• $600   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1147   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1420   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  midwest US)

98% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
largest shopping mall
largest shopping mall 6
eat street of the north, beer and beards, rich hipsters, major gentrification, manic pixie dream girl, high-end burb center, dopest forest in the cities, white gen x dreamworld, constant airplane noise, hispanic hood ara, consciousness raising yard signs, walk everywhere, cool frozen waterfall, and more craft beers are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Minneapolis roommate rundown:

There's a giant blue cockadoodledoo statue standing over 20 feet tall, on a 25 foot platform, and together they tower over the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Folks look and say . . . that's one chilly blue rooster. And also a symbol of pride in courageous prowess . . . despite being frozen?

So with an intentional double meaning (via the tongue-in-cheek title) but also a thoughtful practical warning: Your chickens could freeze here if their coop isn't winterized. And while it's true that most seeking roommates don't have chickens themselves, any day chickens could accidentally freeze, SO COULD YOU!

But for real, warn roommates from less snowy places, freezing to death is terribly awfully possible here. Some deaths are associated with alcohol overconsumption, but certainly far from all, so everyone needs to beware of falling asleep and/or falling down outside!

And is all of that a metaphor for Minneapolis?

Some say so, but maybe also all the blue lakes?

Also that Minneapolis would apparently prefer you walk and bike a lot. Enjoy those healthy outdoor opportunities, get some fresh air! You can also take Metro Transit and there's a Skyway to keep you from freezing to death!

Then you might want to consider comfort food. Possibly later, volunteer work and/or some quality reading.

It's all a bit Dad-like, but in the best possible if aggressive way. Because with these excellent universities combined with still lower cost of living . . . you just know Dad'll insist you go to college too.

Minneapolis means City of Lakes, a combination of the Dakota word "minne" and Ancient Greek word "polis," which is great because they have 22 natural ones within city limits! All with well-maintained walking and biking paths around each!

In fact, Minneapolis has one of the most extensive park systems in the US, many connected by the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway, allowing walking and biking over most. Minneapolis is approximately 15% park.

They've also invested heavily in bike trails and bicycle boulevards, and off-road routes to cover most of the city. Major bike trails are plowed along with city streets, not left to melt until spring. Currently they have about 16 miles of protected bikeway, plus hundreds of miles of bike lanes and off-street bikeway or trail.

And then there's . . . the Skyway. Almost 10 miles of enclosed pedestrian bridges, including most of downtown. The 2nd floors of many downtown buildings are connected by bridges between them, allowing you to experience all without going outside or stopping for lights. The Skyway includes many stores and restaurants. If you're visiting Minneapolis, you'd probably be happier staying near the Skyway, it's universally adored.

Metro Transit is also huge and well-organized with the Transit Trip Planner, organizing Metro Light Rail. There's about 90 routes, stopping overall thousands of places. There are also lines connecting the Mall of America, the airport, the University of Minnesota main campus, and downtown Saint Paul.

You can get nearly everywhere within city limits, as bus stops are nearly everywhere connected with higher speed light rail BUT some are served much less frequently than others. To get where you're going more efficiently while never getting stranded out in the cold, check the Metro Transit Trip Planner in advance.

Minneapolis has been hosting an unusually large number of AmeriCorps volunteers every year for the last several.

It's also home to an unusually large number of nonprofit literary presses, including the University of Minnesota Press.

So Minneapolitans get a lot of art and culture for their city's size . . . but also a lot of weather.

If you're from anywhere much warmer considering roommates in Minneapolis, you'd be getting a lot for the money in the first category, arts, culture, museums, a Dad-like attitude toward quality parks and cozy downtown skyways, etc.

But you'll also need to seriously consider if you can deal with the latter. More than most (cities and roommates) if you're moving from warmer you may want to visit during winter first. You already know it gets cold and you've accepted it intellectually if you're even able to read this, we already know!

However, all locals have multiple stories about a shocked newcomer's first truly cold winter day in the Twin Cities.

It's viscerally cold in a physically surprising way the first time you experience it. And Minneapolis is just out there kinda unprotected, not guarded by mountains or huge other cities nearby when the wind comes whipping down the plain. You think you know about cold even before your first time just by reading about it, and you really might mostly . . .

. . . but the remaining rest might be OMG WHAT?! Not enough warnings for me!

So if you're concerned you may not cheerfully embrace your new snowbunny lifestyle, great to visit first, then commit to anything more major only after walking around outside (not just the Skyway!) in winter.

With a coat and a hat and gloves and boots, yes! No freezing, bundle up! But still, walk around outside, then decide.

Meanwhile, Minneapolis also invented the Milky Way candy bar! They freeze really well.

The rest of the Minneapolis roommate lowdown:

  • largest city in Minnesota, about 420,000, with the greater metro Twin Cities about 3.5 million
  • capital city, along the upper Mississippi River
  • along with Saint Paul forms the Twin Cities region
  • winters are very long and very cold, temperatures are often below zero, severe storms are common, with at least a few blizzards every season
  • summers can be humid, but still relatively mild
  • Thunderstorms with heavy rain can occur other 3 seasons, along with fog, ice, and sleet. Basically, they're not prone to hurricanes or tornadoes, but all the other weather events are possible here (and why Minneapolitans LOVE their Skyway!)
  • The city streets are on a grid divided into quadrants: North, South, Northeast, and Southeast. Blue signs indicate "Snow Emergency Route" roads, which are supposedly plowed first. Rust signs are east-west, light green signs are north-south, and dark green signs indicate scenic parkways, usually around actual parks.
  • With 185 neighborhood parks and lakes networked together via bicycle and walking paths, variously as the weather permits, they offer: cross-country skiing, ice fishing, ice skating, sledding, and snowshoeing. Also ice-skating, hockey, snowmobiling popular in winter on the numerous lakes that freeze over in winter as the weather permits!
  • Minnesota has no sales tax on clothing, to attract tourists. This tax is a bit controversial as many say this financial strategy is regressive, negatively affecting folks with less money more than those with more. That might be a fair criticism, but it has also been massively successful. There are contenders, but literally no more successful mall than Mall of America. Nope.
  • home to Macalester College, Northwestern College, Augsburg College, Bethel College, College of Saint Catherine, Concordia College, Crown College, Hamline University, Metropolitan State University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, University of Wisconsin, William Mitchell College of Law, University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and the University of Minnesota
  • Home to the Minnesota Twins (MLB), the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), the Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), and the Minnesota Lynx (WNBA). They also have the Minnesota Wild, an NHL hockey team, and the Minnesota United FC, a professional soccer team.

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Minneapolis':

  • Mall of America: Maybe not quite as exciting as when it opened, as there are a few more monuments to shopping around the country and up in Canada now . . . but this one still stands out as the largest mall around, by far. Some say it's still the most popular local tourist destination as well, but that's controversial! In addition to a staggeringly large number of retail stores, there's an indoor amusement park, movies (obviously), and the Nickelodeon Universe.
  • Minneapolis Institute of Art: More than 90,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years, particularly Native-American and Asian histories. You and your roommates can go on a guided mobile tour.
  • Walker Art Center: Galleries, shops, cinema, and the Walker Reader, their experimental digital public platform. The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, one of the largest urban sculpture gardens in the country, is right across the street.
  • Minnesota Hot Dish: Arguably any casserole served warm, but traditionally features some combination of ground meat, veggies, cheese and cream soup underneath, a solid layer of tatertots on top, then baked until bubbly. It's not the most popular at restaurants lately, but you'll definitely find at cookouts, potlucks, bake sales, neighborhood events of that nature. If you want to try and can't find you need to meet more native Minneapolitans!
  • Lutefisk: Cod dried on outdoor racks, then soaked in water, then lye. The lye reconstitutes and re-expands the fish, thus rendering that gelatinous jelly quality, then the lye is soaked out as well. It's like a protein-packed fish jello that takes on the flavor of the sauce served with it.
  • Juicy Lucy: Served at many local bars, many claim it as uniquely Minneapolitan. It's a cheeseburger, but the cheese isn't on top of the patties of meat, it's between two molded together patties that keep the cheese inside sufficiently piping hot to completely annihilate the entire roof of your mouth on first bite! Or you could let it cool off before consuming. Either way.
  • Boom Island Park: Do you enjoy fishing? What about fishing with a side of skyline and century-old remains of a Pillsbury mill? Have I got a park for you!
  • Tower Hill Park: Home of an historical water tower with supposedly the best view of the city
  • Prince's Star at First Avenue: On the right side of the club's entrance
  • Dining clubs, pubs, and bars (various, but usually locally owned): Many compete with each other for the best Happy Hour and other daily specials on hearty British, Irish or German plates. Get familiar with whichever are in your neighborhood and you could rotate around for the best deals, ultimately consuming a lot of comfort food, extra comforting because you'll be getting their best price.

Here's the city of Minneapolis official .gov for renters, including local renter rights.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.

7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.