Minneapolis vs. St. Paul: 11 Distinct Differences Every Local Should Know

Updated October 16, 2019
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The never-ending Minneapolis vs. St. Paul debate is one that locals know well.

People who live in Minneapolis never go to St. Paul, and people who live in St. Paul never go to Minneapolis, for one reason or another. Some say it’s just too far, despite them being only five miles apart.

Let’s break down 11 of the biggest differences between our loveable Twin Cities.

Minneapolis vs. St. Paul

1. Target Center and Target Field vs Xcel Energy Center and Saints Stadium

When it comes to Minnesota sports teams, Minneapolis and St. Paul split duties when it comes to housing local games. Minneapolis hosts the Timberwolves at Target Center and the Twins at Target Field.

St. Paul holds Wild games at the Xcel Energy Center and the Minnesota minor league baseball The Saints at the new Saints Stadium in downtown.

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Target Center and Xcel Energy Center are both known for hosting large music acts as well, and even Target Field has hosted bands like Journey and Paul McCartney.

target field vs target center; Minneapolis vs St. Paul

2. More High Rises vs Lowertown

Minneapolis is known for having taller buildings, more high rises. In fact, when it was built, the Foshay tower was the tallest building between the Midwest and West Coast. Now, both the Wells Fargo Center and Capella Tower are a whopping 775 feet tall, with the tallest building in St. Paul capping out at just 471 feet.

St. Paul is much smaller, and doesn’t house as many skyscrapers. Lowertown is descriptive of the buildings as well as it’s location to downtown.

3. St. Paul has the State Capitol building

St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota, and the State Capitol building is located on the edge of St. Paul with a beautiful view of downtown.

Image result for st. paul state capitol; Minneapolis vs St. Paul

4. First Avenue vs Palace Theatre

Minneapolis can claim the famous First Avenue music venue, known for being associated with Prince and his movie Purple Rain, and decades of legendary music performances.

Most recently, the Palace Theatre was renovated in 2016 after being empty for almost three decades. The City of St. Paul purchased it on the verge of condemnation, and it is actually run by First Avenue and Jam productions, but was a much needed historical music venue in St. Paul.

5. Minneapolis 422k vs St Paul 306k

Minneapolis has over 100,000 more people than it’s neighbor St. Paul. The Twin Cities seven county area combined houses over half of the state’s population, around 3.3 million people.

6. St. Paul is older! 1854 vs 1867

St. Paul was officially founded in 1854 after many years of settlers coming through and setting up camp. The major boom to the town was due to it’s proximity to Fort Snelling.

Father Lucien Galtier established a catholic chapel, named Saint Paul’s chapel after the apostle Saint Paul. This later became the city name, changing it from the previously coined “Pig’s Eye” after one of the early settlers.

Minneapolis also was associated with Fort Snelling, grinding flour using the power of the St. Anthony Falls to send down to the military base. Early inhabitants were the Sioux and Ojibwae people, which the name Minneapolis is derived from the Sioux word, minne, meaning water, and the Greek word polis, meaning city.

With the falls and the river being a significant source of power and industry, water city was very fitting.

7. Surly vs Summit

Minnesota brews a LOT of beers, but two of the biggest are, of course, Surly and Summit. Surly taproom and brewery in Minneapolis has become a major attraction to local and out of town guests, even holding live concerts on their lawn. St. Paul can stake claim to the Summit brewery, and for 30 years, has been brewing the perfection that is Summit Extra Pale Ale.

Surly vs Summit Breweries; Minneapolis vs St. Paul

8. 3M vs Target

Two of the biggest Fortune 500 companies in the nation call Minnesota home. The 3M complex is a massive operation out in St. Paul, technically Maplewood, and Target headquarters is a staple of downtown Minneapolis. The companies have about 12,000 employees combined.

3m Vs Target; Minneapolis vs St. Paul

9. Ramsey County vs Hennepin County

The cities are literally next door neighbors, but are in two different counties. Ramsey and Hennepin counties are some of the largest in terms of population, and are back to back along the Mississippi River.

10. Minneapolis = Nightlife vs St. Paul = Daylife

Some have said Minneapolis is a Saturday night, while St. Paul is a Sunday morning. The nightlife scene in Minneapolis is far bigger than that of its quieter counterpart, St. Paul. St. Paul houses many amazing restaurants and the famous Rice Park, while Minneapolis has restaurants, nightclubs, bars, music venues and has a much more lively, and younger crowd.

11. 35E vs 35W

Of the many major highways across our state, the two that run North and South include 35W and 35E. Sometimes they can get confused but you can always remember 35W goes through Minneapolis, on the west side of the Twin Cities, while 35E runs through St. Paul on the east side of the Twin Cities.

Find Your Perfect Apartment! 

Minneapolis vs. St. Paul seems to be a constant debate here in Minnesota but no matter your preference, the Twin Cities actually have quite a few differences that make them both amazing cities to visit and live in. Bigos Apartments don’t discriminate and can be found all across the Twin Cities. Take your pick, and view an apartment in Minneapolis or St. Paul today!

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