The Vibrant Nightlife of Downtown Minneapolis


While a lot of people had some of their best experiences in Minneapolis, when it comes to praising the city, you don’t hear nearly enough about the nightlife. Even when you do, it’s usually the North Loop and Uptown, and while you do hear Downtown in this conversation, it never gets the attention it deserves.

So, in order to right this wrong and give you a chance to fully sample all that the city has to offer, here are some of the reasons why downtown Minneapolis nightlife is more vibrant than you would expect. 

  1. Night clubs

Every nightlife list needs to start by listing venues like The Exchange. These are truly massive clubs with an already long and rich history. The best part about the nightlife in a metropolis like Minneapolis is the fact that there’s something every night of the week. 

While in smaller cities, the fact that it’s Tuesday or Wednesday may be a major obstacle for anyone determined to go out and have a wild night, this is not the case in Minneapolis. Therefore, even if you’re there on a weekday, you have a chance to sample a bit of Minneapolis’ darker side.  

So, even if it’s Monday night, but you would rather go out than watch the latest flicks, there’s always somewhere to go and something to do. 

If you’re interested in gothic subculture, you might find what you’re looking for at the Hotel Ivy or Constantine. 

Just keep in mind that this is not for everyone. Nightclubs are there to help you get lost in the night, dance, feel everything, seduce, and be seduced. The key thing to enjoying yourself is getting into this with realistic expectations and knowing exactly what you want from the places you’re visiting. 

  1. Live music venues

The first thing that a lot of people look up to when it comes to nightlife is live music venues. Sure, clubbing is great for people who want to be lost in the crowd and dance the night away, but in order to truly soak in the music (for any true audiophile), there’s nothing like a live music venue.

Places like Fine Line, First Avenue, and the Fillmore Minneapolis are just some of the places renowned for amazing live music events. However, there are a lot of places that are hosting live music events five nights a week. Sure, these might not be as big and renowned, but they’re even more intimate, which is exactly what a lot of people want.

If you’re not obsessed with a roster consisting of big names and have nothing against listening to a bit of indie music, local artists, and upcoming stars, it’s really not hard to find the place you need. More importantly, this gives you a chance to be the early one to discover these amazing talents. 

  1. Themed bars

One more thing that’s worth checking out in Minneapolis is its incredible themed bars. You see, some of the most interesting downtown clubs in Minneapolis are prohibition-themed. Speakeasies are not just a massive part of this country’s culture but also an incredibly fun era in the city’s nightlife. This allows visitors to take a glimpse into what it was like in the old days without the risk of getting caught doing something illegal. 

Other than the prohibition, you also have 90s bars, Tiki bars, and even steampunk-themed bars for those who would like something a bit more out of the ordinary. People who are really nostalgic or remorseful that they’ve missed some of the most iconic eras should not miss out on the opportunity to visit a 70s art deco bar.

Sure, everyone knows that a themed bar is not the same thing, but this is beside the point. The point is that you want something that will make you forget this fact for a couple of hours. The themed bar is the most efficient way to get there. 

  1. Culinary delights

Sure, you may argue that going to a restaurant is not necessarily a part of nightlife, but this just depends on your definition of the word. 

First of all, there’s no rule about where your night should stop and where it needs to end. You can make a dinner date and take this to the nightclub later on.

The majority of these restaurants have some sort of entertainment, which means that you can enjoy the meal and listen to live performances by local artists.

Even when it comes to street food, this is mostly a nightlife ritual. A lot of people have that one place that they always stop by when they’re out of the club and heading home. In Minneapolis, it can be something endemic like Juicy Lucy (a Minnesotan variant of cheeseburger), although the place has a surprisingly great pizza, as well.

Also, keep in mind that the place has so many distilleries, some of which are downtown. Twin Spirits Distillery Cocktail Room and Tattersall Craft Cocktail Room NE are just two examples.

  1. Going to a sports bar

Everyone who knows the first thing about Minneapolis knows that this is one of the biggest sports cities on the continent. So, you owe it to yourself to pick a sports bar and go there on game night. The sensation that you’ll experience there is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.  

Places you can choose from are Tom’s Watch Bar, Stadium Bar and Grill, and The Bulldog Downtown. 

If the Vikings win, you’ll experience one of the most incredible scenes in your life. Even if they lose, you’ll be blown away by the passion some of the locals put into each game. Just spending time there, cheering, and soaking up the atmosphere is something that can never be explained to someone who never experienced it.

Wrap up

As you can see, there are so many places to visit and chances to have an unforgettable nightlife adventure in Minneapolis. Even if you come for the food, travel for business, or if you’ve just come to soak in some of the culture, you owe it to yourself a night out. At least now you know that downtown is more than hospitable to these types of ideas and if you’re stationed in the vicinity, you won’t have to go far. 

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