Minsk – the Capital of Belarus

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

Situated on the Svislač and Niamiha rivers, from 1919-1991 it was the capital of the former Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. The city was 80% destroyed during World War II and as such was rebuilt in the 1950s to the liking of Stalin. Large, Soviet-bloc style buildings make up a large portion of the city. For this reason, Minsk is a wonderful place to visit for those interested in the Soviet Union. English is rarely spoken, and tourism is not a priority in Minsk. It would be wise to learn some key phrases in Russian (which is the default language), but Belarusian may also be spoken or understood).

Get in

Visa on arrival

You normally must get a visa prior to entry from the Belarussian embassy or consulate in your country. However, if travelling by plane, you may be eligible for a visa on arrival. Obtaining a visa on arrival costs double the normal price and you must have all your paperwork in order. Detailed price list is available from the Belarus Foreign Ministry website. For information on recent changes see the following article. If your travel is arranged with a Belarusian travel agency, the procedure may be well planned for you: the original of the tourist invitation letter will be delivered to the Minsk Airport Consulate (bring with you one passport size photo!). Sometimes the Consulate people speak several foreign languages, sometimes – none at all.

Visa-free

Since January 9, 2017, depending on your country, you might be able to enter Belarus visa-free through Minsk Airport for up to 5 days. Visa-free entry will apply to citizens of 39 European states, including all EU countries, as well as to Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan and other states.

To enter Belarus visa-free, foreigners need to have a valid passport or other travel document, a certain sum of money (equivalent of 2 basic amounts, or 42 Belarusian rubles, for each day of stay), a medical insurance valid in Belarus. Citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, Honduras, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa must also have a valid multiple visa to any EU member state or Schengen country with a mark about the entry into their territory, as well as tickets confirming leave from Minsk National airport within 5 days from the date of entry.

Visa-free travel does not apply to persons coming to Belarus with flights from Russia and intending to fly to Russia.

By plane

All flights arrive at the National Airport Minsk (IATA: MSQ, formerly known as Minsk-2) 37 km north-east from the city. If you are applying for a visa in Minsk Airport or just landing there, it is important to know several tips about insurance, visa office and passport control

In 2014, the airport underwent a major refurbishment and has mainly lost its grim feel from the USSR period. Just before the passport control, you will find a cash machine; more are available inside the arrivals. Approach the passport control with a smile and already filled-in landing card (unless you are a Belarusian or Russian citizen). 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.


The number of Flight connections to Minsk is constantly growing. 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.

Alternatively, Vilnius has become a popular base for visiting Belarus. A train journey to Minsk takes less than three hours. Also, Moscow and Warsaw are used by some frugal travellers, but a journey time and price are much longer and higher compared to Vilnius.

Getting to the city The airport is served by bus no. 300э running 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, Minsktrans website 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 (February 2015) is just over 35,000 BYR  (1.7 €).

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.

In 2014, a train service to/from the airport was launched and costs 25,000 BYR  (1.1 €). The timetable is available from the Belarusian Railway website (in English, search for Minsk Pasažyrski, which is the name of the main railway station, and Nacyjanaĺny aeraport Minsk – the official airport name in Belarusian). The journey takes just under an hour, incl. a short bus journey to/from the airport railway station. To catch a train from the airport, go to the bus stop from where a dedicated bus will take you to the waiting for you train. Tickets can be purchased either from a ticket machine at the bus stop or from a train crew upon boarding.

Transfer from Minsk airport to Minsk. An official transfer service of Autotransfer became available. Service has a good reputation among the guests of Belarus. The ride to the city centre should not cost more than €30. A great option is to order a transfer in advance.

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

By train

The width of the train tracks is different in Poland (Warsaw) 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, Vilnius or Lviv (Lvov) you need not worry about this. Plus as an added bonus, the prices are substantially cheaper from CIS countries.

From Kiev 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 There are two options – Direct, and Cheap. The Direct trip is about 10 hours. There is Two trains a day – First departs from Central Station at 21 which arrives in Minsk around 08:00. costs about 70Euro (270 Polish Zloty). Second one departs from “Gdański” train station about 16 and arrives in Minsk about 02:00, direction Moscow. Cost about 150Euro – 600 Polish Zloty (To “Dworzec Gdański” – Gdanski Train station you should use Metro Blue Line (First Line) from Central Station, 3 stops – Direction “Młociny”)

But there is much cheaper way. 15-25 euro for single Ticket. You must split the trip for 3 trains/busses First of all – you must get to Belarusian Border. The border split cities, Polish city called Terespol and Belarusian city called Brest. You can buy Direct train to Terespol from Central Station (Warszawa Centralna) or take a bus to Terespol from Main bus Station situated at Eastern Train Station (Warszawa Zachodnia) . Cost is about 50 Polish Zloty – 11 Euro. Maybe the best way is the train from Central station that departs at 07:00

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

And the last train is from Brest to Minsk, Which costs 60 000 BYR – About 5 Euro. There are 5-8 trains a day, so easy. At ticket office ask for “Kupeyny”. The Belarusian trains has numbers (train no XXXX ), so just write train number, ask for “kupejny” and Give your passport. Be aware that trains station in Brest is splited. There are “Warszawska Strona” (Warsaw Side) and “Moskevskaja Strona” (Moscov Side). Train to Minsk departs from Moscow Side. it is funny that on Polish side you have to pay 11 euro for 200 km, and on Belarusian side you will pay 2-4 Euro for 400Km 🙂

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 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 came and ask you for your passport and filled bumazka (migration card). Sometime they can ask for a insurance, letter of invitation or whatever else (as everywhere in East Europe: more supporting documents prepared – better for you :). The guide will check everything, stamp your passport and migration card (DO NOT LOSE IT!, you will need it in hotels and while leaving Belarus) and wish you good luck in Belarus.

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

By bus

There are several bus routes from Vilnius central bus station to 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

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

Languages

Use of two state languages, Belarusian and Russian, across the transport system in Minsk may pose inconvenience for visitors. Effectively, the same stop, station, street or square may be known and referred to by two names, in Belarusian and Russian. As of 2013, transliteration of geographical names (streets, stations etc.) into Latin alphabet is done from Belarusian according to the new system.

Transport

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

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

Bus, trolleybus, tram

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 4500 BYR (0,25 USD) while bought in advance or 5000 BYR (0,3 USD) from a driver. 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

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 BYR4500 (as of January 2015). For those staying for a week or longer, a 10-day or a 14-day pass may be a good option.

Car rental

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

Regional trains from Central Station are also cheap. A trip from Minsk to Gomel (5h) with a cabin for 4 cost BYR 20,000 (1€) and almost never full.

See

Museums and galleries

National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus, 20 Lienina St. (Kastryčnickaja or Kupalaŭskaja subway stations). Wednesdays to Mondays, 11am-7pm. Admission 50,000 BYR (2,5€) (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, the largest ever retrospective of Belarusian art (BLR30,000). The museum has a cafe accessible only to the ticket holders. A tiny shop on the right hand from the entry has a good selection of relevant postcards, books, DVDs and other souvenirs.

Belarus National Museum of History and Culture, 12 Karla Marksa St. Admission BLR7,000. Open Th-Tu 11:00-19:00. There is plenty to see here, sadly there is only Belarusian explanation panels.

Palac Mastactva (Art Palace), Vulica Kazlova 3. Admission Free. Open Tu-Su 10:00-19:00. Several exhibition spaces showing modern art, second hand books and antiques stalls.

The Museum of History of the Great Patriotic War, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 12. Open Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Several halls with the WW2 exhibits on display with no English translation to the inscriptions. WW2 Museum Website.

Mastacki Salon, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 12. Open M-Sa 10:00-20:00. An art gallery with local artists exhibitions and some overpriced souvenirs.

Churches and temples

St Mary Magdeline Church (Tsarkva Svyatoj Maryi Magdaleny), Vulica Kisialiova 42 (Metro: Niamiha). It was built in 1847 in the Russian revival style – with a pointed octagonal bell tower over the entrance.

Saint Peter & Saint Paul Church, Vulica Rakaŭskaja 4 (Metro: Niamiha). Built in 1613 and restored in 1871, it is the oldest church in Minsk. It is very worthwhile to go inside.

Other

Independence square. Former Residence of Lee Harvey Oswald, Vulica Kamunistyčnaja 4 (the bottom left apartment). Lee arrived in the Soviet Union in December 1959 willing to 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 [11]. A licensed guide in Belarus must always wear a special badge Badge of a licensed guide in Belarus.

Do

Minskaje Mora (Minsk Sea) is an artificial reservoir 5km north of the city centre. There’s a free public beach, and pedal-boat and catamaran rental. Buses leave the central bus station regularly. Suburban trains go there – they leave from a special platform to the right of the central train station; no need to enter the main building, just head to the right to arrive at three little platforms (22-24) with their own ticket booths. To get there by car, head north along the P28 and lookout for signs after Ratamka village.

Ice Skating Rink infront of the Palac Respubliki. In Winter there are crowds of people ice skating here. It is open from 8AM to 10PM, and a pair of skates should cost 3000-5000 rubles (2$) to rent.

Skiing resorts located at Siličy and Lahojsk are the most popular place to have a rest in Minsk. Located not far from the city they provide wide range of winter activities: skiing, snowboarding, skating, tubing etc.

Buy

Woven and embroided linen goods are the most typical presents Belarusians take abroad. They can be purchased in specialist shops and any large department store. Souvenirs made of straw, wood and leather are traditional to Belarus too (not Russian Matryoshka, though), as well as hand-made pottery. Womens housery Milavitsa is widely known across former USSR. Belarusian vodka isn’t as well marketed as Russian or Polish, but can easily compete with those on quality and is traditional to Belarus too; look for well-designed bottles and packaging and the price can generally be a reliable guide to its quality. Another authentic Belarusian alcoholic drink is krambambulia – a slightly sweet herbal infusion – hard to find.

The Minsk Airport has reliable duty free shops with reasonably priced Belarusian alcohol, chocolate and souvenirs. Shop assistants, however, advise the passangers with transfers in the EU airports not to take the purchased liquids into hand luggage as they may be confiscated by the airport security (April 2014).

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

Eat

Belarusian cuisine is similar to that of the rest of Eastern Europe but particularly Russian and Ukrainian. Generally it features heavy-fat potato dishes, mushrooms, soups and baked meat. The quality of Western European cuisine (Italian, French…) is not amazing. The average level of cafes and restaurants is low but there are several good places in the center of the city. The price of a meal at these places should cost between 20,000 and 40,000 rubles. (1-2€)

  • Pechki-Lavochki, Main Ave. Is a great Belarusian restaurant.
  • Vasilki, Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci (Independence Avenue), 16, A restaurant serving traditional local cuisine. Pleasant interior in a rustic style. There are breakfasts from 8am. There are also restaurants at J. Kolasa str., 37, and Praspiekt Niezaliežnasci, 89
  • Beze, Main ave. Viennese style café with a great bakery and light snacks.
  • Gourman, close to Grand Opera Theater. Styled as an Italian trattoria. It serves Belarusian and European cuisine.
  • Freski Cafe, Niezaliežnasci Square. Café with a large choice of main dishes.
  • Taj, vulica Brylieŭskaja, 2. Wonderful North Indian restaurant. Vegetarians will find heaven. There should be an English menu available also. Vegetarian dishes start from around BYR 6,000 and mains from BYR 12,000. Open Noon-Midnight.
  • Chomolungme, vulitsa Hikaly 17. Huge menu with an array of cuisines: Nepalese, Tibetan, Sushi & Indian. Vegetarians and Vegans should also be able to find something here. Mains from BYR 8,000 to BYR30,000.
  • National Food, Trinity Suburb. Not the restaurant’s real name but this place has “National Food” on the front in big English letters so should be easy to find. It has a large menu of traditional food available in English, including a couple of vegetarian options. Mains BR20,000 to BR30,000. The food really sticks to your ribs. They also sell honey-flavoured kvass.
  • McDonald’s, (corner of Pr. Niezaliežnasci and Vul. Lienina / corner of Vul. Niamiha and Vul. Ramanaŭskaja Slabada). In most cities, McDonald’s doesn’t deserve or require a special listing. Minsk, however, is the capital of a country often described as having forgotten about the end of the Soviet Union. Nothing could be further from the truth, and the two prominent
  • McDonald’s restaurants in downtown Minsk are clear signs that Belarus has in fact changed a lot since the end of the cold war. Food is the same as in McDonald’s restaurants around the world.  edit
  • News Cafe, Address: Vulitsa Karla Marksa 34, Minsk, Belarus Phone:+375 29 103-11-11 Hours: Open today · 8AM–12AM Across from the UK embassy. It’s a must try in Minsk. Order the El-Capone it’s out of this world veal…

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.

Drink

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

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

  • London, Pr. Niezaliežnasci (close to KGB headquarters, on the other side of the street). This friendly little café, in the shadow of the KGB headquarters, offers a wide range of teas, free wi-fi, seating outdoors (with heaters) and a small cozy room upstairs where it’s possible to sit and talk in a relatively private setting.  edit
  • Golden Coffee Cafe, Pr. Niezaliežnasci, 18, ☎ +375 17 237 41 87, [14]. 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

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

Budget (1 star & hostels)

    40 Let Pobedy Hotel

Midrange (2-3 star)

 Belarus Hotel East Time Hotel Hotel Yubileiny Slavyanskaya Hotel

Splurge (4-5 star)

 Victoria Olimp Hotel Minsk Marriott Hotel Boutique Hotel Buta 




Booking.com

Stay Safe

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

Be careful when photographing government buildings and the monument to Lenin at Independence Square. While you might be observed and kindly ushered away from the monument, photographing government buildings can lead to trouble with authorities and even arrest. Be mindful of what you are photographing. While not seen as frequently as in Kiev, be aware of cars or delivery trucks moving on sidewalks. In some areas of Minsk parking is limited forcing drivers to manoeuvre and park their vehicles onto pedestrian lanes.

Embassies
  • India, Sabinava Street, 63,, ☎ 00-375-17-2629399 (amb@indemb.bn, fax: 00-375-17-2884799).  edit
  • Japan, Pr. Pieramožcaŭ (Pobediteley) 23/1, 8F, ☎ +375 17 2236233 (+375 17 2234481, fax: +375 17 2102169), [31].  edit
  • Netherlands, Vostochnaya str.133, office 503, ☎ +375-172-625323″
  • Poland, Z. Biaduli 11, ☎ 00-375-17-3885201, [32].  edit
  • Turkey, Ulitsa Voladarskova, 6, ☎ +375 17 327 14 08 (fax: +375 17 327 27 46), [33].  edit
  • United Kingdom, [34].  edit
  • United States, Staravilienskaja Str, 46, ☎ +375 17 210-12-83 / 217-7347 / 217-7348 (ConsularMinsk@state.gov, fax: +375 17 234-78-53), [35].  edit Please note that the US Embassy has been closed indefinitely. Americans with consular issues are required to contact the US Embassy in Moscow.
  • Venezuela, Kuibysheva Street, 14, ☎ 00-375-17-2845099 (fax: 00-375-17-2849347), [36].  edit

Get out

  • Lake Narač is the largest lake in Belarus, located about 160 km north of Minsk.
  • Brest is a regional capital on the border with Poland and is rich with history from both the Soviet times and before. You can see a Brest Hero Fortress, perhaps the most impressive Soviet monument ever built. You can get there by train (~20 daily trains running from Minsk) at $5-20. It takes 3-4 hrs by train. There are also overnight trains.
  • Hrodna is a border town in north-west Belarus, near 46 Kuźnica-Białostocka in Poland.
  • 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.

One thought on “Minsk – the Capital of Belarus

  • 26/04/2017 at 14:20
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    I have been here last year! What friendly people leaves in!!! Thanks Boris!

    Reply

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