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'''Minsk''' is the capital and biggest city of [[Belarus]]. It is situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers. From 1919-1991 it was the capital of the Former Byelorussian SSR. It is also the capital of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
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{{pagebanner|Minsk Banner.jpg}}
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[http://minsk.gov.by/en/'''Minsk''' ], with a population of 1,959,800 (according to the 2016 survey), is the capital and largest city of [[Belarus]].  
  
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 and are interested in seeing it almost alive.
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==Understand==
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Minsk is situated on the Svislač and Niamiha rivers.  
  
English is not really 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, Byelorussian may also be spoken/understood).
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After the Pale of Settlement of 1835, the population of Minsk became 1/3 Jews, almost all of whom fled or were killed during World War II. During the war, the population of Minsk was reduced from 300,000 people to 50,000 people. The city was 80% destroyed and was rebuilt in the 1950s to the liking of Stalin. The population of the city grew due to industrialization and movement of young people from the Belarusian countryside.
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The city now features a combination of rebuilt historical buildings, as well as modern apartments and shopping centers, and soviet-style buildings and monuments. It features sightseeing opportunities, as well as dining and shopping similar to its neighboring countries in the European Union, while still showing signs of Russian influence.
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English is rarely spoken but Russian is spoken by all, in addition to Belarusian. It helps to learn some key phrases in Russian.  
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
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===By plane===
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Passengers from 74 countries do not need a visa if flying to Minsk National Airport under certain conditions. For more information, see [[Belarus#Get_In]].
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All flights arrive at the [http://airport.by/en '''National Airport Minsk''']  ({{IATA|MSQ}}, 37km north-east from the city. Just before the passport control, you will find a cash machine; more are available inside the arrivals.  Straight after that, you can collect your luggage and follow to the customs control. Even if you choose the green corridor, you may be stopped for questioning. It is a routine practice and shouldn't make anyone anxious: only large sums of cash, luxury products, alcohol and cigarettes will attract the custom officers' attention. The "Arrivals hall" has few small kiosks with Belarusian souvenirs, alcohol, newspapers and wi-fi cards; also ATMs, currency exchange, car rentals and train/bus ticket machines (more are at the bus stop outside the airport building). The ''Departure hall'' on the third floor has a 24/7 restaurant, several cafes, souvenir shops, bank and post offices. '''Free wi-fi''' is available at the Prime Time cafe (password: primecafe, January 2016), otherwise the whole terminal is covered by decent '''wi-fi''' from Beltelecom, an access card is required (very cheap, available from the Belsajuzdruk newspaper kiosk in the departure hall). Upon check-in, you will be advised on the sector number for the custom and passport control - allow 15 to 20 minutes to pass them. Several duty-free shops and bars are available just before the boarding gates.
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[http://en.belavia.by/home/ Belavia] operates regular flights to many capitals across Europe, as well as Israel and Central Asia; to major cities in Russia and Ukraine. Other airlines, such as Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Austrian, LOT, Ukrainian International Airlines, Air Baltic, Air China and Etihad provide good connections to Minsk from across their networks. Although low-cost airlines do not serve Minsk, most of the available carriers offer cheap tickets every now and then.
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====Getting to the city====
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* '''Bus 300э''' runs every 30-50 minutes (less frequently late in the night) from/to Centralny bus terminal, next to the main railway station (Minsk Pasažyrski). The bus stop is clearly visible from the main airport exit - slightly on its left. For the timetable, see the airport website, [http://airport.by/transport/regular-route-bus], Minsktrans website [http://www.minsktrans.by/city/#minsk/bus] or check at the airport bus stop. At the Centralny bus terminal, tickets are sold at the ticket office. At the airport, they can be bought from the bus driver for cash or from a ticket machine inside the bus stop shelter and by the main exit from the airport building - paid by debit/credit cards. Price is BYN4.00 + luggage BYN0.40. In about 30 minutes after leaving the airport by 300э, the bus stops at ''Uručča'' (Уручча | Уручье) metro station. Ticket to this stop costs about 2/3 of the Centralny bus terminal ticket. Many passengers leave here to continue by metro and other means of public transport. If travelling to the airport from ''Uručča'', leave the metro 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 metro 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 [http://www.minsktrans.by/city/#minsk/bus].
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* '''Yandex taxi''', which can also be accessed via the Uber mobile app, operates in Minsk. If you have a cell phone, this is probably the easiest and cheapest option – a ride into town can be as cheap as €10.
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* '''[http://airport.by/en/tourism/transfer National Airport Minsk]''', the official airport transfer service, has a good reputation with short number 7373. But the official airport transfer service has several important shortcomings: Chinese cars, non-English speaking drivers, low quality of service in general. If you looking for higher level of service you can use private transfer services like [https://www.minskairporttransfer.com Minsk Airport Transfer] or [http://www.autotransfer.by/en/ Autotransfer]. It should cost about €25-30 and transfers can be ordered in advance using online booking form.
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* '''Taxis''' are available at the airport although drivers generally will not speak English – have the name of your destination written in Belorussian or Russian and be prepared to pay in cash.
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===By train===
 
===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.
 
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====
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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]].<br>
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Minsk can be easily reached from other major cities including [[Kiev]], [[Warsaw]], [[Vilnius]], and [[Moscow]].
Second Class, €69, 3 people per compartment - men and women separate. <br>
 
First Class, €109, 2 people per compartment - not gender separated.
 
  
 
====From Kiev====
 
====From Kiev====
There is always a daily train leaving Centralni Bokzal  station (at the eponymous metro stop in Kiev). It leaves Kiev at 18:22 and arrives the next morning at around 06:00A 4 person berth should cost around 12 USD.
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There is a daily train leaving Tsentralnyi Vokzal (Central Station). It departs city around 9 pm and get you to Minsk next morning at around 8 amAs of November 2016 ticket fares are 1100, 1850 and 3500 UAH for different sleeping car types.
  
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 less than 12 USD.
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====From Warsaw====
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There are two options - Direct and Cheap
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The direct trip takes about 10 hours. There are two trains a day -
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First departs from Central Station at 21 which arrives in Minsk around 08:00, costing about €70
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Second one departs from "Gdański" train station about 16:00 and arrives in Minsk about 02:00, direction Moscow. Cost about €150
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(To "Dworzec Gdański" - Gdanski Train station you should use Metro Blue Line (First Line) from Central Station, 3 stops - Direction "Młociny")
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But there is much cheaper way. €15-25 but you must use 3 trains/buses:
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First of all - you must get to the Belarusian Border. The border split cities, Polish city called Terespol and Belarusian city called Brest. You can buy a direct train ticket 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 PLN50/€11. In Terespol, you cannot walk across the border, you can take a train to Brest (PLN13, 3 per day), and cross the border by hitchhiking a car. The passport check is very long, so be in Terespol at least 40 minutes before the train departs. Then you must take a train from Brest to Minsk (€5). There are 5-8 trains a day. At ticket office ask for "Kupeyny" and go to the platform with the trains going in direction of Moscow.  
  
====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 8:00.
 
 
====From Vilnius====
 
====From Vilnius====
From Vilnius, Lithuania, the train takes about 4-5 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: about $10-15 one way. Also quite comfortable. You can check schedules at www.litrail.lt
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From Vilnius, Lithuania, the train takes about 2.5 hours and runs three times per day (early morning, late afternoon, evening) plus there is one or two per day more expensive Kaliningrad–Moscow train at night; see timetable at [http://www.rw.by/en/ Belorusian railway website]. The train from Vilnius costs around €15-20 one way if bought in Lithuania or you can buy them in advance for nearly the same price at Belorusian railway online-booking website.
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You have to walk to last platform and walk through Schengen passport and customs control and than board a train with selected doors (the conductor checks your tickets). Trains are quite modern with US English voice announcing the stations and border control procedures.
  
There are also trains from [[Prague]] and other European cities.
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If you are non-belorusian citizen you will receive from a conductor a migration card with two sides to fill out; if the conductor won't give you one, ask for ''bumazka''. Later, the Belorusian customs service will enter the train, asks you if you have alcohols and cigarettes above the limit and fast-check your baggage. Later the border control with big computer on the neck will come and ask you for your passport and filled ''bumazka'' (migration card). Sometime they can ask for insurance, letter of invitation or whatever else (as everywhere in East Europe: the more supporting documents prepared – better for you :). The inspector will check everything, stamp your passport and migration card (DO NOT LOSE IT!, you will need it in hotels and while leaving Belarus) and we wish you good luck in Belarus.
  
 
====From Moscow====
 
====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.
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Moscow is connected with Minsk via several Belarusian Railway and Russain Railways trains daily, both daytime and overnight. Travel time varies from 8 to 10 hours (see the timetable on [http://www.rw.by/en/ BCh] or [http://pass.rzd.ru/main-pass/public/en RZD] official website). Trains crossing the border between Russia and Belarus do not stop there for passport check, therefore an overnight train travel from Moscow to Minsk offers a good sleep in a 4-berth or 2-berth compartment.
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===By coach===
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There are several bus routes from Vilnius central bus station to Minsk central bus station. The coach service takes 4-5 hours (0.5-1.5 of which is spent at the border, depending on the traffic).
  
===By bus===
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===By car===
There are several bus routes from Vilnius central bus station to "Avtovokzal Vostochniy" bus station in Minsk. The Minsk bus station is not very close to downtown, however you can have a taxi ride with 10000 roubles (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 Vostochniy (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.
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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 queue 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. Sometimes it takes 3 hours. If you will ride from Polish Side, from Warsaw, you can see the Truck queue, just pass it, and go direct to Polish City TERESPOL / BREST (Belarussian).
===By plane===
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Be Carefull! When you are in Poland and you are 30km near border, The Customs, or Border control have this same rights as Police! (Green Cars - "Straż Graniczna") So drive slowly, and carefully
There are flights from [[Frankfurt]] but they are quite pricey, $500 or so. There are also flights from Tallinn, Estonia by Estonian airlines [http://www.estonian-air.ee/], from Riga, Latvia by airBaltic[http://www.airbaltic.com/]. If you wish to have budget price (80 €) tickets book flight tickets a few months before hand.
 
  
Belavia has codeshare flights with many other airlines. Travelling by plane is much easier for getting a Visa as well (price for visa at airport $100 or €65). If your agency organises your travel with a Belarussian Agency everything will be planned for you.
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==Get around==
Airport personel will meet you just as you come out. They will guide you to the visa office (Just after the exit from the plane), they will help you fill out the form required and pay the Visa fee. Yes, they do speak very good English.
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[[Image:Minsk-Metro-Uruch'e-04.jpg|thumb|Minsk metro]]
  
Gomelavia has inland flights to all the major cities and major Western-Russian cities.
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=== Languages ===
  
The majority of flights arrives at Minsk International 2 Airport, quite far from the city centre. If possible, you should prefer flights to the nearer Minsk International 1 Airport (currently served by [http://www.atlant-soyuz.ru/ Atlant-Soyuz Airlines] from Moscow Vnukovo).
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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  [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instruction_on_transliteration_of_Belarusian_geographical_names_with_letters_of_Latin_script]. 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.
  
===By car===
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===Transport===
Driving in, while possible, requires knowledge of the border system. This is a border of 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 arrives as a tourist in a personal car the border crossing can go very smoothly and be over within 45 minutes.
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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.
  
==Get around==
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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.
Get around by using bus, tram, or subway or rent a car. First three are cheap and reliable. The subway is noted for being clean and safe. Additionally, each subway station is decorated uniquely. For instance, the station at Oktober Square is decorated in the theme of the Communist Revolution. The station at Victory square is decorated in a victory theme, and the Lenin Station includes a bust of Lenin and a host of Hammer/Sickle reliefs.
 
  
A panoramic English-language map of the centre of Minsk that shows every building individually is widely available from bookshops and kiosks for 5,000 roubles. It also has a conventional map showing more of Minsk and some tourist information. It's worth buying a copy as early on in your visit as you can because it makes getting around on foot easy and fun.
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====Bus, trolleybus, tram====
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There is large network of buses, trolleybuses and trams in Minsk. Thanks to this system of more lines, there is a direct connection between many places, but the intervals are longer. The ticket for a single trip costs 0.55 BYN (0,30 USD) while bought in advance or 0.60 BYN (0,32 USD) from a driver (both as of October 2017). Don't forget to validate your tickets after entering the bus, even when you bought them from a driver!  [http://www.minsktrans.by/city/#minsk/bus Timetables are avalible] at public transport operator websites (in Russian), or there is [https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=minskguide.org Android app in English] with connection search, maps and timetables (everything offline as well).
  
The Subway (Minsk Metro) is the most reliable Transport around Minsk. A train every 3 minutes and never late. You can buy tokens at a window inside the station. One ride costs 600BYR, if you don't know any Russian, just give 6000BYR and stick 10 fingers up. Make sure you hold on, because it goes real fast.  
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====Metro====
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The Minsk Metro, is the most reliable transport system around Minsk. Additionally, each metro 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.
  
Taxis are cheap as well. All Taxis have a base rate of 6000BYR and thats from 0-6km distance. That is the minimal pay. You will notice 6000BYR will already be on the meter.
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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 BYN0.65 [http://www.minsktrans.by/ru/tariff.html], 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.
  
You may also rent a car to travel around the country. Rates depend on period of hire and start from 20US/day. There are offices of Europcar, Avis, SIXT and other rental companies. You may browse a list of cars and rental companies here [http://edem.by]
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====Car rental====
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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 the Central Station are also cheap. A trip from Minsk to Gomel (5 hours) with a cabin for 4 cost 20000($10US)and Usually never full.
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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==
 
==See==
* '''Former Residence of Lee Harvey Oswald''', Vulitsa Kamunistychnaja 4 (the bottom left apartment). Lee arrived in the Soviet Union in December 1959 wanting 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.
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===Museums and galleries===
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* '''National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus''' [http://artmuseum.by/eng] 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 [http://artmuseum.by/eng/vyst/tek/ten-centuries-of-art-in-belarus], 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.
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* '''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.
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* '''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.
  
* '''St Mary Magdeline Church''' (Tsarkva Svyati Mary Magdaleny), Vulitsa Kisjaleva 42. Metro: Njamiha. It was built in 1847 in the Orthodox style - with a pointed octagonal bell tower over the entrance.
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* '''The Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War ''', Victory Park. Open Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Evidently much improved since it moved a visit (on April 4 2017) proved most interesting.  The halls are well laid out and very modern, featuring an array of military vehicles, weapons, tales of various resistance/partisan fighters and the war for the Eastern Front (All with good labelling in both Russian and English), Eight roubles. [http://www.warmuseum.by/new_page_0/ WW2 Museum Website].
  
* '''Saint Peter & Saint Paul Church''', Vulitsa Rakovskaja 4. Metro: Njamiha. Built in 1613 and restored in 1871, it is the oldest church in Minsk. It is worthwhile to go inside.
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* '''Mastacki Salon''', Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 12. Open M-Sa 10:00-20:00. An art gallery with local artists exhibitions and some overpriced souvenirs.
  
* '''Belarus National Museum of History & Culture''', Vulitsa Karla Marxa 12. Admission 7,000BYR. Open Thursdays to Tuesdays from 11AM to 7PM. There is plenty to see here, sadly there is only Belarusian explanation panels.
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*<see name="Музей Страна мини" alt="Museum Miniland" address="Praspiekt Niezaliezhnasci 25, Minsk" directions="" phone="+375291515670" url="http://belarusmini.by/" hours=“Open everyday from 11:00–20:00" price="14 BYN or ±7 euro" lat="53.9033789" long="27.561146">If you're only going to visit Minsk and none of the other cities in Belarus, be sure to check out the Музей Страна Мини or Museum Miniland. Located in the House of Labour Unions it houses 18 (and growing) models of famous and well-known places in Belarus. An adult pays 14 BYN and gets access to a very interesting audio guide and of course the models themselves.</see>
  
* '''Palats Mastatsva''' (Art Palace), Vulitsa Kazlova 3. Admission Free. Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10AM to 7PM. Several exhibition spaces showing modern art, second hand books and antiques stalls.
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===Churches and temples===
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[[Image:St Elizabeth Monastery 1997 1.jpg|thumb|St.Elizabeth monastery]]
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* <see name = 'St Mary Magdeline Church' alt = 'Tsarkva Svyatoj Maryi Magdaleny' address = 'Vulica Kisialiova 42' directions = 'Metro: Niamiha'>It was built in 1847 in the Russian revival style - with a pointed octagonal bell tower over the entrance.</see>
  
* '''Mastatsky Salon''', Praspekt Francyska Skaryny 12. Open Mondays to Saturdays from 10AM to 8PM. An art gallery with local artists exhibitions and some overpriced souvenirs.
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* <see name="Saint Peter &amp; Saint Paul Church" alt="" address="Vulica Rakaŭskaja 4" directions="Metro: Niamiha" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Built in 1613 and restored in 1871, it is the oldest church in Minsk. It is very worthwhile to go inside.</see>
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===Other===
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[[Image:Independence_Square_in_Minsk030809.JPG|thumb|Independence square]]
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* '''Former Residence of Lee Harvey Oswald''', Vulica Kamunistyčnaja 4 (the bottom left apartment). Lee arrived in the Soviet Union in December 1959 willing to renounce 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.
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*<see name="KGB Headquarters" alt="" address="Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 17" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">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.</see>
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* 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.
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* 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 [http://belarustourism.by/agency/educational/review-list/]. A licensed guide in Belarus must always wear a special badge Badge of a licensed guide in Belarus.
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
* '''Minskoe More''' (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. To get there by car, head north along the P28 and lookout for signs after Ratomka village.
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* '''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 ''Palats Respubliki''. In Winter there are crowds of people ice skating here. It is open from 8AM until 10PM and a pair of skates should cost between 3,000-5,000BYR to rent.
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* '''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 Silichy and Lagoisk 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.
+
* '''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==
 
==Buy==
Local goods are usually bad quality, but there are several things that are worth buying.
+
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).
Some wool and linen clothes - you can get very good stuff for little money.
+
 
Linen in all forms is a special bargain. Typical is a woven patterned linen tablecloth, excellent quality, 150cm x 300cm (about 5 ft x 10 ft), for 34,280 Belarus rubles, approximately $16.25 US (10.30 euro, 8.25 GB pound) (as of May 2008).
+
* '''Ragna''' [http://vk.com/ragna_by], 4 Suchaja St. (Frunzienskaja subway station), has a very interesting selection of Belarusian traditional crafts, mostly handmade, unlikely to be found in mainstread shops.
Womens underwear "Milavitsa", is widely known across former USSR. This good quality, and cheap as well. Various types of cosmetics - firstly brand-name, are called "O2". Vodka produced by Brest spirit factory, is probably the best in the world. This easily outperforms Stolichnaya, Absolut and Smirnoff. Generally, the Minsk Airport has a very reliable duty free shop with rich choice of fragrances, spirits and souvenirs. There is no sense to get international brands- usually it costs 20-50% more than European average.
+
* '''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.
 +
*<buy name="Lianok" alt="Лянок" address="46 Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">A shop specialising in fabrics, good selection of well-manufactured linen good and souvenirs.</buy>
  
* '''Podzemka''', Praspekt Nezalezhnasti 43. An underground bookshop-cum-art gallery.
 
* '''Suveniraja Lavka''', Vulitsa Maxima Bahdanovicha 9. A souvenir type shop with straw crafts, wooden boxes, embroidered linen & Belorussian alcohol.
 
* '''Tsentralnaja Kniharnya''', Praspekt Nezalezhnasti 19. A bookshop with posters of Belorussian president Alexander Lukashenko.
 
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
 
{{infobox|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.}}
 
{{infobox|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.}}
Belorussian 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 20,000BYR and 40,000BYR. The list of the restaurants -> [http://minsknightlife.net/restaurants.htm]
+
Belarusian cuisine is similar to that of the rest of Eastern Europe, particularly Russian and Ukrainian. Expect heavy potato dishes, mushrooms, soups and baked meat. There's plenty of Western food available in the capital, especially Italian, French and American. The quality varies, but has improved dramatically in recent years. Note that many local restaurants will have entertainment during nights and weekends.
 +
 
 +
There are also several locations of McDonald's, KFC, and other Western fast food chains.
  
 
* '''Pechki-Lavochki''', Main Ave. Is a great Belarusian restaurant.
 
* '''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. 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.
 
* '''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. Excellent quality and affordable prices.
+
* '''Gourman''', close to Grand Opera Theater. Styled as an Italian trattoria. It serves Belarusian and European cuisine.  
  
* '''Freskee Cafe''', Niezaležnaści Square. Café with a large choice of main dishes.
+
* '''Freski Cafe''', Niezaliežnasci Square. Café with a large choice of main dishes.
  
* '''Taj''', Vulista Brilevskaja 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.
+
* '''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 Gikalo 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.
+
* '''Tiflis''', vulica Talbuchina 3. Quite solid Georgian food – get the classics here, including khachpuri, walnut salads and hearty soups, along with a variety of meat dishes. Around 20 BYN.  
  
 
* '''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.
 
* '''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.
 +
 +
* '''News Cafe''', Vulitsa Karla Marksa 34.  Across from the UK embassy and a must try in Minsk. Order the El-Capone – wonderful veal.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
 
A typical drink is "Kefir", which is a sort of sour milk, similar to yogurt.
 
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.
 +
*<drink name="London" alt="" address="Pr. Niezaliežnasci" directions="close to KGB headquarters, on the other side of the street" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">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.</drink>
 +
*<drink name="Golden Coffee Cafe" alt="" address="Pr. Niezaliežnasci, 18" directions="" phone="+375 17 237 41 87" url="http://www.goldencoffee.by" hours="7a - 2a" price="Moderate" lat="" long="">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.</drink>
 +
*<drink name="Grand Cafe" alt="" address="Lenin Str., 2" directions="" phone="(44)7031111" url="" hours="12-12" price="" lat="" long="">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.</drink>
  
 
==Sleep==
 
==Sleep==
 +
If you need a visa to enter Belarus, you must get registered with the local police department - Department for Citizenship and Migration within 5 business days. 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.
 +
 +
There are plenty of apartment and room rentals available online.
 +
 +
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.
 +
 +
===Budget===
 +
Many hostels are just apartment flats with bunk beds in all the rooms. Finding them and checking in many require a phone call and coordination and most apartments only have 1 or 2 bathrooms to be shared by all of the guests.
 +
 +
* <sleep name="EasyFlat Hostel" alt="" address="Aeradromnaja str. 40, app. 14" directions="" phone="+375 29 7719833" url="http://easyflat.by/" checkin="" checkout="" price="14-19 BYN" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">Calm and cozy atmosphere. In the city center.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Smile Minsk Hotel" alt="" address="avenue Dzerzhinsky, house 131, entrance 8. Check-in only on a preliminary call" directions="" phone="+375 29 771 94 14" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://smileminsk.by/" checkin="" checkout="" price="BYR 13">Cheap, quiet, central location.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Hostel Stary Minsk" alt="" address="praspiekt Niezalieznasci, 18, apt 20" directions="3-minute walk from Belarusian National Arts Museum" phone="+375 25 767-05-24" url="https://hostelstaryminsk.business.site/" checkin="" checkout="" price="6-bed dorm: $11" lat="" long=""></sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Trinity Traveler & Riverside Hostel" alt="" address="Starovilenskaya, 12" directions=" 5 minutes walk from “Nyamiha”, “Kastrychnickaya” and “Kupalauskaya” metro stations" phone="+375 29 311 27 83" url="http://hostel-traveler.by/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]">The hostel has a spacious living room, kitchen, dormitories for 4-8 people, and a double. The hostel occupies two floors of a three-floored building.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Hostel Viva" alt="" address="Zhukovsky 4/ 1N" directions="600m from main train station" phone="+375 29 610 32 11" url="http://book.hostelviva.by/" checkin="" checkout="" price="Dorm bed €6-12" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]">Directly in the city center. Only 2 bathrooms for 24 beds.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Your Hostel Minsk" alt="" address="1-y pereulok Skoriny 28 ap.7 / Скорины 1-й переулок, дом 28, кв. 7" directions="Metro and then trolleybus" phone="+375 29 610 32 11" url="http://your-hostel.com/en/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]">Far from the center, near the MKAD.</sleep>
 +
 +
===Mid-range===
 +
* <sleep name="40 Let Pobedy" alt="40 Years of Victory" address="Azgura, 3" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="$45/shared room" lat="" long="">Nice rooms, decent location.  No internet, few English speaking receptionists.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Hotel Belarus" alt="" address="Staražoŭskaja, 15-201" directions="" phone="(017) 209 75 37" url="http://www.en.hotel-belarus.com" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="€35/single" lat="" long="">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. </sleep>
 +
 +
* '''Hotel Orbita''' Praspiekt Puškina 39, [http://www.orbita-hotel.com], 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. it is near Pushkinskaya metro Station
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Planeta" alt="" address="Praspiekt Pieramožcaŭ, 31 (Pobeditelej avenue, 31)" directions="" phone="(+375 17) 203 85 87" url="http://www.hotelplaneta.by" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="" lat="" long="">They have great services all within the hotel. Internet cafe is open till 8PM. Casino is open 24h.</sleep>
 +
 +
===Splurge===
 +
*<sleep name="Hotel Europe" alt="Отель «Европа»" address="International Street 28" directions="" phone="+375 17 229-83-33" url="http://www.hoteleurope.by/en/" checkin="14:00" checkout="12:00" price="From €265" lat="" long="">Exclusive five-star hotel situated in the historical and cultural heart of Minsk. 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. </sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Crowne Plaza Hotel" alt="" address="Kirava Str., 13" directions="" phone="+375-17-2005354 or 0800 181 6068" url="http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/msqmk" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="" lat="" long="">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.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Marriott Renaissance Minsk Hotel" alt="" address="Dzerzhinsky Avenue 1E" directions="" phone="+375-17-309 90 90" url="https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/mhpbr-renaissance-minsk-hotel/" checkin="12:00" checkout="12:00" price="" lat="" long="">5 star international hotel. Hotel is located on one of the main transport highways in close proximity to the city center.</sleep>
 +
 +
* <sleep name="Hotel Minsk" alt="" address="Prospekt Nezavisimosti 11" directions="" phone="+37517209-90-80" lat="" long="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="https://www.hotelminsk.by/en" checkin="14:00" checkout="12:00" price=" from €70" "> Directly located in Minsk’s historic and cultural centre, next to Gorky Drama Theatre, this traditional hotel is just 500 m from the Belarusian National Arts Museum and Dynamo Stadium. It offers free Wi-Fi, a gym and 2 restaurants. All rooms offer a flat-screen TV and complimentary toiletries are provided in the marble-finished bathroom. Dishes of Belarusian and European cuisine are served in Hotel Minsk’s elegant restaurants with unique wall painting and classic-style décor. Guests can also enjoy a rich buffet breakfast served every morning. Minsk Central Train Station is just a 10-minute walk of the hotel. Minsk National Airport is 42 km away, and transfers can be arranged on request.</sleep>
  
 +
==Stay Safe==
  
*<sleep name="40 Let Pobedy" alt="40 Years of Victory" address="Azgura 3, Minsk 220088" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="$45/shared room" lat="" long="">Nice rooms, decent location.  No internet, few English speaking receptionists.</sleep>
+
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.  
*<sleep name="Hotel Belarus" alt="" address="220002, Minsk, street Storozhevskaja, 15-201" directions="" phone="(017) 209 75 37" url="http://www.en.hotel-belarus.com" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="35 Euros/single" lat="" long="">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.</sleep>
 
* '''Hotel Orbita''' Praspekt Pushkina 39. 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. [http://www.orbita-hotel.com]
 
* '''Minsk Vacation Apartments''' [http://minsknightlife.net/apartment_in_belarus.htm] Vacation apartment for rent in central Minsk. Near major railway stations. 1-3 room flats. Rates: 50-200 EUR.
 
*<sleep name="Planeta" alt="Planet" address="31 Pobediteley avenue, 220126 Minsk" directions="" phone="(+375 17) 203 85 87" url="http://www.hotelplaneta.by" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="" lat="" long="">They have great services all within the Hotel. Internet Cafe is open till 8PM. Casino is open 24hrs.</sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Hotel “Europe”" alt="Отель «Европа»" address="28, Internatsionalnaya st., Minsk" directions="" phone="(+375 17) 229-83-33" url="http://www.hoteleurope.by/en/" checkin="14:00" checkout="12:00" price="from 265 EUR" lat="" long="">Exclusive five-star Hotel Europe is situated in the historical and cultural heart of Minsk, at the intersection of Lenin Street and Internatsionalnaya Street. The beautiful 7-storey atrium-type building is carried out in Modern Style of early XX century.
 
Late departure (till 11 p.m. (24.00) is charged with 50% of the room rate. </sleep>
 
*<sleep name="Crowne Plaza Hotel" alt="" address="13 Kirova St., 220040 Minsk" directions="" phone="+375-17-2005354 or 0800 181 6068" url="http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/cp/1/en/hotel/msqmk" checkin="12" checkout="12" price="" lat="" long="">The Crowne Plaza Minsk hotel is a 5 star international hotel in the heart of Minsk. The hotel, with its unique architecture, is in the Minsk city centre opposite the Minsk Dynamo Stadium and within walking distance from the Minsk Nezavisimosti Square. Shopping, cultural institutions, attractions of the city and business spots are all within easy reach from the hotel via underground or even walking.</sleep>
 
  
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 www.belarusrent.com . They rent rooms in good quality in the center of Minsk. They also provide assistance for Visas.
+
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.
  
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.
+
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==
 
==Cope==
 
===Embassies===
 
===Embassies===
 +
* [[Image:in-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="India" address="Sabinava Street, 63," phone="00-375-17-2629399" fax="00-375-17-2884799" email="[email protected]"></listing>
 +
* [[Image:ja-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Japan" address="Pr. Pieramožcaŭ (Pobediteley) 23/1, 8F" phone="+375 17 2236233" phoneextra="+375 17 2234481" fax="+375 17 2102169" email="" url="http://www.by.emb-japan.go.jp/j/index.html"></listing>
 +
* [[Image:nl-flag.png|20px]] '''Netherlands''', Vostochnaya str.133, office 503, &#9742; +375-172-625323"
 +
* [[Image:pl-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Poland" address=" Z. Biaduli 11" phone="00-375-17-3885201" url="http://www.minsk.msz.gov.pl/pl/"></listing>
 +
*[[File:tr-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Turkey" address="Ulitsa Voladarskova, 6" phone="+375 17 327 14 08" fax="+375 17 327 27 46" url="http://minsk.be.mfa.gov.tr/Default.aspx"></listing>
 
* [[Image:uk-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="United Kingdom" url="http://ukinbelarus.fco.gov.uk/en/"></listing>
 
* [[Image:uk-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="United Kingdom" url="http://ukinbelarus.fco.gov.uk/en/"></listing>
* [[Image:us-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="United States" address="46 Starovilenskaya St.
+
* [[Image:us-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="United States" address="Staravilienskaja Str, 46" phone="+375 17 210-12-83 / 217-7347 / 217-7348" fax="+375 17 234-78-53" email=" [email protected]" url="http://minsk.usembassy.gov/"></listing> Embassy is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on American and Belarusian holidays
Minsk 220002, Belarus" phone="+375 17 210-12-83 / 217-7347 / 217-7348" fax="+375 17 234-78-53" email="" url="http://minsk.usembassy.gov/"></listing>
+
* [[Image:ve-flag.png|20px]] <listing name="Venezuela" address="Kuibysheva Street, 14" phone="00-375-17-2845099" fax="00-375-17-2849347" url="http://www.embavenez.by/"></listing>
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
 +
* '''Lake Narač''' is the largest lake in Belarus, located about 160 km north of Minsk.
  
 +
* [[Brest (Belarus)|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.
  
'''Lake Narach''' is the largest lake in Belarus, located about 160 km north of Minsk.  
+
* [[Grodno|Hrodna]] is a border town in north-west Belarus, near [[46 Kuźnica-Białostocka]] in [[Poland]].  
  
[[Brest (Belarus)|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 every built. You can get there by train (~20 daily trains running from Minsk) at $5-20USD. It takes 3-4 hrs by train.
+
* '''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.  
 +
 
 +
*Nesvizh Castle or Niasvizh Castle is a residential castle of the Radziwiłł family which is located in Nesvizh, a town 30 km from Mir castle. In 1994, the castle complex was designated the national historical and cultural reserve. In 2005 the castle complex was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
  
 
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+
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Latest revision as of 11:26, 4 September 2018

Minsk , with a population of 1,959,800 (according to the 2016 survey), is the capital and largest city of Belarus.

Understand[edit]

Minsk is situated on the Svislač and Niamiha rivers.

After the Pale of Settlement of 1835, the population of Minsk became 1/3 Jews, almost all of whom fled or were killed during World War II. During the war, the population of Minsk was reduced from 300,000 people to 50,000 people. The city was 80% destroyed and was rebuilt in the 1950s to the liking of Stalin. The population of the city grew due to industrialization and movement of young people from the Belarusian countryside.

The city now features a combination of rebuilt historical buildings, as well as modern apartments and shopping centers, and soviet-style buildings and monuments. It features sightseeing opportunities, as well as dining and shopping similar to its neighboring countries in the European Union, while still showing signs of Russian influence.

English is rarely spoken but Russian is spoken by all, in addition to Belarusian. It helps to learn some key phrases in Russian.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Passengers from 74 countries do not need a visa if flying to Minsk National Airport under certain conditions. For more information, see Belarus#Get_In.

All flights arrive at the National Airport Minsk (IATA: MSQ, 37km north-east from the city. Just before the passport control, you will find a cash machine; more are available inside the arrivals. Straight after that, you can collect your luggage and follow to the customs control. Even if you choose the green corridor, you may be stopped for questioning. It is a routine practice and shouldn't make anyone anxious: only large sums of cash, luxury products, alcohol and cigarettes will attract the custom officers' attention. The "Arrivals hall" has few small kiosks with Belarusian souvenirs, alcohol, newspapers and wi-fi cards; also ATMs, currency exchange, car rentals and train/bus ticket machines (more are at the bus stop outside the airport building). The Departure hall on the third floor has a 24/7 restaurant, several cafes, souvenir shops, bank and post offices. Free wi-fi is available at the Prime Time cafe (password: primecafe, January 2016), otherwise the whole terminal is covered by decent wi-fi from Beltelecom, an access card is required (very cheap, available from the Belsajuzdruk newspaper kiosk in the departure hall). Upon check-in, you will be advised on the sector number for the custom and passport control - allow 15 to 20 minutes to pass them. Several duty-free shops and bars are available just before the boarding gates.

Belavia operates regular flights to many capitals across Europe, as well as Israel and Central Asia; to major cities in Russia and Ukraine. Other airlines, such as Aeroflot, Lufthansa, Austrian, LOT, Ukrainian International Airlines, Air Baltic, Air China and Etihad provide good connections to Minsk from across their networks. Although low-cost airlines do not serve Minsk, most of the available carriers offer cheap tickets every now and then.

Getting to the city[edit]

  • Bus 300э runs every 30-50 minutes (less frequently late in the night) from/to Centralny bus terminal, next to the main railway station (Minsk Pasažyrski). The bus stop is clearly visible from the main airport exit - slightly on its left. For the timetable, see the airport website, [21], Minsktrans website [22] or check at the airport bus stop. At the Centralny bus terminal, tickets are sold at the ticket office. At the airport, they can be bought from the bus driver for cash or from a ticket machine inside the bus stop shelter and by the main exit from the airport building - paid by debit/credit cards. Price is BYN4.00 + luggage BYN0.40. In about 30 minutes after leaving the airport by 300э, the bus stops at Uručča (Уручча | Уручье) metro station. Ticket to this stop costs about 2/3 of the Centralny bus terminal ticket. Many passengers leave here to continue by metro and other means of public transport. If travelling to the airport from Uručča, leave the metro 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 metro 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 [23].
  • Yandex taxi, which can also be accessed via the Uber mobile app, operates in Minsk. If you have a cell phone, this is probably the easiest and cheapest option – a ride into town can be as cheap as €10.
  • National Airport Minsk, the official airport transfer service, has a good reputation with short number 7373. But the official airport transfer service has several important shortcomings: Chinese cars, non-English speaking drivers, low quality of service in general. If you looking for higher level of service you can use private transfer services like Minsk Airport Transfer or Autotransfer. It should cost about €25-30 and transfers can be ordered in advance using online booking form.
  • Taxis are available at the airport although drivers generally will not speak English – have the name of your destination written in Belorussian or Russian and be prepared to pay in cash.

By train[edit]

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.

Minsk can be easily reached from other major cities including Kiev, Warsaw, Vilnius, and Moscow.

From Kiev[edit]

There is a daily train leaving Tsentralnyi Vokzal (Central Station). It departs city around 9 pm and get you to Minsk next morning at around 8 am. As of November 2016 ticket fares are 1100, 1850 and 3500 UAH for different sleeping car types.

From Warsaw[edit]

There are two options - Direct and Cheap The direct trip takes about 10 hours. There are two trains a day -

First departs from Central Station at 21 which arrives in Minsk around 08:00, costing about €70 Second one departs from "Gdański" train station about 16:00 and arrives in Minsk about 02:00, direction Moscow. Cost about €150 (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 but you must use 3 trains/buses:

First of all - you must get to the Belarusian Border. The border split cities, Polish city called Terespol and Belarusian city called Brest. You can buy a direct train ticket 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 PLN50/€11. In Terespol, you cannot walk across the border, you can take a train to Brest (PLN13, 3 per day), and cross the border by hitchhiking a car. The passport check is very long, so be in Terespol at least 40 minutes before the train departs. Then you must take a train from Brest to Minsk (€5). There are 5-8 trains a day. At ticket office ask for "Kupeyny" and go to the platform with the trains going in direction of Moscow.

From Vilnius[edit]

From Vilnius, Lithuania, the train takes about 2.5 hours and runs three times per day (early morning, late afternoon, evening) plus there is one or two per day more expensive Kaliningrad–Moscow train at night; see timetable at Belorusian railway website. The train from Vilnius costs around €15-20 one way if bought in Lithuania or you can buy them in advance for nearly the same price at Belorusian railway online-booking website.

You have to walk to last platform and walk through Schengen passport and customs control and than board a train with selected doors (the conductor checks your tickets). Trains are quite modern with US English voice announcing the stations and border control procedures.

If you are non-belorusian citizen you will receive from a conductor a migration card with two sides to fill out; if the conductor won't give you one, ask for bumazka. Later, the Belorusian customs service will enter the train, asks you if you have alcohols and cigarettes above the limit and fast-check your baggage. Later the border control with big computer on the neck will come and ask you for your passport and filled bumazka (migration card). Sometime they can ask for insurance, letter of invitation or whatever else (as everywhere in East Europe: the more supporting documents prepared – better for you :). The inspector will check everything, stamp your passport and migration card (DO NOT LOSE IT!, you will need it in hotels and while leaving Belarus) and we wish you good luck in Belarus.

From Moscow[edit]

Moscow is connected with Minsk via several Belarusian Railway and Russain Railways trains daily, both daytime and overnight. Travel time varies from 8 to 10 hours (see the timetable on BCh or RZD official website). Trains crossing the border between Russia and Belarus do not stop there for passport check, therefore an overnight train travel from Moscow to Minsk offers a good sleep in a 4-berth or 2-berth compartment.

By coach[edit]

There are several bus routes from Vilnius central bus station to Minsk central bus station. The coach service takes 4-5 hours (0.5-1.5 of which is spent at the border, depending on the traffic).

By car[edit]

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 queue 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. Sometimes it takes 3 hours. If you will ride from Polish Side, from Warsaw, you can see the Truck queue, just pass it, and go direct to Polish City TERESPOL / BREST (Belarussian). Be Carefull! When you are in Poland and you are 30km near border, The Customs, or Border control have this same rights as Police! (Green Cars - "Straż Graniczna") So drive slowly, and carefully

Get around[edit]

Minsk metro

Languages[edit]

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 [24]. 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[edit]

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[edit]

There is large network of buses, trolleybuses and trams in Minsk. Thanks to this system of more lines, there is a direct connection between many places, but the intervals are longer. The ticket for a single trip costs 0.55 BYN (0,30 USD) while bought in advance or 0.60 BYN (0,32 USD) from a driver (both as of October 2017). Don't forget to validate your tickets after entering the bus, even when you bought them from a driver! Timetables are avalible at public transport operator websites (in Russian), or there is Android app in English with connection search, maps and timetables (everything offline as well).

Metro[edit]

The Minsk Metro, is the most reliable transport system around Minsk. Additionally, each metro 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 BYN0.65 [25], 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[edit]

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[edit][add listing]

Museums and galleries[edit]

  • National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus [26] 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 [27], 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 , Victory Park. Open Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Evidently much improved since it moved a visit (on April 4 2017) proved most interesting. The halls are well laid out and very modern, featuring an array of military vehicles, weapons, tales of various resistance/partisan fighters and the war for the Eastern Front (All with good labelling in both Russian and English), Eight roubles. 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.
  • Музей Страна мини (Museum Miniland), Praspiekt Niezaliezhnasci 25, Minsk, +375291515670, [1]. “Open. If you're only going to visit Minsk and none of the other cities in Belarus, be sure to check out the Музей Страна Мини or Museum Miniland. Located in the House of Labour Unions it houses 18 (and growing) models of famous and well-known places in Belarus. An adult pays 14 BYN and gets access to a very interesting audio guide and of course the models themselves. 14 BYN or ±7 euro. (53.9033789,27.561146) edit

Churches and temples[edit]

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.  edit
  • 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.  edit

Other[edit]

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 renounce 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.  edit
  • 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 [28]. A licensed guide in Belarus must always wear a special badge Badge of a licensed guide in Belarus.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • 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[edit][add listing]

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 [29], 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.  edit


Eat[edit][add listing]

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, particularly Russian and Ukrainian. Expect heavy potato dishes, mushrooms, soups and baked meat. There's plenty of Western food available in the capital, especially Italian, French and American. The quality varies, but has improved dramatically in recent years. Note that many local restaurants will have entertainment during nights and weekends.

There are also several locations of McDonald's, KFC, and other Western fast food chains.

  • 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. 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.
  • Tiflis, vulica Talbuchina 3. Quite solid Georgian food – get the classics here, including khachpuri, walnut salads and hearty soups, along with a variety of meat dishes. Around 20 BYN.
  • 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.
  • News Cafe, Vulitsa Karla Marksa 34. Across from the UK embassy and a must try in Minsk. Order the El-Capone – wonderful veal.

Drink[edit][add listing]

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.  edit
  • Golden Coffee Cafe, Pr. Niezaliežnasci, 18, +375 17 237 41 87, [2]. 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.  edit
  • 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.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

If you need a visa to enter Belarus, you must get registered with the local police department - Department for Citizenship and Migration within 5 business days. 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.

There are plenty of apartment and room rentals available online.

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.

Budget[edit]

Many hostels are just apartment flats with bunk beds in all the rooms. Finding them and checking in many require a phone call and coordination and most apartments only have 1 or 2 bathrooms to be shared by all of the guests.

  • EasyFlat Hostel, Aeradromnaja str. 40, app. 14, +375 29 7719833 (), [3]. Calm and cozy atmosphere. In the city center. 14-19 BYN.  edit
  • Smile Minsk Hotel, avenue Dzerzhinsky, house 131, entrance 8. Check-in only on a preliminary call, +375 29 771 94 14 (), [4]. Cheap, quiet, central location. BYR 13.  edit
  • Hostel Stary Minsk, praspiekt Niezalieznasci, 18, apt 20 (3-minute walk from Belarusian National Arts Museum), +375 25 767-05-24, [5]. 6-bed dorm: $11.  edit
  • Trinity Traveler & Riverside Hostel, Starovilenskaya, 12 (5 minutes walk from “Nyamiha”, “Kastrychnickaya” and “Kupalauskaya” metro stations), +375 29 311 27 83 (), [6]. The hostel has a spacious living room, kitchen, dormitories for 4-8 people, and a double. The hostel occupies two floors of a three-floored building.  edit
  • Hostel Viva, Zhukovsky 4/ 1N (600m from main train station), +375 29 610 32 11 (), [7]. Directly in the city center. Only 2 bathrooms for 24 beds. Dorm bed €6-12.  edit
  • Your Hostel Minsk, 1-y pereulok Skoriny 28 ap.7 / Скорины 1-й переулок, дом 28, кв. 7 (Metro and then trolleybus), +375 29 610 32 11 (), [8]. Far from the center, near the MKAD.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • 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.  edit
  • Hotel Belarus, Staražoŭskaja, 15-201, (017) 209 75 37, [9]. 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. €35/single.  edit
  • Hotel Orbita Praspiekt Puškina 39, [30], 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. it is near Pushkinskaya metro Station
  • Planeta, Praspiekt Pieramožcaŭ, 31 (Pobeditelej avenue, 31), (+375 17) 203 85 87, [10]. checkin: 12; checkout: 12. They have great services all within the hotel. Internet cafe is open till 8PM. Casino is open 24h.  edit

Splurge[edit]

  • Hotel Europe (Отель «Европа»), International Street 28, +375 17 229-83-33, [11]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Exclusive five-star hotel situated in the historical and cultural heart of Minsk. 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.  edit
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel, Kirava Str., 13, +375-17-2005354 or 0800 181 6068, [12]. 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.  edit
  • Marriott Renaissance Minsk Hotel, Dzerzhinsky Avenue 1E, +375-17-309 90 90, [13]. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 12:00. 5 star international hotel. Hotel is located on one of the main transport highways in close proximity to the city center.  edit
  • Hotel Minsk, Prospekt Nezavisimosti 11, +37517209-90-80, [14]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Directly located in Minsk’s historic and cultural centre, next to Gorky Drama Theatre, this traditional hotel is just 500 m from the Belarusian National Arts Museum and Dynamo Stadium. It offers free Wi-Fi, a gym and 2 restaurants. All rooms offer a flat-screen TV and complimentary toiletries are provided in the marble-finished bathroom. Dishes of Belarusian and European cuisine are served in Hotel Minsk’s elegant restaurants with unique wall painting and classic-style décor. Guests can also enjoy a rich buffet breakfast served every morning. Minsk Central Train Station is just a 10-minute walk of the hotel. Minsk National Airport is 42 km away, and transfers can be arranged on request. from €70.  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

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[edit]

Embassies[edit]

  • In-flag.png India, Sabinava Street, 63,, 00-375-17-2629399 (, fax: 00-375-17-2884799).  edit
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, Pr. Pieramožcaŭ (Pobediteley) 23/1, 8F, +375 17 2236233 (+375 17 2234481, fax: +375 17 2102169), [15].  edit
  • Nl-flag.png Netherlands, Vostochnaya str.133, office 503, ☎ +375-172-625323"
  • Pl-flag.png Poland, Z. Biaduli 11, 00-375-17-3885201, [16].  edit
  • Tr-flag.png Turkey, Ulitsa Voladarskova, 6, +375 17 327 14 08 (fax: +375 17 327 27 46), [17].  edit
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, [18].  edit
  • Us-flag.png United States, Staravilienskaja Str, 46, +375 17 210-12-83 / 217-7347 / 217-7348 (, fax: +375 17 234-78-53), [19].  edit Embassy is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Closed on American and Belarusian holidays
  • Ve-flag.png Venezuela, Kuibysheva Street, 14, 00-375-17-2845099 (fax: 00-375-17-2849347), [20].  edit

Get out[edit]

  • 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.
  • Nesvizh Castle or Niasvizh Castle is a residential castle of the Radziwiłł family which is located in Nesvizh, a town 30 km from Mir castle. In 1994, the castle complex was designated the national historical and cultural reserve. In 2005 the castle complex was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
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!


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