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Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is a modern city with elements of its Soviet-era history on display throughout. Much of the country has been rebuilt since World War II, and its architecture is a monument to its turbulent past, while its thriving businesses are a badge of its prosperous present. Don't miss visiting this Eastern European jewel!
Minsk has beautiful churches that are worth a visit, from both Eastern Orthodox and Catholic traditions. You can even sleep in a converted monastery, the Manastyrski Hotel.
The city has been the flashpoint for several historic events and the Museum of the Great Patriotic War captures the imagination of WWII buffs.
Rich and homey, food in Minsk is as hearty as it gets; enjoy fluffy draniki and traditional herring-stuffed tomatoes.
Craft fairs throughout Minsk feature the handiwork of local artisans. Take home a matryoshka doll from the Stolitsa Underground Mall.
Drink your way through the city with local offerings like Balsam and vodka as well as Belgian and Bavarian brews on tap at city pubs.
Visit Minsk in the mid-summer, when temperatures are around 68 degrees, or just at the beginning of fall. Avoid the winters as it can get as cold as -31 degrees.
Travelers will land at Minsk National Airport (MSQ). Take an airport bus to Centralny or train to Minsk Pasayrski in the city center for Br60,000.
Minsk Pasayrski is the main rail hub in Minsk and connects to trains coming in from many European cities, like Kiev and Vilnius.
Driving in to Minsk from other European cities like Warsaw or Kiev is a scenic trip with multiple routes, such as the P99 or P31. From Warsaw, for example, get on the S8 from Wisłostrada. Take the DK8 to Bialystok. Then get on to the E30/M1 and continue on to Minsk. Border crossings can take some time so be prepared.
Like trains, there are many services from European cities to Minsk, which arrive at the Avtovokzal Vostochny bus station.
When staying in Minsk, choose Crowne Plaza Minsk for a luxury stay, Hotel Belarus if you want a mid-range option, and Marx Hostel for budget-friendly but centrally located accommodation
Chyzhouka - this is a well-connected district in the southeast that is close to the Minsk Zoo and the Chyzhouka-Arena, which hosts concerts and hockey games.
Trinity Hill - Trinity Hill is a beautiful suburb in Minsk with luxurious homes, a waterfront, and several parks.
Nezavisimosti - the main hub of Minsk hosts lots of businesses and a beautiful park.
Public transport in Minsk consists of trams, buses, and subway. One ticket costs Br3,700, although 10-day and 14-day passes are available.
Getting around by taxi in Minsk is easy, and rates start at Br70,000.
Grab a car rental from Sixt or Europcar for EUR59.04 per day.
Besides the Stolitsa Underground Mall, don't miss Suvenirnaja Lavka, which is a famous souvenir shop with local crafts, and GUM department store in Prospekt Nezalezhnosti for fashion shopping.
A quart of milk in Minsk is Br11,829 while a dozen eggs costs Br22,653.
Close to Trinity Hill, right across from the Svislach River is one of the top-rated authentic restaurants in Minsk, Kuhmistr, dishing up Belarusian and Lithuanian food like kvaas. Expect to spend around Br60,000-120,000.