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).
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!
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…
If you like this guide you might also want to stick around and read:
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.
An affordable accomodation option in Minsk offering single and twin rooms at low prices with included breakfast. Attatched to the Lebyazhy Waterpark guests also enjoy free access to one of the zones in Water Park –> Check it out
Central located in the Moskovsky District the Minsk Hotel renaissance is a good middle-range hotel for food, living like a local in Minsk and sight-seeing. Plenty of amenities and don’t forget to ask about their Belarus Visa Support. –> Check it out
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
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!
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!