Favorite thing: This is how it worked:
First I bought travel shoes made in Vitebsk - that was year 2000, and I still wear them.
Then my stove went out of order, and the replacement happened to be made in Brest, so far I am quite happy with their customer service.
Incidentally my 30-year-old fridge comes from Minsk.
So, when I started planning my first outing after two months on a sick leave, I thought that these folks surely won't ruin my holiday.
And now I’ve just heard over the radio that the ‘best-joystick’ “World of Tanks” was developed in Grodno.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Work Abroad
Belarusian Tourist Office
Favorite thing: Found the site of Belarusian Tourist Office.
However, writing to their firstname.lastname@example.org proved useless.
It appears that to get an answer you have to write to someone in particular, like email@example.com, then they respond quite quickly. Use the address of their director below.
If you need a guide or a travel company, they provide a long list here
The problem is that the contacts are phones, not e-mails - apparently you've got to dial a long-distance call.
In any case, it's better than nothing.Related to:
- Work Abroad
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Favorite thing: Hi
I was in Minsk last year. A taxi to downtown Minsk is about $45 USD one way. There is a bus I believe, and it is much less, but you would have to ask at the airport. The airport is about an hour drive to downtown Minsk. I am not sure where the Hilton is but assume it is near or in downtown.
You will find the prices for everything very reasonable, especially in the restaurants. The food is all very good.
I enjoyed my trip to Minsk very much and hope to go again soon.
I hope this helps.
Fondest memory: Minsk is a beautiful city. It is clean, safe and full of flowers. The restaurants are very reasonable and the food is excellent.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Belarusian money - Rubel
Favorite thing: The Belarusian currency is called "rubel", though Russian variant of the name "ruble" can be (and is) used with relation to Belarusian money.
All Exchange offices and Banks are regulated by government in Belarus, so you can exchange your money really everywhere there you find exchange office, the maximum difference in exchange rates I have seen were 0,02%.
There are numerous currency exchange offices in Minsk to change foreign currency to Belarusian rubles and back. Normally there should be no problems with exchanging US dollars, euros and Russian rubles. You should remember that usually you can find exchange office in railways stations in Belarus, and even small villages have branch of Belarusian State bank.
Usually there is no problem to change USD, EURO and Russian Rubles. Exchange rates as of 01/05/2010 you can find in the attached picture.
Favorite thing: If you manage to visit Vitsebsk in June, you will attend the traditional "Slav Bazaar" international song festival.
Fondest memory: visiting Vitsebsk and seeing Mark Shagal Museum and walking in the central park of the city.
FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE
Favorite thing: If you imagined Belarus as a country of old Russian cars, fear and poverty, then you were wrong. If you heard stories about Belarus as the "last dictatorship in Europe", you should eliminate them from your memory. Belarus is the last oasis of FREEDOM and INDEPENDENCE in Europe. It's a place where people don't accept "values" of the New World Order. They don't want to become another pro-NATO and pro-American marionette country with no freedom and dignity. They don't want to be a part of the so called European Union - a dungeon of human rights. What they want is strong union with Russia, but not with this pro-Western Russia, but with strong, independent, Orthodox and free Russia.
There are no foreign banks, foreign petrol-stations, billboards with half-naked women, multi-national companies in Belarus. That's how every normal country should look. They have their own pride and dignity, and don't care about all the threats and sanctions that come from the EU and the US. What I admire the most is a very high patriotic conscience of the people of Belarus.
Fondest memory: The bank of Svislosh near Nemiga Metro station is one of the most beautiful places in Minsk. Though you're in a city center you can see ducks and swans in the river, and young lovers walking by the river side. There is also a lovely Pushkin monument and the one dedicated to Belorussian soldiers who died in Afghanistan war in the 20th century. And five minutes walk from that place you can visit a small but charming Church of Mary Magdalene.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Additional fee for foreigners
Favorite thing: When I was leaving the Belarus in Brest it appeared that I had to pay a border fee. The border officer did not want to pass me through without it. I had to be back from the border to pay this fee. The fee costs 6750 roubles (app. 4 USD) and can be bought in the Belarussbank cash desk on the Brest train station. In Jan 2006 the fee was 7250 BYR,
However in Jan 2006 I had not to present the proof for paying this fee. Maybe they resigned ?Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
World War II Veterans
Favorite thing: I have met them when I was walking by river Muhavets. I asked them if I could have a photo of them. They politely accepted that. I tried to talk with them about the war. They were so proud. They did not want to talk about themselves. I wanted to take their adresses to send them the photos. They rejected, with a honorable facial expression,like rejecting to be a subject of tourism.
Luckily, I tried to be as respectful as possible and I think I did no wrong to them, and maybe that's why they accepted my wish to take thier photos.
So, I really want you to be very sensitive against them. Keep in mind that 20 million Soviet citizens lost their lives in the war. They have fought for a country which does not exist anymore
Favorite thing: Poles and EU citizens need a visa to get to Belarus.
Fee for a single entry visa for Poles is 6 USD for 2 entries 11 USD (all infos for Poles:
Embassy in Poland is located in Warsaw on 58 Wiertnicza Street.
Here is a link in English with a list of embassies:
Polish citizens are required to buy a special medical insurance in insurance company "Europa". The broker is located in a barracks next to embassy building on 60 Wiertnicza Street in Warsaw. The list of other "Europa" brokers are here (in Polish): http://www.tueuropa.pl/index.php?id=czE3OW1rMTk4YnA1MjY5
The fee for basic medical insurance for 9 days was 31 PLN (app. 9USD) in Dec 2005.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Budget Travel
Visit a Belarussian Village
Favorite thing: I read on another VT page about spending some time in a Belarus Village, well our friends live in a village called Gribino which is so small it wasn't even on my map! We spent 3 days in this village as the guests of our friends and had a fantastic time.
There are so many small villages in Belarus scattered between the big towns and life in them is very different to city life. They live a hard but happy life. The houses are made from wood or brick with a tin roof. There is no drainage and water comes from a well or a single tap. Electricity is normally available and in winter, a log burning furnace heats the home. There are no real luxuries. The toilet is a hole in the ground covered by a wooden shack. When the hole fills up a new one must be dug!
In the back yard, many villagers will have chickens and ducks. If you are lucky you will have your own cow too, so milk and eggs and chicken are in good supply and are fresh! Vegetables are self-grown too, especially potatoes ("bulba" in belorussian).
To keep all this going and to live requires hard work, but everyone is happy and the family all share the work.
Fondest memory: Our best memories are of the people. They welcome you into their home with a deep and sincere gratitude for making the effort to come and see them. They are so interested to know about people from the west and want to share experiences of their country with you. The children are allowed to grow up as children and are not spoilt by materialism and peer pressure. They are polite and respectful. They showed us lakes and forests, let us milk their cows, prepared many feasts for us at their table and we drank much vodka. They were so proud to tell the whole village that the English people are coming to stay! At night we sat outside under the inky black sky looking up at millions of stars and a glowing milky way. These people have so little yet in other ways have a simplicity of life that is worth so much.
We fell in love with the country and the warmth of the people who we will never forget.Related to:
- Family Travel
Little "Hares" and "Squirrels"
Favorite thing: Belarus Rouble is one of the smallest currencies in the world. Todays rate is about 1800 BYR for 1 USD, and it is permanently going down. You can notice long queques to the exchange offices in Minsk. That is how people try to save their poor salary. One guy told me that buying Euro and selling it at the end of the month one can add about 10% to the salry. ;-(
Fondest memory: At the very beginning (in 1992) local banknotes have pictures of different animals - hares, bears, squirrels, etc. Now it looks different, but people still call their money - Little Hares and Squirrels.
It is possible that in a couple of years local currency will be removed with Russian Roubles.
When I visited Belarus and in...
Favorite thing: When I visited Belarus and in particular Minsk I was greeted with many different feelings. It is quite hard to imagine a lifestyle that provokes the feelings of yesteryear yet also the resemblance in some ways of an evolving western culture.
Fondest memory: Fondest memory of Belarus Minsk the capital city and the friendly nature of the people that I met during my stay. I should point out that only a few people and I mean very few people speak English in Belarus. You would find a higher probability that the children from age 10 - 18 would speak some English due to the Education Ciriuculum now supporting the teaching of English.
My travel tips for Belarus are...
Favorite thing: My travel tips for Belarus are all limited to Minsk, the capital. Although I visited several other places, I only made day trips and so I simply do not have the experience to recommend anything anywhere other than Minsk. My Belarus travelogue is long because it includes those day trips; but if you are interested only in Minsk, I have excerpted the Minsk portions and placed them in their own travelogue on my Minsk page. Please take a look!
Belarus is a paradise for...
Favorite thing: Belarus is a paradise for nature lovers. The country lies in the woody middle of the Eastern Europe. From immemorial times, the forests stayed almost untouched. The landscape is rather flat. Deep straches in the land made by sliding South glaciers during the Glacier Period have turned into the long chains of lakes extending from North to South. Most of our lakes have forested shores, just like this one on the picture.
I don't consider myself as a...
Favorite thing: I don't consider myself as a beer lover. But I think our beer is worth being mentioned. The most popular brands are Lidskoe, Alivarya, and Krinitsa. The brewery in small town Lida was built in the 1840th. Nowadays it produces the best beer in Belarus 'Nasha Marka' and 'Barkhatnoe'.
Bonjour a tous! Hi everyone! For my first time in Minsk in 2010 I was staying in Tourist Hotel,...more
Fancy hotel about 10 minutes walk from the station - officially a business hotel but it's neither...more
13 Kirova str., Minsk, 220040, Belarus
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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