Minneapolis on a Budget: Best Hotels and Free Attractions


With a peak tourist season in the summer months, and a busy National Football League schedule in the fall, booking a hotel in Minnesota without spending all your travel budget can be difficult. It’s not impossible, though. If you travel in the autumn, check the NFL calendar carefully. Stick to the enclosed walkways downtown to keep warm, and you’ll have a thrilling cultural immersion in a city where many of the top attractions don’t charge a penny.

Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis

Photo by Carl Lavey via Trover.com

No matter when you visit, you can save by staying in budget hotels in Minneapolis and enjoying free visits to museums or cultural centers. Alternatively, splurge a little on your accommodations, walk downtown, and use the reliable and cheap public transit system to compensate. To discover Minneapolis for free, visit St. Paul’s Como Park Zoo, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. For discounted shopping, try the sales-tax-free Mall of America. Now that your Minneapolis itinerary is ready, here’s where to stay in town.

Luxury Stay for You and Your Furry Friend

Loews Minneapolis Hotel is where you should go to get pampered and enjoy luxurious amenities. With gourmet coffee, complimentary newspapers, a minibar, an ergonomic chair in your work area, free Wi-Fi, limestone bathroom counters, and designer toiletries, this pet-friendly hotel knows how to spoil its guests. The fitness center and the Embury Spa are also popular with guests, as are the hotel’s comprehensive services for events and conferences. For entertainment, visit any of the live music venues in Minneapolis like First Line Music Café or the Target Center.

Affordable Stay Downtown

If you’re traveling to Minneapolis for a Vikings game or for one of the many events held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, then the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Downtown Minneapolis is a great choice that won’t break the bank. Right in the heart of Minneapolis’ event and business scene, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites’ rooms focus on comfort, in-room entertainment, and functional workspaces. The hotel also offers free local calls, Wi-Fi , and breakfast. In addition to being the closest hotel to the convention center, it’s also near the Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Big Savings with a Homey Feel

If your accommodation budget is really tight, then a stay at the Snelling Motel would be a great solution. With individual climate control in every room, a quiet neighborhood location that gives it a homey feel, and easy access to the metro, this is an easy choice to make. The motel rooms also offer microwave ovens and fridges to help you save on your meals.

Enjoy Campus Life

If you prefer the lively atmosphere of a campus hotel, try the University Inn near the University of Minnesota. Check out the university or explore the TFC Bank Stadium, Williams Arena and Sports Pavillion, and Mariucci Arena. This hotel is also within walking distance of downtown Minneapolis. Inexpensive, quiet, and comfortable, the University Inn also offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, and access to a fitness center.

10 Comment to “Minneapolis on a Budget: Best Hotels and Free Attractions”

  1. Michelle says:

    I was disappointed by my only visit to Minneapolis. I was visiting a friend who was sick of living there, and we didn’t do much (aside from the mall). Guess I will have to head back sometime, the sculpture garden seems especially awesome.

  2. Katie says:

    I have been to Minneapolis a couple of time, my uncle lives nearby, but I have a lot more to see in this city! Next time I will looking into the Loews as I will hopefully be traveling across the country with my dog!

  3. Carly says:

    I’m ashamed to say I don’t even know what part of the USA that Minneapolis is in, but it looks like a lovely city! And I’m all for pet friendly hotels 😀

  4. Mary says:

    Great ideas! And I love that you included an option to stay with a pet. I’d love to see more on the free things to do while there. Are there any free museums? Or at least free days?

  5. Veronika says:

    Thanks for this accommodations. I guess I would try Air Bnb as well – still have not tried this. Or some nice hotel with nice view!

  6. Thanks for the suggestions. The Loew’s sounds divine. We stayed at the W in Minneapolis and could not have been happier with our accommodations. I’ve only been to MN once but wow, was I ever shocked at how cosmopolitan the city was.

  7. anna says:

    Great suggestions! Never been to the city but now atleast I know what to do when I am there. I love finding out budget things to do in a place.

  8. anto says:

    I’ve never been further than Minneapolis airport but it would be great to do a stopover on the way to Alaska one day. I’ll keep this in mind for the future!

  9. Nic says:

    I know very little about this area of the US to be honest but after visiting some of the more well known regions I am looking forward to taking a road trip out to some of the less visited places and seeing what they are are. Minneapolis looks great and I always did like the name!

  10. Sophie says:

    The university Inn looks like a great way to explore the city and also get a taste of what US student life is like. You’d probably find me listening to all of the live music!

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