The full name of the place we stayed at is Republican Center of Tourism and Study of Local Lore of Youth.
It is republican organization, making trips for local young people, but also having places for staying for tourists. It is located not at city center, but about 15 minutes by bus from it. I liked the quality of room and of sleeping (after Belarusian cognac and beer:)
As I often do on my trips, also in Minsk I asked for accomodation through websites such as Hospitalityclub and CouchSurfing.
Well, in this case I even didn't need to search since I already knew a very nice friend in Minsk who I knew through Hospitalityclub several years ago.
I think that living with a family or a young guy/girl is always a very interesting experience and you can really understand how "real" local people live. And it was more interesting than usual in Belarus, which is also a quite unusual country for Western standards, even if Minsk is at the end not so different like one could expect.
So enjoy Belarusian hospitality, I'm sure you won't be disappointed! :)
3 years ago I rented an apartment on Nemiga for a short stay for my American friend. He paid $45 per night and was very satisfied.
This apartment he rented seems to be no longer available, but the company is still on the market. They are very professional and speak English. I`d recommend to use them if you need to rent a place. It`s still going to be cheaper than most of the hotels AND you can invite friends over. ;-)
They can also arrange tourist visa for you if you need one (http://www.all-russian-girls.com/invitation_visa.shtml).
It had well-equipped kitchen, house-keeper coming 2 a week, tape-recorder, satellite TV, comfortable bed, fridge full of food and drinks.
In Minsk there are not any hostels as far as I know. But, there are some other alternatives for budget travellers.
I have rented a 1 room flat which was quite OK in conditions with a kitchen and a quite good bathroom. And I paid 15 USD per night.
And it was very close to Railway station on ul. Mogilevskaya.
The building on the photo is the one which I stayed in Minsk.
I stay here in 2011 only one night with 5 persons (this was organized trip, so dont know exact price of room).
Interesting old hotel in soviet style with old furniture. I stay here in big apartment with two room, private bathroom and toilet.
As I can see online, it is recently renovated. It looks fantastic. So, I put here only photos of building to be recognize by potential visitors. I am not sure for official web site because I found two: http://pobedy-40-let.belhotel.by/?setlng=en is for old design and
http://www.40hotel.by/about.html for new one.
Some technical data about building: height - estimated 43.91 m; 12 floors (above ground).
Construction end in 1984.
Huge fridge, terrace and big chair in bathroom (?)
If you are in Minsk and long for something that is really western with western standard: Go here.
Being a conference center you will also always find groups pf people visiting Minsk and Belarus.
Like a good facility in the west.
The rooms, the restrooms, etc....
I stayed at the Oktyabrskaya because of its wonderful location. It is only two blocks from praspekt Skaryny, the main street in Minsk. The hotel is not an Intourist hotel (there are several Intourist places in town) which is both good and bad. The downside: almost no one speaks English (or French or German); there's little going on in the hotel at night. The upside: great location, reasonable prices (about $75USD/night), pleasant room. (By the way, they accept credit cards in payment.) This used to be the hotel for visiting Communist Party regulars and foreign dignitaries. It is not used to catering to tourists and so isn't really set up to do so. The problem with the main Intourist hotels in Minsk, at least from my perspective, is that they are simply too far away. You cannot walk into town from them--unless you like to walk for at least half an hour each way. Why they built them where they did is a real mystery to me. (Although I suppose back when all tourist groups were escorted and on buses, I guess the location didn't really matter.)
More info about hotels and costs of accommodation in Minsk.
'Zhuravinka' tel.+375 17 2066900; $115 for single room;
'Planeta' tel.+375 17 2238587; $79 for single room;
'Yubilejnaja' tel.+375 17 2269024; $47 or $65 for single room;
'Sputnik' tel.+375 17 2293619; $23 for single room.
I usually stay at my friends' or at relatives when visiting Minsk. However, here are some hotels:
Belarus, Jubileinaya (which I'd recommend).
the prices there change all the time... also they might differ if you're local or a tourist. Remember to carry you passport with you. And if you happen to have a local friend, get a room on his/her name,
which might be pretty much cheaper.
Alex picks you up from the train station (for a fee) and drives you to your apartment. What seems like a backpacker apartment (according to the website) is actually a room in a lady's home in the Minsk Soviet-style suburbs.
My room was comfortable, and had the added bonus of Mini-Mouse sheets. The room belonged to a girl who sleeps in the living room when guests are around!
My host was very kind, despite not speaking or understanding a single word of English.
The apartment was very close to the local minibus service, which heads frighteningly quickly into town.
Belarus, Planeta, Yubileynaya seem to be the hotels of international standard, as far as I know them. On a ok standard, but of course bloody expensive. Staff sometimes has trouble speaking English (not surprising), and in all of them the hotel bars, lobbies and (where existing) nightclubs are crowded with prostitutes.
Private accommodation, if you manage to find any, is much more agreable and often even cheaper - but be aware, it may cause difficulties with the foreigner police, since you need to register your passport yourself then. Which is pretty difficult and time-consuming if you don't speak and (Belo-)Russian - I had the pleasure twice, and each time it took some hours and trips to various bureaus throughout Minsk.
Hotel was OK, try to book through Intourist who have an office in the hotel. Apparently this is cheaper than booking on-line direct!
Even if you are not a resident go to the restaurant on the 22nd floor which has great views over the city. Just take photos, you dont need to buy a meal!
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