Honestly I didn’t know much about the country prior to my visit there.
I just knew that it is soviet republic, therefore my expectations about Minsk were to be a city, similar to Kiew.
Visiting Minsk was at the bottom of my wishlist with European capitals.
How to get there?
Unfortunately the most popular European low-cost airlines don’t fly to Minsk. Based on my research, the cheapest option to get there is to buy a ticket to Vilnius (Lithuania) and then to get ticket from there to Minsk (it takes 30 mins by plane or 3 hours by train).
If you arrive in Minsk by plane, you will get a free visa. If you get there by train or car – the cost for the visa is 60 EUR.
About the City
Minsk is a huge city – very well maintained, with lots of parks and walking areas. It has preserved the soviet architecture and look, but in somehow modern way. The spirit is similar to Moscow – very wide streets and buildings, each metro station is a piece of art. You can feel the cultural traditions and habits by the look of the public halls for Opera, Circus, etc. If you are planning a trip to Minsk, I suggest to plan it for the summer. Otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the beautiful parks.
Things to see
The places that I have managed to visit having only a weekend at the beginning of March are:
- National Library of Repupblic of Belarus
- Belarusian Great Patriotic War Museum
- The Red Church
- Victory Park
- Janki Kupaly Park
- Belarusian State Circus
- The Island of Tears
- All Saints Church ( I was impressed!)
- A walk around the Old Town is worth (there are lots of creative small statuses all around the streets)
- A walk around Kastrychnitskaya street is a must – a hipster area with Huge pieces of Street Art and many interesting bars and restaurants
- If you are staying for a longer period, there are some 1-day tours outside of Minsk (Belarusian Castles Tour for example)
the food is super delicious and super cheap (а full meal costs less than 10 EUR)
the metro service is also very cheap (about 50 cents)
there are lots of bar and night clubs
there aren’t any traffic jams (the streets are so huge, so they can support all the traffic)
the people are friendly; most of them don’t speak english, but it doesn’t stop them to help you
So if you were in doubt about visiting Minsk – you probably underestimated the city as I did. Just check for suitable tickets in the summer and go there! 🙂
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