Minsk Travel Guide

  • National Library of Belarus
    National Library of Belarus
  • Minsk
    by littlebush
  • Minsk
    by BruceCannon

Minsk Things to Do

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  • Modern National Library of Belarus

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Byelorussians are highly critical of the Library, they call it ‘Shurik’s Sharik’ – ‘Alexander’s (Lukashenko, the president) hexagon’. Indeed, it is a hexagon, and loyalists will present is rather as the ‘Byelorussian Diamond’! For my part I see nothing wrong in the architecture. Moreover, at night it does look like a fairytale project with all...

  • Belarusian Opera and Ballet Theatre

    The famous Grand Opera House (the Bolshoi Theatre of Byelarus), same as the Academy of Sciences and the complex of governmental buildings at the Independence square, was designed by the talented architect Josef Langbard. Among his teachers is the famous Alexander Pomerantsev - see GUM in Moscow. Langbard was particularly fond of vertical lines, you...

  • Isle of Tears

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Walking around Central Minsk, perhaps on Fridays or Saturdays - you will find that there are quite a few visitors going on and off of an island through a curved bridge that connects it with the Trinity Suburb. The island laid in 1988 has a poignant name - the Island of Tears. The complex that was originally designed as a monument to the...


Minsk Hotels

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Minsk Restaurants

  • Café Prime-Time

    Minsk airport looks much more populated since I was there last, year 2014; there was just a very modest coffee-stand then, but now I spotted a few place to spend your time waiting for the flight. I dropped at the Prime-Time – God only knows how they choose the names for these caterings, this one would rather suit a TV channel personnel canteen, for...

  • Restaurant 'Lavski'

    'Lavski' is never crowded at lunch time - in fact I was the only client.It is located at the hotel Monastyrsky, literally inside the monastery court. You won't just sumble upon it by chance, you need to know it is there.This doesn't mean it's bad or expensive - on the contrary. A decent lunch - soup, second course and tea made me just about $ 8...

  • Stolle

    This is not the first time I visit Stolle - they have a growing chain in Moscow and, as far as I know, in St.Petersburg, and I was very glad to see them in Minsk - at least you know what to expect. They have now 10+ locations in Minsk (see their site), and still going on.The place functions both as a take-away cafe, and as a proper restaurant with...


Minsk Nightlife

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  • Rigoletto

    This was even better than I thought!Their most famed baritone happened to celebrate his 30 years on this stage, and the theatre did their best to stand up to the mark, providing their best cast. There was even a cameraman recording the performance, hopefully they will have it on their YouTube channel if they ever get one.Gilda was a young and...

  • Prince Igor

    ‘Prince Igor’ is the staple Russian production, the very right thing to strike acquaintance with the Minsk theatre. Any Russian office clerk will rebuff a new task with ‘…there is neither sleep, nor rest for his tormented soul’ (Prince Igor’s aria, Act II), and on Friday afternoon he will whistle ‘…Oh, freedom, freedom must I have!’ (same aria).You...

  • Iolanta

    Iolanta is one of the less known Tchaikovsky's operas about a blind daughter of a legendary king of Provence. The music is lovely, but the verses written by the composer's brother Modest are too bombastic to my liking.By the way, if you do not know the plot, that's no problem – there are cast bills for sale in English. Besides, they have roll...


Minsk Transportation

  • Automobile traffic

    This is how the main Minsk thoroughfare looks on a week-day.They drive the same popular automobiles as in most European countries, but I have never seen anything even slightly reminding of a traffic jam. The streets are clean and tidy, and as far as I remember people normally cross the streets at the green light.

  • Minsk trolley-bus

    The trolley-bus is not as popular in Minsk as the bus, but it is surely eco-friendlier.They run along the busiest central streets, like the Prospect Nezavisimosti.There is an electronic timetable beside the bus stop, and often is dubbed by an older regular timetable. (It’s difficult to see anything in the photo, but trust me, these timetables...

  • Minsk bus

    The most popular Minsk transport is the bus.They run fairly often, you can check the electronic timetable beside the bus stop.The tickets became 50% dearer in just one year and come now to approximately 25 eurocents for one ride. Still, it is incredibly cheap by European standards, and even in comparison with what we pay in Moscow.You can buy the...


Minsk Shopping

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  • Bookstore

    Books in general, especially books for kids are very inexpensive here – just as it was in good old times at home; it's not for nothing that one considers Belarus as sort of 'Back to the USSR'. I bought two lovely illustrated books for my nephews, quality paper and print, just about 2 – 3 euro each.P.S. 'Svetoch' means cresset, luminary – in old...

  • Winemarket

    I had a special request from my relatives to bring something typically Belorussian, and I thought a bottle of local vodka would do very well. As far as I know they still follow the standards, and one can get good quality for a very modest price.I thought it was best to rely on a specialized wine store, and completely by chance I ran into one while...

  • Local vodka

    Apart from chocolates, there is something else your friends will appreciate as a souvenir from Minsk – liquor. I am still waiting for my relatives to try it, but fellow tourists on the flight definitely recommended. That's no wonder – it is incredibly inexpensive even by Russian standards. I paid about 12 euro for 1 liter (1) local vodka, and it...


Minsk Local Customs

  • Inflation going up

    The Central Bank of Belarus has just announced that it is raising its rate to 25%.Looks like inflation is speeding up here, too. (Too - I mean it's the same here at home in Moscow).And the bus / metro fare was 3 700 just two years ago, jumping up to 5 000 now.Well, since Minsk hotels have rates in $ and euro, it will become not so awfully...

  • Vikings in Belarus

    Belarus has always been mostly popular with tourists from Central Europe – Germany, Austria, Poland. Finns and Scandinavians started coming after the ice-hockey championship 2014.But this time I encountered something completely unexpected – sitting in Hotel Monastyrsky lobby I spotted a copy of Morgunblaðið – that’s an Icelandic daily newspaper!I...

  • BPS-Sberbank - local bank

    BPS-Sberbank is a subsidary of the Russian Sberbank, this is I used it mostly when I was in Minsk - they do not draw any commission from our Sberbank cards.It is certainly not the only bank in the city, but its locations are quite numerous. You will surely see BPS-Sberbank at the airport, at the railway station and in most streets. Take for example...


Minsk Warnings and Dangers

  • Colossal inflation

    If you go to Belarus, better see to it that you use all the cash you had in your pocket. Coming a couple of years later you may find out that it's worth next to nothing.I mean, we in Russia had our ruble plunge considerably, but here things seem to be even more serious.Just compare: when I visited Minsk in 2014, the bus fare was 3 700 rubles. Now...

  • More Russians - higher rates

    With the humiliating visa procedures and the falling rouble Russian are getting more and more wary about travelling abroad. However, one doesn't fancy spending Christmas holidays at home - a full fortnight, who will say the good government isn't generous? The most logical way leads to Minsk; Moscow papers are already featuring Belarusian hotels and...

  • They only book a month in advance

    I am not sure you got it right:It's not one month in advance latest...It's one month earliest!I cannot believe it - two months before Christmas and the New Year, and they say they still had not made up their mind how much to squeeze out of their generous guests, 'please call back one month in advance'.How can anyone expect to find any vacant seats...


Minsk Tourist Traps

  • Minsky Vernisazh: expencive souveniers

    I visit Minsk in summer 2011 before my VT journey and knowledge about it. Interesting is that the minute a saw this outdoor fest I think "This is a tourist trap". Why? Because of prices of art peaces that was selling here. It was a cheaper then in most European cities, of course. Still, it is a very touristic friendly and that sentence always come...

  • Attitude to Minsk and Belarus

    Could be that for some people Belarus are still exotic country - 20 years back to past, very soviet and autocratic in very high level. Some people afraid of visiting it, because it could be dangerous, some because of getting visa problems, price of it. That I have seen Soviet stylish in Belarus and Minsk - is political, social advertising, Lenin...

  • Center town restaurants

    Almost all the more fancy downtown restaurants with English-speaking staff charge incredible prices, compared to the Belarussian standards. But the food is usually excellent, I need to admit! The places are okay, the food is usually great, and so on. It's not that the places suck - it's simply that there are more interesting ones, which better...


Minsk What to Pack

  • In Your Pocket - Minsk

    I must admit that I am a huge fan of the "In Your Pocket" guides. They are usually an excellent resource for information about travels to Eastern and Central European cities. So I was more than happy to download the Minsk guide from the In Your Pocket website, especially as it was a bit difficult to find good travel guides about Belarus.In Minsk...

  • Travel guide books - Belarus

    Belarus is still a very undiscovered country, therefore an up to date guide book is highly recommended for individual travels.Unfortunately, the only guide book in English seems to be the Bradt travel guide - Belarus. In the past I was usually quite happy with Bradt guides for other countries, but I must admit that the Belarus guide couldn't keep...

  • Visa to Belarus

    Lithuania has border with two non - European Union countries - Russia and Belarus. I needed to get visa to Belarus for two days. The things I needed to make before getting to Belarus territory: 1) fill in form with questionnaires about me, my work, purposes of going to Belarus, the place, where I am going and the route inside Belarus, so on. 2)...


Minsk Off The Beaten Path

  • Historic pharmacy

    A pharmacy is the place one would rather avoid when travelling, but not this pharmacy. This is a real historic attraction in its own right!Do you know the first pharmacy in Minsk opened its doors exactly here, year 1748? The interior does not come from that time, but it is authentic, I guess, for the turn of the 19th / 20th centuries. And you know...

  • Theatre playbill as a souvenir

    I like sensible souvenirs, especially the ones that do not cost you any extra.Theatre playbills do not come exactly gratis, but very close to it, with the low rate of the Byeloruissian ruble.They come in handy, too, when you need to remember who played what.An unusual tradition in Minsk Bolshoi is that they do not have any uniform pattern, they...

  • Souvenirs: bus ticket

    I realy like to bring something useful as a souvenir - clothes, hats, whatever. You don't have to spend money on things no one wants.Bus tickets make very good souvenirs - they are typical of this particular place, they are very picturesque, and, last but not least, they cost you nothing extra, as Minsk transportation is incredibly cheap!One of...


Minsk Sports & Outdoors

  • Fun on Svisloch river

    Svisloch river connect two large park: Gorky Central park and Yanka Kupala park. There is rich offer of water sports for visitors of both parks. You ca be hired: rowing boat’s, pedalos or join the small boat ride like I do. The ride takes about 30 minutes.

  • Fun on ice

    In the south-east part of Gorky park is big indoor ice palace. It’s also the home of the Yunost Minsk ice-hockey team.This ice arena from above looks like a hokey pack.

  • Ferris Wheel

    Ferris wheel is one of main attraction in Maksim Gorky Central Children's Park. It is 54 m high and is very slow and in fact this is a good way to explore the City from above. Mostly all cabin held 4 person maximum and is closed. For brave there is some open seats. All ride are slow, cheap and fun. Bring your photo or video camera.


Minsk General

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  • Ferris wheel panorama of Minsk

    Ferris wheel is strategic and funnest place in Gorky Park. Panoramic view of the central part of Minsk as taken from the Ferris Wheel in Gorky Park is something you should miss out. Even if you afraid a high (like me) shouldn't worry at all. There is closed cabins and the spins is very light and slow. For more adventurist there is and good secured...

  • Minsk at night

    Popular touristic zone in city are very illuminated and nice and I feel very safe. My friends and I exploring the City all day long and most of night. We walking trough main touristic places and see many buildings illuminated. So, if you think that at night safety would be a issues but still wont to see a city at night then I suggest to walk just...

  • Three storks

    I like big Independence square in Minsk. The big glass domes and fountains like a big windows on top of underground shopping mall embellished the square. I verily liked the sculpture. I found out some interesting information about it. A sculpture was unveiled on the top of a fountain on Minsk’s Independence Square on June 25 2009.Authors of...


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