Help Wikitravel grow by contributing to an article! Learn how.
New users, please see Help or go to the Pub to ask questions.

Difference between revisions of "Minsk"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
(added listing Lianok)
(From Warsaw)
Line 46: Line 46:
  
 
====From Warsaw====
 
====From Warsaw====
The trip is about 10 hours. There is one train a day that departs from Central Station at 20:35 which arrives in Minsk around 08:00.
+
There are Two Options - Direct, and Cheap
 +
The Direct trip is about 10 hours. There is Two trains a day -
 +
 +
First departs from Central Station at 21 which arrives in Minsk around 08:00. costs about 70Euro (270 Polish Zloty)
 +
Second one departs from "Gdański" train station about 16 and arrives in Minsk about 02:00, direction Moscow. Cost about 150Euro - 600 Polish Zloty
 +
(To "Dworzec Gdański" - Gdanski Train station you should use Metro Blue Line (First Line) from Central Station, 3 stops - Direction "Młociny")
 +
 
 +
 
 +
But there is Much cheaper way. 15-25 euro for single Ticket. You must Split the trip for 3 trains/busses
 +
 
 +
First of all - You must Get to Belarusian Border. The border Split cities, Polish City Called Terespol and Belarusian City Called Brest. You can Buy Direct train to Terespol From Central Station (Warszawa Centralna) or Take a bus to Terespol from Main bus Station Situated at Eastern Train Station (Warszawa Zachodnia) . Cost is about 50 Polish Zloty - 11Euro. In my oppinion the best way is Train from Central station departs at 07:00
 +
 
 +
Secondly, in Terespol there isn't possibility to Walk Across border, you can take a Train to Brest or try to be pick-uped, and cross border by car. You have to get to Brest Central , so Train is better option. Train to Brest Costs 3Euro, but you have to pay in Polish Zloty (last time in February it was 12,69PLN)
 +
The passport check is very long, so be in Terespol at least 40 minutes before train departs. Three Trains for day, first is departing 11:25. Okey, you passed 200 km.
 +
 
 +
And the last Train is from Brest To Minsk, Which costs 60 000 BYR - About 5Euro. there are 5-8 trains a day, so easy. At Ticket office ask for  "Kupeyny". The Belarusian trains has numbers (train no XXXX ) so just write train number, ask for "kupejny" and Give your passport.
 +
Beware that Trains Station in Brest is splited. There are "Warszawska Strona" Warsaw Side and "Moskevskaja Strona" Moscov Side. Train to Minsk departs from Moscov Side. 
 +
 
 +
(info actualisation : 2014-05)
  
 
====From Vilnius====
 
====From Vilnius====

Revision as of 23:44, 18 May 2014

Minsk town hall

Minsk is not only the capital and largest city of Belarus, it's also the capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Situated on the Svislač and Niamiha rivers, from 1919-1991 it was the capital of the former Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. The city was 80% destroyed during World War II and as such was rebuilt in the 1950s to the liking of Stalin. Large, Soviet-bloc style buildings make up a large portion of the city. For this reason, Minsk is a wonderful place to visit for those interested in the Soviet Union.

English is rarely spoken, and tourism is not a priority in Minsk. It would be wise to learn some key phrases in Russian (which is the default language), but Belarusian may also be spoken or understoo).

Contents

Get in

By plane

Visa on arrival
Travelling by plane, you may be eligible for a visa on arrival. If it does, you normally must get a visa prior to entry from the Embassy in your country. However, there is an option of obtaining a visa on arrival at double the normal price provided all your paperwork is in order. Detailed price list can is available from the Belarus Foreign Ministry website. More on the recent changes see the following article [1].

If your travel is arranged with a Belarusian travel agency, the procedure may be well planned for you: the original of the tourist invitation letter will be delivered to the Minsk Airport Consulate (bring with you one passport size photo!). Sometimes the Consulate people speak several foreign languages, sometimes - none at all.


All flights arrive at the National Airport Minsk (IATA: MSQ, formerly known as Minsk-2) 37km north-east from the city. If you are applying for a visa in Minsk Airport or just landing there, it is important to know several tips about insurance, visa office and passport control. The spacious terminal building is the perfect example of poor Soviet Union design that renders the quiet airport with sparse traffic quite inconvenient. Beginning 2014, parts of the airport have been closed for renovation. Flight information ☎ +375 17 279-1300, 279-1730, and up-to-date schedule on the website.

After passing customs (first comes the visa office on the second floor, second - passports control, third - customs control), you will find yourself in one of the dim arrival halls on the ground level. Each of the two halls offers a currency exchange booth (only one of them functions - the one at sector 5-6, 24/7 but with lots of "technical breaks"), a newspaper kiosk sector 5-6, 3rd floor, and lots of private taxi drivers offering their services. ATMs are few and badly marked, but they do help in avoiding the queues at the exchange booths. Car rentals (Sixt and Europcar) are located at the sector 5-6, on the far left. Departure hall on the third floor is more bright and comfortable, with a 24/7 restaurant and few other places to eat (open 9—21), as well as a small souvenir shop, bank and post offices.

Upon departure, you have to go through a security control before you proceed to check-in. The area behind the check-in features several duty-free shops and bars. The whole terminal is covered by decent Wi-Fi from Beletelecom, but you have to purchase an access card (very cheap, though) at their office or at the newspaper kiosk in the departure hall before check-in.

Flight connections to Minsk are still somewhat scarce. Belavia operates regular flights to Moscow (6 times a day), Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad (1-2 flights a day) as well as Tbilisi, Prague, Kiev, Tallinn and Riga. It also has flights to major European airports, but none of these destinations are served on an everyday basis. Alternatively, you can fly to Minsk with Aeroflot (Moscow, twice a day), Lufthansa (Frankfurt, 1-2 times a day), Austrian Airlines (Vienna, twice a day), LOT (Warsaw, once a day), and Aerosvit (Kiev, once a day). Although low-cost airlines do not serve Minsk, most of the available carriers offer cheap tickets every now and then. If you are unable to find a cheap ticket or a suitable connection, consider flying to Vilnius, Moscow, or Warsaw and travelling to Minsk by train. However, the overland travel may require an additional visa and generally causes more bother than the arrival by plane.

Getting to the city

The airport is served by regular bus no. 300э running every 45-60 minutes from/to Centralny bus terminal, next to the main railway station (Minsk Pasažyrski). For the timetable, see the airport website, [2] or Minsktrans website [3]. At Centralny bus terminal, tickets are sold at the ticket office. At the airport, they can be bought from the bus driver (BLR30,000 as of January 2014, cash only) or ticket machine by the main exit paid by cards. The only bus stop is in front of the arrivals on the ground floor.

In about 30 minutes after leaving the airport, the bus stops at Uručča(Uruchye) subway station. Many passengers leave here to continue by subway and other means of public transport. If travelling to the airport from Uručča(Uruchye), leave the subway station through the front exit, turn right, and find the outermost bus stop. There is a small, well-hidden plate with a timetable.

If you travel to the Aŭtazavod area (Аўтазавод / Автозавод) - Mahilioŭskaja subway station - you may prefer taking bus 173э to Sokal (Сокал / Сокол) suburb and changing for 112с at the same bus stop. Bus 173э, however, has a very infrequent service - see timetable [4].

Taxi is the only alternative to the 300e bus option. There is no official taxi service, yet private drivers abound. The ride to the city centre should not cost more than €25—30, and bargaining is recommended. If you prefer official service, call a taxi from any company in the city and pay the same price.

To reach the airport by car, leave the city by Niezaliežnasci (Nezavisimosti) Avenue and follow the M2 highway.

By train

The width of the train tracks is different in Poland and in Belarus, so if you choose to arrive by train please be prepared for long wheel changing. However, if you are arriving from say, Kiev, Moscow, or Lviv (Lvov) you need not worry about this. Plus as an added bonus, the prices are substantially cheaper from CIS countries.

From Berlin

There is almost always a daily train leaving from Lichtenberg station. It leaves at 13:49 and arrives the next morning at 9:30 or so. Note: This is the train en route to Russia.
Second Class, €69, 3 people per compartment - men and women separate.
First Class, €109, 2 people per compartment - not gender separated.

From Kiev

There is always a daily train leaving Tsentralnyi Vokzal (Central Station) station (at the eponymous metro stop in Kiev). It leaves Kiev at 18:22 and arrives the next morning at around 06:00. A 4 person berth should cost around USD47.

From Minsk, train #86 leaves at 20:51, and arrives in Kiev the next morning at around 09:00. A 4 person berth should cost about USD47.

From Warsaw

There are Two Options - Direct, and Cheap The Direct trip is about 10 hours. There is Two trains a day -

First departs from Central Station at 21 which arrives in Minsk around 08:00. costs about 70Euro (270 Polish Zloty) Second one departs from "Gdański" train station about 16 and arrives in Minsk about 02:00, direction Moscow. Cost about 150Euro - 600 Polish Zloty (To "Dworzec Gdański" - Gdanski Train station you should use Metro Blue Line (First Line) from Central Station, 3 stops - Direction "Młociny")


But there is Much cheaper way. 15-25 euro for single Ticket. You must Split the trip for 3 trains/busses

First of all - You must Get to Belarusian Border. The border Split cities, Polish City Called Terespol and Belarusian City Called Brest. You can Buy Direct train to Terespol From Central Station (Warszawa Centralna) or Take a bus to Terespol from Main bus Station Situated at Eastern Train Station (Warszawa Zachodnia) . Cost is about 50 Polish Zloty - 11Euro. In my oppinion the best way is Train from Central station departs at 07:00

Secondly, in Terespol there isn't possibility to Walk Across border, you can take a Train to Brest or try to be pick-uped, and cross border by car. You have to get to Brest Central , so Train is better option. Train to Brest Costs 3Euro, but you have to pay in Polish Zloty (last time in February it was 12,69PLN) The passport check is very long, so be in Terespol at least 40 minutes before train departs. Three Trains for day, first is departing 11:25. Okey, you passed 200 km.

And the last Train is from Brest To Minsk, Which costs 60 000 BYR - About 5Euro. there are 5-8 trains a day, so easy. At Ticket office ask for "Kupeyny". The Belarusian trains has numbers (train no XXXX ) so just write train number, ask for "kupejny" and Give your passport. Beware that Trains Station in Brest is splited. There are "Warszawska Strona" Warsaw Side and "Moskevskaja Strona" Moscov Side. Train to Minsk departs from Moscov Side.

(info actualisation : 2014-05)

From Vilnius

From Vilnius, Lithuania, the train takes about 2.5-3 hours. You will be given a card with two sides to fill out, and the guards at the Belarussian border keep one. You need to keep the other one for your hotel to stamp, and give it back to the guards when you leave Minsk. There are two stops. You should have your insurance and invitation letter (if you're a tourist) out to show the guards. The train from Vilnius is pretty cheap: around €15-20 one way if bought in Lithuania. Also quite comfortable. Check schedules.

There are also trains from Prague and other European cities.

From Moscow

Overnight train leaves Moscow about 23:30 and arrives Minsk about 06:30. No stop at the border for passport checks, so a good nights sleep in the 2 berth cabins.

By bus

There are several bus routes from Vilnius central bus station to "Aŭtavakzal Uschodni" ("Avtovokzal Vostochny") bus station in Minsk. The Minsk bus station is not very close to downtown, however you can have a taxi ride with BLR30,000 (less than €4). The bus also drops passengers off outside the railway station (look out for two Stalinist towers) in the centre of Minsk before proceeding to the Uschodni (Eastern) station. The bus service takes up to 5 hours and costs around 36 litas (be prepared to spend more than 1.5 hours at the border). Due to the bad quality of the train service, bus ride should be preferred.


By car

Driving in, while possible, requires knowledge of the border system. This is a border of the European Union, so control is very strict. Crossing it can take 2 hours. They may check your bags. Without knowledge of Russian, Belarusian or Polish, this can be very hard. There is a very long line of cars at every border crossing. However, if you have passport, VISA and car registration papers prepared, act honest and helpful and arrive as a tourist in a personal car, the border crossing can go very smoothly and be over within 45 minutes.

Get around

Minsk metro

Languages

Use of two state languages, Belarusian and Russian, across the transport system in Minsk may pose inconvenience for visitors. Effectively, the same stop, station, street or square may be known and referred to by two names, in Belarusian and Russian. For example, one of the metro interchange stations is known to the Russian-speaking majority as Площадь Октябрьская (Oktiabrskaya Sq.), but maps and announcements in metro refer to it in Belarusian as Плошча Кастрычніцкая (Kastryčnickaja Sq.). As of 2013, transliteration of geographical names (streets, stations etc.) into Latin alphabet is done from Belarusian according to the new system [5]. Learn it as it is used across Minsk metro and on many other signs already. Elsewhere, you will see plenty of examples of the geographical names transliterated from Russian, e.g. Loshytsa, rather than Belarusian Lošyca.

Transport

Get around by using bus, tram, Metro (subway) or rent a car. All are cheap and reliable. The subway is noted for being clean and safe. All public transport in Minsk operates c. 05.30-00.30; taxis are 24/7 naturally.

A panoramic English-language map of the centre of Minsk that shows every building individually is widely available from bookshops and kiosks. It also has a conventional map showing more of Minsk and some tourist information. It is worth buying a copy as early on in your visit as you can because it makes getting around on foot easy and fun.

Bus, trolleybus, tram

Timetable (in Russian)[6]

Metro

The subway, Minsk Metro, is the most reliable transport system around Minsk. Additionally, each subway station is decorated uniquely and the oldest stations of the red, Maskoŭskaja line, are listed architectural landmarks. For instance, the station at Kastryčnickaja Plošča (Kastryčnickaja Square) is decorated in the theme of the Communist Revolution. The station at Plošča Pieramohi (Pieramohi Square) is decorated in a victory theme, and the Plošča Lienina (Lienin Square) station includes a bust of Lenin and a host of hammer and sickle reliefs. Plošča Jakuba Kolasa (Jakub Kolas Sq) renderes Belarusian folk themes in ceramics beautifully all over its station.

The Metro consists of two lines crossing at the very city centre, the red line runs (known as Maskoŭskaja) from the northeast to the southwest, while the blue line (Aŭtazavodskaja) runs from the the west to the southeast. All the stations have numbers (for example the interchange stations, Kastryčnickaja i Kupalaŭskaja, are 116 and 216) - in addition to their proper names - for easier reference, they are listed on all new metro maps; however, it is a very recent innovation and the majority of locals are not aware of that yet. Use stations' proper names if speaking to locals. Train depart every 3 min at rush hour and are almost never late. You can buy tokens at a window inside the station. One ride costs BLR3000 (as of January 2014) [7], but if you speak no Belarusian or Russian, just give some money and say: Metro. For those staying for a week or longer, a 10-day or a 14-day pass may be a good option.

Car rental

You may also rent a car to travel around the country. Rates depend on period of hire and start from USD20 a day. There are offices of Europcar, Avis, SIXT and other rental companies.

Regional trains from Central Station are also cheap. A trip from Minsk to Gomel (5h) with a cabin for 4 cost BLR20,000 and almost never full.

See

Museums and galleries

  • National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus [8] 20 Lienina St. (Kastryčnickaja or Kupalaŭskaja subway stations). Wednesdays to Mondays, 11am-7pm. Admission BLR50,000 (as of January 2014; additional fees for photography). Excellent overview of fine arts in Belarus. Many art objects are labeled in English. The first few rooms cover 18-20 century Russian art; the most interesting part of the collection covering 16-20 century Belarusian fine arts is in the back gallery on the first floor. Until 10 July 2014, the Museum hosts Ten Centuries of Art in Belarus [9], the largest ever retrospective of Belarusian art (BLR30,000). The museum has a cafe accessible only to the ticket holders. A tiny shop on the right hand from the entry has a good selection of relevant postcards, books, DVDs and other souvenirs.
  • Belarus National Museum of History and Culture, 12 Karla Marksa St. Admission BLR7,000. Open Th-Tu 11:00-19:00. There is plenty to see here, sadly there is only Belarusian explanation panels.
  • Palac Mastactva (Art Palace), Vulica Kazlova 3. Admission Free. Open Tu-Su 10:00-19:00. Several exhibition spaces showing modern art, second hand books and antiques stalls.
  • The Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War , Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 12. Open Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Several halls with the WW2 exhibits on display with no English translation to the inscriptions. WW2 Museum Website.
  • Mastacki Salon, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 12. Open M-Sa 10:00-20:00. An art gallery with local artists exhibitions and some overpriced souvenirs.

Churches and temples

St.Elizabeth monastery
  • St Mary Magdeline Church (Tsarkva Svyatoj Maryi Magdaleny), Vulica Kisialiova 42 (Metro: Niamiha). It was built in 1847 in the Russian revival style - with a pointed octagonal bell tower over the entrance.
  • Saint Peter & Saint Paul Church, Vulica Rakaŭskaja 4 (Metro: Niamiha). Built in 1613 and restored in 1871, it is the oldest church in Minsk. It is very worthwhile to go inside.

Other

Independence square
  • Former Residence of Lee Harvey Oswald, Vulica Kamunistyčnaja 4 (the bottom left apartment). Lee arrived in the Soviet Union in December 1959 willing to denounce his US citizenship and was sent to Minsk. He changed his name to Alek and married a native woman, Marina Prusakova, with whom he had a child. The young family left for the United States on June 1, 1962.
  • KGB Headquarters, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 17. This impressive building, on one of the main shopping streets of Minsk has a facade that belies what's found within. It is somehow appropriate that in a country like Belarus, the KGB should be located in a landmark building in the centre of the capital.
  • If you have ten minutes to spare at the Minsk Airport, in front of the main building you will find five or six old USSR-era planes on display. Free.
  • You might be willing to hire a private guide when staying in Minsk or another major Belarusian city. Please note that private guides are licensed by the National Tourism Agency - and you can check the list of their names on the official website of the Agency List of private guides in Russian [10]. A licensed guide in Belarus must always wear a special badge Badge of a licensed guide in Belarus.

Do

  • Minskaje Mora (Minsk Sea) is an artificial reservoir 5km north of the city centre. There's a free public beach, and pedal-boat and catamaran rental. Buses leave the central bus station regularly. Suburban trains go there - they leave from a special platform to the right of the central train station; no need to enter the main building, just head to the right to arrive at three little platforms (22-24) with their own ticket booths. To get there by car, head north along the P28 and lookout for signs after Ratamka village.
  • Ice Skating Rink infront of the Palac Respubliki. In Winter there are crowds of people ice skating here. It is open from 8AM to 10PM, and a pair of skates should cost 3000-5000 rubles to rent.
  • Skiing resorts located at Siličy and Lahojsk are the most popular place to have a rest in Minsk. Located not far from the city they provide wide range of winter activities: skiing, snowboarding, skating, tubing etc.

Buy

Woven and embroided linen goods are the most typical presents Belarusians take abroad. They can be purchased in specialist shops and any large department store. Souvenirs made of straw, wood and leather are traditional to Belarus too (not Russian Matryoshka, though), as well as hand-made pottery. Womens housery Milavitsa is widely known across former USSR. Belarusian vodka isn't as well marketed as Russian or Polish, but can easily compete with those on quality and is traditional to Belarus too; look for well-designed bottles and packaging and the price can generally be a reliable guide to its quality. Another authentic Belarusian alcoholic drink is krambambulia - a slightly sweet herbal infusion - hard to find. The Minsk Airport has reliable duty free shops with reasonably priced Belarusian alcohol, chocolate and souvenirs. Shop assistants, however, advise the passangers with transfers in the EU airports not to take the purchased liquids into hand luggage as they may be confiscated by the airport security (April 2014).

  • Ragna [11], 4 Suchaja St. (Frunzienskaja subway station), has a very interesting selection of Belarusian traditional crafts, mostly handmade, unlikely to be found in mainstread shops.
  • Podzemka, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 43. An underground bookshop-cum-art gallery.
  • Suveniraja Lavka, Vulica Maksima Bahdanoviča 9. A souvenir type shop with straw crafts, wooden boxes, embroidered linen & Belarusian alcohol.
  • Centralnaja Kniharnia, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 19. A bookshop with posters of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenka.
  • Lianok (Лянок), 46 Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci. A shop specialising in fabrics, good selection of well-manufactured linen good and souvenirs.


Eat

Advice for Vegetarians & Vegans
Meat is always on the menu. It isn't considered a meal if meat isn't a part of it but, because of a love of the potato you should be able to get vegetarian side dishes. Sometimes borsch is made with only potato and beetroot, but be aware that borsch is sometimes cooked with meat. Some golubsty are only stuffed with rice. If you're a vegan you will have a very hard time trying to adequately feed yourself; buying fresh produce at the numerous markets might be your best bet. Often it can be a lot easier to try and find perhaps an Indian restaurant. Pizza restaurants usually have a meat-free pizza on the menu.

Belarusian cuisine is similar to that of the rest of Eastern Europe but particularly Russian and Ukrainian. Generally it features heavy-fat potato dishes, mushrooms, soups and baked meat.

The quality of Western European cuisine (Italian, French...) is not amazing. The average level of cafes and restaurants is low but there are several good places in the center of the city. The price of a meal at these places should cost between 20,000 and 40,000 rubles. The list of the restaurants -> [12]

  • Pechki-Lavochki, Main Ave. Is a great Belarusian restaurant.
  • Vasilki, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci (Independence Avenue), 16, A restaurant serving traditional local cuisine. Pleasant interior in a rustic style. There are breakfasts from 8am. There are also restaurants at J. Kolasa str., 37, and Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci, 89
  • Beze, Main ave. Viennese style café with a great bakery and light snacks.
  • Gourman, close to Grand Opera Theater. Styled as an Italian trattoria. It serves Belarusian and European cuisine.
  • Freski Cafe, Niezaliežnasci Square. Café with a large choice of main dishes.
  • Taj, vulica Brylieŭskaja, 2. Wonderful North Indian restaurant. Vegetarians will find heaven. There should be an English menu available also. Vegetarian dishes start from around BR6,000 and mains from BR12,000. Open Noon-Midnight.
  • Chomolungme, vulitsa Hikaly 17. Huge menu with an array of cuisines: Nepalese, Tibetan, Sushi & Indian. Vegetarians and Vegans should also be able to find something here. Mains from BR8,000 to BR30,000.
  • National Food, Trinity Suburb. Not the restaurant's real name but this place has "National Food" on the front in big English letters so should be easy to find. It has a large menu of traditional food available in English, including a couple of vegetarian options. Mains BR20,000 to BR30,000. The food really sticks to your ribs. They also sell honey-flavoured kvass.
  • McDonald's, (corner of Pr. Niezaliežnasci and Vul. Lienina / corner of Vul. Niamiha and Vul. Ramanaŭskaja Slabada). In most cities, McDonald's doesn't deserve or require a special listing. Minsk, however, is the capital of a country often described as having forgotten about the end of the Soviet Union. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the two prominent McDonald's restaurants in downtown Minsk are clear signs that Belarus has in fact changed a lot since the end of the cold war. Food is the same as in McDonald's restaurants around the world.

Drink

A typical drink is "Kefir", which is a sort of sour milk, similar to yogurt.

"Krambambulia" is a traditional medieval alcohol drink which you can buy in most stores or order in a restaurant. It's a pretty strong drink but its taste is much softer than vodka.

  • London, Pr. Niezaliežnasci (close to KGB headquarters, on the other side of the street). This friendly little café, in the shadow of the KGB headquarters, offers a wide range of teas, free wi-fi, seating outdoors (with heaters) and a small cozy room upstairs where it's possible to sit and talk in a relatively private setting.
  • Golden Coffee Cafe, Pr. Niezaliežnasci, 18, +375 17 237 41 87, [13]. 7a - 2a. This cafe is on the main strip of Minsk and one of the few that has both an outside and inside patio. The food is exquisite and they provide free wifi until 18:00 when it automatically goes off. Moderate.
  • Grand Cafe, Lenin Str., 2, (44)7031111. 12-12. A high end restaurant on lovely Lenin Street. Great food and arguably the best service in Minsk. Try the roasted duck or Salmon with asparagus. They offer a no smoking section, menu' is in English and most of the servers speak good English, too. Making a reservation is recommended, especially on weekends.

Sleep

Please note that a foreign guest must get registered with the local police department - Department for Citizenship and Migration within 5 business days. This means that you can arrive in Belarus on Tuesday and leave on Sunday without the registration stamp. Most hotels process the registration automatically upon check-in while many apartment rentals might be reluctant to provide registration. Check if the rental service offers registration service and at what price.

Budget

*Marx hostel.Address: 8-99 Karla Marksa str., Minsk, Belarus Phones: +375 29 - 577 41 51

               +375 29 - 184 40 50

e-mail: marxhostel@gmail.com How to find us: If you are going from the railroad station: go by Kirava str. than turn left on Valadarskaha str. till you reach K. Marksa str. From Kupalaŭskaja subway station: just go down by K. Marksa str. untill building #8. Remember: entrance to our hostel is from the side of building closer to building #10. Outside door code: 3+8. http://marx-h.com/Contacts.html Cheap,quiet,central location.

  • Minsk Hostel of the International Relations Center, Karalia Str., 12, +375 17 2008919, [14]. Unfairly overlooked by international tourism, this Minsk Hostel of the International Relations Center (Belarus Ministry of Education) is a well-located block of budget rooms that has few matches in budget quality/rate category. The hostel can only be booked by telephone. No English-speaking personnel.
  • Hostel Traveler, Haladzieda str., 9a, +375 29 311 27 83 (), [15]. Opened in May 2012. Away from the center but in a fully-renovated house. Spacious rooms and facilities. English is spoken. Check the website of the hostel for more information.
  • Riverside Hostel, Staravilenskaja str. 14, +375 29 311 27 83 (), [16]. The Riverside Hostel is so named because it is situated on the left bank of the river Svislač in Trajeckaje Pramiescie, which is the most famous tourist area of Minsk. The hostel has a spacious living room, kitchen, rooms for four and six people, and a double. Free wi-fi is available everywhere. The hostel occupies two floors of a three-floored building. Check the website of the hostel for more information.
  • EasyFlat Hostel, Aeradromnaja str. 40, app. 14, +375297719833 (), [17]. Stay in the city center enjoying calm and cozy atmosphere. Attractive price, comfort and high quality – this combination is to be found in hostel «EasyFlat» $15.

Midrange

On the web you can find a lot of cheap offers to rent a flat. Average price is about 50 USD for the night. There is also a good rental service provided by [18] . They rent rooms in good quality in the center of Minsk. They also provide assistance for Visas.

You might receive a call to your hotel room late at night offering a "massage". To avoid being woken up it is worth unplugging your phone.

  • 40 Let Pobedy (40 Years of Victory), Azgura, 3. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. Nice rooms, decent location. No internet, few English speaking receptionists. $45/shared room.
  • Hotel Belarus, Staražoŭskaja, 15-201, (017) 209 75 37, [19]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. Great location, clean Soviet hotel with very old school interior. Great indoor pool/hot tub and a gym, cost $10 extra. Free wifi in lobby. CLOSED FOR OVERHAUL IN APRIL 2011. €35/single.
  • Hotel Orbita Praspiekt Puškina 39, [20], a clean 208 room hotel with friendly but boring staff. There is a supermarket next door and Cash Exchange in the hotel lobby. The airport and train terminal are about 6km away. It is in the western part of Minsk not far from the Republican Exhibition Centre.
  • Minsk Vacation Apartments [21] and [22] Vacation apartments for rent in central Minsk. Near major railway stations. 1-3 room flats. Rates: €30-200.
  • Apartments Service Minsk [23] Comfortable apartments for short term stay. Studio, 1-bedroom, 2 bedrooms. Location in the center. Prices 50-170 euro.
  • Flats for rent [24] Furnished modern apartments for living in Minsk. Short-term rental of lodgings.
  • Apartments for Rent in Minsk [25] Furnished apartments for rent in Minsk. Short and long term apartment rentals in Minsk, Belarus.
  • Planeta, Praspiekt Pieramožcaŭ, 31 (Pobeditelej avenue, 31), (+375 17) 203 85 87, [26]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. They have great services all within the hotel. Internet cafe is open till 8PM. Casino is open 24h.

Splurge

  • Hotel “Europe” (Отель «Европа»), Internacyjanalnaja str., 28, (+375 17) 229-83-33, [27]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Exclusive five-star hotel situated in the historical and cultural heart of Minsk, at the intersection of Lienin Street and Internacyjanalnaja Street. The beautiful 7-storey atrium-type building is carried out in Modern Style of early XX century. Late departure (till 11PM (24.00) is charged with 50% of the room rate. From €265.
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel, Kirava Str., 13, +375-17-2005354 or 0800 181 6068, [28]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. 5 star international hotel in the heart of Minsk. The hotel, with its unique architecture, is opposite the Minsk Dynamo Stadium and within walking distance from the Minsk Niezaliežnasci Square.

Stay Safe

Minsk is a very safe and clean city especially compared to neighbouring capital cities like Kiev or Moscow. Unlike most Central and Eastern European cities, there are very few homeless and drunkards wandering the streets. Although locals might insist otherwise, Minsk is a city where you really must go out of your way to find trouble, even at night. If you are in need of assistance, there is a strong police presence in the city centre. However, their ability to speak English in most cases will be severely limited.

Be careful when photographing government buildings and the monument to Lenin at Independence Square. While you might be observed and kindly ushered away from the monument, photographing government buildings can lead to trouble with authorities and even arrest. Be mindful of what you are photographing.

While not seen as frequently as in Kiev, be aware of cars or delivery trucks moving on sidewalks. In some areas of Minsk parking is limited forcing drivers to manoeuvre and park their vehicles onto pedestrian lanes.

Cope

Embassies

  • Ja-flag.png Japan, Pr. Pieramožcaŭ (Pobediteley) 23/1, 8F, +375 17 2236233 (+375 17 2234481, fax: +375 17 2102169), [29].
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, [30].
  • Us-flag.png United States, Staravilienskaja Str, 46, +375 17 210-12-83 / 217-7347 / 217-7348 (, fax: +375 17 234-78-53), [31]. Please note that the US Embassy has been closed indefinitely. Americans with consular issues are required to contact the US Embassy in Moscow.
  • In-flag.png India, Sabinava Street, 63,, 00-375-17-2629399 (, fax: 00-375-17-2884799).
  • Ve-flag.png Venezuela, Kuibysheva Street, 14, 00-375-17-2845099 (fax: 00-375-17-2849347), [32].

Get out

  • Lake Narač is the largest lake in Belarus, located about 160 km north of Minsk.
  • Brest is a regional capital on the border with Poland and is rich with history from both the Soviet times and before. You can see a Brest Hero Fortress, perhaps the most impressive Soviet monument ever built. You can get there by train (~20 daily trains running from Minsk) at $5-20. It takes 3-4 hrs by train. There are also overnight trains.
  • Mir is a Medieval castle about 85 km from Minsk. It once belonged to the Radziwil family, one of the noble families of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. During WW2 it was used as a Ghetto by the Nazis for the local Jewish population. Inside the castle is a museum containing artefacts from its history, including exhibits from Jewish life in the Ghetto and in the nearby village.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



Variants

Actions

Destination Docents

In other languages

other sites