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Explore The City Without Getting Lost In Minsk, Belarus

Almost all means of transportation can be used to go to Minsk, well except for water transportation. But aside from that, you have many options on how to travel to the capital of Belarus. However, there is one universal rule for all types of transportation when you’re a traveler from a foreign country and that is to have a VISA to enter.

Plane
Of course, the fastest way to travel to Minsk would be by airplane. The majority of international flights use the Minsk-2 airport, 40km from the city. Belavia, the national airline has 41 destinations throughout the world. One way ticket price from London to Minsk costs 279 pounds. While other domestic and neighboring country flights use the Minsk-1 airport just 3km off Minsk.

Train
Almost all the neighboring countries have trains that depart going to Minsk daily. Berlin, for example, has a daily 20-hour train voyage that leaves every 1:49 pm. Ticket fare costs about €69 for 2nd class, and €109 for 1st. Moscow also has a 6-hour daily voyage that departs from the Moscow station at 11:30 pm. Kiev to Minsk takes about 6 hours and tickets cost about US$12.

Car
If you feel doing a road trip by car makes you most comfortable, you can certainly do so. Though, there are two setbacks in the car traveling. First, is that you have to acquire a thorough understanding of the border system as it is included in the European Union (EU). Second, being part of the EU, border authority is strict so crossing the border may take some time. Just prepare beforehand your VISA and papers, and the time in the border check may be lessened.

Transport

Minsk has a broad transportation system that people can use easily to travel around the city; it includes subway, buses/bus trams, taxi, and trolleys. You can choose either of the modes of transportation given to go around and enjoy Minsk.

Minsk Metro (Subway)
Considered as the most dependable mode of transportation, the subway consists of about 20 or so stations that are allocated in two lines. Trains also leave every three minutes so you are sure not to be behind schedule. For travelers especially foreign, because it would be hard communicating in their language, one advice would be to buy in advance a pass that can give you multiple rides. This also makes you avoid the long lines in the ticket booth during rush hour. The ticket price is at 850 rubles or 460 BYR.

Taxi
For getting to the exact location you desire, a taxi is always the best choice. It’s cheap and easy to ride but just to be on the safe side, pick the official yellow cab to avoid trouble with getting to the destination and fare expenses. For travelers who especially don’t speak the city’s language, it’s better beforehand to write down your destination and show it to the driver. 1,500 Belarusian Rubles per kilometer is the rate.

Buses
Though this alternative can be a good choice for traveling around the city, one disadvantage is finding out which bus to ride from a certain stop especially if you can’t read Russian or Belarusian. There are three main bus stations in Minsk; the Central bus station, Vostochniy bus station, and the Moskovskiy bus station.

Rent-a-Car
You can also try renting a car so you can travel the city without limits while gain know-how’s in the Minsk traffic and roads. There are many rental companies that can offer rentals, price rates start at US$20 per day depending on the period and model.

Car Rental

Renting a car and having a driver take you anywhere in the city is perhaps the most convenient way of traveling not only in Minsk but anywhere you are traveling to. You won’t need to line up to get your tickets, no need to travel through crowds and no risk of getting lost.

In Minsk, there are various car rental options available. There are international car rental services that will offer you the best cars and the best service, though it surely would come at a price. Some of the international car rental services available are Europcar, Hertz, and Sixt.

Europcar rental stations are conveniently found in airports, railway stations and also in city centers. They offer new car models for rent and also offer vans for clients who need a bigger space to travel in. Hertz also offers rental for cars and mini-buses that good for groups. They are open for booking Monday to Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. If you book online, their office is open 24 hours to accommodate any of your concerns. Sixt is another international car rental company that offers its services to Minsk tourists and locals. Aside from cars, they also have limousines, vans, and trucks available for rent. You will find a Sixt car rental station at the airport and at Pobediteley avenue 59.

Trains

Trains are a necessity given that Minsk is a big metropolis. This in hand makes people travel more conveniently and faster around the city due to various subways scattered around. There are a total of 25 stations in Minsk which uses two lines; the Moskovskaya and the Avtozavodskaya line.

The good thing about traveling via subway is that it’s cheap because it has a fixed price. Which means wherever you go, you’ll only have to spend 460 BYR. To ride the train simply go to the ticket booth, present your payment, and you’ll be given a token on which you’ll use to drop in the turnstile. An important reminder to travelers, prepare a piece of paper with your destination written in Russian or Belarusian for cashiers and station personnel help you find your way to the correct train.

As convenient as it is, trains in Minsk are fast and on time so you need not worry if you’re a tad bit in a hurry, you’ll get to your destination in no time. There are trains arriving and departing every three minutes to ensure passenger control and satisfaction.

On the other hand, Subways in Minsk are unbelievably clean not to mention safe. There are always guards or police hanging out the gates while some even inside trains. Some subways are modern such as the Minsk Passenger Train Station which is the Main Station with the state of the art futuristic look while others have the old Soviet Russian design which gives off a back-to-the-past feel.

Buses

Buses/trams are only one of the modes of transportation used to go around the capital. Although traveling by bus can be tricky due to complex bus routes as well as the language barrier you’ll be facing, it’s still a good choice of transportation especially if you want to see some sights and attractions while riding the bus.

For one not to ride on the wrong bus, the best way is to get a current map of the city along with a transportation scheme and bus route guide. Also, you must familiarize yourself with the bus routes such as the #100 bus route which travels around the main road of Minsk. The #300 can give you a ride from either Vostochniy or Moskovskiy to the Airport. The ticket costs 7000 BYR.

There are a total of 5 public stations in Minsk including the Minsk Central Bus Station located in 6 Bobruiskaya Ulitsa and the Moskovsky Bus Station in 63 Filimonova Ulitsa. Also constructed are private lines that accommodate bus routes that travel to faraway cities as well as other countries in Europe.
Tickets can be sold in booths or directly from the ticket seller on the bus. You can also buy tickets in advances such as a ten-day pass or a monthly pass. Also, tickets are one way which costs 650 rubles.

Flight

The first place that you will see upon your arrival in the beautiful city of Minsk in the Minsk International Airport. Opened in 1982, it has flights to and from numerous countries like Italy, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Cyprus, Poland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.

The airport is the major international airport in the Republic of Belarus, of which the national carrier is the Belavia. This airline has direct flights to a lot of cities in Europe such as Paris, London, Moscow, Vienna, Kiev, Frankfurt, Rome, Riga, and Warsaw. Other airlines operating in the Minsk International Airport are Lufthansa, a German airline; the Austrian Airlines Group; LOT Polish Airlines; and AirBaltic, a Latvian airline.

Aside from flights to neighboring European cities and other countries, the Minsk International Airport also offers flights to other towns in Belarus. These flights are limited though.

When you get to the airport, a consular service desk and an insurance agent will be available for your concerns. Passport control will then be found to check all necessary information.

From the airport, there are a lot of transportation options for going to the city. The cheapest way would be to ride a bus and the most convenient would be to take a taxi or rent a car. If you opt to take the bus, there are buses that depart every hour and this is from 7 AM to 10:30 PM. Taxis and car rental services are found at the arrivals.

Sandy

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