I just came back from my trip to Minsk in Belarus and can’t wait to share my top 10 reasons to visit this charming city. You would be surprised how many things you can do and see in this unusual destination.
10 and more reasons to visit Minsk
In the first place, there are no crowds, no queues and no long hours of waiting and waiting in front of the attraction you absolutely want to visit in Minsk. Continue to read and check my 10 and more reasons to visit Minsk in Belarus to hit the road immediately!
Minsk is a visa-free destination for a bunch of countries for up to 5 days!
Do you hate making all the paperwork and read all about visa requirements? In order to facilitate tourism, the Belarusian government offers a visa-free entry for a lot of countries if you stay there up to 5 days! Including all European Union countries! For more information, check the official website. You can also call the consulate to check what are the visa-free requirements for your country. They will advise you on the travel insurance and the rest. There is an option to make travel insurance at the Minsk national airport as well.
Belarus is a low-budget destination
Another great reason to visit Belarus is that accommodation, transportation, and food are very cheap there! So, if you want to eat well and enjoy a low-budget destination, this is the place to be! Again, a little tip from my experience: you can reach the city centre of Minsk by public transport from Minsk National Airport (called Minsk 2), but check at the airport which bus you can take and where to stop as most likely you will need to take a metro afterwards to reach your final destination (as we did). Otherwise, public transport is really cheap!
Immerse yourself in Soviet architecture
Furthermore, If you are interested in Soviet architecture, Minsk will enchant you! All the buildings are preserved as they were designed during the Soviet era or have been meticulously restored! You will be completely immersed in Soviet architectural style! Walk around and explore! Keep in mind that you have to check which building you are allowed to photograph as there are some restrictions (for example, you cannot take in a picture the railway station)…
Visit the ”World of giants” – BELAZ factory
Most noteworthy, the main reason we went to Belarus was to visit one of the biggest manufacturers of mining trucks in the world – BELAZ. The factory is located in Zhodina, a small town in 50 km north of Minsk. BELAZ manufactures the biggest mining truck in the world: the 450 tons payload! You can also book an organized tour of the factory and discover the giant machines. Moreover, you can even make a little tour in one of them! This is one in a lifetime mind-blowing experience. Do not miss it out! If you visit Minsk in September, there is an open day at BELAZ at the end of the month and everything is for free! Check the official website for more information.
Another reason to visit Minsk – eating well en enjoying life!
There is so much to try in Minsk in terms of food! Even if you travel on a budget and do the supermarket, you can find all the typical delicacies there. Likewise, we did our groceries in Sosedi (meaning neighbours in English) and I bought and ate so many things: absolutely try the local dairy products: creme fraiche, butter, cheese; all kind of salami; bread, especially the brown bread; sweets: sirniki, plombir ice cream, chocolates, and the local tea! If you want to go out to eat, I would recommend the bistro ”SVOI” (Locals in English). You will be delighted by the atmosphere and the food: zhur, draniki, sirniki, tea, you name it!
Great sightseeing tour of Minsk
Not to mention, that we thought the city of Minsk is not going to be as big as it was and we will be able to do the sightseeing by walk! Huge mistake! Go on a free walking tour or on an organized tour first and then come back to the places you would like to see once again! We walked through a few of them the first day, but the next day realized that we missed a huge part of the city centre! To sum up I would advise you to spend a little bit of your budget to properly discover the city! Needless to say that the main boulevard is massive, choose what to see first!
If you like parks and outdoors, Minsk has a lot to offer in terms of green spaces. You’ll also cross some of them walking in the city centre.
If you want to know more about World War II from the Soviet Union’s perspective, visit Minsk!
From Victory Square to Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, to Mound of Glory and Khatyn Memorial, wherever you go, you will be reminded of this period of the history.
To conclude, where to go and what to see?
- Victory Square and Independence Boulevard (walking along the boulevard)
- Gate of the City and the Railway Station
- The City Hall, the Catholic Cathedral, and the Most Blessed Virgin Mary –
- Freedom and Oktyabrskaya squares
- The Catholic Church of Sts Simon and Helena
- The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Belarus
- The Belarusian State Circus
- Trinity Hill
- The National Library of Belarus
- Belaz Factory Zhodino
- The museum complex of ancient crafts and technologies Dudutki –
- Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War –
- SVOI restaurant http://restoransvoi.by/
- GUM shopping centre
That was my list of 10 and more reasons to visit Minsk in Belarus. I hope you are ready to pack up!
Thanks for reading!