Quite a few cities in the world have the fortune to Minsk. Prominently known as the capital of Belarus, this city is also headquarters of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Minsk has always been one to enjoy power. In the 20th century, in the timespan from the First World War to the end of the Cold War, Minsk served as the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Its power caused it to be almost completely destroyed in the Second World War. However, much of the city was rebuilt in the 1950s according to the plans of Stalin. If you look at the map of the city, you will immediately realise this city has had its foundations in a very ancient period of history. Earliest historical references state that the city existed as a provincial city in the 11th century in the Polotsk province. The layout of the city today hints at the fact that it was heavily guarded and was very influential. All the time periods and events that unfolded in Minsk have influenced the city. The rich cultural heritage and the feel of aristocracy that lingers in the city air can hardly be missed by anyone. There are museums dedicated to the various aspects of the city’s life like the military age, the art age and the social practices. Another way to understand Minsk is by visiting the numerous churches and state buildings in the city. Each of these is an architectural masterpiece, not exactly following a Belarusian style of design, but charismatic and powerful in their style. These buildings are made to belong to the country thanks to the materials and the appearance given to them. Many of the buildings are pristine and white but the most important ones were constructed in red bricks. Minsk is almost circular in its layout. As you head out from the heart of town, you can see the various periods that gave prominence to the city. Despite its heritage, Minsk is modern in its approach to life. The Belarusian capital has all the facilities that make it one of the must-visit places in Europe. The people here are quite warm and friendly, if you can navigate through the language barrier. The overall atmosphere is quite lively and charming, much unlike the grim Soviet past that is a part of the city that cannot be erased completely. Minsk is a city that does not disappoint if you want the best of both worlds in one place.
Essential travel information and Minsk tips for your visit
- Time Zone: UTC +03.00
- Currency: Belarusian Ruble
- Language: Russian
- Electricity: 220 V, 50 Hz
- Internet: Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi. There are plenty of Wi-Fi spots all over the city.
- Security: Emergency Number: Police – 102; Ambulance – 103; Bus Station – 114; Taxi – 107, 135, 152; Minsk Information Service – 168
- Tipping: 5% of the restaurant bill.
- Tipping is not expected but is appreciated.
- Be careful when photographing state buildings and the Lenin Monument. It is likely to cause trouble.
- Sometimes cars and delivery trucks ride on the sidewalks. Be careful if such a thing happens.
- You will find it easier to move around the city of you know a bit of Russian or Belarusian. Only a few people in Minsk speak English.
- This is a relatively safe city, even at night. There is plenty of police protection throughout the city.
Minsk Trip Planner
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The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Minsk
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