Ugliest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities

Ugliest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities

The Twin Cities are known for many things, including the Twins, frigid temperatures, and the Mall of America. One thing that this area isn’t known for its ugly neighborhoods. Unfortunately, like any other major metropolitan area, the Twin Cities aren’t immune from ugly neighborhoods.


One of the neighborhoods that has a bad reputation is the Whittier neighborhood. Located near the south side of downtown Minneapolis, this neighborhood is one of the oldest in the area. There are still some historic buildings standing and a unique variety of ethnic restaurants. The area also has some grand restored mansions that are inhabited by wealthy families. The pros are what make this neighborhood different from other ugly neighborhoods. Whittier has its share of cons that drives many people away. The area has above average crime levels. There is also a growing homelessness problem in the area. This is most evident in Fair Oaks Park.


Phillips is another area to avoid due to its high crime rate. This area is located immediately south of downtown Minneapolis. The good news about Phillips is that the community is working together to help reduce crime in the area in order to make it a more enjoyable place to live and spend time.

Brooklyn Park

Brooklyn Park is the sixth most populated city in Minnesota and has developed a reputation of being an ugly neighborhood. This city is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River, upstream from downtown Minneapolis. There have been recent developments to the area that have given it a new look, so it’s possible that this neighborhood is on the brink of turning things around.


A neighborhood in the St. Paul area that gets a dangerous review is Frogtown. Frogtown is near University Avenue located west of downtown St. Paul. This is the area with the highest concentration of crime in St. Paul. There have been reports of crime on city buses in this area and in streets surrounding the area at various times of the day.


Another less desirable neighborhood in St. Paul is the Westside. This is one of the poorest areas of St. Paul. They also experience a high crime rate. The entire Westside neighborhood isn’t dangerous. Anyone driving through the area will notice that just a few blocks away from rundown housing are some charming homes that are located in a quiet part of the neighborhood.

Most of these neighborhoods are considered ugly because of their high crime rates or high poverty levels. However, neighborhoods like Whittier and Westside in St. Paul have other characteristics that make the neighborhood more appealing. Depending on what you are looking for, one of these neighborhoods might be right for you. The Twin Cities area as a whole has a higher crime rate than some other cities its size, but that doesn’t mean that the entire metropolitan area is unlivable. Crime can happen anywhere, and if you know your street smarts you might just find the charm in some of these older neighborhoods.

*Updated June 2020. Originally posted June 2015.