This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Minsk. To help you make friends with Minsk before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Minsk is a modern city with a lot of opportunities. Many tourists are still wary of visiting Belarus because of the unstable political and economic situation in the country, but things have improved significantly since the beginning of the nineties. Even the number hostels in Minsk increases every year. There are two main regions where Minsk hostels are located -- in the very center of the city or in the working district, which is accessible by metro (about twenty minutes). The metro system is really good and convenient, but if you need to commute by buses or trams, they may be overcrowded.
As Minsk is a Gorod-Geroy (City-Hero) of the WWII, it has many war monuments, including the Belarusian Great Patriotic War Museum. The city was almost entirely destroyed during WWII and only fifty thousand people survived at the end of the war. Today, Minsk has a population of about two million (about twenty percent of Belarusian population).
Minsk is a city with many parks and interesting places, such as the Church of Holy Trinity, the Church of All Saints, the Opera and Ballet Theater, the Belarusian Nature and Environment Museum, the Belarusian National History and Culture Museum. Many Belarusians are proud of their country, so do not confuse Belarus with Russia -- many locals get offended by that, although there are two official languages (Belarusian and Russian) and almost everyone can speak both. Not many people speak English, so knowledge of basic Russian can be very helpful. The alphabet is Cyrillic and most street names and directions are written only in Cyrillic.
Nightlife in Minsk is also awesome. There are many young people; a lot of bars, clubs, and pubs; and prices are not too high. Many places have a dress code, so it is a good idea to have some nice clothes with you. If your Minsk hostel is in the center, you can go and change as most hot places are within walking distance.
Written by local enthusiast for Minsk hostelsGeorge Traveller