The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area contains more than half the population of Minnesota.
This leaves a tremendous amount of rural land filled with lakes, rivers, and nature to enjoy.
Minnesota has nearly 15,000 lakes and is the beginning of the Mississippi River.
In the north, there is a natural waterway on the Canadian border that is a few hundred miles long.
Thousands of miles of trails are also available for hiking and cross country skiing in winter.
The winters are cold and harsh, but that opens up a lot of winter-type sports activities.
It also borders one of the great lakes, and you could take a boat from there to the Atlantic Ocean.
Several national parks, monuments, and reserves provide a lot of space for enjoying outdoor activities throughout the year.
There is a lot of farmland and small towns with a lot of character to explore.
Warnings & Dangers in Minnesota
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
There are some real dangers in the Minneapolis area as there are with any large city. Some areas should be avoided. Most of the city is safe. The rest of the state is generally safe as well. Minnesota has had a spike in crime, but its crime rate is close to the national average.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
There are some petty criminals, but in the cities, buses and taxis do not have a bad reputation. More rural areas may not have very much public transportation and the lack of it is the greater problem. Taxis are regulated. The only danger is them taking a longer journey than necessary.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
We give this a low because there are a lot of areas in Minnesota where this is unheard of. In the Minneapolis metro area, there are some pickpockets, but it is not considered a major issue. Crowded areas around bus terminals are the most dangerous for this type of stealing. Public events outdoors also have this happen at times.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Minnesota is too far inland to have hurricanes, and not mountainous enough for earthquakes or landslides. Some winter storms are very strong and can be dangerous. There is plenty of warning when these are coming. Winter itself is a hazard for travelers in Minnesota. There is a lot of risks then due to snow and ice, but not that would rise to the level of natural disaster.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
In the Minneapolis area, there are places where the risk is high, and you should not go alone. In most areas, the risk is low. Minneapolis has gotten a bit of a bad reputation for crime in recent years, but there are safe areas in the city.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
Since much of the state is rural, there is little risk because terrorists do not attack rural areas as a norm. There have been riots and violent protests in Minneapolis, so there is that risk, but the actual terrorism risk is low.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are always con artists in big cities, but there are not a lot of scams out on the street. There might be a fake taxi now and then, or fake tickets to an event, but that is about all. Most scams involve targeting the elderly by phone.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Most of Minnesota is very safe for women, and it is not uncommon to see a woman traveling alone. The dangerous areas in the bigger cities are about the same for men and women. Women should not be out at night alone in the big city. General precautions should keep you safe.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
With 15,000 lakes and thousands of miles of rivers, there is a lot of water available in the state. Cities provide good quality water in their water systems. There is virtually no risk with the tap water.
Safest Places to Visit in Minnesota
The safest places to visit in Minnesota are the natural areas.
The state’s only national park is Voyageurs, which is a waterway on the U.S. Canadian border with 200,000 acres of wilderness to explore.
Many camping areas are accessible only by boat.
Grand Portage National Monument and St. Croix National Scenic Riverway are two more national areas based on waterways.
The Mississippi River begins here, and it has a national recreation area.
There are lots of water sports and hiking to enjoy in this state.
The great outdoors is a very safe place to be, and in Minnesota, there is not a lot of danger from wild animals.
The Minneapolis area has some crime, but some safe areas are worth exploring.
Placess to Avoid in Minnesota
There was a 17 percent increase in violent crime in the state in 2020, and much of that was in the Minneapolis area.
There were a lot of violent protests and looting, and that contributed to the statistics.
The north side of Minneapolis has a reputation for being dangerous.
Minneapolis and St. Paul both have high crime rates, but some smaller towns do as well.
Bemidji, in the north, was No. 6 in the crime rate for 2020, after being No. 1 in 2019.
It had 534 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
A small town in the southwest, Windom, had 751 violent crimes last year.
There are some areas of Minneapolis that are not safe, and this big city is not as safe as the rest of the state.
You need to be more careful in Minneapolis, and avoid certain areas where crime is high.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Minnesota
- Watch the weather. Especially in winter, a lot of snow can fall fast, making travel very dangerous. In summer, storms can come up seemingly from nowhere. Summer months are generally pleasant, but there are rare tornados as well. Watching the weather report can help you stay safe.
- Lock your car. It seems obvious, but people forget to do this, and they find their property missing. Most criminals look for an opportunity. They rarely break into a car, but look for ones not locked. This is especially true in the Minneapolis area.
- Bring warm clothing. Summers are nice but it can get cold at night. Spring and fall can also turn cold with little warning. Having some extra layers available will keep you comfortable when the weather changes.
- Big city careful. Especially in Minneapolis, keep your property secured and out of sight. Don’t flash expensive electronics or cash, which can attract criminals.
- Don’t go out alone. There are a lot of areas of Minneapolis that are not safe at night. Don’t go to unfamiliar areas alone, and stay on the beaten path as much a possible. In rural areas, this is not as big of a concern.
- Drive carefully. Slow down if there is snow or rain. In winter, roads can get treacherous and are dangerous for people not used to driving in snow. Sometimes roads have ice you cannot see, and those are especially dangerous.
- Mindful of nature. Wild animals are not that big a problem in Minnesota, but you should still be careful when out in the wild. Animals will attack if they feel threatened, even a small animal can bite you.
- Prepare for the cold. If you are traveling in Minnesota in winter, you are a brave soul. Fall can also be cold. Keep warm clothing, extra blankets, and other supplies in your car. You can get frostbite, or even freeze to death, in a short time if you get stranded in the cold in Minnesota.
- Trust your instincts. Keep an eye on what is happening around you and if a situation feels wrong, it probably is. With recent protests and rioting, there can be some danger if this breaks out around you. Have a plan of escape, especially in cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul.
- Check out your car. Before heading out, make sure your car is in good shape. Check out fluid levels, belts, hoses, and anything else that could develop a problem. It is better to do a little maintenance than take a chance of getting stranded on the road.
So... How Safe Is Minnesota Really?
Minnesota has two distinct worlds when it comes to safety.
Minneapolis-St. Paul is a big metropolitan area and has more than its share of crime and danger.
Then there is the rest of the state, which is largely rural and many areas are protected lands.
These areas are very safe and you should have little concern there.
Violent protests and looting may have been a big part of it, but Minneapolis saw a 17 percent increase in violent crime in 2020.
Even so, the state is still the 12th safest state in the nation.
Minnesota has 277 violent crimes per 100,000 people, making it the 38th most dangerous state.
In the Minneapolis area, that number goes up to 1109 per 100,000 people for violent crime and 4,222 per 100,000 for property crime.
One source ranked Minneapolis as the 70th most dangerous city in the nation.
There were `15,698 violent crimes and 190 homicides in the state in 2020, and by far most of them were in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.
Minnesota has a 58 percent increase in murders and a 75 percent increase in arson.
Car thefts rose 20 percent to 13,650, the most since 2005.
There is always more property crime than violent crime, and there was a 50 percent increase in 2020 over the previous year.
There has been a substantial increase in crime, especially in the Minneapolis area, in the last year.
Most of the state is rural though, and almost all of that is very safe.
There are also safe areas in Minneapolis.
If you stay in the tourist areas and don’t go into dangerous areas, you should not have any problems.
Perhaps Minneapolis deserves a little more caution, but generally, in Minnesota, you are safe with basic safety precautions.
How Does Minnesota Compare?
- Visas - You will need a Visa to enter the United States. There are international airports, so you could enter the country here and have to go through customs. You will need to show your visa, but will not need to any other time. In most cases, Canadians do not need a Visa to enter the United States.
- Currency - The standard currency is the dollar in the United States. Even Canadian dollars are not accepted by most American businesses, even when near the border. Exchange can be made when you enter the country, and you can make currency exchange at most banks.
- Weather - Winters have a lot of snow and are very cold. In some areas, people put heaters on their car engines overnight. Summers can get hot and humid, but still relatively pleasant. The weather can get cool at night, so it is a good deal to have some warm clothing.
- Airports - The biggest airport in the state is the international airport between Minneapolis and St. Paul. Other small towns have airports and there are flights available between some cities. You can easily get a taxi to your hotel. In Minneapolis, there is a bus service to areas in town.
- Travel Insurance - Things happen that make plans change. It is inconvenient, but if you have travel insurance, some of your losses will be covered. A policy may seem unnecessary but it will give you peace of mind, knowing you are protected if something goes wrong.
Minnesota Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month||Jan||Feb||Mar||Apr||May||Jun||Jul||Aug||Sep||Oct||Nov||Dec|