The Fundamentals Print

Here are the basics for getting you ready to live, travel, work, play, and learn more about Minneapolis – Saint Paul.

Doing Business in MSP

Minneapolis and Saint Paul have excellent reputations for their business climates. A highly educated workforce, a diverse economy, and competitively priced land and buildings, have contributed to the cities’ success in attracting and retaining businesses. Be sure to visit these websites if you’re looking to move or open your business in Minneapolis - Saint Paul.

Capital City Partnership—Downtown Saint Paul’s source for business and investor information including current downtown development, office market trends, housing, and retail information, as well as businesses relocation assistance.

City of Minneapolis—Business Services— The City offers tools and resources to help your business grow and prosper.

Greater MSP—Search for properties, analyze demographic data, and learn everything you need about opening or expanding your business in the Twin Cities.

Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce—Regional membership association serving businesses in Minneapolis/St. Paul (Twin Cities), Minnesota.

Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce—A membership association that serves nearly 2,000 businesses in the Twin Cities area.

Work in Saint Paul—What you need to know about expanding or opening a business in Saint Paul. See also the partnerships Work in Saint Paul guidebook. [PDF]

City Facilities, Services, & Utilities

Now that you’re here and you need a driver’s license, library card, phone service, and some gas and electricity, these links will take you to where you need to go.


Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Hennepin County Library—includes all Minneapolis libraries.

Minneapolis Public Schools

Hennepin County—find service centers and other county information.

Saint Paul Parks and Recreation

Saint Paul Public Library

Saint Paul Public Schools

Ramsey County—find facility locations and other county information.


Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul city websites have lots of information for residents.

Automobile and Driver’s License Registration—find the location nearest to you.

Minnesota Voter Registration—forms are available online and you can also register on election day at your polling station.

Get your pet licensed in Saint Paul or Minneapolis.


Minneapolis and Saint Paul have all of you utility (water, trash, recycling, gas, electric) needs conveniently linked in one place!

Xcel Energy is the state’s electricity provider and in Saint Paul, also provides the natural gas.

Centerpoint Energy is Minneapolis’ natural gas source.

Comcast and Qwest are the Twin Cities’ cable (plus digital voice and internet) choices.

Wireless Minneapolis provides cutting-edge broadband technology and makes Minneapolis one of the first large cities in the United States to go wireless.

Getting Around

There are lots of options for getting around in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. With a growing transit system that includes many high frequency and express buses and a light rail line linking downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America, you can choose to leave your car at home. If two-wheels are more your style, you’ll love the miles of off-street bike trails and on-street bike lanes and routes. And when you want to hop in your car and go, Minneapolis and Saint Paul are served by a well-connected highway and street network that makes it quick and easy to get around.

Transit/Car Share

Metro Transit—has all the information you need to take the bus or ride the train.

Learn new ways of getting around the Capital City at Saint Paul Smart Trips and in Minneapolis at the Downtown Minneapolis Transportation Management Organization.

Hour Car—Carsharing program available in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Bike Maps and Resources

The Metropolitan Council Bike Map—includes existing and planned bike routes and lanes in the metro area.

The City of Minneapolis Bike Map—includes many of the city’s popular bike trails.

The City of Saint Paul Bike Map—includes suggested routes for commuters.

Bike/Walk Twin Cities—learn all you need to know about biking and walking in Minneapolis-Saint Paul. Connect with a Bike/Walk Ambassador to get the information from a real person!

Cyclopath—A “geo-wiki” that lets cyclists share their best routes to destinations around the metro on an electronic map. It is still in testing.

Minneapolis Bike Love—provides route planning, user forums on all aspects of cycling, and group ride schedules.

Walk Score—A tool for discovering how easy it is to walk to places in your neighborhood. Just type in an address and get your score!

Nice Ride--self-service bike rental stations conveniently located throughout MInneapolis and Saint Paul

Road Maps

City of Minneapolis street map.

City of Saint Paul street map.

Maps from Minnesota Monthly—provides a variety of different downtown, regional, and neighborhood maps.

Minnesota Department of Transportation—find roadmaps, metro area traffic maps, and more.

Civic Engagement

Residents of Minneapolis and Saint Paul are famously invested in their neighborhoods—banding together to improve their communities. Whether building tot lots, supporting seniors, or coaching youth teams, neighborhood residents, organizations and block clubs are committed to the health of their communities.

This commitment is reflected in the top honors that both Minneapolis and Saint Paul received for participation in the 2008 National Night Out gatherings. These annual events are held to strengthen neighborhood spirit and highlight police-community partnerships. Residents in both cities have ample opportunities to keep their communities safe by participating in block clubs, task forces, and attending community meetings held by the Police Departments. Both cities have active crime prevention efforts.

Visit the Minneapolis Police Department’s Community Crime Prevention website for more details about precinct activities. In Saint Paul contact the St. Paul Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit at 651-266-5625 to get information about monthly community meetings held in each of the three district offices.

Interpreting Crime Statistics

Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul Police Departments provide online access to crime maps and statistics. These are valuable resources to review, but it is also important to interpret them properly. Some things to consider:

1) Know what you are looking at.

  • Not all data is collected over the same time period—if you’re looking at statistics for different neighborhoods or cities, be sure that the data is consistent. Number of incidents per month is likely to be a very different number than incidents per week!

  • Dots on a map can have different meanings. Multiple dots in an area don’t necessarily mean multiple crimes—often times they represent multiple citizen phone calls regarding one incident.

2) Think about context.

  • Some neighborhoods, such as those near downtown, have a lot of people moving through them everyday—workers during the day and entertainment seekers in the evening. Other neighborhoods have more commercial establishments—maybe a grocery store, small shops, and other services. With greater numbers of people and commercial activity, “crimes of opportunity” (e.g. theft and robbery) are likely to be higher in these places than in a predominantly residential area with a lot fewer people.

Minneapolis crime statistics.

Saint Paul crime statistics.

Senior Housing

Minnesota Senior Housing Directory—includes a comprehensive list of housing options for older persons, including ownership, rental, assisted living and more.

Get the most out of Minneapolis - Saint Paul

Want to find out even more about Minneapolis and Saint Paul? These websites will give you more information and unique perspectives about living, working, visiting, shopping, and being part of the Twin Cities.

Ali Shops—a guide to shopping in the Twin Cities.

The City of Minneapolis—official city website.

The City of Saint Paul—official city website.

Explore Minnesota Tourism—the state’s official tourism office.

Historic Saint Paul—a non-profit organization focused on preserving, protecting and enhancing the historic character of Saint Paul neighborhoods.

Meet Minneapolis—Official Convention and Visitors Association—learn more about places to visit and things to do in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Downtown Council—everything you need to know about downtown Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission—online database illustrating many of the city’s significant historical buildings by neighborhood.

Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP)—a city-wide investment program that build neighborhood capacity, increases collaboration, and empowers residents to shape city priorities.

Preserve Minneapolis—a volunteer organization dedicated to putting historic preservation on the radar screens of Minneapolitans.

Saint Paul Almanac—guidebook to Saint Paul’s events, shows, festivals, dining establishments and more.

Saint Paul Convention and Visitors Authority—learn more about places to visit and things to do in Saint Paul.

Twin Cities Free Market—get and get rid of free items on this website.

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