Saint Paul travel guide

Saint Paul Tourism | Saint Paul Guide

You're Going to Love Saint Paul

One of Minnesota's twin cities (with Minneapolis), Saint Paul is more sedate and laid back than its sister city. But it has a lot going on, with literary landmarks, great museums, interesting architecture, and fine food to enjoy.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Saint Paul

1. Trace the History of F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald is one of the greatest American writers, and he grew up in Saint Paul. See his birthplace and childhood home, and find out where the creator of Jay Gatsby found his inspiration.

2. There Are Some Superb Museums

Saint Paul's Science Museum is one of the best in the Midwest, with great exhibits for kids, while the Landmark Center offers a fascinating window into the 1920s, when Saint Paul saw numerous gangland prosecutions.

3. Take a Refreshing Brewery Tour

Saint Paul is very much a beer city, with flourishing craft brewers like Flat Earth and Summit competing with the best in America.

4. See Some Stunning Architecture

The city has a magnificent 19th-century cathedral, luxurious mansions like the James J. Hill House, and the Minnesota State Capitol, and all are worth a visit.

5. Every Kind of Cultural Attraction Is Here

Head to theater shows at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown, follow the Saint Paul Art Crawl, see live music in Mears Park, or buy tickets for world famous musical acts at the Xcel Energy Center.

What to do in Saint Paul

1. Cathedral of Saint Paul: Take in the Magnificence

Towering more than 300 feet over the ground, the Cathedral of St. Paul is the perfect beginning to any sightseeing tour of the city. With stunning stained-glass windows and walls finished in Italian Botticino marble, the structure hearkens to the glories of European capitals yet it's also uniquely American in its neo-Classicist touches. With stunning statues and a massive organ, it's got all the finery that you would expect from a great cathedral.

2. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Take Prowl

Recognized for its incredible variety of animal life, the Como Park Zoo is the perfect place to take youngsters in St. Paul. Housing everything from the Anaconda to the Zebra, the zoo has both exotic and familiar animals to delight animal lovers. Take the little ones on a jungle-themed carousel ride, or explore the delicate flowers of the Sunken Garden. At night, you may want to stick around for Music in the Park, a summer series that brings music and musical theater to the outdoors.

3. Minnesota State Capitol: Learn About Minnesota's History

Recently restored to its full glory, the State Capitol is a fantastic monument guarded by golden horses. That's right: the Quadriga will greet you as you mount the steps into the main entrance. Once inside, the magnificent dome and governor's reception room bear homage to the history of the state. The Senate Chamber is open for viewing -- in fact, much of the building can be experienced for free as part of a guided tour. If you're hungry, be sure to visit the Rathskeller Cafeteria, created to look like a German dining hall.

4. Museum of American Art: Be Inspired

A historic venue in its own right, the Minnesota Museum of Art is sure to be hosting an exhibit to charm your creative sensibilities. The museum is known for its significant collection of purely American artists, with over 4,500 pieces that span the entire landscape of this country's creative capacities. Masters such as Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson and Paul Manship grace the museum walls. The museum also focuses on more authentically Minnesotan artists, many of whom create exhibitions that take the guest on journeys across the state's history, landscape and cultures.

5. James J. Hill House: Travel into Minnesota's Past

Recognized as one of St. Paul's defining structures, the James J. Hill House is a massive 36,000-sqare-foot mansion on a hill overlooking downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River. Today, the house functions as a museum exhibiting the Hill family's collection of art as well as antique furniture and musical instruments including a pipe organ. Perhaps the most arresting quality of the house is its stunning and delicate woodwork, which fills the rooms with warmth even on cold winter days.

1. Cathedral of Saint Paul: Take in the Magnificence

Towering more than 300 feet over the ground, the Cathedral of St. Paul is the perfect beginning to any sightseeing tour of the city. With stunning stained-glass windows and walls finished in Italian Botticino marble, the structure hearkens to the glories of European capitals yet it's also uniquely American in its neo-Classicist touches. With stunning statues and a massive organ, it's got all the finery that you would expect from a great cathedral.

2. Como Park Zoo and Conservatory: Take Prowl

Recognized for its incredible variety of animal life, the Como Park Zoo is the perfect place to take youngsters in St. Paul. Housing everything from the Anaconda to the Zebra, the zoo has both exotic and familiar animals to delight animal lovers. Take the little ones on a jungle-themed carousel ride, or explore the delicate flowers of the Sunken Garden. At night, you may want to stick around for Music in the Park, a summer series that brings music and musical theater to the outdoors.

3. Minnesota State Capitol: Learn About Minnesota's History

Recently restored to its full glory, the State Capitol is a fantastic monument guarded by golden horses. That's right: the Quadriga will greet you as you mount the steps into the main entrance. Once inside, the magnificent dome and governor's reception room bear homage to the history of the state. The Senate Chamber is open for viewing -- in fact, much of the building can be experienced for free as part of a guided tour. If you're hungry, be sure to visit the Rathskeller Cafeteria, created to look like a German dining hall.

4. Museum of American Art: Be Inspired

A historic venue in its own right, the Minnesota Museum of Art is sure to be hosting an exhibit to charm your creative sensibilities. The museum is known for its significant collection of purely American artists, with over 4,500 pieces that span the entire landscape of this country's creative capacities. Masters such as Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson and Paul Manship grace the museum walls. The museum also focuses on more authentically Minnesotan artists, many of whom create exhibitions that take the guest on journeys across the state's history, landscape and cultures.

5. James J. Hill House: Travel into Minnesota's Past

Recognized as one of St. Paul's defining structures, the James J. Hill House is a massive 36,000-sqare-foot mansion on a hill overlooking downtown St. Paul and the Mississippi River. Today, the house functions as a museum exhibiting the Hill family's collection of art as well as antique furniture and musical instruments including a pipe organ. Perhaps the most arresting quality of the house is its stunning and delicate woodwork, which fills the rooms with warmth even on cold winter days.

Where to Eat in Saint Paul

Some of the finest eateries in town include the Italian pizzeria Mucci's, the Mexican maestros at Pajarito, and the ever-reliable Saint Paul Grill. Prices vary considerably, but as a rule meals should come to around $20-30 per head.

When to visit Saint Paul

Saint Paul in June
Estimated hotel price
$83
1 night at 3-star hotel
Saint Paul in June
Estimated hotel price
$83
1 night at 3-star hotel

Summer is the best time to visit, with reliable temperatures over 80 degrees in July and August.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Saint Paul

Plane

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) has plenty of domestic connections. When you get there, take the Blue Line light rail link ($1.75-$2.25). Taxis cost around $35.

Train

Saint Paul Union Station is on Amtrak's Empire Builder route, connecting it to Chicago and Seattle.

Car

From Chicago, take I-90 northbound and change onto I-94 at Tomah. I-35 runs into Saint Paul from the south.

Bus

Bus companies serving Saint Paul include Greyhound, Megabus, and Jefferson Lines, so you shouldn't have trouble finding a cheaper route to the city.

Airports near Saint Paul

Airlines serving Saint Paul

Lufthansa
Good (1,440 reviews)
United Airlines
Good (2,479 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (3,918 reviews)
KLM
Good (289 reviews)
Air France
Good (307 reviews)
Turkish Airlines
Good (1,081 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (2,676 reviews)
British Airways
Good (953 reviews)
SWISS
Excellent (371 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (953 reviews)
Iberia
Good (684 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (665 reviews)
Emirates
Excellent (670 reviews)
TAP AIR PORTUGAL
Good (384 reviews)
Brussels Airlines
Good (74 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (316 reviews)
Etihad Airways
Good (208 reviews)
Finnair
Good (462 reviews)
Singapore Airlines
Excellent (165 reviews)
LATAM Airlines
Good (641 reviews)
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Where to stay in Saint Paul

High-end hotels abound in Saint Paul, including the Saint Paul Hotel (built in 1910) and the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront, which has a lovely riverfront location.

Popular neighbourhoods in Saint Paul

Downtown - Saint Paul's hub, Downtown is home to the State Capitol, theaters, and fine restaurants like Handsome Hog.

Lowertown - next to the Mississippi, Lowertown was once down at heel, but it's now an artistic center and sporting destination thanks to CHS Field, home to the Saint Paul Saints baseball team.

Dayton's Bluff - packed with stunning 19th-century homes, Dayton's Bluff is like a timewarp, offering a portal into the Gilded Age.

Where to stay in popular areas of Saint Paul

Most booked hotels in Saint Paul

Minneapolis Marriott West
Excellent (8.7, Excellent reviews)
$257+
Radisson RED Minneapolis Downtown
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$238+
The Westin Minneapolis
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$284+
DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington -Minneapolis South
Good (7.1, Good reviews)
$207+

How to Get Around Saint Paul

Public Transportation

Metro Transit runs the Green Line, which links the Twin Cities, and METRO buses run across Saint Paul (single fares are $1.75).

Taxi

If you need to take a taxi, expect to pay a flag drop of $5, followed by $3 per mile.

Car

Car rental options in Saint Paul include Avis, Hertz, and Budget, and rates will be around $20 per day.

The Cost of Living in Saint Paul

Shopping Streets

There are hundreds of small craft stores in Saint Paul. Seek them out in areas like Summit Avenue, Cathedral Hill, and Downtown.

Groceries and Other

Supermarkets in Saint Paul include Cub Foods and Aldi, and as a guide, expect to spend around $2.65 on 12 eggs.

Cheap meal
$18.92
A pair of jeans
$52.92
Single public transport ticket
$3.55
Cappuccino
$6.15
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