Minsk is really a quiet and safe place, probably the safest capital city I've even been to, or at least that was my feeling. That's probably also due to the fact that in Belarus there's an authoritarian regime and police (miltsia) is everywhere, expecially in the capital city and expecially in the centre, close to the presidential building.
So the only danger you could have is if there's some public demonstration for democracy going on. People in Minsk are not happy about Lukashenka's regime even if in the country's capital city the level of life is quite high, also compared to neighbouring countries.
I think there's not much time left before a real uprising of Belarusian people asking for real democracy. By now there has been several public demonstrations, with arrests and fightings with the police. People are scared and time is not ready for a revolution yet.
BTW, unless you are particolarly involved into the fight for freedom, it's surely a good idea to stay away from any public demonstration.
Better days will come: Жыве Беларусь!
Please bear in mind that you are probably going to need to purchase approved Health Insurance on arrival in Minsk. For this I can recommend the following organisation:-
16 Rakovskaya Str.
(open - 9.30-17.30)
The processing fee is USD1.00 but please remember to bring with you a valid passport.
Closed, unfriendly people who are not used to deal with tourists.
The only thing they can think about is how to get to your money.
To rip you off is a practical joke to them.
I came by train from Germany and I paid 90 euro for the ticket . When I needed to buy a trainticket for my journey back in the main trainstation, nobody could speak English but a "nice" young lady who spoke english offered to "help". I paid with Rubbels and later I found out that I paid 140 euro for the ticket.
So the friendly girl and the cashier made 25 euro both, that's why they smirked at each other.
Everybody is trying to make some extra money.
As you may know, Belarus is in economic crisis and in shortage of foreign currency reserve at the time of writing in August 2011. The authority has introduced some measures to restrict outflow of foreign currency.
When I tried to exchange the local currency equivalent to 20-30 euro in the Minsk airport before departing to Moscow, a bank could change it to only 200 Russian rubles (about 5 euro) and give back the rest unchanged.
Therefore I recommend that you exchange money to necessary minimum of local currency (for purchase of water etc), and use a credit card to pay for something.
Whatever your expectations may be - I've been to Minsk a couple of times and experienced it to be as safe as any other bigger town. Stay away from dark areas at night, don't visit the outskirts more often (or later) than necessary, don't use private taxis, and - don't show off if you're walking around with expensive equipment. Just as everywhere, isn't it...
Minsk is safe just don't get involved in demonstrations. Learn some Russian before you. Absolutely no one speaks English. Even a word. Hhaving lived there for a number of years I can say that Lukashenko is not unpopular with people in Minsk and especially the whole of the country. You probably just mixed with the minority who are against him. There will be no revolution as Belarus is heavily tied in wth Russia and there is no way Russia will allow Belarus to go pro-western. So even is there is an uprising it with be quickly snuffed out either by lukashenko or with the help of Russia. I know many people in Minsk and even the few people who moan about Lukashenko decide to vote for him during elections. It may be a dictorship there but he is well liked.
in all my time i never had any trouble in minsk to me it seems very save when i,m there i feel saver then being in england just like any where just use your commen sense when i,m there i just try not to speak english the only problem with belarus is there culture of drinking. try not to go to some of the villiges by your self . also just ignore the airport the staff who work there are horrible don,t expect anybody to be freindly it won,t happen just keep your mouth shut and get out of here as soon as you can i could say more about this place but i won,t horrible place !.
I would suggest you not to use public transportation during rush hours (8am-9am; 5pm-7pm). Even local people hardly could bear such an adventure. Everything is overcrowded, passengers get nervous of that, so their behaviour changes accordingly.
...more dangerous as private taxi drivers (in my opinion they are not) are policemen from the "Milizija". Avoid to contact them! Belarus ist definitely the less democratic european part of the former U.S.S.R.