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Guide to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Giraffe At Minnesota Zoo
(credit: CBS

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
4300 Glumack Drive, St. Paul
Hours: 24/7, 365 days a year
MSP WebsiteIn 2008 the Air Service Quality survey of 200,000 travelers named Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) the best airport in North America and third best in the world. With a combination of luxury services and Minnesota kitsch, it's easy to see why MSP is a traveler's ideal airport.

Getting there

The airport is comprised of two terminals which went through name changes in 2009 to avoid confusion of which terminal serviced each airline. The main hub is Terminal 1 – Lindberg and the second smaller hub with just 10 gates is Terminal 2 – Humphrey. Both terminals offer ePark credit card swipe parking, which saves you $2 on long term parking a day and tracks your time in the parking ramps by credit card instead of making you save receipts or tickets to prove when you arrived. There is value parking near Terminal 2, which saves travelers $4 a day compared to long term parking options, and has easy Light Rail Transit access to Terminal 1. If you're in a hurry or don't want to walk far with your baggage, Terminal 1 offers valet parking which is closest to the terminal at a $40 a day cost. Travelers can also apply for eParkElite for a one-time $20 fee and $95 per month. This provides frequent fliers a guaranteed parking space one minute from Terminal 1. There is also Light Rail Transit service to both terminals from the Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis. To find out which parking options is right for you, check out MSP's online parking calculator.

Once inside MSP, travelers will notice Twin Cities retail stores and restaurants along with expanded comforts not found in every airport.


Food options vary from quick service grab-and-go kiosks to full service restaurants. Local Minnesota establishments pepper The Mall and concourses, like Ike's Food and Cocktails, which recently won Frommer's coveted "Top 10 Best Airport Restaurants in the U.S." honor. Surdyk's Flights and Wine Market has open seating in the middle of The Mall where you can kick back with a glass and take in great people watching. For vegetarian or vegans, French Meadow Bakery and Cafe, located in The Mall and Concourse F offers a wide selection of healthy bites. Have a business lunch or need a spot to meet family? Houlihan's is located at the entrance of the airport pre-security. In total, there are 18 full service restaurants and 32 quick service food vendors in various locations throughout MSP. Free dining coupons can be found at the MSP website. Airport specials are also advertised on MSP's Facebook page.


MSP offers free Wi-Fi service through Boingo in most public areas past the security check point. Internet kiosks are available on Concourses C and G, and there are portable device charging stations throughout much of Terminal 1 and 2 gating areas.


If you have a short layover, The Mall has many local and national chain stores to browse for necessities or Minnesota gifts. If you have a longer layover, Light Rail Transit service is available for $1.75 during non-rush hour times from the airport to the largest shopping mall in the U.S., the Mall of America. For the same rate, Light Rail also runs to Nicollet Mall, the heart of shopping in downtown Minneapolis.

Feeding Goats At The Minnesota Zoo
(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

The Extras
Many times the "extras" take something from ordinary to extraordinary. MSP is no exception.

• There is a 1.4 mile walking path marked by green Start! signs on terminal directories. Concourses C and D map out the heart-pumping loop. You can add additional meters or miles if you walk the A, B, E or F Concourses.

• Now Boarding, located on airport property with free shuttle service to the terminals, provides overnight pet care, doggy daycare and spa treatments for your beloved pooch or feline. Open 24/7, services are also available for individuals not flying out of MSP, but just need care for family animals.

• Baggage claim retrieval can be confusing if you don't know which carousel your luggage will appear on. MSP makes it simple at Terminal 1. Follow the well-marked signs throughout the Concourses to baggage claim. At either of the two entrances of baggage claim from The Mall, look at the monitors to determine what carousel number your bags will be delivered from.

• Aching back? Concourse C, E and F in Terminal 1 offer massage chairs for $1 for three minutes and $5 for 15 minutes. What about your feet? Shoe shine services are available at Royal Zeno Shoe Shine in The Mall. Two additional luxuries not found in every airport, but a standard at MSP.

For more information about MSP on the go, download the goHow mobile app on your iPhone or Blackberry for directions to the airport, flight information, restaurant and retail listings, plus transportation, parking and map details.

Colleen McGuire is a digital marketing communications professional and author of the blog, Travel Snapshots. When she is not touring the Twin Cities for interesting festivals and events, she is wandering the world with her camera and notebook.
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