If you are looking for a travel destination that’s filled with a unique experience, then Minsk is the place to be. The capital and the largest city of Belarus, Minsk is where the Commonwealth of Independent States is found. Several architecture sights and museums can are also situated here so whether you have a short or long stay in the city, you are guaranteed to have a handful of itinerary options.
But before you go pack your bags and head to the airport, it would be wise to do a little research about the city first and get to know it before you make your exploration. Reading about Minks information or getting a Minsk city guide will give you a head start on what to expect and see in this European city. Checking out a list of top Minsk attractions, on the other hand, will already provide you with ideas on the best stops to make in Minsk.
If you want to really make the most of your stay in the city, tourists would also have to read about the best time to visit Minsk. It could be the season or the festivals, but these factors will significantly influence the activities that you can do and enjoy in the city.
Understanding Minks’ history will provide tourists with better insight and appreciation of this Belarus city. Each landmark and sights of Minsk tells a story, learning about this story allows you to better embrace the city’s offerings. Other than the history, the people and the weather in Minsk also add spice to your tour, so make sure to also do a little research about these respective topics.
Don’t come unprepared in Minsk. Do your readings so you can truly experience the best of it.
When to Visit Minsk?
Minsk, the capital of Belarus is a clean and beautiful city. There are lots of breathtaking sights and wonderful tourist destinations to visit, so picking the right season to go to can be a necessity to enjoying your stay there. The summer there can be very hot whereas winter can be very cold thus being prepared when to go on a trip will be crucial.
Summer can be a good time to go to Minsk. The weather is alluring, the people are vigorous, and the sights are sparkling. Street cafes are also opened almost everywhere in the city during this season. And because it is summer, many of the people are free from schooling as well as taking a vacation from work so you can expect the place to be electrifying and never boring.
The cold temperature of winter may hinder you from stopping over. But at this time of the year, it’s said to be the most attractive for the eyes because of the bright pretty lights. Especially at night, the Christmas lights along with the night sky and the white snow can leave a mood of peace and tranquility.
For the best month to visit, it would be in July. The rainy days this month would be less and with the average 17.8°C temperature, it can be just right for going out and enjoying the city.
Because Minsk is a relatively new city to explore, planning for a short stay in the city is but a necessity. If you do not have much time to spend in this capital of Belarus, then might as well make sure that you carefully plan for your activities and see that you do not waste any of your precious time.
A weekend in Minsk, for example, maybe quite short, but for those who’ve made careful planning of their itinerary will see that a two-days stay in the city is not bad at all to get acquainted with the best sights and attractions it has. While a weekend in the city is too short, a long weekend in Minsk may give you more time to do and see more in town. This also allows you to add more places to visit, including those for a nightlife experience.
Spending a week in Minsk is already ideal for those who really opt for a short stay. A whole week is quite enough to do both indoor and outdoor activities in the capital. You can possibly visit all 11 theatres and 16 museums during this span of time.
There are also companies in Minsk that offer day trip services. Here, you get to see a quick view of the important sights and landmarks in the city for a whole day of a guided tour. While this may be short, exploring the city with a guide is still guaranteed to be filled with fun and learning.
Despite the short stay in the city, a carefully planned tour will still allow you to fall in love with the city of Minsk.
Many marvelous, dazzling sights and attractions lie wait to be visited in the Capital of Belarus. These various sights and landmarks provide a sense of enjoyment with a hint of facts that will make one’s experience memorable. Here are some of the best attractions Minsk can offer which will most likely highlight one’s visit to the city.
Incorporated in the UNESCO List of World Heritage, this castle with its breathtaking and stunning architecture will surely capture the minds of sightseers. Built between the 15th to the 16th century, What draws attention to the castle are the 4 towers erected in each corner of the castle and the imposing drawbridge which both signify the sturdiness of the well-built fortress.
When you think of Minsk attractions, the first thing locals say is Victory Square. This iconic landmark is famous throughout the Capital and if you go on a tour, the sight will always come in mind with the guide or the locals. In the center of the square stands a 40m obelisk that remembers the heroes who gave their lives in the Great Patriotic War.
Named after a Belarussian pilot, the Chelyuskinites Park is an old-fashioned amusement park in Minsk. Even if this is no Disneyland, you will still leave with a fascinating experience in this park. It was built in 1932 and it is said that not much has changed since then. You’ll see park rides like the roller coaster and Ferris wheel, plus there is a botanical garden nearby.
Sankt Simeon and Alyona Catholic Church
You will notice grey structures surround the area of this church. This makes the church more perceptible to the eyes as it has a red brick outlook. The Lavish, dazzling design and architecture of this building will surprise the tourists due to its bright decorated theme. Distinguished characteristics consist of the Roman aspects from the 20th century as well as the installed Nagasaki Bell.
Cathedral of the Holy Ghost
Originally built in 1642 as a convent for Bernadine nuns, this is among the few historic buildings that still remain in Minsk. The main attraction of the buildings is what is houses inside: Moscow Academic School’s collection of icons that includes the Icon of the Mother of God said to have been made by St. Luke the Evangelist.
This memorial is created from the remnants of what was once a peaceful village that was shattered in the 2nd World War. Throughout the tour, you will understand how tough it was for the villagers during the war and the highlight of the memorial is the bell that rings every 4 seconds representing the death of every 4th Belarusian.
If you happen to be living in a busy city or just want to escape from a busy life even just for one weekend, why not visit Minsk to unwind and loosen up your mind. The city has stunning historical architectures, sparkling parks, and contemporary yet cool bars that will satisfy your stay.
You can find a place to stay in Minsk which can accommodate those with a fixed budget; Hotel Belarus can be a good example. For a US$100 price, you can be ensured of a pleasant and comfortable stay not to mention their main feature which is the vigorous West World Nightclub which houses one thousand people.
For starters in your weekend tour, you can have a taste of a little fragment of history by visiting the Victory Square. In the center of this square lies an obelisk raised to commemorate the triumph of the Great Patriotic War that happened from 1941 until 1945.
If you happen to be hungry and want to taste the local delicacies, Belarusians are well known for making luscious and scrumptious sweets particularly chocolate. Try visiting the sweet shop called Lakomka which houses one of the best chocolates in the country. The shop name Lakomka derived from the Belarusian word “sweet tooth” is famous all throughout the city.
You can also try out the local cuisine in Minsk which can be likened to Russian or Ukrainian cuisine. Baked meat, soups, mushrooms, and heavy potato dishes, these are what you would generally see in any Belarussian cuisine. The Pechki-Lavochki, which is located on Main Avenue is just one of the fine Belarussian restaurants that you will find in Minsk.
Once the sun goes down, you won’t want to waste your night in Minsk. You can energize your evening by checking out various night clubs scattered in the city. Belaya Vezha located at Masherova ave 17 is a good example. Considered to be one of the top nightclubs in Minsk, every weekend, they sport different themes and music styles so you’ll get a fresh and new feel every time you go there. They also have a Casino for those who want to gamble and have fun.
All this and more you can do in Minsk even if you only have a weekend. You’ll be able to accomplish a lot in just two days. Not only will you be able to travel back in time through a tour in the historical spots of the city, but you’ll also get a taste of the city’s culture through its local delicacies, and get a taste of the new Minsk through its posh new architecture found all over the city and of course the various spots that offer a vibrant nightlife.
The best way to spend your trip in any city or area is to travel to as many places as you can. You have to make the most of your vacation because you’ll never know when you’ll be given another opportunity to go back. If you are going to have a long weekend in Minsk, then you shouldn’t stop at just visiting the famous attractions that are found within the city. You should also try to visit nearby places that also boast of having popular attractions and important places.
Khatyn was a village that was found in one of the regions in the areas of Minsk. But now, this place is no longer found in most maps that are available today because this town was destroyed in 1943 in the midst of the Great Patriotic War which is what is known now as the “Khatyn massacre” happened in March 22, 1943. German fascists had invaded the little village and wiped it out of its inhabitants. There were only a numbered few who were able to escape the genocide. Now a memorial complex stands in the former village honoring not only the villagers that had died there but also the citizens of Belarus that had died in the war. The memorial complex is open for visitors 24 hours and you can arrange for a tour guide that will be available from 10 AM to 4:30 PM.
Also known as Glory Hill, this is another area outside the city of Minsk that you should try to visit. The Glory Hill is also a memorial that was made to honor the soldiers who risked their lives during the war. When you visit the place, you will get to see old airplanes and other relics that can be found at the base of the hill. A magnificent view of the city of Minsk can also be seen atop the hill.
Cities near Minsk
There are also some cities that are near Minsk that are worth your visit. Nesvizh and Novogrudok are some of these. It will take you one long day trip to visit these places but it will be all worth it.
In Nesvizh, you will see the Corpus Christi Church, one the world’s first Jesuit churches; and the Nesvizh Castle, a World Heritage Site that is the family complex of the noble family of the Radziwill.
In Novogrudok, you will see what remains of the Mindaugas’ Castle; the Mound of Immortality which was created in honor of the famous poet Adam Mickiewicz; and the Transfiguration Church, an architectural marvel where the poet was baptized.
If one weekend can make you explore and discover the wonderful things to see and do in Minsk, how much more if instead, you’d do it for a week? Providing a week to stay in Minsk will be enough for you to experience what Minsk can offer. Here’s an example of what you can do in a week’s time.
Places to Stay
40 Let Pobedy at Azgura 3 – The $45/shared room can be light in the pocket especially for those planning to stay long.
Minsk Vacation Apartments – Right at the center of Minsk and close to major key subways. The place ranges from one to three-roomed condominiums with an estimated €30-200 price.
Places to Visit
Victory Square – hosts numerous monuments honoring Victory in WWII located in the city center.
Minsk Sea – just 5km off the city center. A public beach people can enjoy with a free paddleboat ride.
Palats Mastatsva – Contemporary art museum situated at Vul Kazlova 3, displays modern designs.
Troetskoe Predmestie – preserved part of the city during WWII. It is situated in the old town, where you can get a glimpse of the old Minsk before it was rebuilt. A marvelous place to walk with many cafes and stores at the side.
Things to do at night
Overtime Nightclub – one of the largest in the city. Nice music to dance to, with lots of good looking foreign and local people. The location is near the Nemiga train station.
Next Nightclub – considered as the most famous in the capital; situated at Crown Plaza Hotel’s third floor.
Where to eat
Chomolungma – meat lovers and vegetarians can find something to eat here, also offers international cuisines including Asian and western cuisines. The address is at Vulitsa Gikalo 17.
Pechki-Lavochki – authentic Belarusian restaurant located at the thoroughfare.
If you are out to travel in Minsk for a day trip, it is best that you know what are the important places to visit to make your trip complete. Though the city is not as famous, advanced and wealthy as its other European counterparts, it still boasts of a lot of great attractions and of good places to visit.
Victory, October and Independence Square
Victory Square is one of the most important monuments that were built in honor of the soldiers and citizens who died during the Great Patriotic War. Here in Victory Square, you will find the 40m high obelisk that was erected in tribute to the victory that was achieved during the war. October Square, on the other hand, is the central square of the city, while Independence Square is one of the largest squares in Europe.
Island of Tears
Located in the old town, this monument is shaped like a temple and has 4 altars that have the names of the 771 soldiers who died for Belarus. The Island of Tears is a place in the city that is very picturesque.
This is among the most beautiful parts of Minsk and is also bears historical importance. This is among the few parts of the city that had survived the war. Walking along the area would give you an idea of what Minsk looked liked in the past.
Saint Spirit cathedral, Red church
The Saint Spirit cathedral is a monastery belonging to the Orthodox Church. Here you will find some sacred Orthodox icons. While the Red church is a Roman-Catholic church that was built in the early 20th century.
This avenue is where the only 10 houses that survived the war were erected. Now you’ll be able to see a lot of museums, trade centers, shops, restaurants and where you will find the National Library which is also a sight to see.
The National Library is a product of modern Belarus architecture. It is shaped like a diamond and has 25 stories. The diamond is said to symbolize the material as well as the spiritual values that are kept in the library.
If you really don’t want to miss an important city attraction and would like to learn a lot about the city’s history and culture, the best to go is to join a city tour. This way, you’ll get to spend most of your day and you’ll be sure to learn a lot about the wonderful city of Minsk.