Party in Prince’s Hometown: A Guide to Minneapolis’ Nightlife

The city that raised the late, great Artist Formerly Known as Prince is still a nightlife hotspring. When an artist of that caliber and stature can come out of a town, you know that there’s a carefully maintained partying culture kept there.

The Twin Cities are outstanding cities to party in. If you’re interested in a late night blowout – it’s got you covered. Fine dining in specialty restaurants – plenty to go around. Classic high culture events abound. Live music, stand-up, both open mic and professional, Minneapolis can give you a wild and unforgettable night out, whatever your cup of tea may be.

The Minnesota Institute of Art and the Walker Art Center will give you a fancy date solution to impress any prospective partner. Although technically not nightlife, the Minnehaha Falls, St. Anthony Falls, and Minnehaha Regional Park give you a chance to show your romantic side with beautiful scenery for hiking and camping.

Of course, if you’re just looking for a run of the mill bar to have a drink in, the choices are almost endless. You could bar hop for a week straight and still not run out of excellent places to check out.

Here are a few choices for anybody and any occasion you visit Minneapolis.

The Exchange & Alibi Lounge

A classic club rager is what you’re after? Look no further than The Exchange & Alibi Lounge. A top of the line entertainment center, the resident DJs will make sure your feet are moving the entire night long. Get amped and dancing in this Minneapolis house of music and vibes.

The Exchange Nightclub is huge (7200 square feet) and has two fully functioning bars and an enormous dance floor. There’s VIP seating for party goers that like a little bit more privacy, exclusivity and style, and the photo area will provide you with a perfect backdrop for selfies on an unforgettable night out.

If you’re an audiophile, the club has got you covered. With the Funktion-One EVO sound system, the bass will knock your socks off while you enjoy the pristine and beautiful high end this system produces. The light show is spectacular – it will provide your social media posts with color and vibes that are guaranteed to generate engagement.

The other side of the story is the Alibi Lounge – a classy cocktail lounge stocked with custom-designed furniture and elegant but smokey, grace.

The Exchange can hold up to 750 people, while the Alibi Lounge is a bit more private, with 125 seats available. Both the Exchange and the Alibi Lounge offer excellent service and guarantee your time’s worth – you’ll be hard pressed to find a better night out in Minneapolis.

The Varsity Theater

If you’ve got an itch that only a live music performance can scratch – look no further than The Varsity Theater. Opened in 1915 as a vaudeville showplace, the venue converted to a movie house. It functioned as a movie theater well into the 1980s, maintaining its Art Deco style of the late 1920s.

Ten years ago, the place was thoroughly refurbished and renovated to serve as a live music concert hall, as well as a venue for theater, dance and stage performances. The managers retained the roaring twenties feel that makes the place feel authentically vintage.

The venue can hold up to 1,500 people and entertain them with the latest state of the art sound systems that will bring a crystal clear sonic picture straight from the speakers to your ear holes.

The drink prices are reasonable, and the staff is personable, especially taking into account that it’s a venue of that size. Some of the best performers on the planet have held concerts here, and Prince himself would do too, were he still alive.

So if you’re looking for the premiere concert experience in Minneapolis, Minnesota – The Varsity Theater is definitely the place to be.

Northeast Minneapolis Arts District 

If a single place can’t hold you and you require variety on your night out, then the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District can offer you a plethora of places, spaces, events, food and beverage options.

It is located within walking distance of Minneapolis’ historic city center. The space has been transformed through the decades and has served many purposes before becoming home to a thriving society of artists and restaurants. It combines an old-world sense of community and tradition with a contemporary perspective on arts and collaboration.

Its mission statement is “To catalyze the innovative spirit of artists through generative community arts development.” There’s no doubt you’ll find things to tickle your taste in its seemingly endless array of galleries, food places and art community spaces.

First Avenue

We can’t really say where Prince would party today, but our money is on the wild and lively dance venue called First Avenue. After all, it was his venue of choice while he was still rocking the place. The audio recording of Purple Rain took place here.

One of the oldest and longest running independently owned venues in the entire United States, it is a unique venue that supports both the local music scene, as well as hosts a myriad of artists from outside of town.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better dance hall and live music joint in the city. They pride themselves as a safe space for everyone, with zero tolerance for harassment enforced by a highly trained security crew.

The music epicenter of the Twin Cities, make sure to check out First Avenue if you’re searching for an authentic live music experience.

A self guided tour for Prince fans

An entire generation of Minnesotans will be grieving for a long, long time because of the passing of their beloved Prince. 

That’s why the locals have organized a self-guided tour to take you around the most important focal points in this performer’s hometown. The tour includes visiting First Avenue, where his name is still painted in gold. This is just the first stop of many in a carefully curated tour of Prince’s favorite and most iconic locations.


The Twin Cities have something to offer everyone and anyone. If you ever decide to visit Minneapolis, we’re sure you’ll find out why the best artists in the country never skip this town on their tours, often double billing in Prince’s hometown. It simply has the vibes of a nightlife metropolis.

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