Minsk Quick Guide
Minsk! It may or may not be the least known capital in Europe, but one thing is for sure – it is a hip up-and-coming travel destination not to be missed out on. It is a surefire pleaser for the most dedicated travelers, eager to discover Europe’s most hidden travel gems. There is plenty to do in the city of broad boulevards and green alleys, from sightseeing the historic old town known as the Trinity Suburb and visiting numerous historic and art museums to going out in style at one of the city’s fashionable nightclubs.
Don’t take our word for it. Check it out for yourself!
Where to begin? Minsk has been off the beaten path of visitors to Eastern Europe for some time, so there can be a shortage of info about this place. This is why we suggest these traditional guidebooks and travel websites as good places to start.: for the official word on things to see and do, there’s the official Belarus website with lots of useful travel information, and the World Travel Guide to Belarus. Alternatively, you can always contact a professional tour guide for half-day and day-long itineraries and walking tours.
For the grassroots opinion, TripAdvisor’s Minsk Website includes user reviews of areas, sights, hotels, and restaurants. World Travel Guide by Triposo is an app which works even when you are offline and features all sorts of useful information about Minsk, from weather forecast to maps and local guides. Once you’ve had a taste, however, and want more, dig a little deeper into online forums and other apps. Lonely Planet’s Minsk page has a core group of dedicated posters, who update it with great travel ideas.
Foodies might also want to check out websites such as Relax.by, which is only featured in Russian, but for your convenience we have created a link to a translated version of it. This website hosts the most comprehensive list of gourmet restaurants in Minsk. In fact, many English travel guides do not have the most up-to-date information about where to eat out in Minsk. Yet, Minsk has plenty to offer to foodies from around the world, from authentic Belarusian food to first-class Japanese restaurants. Over the past few years numerous new restaurants appeared all over the city like mushrooms after the rain. Belarusian cuisine has a lot to offer – from fantastic crepes at street stalls to gourmet drankiki (potato pancakes) at finer restaurants. And don’t worry too much about the language barrier — many restaurants have English menu and, even if they don’t, the waiting personnel usually speaks English. Plus, a little pointing and pantomiming can go a long way. One other advantage about heading out on a foodie journey to Minsk is that the food even at fine restaurants is much cheaper than in Europe and the US.
The question is, given the city’s relative lack of promotion, where to stay? Minsk is home to some fabulous international-calibre hotels, such as the President Hotel Minsk, or the Hotel Europe. Many tourists also opt for rented apartments in Minsk, which are relatively inexpensive if you want to rent them for a short-term stay. Other alternatives include Airbnb for stays in local residences and, for the truly adventurous, Couchsurfing (website requires sign up).
Once you are in the country, the best way to stay in touch with family and friends abroad or to surf the internet is with the TravelSim international SIM card, which will let you save big time on roaming phone calls. With its prepaid Europe SIM card, you can receive free incoming SMS messages from around the world and receive incoming calls for only €0.15 cents/minute. For more information on our rates in Belarus please visit our Europe page.