Paisley Park Cover Final

The Paisley Park Tour – Prince’s Former Home

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through a tour of Paisley Park. And to pay homage to one of music’s most talented, complex, and unusual artists ever – Prince.

Sadly, Prince died on April 21, 2016. A day many cried purple tears.

As Prince said about life, “It means forever, and that is a mighty long time. But I am here to tell you; there is something else, The afterworld.”

And, while Prince may be in the afterworld, he left us forever with Paisley Park – his home and recording studio entertainment park.

Paisley Park Prince

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History Of Paisley Park

Construction began in 1986 and finished in 1987. Prince was the designer. You will feel this as you tour the place. Many eccentric elements dominate the interior, precisely what you’d expect from Prince. Paisley Park got its name because paisley means colorful, and park means to play or entertain. In other words, Prince’s colorful playground. Located in Chanhassen, Prince recorded here for nearly 30 years.

Before his death, approximately 50 people were employed at Paisley Park, including security staff, wardrobes, assistants, and other employees.

Prince Rogers Nelson Fact File

Paisley Park
  • Full Name: Prince Rogers Nelson
  • Born: June 7, 1958
  • Died: April 21, 2016 – Age 57
  • Cause of Death: Accidental fentanyl overdose
  • Marriages: Mayte Garcia 1996 – 2000 and Manuela Testolini 2001 – 2006
  • Height: 5ft 2ins
  • Children: One – Amiir (Prince in Arabic), born in 1996. With his first Mayte wife, He was diagnosed at birth with Pfeiffer syndrome type 2 and died six days later.

Paisley Park Museum

Unbeknownst to most, Prince’s former home and recording studio, “Paisley Park,” is now a museum, and you can take a tour. Open to the public six months after his death. Knowing that I would visit, I did not read any reviews before I visited. I wanted to experience it for myself and form my own opinions.

I want to set everyone’s expectations here.

We all know that Prince lived at Paisley Park for the last three years. Most people don’t know it is more of an entertainment complex and recording studio than a home. Sadly, you can only view areas on the first floor that are 100% commercial or considered public by Prince.

This took me aback; I’ve seen many photos of Paisley Park and knew it was an entertainment complex. I just assumed that a tour would include personal space as well. This said it’s still an excellent way for fans to see where he spent the years of his life.

So now that’s clear – Let’s Go!

Paisley Park Cover Final

Ticket And Tour Options For Paisley Park Museum

The Paisley Experience

The Paisley Experience includes guided tours of the following:

  • The main floor of Paisley Park, including studios where Prince recorded, produced, and mixed some of his biggest hits
  • Massive soundstage and concert hall where Prince rehearsed for tours and held exclusive, private events and concerts
  • N.P.G. Music Club, where Prince had countless late-night performances

Average Tour Time: 70 minutes

The V.I.P. Experience

The V.I.P. Experience includes the Paisley Experience, PLUS:

  • A 30-minute more extended tour experience
  • Access to additional content, rooms, and studio areas
  • A showcase of other artifacts from the Archives
  • A unique and exclusive photo opportunity

Average Tour Time: 100 minutes

The Ultimate Experience

The Ultimate Experience includes the V.I.P. Experience plus exclusive access to additional spaces and exhibits. As a more immersive way for fans to tour, the Ultimate Experience is available on select days only and often sells out. This wide-ranging tour offers an expanded 3-hour guided tour including:

  • Studios A, B, and C access
  • A private screening of exclusive video footage in Paisley Park’s Editing Suite.
  • A special audio playback session in the control room of Studio B.
  • Visitors on the Ultimate Experience will also access archive items not displayed on the G.A. and V.I.P. tours, providing a more in-depth museum experience.
  • A Light beverage comes after the tour.

Ultimate Experience Average Tour Time: 3 hours

I took the Ultimate Experience Tour so I will cover all angles of what to expect. And, I paid for my ticket so you know the deal. I will tell you the good, the bad and ugly.

Entering Paisley Park

If you have never seen the outside of Paisley Park, brace yourself. It is a concrete complex; you probably know it’s right off a highway. However, seeing it in person makes it a stranger, not as an entertainment park but as a home. I can’t even comprehend it; it’s so commercial in appearance.

Paisley Park Exterior

(Photo credit: Paisley Park)

Then, upon entry, you met with all the rules and regulations – another shock for me.

Strictly No Photography

This is the first time in my life that I’ve had to turn my cell phone off and place it in a sealed bag. And by sealed, I mean locked with an anti-theft device similar to those used in stores. The concept here is that Prince did not allow anyone to take photographs inside Paisley Park.  The museum is respecting his wishes. I get it, but it was not what I was expecting.

Prince Paisly Park

Prince focused on living life in the present moment and did not own a cell phone (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin, poster at Paisley Park)

On the bright side, you can take photographs at the end of the tour in the concert venue and the nightclub.

Paisley Park Address

7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, MN 55317, United States

The Tour of Paisley Park

Once you have entered the primary receiving area, you’ll walk through a corridor dressed in awards. You’ll see a painted picture of Prince’s eyes if you look up. It’s fitting, he’s watching you!

Paisley Park Hallway

This corridor is the one where the elevator once stood. The elevator where Prince died. It’s since been covered up. This is not pointed out on the tour, which is by design. However, if you want to pay respect to the actual place of death, it is on the right, directly before you pass under the painting his eyes.

If you decide to pay tribute, be respectful, such as silence, a prayer, or a bow. Don’t be an idiot and leave a memento – you’ll get kicked out.

Paisley Park Interior Courtyard

Next, you enter the central courtyard—a two-story bacterium with pyramid-shaped skylights. A balcony wrapping it and gold columns to finish the look.

Inside Paisly Park

Purple glows emanate from them at night. Paintings of puffy white clouds and doves in flight are dotted along the sky-blue walls.

Prince’s ashes are kept in a miniature Paisley Park replica below the skylights.

Prince Urn

It was here that Oprah interviewed Prince in 1996. A large white cage containing Prince’s pet dove, Divinity, can be seen on the second floor. An embedded love symbol is in black tile on an otherwise white floor. In this space, two cushy purple chairs are flanking each side. Please refrain from sitting on any Paisley Park furniture!

Surrounding the tiled space is carpeting featuring images of the sun, moon, and stars. The curved columns in the room create different patterns based on the angle from which they are viewed. At Paisley Park, Prince wanted a combination of colors and shapes representing the multifaceted nature of his music, movies, and other artistic endeavors.

This is where you get what I think is a real glimpse of his entities. It reminded me a little of the interior of the Venitian in Vegas. It’s a tad contemporary, a splice of gaud, and plenty of symbolism. I found it cold and office-like. Not somewhere you’d hang out. At least, not in my opinion.

Paisley Park Studios Soundstage

The soundstage at Paisley Park was almost entirely used to film Graffiti Bridge, the sequel to Purple Rain. In addition to Grumpy Old Men (the movie), McDonald’s, Porsche, and the Muppets, the space has also been used for filming or rehearsal. Prince’s powder blue Bentley and purple Plymouth Prowler are displayed in this vast space.

Paisley Park Recording Studios

There are several recording studios inside Paisley Park. All of them progressively modernized with the times.

Studio A

The studio at its time was a state-of-the-art recording studio with parquet wood floors and granite-walled isolation rooms explicitly designed for sound.

Studio A has hosted everyone from  James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Madonna, and R.E.M.

In Studio A, you hear unreleased music recorded by Prince before his passing. While this was fascinating, I found it to be a double standard of privacy. Prince, who did not allow photography in Paisley Park. I doubt he would be comfortable sharing this music. And, rightly so. He would have released it if it was perfect and up to his standards.

Prince’s Mural

The hallway outside Studio A contains a long sunset-colored mural that Prince had commissioned. On the left, you will see images of Prince-influenced artists like Lisa and Wendy from The Revolution, Cat Glover, Apollonia, Vanity 6, Morris Day and The Time, Sheila E., and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. The mural’s right side depicts the artists that greatly influenced Prince, such as Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Hendrix, Carlos Santana, and Chaka Khan.

Arcade Room

During Prince’s early days, he played stand-up arcade games in this room. It contains an unusual yellow couch, giant flower sculptures (like Georgia O’Keefe’s), and a Schimmel Pegasus piano inscribed with Prince’s symbol on its hydraulic lid. When he bought the piano in the 1990s, it cost him over $100,000.

NPG Music Club

Musicians and celebrities used to jam out at the NPG Music Club with Prince. During these free concerts, he also invited local fans. He would often not appear until 2 or 3 in the morning. Sometimes, he did not show up at all if he did not feel the vibe. He would play one of his favorite movies on a giant screen to entertain those seated in the cozy, curved purple booths. The space is now used for Sunday brunches, Friday dance parties with a DJ, and Saturday movie screenings.

NPG Music Club
NPG Music Club

Studio B

Studio B is where most die-hard fans want to be. If you’ve chosen The Ultimate Experience, you will get to experience it, And this is where you may cry.

Trust me when I tell you this: I was the only one on the tour who did not cry in Studio B. And this is purely because as much as I loved Prince and appreciated his music –  he did not affect me like this. By effect, I mean that he did not profoundly shape who I am, and I was never physically attracted to him either. Don’t interpret this as disrespectful to the man; I am a fan, but not a teary-eyed fan. Most importantly, you can love and appreciate an artist and not have an emotional connection, so there is no judging here!

It is also in Studio B, where you will get a chance to have your photograph taken. Not on your device, but taken by an employee and given to you on a USB card.

Assuming it’s available (post-COVID), you will also get the chance to record a thirty-second clip here.

Studio B At Paisley Park

(Photo credit: Paisley Park)

What impressed me in Studio B is that you hear how Prince layered and produced his music. He would write a melody, record it, then sing over it. All phases were done independently. And Prince could operate all of the technology on hand. Most impressively, he used more old-fashioned techniques like recording to tape and physically cutting and piecing the tape together.

On the other side of Studio B’s motherboard is a large room home to a purple baby grand piano. And it used to house a ping-pong table.  Prince loved ping pong players, and he was exceptionally good at it.

Here is the only photography you will get in Studio B:

Paisley Park Studio

Property Of The Estate Of Prince Rogers Nelson

This is bonus material! Prince owned several properties in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Homes Before Paisley Park

Prince’s home before living in Paisley Park was bulldozed at his request. However, it still has the original gates.  The current owners built a new house on it but kept the gates.  This is the perfect place to take in all things Prince and glimpse his prior home. Just be respectful, as it’s someone’s home:

Address: 9401 Kiowa Trail, Chanhassen, MN, United States

This location served as Prince’s primary artistic headquarters for a critical period in the 1980s.

The Park

Prince used to own a 188-acre parcel along Galpin Boulevard, which his estate sold to Lennar. Lennar is developing 169 homes on the property.  Prince once lived in a yellow three-story house at 7141 Galpin Blvd. The house has since been demolished, but a security gatehouse remains. Prince’s heirs requested that the development not be associated with the late megastar when selling the property.  Yet, it’s called “The Park” – did everyone catch that? Then there are the street names… Paisley Path and Rogers Court are two examples. There is some association going on. A great place for die-hard fans to visit.

The Park
The Park Street Signs

Address: Galpin Blvd, Chanhassen, MN, United States

A visit here is tricky, and I need to warn you! There are some miserable, angry residents. One lady threatened us for taking photographs and made a big to-do, much like other famous places like Walt’s house from Breaking Bad. If you are going to live somewhere this famous, expect the tourists.

I’ll also add this –  how silly is it that “The Park” is not a gated community?

The best way to visit The Park is to drive through the estate and get your photographs as discreetly as possible.

Brit On The Move’s Favorite Prince Songs

Before we start here, let me warn you that my first choice and all-time favorite Prince song is explicit.

So, if you are easily offended – scroll down.  There are a couple of naughty ones on this list, so consider skipping them all unless you are up for some sexual expression.

Darling Nikki

How could this not be my first choice? It is “Darling Nikki.” My name is Nikki, and Prince spelled it the same way as my name! Darling Nikki is by far my favorite song. I will not confess my soul here and own all the behavior mentioned. I grew up in England in the ’80s and lived a single life before life in America!  And for the record (pun intended), I have never done any of this in a hotel lobby!

I knew a girl named Nikki
I guess you could say she was a sex fiend
I met her in a hotel lobby
Masturbating with a magazine
She said how’d you like to waste some time
And I could not resist when I saw little Nikki grind

She took me to her castle
And I just couldn’t believe my eyes
She had so many devices
Everything that money could buy
She said sign your name on the dotted line
The lights went out
And Nikki started to grind

Darling Nikki is responsible for creating the infamous Parental Advisory sticker to solidify this as my first choice. Yes, this song sparked the creation of the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) in 1985. The PMRC is now a well-known Parental Advisory sticker on album covers.

In short, Prince is responsible for the Parental Advisory stickers – long before rap. And Darling Nikki is the song that started it all! 

Another reason for this to be my first choice! I love controversy. And the irony of how sexuality is riddled with double standards in America. We cannot have nudity on T.V., but we can have porn all over the internet.

Moving on……

Purple Rain

I do not know very many people who do not know the lyrics to Purple Rain. It is probably one of Prince’s most iconic songs ever. One of the biggest 80’s ballads of all time. For me, this reminds me of the ’80s movie Purple Rain.

Prince’s interpretation of ‘Purple Rain’ was “When there’s blood in the sky – red and blue = purple… purple rain pertains to the end of the world and being with the one you love and letting your faith/god guide you through the purple rain.” Simply stated, it is raining blood—what a fantastic poetic metaphor.

Never meant to cause you any sorrow
Never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted to one time to see you laughing
I only wanted to see you in the purple rain

Purple rain
Purple rain

Fact: Purple Rain was originally written as a country duet with Stevie Nicks! Yep, but she turned it down because she said it was too much for her.

Price Purple Rain

Nothing Compares 2 U

It might have been Sinéad O’Connor who made this a household tune in the ’90s, but Prince wrote it. Prince first released the song in 1985 with the band The Family on their 1985 self-titled album.

Now, I love Sinéad’s version, I really do, but it is commercial in comparison to Prince’s raw version.

It’s been seven hours and fifteen days
Since u took your love away
I go out every night and sleep all day
Since u took your love away

Since u been gone I can do whatever I want
I can see whomever I choose
I can eat my dinner in a fancy restaurant
But nothing
I said nothing can take away these blues

If you’ve ever experienced a gut-wrenching breakup, you know these lyrics!


Written by Prince, Kiss was first released by Prince and The Revolution on the album Parade on February 5, 1986. In 1988, Art of Noise released a cover of the song featuring Welsh singer Tom Jones on vocals.

I must confess that I like both versions! The beat screams dance, and while the lyrics are racy, you cannot help but dance.

You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on
I just need your body, baby, from dusk ’til dawn
You don’t need experience to turn me out
You just leave it all up to me
I’m gonna show you what it’s all about

You don’t have to be rich to be my girl
You don’t have to be cool to rule my world
Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your kiss

Price Parade Album

When Doves Cry

Another classic that most of us know! Who does not recognize the epic guitar solo morphs with the catchy beat? This one is not a dance one for me, but it is a sign-along one, giving me goosebumps!

A crying dove means things are in bad shape or have gone wrong. This song is about relationships gone wrong. And it’s thought this was about his turbulent relationship with his parents or one of his many lovers.

Dig if you will the picture
Of you and I engaged in a kiss
The sweat of your body covers me
Can you my darling
Can you picture this?

Dream, if you can, a courtyard
An ocean of violets in bloom
Animals strike curious poses
They feel the heat
The heat between me and you


For me, I like the melody of this one. It’s a good old-fashioned sing-along, feel-good tune. There are three theories on what 7 means. One is the setting for the movie Three Chains of Gold, The Seven Deadly Sins, and thirdly the evilness of the music industry for artists. There were seven major record labels, and Prince’s reference here is that will all fall.

All seven, and we’ll watch them fall
They stand in the way of love
And we will smoke them all
With an intellect and a savoir-faire
No one in the whole universe
Will ever compare
I am yours now, and you are mine
And together, we’ll love through
All space and time, so don’t cry
One day all seven will die

Price Love Symbol Album

Go Crazy

I think we all have some crazy in us, even if it is deep down inside. And I firmly believe that we all want to just let loose at some point. So, let’s go crazy is very fitting for the era. Like, the next liberation following the ’70s.

I said, let’s go (crazy)

Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Make everything go wrong
Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill
Hang tough children

He’s coming
He’s coming

Take me away

F.A.Q.s About Paisley Park and The Paisley Park Tour

Why is Prince’s house called Paisley Park?

Paisley Park Exterior

During the production of “Purple Rain,” Price came up with the idea of Paisley Park. Named after the Prince song “Paisley Park,” which includes lyrics like “Come 2 the park/And play with us/There are no rules/In Paisley Park,” the campus was opened in 1987 for $10 million and 65,000 square feet.

What was Paisley Park before Prince bought it?

Paisley Park Exterior

In the days before Prince, Paisley Park was merely a fantasy. A chorus of the song proclaims, “Paisley Park is in your heart.” Paisley Park was built in 1987, a sixty-five thousand square foot, ten million dollar recording studio in Chanhassen, Minnesota.

Who owns Paisley Park now?

Paisley Park Exterior

A 65,000-square-foot complex at Paisley Park was turned into a museum after Prince’s death. Tours of the Paisley Park Museum began in October 2016. The tours were initially organized and managed by Graceland Holdings, which has managed Elvis Presley’s Graceland since 1982. As of Oct. 1. 2019, Prince’s Estate took over running Paisley Park.

What is Paisley Park famous for?

Paisley Park Hallway

For nearly 30 years, it was the home of Prince. It was his home, creative sanctuary, and production complex.

How long is the Paisley Park tour?

Paisley Park Soundstage

During this 90-minute guided tour, you’ll see the main floor of Paisley Park, including the studios where Prince recorded and produced some of his biggest hits.

Is the Ultimate Experience at Paisley Park worth it?

Paisley Park Exterior

It depends on what you hope to see.  I was ultimately disappointed that I could not see Prince’s personal space. I was equally disappointed by the double standards. Notably, there is no photography, but let’s raid his vault!

Can you take pictures at Paisley Park?

Paisley Park Exterior

No, you cannot take pictures inside Paisley Park – it’s strictly forbidden. However, you can take pictures outside.

Closing Thoughts

So, what did I think of the tour?

First of all, it’s been on my bucket list to visit Paisley Park since it became a museum, so regardless, it was worth it for me.  However, recall I said I chose the Ultimate Experience Tour and the tune of $160? It is not worth it unless you are a die-hard fan, and even then, you are not sure what the recording element is worth it or the one photo you can take in Studio B. I visited while COVID guidelines were in place, so we could not record. Had I known this, I would not have opted for this tour.

Be sure to validate what you get before you buy tickets!

Then there is the complimentary beverage. This one’s sinful, and it even breaks my heart to say it. It’s a complimentary drink – one. The complimentary drink is your choice of a soda can or a bottle of water from a commercial fridge to help yourself. And, while Prince never allowed alcohol at Paisley Park, there’s a coffee bar on hand.  I don’t think this token drink is up to Prince’s standards, and he’d be horrified. Can we get fresh juice, some kombucha, el fresco – something?

And, while the estate is loaded with fantastic memorability, I was ultimately disappointed that I did not get to see any of Prince’s personal space. I was equally disappointed by the double standards. Remarkably, there is no photography, but let’s raid his vault!

I do not regret taking the tour. I am happy that I got to experience Paisley Park, but it was not what I expected. This was my first visit, but it won’t be my last one. Finally, if you visit Paisley Park, tour Downtown Minneapolis; there’s plenty to see and do.

Feel free to refer to me as Darling Nikki going forward, and please let me know what your favorite songs are or how Prince impacted you!

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  1. This person may possibly be referring to what you wrote:

    Who owns Paisley Park now?
    A 65,000-square-foot complex at Paisley Park was turned into a museum after Prince’s death. Tours of the Paisley Park Museum began in October 2016. The tours are organized by Graceland Holdings, which has managed Elvis Presley’s Graceland since 1982.

    Graceland Holdings managing the PP tours ended in October 2019, then Comerica took over and now Primary Wave and the siblings are in charge. This is definitely outdated information that should be amended. Stood out like a sore thumb for me.

    Interesting notation about The Park, very helpful to know for my next visit.

    1. Hi Sonya,
      I’m scratching my head on this one. I did the tour in 2020, and at that time, when I researched ownership it was under Graceland Holdings. Yet, as you stated Graceland Holdings managing the PP tours ended in October 2019. It’s likely I did not dig deep enough.
      I honestly don’t know how I did not catch this. But, I really appreciate you taking the time to point this out.
      I’m updating it now:)
      Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the tour.

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