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Getting There

By Plane -- Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (www.mspairport.com), located between the cities, is 16 and 12 miles south of each downtown, respectively, and is a hub for Northwest Airlines. The Metropolitan Transit Commission runs buses to both cities (tel. 612/373-3333; www.metrotransit.org), and light-rail service to Minneapolis for $2 in off-peak hours and $2.75 during rush hour. SuperShuttle (tel. 612/827-7777; www.supershuttle.com) vans run to downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul hotels for $16; other metro areas vary in price. Taxi fares to downtown Minneapolis begin at $32; the trip to downtown St. Paul begins at $26.

By Train -- Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; www.amtrak.com) provides service from Chicago (trip time: 8 hr.) and Milwaukee (6 1/2 hr.) to its station at 730 Transfer Rd., St. Paul (tel. 651/644-6012).

By Car -- Major routes into the Twin Cities are I-94 from the east (Milwaukee and Chicago) and west (Fargo), and I-35 from the south (Des Moines) and north (Duluth).

Visitor Information

The Minneapolis Convention & Visitors Bureau is at 250 Marquette Ave. S., Ste. 1300, Minneapolis, MN 55401 (tel. 888/676-MPLS [676-6757]; www.minneapolis.org). The St. Paul Convention & Visitors Bureau is at 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., Ste. 502, St. Paul, MN 55102 (tel. 800/627-6101; www.stpaulcvb.org).

Getting Around

The Metropolitan Transit Commission (tel. 612/373-3333; www.metrotransit.org) operates buses between the Twin Cities. The Hiawatha Light Rail runs along Hiawatha Avenue from Minneapolis's Warehouse District to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport and the Mall of America with a dozen stops in between. Fares for the bus or train system are the same: Rush-hour fare is $2.75; off-peak fare is $2. A day pass good for both buses and trains costs $6.

Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have an extensive skyway system (a godsend during below-zero winters) that makes it easy to explore downtown areas on foot. Visitors will need a car to reach attractions outside downtown and in the suburbs.

Fast Facts

There's an emergency room at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, 500 Harvard St., Minneapolis (tel. 612/273-3000). St. Joseph's Hospital operates an emergency room at 69 W. Exchange St., in St. Paul (tel. 651/232-3000).

There is no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul are among the safest large cities in the country, and crime rates are low. Exercise the same caution you would in any other major city, and you should have no problems.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.