Like the rest of the US, Minnesota's only official language is English, but residents are rather infamous for their unique northern accents. It is essentially long vowels and a little inflection with an overall sing-song tone to their speaking. This is mainly due to the prevalence of Scandinavian heritage throughout the state, but really is only noticeable in the rural towns. In Minneapolis you may not detect any accent at all.
The sole currency used in Minnesota is the US dollar (US $). Banknotes come in denominations of US $1, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100. There are 100 cents in one dollar, with coins in denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 25 cents. Foreign currency needs to be exchanged at banks in the larger cities. Traveler’s checks may be accepted at larger stores, but it’s easier to cash them in at a bank. ATMs are commonly found in bank lobbies and larger stores like supermarkets. Credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard will be accepted almost everywhere.
Minnesota is in the Central Time Zone (GMT -6, GMT -5 between March 12 and November 4 during daylight savings).
Minnesota uses electricity at 110-120 V/60 Hz. Flat two-prong plugs are typical, so it is recommended that you travel with a universal plug adapter if you are coming from Europe or Asia.
The dialing code for the United States is +1. Minnesota uses seven area codes, though 612, 763, 952 and 651 (Minneapolis-St Paul region) are the most prevalent. Other area codes include 218 (Duluth), 320 and 507. There are plenty of places in Minnesota where you won’t have cell phone coverage, especially in remote areas like the Boundary Waters so plan accordingly. Internet access is possible in hotspots around Minneapolis-St Paul. However, in smaller towns you will have to search hard for a place with WiFi.
If you are flying directly into Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport, every passenger over the age of 18 is allowed to carry one liter of alcohol, 200 cigarettes (or 50 non-Cuban cigars or two kilograms of tobacco) and gifts up to a value of US $400 tax-free.
Explore Minnesota Tourism, 121 7th Place East suite 100, St Paul, MN 55101: +1-800-657-3638, http://www.exploreminnesota.com/index.aspx.
Consulates in Minnesota
Canadian Consulate, Minneapolis: +1-612-333-4641
German Consulate, St Paul: +1-651-962-4081
Netherlands Consulate, Minneapolis: +1-612-870-1006
French Consulate, Chicago: +1-312-327-5200
Australian Consulate, Chicago: +1-312-419-1480
British Consulate, Chicago: +1-312-970-3800
Emergency services: 911