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Welcome to Indianapolis


Indiana is known as the 'Crossroads of America', and in Indianapolis, the intersection of several major Interstate highways, this is literally true. This makes the state capital's multiple attractions easily accessible, including the one many consider to be hallowed ground, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those who know nothing else about the city know that each May, racing devotees flock to Indianapolis by the thousands for the Indy 500. During the winter, Indianapolis is a hotspot for football fans, whose fervour for the Colts has reached frenzied heights since the team won the XLI Super Bowl.

No worries for those less enthusiastic about spectator sports. Once dubbed 'Indiana No Place', Indianapolis now caters to a variety of other interests, not the least of which is history. At the centre of town is Monument Circle, home to the 284-foot (87m) Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, among many others. From the circle, the city spreads outward in a grid and is divided into six cultural districts. Broad Ripple Village mixes sidewalk cafés and upscale boutiques with retro fashions and original music venues. Fountain Square is a funky downtown neighbourhood laid out like a European village. Both are known for their artistic leanings and abundance of ethnic restaurants. Indiana Avenue showcases the city's African-American heritage, and Mass Ave is the free-spirited, friendly arts and theatre district.

The final two cultural districts may have less of an eclectic vibe, but they are packed with attractions. Those in search of good, old-fashioned American consumerism need look no further than the Wholesale District's Circle Centre, a large shopping mall connected to the Indiana Convention Center and a number of downtown hotels via skywalks. Wholesale is the home of the business district as well as Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Indiana Pacers play, the Colts' RCA Dome and loads of chain restaurants. For visitors who wish to spend a bit of time enjoying the fresh air, there is the Canal and White River Park district. The Canal Walk snakes through the city, offering an urban respite for fitness buffs, while scattered throughout the 250-acre state park are top museums, unique festival and concert spaces and the Indianapolis Zoo.

Information & Facts


Late spring and autumn are the most pleasant times to visit Indianapolis. Winters are cold, particularly January, and the city gets a few significant snowfalls each year. Summers are warm but can be very humid.

Getting Around

Indianapolis' multitude of major highways makes the self-drive option quite convenient. Traffic congestion, however, can be a problem. Public transportation is provided by IndyGo, with 28 fixed routes at $1.75 per single ride and $4 per all-day pass. The red and green lines particularly service downtown attractions, hotels, restaurants and shopping and nightlife spots.

English is the most common language but Spanish is often spoken in south-western states.

The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into 100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

The only museum of its kind in the Midwest, the Eiteljorg Museum contains one of the best Native American and Western art collections in the world. Aimed at inspiring appreciation and understanding of the cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America, the museum showcases work by contemporary artists like N.C. Wyeth and Georgia O'Keeffe as well as art and artefacts including pottery, woodcarvings and apparel, of the Delaware, Miami, Potawatomi and many other Native American cultures.

The Indianapolis 500 takes place each May, but the Speedway remains an exciting attraction all year long. In addition to hosting other racing events, including motorcycle racing, it is the home of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum, which has a huge collection of memorabilia and racing, classic and antique cars, as well as Brickyard Crossing, a Pete Dye-designed golf course with four holes inside the raceway oval. Visitors can take a bus tour around the track when it is not in use.

Americans follow university athletics with as much passion as they do professional sports. In addition to rosters and records, the Hall of Champions' 25,000 square feet of exhibit space capture the traditions, great moments, student athletes and coaches of the 23 sports administered by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and 88 national championships. The Campus Corner gift shop offers all the NCAA logo merchandise a college sports fan could imagine.

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