How to Minimize Culture Shock When Moving to Minneapolis

So you’re moving to the Twin Cities? That’s fantastic! There’s so much to do around the city and so much to see, from natural parks to urban living. But we understand it can be a bit daunting venturing into a new living space. One may be unsure of how to change things up when moving to Minneapolis, especially if you’re arriving from out of state. Here are a few tips to shake off that culture shock and feel a little more at home in Minnesota.

Dress for the Cold

This should be obvious, but we’ll say it anyway. Winters around in Minneapolis and St. Paul can get pretty dang cold and you’re going to have to dress for the weather. Even as early as fall, one can expect the temperature to drop. And once it starts snowing, it could keep going well into May. Yes, it has snowed in May before. Winters can vary where the temperature could be anywhere from 0 degrees to -30 degrees. So, it’s best to purchase coats, boots, and gloves prior to moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota. But don’t throw out your shirts and shorts.

Dress for the Heat

Contrary to whatever weird tales are woven of the Minnesota climate, our summers can be exceptionally hot. Though not as sweltering as the likes of Texas, the Minnesota humidity can be rather high and temperatures can reach into the ’90s. We’re not Alaska, so be prepared to wear something more fitting of a sizzling summer setting when visiting us during the most bright and gorgeous parts of the year. You’ll be glad you did so you can explore Minnesota’s outdoor bounty instead of staying in the car with the AC cranked.

Snow Shoveling

If you’re planning on moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota, the number-one item you should grab is a shovel. Maybe a snowblower, as well. Actually, both, yes, both are good. Snow can get ridiculously high during the winter months and really get up there in the inches that you’re most likely going to be doing some heavy-duty snow removal. Even if you won’t have a driveway to clear, keep a shovel handy in case the unfortunate should happen and your car becomes stuck in the thick snow. Bottom line: Get a shovel and get ready to remove snow as you’ve never done so before.


Driving is a bit different in Minnesota compared to other states. For example, traffic lights at on-ramps for easing traffic are not a national commonality. Minnesota is also very active with all sorts of vehicles, and bikes are no exception. There are plenty of bike trails throughout the Twin Cities area, so be very much mindful of the bikers around you. Also, due to the brutal winters ripping up the streets, it’s not uncommon to see an abundance of road construction when snow isn’t on the pavement, so plan routes accordingly. Oh, and try to avoid 494 at all costs if you can. Okay… think that’s everything.

Photo Credit: Minnesota State Fair Facebook

Attend the State Fair

While there is quite a bit going on in Minnesota in terms of local events, one of the largest and biggest tastes of the state is undoubtedly the State Fair. Known for its wildly imaginative food of all shapes and sizes, the fair is a great place to get a glance of businesses, people, animals, and just try a little bit of everything. We’re not specifically saying getting yourself a bucket of Sweet Martha cookies or indulging in fried food on a stick will make you feel more at home once you move to Minneapolis, but it couldn’t hurt. It’ll definitely be tasty.

Don’t Worry About Being a Tourist

There’s so much to see in Minnesota that it can make visitors feel like tourists pestering the natural landscape and vibrant city life. You need not worry. As Minnesotans, we are not omnipresent in our state as much as we’d like to be. We love exploring Minnesota’s wonder just as much as any other tourist, often venturing outside our local neighborhood bubble to take in the majesty of the wilderness or the quaint appeal of a smaller town, be it the orchards of Jordan or the river at Stillwater. Don’t be afraid to get out there and see it all.

Be Friendly

That exaggerated Minnesota Nice from the film Fargo isn’t too far off. Minnesotans are generally kind to others who show friendliness. Don’t be shy of Minnesotans as we’re willing to show some kindness to others. Just try not to bring up the “oh yah” accent. We know it sounds weird and we know it occasionally slips out.


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