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Minneapolis

Skyline along the Mississippi, Minneapolis

Practical Info about Minneapolis

Getting around the city

Getting around on foot in the downtown areas of the massive metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St Paul is a fascinating experience on the famous skyways, a network of enclosed walkways which connect buildings in the city centres at second-storey level, ensuring no pedestrian needs to be exposed to bad weather. About 60 blocks of downtown Minneapolis are connected by skyways totalling about five miles (8km). When your feet are tired, hop on the bus: MetroTransit operates one of the largest public transport systems in the United States, running about 73-million bus trips every year. Trip planners and route information are readily available in the city and from hotel concierges. The relatively new Hiawatha Light Rail Transit route links downtown to the airport and the Mall of America, and the Northstar Corridor route takes passengers as far north as Big Lake. The twin cities also have numerous taxi services, available on call or outside hotels and other public venues.

Time

GMT -6 (GMT -5 from March to November).

Electricity

120 volts, 60Hz. Plugs are mainly the type with two flat pins, though three-pin plugs are also widely used. European appliances without dual-voltage capabilities will require an adapter.

Currency

The official currency is the US Dollar (USD), which is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Communication

The international country dialling code for the United States is +1. Mobile networks cover most of the country, including all urban areas, however unless you have a tri-band phone it is likely your cellular phone from home will not work in the United States. Internet cafes are prevalent in most towns and cities.

Emergency number

Emergencies: 911

Visa and health information

Everything about visa and health information

Public holidays

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2014 2015
New Years Day 1 Jan 1 Jan
Martin Luther King Day 20 Jan 19 Jan
Presidents Day 17 Feb 16 Feb
Memorial Day 26 May 25 May
Independence Day 4 Jul 4 Jul
Labour Day 1 Sep 7 Sep
Columbus Day 13 Oct 12 Oct
Veterans Day 11 Nov 11 Nov
Thanksgiving Day 27 Nov 26 Nov
Christmas Day 25 Dec 25 Dec

Climate

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The climate of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St Paul, is rather harsh because of the northerly and land-locked location. Winters, which fall at the end of the year, are bitterly cold, with abundant snow and temperatures plunging well below freezing. In fact, records show that the Twin Cities have maximum temperatures of below freezing point on 76 days out of the year. Summers, which fall between June and August, are mild to hot, but short-lived. The best time to visit Minneapolis is between August and September, which has idyllic weather around the 77°F (25°C) mark, and all the festivals and events the region can fit into the two-month period. Rainfall can occur all year round, but is most plentiful in June. The driest month is February.

Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport

www.mspairport.com

Getting to the city

A Ground Transportation information booth provides passengers with information and directions. City buses leave from the Lindbergh Terminal to both Minneapolis and St Paul. A light rail operates between the airport, downtown Minneapolis and Mall of America. SuperShuttle provides a shared van door-to-door service to the local cities and towns.

Car rental

Car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz and National and counters can be found in the Hub Building, which can be reached by the free underground tram from the Lindbergh Terminal.

Airport taxi's

Taxis are easily hailed from outside the arrivals terminals at the taxi booth. The journey from the airport to Minneapolis takes approximately 30 minutes, costing $39-49; and to St Paul around 20 minutes, costing $31-38. To reach the taxi booth from the Lindbergh Terminal, cross through the Tunnel Level toward the parking ramp and go up one level.

Transfer between terminals

The airport's two terminals are linked by covered walkways and a free light rail that takes three minutes.

Facilities

Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal is a collection of numerous shops, restaurants and food courts. Other facilities include ATMs and bureaux de change, duty-free, postal services and a children's play area. Business centres situated throughout the airport offer internet, fax and photocopying services. Wireless internet access is also provided. The nearby Hilton hotel offers its rooms and gym facilities at day rates. Disabled facilities are good; those with special needs should contact their airline in advance.

Parking

Parking for the Humphrey Terminal is in the gold and purple ramps; Lindbergh Terminal parking is in the blue, green, red and gold ramps. All parking is connected to the terminals via skyways. Short-term parking is $5 for the first hour, $8 for the second and $1 per hour thereafter up to $36. Value parking in the orange ramp is $16 per day, connected to the Humphrey Terminal by skyway and the Lindbergh Terminal by light rail.

Internet

Free wifi is available throughout the airport via the 'MSP-WiFi' network.