The 48 Hours Project: Dive bars, free shows, and the Twin Cities on a budget

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Folks from the Twin Cities got a pretty good laugh last weekend when a Reuters travel reporter wrote a bizarrely bland and unadventurous itinerary for those looking to spend 48 hours in the Twin Cities. But rather than laughing -- okay, we laughed a little -- it got us to thinking about what sort of suggestions we would come up with. The following is the first in an ongoing series exploring the great things about Minneapolis and St. Paul, with each installment offering a different approach to enjoying our fair cities.

For our first 48-hour weekend, we've come up with some ideas for folks on a tight budget. Come take a look.

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5 p.m.: Arrive in the Twin Cities. Although there are plenty of taxi services available at the airport, riding one into Minneapolis or St. Paul can set you back $30-$50. Instead, start your weekend on the Light Rail or bus, which are easy to figure out (try the trip planner option at Metro Transit's website before you get here), which will only set you back $1.75-$3.

7 p.m.: If you're on a tight budget, it's best to stay with friends. Couch and floor surfing builds character, after all, and will save you $100+ a night in hotel expenses.

8 p.m.: Dinner in downtown Minneapolis on a budget can be tricky. Finding a food truck is your best best, or stop in to Baja Sol if you're in the mood for some really fresh Mexican eats. A quick hop over to northeast Minneapolis may be an even better choice for cheap eats. Holy Land Deli is tasty, as is Kramarczuk's.

9:30 p.m.: Can't afford to see the big show at First Avenue? The next best option is literally around the corner. The lineup at 7th St. Entry is often pretty awesome, and under $15.

12:30 a.m.: Now's the time to sit on a friend's porch, lawn, or roof and have that last beer and/or cigarette of the night.

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