We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Do we need to rent a car?

Which Minneapolis hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
64 posts
3 reviews
Save Topic
Do we need to rent a car?

My soon-to-be college student son and I will be visiting Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota at the end of March. We are staying at:

Hilton Hotel Minneapolis

1101 LaSalle Avenue | Minneapolis

I wasn't planning on renting a car. Will public transportation get us easily from our hotel to the university and Dinkytown and uptown and all those other fun areas?

Houston, Texas
Destination Expert
for Solo Travel
Level Contributor
16,778 posts
192 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

The simple answer is yes. Here is the metro transit website:

http://metrotransit.org/

You can easily take the lightrail from the airport to downtown Minneapolis. It's 5 or so blocks walking from the lightrail to your hotel, OR you can take a free transfer bus on Nicollet Mall. I believe the 16A will get you over to Campus, and a few routes will take you into Uptown. I've also used cabs before, and they are reasonably plentiful (not like Chicago, but still can be found in entertainment areas).

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
4,632 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

A Chicagoan should have no trouble navigating our public transit system. In another year or so you would have a nice light rail connection to get to Dinkytown and even St. Paul. But for now, bus only.

bk_t1 has it covered with the routes and web site you should look at. Taxis will be pretty plentiful on Nicollet Mall but your hotel will easily call one for you. They won't be nearly as available in Dinky town. So you will want to have a taxi carrier number in your cell

Plymouth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
61 posts
103 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

Technically you do not "need" a car, but you will be better off with one. Although some people rave about the public transport in Minneapolis, it is definitely a driving city and doesn't compare to other cities with better public transportation. If you do not rent a car, you will be spending a lot of time waiting for and changing buses. Just my humble opinion.

Minneapolis MN
Level Contributor
506 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

I agree if the OP is planning on visiting some of the suburbs or travelling late at night, then a car would be a good idea. But for day trips to DInkywon and/or Uptown, it's not really needed IMO.

Navigating the cluster of freeway exits, one way streets, and especially parking in Dinkytown/U of M area could be really aggravating for someone not familiar with the area. It's much easier to walk a few blocks from the Hilton, grab a 16 bus - which runs about every 10-15 minutes - and take it to the U of M, again a pretty short ride depending where you are going, maybe 10-15 minutes depending on traffic. No transfers needed.

You could then take a 6 bus from Dinkytown to the Uptown area, and from there, there's a few different routes (4, 6, 17, 18) that will take you back downtown.

Burnsville, MN
Level Contributor
539 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

Personally, I'd rather spend my money on other things than $20/day parking fees at hotels as well as expensive car rentals. Also, the areas when they plan on visiting aren't always the easiest places to find parking places, and the buses on Nicollet, Hennepin, and the #16 bus do run quite frequently. If one decided to rent a car for an individual day, one could rent it from a much cheaper non-airport location.

Minneapolis...
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
4,632 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

It's important to note britphile's post about parking fees. Make sure you know that if you rent a car, parking is not included in your hotel rates downtown. It's usually an extra 20 per day. And, also as britphile mentioned, parking on the U of MN campus is awful. I would take the bus if I were downtown and had a car with me.

It depends if you have other things you are aiming to do while in town, things that would be outside the range of public transport. But IMO, if you have activities like that, maybe group them into one day and rent a car on e day. I wouldn't want a car for every day you're here if your main business is in Dinkytown

Minneapolis
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
Level Contributor
3,642 posts
21 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

What you might want to consider is a quick taxi ride to the U, or to Uptown.

I've walked to both, from downtown, so they are not that far.

Maybe put the number for Red & White in your phone to have it handy.

It would be cheaper than car, and you won't need to worry about parking at the hotel & the U ($$).

8. Re: Do we need to rent a car?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 13 March 2014, 06:15