The vast woodlands of the Ozark Mountains, the legendary Route 66, and a mysterious arch: follow us to the Midwest of the USA and discover the Show Me State Missouri.

Missouri facts

Capital: Jefferson City
Area: about 181,000 km²
Popultion: about 6.2 million
Location: Midwest of the USA
Nickname: The Show Me State
Hotspots: Gateway Arch, Ozark Mountains
Time zone: UTC -6 (Central)

Missouri: location & population

The landlocked state of Missouri is part of the Midwest region and is located fairly in the center of the US territory. The "Show Me State" borders eight other states: Iowa to the North, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee to the East, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska to the West, and Arkansas to the South.

Whites are by far the largest population group in Missouri, making up about 84 % of its residents. They are followed by African Americans (12 %) and Hispanics (4 %). About 4 % of Missouri's inhabitants were born outside the USA.

The largest cities in Missouri

In Missouri, you'll find primarily two major urban centers: St. Louis in the Eastern part of the state and Kansas City in the West.

The five most populated cities in Missouri are:

City Population
Kansas City 508,000
St. Louis 302,000
Springfield 169,000
Columbia 126,000
Independence 123,000


Missouri's capital, Jefferson City, ranks 15th with a population of only about 43,000 people.

Don't confuse:
Kansas City exists twice! It is the largest city in Missouri, but there is a second one on the other side of the Mississippi River. Kansas City number two is located on the territory of Kansas and has a population of just under 146,000.

Nature and climate

The Missouri River, the longest river in the United States, runs through the middle of the state. North of the river are vast stretches of the Northern Plains, and to the South lies the Ozark Plateau.

Missouri has mainly a humid continental climate, characterized by cold winters and hot, humid summers. The climate is humid subtropical only in the South. Temperature differences are high, especially in the interior of the country. In the course of the year, the thermometer moves from an average of -8 °C in the coldest month of January to 32 °C in the warmest month of July.

Because of Missouri's location in Tornado Alley, there is a risk of tornadoes in summer and blizzards or snowstorms in winter.

Best time to travel to Missouri

To avoid being surprised by extreme weather, it's best to travel to the Show Me State between March and June or between September and November.

Missouri in spring

When mild temperatures bring Missouri to life in April, you can enjoy a variety of spring festivals as well as art and music events in the Show Me State. Visit the Spring Art Fair in Ballwin, the Gourd Art Festival in Springfield, the Spring Arts and Crafts Show in St. Louis, or the Central Missouri Renaissance Festival.

Missouri in autumn

Fall is a time for culinary delights and socializing in Missouri. Enjoy the Beer Fest in Kansas City or the Uncorked Wine Festival in Independence. There's even an Oktoberfest in Lee's Summit. Musical highlights can be enjoyed at the Starvy Creek Fall Bluegrass Festival in Conway.

Traveling to Missouri

The major hubs for air travel in Missouri are St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL), with about 7.6 million passengers annually, and Kansas City International Airport (MCI), serving about 5.8 million people per year.

For a flight from Europe to Missouri's largest airport in St. Louis, you should factor in a stopover. You can find connections, for example, from Frankfurt am Main via Charlotte in North Carolina to St. Louis at a ticket price of about 350 € to 400 €.

Also, if you are traveling from Asia (e.g., from Tokyo or Singapore), you will have a stop in another American city, for example, Los Angeles, Detroit, Dallas, or Atlanta. Your tickets from the Asia-Pacific region will cost you at least € 1,000 to € 1,200.

Flights to Missouri

Travel authorization Missouri

Don't forget: If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you will need a visa or ESTA to enter Missouri.

ESTA – visa-free to the USA

With an ESTA, you can stay 90 days visa-free in the USA. Apply online now!

Airport transfer in Missouri

Once you arrive at the St. Louis airport, you have several transfer options to get to your accommodations:

Public transport from St. Louis Airport

MetroLink trains stop at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 and take you from the airport to downtown St. Louis between 4:30 am and midnight. The bus stop is located south of Terminal 1 on Lambert International Boulevard. Line 46 buses run from the St. Louis airport to downtown. There are also Greyhound buses departing from here.

Shuttle from St. Louis Airport

At the St. Louis airport, a free shuttle service runs between the two terminals every 8-15 minutes around the clock.

Taxi from St. Louis Airport

Cabs can be found at Terminal 1 of the St. Louis Airport at Exit 14 and at Terminal 2 at Exit 12. You pay a basic fare of $ 4 and about $ 2.50 for each mile driven.

National Parks and natural wonders in Missouri

Missouri will not only surprise you with a very special National Park but also make you dream of beautiful landscapes.

Gateway Arch National Park

What is probably the most unusual National Park in the USA is located in the middle of St. Louis and includes the 192 m high Gateway Arch, a visitor center, and the surrounding park area. The unconventional structure was built in the early 1960s under the name "Jefferson National Expansion Memorial." The gateway arch marks the beginning of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and refers to the Louisiana Purchase under President Jefferson Davis. The historic site only became a National Park in 2018. Previously it was a National Monument.

Ozark Mountains und Lake of The Ozarks

Want to spend a few slow-paced days in nature? The heavily forested region in Southern Missouri offers great opportunities for outdoor activities of all kinds – from hiking and biking to golfing and camping. On the often crystal clear lakes, such as Lake of the Ozarks or Table Rock Lake, you can swim, paddle, or go on an adventure in a canoe or rafting boat.

Elephant Rocks State Park

Bizarre-looking rock formations await you at Elephant Rocks State Park in Belleview. Especially the rocks that are shaped like circus elephants are an eye-catcher for visitors. With its extensive hiking trails, great viewpoints, and picnic tables for a break in between, the picturesque park offers everything you need to make your excursion into nature a full success.

Top 10 sightseeing highlights Missouri

The very best of Missouri – be impressed by the ten most popular attractions of the Show Me State.

  • Gateway Arch National Park
  • Liberty Memorial
  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Saint Louis Art Museum
  • City Museum
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Forest Park
  • Saint Louis Zoo
  • Silver Dollar City
  • Worlds of Fun

City highlights in Missouri

If you want to discover exciting city highlights during your trip through the Midwest of the USA, you must not miss the two most important metropolises of Missouri: St. Louis and Kansas City.

City highlights St. Louis

St. Louis is also called the "Gateway to the West" and is home to Missouri's most impressive attraction – the oversized Gateway Arch. In addition to its most famous landmark, the city also offers you a variety of exciting museums and historical sites. To end your day of sightseeing, we recommend a tour of bars and clubs because St. Louis, the hometown of Miles Davis and Chuck Berry, is also known as a hotspot of jazz, rock'n'roll, and blues!

Get inspired by these city highlights in St. Louis:

  • Gateway Arch National Park
  • Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Saint Louis Zoo
  • City Museum

Accomodation in St. Louis

City highlights Kansas City

Missouri's largest city, Kansas City, or "KC" for short, has much to appeal to art lovers. See the finest European and American paintings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and find inspiration for the latest creations in modern art at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Then, wind down for the evening at a downtown jazz bar in the Power & Light District.

These city highlights are waiting for you in Kansas City:

  • The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Liberty Memorial
  • Worlds of Fun
  • Kansas City Zoo
  • Country Club Plaza

Accomodation in Kansas City

Roadtrip in Missouri

You can experience "The American Way of life" in Missouri on a stretch of almost 500 km. That's how far the historic Route 66 runs across the state. Rent a car, cross the Mississippi River in St. Louis, and then stop in charming small towns like Hannibal, where you can visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. The writer's boyhood home is now a museum featuring photographs, writings, and Twain's typewriter.

Continue on to the Meramec Caverns cave system, where you can explore Missouri's fascinating underworld on a guided ranger tour. Near the town of Cuba, a curious attraction awaits you on Route 66: the 13-meter tall "Route 66 Rocker," the largest rocking chair in the world.

When you reach Southern Missouri, be sure to stop in the town of Branson. You'll quickly realize why it's called the "Live Music Capital of the World" when you listen to one of the spectacular country, rock, and pop concerts. You'll also marvel at the town's own Titanic Museum with its 1:2 scale replica of the front half of the Titanic.

Instagram hotspots in Missouri

No doubt you'll want to entertain your friends and followers with photos from your Missouri vacation. Check out our top five Instagram hotspots for great shots.

  • Gateway Arch
  • Elephant Rocks State Park
  • Ozark Mountains
  • Route 66 Rocker
  • Titanic Museum in Branso

Food and drinks in Missouri

The taste of the Midwest! These culinary treasures are typical of Missouri:

  • Pizza St. Louis Style (pizza with a very thin crispy crust without yeast, usually cut into squares)
  • Beans and Ham Hocks on Cornbread
  • Toasted Ravioli
  • Barbecue
  • Gooey Butter Cake (flat cake made from wheat flour, butter, sugar, eggs, and powdered sugar)
  • Ice cream cones

Fun facts Missouri

Do you want to learn even more about the state of Missouri? Here are some more exciting facts:

  • The state of Missouri was named after the Missouri River.
  • Missouri owes its nickname, "Show Me State," to Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, who said in a speech in 1899, "I come from a state that raises corn and cotton, cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I'm from Missouri, and you have got to show me."
  • Missouri is the home state of one US President: Harry S. Truman was born in the small town of Lamar and grew up in Independence.
  • The writer Marc Twain was born in Missouri in 1835.
  • Opened in 1908, the University of Missouri at Columbia was the world's first university to offer a degree in journalism.
  • At the 1904 World's Fair, ice cream was offered in cones for the first time. The vendor ran out of cups and asked a waffle vendor to roll waffles for his ice cream.
  • Many myths circulate around the Gateway Arch. Since the arch was built in the 1960s, a remarkably large number of storms have passed St. Louis. It is therefore often said to be an experiment by the US government and to influence the weather. Some even claim that the eye-catching structure attracts UFOs.

Immigrate to Missouri

The Midwest of the USA is a great place to live! If you're dreaming of a future in the Show Me State, read our tips for immigrating to Missouri thoroughly.

Working in Missouri

Missouri has traditionally been dominated by agriculture. Today, the state's vast plains are used to grow soybeans, hay, corn, sorghum, cotton, and rice, as well as for raising cattle, pigs, and poultry. The wine industry and beer production are also on the rise in Missouri. Furthermore, aerospace, chemical and electronic industries, food processing, publishing, and financial services are important industries in Missouri.

Living in Missouri

The cost of living in Missouri is comparatively low. According to the Cost of Living Index, the cost of living for all of Missouri is 10 % below the US average, and you can save money, especially on housing. Even in cities like St. Louis or Kansas City, you can live 20 % to 30 % cheaper than the rest of America. If you're looking for the places with the best quality of life, look for small towns like Creve Coeur, Clayton, Wildwood, or Glendale.

To Missouri with a Green Card

Do you want to settle in beautiful Missouri forever? With a Green Card, you have the opportunity to live and work in the USA indefinitely. It is comparatively easy and quick to obtain the card through the US government's Green Card Lottery. Each year, the lottery awards a total of 55,000 of the popular immigrant visas to winners from all over the world. Sign up now!

Green Card Lottery

Win one of 55,000 Green Cards in the official Green Card Lottery of the US authorities!