To be honest with you, I didn't have any problems in Minsk but that's because I was well informed when I came to this lovely city. However, you should be careful when it comes to taxis. They're pretty expensive, especially if they see you're a foreigner, so my advice would be not to use any taxis.
Don't forget to make a registration! if you stay in a hotel they will do it for you. Otherwise, you can have a lot of problems when you leave the country.
Unique Suggestions: Think positive. An innocent man has nothing to be afraid of.
Fun Alternatives: Minsk Metro works perfectly, and if you want to go to the Airport - buy a bus ticket (around 4000 rubles, less than 2 euros) at the Central Bus Station next to the Main Train Station.
Some Taxi drivers try to cheat foreign tourists:
There are thee possible ways of cheating:
1. Nightprice at day time
2. Fast taxameter
3. High price and no taxameter
Unique Suggestions: Try to pay a lower price.
If this doesn't work. ...
You have to pay the money and don't be angry.
If you had driven in your home country you would have payed much more.
Fun Alternatives: The best way is that you don't use a taxi. All taxis drivers are Mafia!
If you have no alternative.
Ask people for the normal price.
Always negotiate a price before you get in.
Take only official taxis.
Going from Poland to Belarus by car we were offered by some Polish guy the chance to get to the front of the queue by giving him $100. The thought of my 5 kids having to endure a long wait made me part with my cash.
DON'T GET FOOLED! I was sent to the front of the queue for Polish Passport control then was merged into a single queue for the Belarus border. A guy who was behind me at the first queue ended up passing the border at THE SAME TIME as us in the end and he refused the queue jump offer.
On the way back to Poland, I swiftly declined the same offer from a Belarussian guy to pay to jump the first queue!
Incidentally, the crossing by car to & from Belarus is terrible. Allow plenty of time to your schedule. We waited 9 hours going and 12 hours returning at the border at Brest.
Unique Suggestions: If you do take your own car, perhaps arrive very early in the morning, or at night to avoid a long queue. Or maybe try one of the smaller border controls into Belarus.
Gettting a visa for Belarus is not easy. Most western citizens will require an invitation before going to the embasy. This can be taken care of by a travel agent for a fee. In most cases it will be a fictional piece of paper!
A transit visa (doesn't require invitation) may be sufficient as it gives 2 days to look around on the way through. That will cost $25 if done over 5 days or $45 on the spot.
Be careful, the beggers and street vendors will try to tell you they will die if they don't make any money this week. My brother lives their and I was feeling very sorry for this lady, who said that this man was going to beat her if I didn't buy this coat from her. What I didn't know was that it was her son. She was just trying to get my pity. And she did!
It's not difficult for local people to recognize a foreigner. Taxi drivers, sellers, waiters in cafes expect to get more tips from a foreign tourist, sometimes those expectations are increadibly high. So be ready to bargain. And... Good Luck! :)
59, Pobediteley Ave, Minsk, 220035, Belarus
Good for: Families
For Soviet citizens it was always practically impossible to lodge in a hotel "Intourist". The best...more
13 Kirova str., Minsk, 220040, Belarus
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
More Regions in Belarus