The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Minneapolis

If you can handle harsh winters, Minneapolis offers great food, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. Learn more here.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
is worthy of your consideration if you’re looking for a city with great food, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. You’ll just have to be ready to deal with some harsh
Minneapolis is a city surrounded by water. Long before it was colonized by Europeans in 1680, the Minneapolis area was (and still is) home to the Dakota Sioux, whose name for it is Bdeóta Othúŋwe, or “Many Lakes City.” Years later, the power of the Mississippi River helped give rise to what would become booming lumber and flour mill industries, which helped Minneapolis take off as it developed in the late 1800s.
Today Minneapolis is home to over22 lakes and more than 425,000 people. Could one of them soon be you? As you’re weighing your options, here are some things you should know about living in Minneapolis, courtesy of
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What you need to know about Minneapolis before you move

There’s a lot to consider before deciding whether you should move to a new city. Most importantly, does Minneapolis align with your lifestyle preferences? Will you be able to enjoy both work and play? To get a better sense of what this city has to offer, take a look at some of the factors that come with living in Minneapolis below.

1. The cost of living is fairly average

Minneapolis’s overall cost of living index is 106.5, or 6.5% more than the national average. Compared to places like
San Francisco
New York
, and
, that’s not too shabby.
With an index score of 117.1, housing will likely be the most expensive part of your living expenses in Minneapolis. Still, it’s not quite as expensive as other comparable U.S. cities. The average rent for a typical one-bedroom apartment in the Twin Cities falls between $1,200 and $1,600 per month.
Grocery and utility costs hover right around the national average. You could expect a gallon of milk to cost you about $5.09
The city’s job market is also strong and continues to grow—recent unemployment rates were some of the lowest on record. The tech industry is booming here, and other growing sectors include hospitality, transportation, finance, mining, and logging.
Minneapolis also recently got a boost to its minimum wage, which is now $13.50 per hour for small businesses and $15 per hour for businesses that employ more than 100 people. Census data places the median annual income in Minneapolis at about $66,000 per year.

2. There’s a great live music scene

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the city that brought you artists like Lizzo and Prince has a rich music scene. With plenty of legendary live music venues ranging from intimate coffeehouses to massive outdoor music festivals, you’ll get your live entertainment fix all year long.

3. It’s a great place to get outdoors

Minneapolis has over 100 miles of trails for hikers and bikers to explore. One favorite park among locals,
Minnehaha Regional Park
, even boasts a waterfall within city limits!
In total, Minneapolis has about 160 city parks to enjoy. During the summer months, many of them play host to free outdoor entertainment, including concerts, movie showings, and various festivals and programs.
Plus, Minneapolis’s lakeside parks mean you have ample opportunity for swimming, boating, and fishing.

4. Your dog might love Minneapolis just as much as you do

Minnehaha Regional Park is popular among locals for another reason. It has an
off-leash dog park
where you and your pooch can freely explore wooded trails and riverside beaches (with the
proper off-leash permit
Plus, several restaurants and breweries have dog-friendly patios, and some even have special menus dedicated to your four-legged friend.

5. Minneapolis is more walkable than most

Having a car in Minneapolis can definitely make getting around the city a lot easier (especially during winter), but it’s not the only way. 
When the weather’s fair, getting around different parts of Minneapolis is doable on foot or
by bike
. The
public transit system
also allows you to commute via bus and rail, and certain employers may even offer you a stipend for it.

6. The local sports scene talks a big game

Whether you’re a fan of baseball, football, basketball, hockey, or soccer, there’s a sports team for you in Minneapolis. Most obviously, the city is home to the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, the Minnesota Wild hockey team, and the Minnesota United FC soccer team.

7. Prepare for some cold winters

One of the most brutal parts of living in Minneapolis—especially for pedestrians—is cold winters. Luckily, the downtown area’s
Skyway System
that runs between buildings can make some of your errands a little warmer in winter. At more than 9.5 collective miles, it’s the largest system of its kind in the world.
Average temperatures in January can hover around 12 degrees Fahrenheit—but it can feel even colder with wind chill.
Snow and sleet
can also make for
dangerous driving conditions
, especially if you’re not used to it yet (which makes having the
right car insurance
So, if you’re from a city that stays relatively warm year-round, you’ll want to prepare to brave those below-freezing temperatures. 
On the bright side, that winter weather means you can enjoy winter recreation like ice fishing, skating, skiing, sledding, or hockey. Or, if you’d rather not deal with the snow and stay indoors, you can get used to the pleasure of bundling up inside with a cup of hot tea, coffee, or cocoa.

Does Minneapolis live up to the hype?

Whether it’s worth it to live in Minneapolis depends on what you can afford and what you’re looking for in a lifestyle. If you’re a fan of pro sports teams, live entertainment, and outdoor recreation, or if you love bringing your dog along to places with you and don’t mind cold, snowy winters, Minneapolis is definitely worth considering.

Finding a place to live in Minneapolis

One of the most important steps in making a move to Minneapolis is figuring out where you’re actually going to live. 
While prices continue to rise, the housing market in Minneapolis isn’t quite as expensive as other major U.S. cities.
The cost of rent will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. As far as averages go, you might find a studio
for about $1,300, while a 3-bedroom apartment could cost you upwards of $3,000 per month.
If you’re looking to buy a house in Minneapolis, the median home sale price is about $336,000, which is up 4.7% over the last year, according to
To find the right Minneapolis neighborhood for you, establish a budget and look at apartment and real estate listings to see what kind of homes fall within your price range. To further narrow down your options, make a list of locations and amenities you’d like to be close to and see which ones align with your budget.
As you search for the right Minneapolis neighborhood to call home, here are some places worth looking into:
  • Most iconic neighborhoods: Downtown West, Downtown East, South Uptown
  • Best neighborhoods if you’ve got kids: Page, Fulton, Hale
  • Best neighborhoods for foodies: North Loop, Loring Park, Southwest
  • Best neighborhoods to buy a house: Page, Kenny, Hale
  • Most affordable neighborhoods: McKinley, Morris Park, Willard-Hay
If you’re able, it also helps to visit the neighborhoods you’re considering before you move to get a sense of the atmosphere and whether you think you’ll enjoy the surrounding locations.
Pro Tip If you’d prefer to cut down on rent costs without commuting from a suburb, consider finding a roommate or two to share an apartment with.

Moving to Minneapolis checklist 

Okay, it’s official—you’re moving to Minneapolis! As you prepare for your big move, here are some items worth adding to your moving checklist. 

Before you go

Before starting your new chapter in your new Minneapolis home, be sure to: 
  • Reserve your moving date with a
    reliable moving company
    to help your belongings travel safely from point A to point B. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers
    helpful tips
    on selecting movers and how to avoid falling victim to moving scams.
  • If you plan to DIY your move,
    reserve your U-Haul
    in advance.
  • For long-distance moves, some circumstances might make it more convenient to
    ship your car
    instead of driving it to your new home.
  • Update your address and set up mail forwarding with the
    to avoid missing any important communications.
  • Let important contacts know you’re moving
    as well—that includes your landlord, employer, insurance provider(s), and utility provider(s). 
  • Make sure your new
    homeowners insurance policy
    will be active once you’ve moved in.

After you get there

It might take a little while to
settle into
your Minneapolis home. In the meantime, there are couple more things you may want to take care of after you’ve unpacked the last of your boxes:
  • If you moved to Minneapolis from out of state, you’ll need to
    re-register your car
    in Minnesota and
    update your car insurance
    if you haven’t already.
  • Get to know your new city! Now that you’re finally here, start building your lists of go-to restaurants, parks, and shops to enjoy Minneapolis the way only a local can.

How to save on car, renters, and home insurance in Minneapolis

Wherever you live in Minneapolis, you’ll need insurance to protect your belongings. Since the process of moving requires so much time and planning, the
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, and
home insurance
—so you can cross items off your moving checklist that much faster. 
Getting started in the app only takes about 45 seconds, and from there, you can start comparing customized quotes from up to 50+ top insurance providers.
Once you find the right coverage at the right price, Jerry can handle the hard work for you—from contacting your insurance company to filling out paperwork. Jerry will even send you quotes each time your policy is up for renewal, so you never have to search the internet for answers again (at least on insurance). 
And when it comes to car insurance, Jerry users save an average of $800+ per year on car insurance alone!
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Minneapolis is worth your consideration if you’re looking for a city with great food, entertainment, and outdoor recreation options. You’ll just have to be ready to deal with the harsh Minnesota winters.
How much money you need to move to Minneapolis will largely depend on your budget and lifestyle. When it comes to the move itself, you might spend somewhere between several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the size of the move and the distance.
If you're renting an apartment in Minneapolis for $1,600 per month and want to spend no more than a third of your income on housing, you’d need to earn at least $4,800 per month.
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