home Companion is the brainchild of American humorist Garrison Keillor. The radio show calls the Fitzgerald Theater home, but the show can often be found on the road too. Contact information is for the Fitzgerald Theater.
- Wabasha Street Caves, 215 S Wabasha St, ☎ . Hosts a swing night every Thursday complete with big band and crowded dance floor. Every Thursday from 7PM-10PM, lessons begin at 6:15PM. $7 at the door, cash only.
- Saint Paul Winter Carnival, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Takes place in January. Events take place in Downtown and Como Park. Noted for the annual Ice Palace.
- Grand Old Day, Grand Avenue. Takes place along Grand Avenue on the first Sunday in June. Free parking is available at the University of St. Thomas north and south lots located on Summit and Cretin or Grand and Cretin. Free shuttle buses are available to event visitors.
- Irish Fair of Minnesota (Harriet Island, Cross over Wabasha Street bridge and you’ll see the park on your right), e-mail: email@example.com. Takes place in August at Harriet Island, just south of Downtown.
- Minnesota State Fair, ☎ . Takes place from mid-August through Labor Day and is one of the largest state fairs in the US. The main entrance to the State Fairgrounds is located at 1265 Snelling Avenue N, but you will first have to drive to one of the lots outside of the fairgrounds. As an alternative, you could take a bus. Metro Transit routes 3 and 84 stop near the fairgrounds, and they also operate shuttles during the fair that offer non-stop service to the fairgrounds from various park-and-ride lots located throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area. $9 adults (13-64), $8 seniors (65 & over) and children (5-12), free for children under 5. Parking costs $9.
- Taste of Minnesota (Harriet Island). Takes place every year over the 4th of July (July 2-5, 2010) at Harriet Island, just south of Downtown. Features numerous stages for musical performances.
- Minnesota Rollergirls, The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Season typically runs from September through April, but off-season bouts and events are common throughout the year. The Minnesota Rollergirls are a nationally ranked flat-track roller derby league and a member league of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA). Ticket prices range from $13-$18; ages 9 and under are free with an adult (some areas require a free kids ticket for seating purposes). Tickets available at 14 local ticket outlets, online, and from the Roy Wilkins Box Office.
- Minnesota Swarm, The team plays on Treasure Island Field at Xcel Energy Center, 175 Kellogg Blvd W. The Minnesota Swarm is a box lacrosse team in the National Lacrosse League.
- Minnesota Wild, Xcel Energy Center, 175 Kellogg Blvd W. The Minnesota Wild are Minnesota's National League hockey team.
- Saint Paul Saints Baseball, Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Dr. The St. Paul Saints are a professional baseball team and a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.
- Grandview Theater, 1830 Grand Ave (at Fairview; Bus: 63), ☎ . Two-screen cinema. Evening shows $8.50 adults, $6.50 children (11 and under) and seniors (60+). Matinées $6.50 for everyone.
- Highland Theater, 760 Cleveland Ave S (between Ford and Pinehurst; Bus: 23, 46, 70, 74, 84, 87), ☎ . Two-screen cinema. Evening shows $8.50 adults, $6.50 children (11 and under) and seniors (60+). Matinées $6.50 for everyone.
- College of Visual Arts.
- Macalester College.
- University of St. Thomas.
- Hamline University.
- St. Catherine University.
- Concordia University.
- McNally Smith College of Music.
- Cheapo, 71 Snelling Ave N (between Ashland and Portland, one block north of Summit; Bus: 84), ☎ . 10AM-10PM daily. Warehouse of used CDs and records.
- Common Good Books, 38 Snelling Ave S (at Grand; Bus: 63, 84), ☎ . M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-8PM. Excellent book store owned by Garrison Keillor, the host of the NPR radio show A Prairie Home Companion.
- Eclipse Records, 381 N Wabasha St (between 5th and 6th Sts), ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-7PM. Independent record store.
- First Grand Avenue Liquors, 918 Grand Ave (at Milton, one block west of Victoria; Bus: 63), ☎ . M-Th 9AM-8PM, F-Sa 9AM-10PM. Small family-owned liquor store that has a walk in cooler, tons of great micro/indie brews, 80+ types of scotch, and an excellent wine selection. Good deals as well as hard-to-find liqueurs.
- Half Price Books, 2041 Ford Pkwy (at Cleveland; Bus: 23, 46, 70, 74, 84, 87), ☎ . M-Sa 9AM-9PM, Su 10AM-8PM. Books, DVDs, CDs, LPs, and collectibles at half price or less.
- St. Paul Farmers' Market, 290 E 5th St (between Wall and Broadway), ☎ . May-Nov: Sa 6AM-1PM, Su 8AM-1PM; Dec-Apr: Sa 9AM-1PM. This farmers' market occupies one city block in Lowertown, and all the produce for sale here is grown within 50 miles of the Twin Cities.
- Babani's Kurdish Restaurant, 544 St Peter St (at 11th St), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. M-Th 11AM-2:30PM and 5PM-9PM, F 11AM-2:30PM and 5PM-9:30PM, Sa 5PM-9:30PM. The first Kurdish restaurant in the US.
- Black Sea Restaurant, 737 Snelling Ave N (between Minnehaha and Englewood; Bus: 67, 84), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. Cheap Turkish food. It's about one block south of nearby Hamline University. $6-$11.
- Cafe Latte, 850 Grand Ave (at Victoria; Bus: 63), ☎ . Su-Th 9AM-10PM, F-Sa 9AM-11PM. Cafeteria style restaurant with a great selection of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Don't leave without trying one of their decadent desserts, especially the turtle cake.
- El Burrito Mercado, 175 Cesar Chavez St (at State; Bus: 68), ☎ . Cafeteria: 7AM-8PM daily. Restaurant: M 10AM-6:30PM, Tu-F 10AM-8PM, Sa-Su 8AM-8PM. Mexican supermarket, deli, restaurant, and cafeteria on the West Side.
- Fasika Restaurant, 510 Snelling Ave N (at Sherburne; Bus: 16, 21, 84), ☎ . 11AM-midnight daily. This is an Ethiopian wonder. You can get spicy lentil or lamb dishes served without utensils on top of a very edible sponge bread. A sure destination for an adventurous, spice-friendly diner. $6-$11.
- Great Waters Brewery, 426 St Peter St (at 7th Pl, inside the Hamm Building), ☎ . Casual dining and hand-crafted beers in the heart of downtown.
- Green Mill, 57 Hamline Ave S (at Grand; Bus: 63), ☎ . M-Sa 11AM-1AM, Su 11AM-midnight. There are many locations of this pizzeria chain in the Twin Cities as well as some throughout Minnesota and surrounding states, but it all started here. Order your deep-dish Il Primo with the Walleye Strips and a pitcher of fresh beer right when you sit down because the pizza takes 30+ minutes to cook. Family-friendly. $7-17.
- Khyber Pass, 1571 Grand Ave (at Snelling; Bus: 63, 84), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-2PM and 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-2PM and 5PM-10PM. Afghani cuisine.
- Mai Village, 394 University Ave W (at Western; Bus: 16), ☎ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 10AM-8PM. Great ambiance (bridge over koi fish pond), good food, fair price, dim sum on the weekends, service can be slow sometimes.
- The Nook, 492 Hamline Ave S (at Randolph; Bus: 74), ☎ . Su-Th 11AM-10PM, F-Sa 11AM-11PM. One of the Twin Cities' favorite burger joints.
- On's Thai Kitchen, 1613 University Ave W (between Snelling and Fry; Bus: 16, 21, 84), ☎ . M-Sa 9AM-9PM. $7-$15.
- Pizza Lucé, 1183 Selby Ave (between Griggs and Dunlap; Bus: 21), ☎ . 11AM-1AM daily. The famed Minneapolis pizza mini-chain has now come to the capital city. This location boasts an authentic St. Paul neighborhood atmosphere with local color and a friendly staff.
- Red's Savoy Pizza, 421 E 7th St (at Lafayette Rd/US Hwy 52; Bus: 61, 64, 74), ☎ . There are other locations, but the original location just east of downtown is the best. If you go past dinner time on a Friday or Saturday night, expect to wait 30+ minutes to sit down at 1-2 hours for your pizza, and the parking lot will almost certainly be full. If however you come on a weekday or during the non-rush times, you can sit right down and have your pizza in 30 minutes or less. The pizza is a thicker "midwesterner" version of a thin crust, the sauce is spicy, and the cheese is plentiful. The three best pizzas are the plain ol' cheese, which is cheap, and delicious, the sausage adds more spice to the pizza, and the special comes loaded an inch thick with toppings. $10-20 per pizza.
- Saigon, 704 University Ave W (between Grotto and St Albans; Bus: 16, 65), ☎ . Tu-Sa 10AM-8PM, Su 10AM-7PM. Best Vietnamese food in the Twin Cities, among the best pho and banh mi you'll find outside Vietnam. A favorite destination not just for locals but for Food Network hosts and more. Quick, cheap, and delicious. $5-10; $3 for banh mi (sandwiches).
- Tanpopo Noodle Shop, 308 Prince St (at Broadway), ☎ . M-Th 5PM-9PM, F-Sa 5PM-10PM. Japanese noodle shop in Lowertown.
- W. A. Frost & Company, 374 Selby Ave (at Western; Bus: 21), ☎ , fax: +1 651 224-2945, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lunch: M-F 11AM-1:30PM; brunch: Sa-Su 10:30AM-2PM, dinner: 5PM-10PM daily. Historic restaurant blocks from the St. Paul Cathedral. Outstanding patio for summertime enjoyment. Award-winning wine list.
- Amsterdam Bar and Hall, 6 W 6th St (at Wabasha), ☎ . Bar and music venue in downtown.
- The Artists' Quarter, 408 Saint Peter St (at 7th Place, inside the Hamm Building), ☎ . A nice jazz place in downtown.
- Barrio, 235 E 6th St (at Wacouta, near the north side of Mears Park), ☎ . Tequila bar that also offers Mexican bar food.
- Big V's, 1567 University Ave W (at Snelling; Bus: 16, 21, 84), ☎ . Big V's is a dive bar in the Midway. Attracts many of the same local bands that play at the somewhat less-divey Turf Club (see below).
- Bin, 400 Sibley St (at 6th St), ☎ . Tu-Sa 3PM-2AM. A newly opened wine bar in Lowertown offering wine by the taste, glass, or bottle. They also offer wine flights and light appetizers.
- The Bulldog, 237 E 6th St (at Wacouta, near the north side of Mears Park), ☎ . 11AM-2AM daily. The Bulldog offers over 100 kinds of beer and an assortment of food options, including vegetarian entrees. Also features shuffleboard, darts, and a shuttle to the Xcel Center on game nights.
- Turf Club, 1601 University Ave W (at Snelling; Bus: 16, 21, 84), ☎ . 5PM-2AM daily. The Turf is one of the better venues in the Twin Cities to see local bands, and sometimes the occasional touring band. Cover charges on live music nights are usually between $5-10.
- Super 8 Saint Paul, 1739 Old Hudson Rd (at White Bear, off of I-94 exit 245; Bus: 63), ☎ , toll-free: , fax: +1 651 771-1262. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Newly renovated 97 unit property. Complimentary breakfast, business center, fitness center, meeting room facility and whirlpool suites available. $60+.
- Best Western Bandana Square, 1010 Bandana Blvd W (at Energy Park Dr, midway between Snelling and Lexington; Bus: 3), ☎ , fax: +1 651 647-0244. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. $100+.
- DoubleTree by Hilton, 411 Minnesota St (at 6th St), ☎ , fax: +1 651 605-0263. The DoubleTree hotel offers 8,000 square feet of flexible meeting space.
- Embassy Suites St. Paul Downtown, 175 E 10th St (at Jackson), ☎ . Complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast in an open air atrium. Indoor pool, fitness center and whirlpool. Onsite American restaurant: Woolley's & Cork's Pub.
- Holiday Inn, 175 W 7th St (at Kellogg), ☎ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: noon.
- Holiday Inn, 2201 Burns Ave (at McKnight, off of I-94 exit 246B; Bus: 63), ☎ .
- Crowne Plaza Hotel, 11 E Kellogg Blvd (between Wabasha and Cedar), ☎ .
- Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market St (at 5th St), ☎ , toll-free: .
- Hotel 340, 340 Cedar St (at 4th St, inside the top three floors (10-12) of the St. Paul Athletic Club).
Saint Paul and the eastern suburbs of the Twin Cities are in the 651 area code. From 651, it is not necessary to dial a 1 before the area code when calling numbers in the 612 (Minneapolis, Richfield, St. Anthony, the airport, and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus), 763 (northwest suburbs), or 952 (southwest suburbs) area codes.
There are no Internet cafes in Saint Paul. Most coffeehouses offer free wi-fi to paying customers, but very few will have Internet terminals.
- St. Paul Public Library, 90 W 4th St (between Market and Washington), ☎ . M noon-8PM, Tu-Sa 9:30AM-5:30PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Unlimited free wi-fi if you have your own computer. Unfortunately, the Internet workstations can only be accessed by St. Paul library cardholders.
|Routes through Saint Paul|
|Duluth ← White Bear Lake ←||N S||→ Eagan → Des Moines|
|to Fargo ← Minneapolis ←||W E||→ Afton → Madison|
|Fargo ← Arden Hills ←||W E||→ Cottage Grove → Stevens Point|
|Minneapolis ← Follow west ←||NW SE||→ Inver Grove Heights → Rochester|
|Forest Lake ← White Bear Lake ←||N S||→ Cottage Grove → La Crosse|
|Gaylord ← Bloomington ←||W E||→ Oakdale → Stillwater|