20 Exciting Things You Absolutely Cannot Leave Minsk Without Seeing!

Have you booked a flight and then suddenly realised you have no idea what to do in Minsk, the Capital of Belarus?

Don’t worry you not the only one! I’ll be honest – I knew nothing about Belarus before booking a flight here [besides reading about the presidents “mini-me”] but was very worried after my research. The country is run by “Europe’s last dictator” who has been in complete control for the last 20 years complete with secret police, political opponents going missing, election fraud… Really horrible stuff that shouldn’t be allowed to continue in the 21st century *but* (and I guess this is there danger).

However you wouldn’t know any of this if you were to visit. People here, including military and police, were kind and super helpful – always willing to deal with my lack of Russian and point me in the right direction!

What To Do In Minsk

You turn left at the hammer and sickle, then right at the Lenin memorial…If you pass the dictators house you’ve gone to far!

I had a week in time warped Belarus – where apparently no one was told of the USSR collapse!

Here the secret police are still called KGB, tractor sales are indicators for the success of the economy and a statute of Lenin still stands outside the Government House Building. Soviet-era monuments and Stalinist architecture were a huge highlight of in Minsk but I was also interested to see first hand what life is like here in this ah… “unique” country! It is the least touristy city I have been to in Europe and while 7 days might be a bit too long in just the capital it’s cheap, clean and has a lot going on if you do your research.

Not sure if I want to promote it given the political situation but I reason that the more ‘westerners’ that visit, the more open the regime will get – or at least the more aware the world will be of what is going on in this often forgotten country. The America’s have Cuba, Asia has Myanmar and Europe has Belarus…

 What To Do In Minsk, Capital of Belarus: The Highlights

What To Do In Minsk

 What To Do In Minsk #1 : People watch along Independence Avenue, the cities main thoroughfare.

What To Do In Minsk

What to Visit in Minsk #2 : Admire the communist busts at the award winning Zair Azgur Memorial Museum and Workshop.

What To Do In Minsk

Secret things to Do in Minsk #3 : Catch the Metro and admiring the beautiful artwork in these ‘palaces of the people’.

Secret things to Do in Minsk - Belarusian State Circus

What To Do In Minsk #4 : Enjoy a cheap night of fun and laughter at the Belarusian State Circus.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #5 : See history from a different perspective at the Belarusian Great Patriotic War Museum.

What To Do In Minsk

What to Visit in Minsk #6 : Pay your respect at the Afghan War Memorial On Island Of Tears.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #7 : Visit the Victory Monument and look out for the changing of the guards at its Eternal Flame.

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Secret things to Do in Minsk #8 : Have your daily cat fix at the bizarre Minsk Cat Cafe.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #9 : Visit the All Saints Church, the most beautiful Orthodox church in Minsk and a memorial to innocent victims of war.

What To Do In Minsk

What to Visit in Minsk #10 : Discover the weird Soviet sculptures and their modern juxtaposing.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #11 :Admire the Red Church, the Roman Catholic centre of faith in Belarus.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #12 : Say Hi to the statue of Lenin which still stands outside the Minsk Government House, the Capital of Belarus.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk Guide #13 : Enjoy a night of art and culture at the National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre.

What To Do In Minsk

Secret things to Do in Minsk #14 : Admire the plethora of Soviet art that still dominants the cityscape.

What To Do In Minsk

What to See in Belarus #15 : Look out for any events or shows going on at the Palace of the Republic.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #16 :Visit the National Library of Belarus admire its weird rhombicuboctahedron architecture.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #17 :Find your own green space and relax with a book in this city of parks and gardens.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk Guide#18 : Spy on the KGB in their own building, just be careful to not get caught taking photos!

What To Do In Minsk

What to See in Belarus #19 : Admire grand Stalinist architecture in all its glory at the City Gates.

What To Do In Minsk

What To Do In Minsk #20 : Wander around the old town, the last trace of Minsk prior to communism.


If you like this guide you might also want to stick around and read:


BONUS!! What to See in Belarus: Check out Mir Castle and Nesvizh, UNESCO World Heritage Sites only a few hours out of the city!

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Where To Stay in Minsk: Some Options For Great Hotels in Minsk City Centre

When planning a trip to Minsk – location is key, and of course if you need Belarus visa support (even for the Belarus visa on arrival) you are going to need to check if your Minsk hotel visa support is going to work. You generally do this after booking, and if they cannot offer it there are also Belarus travel agencies offering visa support services (or you can cancel most Booking.com reservations free-of-charge). Hotels in Minsk Belarus prices vary significantly so here are three great options for you to consider with great location, prices, reviews and amenities.

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hotels in minsk city centre - Minsk Double Tree By The Hilton

LUXURY
DoubleTree by Hilton Minsk

One of the best hotels in Minsk city center and only 600m from the Holy Spirit Cathedral. DoubleTree  offers city and river view rooms, a fine-dining restaurant and a fitness center. For those wanting to pamper themselves a bit. –> Check it out

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So has Minsk Guide help you? Check it Belarus while this weird little place is still around! Also check this post out for a more extensive guide to Minsk architecture! If there are any things I have missed for What To Do In Minsk please let me know! Enjoy!

  

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Further Things To Consider Before Any Adventure

Now you're all set and prepared to explore our big wide world, why not sort out everything else out all in one go? If necessary for your travel plans make sure you have brought proper travel insurance, protected your privacy by getting a secure VPN, compared all the top hotel booking sites to find just what you're after, reserved an unbeatable rental car price and - of course - booked the best flight deals!

Or maybe just forget it all and go for a last minute cruise or effortless tour instead?

Many budget travelers (including me) indulge in worldwide airport lounge access, so we can experience luxury while still slumming it in economy. Naturally, we would never leave home without a more a more general travel guide since we couldn’t possibly cover everything here!

Just add an adventurous attitude and plenty of smiles - they go a long way - and that about covers it all! Now go out, find your own path and don't forget to share your best inspiration stories with me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram...I'd love to hear from you!

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for letting me know – Must have got the wrong end of the stick with my non-existent Russian. I’ve changed now!

  2. “Visit the Victory Monument and The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.” I don’t think there is a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier there. The monument is dedicated to all people who died at war.

    In No 12 I guess the word Minsk is missing, and technically it’s Government House, not the Parliament.

  3. Haha it is a very different place and I honestly loved it!

  4. Amanda says:

    i don’t know how you managed to make a week in minsk look so interesting!!!