The city spans three rivers (the Mississippi, St Croix, and the Minnesota) and visitors will notice that wherever you are in the city, you’re never far from a lake, river or water feature.
Its geographical location results in a pleasantly varied climate, with cold winters a common occurrence, interspersed with warm, humid summer months. Well-known for its multicultural population, Minneapolis welcomes expatriates and visitors alike, offering a wealth of accommodation, education, and lifestyle benefits.
A city with an international focus, a successful economic profile, good services (such as banks, utility companies, public transport and retail facilities) and a strong cultural heritage, Minneapolis is an attractive place in which to live and work. Education facilities are excellent and the chance to earn a significant income allows expats to gain significantly from moving to this appealing, vibrant city.
The city boasts a significant number of healthcare facilities, including seven hospitals in addition to clinics and general physician practices. Like the rest of the US, healthcare is privately funded and visitors to the area need to take out health insurance to cover their costs in the event that treatment is required. If deemed eligible for a “green card” permit (that is legally recognized as a permanent US resident) then you may be able to acquire cheaper insurance through a recognized US provider.
The main provider of emergency care in Minneapolis is the City Hospital (General Hospital). Like other emergency care providers, it provides essential medical treatment without initially considering ability to pay, although it is expected that the cost of the care will be recouped from insurance at a later date.
For more information on healthcare and health insurance, as well as related topics such as dentists and pharmacies, please refer to our dedicated articles on Health & Insurance in the USA.
In case of an emergency, 911 is the number that is recognized across the USA, giving access to the police and fire services as well as ambulance and emergency treatment if required.
From enjoying the spectacular performance of the Minnesota Twins baseball team to marveling at the prestigious artworks displayed at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the city is crammed with a wide selection of exciting and enriching cultural events. Home to a number of successful professional sporting teams including the Vikings (American football) and the Minnesota Lynx (women’s ice hockey), the city has a strong sporting tradition in many disciplines.
Expatriates living in Minneapolis can also enjoy a spectacular annual program of festivals and shows, including the Ice Castles, the Minnesota State Fair and even the annual “Ugly Sweater Run”, a 5 kilometer race!
Theaters, galleries, museums, and a successful music scene all help to ensure that Minneapolis offers plenty of engaging pastimes and pursuits. Access to these exciting venues is enhanced through good, cheap transport links and well managed traffic systems, which help ensure that getting around the city is straight forward, even during the busier periods.
Some parts of Minneapolis have a higher than average rate of crime, with the area to the north west of the city suffering from particularly high levels of antisocial and criminal activity. The Minneapolis Police Department regularly releases “crime maps”, which show that the Philips neighborhood and midtown Minneapolis also have spots where crime is concentrated.
However, like any other neighborhoods, these areas also have quiet, safe streets where accommodation can be obtained at an advantageous price, so if you’re thinking of buying or need to rent a property, have a word with the estate agent or the local police to check crime levels immediately around the address.
For international expats considering renting an apartment or booking hotel accommodation, crime figures show Cedar Ave S/E 52nd Street, Portland Ave/E49th Street and W50th St / Xerxes Ave S are amongst the safest areas of the city. Like any other urban dweller, making sure your home is secure, your valuables safely stored when you’re out and about, and observing general rules for personal safety (not walking down poorly lit areas alone at night, for example) can help you stay safe in the city.
If you do need assistance, 911 is the US emergency number; ringing this will allow you to connect with the fire, ambulance or police service, depending on which agency is best placed to help.
For more general information, you can also take a look at our comprehensive section on Safety and Security in the USA, which includes articles on the police and law enforcement, racism and discrimination, as well as emergency preparedness in general.