Minsk

Minsk is the capital and biggest city of Belarus. It is situated on the Svislach and Niamiha rivers.

74 things to do

All Places Belarus



National Airport Minsk

International flights arrive here. If you are applying for a visa in Minsk Airport, or just landing there, it's important to know [http://www.minskguide.travel/belarus_travel_tips/belarus_immigration/minsk_airport_hazards.html several tips] about insurance, visa office and passport control. Spacious terminal building is impressive from outside, yet its interior and infrastructure are ideal examples of poor USSR-style design that renders the quiet airport with very sparse traffic ugly and inconvenient. - After passing the customs (first comes the Visa Office on the second floor, second - passports control, third - customs control), you find yourself in one of the dim ''arrival halls'' on the ground level. Each of the two halls offers a currency exchange booth (only one of them functions - the one in sector 5-6, 24/7 but with lots of stupid "technical breaks"), a newspaper kiosk in sector 5-6, 3rd floor, and lots of private taxi drivers. ATMs are few and badly marked, but they do help avoiding queues at the exchange booths. Car rentals (Sixt and Europcar) are located at the sector 5-6, on the far left. ''Departure hall'' on the third floor is brighter and more comfortable, with a 24/7 restaurant and few other places to eat (open 9—21) as well as a small souvenir shop and a bank office.

OTHER   —  +375 17 2791300 —  Map

Belarusian National History Museum

Here is the biggest collection of the monuments of material and spiritual culture of the Belarusian people from the ancient times to our days. Chronological frames of the museum fund are from 40, 000 B.C. to present time. Several collections of the museum are of special value: - The biggest archeological collection in Belarus. - Collection of materials on the history of primeval society includes hunting, fishing, and agricultural instruments, domestic and ritual articles, ancient works of art and adornment. - Manuscripts and block letter books. - Collection «Belarusian folk costume» features both everyday and festal, ceremonial Belarusian clothes; there are costumes of different age and social groups of population. - Collection of numismatics. - Exposition «The ancient Belarus». - Exposition «Old heraldry of Belarus».



Gorky Park

is a public park in Minsk, Belarus.-The park was established in 1800 under the name Governor's Garden. During the Soviet times it was renamed "парк культуры і адпачынку імя Максіма Горкага" (Park of culture and recreation after A.M.Gorky) after the famous Russian/Soviet writer Maksim Gorky. Parks with this name have been established in many cities of the Soviet Union. - A part of the park's territory is occupied by an '''amusement park''' with a 56 metre high Ferris wheel. It also has an educational observatory with planetarium. - The '''Ice Palace''' (indoors skating rink) is also located in Gorky Park. President Lukashenko, known for his hobby of ice hockey, frequents this place, at which times the access to this part of the park is closed for general public.

DO   —  Vulitsa Frunze 2

Avtovokzal Vostochny bus station

There are several bus routes from Vilnius central bus station to here. The bus also drops passengers off outside the railway station (look out for two Stalinist towers) in the centre before proceeding to the Vostochny (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, the bus is preferable. - International ticket office: "Vostochny" Bus Terminal - tel.: +375 17 3680628



McDonald's

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.

EAT   —  Map

Belarusian National Arts Museum

Excellent overview of fine arts in Belarus. Many art description placards in English, unlike most museums in Belarus. - More than twenty seven thousand works of art – creating twenty miscellaneous collections and comprising two main representative ones: the one of national art and the other of monuments of art of the countries and nations of the world – can be found on exposition, at the branches of the Museum and its depositories.

SEE   —  Vulitsa Lenina 20


Chelyuskinites Park

is an urban forest park in Minsk, Belarus. The park's area is 78 ha.- The park contains an amusement park. Other attractions include a Children's Railroad, operated exclusively by teenagers, and a cinema Raduga (Russian: rainbow). There is a Minsk Metro station "Park Chalyuskintsau" next to the park. The park is adjacent to the Minsk Botanical Garden.


Railway Station

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



Hotel “Europe”

Exclusive five-star hotel 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 was built in the Modernist style of the early 20th century. Late departure (till 11PM (23:00) is charged with 50% of the room rate.


National Library of Belarus

Huge, glass and concrete rhombicuboctahedron houses a collection of over 8 million items. On 22 floors it features conference halls, 20 reading rooms and a Book Museum, on the roof there is an observation deck with good views of the city and surrounding area (accessed from outside via lift, ticket price below €1).


National Food

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. The food really sticks to your ribs. They also sell honey-flavoured ''kvass''.

EAT   —  Map

Minsk-1

This is an old airport . The airfield is still in operation and, until recently, was used for domestic flights. Unless the airport is permanently closed, it might be interesting to visit the terminal building, a fine example of Stalinist architecture, and watch small airplanes scattered around the airfield.

OTHER   —  Map

Minsk Hostel of the International Relations Center

Unfairly overlooked by international tourism, this Minsk Hostel of the International Relations Center (Belarus Ministry of Education) is a well-located block of budget rooms that has few matches in budget quality/rate category. The hostel can only be booked by telephone. No English-speaking personnel.

SLEEP   —  +375 17 2008919 —  Korolya 12

Children's Railroad

This is a 750 mm (2 ft 5 1⁄2 in) narrow gauge railroad loop passing through the Chelyuskinites Park. The railway line counts 3 stations (listed from north to south): Zaslonovo, Pionerskaya (or Pionerskaja) and Sosnovy Bor (or Sosnovyj Bor); and a pair of rail loops after the end stops.


Hotel Orbita

Prospekt 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.

SLEEP   —  Map

Former Residence of Lee Harvey Oswald

Lee arrived in the Soviet Union in December 1959 willing to denounce his US citizenship and was sent to Minsk. He changed his name to Alek and married a native woman, Marina Prusakova, with whom he had a child. The young family left for the United States in June 1962.


Golden Coffee

This cafe is on the main strip and one of the few that has both an outside and inside patio. And it is THE place to see and be seen. The food is exquisite and they provide free wifi (till 6PM when it automatically goes off for some reason). Also two other locations.


Grand Cafe

A high end restaurant on Lenin Street. Try the roasted duck or salmon with asparagus. They offer a no smoking section, menu's in English and most of the servers speak good English, too. Making a reservation is recommended, especially on weekends.

DRINK   —  +375 44 7031111 —  Vulitsa Lenina 2

London

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   —  Pr. Nezalezhnasti

KGB Headquarters

This impressive building, on the main street of Minsk has a façade 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.


Vasil'ki

Bucolic style and good local fare. They also serve decent breakfasts. More restaurants of the same name can be found at 37 Yakuba Kolasa St. (metro station Akademiya Nauk) and 89 Nezalezhnasti Av. (metro station Park Chelyuskintsev).


"Tsentralnyi" Bus Terminal

International ticket offices: tel.: +375 17 3285605. - Buses to Augsburg (daily), Airport Minsk-2, Baranovichi, Brest, Bystrica, Warsaw, Vilnius hourly, Vitebsk, Gomel, Grodno, Munich


Central Bookshop

The largest bookshop in the city, some English language novels, guidebooks and stationary. Also posters of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko.


Hotel Belarus

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.


Sts Simon & Helena Church

The best known Roman Catholic church in the city, commonly known as the Red Church, built between 1908 and 1910 in Romanesque Revival style.


Dzhomalungma Indian

Huge menu with an array of cuisines: Nepalese, Tibetan, Sushi & Indian. Vegetarians and vegans should also be able to find something here.

EAT   —  Vulitsa Gikalo 17

Skiing resorts

These are the most popular places to have a rest. They provide wide range of winter activities: skiing, snowboarding, skating, tubing etc.

DO   —  Map

Hostel Traveler

Opened in May 2012. Away from the center but in a fully-renovated house. Spacious rooms and facilities. English is spoken.

SLEEP   —  +375 29 311 2783 —  Golodeda 9a

Crowne Plaza Minsk

5-star international hotel in the centre. The hotel, with its unique architecture, is opposite the Dynamo Stadium.

SLEEP   —  +375 17 2005354 —  Kirova 13

St Mary Magdalene Church

It was built in 1847 in the Russian Revival style, with a pointed octagonal bell tower over the entrance.


Gourman trattoria

Styled as an Italian trattoria, the place serves Belarusian and European cuisine. English menu available.


Sts Peter & Paul Church

Built in 1613 and restored in 1871, it is the oldest church in Minsk. It is worthwhile to go inside.

SEE   —  Vulitsa Rakovskaja 4

Taj restaurant

North Indian restaurant. There should be an English menu available. Indian dance group on weekends.


Minsk Sea

This is an artificial reservoir. There's a free public beach, and pedal-boat and catamaran rental.

DO   —  Map

Planeta

They have great services all within the hotel. Internet cafe is open till 8PM. Casino is open 24h.


Khatyn Memorial Complex

50 km north. A place where a village, savagely massacred in 1943 by Nazi forces, once stood.

SEE   —  Map

Suvenirnaja Lavka

A souvenir type shop with straw crafts, wooden boxes, embroidered linen & Belarusian alcohol.


Ў Gallery

contemporary art space, a bar, a bookstore and a souvenir shop with Belarusian design.


Art Palace

Several exhibition spaces showing modern art, second hand books and antiques stalls.

SEE   —  Vulitsa Kazlova 3

Stalin's Line

A reconstructed line of defences on what once was the state border of the USSR.

SEE   —  +375 0175032020 —  Map

40 Let Pobedy

Nice rooms, decent location. No internet, few English speaking receptionists.

SLEEP   —  Azgura 3

Mastatsky Salon

An art gallery with local artists exhibitions and some overpriced souvenirs.


Mound of Glory

70m high mound from 1969 commemorating Soviet soldiers who died during WW2.

SEE   —  Map

Hostel Viva

Closest hostel to the centre, opened in 2012. Two bathrooms per 24 beds.

SLEEP   —  +375 33 627 1133 —  Zhukovsky 4/ 1N

Maksim Bahdanovič Literary Museum

It is dedicated to the writer Maksim Bahdanovič (1891–1917).


Beze Cafe

Viennese style café with a great bakery and light snacks.


Ice skating rink

In winter there are crowds of people ice skating here.

DO   —  Map

Belarusian Great Patriotic War Museum

A large collection of exhibits about WWII in Belarus.


Botanical Garden

with some 9,000 different species. Opened in 1932.

DO   —  Map

GUM department store

built in the 50s, Socialist Realist classic


Freskee Cafe

Café with a large choice of main dishes.

EAT   —  Nezalezhnasti pr. 18

Podzemka Bookshop

An underground bookshop-cum-art gallery.


Kuchmistr

Belarusian and Lithuanian cuisine.


Bus station Karbyshava

For suburban buses

OTHER   —  vulica Karbyšava

Hostel Jazz

Up to 42 places.


Yanka Kupala Park

DO   —  Map

Minsk Zoo

DO   —  Map


Source: wikivoyage