Official language: Belarusian, Russian
Time zone: UTC +3
Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYN)
On stations of two underground lines built during USSR times, till today you can admire red stars, symbols of sickle and hammer or paintings of Lenin, whereas order is guarded by militia.
While being in Minsk, you have to visit Cheluskintsev park. You can find many attractions there, including big wheel of 27,5 metres, from which you can see the panorama of the city.
The Belarus National Circus, one of the most famous circuses of the world, has its headquarters in Minsk at the confluence of streets Prospect of Independence and Janek Kupala. It is open whole year round.
Since the beginning of 2017 you can go to Minsk for a few days without necessity of having a visa. Is it worth it? Definitely yes, as this city is overwhelming with its monument socialist realism architecture, as well as – despite its constant development – it makes impression like time was standing still there.
Minsk during the Second World War was almost completely destroyed. After 1945 – at Stalin’s wish – it was decided that in its place new buildings will be erected, which scale and look was supposed to underline the power of socialist realism. The best way to see pearls of harsh socialist realism architecture is to walk through the main street of the city, which is the Prospect of Independence. That street has 15 kilometres, but the most important historical spots can be seen on a short section starting at Independence Square. You will get impressed by buildings such as the Government House, the National Theatre, The National Library, the building of KGB, the Palace of the Republic at October square or buildings at Victory square. Don’t be surprised to see near them police, KGB or army.
In Minsk quite an impression makes sacral and historical architecture, though you won’t find many examples of this second kind of buildings. Make sure to visit the church of Saints Simon and Helena, as well as the cathedral of Holy Ghost or unique, colourful, built on site of a cemetery the orthodox church of Alexander Newski. The oldest part of the city is situated at Troickie Przedmieście. You can find there buildings from the 19th century – the Jesuitical church, the concert hall, the restored town hall and interesting town houses. This is the place of which citizens of Minsk are the most proud of.
What to eat in the capital of Belarus? Best are draniki (Дра́нікі), potato cakes and all other dishes made from potatoes – cepelines (Цэпеліны), pies or potato sausages. In Minsk make sure to try soups – solianka (thick soup with meat, fish or mushrooms), rosolinik (with addition of pickles) and borsch. Traditional dishes can be tasted in restaurants Traktir Na Parkovoj at Pobediteley street, Kamyanitsa at Pervomayskaya street, Vasilki at Prospekt Nezalezhnosti street, and Vasiliki at Nezavisimosti