Taking the Light Rail from the Airport to the Hotel

Danielle from News from Alameda Street is back to offer some travel tips and how-to for those of you needing to get from the airport to the hotel next weekend.  Bookmark this post on your smart phone, or print out a copy to keep in your carry on.  These instructions will definitely come in handy if you plan to use the Minneapolis Public Transportation system.




If you’re traveling to Minneapolis by air, getting from MSP Airport to the Hilton is an easy trip (and one I actually make quite frequently).

You can, of course, take a taxi. The minimum fair from the airport to the Hilton is about $40, and could be higher depending on traffic. What I do when traveling between the Hilton and MSP Airport is take the Light Rail (my husband’s office is right next to the Hilton, so whenever we fly we park in his ramp and take the Light Rail to the airport). It’s a cheap and easy alternative to a taxi.

The Light Rail* (also called METRO Blue Line, Hiawatha Line, LRT) has stops at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. To get from your gate to the Light Rail stations, follow the ground transportation signs. At both stations, tickets for the Light Rail are sold at machines (cash/credit). During rush hour tickets are $2.25 and during non-rush hour times they are $1.75.

To get to the Light Rail station from Terminal 1, follow the signs for ground transportation. You will have to take a tram to the Transit Station, and then continue following signs for the Light Rail (LRT). At the top of the station you will find ticket machines. There are escalators down to the platform level. Check the signs to find the train going to Downtown Minneapolis.

At Terminal 2, follow the signs for ground transportation. At the airport ticketing level you will have to go up a level and take the Orange Ramp skyway. Continue following the signs for the Light Rail (LRT). When you reach the station you’ll have to go down a level to the platform. Make sure you find a machine to get your ticket. Check the signs to find the train going to Downtown Minneapolis.

The ride from the airport to downtown Minneapolis is a little less than half an hour. My recommendation is to get off at the Nicollet Mall stop (you’ll know you’ve reached the downtown area when you see the Metrodome. Take the Light Rail 2 more stops). When you get off the train you have two choices.

1. Walk back the direction you just came from about 1 block to Marquette Ave. Turn right on Marquette and follow the street all the way to 10th St. You’ll see the Hilton between 10th St and 11th St.

2. Take the “Free Nicollet Mall Bus” to the 11th Street stop. Walk 1 block east. The Hilton will be on the corner of 11th St and Marquette Ave. (I haven’t done this, but this is suggested on the Hilton’s website).

*As a note, there is currently only one line, so you can’t make a mistake and take the wrong one. You can check the Metro Transit website for more information.

**Also, if you have an after-dark flight arrival and don’t have another person traveling with you, local Dream Teamer Molly suggests splurge for a taxi.  We want everyone to be safe, of course!