Missouri, United States

The Gateway City of St. Louis is the epitome of the modern Midwestern metropolis.Missouri's second-largest city is vibrant but laid-back, populous but navigable, historic but still relevant. The city's planners have created an aesthetically beautiful city, with plenty of green space amidst buildings both old and new, framed by the majestic Mississippi and Missouri rivers. And capping it all is the world's tallest man-made monument, the beautiful and iconic Gateway Arch.

Info St. Louis


St. Louis is an independent city  and inland port in the U.S. state of Missouri. The city developed along the western bank of the Mississippi River, which forms Missouri's border with Illinois. In 2010, St. Louis had a population of 319,294; a 2015 estimate put the population at 315,685,  making it the 60th-most populous U.S. city and the second-largest city in Missouri after Kansas City. The St. Louis metropolitan area includes the city as well as nearby areas in Missouri and Illinois; with an estimated population of 2,916,447, it is the largest in Missouri and the nineteenth largest in the United States. St. Louis was founded in 1764 by fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and named after Louis IX of France. Claimed first by the French, who settled mostly east of the Mississippi River, the region in which the city stands was ceded to Spain following France's defeat in the Seven Years' War. Its territory east of the Mississippi was ceded to the Kingdom of Great Britain, the victor. The area of present-day Missouri was part of Spanish Louisiana from 1762 until 1803; the French persuaded King Charles IV of Spain to cede Louisiana back to France in 1800, but the Spanish continued as administrators of the territory until the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

After the United States acquired this territory in the Louisiana Purchase, St. Louis developed as a major port on the Mississippi River. In the late-19th century, St. Louis was ranked as the fourth-largest city in the United States. Itseparated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics. Immigration has increased, and the city is the center of the largest Bosnian population in the world outside their homeland.

The economy of St. Louis relies on service, manufacturing, trade, transportation of goods, and tourism. The city is home to several major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch,Express Scripts, Peabody Energy,Ameren, Ralcorp, Monsanto, andSigma-Aldrich, as well as a large medical and research community. St. Louis has two professional sports teams: the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball and the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. The city is commonly identified with the 630-foot (192 m) tall Gateway Arch in Downtown St. Louis.

POPULATION : • Independent city 319,294
• Estimate (2015) 315,685
• Urban 2,150,706 (US: 20th)
• Metro 2,811,588 (US: 20th)
• CSA 2,916,447 (US: 19th)
FOUNDED :  Founded 1764
Incorporated 1822
TIME ZONE : • Time zone CST (UTC−6)
• Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
LANGUAGE :  English
AREA : • Independent city 66 sq mi (170 km2)
• Land 61.9 sq mi (160 km2)
• Water 4.1 sq mi (11 km2)
• Urban 923.6 sq mi (2,392.2 km2)
• Metro 8,458 sq mi (21,910 km2)
ELEVATION :  466 ft (142 m)
COORDINATES :  38°37′38″N 90°11′52″W
ETHNIC :  White 47.1% (est.) 
—Non-Hispanic 44.0 (est.)
Black 46.9% (est.) 
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 3.9% (est.) 
Asian 3.3% (est.)
AREA CODE :  314
POSTAL CODE : 63101-63141, 63143-63147, 63150-63151, 63155-63158, 63160, 63163-63164, 63166-63167, 63169, 63171, 63177-63180, 63182, 63188, 63190, 63195, 63197-63199
DIALING CODE :  +1 314


The Gateway City of St. Louis is the epitome of the modern Midwestern metropolis.Missouri's second-largest city is vibrant but laid-back, populous but navigable, historic but still relevant. The city's planners have created an aesthetically beautiful city, with plenty of green space amidst buildings both old and new, framed by the majestic Mississippi and Missouri rivers. And capping it all is the world's tallest man-made monument, the beautiful and iconic  Gateway Arch.

St. Louis is a city of culture and surprisingly inexpensive. Among American cities, onlyWashington, D.C., has more free attractions for tourists and residents alike. Hotels, restaurants, and even parking garages avoid the premium pricing common in other big cities. Although often overlooked, St. Louis can be (and sometimes is!) an affordable, educational, and fun family getaway!


The city is named after King Louis IX of France. St. Louis is known by the nickname ofThe Gateway to the West. The city was the last major stop before pioneers journeyed Westward to the Pacific coast. The city also played a large part during the steamboat era due its position at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. St. Louis was acquired from France by the United States during President Thomas Jefferson's term in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The transfer of power from Spain was made official in a ceremony called, "Three Flags Day." On March 8, 1804, the Spanish flag was lowered and the French one raised. On March 10, the French flag was replaced by that of the USA. In 1904, St. Louis hosted that year's World's Fair and the Summer Olympic Games. Many of the parks, buildings, and finer homes in St. Louis were built around this time period. While there are few, if any, living residents who attended the Fair, it holds an important place in the modern development of the city.

Before Detroit became America's automotive capital, St. Louis was the largest producer of American automobiles in the early part of the 20th century. Midtown and Downtown still have many of the original warehouses and factories standing, but most have been converted to other purposes, such as loft apartments, shops and restaurants. St. Louis was also home to a bustling fashion manufacturing industry in the early 1900s, centered on Washington Avenue downtown. As with the auto industry, the last remnants of the fashion manufacturing industry can be found in the recently rehabbed warehouses which now contain new businesses and loft condominiums. In the late 20th century, St. Louis began a transformation from a manufacturing and industrial economy into a globally known center for research in Medicine, Biotechnology, and other sciences. Firms such as Monsanto, Centene, Solae, Energizer, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Edward Jones, Wells Fargo Advisors (formerly A.G. Edwards), Anheuser-Busch/Inbev are headquartered in St. Louis. AT&T and Bank of America operate major regional offices here. Two major private research universities, Washington University in St. Louis and Saint Louis University, are an important part of the local economy and society.

St. Louis is truly a city of neighborhoods, each with its own distinct flavor and culture. There are 79 government-designated neighborhoods within the City of St. Louis, many of which have associations and councils that exercise wide control over development and subsidies from the highest to the very lowest local level. Some neighborhoods contain avenues of massive stone mansions built as palaces for heads of state visiting the 1904 World's Fair, and now occupied by some of the more wealthy families and individuals in the City of St. Louis. Other neighborhoods are predominantly middle class and working-class and have retained their singular cultural identity for 200 years. Today, most of them have endured as strong and cohesive communities for their residents.


The area that would become St. Louis was a center of the Native American Mississippian culture, which built numerous temple and residential earthwork mounds on both sides of the Mississippi River. Their major regional center was at Cahokia Mounds, active from 900 AD to 1500 AD. Due to numerous major earthworks within St. Louis boundaries, the city was nicknamed as the "Mound City." These mounds were mostly demolished during the city's development. Historic Native American tribes in the area included the Siouan-speaking Osage people, whose territory extended west, and the Illiniwek.

European exploration of the area was first recorded in 1673, when French explorersLouis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette traveled through the Mississippi River valley. Five years later, La Salle claimed the region for France as part of La Louisiane.

The earliest European settlements in the area were built in Illinois Country (also known as Upper Louisiana) on the east side of the Mississippi River during the 1690s and early 1700s at Cahokia, Kaskaskia, and Fort de Chartres. Migrants from the French villages on the opposite side of the Mississippi River (e.g. Kaskaskia) founded Ste. Genevieve in the 1730s.

In 1721 after leaving Quebec, French traveller Pierre François Xavier de Charlevoix reached the area, calling it "the finest confluence in the world".

In early 1764, after France lost the Seven Years' War, Pierre Laclède and his stepsonAuguste Chouteau founded what was to become the city of St. Louis. (French lands east of the Mississippi had been ceded to Great Britain and the lands west of the Mississippi to Spain; France and Spain were 18th-century allies and both were Catholic nations.) The early French families built the city's economy on the fur trade with the Osage, as well as with more distant tribes along the Missouri River. The Chouteau brothers gained a monopoly from Spain on the fur trade with Santa Fe. French colonists used African slaves as domestic servants and workers in the city.

From 1762 to 1803 European control of the area west of the Mississippi to the northernmost part of the Missouri River basin, called Louisiana, was assumed by the Spanish as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. In 1780 during the American Revolutionary War, St. Louis was attacked by British forces, mostly Native American allies, in the Battle of St. Louis.

Founding and before 19th century

The founding of St. Louis began in 1763. Pierre Laclede led an expedition to set up a fur-trading post farther up the Mississippi River. Before then, Laclede had been a very successful merchant. For this reason, he and his trading partner Gilbert Antoine de St. Maxent were offered monopolies for six years of the fur trading in that area.

Though they were originally only granted rights to set-up a trading post, Laclede and other members of his expedition quickly set up a settlement. Some historians believe that Laclede's determination to create this settlement was the result of his affair with a married woman Marie-Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau, and so they wanted to get out of New Orleans.

Laclede on his initial expedition was accompanied by his young stepson, Auguste Chouteau. Some historians still debate which of the two men was the true founder of St. Louis. The reason for this lingering question is that all the documentation of the founding was loaned, and subsequently destroyed in a fire.

For the first few years of St. Louis' existence, the city was not recognized by any of the governments. Though originally thought to be under the control of the Spanish government, no one asserted any authority over the settlement, and thus St. Louis had no local government. This led Laclede to assume a position of civil control, and all problems were disposed in public settings, such as conmunal meetings. In addition, Laclede granted new settlers lots in town and the country, to give something to the new settlers to start off with. In hindsight, many of these original settlers thought of these first few years as "the golden age of St. Louis."

However, by 1765, the city began receiving notifications and visits from representatives and military actives from members of the English, French, and Spanish governments. In addition, the Indians in the local area expressed dissatisfaction to being under the command and control of British forces. One of the great Ottawa chieftain, Pontiac, was angered by the change of power and potential for the British to come into their lands. He desired to fight against them with power and force, but many of the St. Louis inhabitants refused.

Around this time, a man named St. Ange came and helped make St. Louis more of a successful city, helping deal with all the diplomatic issues from the various nationalities of the British, French, and Spanish governments, along with the local Indians.

19th century

St. Louis was transferred to the French First Republic in 1800 (although all of the colonial lands continued to be administered by Spanish officials), then sold by the French to the U.S. in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. St. Louis became the capital of, and gateway to, the new territory. Shortly after the official transfer of authority was made, the Lewis and Clark Expedition was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson. The expedition departed from St. Louis in May 1804 along the Missouri River to explore the vast territory. There were hopes of finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean, but the party had to go overland in the Upper West. They reached the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River in summer 1805. They returned, reaching St. Louis on September 23, 1806. Both Lewis and Clark lived in St. Louis after the expedition. Many other explorers, settlers, and trappers (such as Ashley's Hundred) would later take a similar route to the West.

The city elected its first municipal legislators (called trustees) in 1808. Steamboats first arrived in St. Louis in 1818, improving connections with New Orleans and eastern markets. Missouri was admitted as a state in 1821. As the state gained settlers, the first capital of Missouri was St. Louis before eventually moving to the more central location of Jefferson City in 1826. St. Louis was incorporated as a city in 1822, and continued to develop largely due to its busy port and trade connections. Slaves worked in many jobs on the waterfront as well as on the riverboats. Given the city's location close to the free state of Illinois and others, some slaves escaped to freedom. Others, especially women with children, sued in court in freedom suits, and several prominent local attorneys aided slaves in these suits. About half the slaves achieved freedom in hundreds of suits before the American Civil War.

Immigrants from Ireland and Germany arrived in St. Louis in significant numbers starting in the 1840s, and the population of St. Louis grew from less than 20,000 in 1840, to 77,860 in 1850, to more than 160,000 by 1860. By the mid-1800s, St. Louis had a greater population than New Orleans.

Settled by many Southerners in a slave state, the city was split in political sympathies and became polarized during the American Civil War. In 1861, 28 civilians were killed in a clash with Union troops. The war hurt St. Louis economically, due to the Union blockade of river traffic to the south on the Mississippi River. The St. Louis Arsenalconstructed ironclads for the Union Navy.

After the war, St. Louis profited via trade with the West, aided by the 1874 completion of the Eads Bridge, named for its architect. Industrial developments on both banks of the river were linked by the bridge, the first in the mid-west over the Mississippi River. The bridge connects St. Louis, Missouri to East St. Louis, Illinois. The Eads Bridge became an iconic image of the city of St. Louis, from the time of its erection until 1965 when theGateway Arch Bridge was constructed. The bridge crosses the St. Louis riverfront between Laclede's Landing, to the north, and the grounds of the Gateway Arch, to the south. Today the road deck has been restored, allowing vehicular and pedestrian traffic to cross the river. The St. Louis MetroLink light rail system has used the rail deck since 1993. An estimated 8,500 vehicles pass through it daily.

On August 22, 1876, the city of St. Louis voted to secede from St. Louis County and become an independent city. Industrial production continued to increase during the late 19th century. Major corporations such as the Anheuser-Busch brewery and Ralston-Purina company were established. St. Louis also was home to Desloge Consolidated Lead Company and several brass era automobile companies, including the Success Automobile Manufacturing Company; St. Louis is the site of the Wainwright Building, an early skyscraper built in 1892 by noted architect Louis Sullivan.

20th century

In 1904, the city hosted the 1904 World's Fair and the 1904 Summer Olympics, becoming the first non-European city to host the Olympics. Permanent facilities and structures remaining from the fair are Forest Park and associated structures within its boundaries: the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri History Museum.

In the aftermath of emancipation of slaves following the Civil War, social and racial discrimination in housing and employment were common in St. Louis. Starting in the 1910s, many property deeds included racial or religious restrictive covenants against new immigrants and migrants. In the first half of the 20th century, St. Louis was a destination for many African Americans in the Great Migration from the rural South seeking better opportunities. During World War II, the NAACP campaigned to integrate war factories, and restrictive covenants were prohibited in 1948 by the Shelley v. Kraemer U.S. Supreme Court decision, which case originated as a lawsuit in St. Louis. In 1964 civil rights activists protested at the construction of the Gateway Arch to publicize their effort to gain entry for African Americans into the skilled trade unions, where they were underrepresented. The Department of Justice filed the first suit against the unions under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

De jure educational segregation continued into the 1950s, and de facto segregation continued into the 1970s, leading to a court challenge and interdistrict desegregation agreement. Students have been bussed mostly from the city to county school districts to have opportunities for integrated classes, although the city has created magnet schools to attract students.

St. Louis, like many Midwestern cities, expanded in the early 20th century due to industrialization, which provided jobs to new generations of immigrants and migrants from the South. It reached its peak population of 856,796 at the 1950 census. Suburbanization from the 1950s through the 1990s dramatically reduced the city's population, as did restructuring of industry and loss of jobs. The effects of suburbanization were exacerbated by the relatively small geographical size of St. Louis due to its earlier decision to become an independent city, and it lost much of its tax base. During the 19th and 20th century, most major cities aggressively annexed surrounding areas as residential development occurred away from the central city; however, St. Louis was unable to do so.

In the 21st century, the city of St. Louis contains only 11% of its total metropolitan population, while among the top 20 metro areas in the United States, the central cities contain an average of 24% of total metropolitan area population. Although small increases in population have taken place in St. Louis during the early 2000s, overall the city lost population from 2000 to 2010. Immigration has continued, with the city attracting Vietnamese, Latinos from Mexico and Central America, and Bosnians, the latter forming the largest Bosnian community outside of Bosnia.

Several urban renewal projects were built in the 1950s, as the city worked to replace old and substandard housing. Some of these were poorly designed and resulted in problems, of which Pruitt-Igoe became a symbol of failure. It was torn down.

Since the 1980s, several revitalization efforts have focused on downtown St. Louis.

21st century

Urban revitalization continued in the new century. Gentrification has taken place in the Washington Avenue Historic District. In 2006, St. Louis received the World Leadership Award for urban renewal . In 2013 the US Census Bureau estimate that St. Louis had a population of 318,416.

In 2014, St. Louis celebrated its 250th birthday with events throughout the year. These were coordinated by the Missouri History Museum through its nonprofit entity, stl250, with help from the Saint Louis Ambassadors volunteer organization and its U.S. Small Business Institute. Commemorations of the Arch's 50th birthday took place in 2015.


With neither mountains nor large bodies of water nearby to moderate the climate, St. Louis experiences extremes of temperatures at both ends of the scale. The Winter cold from December through March can be brutal to the unaccustomed body, as can the Summer heat from June through September. The Mississippi River makes this area humid, though temperatures are generally moderate. Storms can occur at any time of the year. July and August are hottest and most humid, and January and February are cold, with occasional snow. Normal temperatures range from 21°F in the winter to 90°F in the summer (-6°C to 32°C), but summer highs of 100°F and winter lows of 0°F are not uncommon (38°C and -18°C).

Climate data for St. Louis, Missouri

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 77
Mean maximum °F (°C) 64.1
Average high °F (°C) 39.9
Average low °F (°C) 23.7
Mean minimum °F (°C) 4.2
Record low °F (°C) −22
Source: NOAA


According to the United States Census Bureau, St. Louis has a total area of 66 square miles (170 km2), of which 62 square miles (160 km2) is land and 4.1 square miles (11 km2) (6.2%) is water. (Not shown on simple maps of the city, the land at its airport is owned by the city, served by its fire department and others, and is an exclave of St. Louis.) The city is built primarily on bluffs and terraces that rise 100–200 feet above the western banks of the Mississippi River, in the Midwestern United States just south of the Missouri-Mississippi confluence. Much of the area is a fertile and gently rolling prairie that features low hills and broad, shallow valleys. Both the Mississippi River and the Missouri River have cut large valleys with wide flood plains.

Limestone and dolomite of the Mississippian epoch underlie the area, and parts of the city are karst in nature. This is particularly true of the area south of downtown, which has numerous sinkholes and caves. Most of the caves in the city have been sealed, but many springs are visible along the riverfront. Coal, brick clay, and millerite ore were once mined in the city. The predominant surface rock, known as St. Louis limestone, is used as dimension stone and rubble for construction.

Near the southern boundary of the city of St. Louis (separating it from St. Louis County) is the River des Peres, practically the only river or stream within the city limits that is not entirely underground. Most of River des Peres was confined to a channel or put underground in the 1920s and early 1930s. The lower section of the river was the site of some of the worst flooding of the Great Flood of 1993.

The city's eastern boundary is the Mississippi River, which separates Missouri from Illinois. The Missouri River forms the northern line of St. Louis County, except for a few areas where the river has changed its course. The Meramec River forms most of its southern line.


The 2014 Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP) of St. Louis was $145.958 billion up from $144.03 in 2013, $138.403 in 2012 and $133.1 in 2011 making it the 21st-highest in the country. The St. Louis Metropolitan Area had a Per capita GDP of $48,738 in 2014 up 1.6% from 2013. This signals the growth of the St. Louis economy. According to the 2007 Economic Census, manufacturing in the city conducted nearly $11 billion in business, followed by the health care and social service industry with $3.5 billion, professional or technical services with $3.1 billion, and the retail trade with $2.5 billion. The health care sector was the biggest employer in the area with 34,000 workers, followed by administrative and support jobs, 24,000; manufacturing, 21,000, and food service, 20,000.


St. Louis is one of the more segregated cities in the nation, and is home to the country's first private gated street - Benton Place in Lafayette Square. In one minute you might be driving down tree-lined avenues with large houses, and the next minute you might be in a low-income neighborhood. Though the region is now more racially and economically integrated than it was, the road system still follows historic boundaries marking one area from the next. Hotels and most St. Louis guide books should have good maps of the layout of the neighborhoods of the City.

Note that St. Louis City is separate and distinct from St. Louis County - the City is really a city without a county, with its own government, school system, and other services. St. Louis City has just under 400,000 residents while St. Louis County has just over 1,000,000 residents. The entire St. Louis metropolitan region has approximately 3,000,000 residents. Any study of St. Louis neighborhoods can be complicated and is bound to leave out some small (yet distinct) areas, but some of the more well-visited and larger neighborhoods in the metropolitan region are:

St. Louis City

  • Downtown - The Central Business District of St. Louis, downtown is nearing the end of a decade-long multi-billion dollar revitalization. Featuring both professional sporting teams' stadiums, dozens of hotels, corporate headquarters, trendy dining and shopping, entertainment, nightlife, and the Gateway arch, downtown St. Louis is now also home to tens of thousands of residents, many living in warehouses that have been converted to affordable and luxurious apartments and condominiums.
  • Laclede's Landing - On the city's eastern edge, this is one of the oldest standing neighborhoods of the city. A former industrial area, the Landing has original cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriage rides in the evenings, live music, and restaurants and bars in converted industrial buildings.
  • Soulard - To the immediate southwest of downtown lies St. Louis's oldest neighborhood. Today it is a perfect case study for traditional St. Louis red brick architecture, and also features the famous Soulard Farmers Market and many trendy restaurants.
  • Lafayette Square - Although some may group this with Soulard due to proximity, Lafayette Square features its own distinct architecture (Victorian and French Second Empire) and demographics. Surrounding the oldest park in St. Louis are tree-lined streets with rehabbed townhouses, some shopping and dining, and bed and breakfasts.
  • Old North Saint Louis - just north of Downtown, the historic Old North neighborhood is in the midst of a dramatic revitalization that includes a significant number of historically rehabilitated brick, 19th Century structures; new businesses, such as Old North Grocery Co-op, Therapy Boutique, and La Mancha Coffeehouse; and a diverse community of residents, with a population that grew by 28% since 2000. The center of the neighborhood is at St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Street, which is where the legendary Crown Candy Kitchen is located, along with the award-winning Crown Square, the recently completed $35 million redevelopment of the former 14th Street Pedestrian Mall. Crown Square is also the site of the North City Farmers' Market, which in 2010 was identified as one of "America's Favorite Farmers' Markets," according to American Farmland Trust.
  • Benton Park/Brewery - Located just south of Soulard, Benton Park has recently come back from decades of disrepair. The area contains the Anheuser Busch Brewery and the old Lemp Brewery, in addition to a small eponymous park and working-class versions of the townhomes of Lafayette Square.
  • Forest Park Southeast - Situated just where the name suggests, Forest Park Southeast is at the beginning of a revitalization. Younger professionals have been attracted to the area due to the popular bars, and have since settled down and contributed to the area's infrastructure.
  • Grand Center/Midtown - Located going West of Downtown down an area known as the Central Corridor (that includes Forest Park and the CWE), Grand Center is home to a booming performing arts, theatre, and museum district. St. Louis University is in this area.
  • Tower Grove/South Grand - a few miles south of Grand Center is Tower Grove Park, a 19th-century Victorian walking park. The nearby South Grand strip has a variety of shops, coffeehouses, bars, service businesses, and the area's largest concentration of Asian restaurants and shops. An ethnically diverse, gay-friendly area with an active street life and turn-of-the-century architecture.
  • Central West End - A very cosmpolitan neighborhood featuring stunning turn-of-the-century palace-like homes, upscale dining, and boutique shopping, the Central West End also contains an eclectic mix of antique shops, coffee houses, and art galleries. Located on the eastern edge of Forest Park, it also includes the world-renowned Medical School of Washington University.
  • The Hill - St. Louis's Little Italy is home to a large number of locally renowned Italian restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. Its name is due to its proximity to the highest point of the city.
  • North St. Louis - The historic African-American neighborhood known as "The Ville", and contains many historical sites relating to the history of Black America in the Midwest,i.e. Sumner High School and Homer G. Phillips Hospital. This area extends from Delmar to I-270 and contains much of the industrial record of St. Louis and the migration of new comers to the city.

St. Louis County

  • Clayton - The county seat of St. Louis county, Clayton has an important downtown business district that is also home to several hotels, many coffeehouses, and upscale dining. It is one of the older suburbs of St. Louis, and has many large 100 year-old-homes wonderfully preserved by old-monied families, while the area's nouveau riche help keep the area trendy. It has a great school system and is home to the main campus of Washington University. Clayton begins where Forest Park ends on the west.
  • Delmar Loop/University City - Located just north of Clayton and beginning at the northwest edge of Forest Park/Washington University is this culturally, ethnically, and economically diverse neighborhood of St. Louis. One of the more liberal areas of the region, it is a popular area for college students and post-graduates to live and interact. "The Loop" (a.k.a. Delmar Blvd) itself is one main street of storefronts, restaurants,hotels, music venues, bookstores, and one of greatest independent movie theatre- The Tivoli.
  • West County - This expansive, largely undefined region of St. Louis includes most areas west of Clayton, especially upper-class neighborhoods like Frontenac, Ladue, Huntleigh, Town and Country, and Creve Coeur. The area may include expanded development of older areas such as Chesterfield and Wildwood. The area has one of the highest concentrations of wealth in the Midwest, and home to two of the most upscale shopping areas in St. Louis Region- Plaza Frontenac and The Galleria-Brentwood Square.
  • North County-Home to Lambert International Airport and the sight of many historical flights by Charles Lindbergh and Boeing. This area is also the home of post WWII home development and contains many small subdivisons of ranch style homes of ethnically diverse populations.
  • South County - A nebulous region primarily served by I-55,I-44 and I-64 in a triangle of interstates, most of the towns dotting South County are largely indistinguishable and include some new developments. It is home to Affton, Bayless, Brentwood, Webster Groves, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, Crestwood and other picture-perfect kinds of towns that provide a nice small-town atmosphere great for families. It is home to a popular shopping area in St. Louis Region- The appropriately named "South County Mall".

Prices in St. Louis



Milk 1 liter $0.80
Tomatoes 1 kg $3.90
Cheese 0.5 kg $7.00
Apples 1 kg $4.20
Oranges 1 kg $3.90
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $2.18
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $12.80
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.80
Bread 1 piece $1.30
Water 1.5 l $2.40



Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $27.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $48.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $75.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $6.00
Water 0.33 l $1.20
Cappuccino 1 cup $4.00
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $5.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $4.00
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $1.65
Coctail drink 1 drink $9.00



Cinema 2 tickets $22.00
Gym 1 month $30.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $17.00
Theatar 2 tickets $170.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.13
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $6.00



Antibiotics 1 pack $12.00
Tampons 32 pieces $6.00
Deodorant 50 ml. $2.65
Shampoo 400 ml. $4.05
Toilet paper 4 rolls $3.20
Toothpaste 1 tube $1.80



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 pair $46.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M….) 1 pair $41.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas…) 1 pair $94.00
Leather shoes 1 pair $102.00



Gasoline 1 liter $0.55
Taxi Start $3.00
Taxi 1 km $1.75
Local Transport 1 ticket $2.50

Tourist (Backpacker)  

73 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

236 $ per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Lambert St. Louis International Airport (IATA: STL) is the largest airport serving St. Louis, with annual passenger traffic of approximately 13 million people. The airport is 14 miles northwest of the city center and is directly served by the MetroLink light rail line. A 2-hour MetroLink transfer ticket costs $4 from the airport. Note that Uber vehicles are not allowed to pick up at the airport, although they may drop off passengers.

Spirit of St. Louis Airport (IATA: SUS) is 27 miles west of the city center and serves charter and cargo flights.

St. Louis Downtown Airport (IATA: CPS) is 3 miles east of the city center and serves charter and cargo flights.

Creve Coeur Airport (FAA LID: 1HO) is 23 miles northwest of the city center and serves charter and cargo flights. It has a large collection of flying antique aircraft as well as the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, 430 S 15th St, is the central train and bus terminal in St. Louis. It is directly linked to the Civic Center station on the MetroLink light rail system.

  • Amtrak - +1 800 USA-RAIL, 551 S 16th St, offers five daily arrivals from Chicago, two daily arrivals from Kansas City and one daily arrival from Los Angeles / San Antonio / Dallas / Little Rock with many smaller intermediate station stops on each route.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

The bus terminal, which is serviced by both Greyhound and Megabus, is at 430 S 15th St, next to the train station.

  • Greyhound, +1 314 231-4485, - Operates service to most cities including Chicago,Bloomington-Normal, Kansas City, Columbia,
  • Megabus - Operates service to/from Chicago, Memphis, Dallas, and Little Rock. Fares from $1 when reserved very far in advance.

Transportation - Get In

By boat

The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the city, separating it from Illinois. The Missouri River runs into the Mississippi just north of St. Louis.

You may be able to arrive on a cruise boat from a nearby city like Peoria [www] or Memphis.

Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By train

MetroLink, +1 314 231-2345 - A light rail system that runs from Lambert-St. Louis Int'l Airport (STL) in Missouri to Scott AFB in Illinois. The MetroLink has stops in many of the metropolitan area's most popular destinations, such as Delmar Loop, Grand Center arts district, Forest Park, the Central West End, and Downtown St. Louis. The campuses of University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University and St. Louis University each have stops on campus or nearby. A 2-hour transfer pass costs $3 ($4 if purchased at the airport station).

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

Metro St. Louis operates buses around the St. Louis metro area, although in many cases, they don't run as frequently as you would like. A single fare is $2.00.

Transportation - Get Around

By Car

Travel by car is the most common mode of transportation in St. Louis.

Transportation - Get Around

By taxi

Taxis generally do not drive around looking for street hails; you must order service by phone or from an app.

A 2015 accident in a taxi that did not have insurance has caused a controversy - make sure you choose a reputable taxi or rideshare company.






In addition to these entries, there are a number of suburban shopping malls in St. Louis County.

  • Delmar Loop. Funky, hip and great for people watching, the University City Loop is one of the best places in St. Louis to fulfill your "alternative" shopping needs.
  • Downtown St. Louis. Revitalized Downtown St. Louis is now home to a number of local fashion-forward shops and several upscale furniture stores. For the latest in fashion trends in a non-mall environment, there is nothing like checking out the boutiques downtown St. Louis. Most are centered around Washington Avenue. There is also a six-story Macy's department store in the company's Midwestern headquarters on Olive St.
  • The Hill. The city's Italian district, The Hill has a great selection of Italian restaurants, shops and businesses.
  • Hullabaloo1908 Washington St,  +1 314 241-1969. One of the two or three biggest vendors of used clothing and costumes in the U.S., Hullaballoo does most of its business by mail order, or at shows in San Francisco, Seattle, and Las Vegas. They keep a store in the Soulard neighborhood of St. Louis, however, so if you are into vintage or goth clothing you should definitely stop in.


St. Louis has its very own magazine and accompanying website, Sauce, which is the definitive guide to dining in St. Louis. Visit [www] for a searchable restaurant directory, news, and reviews.

Provel cheese, please

As you're gazing at a restaurant menu in St. Louis, you're likely to notice "Provel" listed as a topping choice for burgers or pizza, or as an ingredient in other dishes. It's not just a weird local abbreviation for provolone!

Provel is actually a processed cheese blend of provolone, Swiss, and cheddar cheeses, and St. Louisans put it on everything. Well, maybe not everything, but anyplace you'd expect to find provolone, or Swiss, or even mozzarella, you're likely to instead see Provel.

Provel cheese is, in fact, a key component of St. Louis-style pizza, which by default consists of a cracker-thin unleavened crust, with heavily oreganoed pizza sauce and plenty of Provel on top.

Try St. Louis original foods

  • Barbequed pork steaks, St. Louis-style — Boston Butt sliced into steaks, basted with Maull's Barbecue sauce
  • Gooey butter cake — a type of coffee cake with a bottom layer of buttery yellow cake and a top layer of either egg and cream cheese, or butter and sugar
  • Toasted ravioli — breaded, then deep fried, these small meat, cheese, or veggie stuffed pasta pockets reflect local Italian influence; a favorite bar food in St. Louis
  • Slinger — a large plate full of hash browns piled over with two eggs and a hamburger patty (or other meat) and then covered with chili and cheese (onions optional); a popular ultra-heavy diner food
  • St. Louis-style pizza — made with Provel cheese on a super thin crust.
  • St. Paul sandwiches — a fried egg and vegetable patty on white bread with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise; unique to the Chinese-American restaurants in St. Louis
  • Gus's Pretzels — great hot LARGE pretzels about 1' long and 1" diameter!
  • Maull's Barbecue Sauce — a spicy, semi-sweet tomato-based sauce unusual for containing pepper pulp and anchovies; available in eight varieties.
  • Red Hot Riplets — a somewhat-spicy variety of potato chips made by local firm Old Vienna with St. Louis-style barbecue sauce.
  • Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. Every St. Louis resident has had Ted Drewes at some point in their life. They have two locations in St. Louis, including one on the original Route 66. Featuring dozens of toppings for its famous frozen custard, it's a wonderful treat in the warmer months.


St. Louis' German heritage is evidenced in its vintage bakeries throughout the metro area:

  • Federhofer's Bakery9005 Gravois St,  +1 314 832-5116

The Hill

If you are a fan of Italian, head over to a neighborhood known as the Hill. Home of Yogi Berra, the Hill has more Italian restaurants than any other area in the city.

  • Adriana's,  +1 314 773-3833. Sicilian. Not open for dinner but can boast one of the best Italian veggie sandwiches out there. Lines are long but move quickly.
  • Cunetto's House of Pasta,  +1 314 781-1135.
  • Favazzas,  +1 314 772-4454.
  • Guido's Pizzeria and Tapas5046 Shaw Ave,  +1 314 771-4900. Su-Th 11AM-11PM, F Sa 11AM-midnight. Guido's blends the traditional Italian-American fare of the Hill District with distinctly Spanish-flavored tapas plates.
  • Zia's Restaurant,  +1 314 776-0020. One of the most popular restaurants on The Hill, Zia's pastas stand out in St. Louis.
  • Rigazzi's Restaurant4945 Daggett Ave,  +1 314 772-4900. High-quality Italian food, with lots of old-country atmosphere. Wait can be long, but food is good.

Central West End

  • Bar Italia. Italian. Delightful venue for parties, drinking, picking up lovely ladies and happytimes. Refreshingly, ID's are rarely checked, although this tends to be a bit of a secret, so the crowd is actually happily devoid of drunken teenyboppers.
  • Coffee Cartel2 Maryland Plz,  +1 314 454-0000. 24 hour coffee shop with free wi-fi.
  • Dressel's419 N. Euclid Ave,  +1 314 361-1060. Possibly St. Louis's only Welsh pub, Dressel's features wood panel walls, original artwork from floor to ceiling of literary and jazz legends, and a central bar that makes this quite a cozy establishment. Try the homemade pretzel, anything with their beer and cheese sauce, Ruben sandwich, or Welsh rarebit.
  • Eau Bistro and Café232 North KingsHighway,  +1 314 454-9000. Trendy, avant-garde cuisine and a great wine list, this place is great for a date or night out before a movie or the nightlife options in the CWE. Located in the historic Chase Park Plaza hotel.

Delmar Loop

The Loop features award-winning dining, and has everything from sidewalk cafés to upscale restaurants. This is a great street to walk and find something that appeals to your palate. Many ethnic restaurants, including Lebanese and Thai, are on the Loop.

  • Riddles Penultimate Café and Wine Bar6307 Delmar Blvd,  +1 314 725-6985. A place to eat, drink, and listen to music on the Loop. A constantly changing menu features only food from local farmers and producers. Now under a different name.
  • Blueberry Hill6504 Delmar Blvd,  +1 314 727-4444. A true landmark restaurant and bar, open till 3AM. Chuck Berry frequently on the calendar to play. Absolutely filled with pop-culture memorabilia spanning decades, including lunchboxes, concert posters, toys, sports trading cards, and other Americana. This place is definitely not one to miss.
  • Fitz's Rootbeer6605 Delmar Blvd. American Bar and Grill, Family friendly, watch the bottle factory go to work as you dine.
  • The Melting Pot6683 Delmar Blvd,  +1 314 725-4141. Fondue. Reservations are essentially required here.
  • Pi6144 Delmar Blvd,  +1 314 727-6633. The crowds don't lie - this is terrific pizza.

South City

  • The Bevo Mill,  +1 314 481-2626. 4749 Gravois. August Busch, of the Busch family and brewery, built this giant windmill as his private dining room in the early 1900s. Today it serves traditional German cuisine and amazing breakfast. Look for the giant windmill - you can't miss it if you're in South City. This restaurant closed abruptly in March 2009, and it is not known when or if it will reopen.
  • Eleven Eleven Mississippi,  +1 314 241-9999. 1111 Mississippi. Consistently on critic's Best Of list (if not at the top), Eleven Eleven features an interesting fusion of American and Mediterranean/Tuscan cuisine and the city's finest wine selection. Exposed brick walls, an open kitchen, and a busy dining room has made this place a St. Louis favorite for the past several years.
  • Lulu's Local Eatery3201 South Grand,  +1 314 300-8215. M-Sa: 11:30AM-9PM; Su: Closed. A vegan restaurant with a great selection of draft beers.
  • Merb's Candies4000 S Grand Blvd,  +1 314 832-7117. Old-fashioned chocolates, candy, and other sweets. Try the 'bionic candy apple' and the delicious chocolate-dipped strawberries.
  • Sidney Street Café2000 Sidney St,  +1 314 771-5777. In a 100+ year old brick building, the inside features exposed brick and street lamps to be reminiscent of a New Orleans sidewalk café. The attentive wait staff always gives a verbal presentation of the entire menu, which has many tried-and-true favorites and seasonally changing newer items. A great place for a first date or anniversary.
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company6740 Chippewa St,  +1 314 832-2639. Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company is an award-winning chocolatier founded in St. Louis, Missouri. The company was founded in 1981 after the founding chocolatier spend over a decade training with the finest chocolatiers in the world. They specialize in fresh, chocolate covered Strawberries, Premium Truffles, Gourmet Boxed Chocolates, holiday chocolates and chocolate molded novelties all made fresh daily.
  • Hodak's, 2100 Gravois,  +1 314 776-7292. Hodak's has been St. Louis' premier stop for fried chicken lovers since 1962! Hodak's has been featured on Rachael Ray's "$40 a Day" on the Food Network. If you like chicken and a lot of food for a small price, this is the place to go. (If you are meeting a group, you will not be seated until all members of your party arrive.) ~$5-10 per person.
  • Blues City Deli2438 McNair,  +1 314 773-8225. Some of the best Po-Boys from cities on the "Blues Highway", St. Louis, New Orleans, Memphis, and Chicago. Add in some Love with a little taste from Italy. Set it in a turn of the century store front in one of St. Louis' great historic neighborhoods (Benton Park. Drench your ears with some of the best Blues from the 1920's to the 50's.
  • Olympia Kebob House & Taverna1543 McCausland Ave,  +1 314 781-1299.Greek food.


  • An American Place800 Washington Ave,  +1 314 418-5800. Contemporary American, this is celebrity chef Larry Forgione's restaurant. Known for its locally supplied and grown food, the restaurant is in an the impressive, elegantly restored former lobby of the Statler Hotel downtown.
  • Broadway Oyster Bar736 S. Broadway,  +1 314 621-8811. Cajun Creole cuisine with live jazz and blues.
  • Eat-Rite Diner622 Chouteau Ave,  +1 314 621-9621. 24-hours. A 24-hour diner that looks like it is part of a 1940s movie set, complete with stools and pinball machines. Most sandwiches and other items cost less than $3. Burger: $2.20.
  • Harry's Restaurant and Bar2144 Market St,  +1 314 421-6969. Adjacent to historic Union Station, serving fine food and hosting local live music on the patio.
  • The Gelateria1327 Washington Ave,  +1 314-621-8838. The best Gelato outside of Florence, Italy, this small storefront on Washington Ave is sophisticated and a great place to stop in for an inexpensive treat after a long day of touring Downtown. All flavors are made fresh in-house same day.
  • Kemoll's,  +1 314 421-0555. 1 Metropolitan Sq. Superb Italian cuisine in a stunning setting atop 1 Metropolitan Square.
  • Mike Shannon's Steaks & Seafood620 Market St,  +1 314 421-1540. On Market Street within eyeshot of Busch stadium, overlooking Keiner Plaza. Worth the visit for the aged steaks alone. Outdoor patio dining available, comprehensive wine list, and a pretty good chance to meet a local legend.
  • Mosaic1101 Lucas Ave,  +1 314-621-6001. One of downtown's more recent hotspots for food, festivities and fun, Mosaic is a fantastic modern fusion tapas-style restaurant featuring more than 40 wines by the glass.
  • Rooster1104 Locust St,  +1 314-241-8188. A small European-style café with great crepes, sandwiches, and salads. On the inexpensive side, this place is ideal for breakfast or lunch - or a weekend brunch.
  • Schlafly Taproom2100 Locust St,  +1 314 241-BEER (2337). Surprisingly good "European inspired pub food", and great microbrew beers on tap in a remodeled brick warehouse. Many tables have views of the beer being brewed in action, and as the building is quite old, you can feel the hum and vibrations of the brewery process through the floor.
  • Tony's410 Market St,  +1 314 231-7007. Opens 5PM. The only AAA rated five-diamond fine restaurant in the State of Missouri, this is considered by most to be the city's finest restaurant. Make reservations, look nice, and appreciate the fine cuisine and outstanding service.
  • Top of the Riverfront200 South 4th St,  +1 314 241-9500. at the Millennium Hotel, 28 stories up on top of the Millennium Hotel the restaurant revolves 360 degrees around while you eat. A wonderful view of the city and riverfront.


  • Pappy's Smokehouse3106 Olive St,  +1 314 535-4340. Slow smoked Memphis style BBQ. Long line will form during the lunch rush but it moves fast.
  • The Fountain on Locust3037 Locust,  +1 314 535-7800. Serves an extensive offering of decadent ice cream desserts. Everything is made in house except for the ice cream. Try the pineapple inside out cake in a cup. Or if you only have a small sweet tooth then the world's smallest sundae is just for you. They also have an abundance of adult only ice cream shakes and martinis. You should also give the signature Polish dill pickle soup a chance.

Sights & Landmarks

Obviously, the Gateway Arch is a must-see attraction; even if you can't handle the ride to the top, you should at least gaze upward and ponder the arch's majesty. But St. Louis has plenty else to see, too, and several of the attractions offer free admission. (That doesn't meanparking is free, or that you can do everything within the attraction without extra charges... but still:free!)

  • Anheuser-Busch Brewery1200 Lynch St,+1 314 577-2626.The place where all Anheuser-Busch beers are made for the mid-west U.S. Free tour, with free beer samples for those 21+, of one of the world's largest breweries and bottling factories, housed in beautiful red-brick buildings. The Clydesdale horses and their historic truck and stables are one of the biggest attractions on the tour, as are the brew house and packaging facility. The adjacent beer garden serves really good food and offers cheap samples of most Anheuser-Busch branded beer, from Goose Island to Hoegaarden.
  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, 4431 Lindell Blvd (at Newstead Ave in the Central West End neighborhood), +1 314 373-8200.7AM-7PM. This Roman Catholic church contains the most mosaic art in one site in the world—83,000 square feet, installed by a family of artists who used more than 41 million tiles with more than 7,000 colors.
  • Citygarden, 801 Market St (walk down Market Street five blocks from the Arch).Sunrise to 10 PM. Citygarden gives kids fountains to play in and sculptures they can related to (Pinocchio, big heads, etc.); art lovers the chance to experience 24 sculptures by some of modern art's great masters (Leger, Herring, etc.); and everyone an award-winning garden in the midst of the city where you can relax and beat the heat. If you'd like to eat in the gardens, there is a cafe that is open for lunch or you can pick up something from the many takeout places nearby. Free
  • City Museum750 N 16th St+1 314 231-2489. M-Th 9AM-5PM, F-Sa 9AM-midnight, Su 11AM-5PM; closed M Tu in winter. For the young or young at heart. Don't let the name fool you; this place is a blast! The City Museum is a huge playground built in an old 11-story warehouse made largely out of architectural artifacts from around St. Louis collected by an eccentric millionaire. There are concessions inside the museum as well as bar service by local brewery Schlafy. While there are plenty of artifacts on display, it's not so much a museum as it is a collection of mazes, obstacle courses, tunnels, airplanes suspended in midair, and chutes and ladders. There's a Ferris wheel on the roof, a ten-story spiral slide, an enormous pipe organ, and lots of ways to get lost. Take care when parking; lots of nearby lots tout the "City Museum" on their signs, but only the one on the east side of 16th street (guarded by huge snake sculptures) is officially associated with the museum. Expect to stay here for 3-4 hours. $12+tax ($10+tax F-Sa after 5PM), under 2 free; roof access +$5 (weather permitting).
  • Contemporary Art Museum3750 Washington Blvd (Near the hip 'loft district' downtown, in the Grand Center arts district), +1 314 535-4660. W,Sa-Su 10AM-5PM, Th-F 10AM-8PM, M-Tu closed. Shares a courtyard with the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. Free.
  • Eads Bridge. This bridge was the first to cross the Mississippi at St. Louis, the first primarily steel structure in the world, and the longest bridge in the world at completion in 1874. This overlooked landmark is worth checking out for the Eiffel Tower-like steel lattice that still holds up cars and the MetroLink to this day. It connects to Washington Avenue, and is directly adjacent to Laclede's Landing, both are centers of St. Louis nightlife. The easiest way to access Eads Bridge is via the Laclede's Landing MetroLink stop. Well worth a walk across as one of the best places to see the sun setting with the Gateway Arch and city providing a very artistic view of the area.
  • Forest Park. One of the nation's largest city parks, with 1,293 acres, is open to the public for golf, tennis, baseball, bicycling, boating, fishing, handball, ice skating, in-line skating, jogging, cricket, rugby and more. The park is also home to the St. Louis Science Center, the art museum, the zoo, and a history museum, all with free admission. Forest Park is really at the heart of St. Louis. It was also the site of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase World's Fair, which lays claim to serving the first hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream cones. You cannot visit St. Louis without hearing about, driving by, or exploring Forest Park.
    • Missouri History Museum5700 Lindell Blvd+1 314 746-4599. W-M 10AM-5PM, Tu 10AM-8PM. Check out the Charles Lindbergh exhibit and see a life size replica of the original Spirit of St. Louis. Free.
    • Saint Louis Art Museum1 Fine Arts Dr,  +1 314 721-0072. Tu–Th,Sa–Su 10AM–5PM, F 10AM-9PM. Located in Forest Park atop a large lake and hill, it is one of the leading comprehensive art museums in the nation. They host visiting displays which in the past have included such exhibits as the Angels of the Vatican and the Royal Tombs of Ur. Free.
    • Saint Louis Science Center5050 Oakland Ave,  +1 314 289-4400. M-Sa 9:30AM-4:30PM, Su 11AM-4:30PM. A fun, hands-on science museum. Equipped with an IMAX Dome theater, a planetarium, floors of interactive activities, and several traveling exhibits, the Science Center has something for everyone (though the majority is geared solidly toward the under-12 set; older teens and adults will find the exhibits somewhat elementary). The museum is actually just south of Forest Park; the planetarium, however, is within the park itself, and an enclosed walkway above I-64 connects the two. Base admission is free; parking $10; extra fee for planetarium, IMAX shows, and special exhibits
    • Saint Louis Zoo1 Government Dr,  +1 314 781-0900. 9AM-5PM daily.Recognized as one of the top five zoos in the nation. The zoo has both indoor and outdoor exhibits as well as a children petting zoo. There are several centers for in depth exploration and learning. Free; fees charged for certain attractions.
  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (along the Mississippi River facing downtown St. Louis),  +1 314 655-1700. A large park with plenty of big lawns, wood areas, and a few ponds. The park and the nearby parking garage are currently closed for renovation; however, the arch remains open.
    • Gateway Arch, toll-free: +1-877-982-1410. Summer: 8AM-10PM daily; fall, winter, spring: 9AM-6PM daily (last tram 1 hr before closing). Designed by Eero Saarinen, this is the world's tallest national monument, built to be a symbolic gateway to the West. The icon of the city, the Arch is right on the bank of the Mississippi and offers an inspiring sight to travelers coming in from Illinois. There's a gift shop and a confectionery, as well as a inspiring film called "Monument to the Dream," about the building of the Arch; it is an exceptionally well-made and memorable tribute to how a vision was made tangible. But the main attraction is the Journey to the Top; you'll ride a unique tram/elevator—essentially a cross between a cable railway and a ferris wheel—up either the north or south leg to the top of the arch, where you can see for dozens of miles into Illinois and Missouri. The cars are very small; they hold five very close friends or relatives each, and are not suitable for the claustrophobic. Tickets sell out during peak season; expect a long wait on major summer holidays to go to the top. Entry only (incl film): adults $3, under 16 free; Journey to the Top (incl entry and film): adults $10, ages 3-15 $5.
    • Old Courthouse. The site of the historic Dred Scott slavery case which was one of the seeds of the Civil War. While the Park is under construction, you can buy tickets to the arch here. The Courthouse also holds exhibits from the now-closed Museum of Westward Expansion, formerly located underneath the Arch. Free.
    • Old Cathedral (Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France), 209 Walnut St+1 314 231-3250. The first cathedral built west of the Mississippi River (1834), this is the only building that was spared when the park was constructed. It's still an active Roman Catholic basilica.
  • Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum1 Brookings Dr (Skinker Blvd and Forsyth Blvd, on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis), +1 314 935-4523. W-M 11AM-5PM, Tu closed; 11AM-8PM first F of the month. Recently voted the best Museum in St. Louis by the Riverfront Times. One of the world's finest University art collections, it is also the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River - it was founded in 1881. It is now housed in a new facility designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect, Fumihiko Maki. Among the permanent collection are pieces by Pablo Piccasso, Rembrandt, Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Juan Gris, Alexander Calder, and a separate department dedicated to currency called the Newman Money Museum. Free.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd,  +1 314 577-9400, toll-free:+1-800-642-8842. 9AM-5PM daily. You will never believe that you are in the middle of a very urban scene when you step behind the walls of this site. A place of serenity, beauty, and relaxation amid the bustle of the city, the Missouri Botanical Garden is open every day except Christmas Day (Dec 25). Stroll the grounds, explore the home gardening resources, or enjoy one of the many events throughout the year. This is a "must see." One of the main features is the Climatron, a very large geodesic dome that houses a good portion of the Garden's 80 acres of horticultural offerings. 2006 featured hundreds of glass sculptures around the park by glass artist Chihuly. $8; children 12 and under free.
  • Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, 3716 Washington Blvd,  +1 314 754-1850. W,Sa 10AM-5PM, Th-F 10AM-8PM. Experience modern art in a stunning avant-garde structure. A permanent installation titled Joe by Richard Serra is large enough for visitors to walk through and experience first-hand. The uber-modern concrete building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando.Free.
  • Wainwright Building705 Chestnut St. Designed by Louis Sullivan and built in 1890, it is one of the world's first skyscrapers. Its current occupant is the Missouri Secretary of State.
  • St. Louis Union Station1820 Market St,  +1 314 421-6655. This 110-year-old National Historic Landmark has been restored and redeveloped as a dynamic mixed-use project that includes shopping, dining and entertainment. For history buffs, this is where the classic photo of Harry Truman holding the incorrect"DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" newspaper was taken.
  • HealthWorks Kids' Museum1100 Macklind Ave,  +1 314 241-7391. Tue-Sat 9:30-4:30, Sun 12-4. An absolutely unique museum designed to teach kids proper tooth-care habits, though adults may find it amusing too. There is a complete set of three-foot tall fiberglass teeth which light up when the hostess brushes them with a six-foot-long toothbrush. A spirited presentation and a short video get kids excited about the subject. The theatre is much-visited by local elementary schools, and you can arrange to tag along with a group or schedule your own trip. This expanded museum replaces the previous Delta Dental Health Theatre Museum.
  • Bridges along the Mississippi River. In addition to the historic Eads Bridge, listed above, St. Louis is home to many other beautiful and impressive bridges along the Mississippi River, with the newest being the modern New Mississippi River Bridge. The bridges are, from south to north:
    • Jefferson Barracks Bridge
    • MacArthur Bridge (abandoned)
    • Poplar Bridge
    • Eads Bridge
    • MLK Bridge
    • New Mississipppi River Bridge
    • McKinley Bridge
    • Merchants Bridge (railroad)
    • Chain of Rocks Bridge (pedestrian)
    • New Chain of Rocks Bridge
    • Clark Superbridge


Things to do

  • America's Convention Center. Over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space, also featuring formal reception rooms, presentation-style rooms, a theatre, and the Edward Jones Dome next door.
  • World Chess Hall of Fame4652 Maryland Avenue St. Louis, Missouri 63108+1 314 367-9243, e-mail: . The not-for-profit World Chess Hall of Fame hosts exhibitions about the sport of chess. It is host to both the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame.

Must-see neighborhoods

  • The Central West End. An eclectic, cosmopolitan neighborhood home to soaring turn-of-the-century mansions on St. Louis's famous private streets, chic dining, and upscale boutique shopping with a great mix of cafés, independent bookstores (check out Left Bank Books on Euclid and McPherson), art galleries, salons, antique and modern furniture such as a Design Within Reach and Centro, coffee houses, and youthful energy. One of the more lively neighborhoods in St. Louis that borders Forest Park, the CWE is a great destination for a day of walking around or a weekend stay.
  • Laclede's Landing. Just north of the Arch and part of Downtown St Louis, and the second oldest neighborhood after Soulard, "the Landing" is what amounts to St. Louis' old town. You are likely to enjoy the cobblestone streets and the shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and a bizarre wax museum. Recently constructed right next to the Landing is a new $400+ million dollar casino complex called Lumiere Place, featuring a Four Seasons hotel, nightclubs, 75,000 square feet of casino gaming, and an innovative multi-colored light feature spanning 24 vertical floors on the exterior of the building that lights up St. Louis' skyline. Not many original buildings on the Landing remain, as the area is constantly undergoing new developments and rehabbing of older buildings. Nightly horse-drawn carriage rides take you around the Landing and much of Downtown.
  • Soulard Market730 Carroll St. Although strangely named ("un soulard " means "a drunk" in French.), the Soulard neighborhood, covering the waterfront for several miles south of the Arch, is the oldest in St. Louis. The Georgian (or should that be Louis XVI?) style houses surround a central farmer's market which supplies the city's residents, supermarkets, and restaurants with the freshest, and inexpensive, local produce. This is the oldest farmer's market west of the Mississippi, and is open year-round every weekend. There are a number of bars and restaurants in the neighborhood as well, and visitors can celebrate French heritage with the locals during Mardi Gras or on Bastille Day.
  • The University City Loop. Delmar Blvd. Straddles the city limits and University City. This street was named in 2007 by the American Planning Association as one of the 10 Great Streets in America. This is the area known as The Loop to most locals, however, usage of the term outside of the St. Louis area is not as popular due to more famous Chicago loop. Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry performs every month at the historic Blueberry Hill restaurant. Although most popular with the 20-something hipster crowd, something can be found for everyone. Boutique shopping, ethnic restaurants (including many Thai establishments), upscale dining, independent movie theatres, record stores, nightlife opportunities, a few music concert venues, and people watching are among the many things to do on the Loop. Many restaurants feature outdoor dining to take in the bustling street scene.

Parks and gardens

  • Lafayette Square and Park. A fashionable area with tree-lined streets, Victorian and Second Empire townhomes, and shopping and cafés surrounds the city's oldest park - chartered in 1836. In the warmer months, the park features small concerts, picnic locations, art fairs, and a team that recreates old-style baseball - but it is walkable all year round. Twice yearly are walking tours of the area that will take you inside some of the more remarkable Victorian mansions.
  • South Grand and Tower Grove Park. By day, visitors enjoy the numerous boutiques and coffeehouses of South Grand Ave., and the shaded walking paths and recreational amenities of Tower Grove Park, including bike paths, playgrounds, a wading pool, several restored Victorian pavilions, and a Farmer's Market (Saturdays, May-Oct.). The park is a frequent home to festivals, including the pan-ethnic Festival of Nations (August) and PrideFest (June). By night, they turn to the numerous bars and restaurants on South Grand: a wide variety of food and drink options, along with one of the best people-watching scenes within the city limits.

Movie Theatres

  • The Moolah Theatre and Lounge3701 Lindell Blvd,  +1 314 446-4500.This refurbished former Masonic Temple now boasts a one-screen movie theatre. The single screen is essentially a giant living room that forgoes traditional theatre-seating; instead, it features leather couches, club chairs, and coffee tables. The Moolah also has two bars, ample lounge seating, and a bowling alley in the basement. A very cool place for a night out! Located in Midtown/Grand Center.


  • Riverboat Cruises. Take a cruise down the Mississippi River on the Tom Sawyer or Becky Thatcher riverboats. The boats have paddle-wheels (for display only) and a narrator with guide you around the industrial buildings on the Mississippi waterfront. They also offer cruises with dinner and live music at certain times and also a day trip to historic Kimmswick, Missouri. $20, $3 discount if purchased with a ticket to the top of the arch.


St. Louis' two major-league sports teams (the Cardinals and the Blues) play in downtown stadiums just a few blocks apart. (The L.A. Rams' former stadium sits forlornly nearby as well.) Other St. Louis teams play in the suburbs, like St. Louis FC (soccer) in Fenton

  • St. Louis Blues Hockey (NHL), Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Ave. The Blues play in the Central Division of the Western Conference.
  • St. Louis Cardinals Baseball (MLB), Busch Stadium, 420 S 8th St. Ballpark tours $10 adults, $8 seniors/military, $6 children. St. Louis' Major League Baseball team (and the 2011 World Series champions) has won 11 World Series titles, the most of any National League team, and second only to the New York Yankees. The Cardinals play in the Central Division of the National League. Behind-the-scenes tours of the ballpark are available daily all year (except for days with an afternoon home game) at 11AM and 12:30PM.
  • Saint Louis BillikensChaifetz Arena, 3330 Laclede Ave+1 314 977-4SLU (758), e-mail: . Sports teams of Saint Louis University, competing in NCAA Division I in the Atlantic 10 Conference. With no football team, SLU's main sport is men's basketball, in which it often makes the NCAA tournament. The Billikens also have a rich tradition in men's soccer.
  • Missouri Valley Conference Basketball Tournament (Arch Madness), Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Ave, toll-free: +1-800-745-3000. Thursday–Sunday ending on 2nd Sunday in March. The nation's second-oldest athletic conference, the MVC, has all conference members' men's basketball team square off in a 4-day tournament. The winner automatically qualifies for the NCAA Men's Tournament ("March Madness"). Single-game ticket from $23, all-games ticket from $115.

Performing Arts

  • Fabulous Fox Theater. Built in 1929 and restored to its glory, this rare gem seats 4,500. A performance at the Fabulous Fox Theater is a "must see." Only two of this design exist, the Detroit Fox Theater built in 1928 has also been restored and seats 5,000. Probably the two most ornate theaters ever built in the US, they were the first to have live sound. They were built for William Fox, the founder of Fox Film Corporation, the forerunner of Twentieth Century-Fox studios. These two original Fox Theaters are still among the largest in the US in terms of total seats and the size of the stage.
  • Jazz At the Bistro3536 Washington Avenue. No visit to the Gateway City is complete without experiencing its rich jazz and blues heritage.
  • The Muny. America's oldest and largest outdoor musical theater. A popular summer attraction show casing a variety of musicals throughout June, July and August. Tickets range from $6 to $50 or so, but the top several rows are always free. Come early (and bring binoculars) to the top entrance if you want to see a show for free.
  • Off Broadway3509 Lemp Avenue. Boasting excellent acoustics, this comfy concert venue usually has blues, bluegrass, roots, and folk touring acts along with the occasional indie-rock and country performers.
  • The Pageant. A venue for concerts and national touring acts, the Pageant usually has an extensive schedule of events ranging from rock, pop, soul and comedy.
  • The Peabody Opera House. Formerly known as the Kiel Opera House, recently renovated to it's former magnificence.
  • Powell Symphony Hall. A magnificent performance center, home to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
  • The Shakespeare Festival. The mission of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is to produce professional Shakespeare theater, outdoors in a city park, free and for a diverse audience, and to provide education through schools and community outreach. Free shows are usually put on in the late spring and early summer. An excellent way to spend a summer evening in St. Louis.
  • Sheldon Concert Hall. The Sheldon's perfect acoustics earn it the reputation as the "Carnegie Hall of St. Louis". It features the best in jazz, folk, and classical music, and joins with the Sheldon Art Galleries to promote both music and visual arts.
  • Whitaker Music Festival. Wednesday evenings in summer enjoy music in the beautiful Missouri Botanical Garden. Admission is free (after 5PM), and you can pack your own picnic basket and cooler. Genre ranges from jazz to folk-rock to world music. Bring folding chairs or a blanket to spread on the lawn.

Festivals and events

  • Fourth of July Fireworks Celebration. The entire day is a major event in St. Louis under the Arch with concerts and festivities. Every year a major musical talent headlines the event; acts such as Cyndi Lauper, the Goo Goo Dolls, the Black Eyed Peas, and the Beach Boys have performed in the past. A dazzling fireworks spectacle caps off the night while tens of thousands of St. Louisans watch under the Arch lawn. This event kicks off a weekly concert series called "Live on the Levee", also taking place on the Arch grounds, and features a big-name musical act, food vendors, and games. The Veiled Prophet Parade is a St. Louis tradition for over 130 years, and is essentially the main parade with floats on the Independence Day holiday, starting at Washington Avenue and ending at Union Station.
  • The Greater St. Louis Renaissance Faire. Come, travel back in time as you step into the beautifully wooded, 16th century village, we call Petit Lyon! Immerse yourself in the costumes and mannerisms of the era. Thrill to the exploits of Jousting Knights on thundering steeds. Roam the village shops for unique crafts and goods as our artisans demonstrate period skills. Delight in comedy, music and feats of derring do. Feast on delicious food and drink while strolling minstrels entertain. Interact with the colorful villagers, nobles, peasants and personalities of ages past.


Most tourists will be familiar with St. Louis' world famous Anheuser-Busch brewery, especially its signature variety Budweiser, or their best-seller Bud Light. However, unless you are accustomed to American style pilsners, it is unlikely you will find these and other Anheuser-Busch brands suit your palate. For those more familiar with European brews or who have been caught up in the domestic microbrewery explosion interested in sampling a local brewery's product, the Saint Louis Brewery's Schlafly microbrews are more likely to satisfy. Schlfaly is the largest microbrewery in St. Louis but not the only one. 4Hands, Civil Life, Urban Chestnut, Square One, Perennial Artisan Ales, and O'Fallon Brewery are just a few of the other breweries in town. They are definitely worth a look.

If you are would rather explore rather than choose one specific establishment, two areas in St. Louis are great for wandering from location to location: The Central West End (featuring Sub-Zero Vodka Bar, the Drunken Fish, Tom's Bar, the Loading Zone, Mandarin Lounge, and Bissinger's Chocolate Lounge all off Euclid Ave), and Downtown centered around Washington Ave (featuring Kyo, Home, Pepper Lounge, Lucas Park Grille, Plush, Nectar, and rue13). St. Louis's MetroLink system is great if you prefer not to drive, but much of the line will stop running by 1AM.

St. Louis is also home to a number of gay and lesbian friendly nightlife options. From busy bars to energetic dance clubs, make sure to stop by rBar, Atomic Cowboy, Novak's, and the Complex. Much of these are on Manchester Rd in Forest Park Southeast.

  • The Big Bang807 N. Second St+1 314 241-BANG (2264). Laclede's Landing. Two dueling piano players lead the crowd in a rock 'n' roll sing-along show.
  • Blueberry Hill6504 Delmar Blvd,  +1 314 727-4444. Restaurant, darts, bar open till 3AM. Located on the Delmar loop.
  • Cicero's6691 Delmar in University City+1 314 862-0009. Cicero's probably derives the bulk of its income from the pizza joint upstairs, which is fair, because the pizza is good. That said the main interest for the traveler is the well equipped bar and the venue downstairs, which hosts touring indie and rock bands.
  • Halo Bar6161 Delmar. in the Music venue The Pagent.
  • Hair of the Dog1212 Washington (Downtown). Washington's only dive bar; great atmosphere and cheap drink prices. Cheers-type environment, where everybody knows each other's name, and strangers are warmly welcomed. Service is a strong point, and this place is perhaps St. Louis' best watering hole.
  • Heavy Anchor5226 Gravois Ave,  +1 314 352-5226. Bevo Mills favorite with the friendliest bar staff and huge selection of bottled beer and liquor. Featuring one of St Louis's greatest venues in the back where local bands can be seen every weekend and free movies are featured on Wednesdays
  • Pinup Bowl6191 Delmar. Bowling alley and martini lounge open till 3AM.
  • The Silver Ballroom4701 Morgan Ford Rd. Bevo Mills bar featuring 14 pinball machines and a punk rock juke box
  • Venice Café1903 Pestalozzi St,  +1 314 772-5994. South City area. A mosaic-covered bar with outside sitting features nightly music.

Safety in St. Louis

Stay Safe

Safety ( overall) - Mid. /4.5

Safety ( day) - High /6.0

Safety ( night ) - low /2.5

St. Louis' recent designation as the Most Dangerous City in America should not deter the potential visitor, as vagaries in data collection and the city's fixed borders distort the true nature of the Gateway City's safety. While riots against police brutality in the north-end suburb of Ferguson, Missouri gained widespread media attention in 2014, the areas most often visited by tourists are no more dangerous than any other large American city. The more popular and most-visited areas in the city, such as Clayton, Downtown, the Central West End, and Forest Park have very low crime rates, even for the Midwest.

Some economically depressed North County suburbs like Wellston, Pagedale and parts of Normandy and Jennings, as well as many parts of North St. Louis city are unsafe. The post-war exodus to the suburbs has taken a huge economic toll on these areas, leaving many buildings abandoned, decaying, or demolished. East St. Louis, in Illinois, is also noted for its high crime rate (note this is not true of Alton or Belleville, in Illinois to the north and south). When in the city, a general guideline (though politically incorrect and somewhat simplistic) is that areas north of Delmar Blvd are less safe than south. Most tourists, however, will have little reason to visit any of these places, so it should not present reason for much concern.

Some Metrolink stations are located in areas some may find questionable after dark as well. But most downtown areas around Busch Stadium, and Union Station, as well as the St. Louis University area and commuter lots near the airport, are generally safe and patrolled.

Although the chance is extremely rare, an earthquake is possible in the area, as St. Louis sits on a fault line, whose last big earthquake changed the course of the Mississippi River. While many scientists have cautioned that a "big one" may occur again, the majority agree it is unlikely to happen any time soon.

St. Louis has had more urban tornadoes than any other city in the country, so make sure you understand tornado safety precautions.

High / 6,0

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Low / 2,5

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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