We are presenting the updated version of the Minsk guide prepared by 34mag with friendly support from “Syabry” trademark. Now the guide has more sections and an interactive map. Besides, now you can download and print out a PDF version. We want our guests and Minsk inhabitants as well, to always feel at home in this city. Therefore, this is a guide to the Minsk that we know and love. With no tourist decoys and boring official sights. We recommend you the places that we know and, probably, love. Welcome to Minsk!
* Most prices are provided in EUR. As of May 7, 2014 the official exchange rate is 1EUR=13 870BYR. The prices given in the guide can differ from the actual ones.
The main arrival points are the railway station and the airport. The railway station is situated in the city centre (“Plošča Lienina” station), while the international airport is 30 km away from the city. From there Minsk can be reached by a taxi (€ 30–40) or a regular airport shuttle (€ 3), the stop is located at the central exit of the arrival hall.
The most convenient urban transport is metro. The Minsk subway has only two lines, but all the interesting places are located close to the stations. One token costs € 0,30. You can also purchase a pass for 10 days (€ 4,3) or a number of trips: 5 (€ 1,3), 10 (€ 2,6), 20 (€ 5), 30 (€ 7,4), 40 (€ 9,6), 50 (€ 11,8) и 60 (€ 13,8). The metro opens at 05:30 and closes at 01:00.
More conservative tourists can find the schedule on the “Minsktrans” webpage. Tickets for buses, trolleys and trams (€ 0,3) can be purchased at “Minsktrans” booths, from a conductor or a driver. Payment recommended, the ticket inspectors are tough.
Nightlife fans and lazy folks can take a taxi. In order to save time we recommend you ordering a car online here, here and here. You can also install the following mobile apps: takson.by, Taxoman for Android and «Taxi 7788» for iOS. 10-km ride will cost around € 5–7.
If you are a fan of the Stalinist architecture, you should take a ride on a “highbrow” bus route 100 – it goes along Praspekt Niezalezhnastsi (Незалежнасці) (by the way, the green bus 100 is one of Minsk’s symbols). Another option is a London-style double-decker bus: а tour will cost €11 for an adult and € 3,7 for a child.
When tired of Minsk, you can check train tickets availability here.
Renting a car is another transport option. There are several companies offering cars for rent.
“Zolotaya Versta” - «Золотая верста» (“Rakovski kirmash” market, 2nd floor, “Puškinskaja” station). Up to 250 km per day, driver should be over 22 with at least 3-year driving experience, $ 100 deposit. Price – $ 30–60.
Rent-A-Car (Burdzeynaha - Бурдзейнага, 8). Rent conditions: driver should be over 20 with at least 2-year driving experience. Daily rates depend on the car type, for a hatchback, 0 for a minivan. You can also rent a car with a driver.
“AvtoPlaneta” - «АвтоПланета». Up to 350 km per day. BYR 1 000 for each following km. Daily rate – . The car can be delivered to the required place.
AVR (Prytytskaha - Прытыцкага, 73). Up to 300 km per day. Daily rate – –70. Upfront payment.
Rent a bike to keep fit. Here are some places.
“Velodisco” - «Велодиско» (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 44, entrance from the yard, time café Come-In). LTD, GT, Cannondale and Rock Machine bikes. Rates: 1 hour – € 2, 2 hours – € 4, 3 hours – € 5,5, each following hour – € 1. One day (12:00–23:00) – € 9,5. One night (22:00–13:00) – € 6.
Xsport (Sukhaya - Сухая, 23 / Tsimirazeva - Ціміразева, 67). Mountain, road and city bikes for rent. Hourly rate - € 0,7–2,2, daily rate - € 2,5–8.
Tim & Sport (Peramozhtsau - пр. Пераможцаў, 93). Daily rates from € 8. You can also rent hiking equipment.
Look for other bike renting places here.
If you are visiting Minsk specially for the Championship, we hope you have already taken care of a place to stay at. Otherwise, now it’s too late to look for the perfect accommodation.
Minsk has quite many hotels starting from pathetic Soviet heritage and including 5-star complexes. As an economical option we can recommend hotel “Sputnik” (from € 50 for a single to € 125 for a “luxe”).
Traditionally, we recommend staying at hostels – it’s more fun. And the hostel industry in Minsk is booming – you really should take advantage of this.
«VIVA» (Zhukouskaha - Жукоўскага, 4). A cosy hostel just a 10-minute walk away from the railway station. The place is popular with hardcore and heavy metal stars, so you may have a chance to meet them in private. € 11 per bed in a 10-bed dorm, € 14-15 for a bed in 4- or 5-bed dorm.
«Jazz» (Mazyrskaya - Мазырская, 37а). A three-level cottage in a detached housing area full of nature and quietness. The hostel has its own sauna, as well as a patio for BBQ-parties with table tennis and foosball. There is a special hall for conferences and events. Bikes are available for rent. During the Championship the rates will range from € 30 for a bed in a 7-bed dorm to € 80 for the whole room for three. The regular prices are from € 10 in a 7-bed dorm to € 50 for the whole room for three.
«Traveler» and «Riverside» (taravilenskaya - Старавіленская, 12/14). Two small hostels in the old city. They have a small souvenir store, bikes for rent and free city maps. Rates during the Championship are € 24–29. At other time – € 12–15.
«EasyFlat» (Berastsianskaya - Берасцянская, 4–21). The smallest hostel in the city – only two 6-bed rooms. Small but feels like home. A bed costs $ 15 per night.
«Revolucion» (Revalutsyinaya - Рэвалюцыйная, 16). The hostel is centrally located beside the “Pobeda” cinema. The interior looks like a revolutionary den: portraits of revolution heroes, walls covered with Soviet newspapers. Daily rates during the Championship are € 20–26.
Apartment hotel «Comfort» (Schorsa - Шчорса, 1). Located near “Instytut Kultury” metro station. All apartments are well-equipped with modern furniture and appliances. The apartments are under surveillance 24. Rates for a studio start from 0.
We also recommend this article for a detailed review of Minsk hostels from the CityDog magazine.
As a free option we recommend searching for a new friend at couchsurfing.com (4,000 registered users from Minsk).
“Cтары Менск” - “Stary Miensk” (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 14). One of our favorite places. A pretty small area accommodates only 4 tables, but in summer the café opens a big terrace with spontaneous concerts, theatre performances and movie screenings. Hot milk punsh with rum and Bullshot became legendary drinks of the Minsk folks. Big coffee and tea menu.
Coffee bar “London” (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 18). “Stary Miensk”’s fellow with the same long history. Little place but no complaints. Entrance to the beloved second floor is allowed with booze only. Alternative mulled wine (hot cherry “screwdriver”) is one of the specially designed drinks. It is off menu, but you can order it and look like a local. In “London” you can meet all the key Minsk characters and check out the vegetarian food. In summer the bar sets up a little terrace.
“Зерно” - “Zerno” (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 46). A light coffeehouse with extraordinary customers, tasty coffee and fresh local berry pies and cheesecakes. Opens at 9:00. Most people come with laptops and the café sometimes looks like a co-working place. If you feel thirsty, try the home-made lemonade.
Guru coffee club (Kamsamolskaya - Камсамольская, 34 / Mikhaylauski zavulak -зав. Міхайлаўскі, 4 / Karla Marksa - Карла Маркса, 17). A coffee shop network with strategic locations near the railway station and on tourist-attracting Karla Marksa street. A wide choice of tea. You can also buy ground coffee and coffee beans.
Сoffeebox (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 39 / Niamiha - Няміга, 3 / lowerlevelof “Stolitsa” shopping centre). Teenagers’ favorite coffeehouse network with wi-fi, table games and coffee to go. In recent years they have opened stores all over the city.
Gurmans (Karla Marksa -К. Маркса, 21). A small shop with a wide choice of tea, which can be tasted right away.
«Кофеберри» - “Coffeeberry” (Internatsianalnaya - Інтэрнацыянальная, 5 / Kirava - Кірава, 19 / top level of “Stolitsa” shopping centre). One of the city’s first Europe-style coffee houses. Cheap booze as a bonus.
Sorso di espresso (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 111). The first coffee place in Minsk to roast coffee beans with their own equipment. Offers freshly baked croissants. Opens at 8:00.
Tea lounge bar «Чайное состояние» - “Chaynoe sostoyanie” (Bahdanovicha - вул. Багдановіча, 9). A place where you can order the traditional tea ceremony and enjoy high-quality and well-brewed Chinese tea. They also have a small store.
Coffee leader «at old man’s» (popular name) (Kirava - вул. Кірава, 11, entrance from the yard). A cult coffee place, where the owner makes coffee by himself and will chat with you if in the right mood. Dozens of details – from badges and pennants to pictures, plates and alarm clocks – create a unique atmosphere. We recommend “Bedouin coffee”.
«Лидо» - “Lido” (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 49/1 / Kulman - Кульман, 5а). A roomy fast food restaurant with a huge variety of “home-made” dishes. A sound dinner will cost around € 5–8.
Stolle (Kazlova - Казлова, 8 / Rakauskaya - Ракаўская, 23 / Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 53 / Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 38 / Internatsianalnaya – вул.Інтэрнацыянальная, 23 / Peramozhtsau – пр.Пераможцаў, 84). A network of cafes carrying pies of any flavor and filling – from cherry to chicken. Prices are decent, and you can take the food away. If you want to stay for longer, there are more dishes on the menu.
«Пит-стоп» - “Pit-stop” (Kalvariyskaya - Кальварыйская, 19). A bistro on the second floor of “Korona” hypermarket. € 4–6 for a substantial meal.
«Маэстро» - “Maestro” (“Stolitsa” shopping centre, top level). Self-service café – tasty and cheap. Alcohol and tea or coffee are available at a separate bar.
«Лаўка» - “Lauka” (Kastrychnitskaya - Кастрычніцкая, 23). Tasty sandwiches (with salmon, ham or vegetarian) and hot drinks to go. You can make your own sandwich with available ingredients. Works 24. Located in front of the “Hooligan” bar.
«Goody’s» (Sviardlova - Свярдлова, 32). Greek fast food with affordable prices. Menu includes burgers, sandwiches and French fries. Draft beer for € 3. Working hours: 7:30 – 23:00.
«Йо! Суши» - “Yo!Sushi” (Internatsianalnaya - Інтэрнацыянальная, 9). A small café with Japanese food. Numerous plates of sushi (each colour has its own price) are placed on a conveyor in the centre, so you can take food from there or order with the server. Soup Miso costs € 1,5, maki with salmon - € 2, sashimi with salmon - € 3,6. You can also taste traditional sake and Japanese light beer Asahi.
«45 секунд» - “45 sekund” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 43). Japanese snack bar with minimalist design. The concept is close to the one of “Yo!Sushi”.
«Манга Wok (Вок)» - “Manga Wok” (Miasnikova - Мяснікова, 29). A place with three types of noodles, different fillers (incl. vegetarian) and a good choice of sauces. As a bonus, there are several kinds of soup (around € 2) and some hot dishes (€ 3,3).
«Burritos» (Yakuba Kolasa - Якуба Коласа, 37). Cheap Mexican fast food place, slightly adjusted to Belarusian tastes. All the food is served to go. Automatic payment terminals accept both cash and cards. Works from 9:00 till 6:00.
«Манты-понты» - “Manty-ponty” (Surhanava - Сурганава, 41). A bistro with Georgian and Uzbek cuisines. Carries Georgian chikhirtma, chebureks, Migrelian khachapuri. Pilaf with lamb cost € 5 and is available from 12:00 till 16:00.
«Fro-la-la» (Kamsamolskaya - Камсамольская, 3). Specializes in frozen yoghurts. Choice of mini, midi and maxi portions. Liqueur is added on request. They also serve tea and coffee.
«Ita-la» (Lenina - Леніна, 9 / “Arena City” shopping centre). Italian gelateria. Take one (€ 1,9), two (€ 3) or three (€ 3,7) scoops. Open from 10:00 till 20:00.
Buffet of «Центральный» (Tsentralny) supermarket» (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 23). A cult place which we recommend you should to have a look at least. You will see a mixed audience of students, punks, homeless, drunkard artists, and KGB servants taking a random snack and washing it down with beer in plastic glasses. Pay special attention to signs on the wall. By the way, the buffet carries tasty hot-dogs with carrot, ice-cream sold by weight, “Medok” cake and draft birch sap.
Чебуречная № 1 – Cheburechnaya №1 (Vakadarskaha - Валадарскага, 9). A cult “Soviet” spot in the centre of Minsk with the atmosphere of proletarian buffet, where you can try 4 kinds of cheap juicy chebureks. We recommend the classic one filled with meat (€ 1,1).
Food court of «Galileo» (Babruyskaya - Бабруйская, 6). On the third floor of “Galileo”, outside the railway station, you can have a quick bite of a burger, hot-dog, pizza or doner kebab. Or you can just have a cup of coffee with a dessert or Italian ice-cream.
Food court of «Arena City» (Peramozhtsau – пр. Пераможцаў, 84). Diverse menu of 6 cafes on the second floor. Here you will find burgers, pizza, a wide choice of sushi, pancakes with 15 fillings and desserts. Located close to “Minsk Arena”.
The city has several services that deliver sushi and noodles to Asian food lovers. «Суши вёсла» offer a wide choice. Egg noodles with chicken fillet under Basilic sauce costs € 5, standard portion of sake maki - € 3. Delivery is free for orders over € 7,3.
More sushi delivery services can be found here.
Pizza delivery is a bit easier. Average price at Express pizza is € 8, and the menu carries over 20 types of pizza.
Presto pizza also offers a nice choice: classic pizza types (€ 8 for a meal), calzone (folded pizza, € 3,5) and piccolo (€ 11,7).
A cosmopolite would like edanada.by that serves Asian, Japanese, Mexican and American food. Eda.by also has much to offer: pasta, salads, hot dishes, soups, and desserts.
BierKeller (per. Vaiskovy - пер. Вайсковы, 12). German “cellar” with oak furniture, beautiful wall paintings, bric-a-bracs like a collection of antique glasses and ladles. You will have a choice of 8 draft beers: from non-filtered Paulaner and Belgian cherry Kriek to mild Cologne ale Gaffel Kölsch. The prices are fairly higher than average: a dinner with beer for two will cost € 60–70.
Beer restaurant «Гвоздь» - “Gvozd” (Hikala - Гікала, 5). “Гвоздь” is Russian for “a nail”. And nails are all over the place: they are used as clothes hangers, door handles, even food is cooked on them. The restaurant carries Guinness, Kilkenny, Kozel, Leffe and serves substantial beer food. Souvenirs – t-shirts, caps, glasses – are already on the menu. Average price for 0,5l of beer - € 3–4.
«Гамбрынус» - “Gambrinus” (ploshcha Svabody - пл.Свaбоды, 2). Self-positioned as a gastropub, where one can taste 12 sorts of draft beer and more than 100 sorts in bottles. There are 4 theme rooms: British-Irish, Czech, Belgian and Carlsberg Room. Prices for a glass - € 4–5. They also offer home-made authentic liqueurs.
Irish pub «Дрожжи» - “Drozhi United” (Surhanava - Сурганава, 50). Here you can watch football and eat some meat with beer. And all this happens in the settings of lacquered chairs and tables and leather couches. A nice choice of beer cocktails. Average price for a glass of beer - € 4. Open from 9:00 till 2:00.
«Арка» - “Arka” (Yakuba Kolasa - Якуба Коласа, 38). A spacious pub – 20 sorts of beer for moderate prices, smiley servers, live music and hookah. Average price for a beer - € 4.
Restaurant-brewery «Арбат» - “Arbat” (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 143/1). Located in front of the National Library, the restaurant serves really good beer (light, wheat and red) from its own brewery (€ 3 for a glass). Beer snacks are nutritious, diverse and cheap. The perfect place for a “posh” wedding.
«Clever Irish Pub» (Hikala - Гікала, 5). Located close to TSUM, the newly opened pub is popular with local beer fans. Here you can not only taste Guinness and Kilkenny, but also try some superb single malt whiskey. From insinde the place looks like a classic Irish pub. On Fridays and Saturdays it’s open till the last customer. Beer cocktails are € 3,5, a pint Fuller’s ale is € 4. The kitchen also makes decent burgers (€ 7–9).
«Староместный пивовар» -“Staromestnyi pivovar” (Hertsena - Герцэна, 4 / Karla Marksa - Карла Маркса, 21). Home-crafted beer (€ 3) and Czech-style food. You can take beer to go. A dinner for two will cost € 50–60.
«Gaststätte» (Revalutsyinaya - Рэвалюцыйная, 16). Centrally located German beerhouse with cool atmosphere and decent choice of Belgian, German and Czech beer. The special kick are dishes cooked in the special wood stove. The average bill is € 25–30 per person.
«Bierstrasse 40» (Arlouskaya - Арлоўская, 40а / Hintauta - Гінтаўта, 1). Bavarian beer restaurant with Oktoberfest atmosphere/ They serve German beer and traditional cheeses and pickles. A glass of Bavarian beer costs € 4, snacks – from € 5.
Паб «Вобла» - “Pub Vobla” (Yanki Kupaly - Янкі Купалы, 25). Self-positioned as a “Belarusian beer restaurant” offering 15 sorts of draft beer and 11 beer cocktails. Open till 6:00. A glass of beer costs from € 2 (Belarusian beer) up to € 4 (imported beer).
News Cafe (Karla Marksa -К. Маркса, 34). A classic city café with high-quality service, regularly updated menu, fresh newspapers and English-speaking staff. You will have a chance to see Presidential Administration employees and opposition leaders (those who are not in jail) sitting at the neighboring tables. Opens at 8 a.m.
«Tapas bar» (Internatsianalnaya - Інтэрнацыянальная, 9). A Spanish restaurant with good wine. They carry sangria and have a reasonable lunch menu. In summer, seat yourself on a cosy terrace. Average bill - € 25 per person including a couple glasses of chilled Spanish wine.
Newman (Niamiha - Няміга, 36). A classic steak house. Experts say that local steaks (€ 40–50 each) are the best in the city. The former banquet room was remade into a bar-gallery Newday with wine, movies and exhibitions of art and photo.
Dumpling place «Гурман» - “Gurman” (Kamunistychnaya - Камуністычная, 7 / Peramozhtsau – пр.Пераможцаў, 1). One of a few Minsk long-history-places in a quiet and beautiful district of Osmolovka, and at Niamiha. A portion of dumplings costs € 2,5–5.
«Старый Тифлис» - “Staryi Tiflis” (Frunze - вул. Фрунзэ, 5). Georgian restaurant located in the House of Writer. Delicious food including shish kebab, Georgian wines and lemonades. There is an old-fashioned and cozy terrace in the patio. Average bill for two including alcohol - € 60–70.
«Coffee inn» (Internatsianalnaya - Інтэрнацыянальная, 23). Tennis player Max Mirny’s place that was re-opened recently. Now this is a burger bar with wine and cocktails. Burgers cost € 4–7. Prices for booze are also acceptable.
«Feelini» (Internatsianalnaya - Інтэрнацыянальная, 36). Jazz café with a big cocktail menu. Average cocktail price is € 6–8. The place is quite and the food is tasty.
«Cafe Netto» (Chyrvonaya - вул. Чырвоная, 13). Grill restaurant close to Yakub Kolas square. The main kick is the grill menu: from € 9 for Serbian pljeskavica up to € 35 for veal on bone. Excellent wine list. Works 24/7.
«Don Coffeon» (Zybitskaya - вул. Зыбіцкая, 9). A newly opened restaurant in white cream colours with Italian cuisine on the bank of the Svislach river. A twin brother of “Tumany” bar. The core of the menu is handmade pasta. You can order sauce separately. Average bill for two including alcohol - € 50–60.
«Моя английская бабушка» - “Moya angliyskaya babushka” (Karla Marksa - вул. Карла Маркса, 36). Intimate café located in a cozy basement in the central Minsk. A nice place for a business lunch or just for a tea with dessert.
Enzo Café (Kastrychnitskaya vulitsa – Кастрычніцкая вул.,19в). The interior concept is based on the history of Ferrari and its founder Enzo Ferrari. The cuisine is mostly American.
«Камяніца» - “Kamyanitsa” (Pershamayskaya - Першамайская, 18). The interior looks like a medieval tavern with the atmosphere of Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Here you can taste home-made hrenovukha, zhuravina and medovukha (€ 2 for 50ml). A big choice of national dishes, average bill - € 50–60 for two persons including alcohol. They usually provide stage for live music and folk dances.
«Талака» - “Talaka” (Rakauskaya - Ракаўская, 18). The interior is decorated with details of Belarusian countryside houses. The dishes are big and sound. You can try local kvas and cranberry water. Pay special attention to “Panskaya” shin and krambambulia. The place is pricy and it’s recommended to reserve a table beforehand. Open till 6:00.
«Верхний город» - “Verkhni gorod” (Svabody sq. - пл. Свабоды, 4). Meat in a pot, kolduny, machanka, draniki, rabbit and grandma’s pickles. Traditional Belarusian liqueurs – hrenovukha, krambambulia – to drink. Main dish+appetizer+several dozes of alcohol will cost € 30–40 for one person.
«Шынок у Лявона» - “Shynok u Liavona” (Very Kharuzhay - вул. Веры Харужай, 17). Located close to Kamarovski market. All kinds of draniki, frying pans, pots and home-made sausages. Average bill for two including booze - € 50.
«Горница» - “Gornitsa” (Kamsamolskaya - вул. Камсамольская, 8). An inexpensive and centrally located restaurant not too many people know about. Specialized in local cuisine. Especially proud of their babka and draniki. Average bill for two including booze - € 40-50.
«Гостиный двор» - “Gostiny Dvor” (Savetskaya - вул. Савецкая, 17). Located at the Independence (Niezalezhasti) Square close to Red Church. Belarusian cuisine is presented with several types of draniki (€ 7), machanka (€ 11) and pork shin (€ 19).
Low-budget and fast “national colour” - «Васильки» -“Vasilki” cafes (Yakuba Kolasa - Якуба Коласа, 37 / Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 16 / Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 89 and more). Birches, towels, pans with cracknels and “vasilkovaya voda”. Home-style and simple. Salad+second course+booze=€ 20–25. Draniki are good as well.
«Хулиган» – “Hooligan” (Kastrychnitskaya – Кастрычніцкая, 16). 34mag’s favorite place located on one of Minsk’s most authentic industrial streets. Compact menu, tasty homemade pies for a dessert, Lithuanian draft beer, a good choice of liquor and cocktails at reasonable prices. There is a foosball table which is sometimes hidden in the utility room. Parties with good music and movie screenings – guys from “Hooligan” have a great taste for sure.
«Ў бар» – “Y-bar” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 37а). A cosy wine bar with fairly moderate prices (from € 3 for a glass). Food – delicious sandwiches and wine tapas. Located in the same building with a contemporary art gallery, hand-made souvenirs store and a bookstore. This mini-complex is the main spot favored by Minsk bohemia.
Sweet & Sour (Karla Marksa -К. Маркса, 14). A centrally located bar for connoisseurs of the American 30s’ spirit, with jazz background and a desk with the names of available off-menu cocktails. The list is updated weekly. Average price – € 7–9 for a cocktail. Open from 16:00 till 02:00.
«Граффити» – “Graffiti” (zav. Kalinina - зав. Калініна, 16). A small pub-club born in the 1990s with a legendary history. When visitors ask for “Belarusian underground culture” they are usually taken to “Graffiti”. Once in a couple of months here you can listen to The UNB, who recorded 150 albums in 20 years. Summer terrace has opened recently.
«Чердак» – “Cherdak” (Zybitskaya - Зыбіцкая, 9). Cocktail bar with stylish interior and a scent of pine located in the Uptown in front of the legendary Masons’ House. Cocktails – € 8–10, food – € 7–10.
«Туманы» – “Tumany” (Zybitskaya - Зыбіцкая,9) – a costly high-toned cocktail bar with dress code located on the foggy bank of the Svislach river in the very centre of the city. Specialized in pasta (they have the biggest selection in town) and homemade cocktails and liqueurs (we recommend raspberry&rose gin).
TNT Rock Club (Revaliutsyinaya - Рэвалюцыйная, 9). A place for men 50+, who used to listen to Led Zeppelin and dream of getting to an AC/DC concert. Guitars on the walls, drums on the ceiling. TV-screens broadcast concerts of legendary rock groups. There’s even a little Walk of Fame outside the club. Young rock bands play live in the evening. Food and beverages are matching the club concept. Feels cordial and nostalgic.
Shelter DJ Bar (Vaneeva - Ванеева, 3, “Traktor” stadium). A small dj bar with authentic American summer terrace. Located on the stand of “Traktor” stadium away from noisy city hustle. The club throw parties of local DJs and experimental electronic music. In our view, this is the best way to meet dawn with noisecore on the background. Prices for booze start from € 5.
«Кальянная № 1» – “Kalyannaya№ 1” (Karla Marksa -К. Маркса, 33). A lost paradise for hookah-lovers in the city centre. Dim red light, pouffe-pillows and dj-sets. A wide choice of tea, food and booze. Hookahs from € 12.
Shaka Bar (Skryhanava - вул. Скрыганава, 6а). This is the first and the only place in Minsk intended for fans of extreme leisure activities. A beer costs € 3,5, a dish from international menu - € 10. The bar also has a climbing wall and foosball table and broadcasts extreme tournaments on TV. Open daily from 12:00 till 2:00.
«Пираты» – “Piraty” (Partyzanski - пр. Партызанскі, 6а). Classic concert place with high ceiling, brick walls and spacious dancefloor for 700 persons, located close to “Pralietarskaja” metro station. The club’s line-up is very diverse: from punk and hip-hop bands to famous rock groups and retro parties on Fridays. Inexpensive booze and food. Smoking is allowed inside.
Re:public (Prytytskaha - Прытыцкага, 62). The biggest concert club of the city located close to “Kuncaūščyna” metro station. It hosts both Russian musicians (Noize MC, Petr Mamonov, Jane Air) and guests from the West (Brazaville, Alina Orlova, Papa Roach or Everlast). Follow the schedule.
Loft Café (P. Brouki - П. Броўкі, 22). Though the place is not centrally located, it doesn’t stop Jon Kennedy and DJ Vadim from playing there. They often host cool parties, live concerts, movie screenings and exhibitions.
«ID-бар» (Zakharava - вул. Захарава, 19), «Герои» - “Geroi” (Kazlova - Казлова, 3), «Бессонница» - “Bessonnitsa” (Hertsena - Герцэна, 1) – three nice places from the same owners. Each one has its own concept. “ID-bar” is all about personal identification: several rooms are decorated like “an archive”, “developing chamber” and “an interrogation room”. In “Geroi” (“Heroes”) you will be overwhelmed with pride in great persons and get closer to them with the cocktail menu. “Bessonnitsa” (“Insomnia”), decorated into the theme of jet-lags and Alice in the Wonderland, is open 24/7 for those of you living around-the-clock. Besides, “ID-bar” and “Bessonnitsa” also serve nice food.
Chill Out (Ploshcha Svabody - пл.Свaбоды, 2) is the place of a high-quality house music from local and visiting DJs. In summer the venue is BarBQ terrace in the patio. In winter the dancing moves to the ground floor.
Бар «Стравінскі» - “Stravinski” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 25б). Sociable bartenders, wide choice of cocktails, uncommon menu. Open from 5 p.m. till 2 a.m. (Fridays and Saturdays – till 6 a.m.). Suitable for getting tuned before going to a party.
Doodah King (Bersana - Берсана, 14). Whisky’n’coke, all night dancing, blues and rock’n’roll on the stage, Texas and Mexico on the walls. If everything goes right, a morning after Doodah King feels like a morning after a night with a hot cheerleader: empty pockets and splitting headache.
«Закон бутерброда» - “Zakon buterbroda” (Revaliutsyinaya – Рэвалюцыйная, 12). A place which works 24/7 and serves a wide range of shots and unpretentious food. The clear disadvantage is a bad ventilation which makes it hard to breathe during the rush hours. As a compensation, sometimes between 5 and 7 p.m. you can call on happy hours and get a second cocktail for free.
Praspekt Niezalezhnastsi (Independence Avenue). A straight asphalt arrow stretching for 15 km and cutting the city into two pieces. The steep banks of the avenue are dressed into the Stalinist architecture and are untouched by outdoor advertising and design, which is considered an oversight by locals, but adored by foreigners and Russian cinema makers, who see this as an affecting innocence unusual for other modern capitals. Artist Artur Klinov called this part of Minsk the City of Sun in order to illustrate the Avenue as the main road of the Big Communist Dream.
National Library (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці,116). A rhombicuboctahedron-shaped building that became one of the most controversial symbols of modern Minsk. It was swiftly constructed in the early 2000s on the donations made from all over the country and not always voluntarily. A tourist may be interested in visiting the observation desk and the book museum.
Upper Town. Minsk historical centre where the city spirit of 19th century lives. Here you will find the Holy Spirit Cathedral – the main Orthodox church of Minsk. The main highlight of the Ploshcha Svabody (Liberty Square) is the City Hall constructed in 1600 to honor the obtaining of Magdeburg rights and reconstructed in 2003 on the basis of original drawings and images. In fact, this area has many newly built places and several good restaurants and bars. Unexpectedly, Upper Town is almost never crowded, so it’s really worthy to have a walk on narrow streets and small patios to experience the subtle atmosphere of Minsk.
Trinity Suburb. Remnants of the old city on the left bank of the Svislach river. Nowadays it is permanently under destruction. In the 15th-19th centuries this was the neighborhood of craftsmen and traders, today it places offices, apartments, restaurants, studios and Maksim Bahadanovič Museum. Close to the Suburb you will see the Island of Tears - a memorial to the soldiers who died in the Soviet military campaign against Afghanistan.
Gorky Park (“Plošča Pieramohi” metro station) – the central park with extreme Soviet rides, a group of theme cafes and the training base of “Yunost” hockey club. We recommend taking a ride on the big wheel (take a covered cab for a better view). Inside the park you will find a family café Family Club (Pershamayskaya - вул. Першамайская, 3а).
Just across the avenue you will see Yanka Kupala Park, named after a classic Belarusian writer and poet whose death still causes controversies. This park is less crowded, paths are worse, but it’s full of romance and if it’s warm you can take a rest at the fountain with busty muses. The Svisloch river goes through both parks and in summer you can rent a boat or a catamaran. On the other bank you will see the residence-museum of the first Russian Communist Party assembly (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 31a). If the secret police had been more resolute in 1898, the history could have gone a different way.
National Art Museum (Lenina - Леніна, 20) – or, as the folks call it, “Little Tretyakov”. The museum owns a big collection of Russian paintings. We also recommend paying attention to the collection of Belarusian icons and Radzivill family’s Sarmatian portraits. This is a big deal of what is left from the Belarusian history. And don’t miss the local collection of social realism works. Till July 10th the museum will host a spacious exhibition “Ten Centuries of Belarusian Art”, including works by Mark Chagall and Chaim Soutine.
Yanka Kupala Theater (Enhelsa - вул. Энгельса, 7). Named after the classic Belarusian writer and poet and has more than a century of history. The building has been recently renovated and, according to the restorers, looks the same way as a century ago.
Theatre of Opera and Ballet (Ploscha Paryzhskay Kamuny - пл. Парыжскай Камуны, 1). A piece of Soviet constructivism. According the plan the plan was supposed to have 4 levels, but in the course of construction the budget shrank. Nevertheless, thanks to the perfect park symmetry, gable sculptures and lots of marble and crystal inside, the theatre produces an impression of greatness. The ticket prices are really low. What is more, a shot of brandy in the buffet during the intermission will make even Aida go smoothly.
Loshitski Park – the main recreation sight for Loshitsa area inhabitants and rare romantics with a rich background. The central part was thoroughly renovated, and now has smooth paths, cozy summerhouses and the mansion of Lyubanski family. Deeper into the park there are apple gardens and remnants of the mill where, according to the legend, a young lady hung herself because of love. A tale says that some elements of Stalin’s monument, that used to stand on the Kastrychnitskaya square, were sunk in this area.
Botanic Garden (Surhanava -вул. Сурганава, 2в). In spring, summer and autumn you can walk up and down the lanes, look at swans and a huge collection of orchids. Off-road, there’s a deserted Soviet scientific and research institution. In winter, call on the winter garden which is warm in any season. There’s also a café inside.
Gallery “Y” (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 37а). The most famous private gallery of contemporary art in Belarus. The building which used to be a bottle redemption centre today houses the gallery itself, a wine bar, souvenir shop and a bookstore (see info about these places in other sections of the guide). One of the strategic cultural centres of the city.
Minsk cinemas can be of interest to architecture lovers. The building of “Pobeda” (Internatsianalnaya - Інтэрнацыянальная, 20) was constructed on the basement of what used to be a cloister. This cinema has the most ancient seats in the city and is going to be renovated shortly. So hurry up, because who knows what will remain of the inner frescos after the re-opening. The only movie theatre specialized in art-house (from Visconti to amazing avant-garde experiments) is “Raketa” (Rabochy zavulak - зав. Рабочы, 3). If you are an expert in 1980s’ architecture, you should visit “Moskva” (Pieramozhtsau - пр. Пераможцаў, 13) and “Oktiabr” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 73). The latter has a bonus – real parrots in cages. If you just want to watch a movie, go to multiplex “Belarus” (Ramanauskaya slabada - Раманаўская Слабада, 28). In five halls only premiers are on screen.
Steadily more and more places for alternative activities appear in Minsk. In the open space “Dom Fishera” (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 84а) you pay for the time you spend inside. In exchange you get board games, tea and a good company. Sometimes they also organize master classes and concerts. This concept is also shared by Come-In (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 44).
ГУМ (GUM) (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 21). Established in 1951. The main department store remains a kind of museum for Soviet retail, preserving traditions and style of those times. But by no means it affects the customers’ flow as GUM is located in the very centre of Minsk. Here you can find anything – from a toilet brush and men’s trousers to engagement rings and straw horses. Provocative shop-window design, a full variety of Belarusian goods – GUM keeps surprising and astonishing even locals.
Shopping centre “Stolitsa” (Ploshcha Niezalezhnastsi - Independence Square). Three-level underground trade centre. International brands like Jack&Jones, Mango, Terranova and Colin’s go along with the brand stores of Belarusian distilleries and confectionary factories. And you will always find a place to have a snack, buy a shot and eat an ice-cream for dessert. European tourists are touched with the atmosphere while Russians prefer buying lots of Belarusian clothing, vodka and chocolate.
Komarovskiy rynok (market) (Very Kharuzhey - Веры Харужэй, 8). The city’s central market. People come here on weekends for fresh meat, fruit and greens. Though in reality anything could be found here: from exotic spices and Chinese cuisine ingredients to authentic grandmas with home-made cottage and pickles.
“Podzemka” (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 43). The city’s first centre of alternative shopping. For many years this shop-gallery has been not only the only place offering “original” presents and souvenirs, but also the centre of underground culture. Concerts of young bands, exhibitions of Belarusian artists and designers, first Belarusian hand-made items made “Podzemka” a cult.
“Krama Y” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 37а). This outlet offers best works by Belarusian designers and artists. Here you can find real art and quality hand-made, souvenirs, accessories, original printed goods and stationery. All goods are exclusive and selected by people with a good taste. In the shop you can also buy works by the most trendy Belarusian artists. Pay special attention to the recently opened vinyl records shop «DSS Vinyl Shop».
“Kniharnia lohvinaY” (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 37а). The only bookstore specialized in contemporary Belarusian literature. Also carries art-magazines, albums and almanacs. The store organizes book presentations and meetings with famous writers including living legends. There’s a shelf for books in Ukrainian and Polish and a shelf for book crossing.
“Kniharnia Haliyafy” (Volgogradskaya - Валгаградская, 6). Another representation of the Belarusian underground literature in Minsk. Occasionally they host book presentations, discussions and performances.
“Pod shpilem” (Under the steeple) (Chyrvonaya - Чырвоная, 1) – this is a popular name of “Kommunarka” confectionary factory brand store. Located in an extremely picturesque area. They sell Belarusian sweets and chocolate. There’s also a small but nice buffet with milkshakes and hot chocolate.
Show room ”CFM” (Revaliutsyinaya - Рэвалюцыйная, 7). In the show room you not only can buy clothes by Belarusian designers but also tailor it to your body. Relaxed atmosphere, nice company and coffee as a bouns.
”Second Base” (Chyrvonazorny zav. - зав. Чырвоназорны, 14). Underground store for street brands that are rare for Belarus. Here you will find original clothes by Syndicate, Skilfuldot, Outcast and etc. Pay attention to this article.
”Galileo” (Babruyskaya - Бабруйская, 6). A large shopping centre close to the railway station. Though it opened in 2013, a part of stores are still not operating. However, there is a food court and “Sosedi” supermarket.
”Vino & Vino” (Internatsiyanalnaya - Iнтэрнацыянальная, 36 / Surhanava - Сурганава, 57б / Lahoyski trakt - Лагойскi тракт, 37). A specialized store with a wide choice of liquor. Collection wines from France, Italy. Austria and Chile (from € 85 to € 655) and low-budget options (from € 10,5 to € 18). A good range of brandy and whisky (around € 50). Besides alcohol you can also buy wine glasses, books, cigars and some light snacks.
”Gallery Studio 67” in the “red yard” (Revalutsyinaya - Рэвалюцыйная, 7). Here you can buy works by modern Belarusian photographers in the form of manual and digital prints, amazing photographs, postcards, posters, magnets, books and albums. The studio owners won’t let you get bored, while the yard is an outstanding place itself. Works daily from 13.00 till 19.00.
«Мinsk Arenа» (Pieramozhtsau – пр. Пераможцаў, 111). Sports and recreation centre opened in 2010. One of two IIHF World Championship arenas. Capacity – 15 086 seats, this is the 4th largest hockey arena in Europe. The home arena for KHL club “Dinamo Minsk”. According to their web-site, visitors are prohibited to “bring, use and activate alcoholic beverages”. The hockey mecca can be reached by bus 1 from “Niamiha” station or route taxis 1056, 1073, 1186 to bus stop “Minsk Arena”. Trolley 10 takes there from “Puškinskaja” station. You can also go by a train from the railway station to «Масюковщина» (Masyukovschina) station.
«Chizhovka Arenа» (Taskentskaya - Ташкенцкая, 19). The arena was constructed specially for the Championship and can seat 8807 persons. The home arena of “Yunost Minsk” team. Located on the picturesque shore of the Chizhovka reservoir, the arena can be reached by bus 22, trolleys 16, 17, 26, 92 from “Autazavodskaja” station to “Chizhovka Arena” bus stop.
Match schedule on the official web-site.
What? Exhibition OFFSIDE
When? May 1–27
Where? Gallery “Y”
The contemporary art gallery is hosting a collective exhibition of Belarusian artists, dedicated to the presence of sport in daily life. In their works, the artists will tell about interactions between sport and the city, government and sport, sport and sport, finally. Several public lectures are also planned. Recommended for those who won’t get enough mental pabulum from hockey events.
What? Exhibition “Ten Centuries of Belarusian Art”
When? March 27 – July 10
Where? National Art Museum
28 museums, 5 private collectors, and several churches will present the largest Belarusian exhibition. The unique museum project will unite the original edition of Skaryna’s Bible, Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, “Paris school’s” avant-gardists and modern conceptualists in the National Museum galleries. Undoubtedly, this is the main exhibition of 2014.
What? Modern arts exhibition «Avant-gARTe»
When? April 21 – June 10
Where? Contemporary Visual Arts Museum, National Exhibition Centre, Yakuba Kolasa square
Original genealogy of Belarusian avant-garde in the 20th and 21st centuries on three exhibition platforms. Pioneers like Chagall, Leger and Kashkurevich are exhibited in the Contemporary Visual Arts Museum in the exhibition “100 years of Belarusian avant-garde”. Modern avant-gardists will be placed in the National Exhibition Centre. Additionally, there will be an art exhibition at Yakuba Kolasa square.
We can expect a large-scale carnival procession followed by performances on local city stages.
What? Jazz Nights at the Palace of Sports
When? May 10, 17, 24
Where? Palace of Sports
The last year’s experiment will be repeated in Minsk urban area again: open air jazz nights with free admission. The agenda includes performances by Belarusian masters as well as famous European jazzmen.
What? Concert by Max Korzh
When? May 10
Where? Football Arenа
Belarusian new generation pop star whose performances are sold out both in Belarus and abroad will give another concert in the Football Arena.
What? Museum Night
When? May 17–18
The agenda not announced yet. Watch out for news..
What? Acoustic festival “Traven”
When? May 18
Where? Moulin Rouge Club
Rock singer poet festival. The line up includes Re1ikt, «Liudzi na Balotse», HandmadE, Naka Piano, Kasia Kamotskaya and Tatsiana Belonogaya.
What? Opera “Rigoletto”
When? May 23
Where? National Opera and Ballet Theatre
Giuseppe Verdi’s opera with Francesco Maria Piave’s libretto. Court peripetias of duke and jester are staged at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre. Performed in Italian.
What? Play “Quiet Whisper of Departing Steps”
When? May 24
Where? Republican Theatre of Belarusian Drama
The modern Belarusian drama has no recognition from official theatres in spite of international awards. However, there is some progress. For example Dmitri Bogoslavski’s play “Quiet Whisper of Departing Steps” is staged at the Republican Theatre of Belarusian Drama.
What? Concert by Pianoboy
When? May 30
Solo project of Dmitri Shurov who used to be a part of Okean Elzy and Esthetic Education. Last year’s best new artist, in our view. May 30 at Re:public club.
What? The Beatles Shabli
When? 31 мая
Where? “Shabli” homestead
The main festival of the Belarusian Beatles-culture will be organized as a family entertainment at “Shabli” homestead for the second time. In addition to Liverpool music, you can enjoy riding a roller, practice yoga, capoeira and play board games.
What? Hangover Party
When? 31 мая
Where? Bar “Hooligan”
34mag’s party at “Hooligan” will take place on the last day of May. Hangover parties are offline alter ego of our healing project “Hangout Mixes”.
In this section we offer several places you can have a one-day trip to from Minsk – by car or public transport.
Niasvizh (125 km)
ОOne of the most historically significant cities in Belarus. In the 16th century Niavizh became the family home for the Radzivill, the richest family of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. The Polish king visited the city frequently to borrow money for the treasury. Around 40 family members held high-powered state positions and became related with Polish and French monarchs.
Start a tour with the Niasvizh Castle. Ask the guide to tell about the legends of gilded apostles and Bona Sforza’s revenge.
Take a walk in the huge old park and head to Corpus Christi Church – the first baroque church in the Eastern Europe constructed by Italian architect Giovanni Bernardoni. The church’s crypt contains the Radzivill’s family burial vault (3rd largest in Europe after the Habsburgers’ and the Bourbons’) .
On the Market square there is a city hall with a museum and “a house at the market” – the only remaining example of medieval residential building. And finally, the Slutsk Brama – former town gates and customs.
Take the Minsk-Brest highway to reach Niasvizh by car. See the bus schedule here.
Mir (110 km)
Mir Castle is another remaining monument of the medieval architecture. In the early 16th century the construction was started by the Ilinich family, but shortly after the dynasty broke, and Mir passed to Radzivill’s possession. The castle has a rare pink tint – at those times it was trendy to mix plaster with crashed red brick.
After 1812’s war the castle was deserted for a long time, but at the end of the 19th century it was restored. The modern exposition was collected grain by grain – during the WWII this was a place of ghetto, thus all wooden articles and rich library of the Sviatopolk-Mirski were burnt.
Behind the castle stands a small church with a burial vault of the last Mir owners. On the façade there is a tile with Christ image that has not seen restoration for a century. Outside the church there is a pond that locals believe to be cursed, therefore, we do not recommend visiting the old distillery on the shore.
Mir is extremely famous for its Yeshibah – a higher school for future rabbis. It existed till 1939 and today Yeshibahs “Mir” work in Jerusalem and New York. Tourists come to see the famous building often. Now it is reconstructed into a hotel.
The town of Mir is 30-minute drive away from Niasvizh. See the bus schedule here.
Rakaw (40 km)
A town 30-minute drive away from the capital. In 1921-1939 it was part of Poland and hade a fame of smugglers’ town as the border with USSR was at a walking distance. The town had dozens of shops, casino and even brothels.
The remaining sites of interest are: Our Savour and Transfiguration Church of the late 18th century, Mother of God Rosaria and the Holy Spirit Church of the early 20th century. Pay attention to the Catholic St. Ann Chapel (outside the cemetery). You can also have a look at the old Jewish cemetery and the hill where the town was founded.
On the main square stands a private museum of Yanushkevich brothers. Call before visiting (+375177252262 and +375295569627).
Rakaw is 40 km to the West away from Minsk.
Dudutki (55 km)
Museum complex, dedicated to old crafts enjoys wide popularity. There is a pottery, bakery, brewery, smithy, creamery and other shops you can visit and work as an apprentice. Moreover, Dudutki has one of few Belarusian windmills.
But the main plus is that you can taste excellent moonshine with perfect snacks! To those who have not tried it, we recommend our guide.
Go here to learn how to get there.
Strochytsy (20 km)
Belarusian Skansen located a few kilometers away from the city. The museum of folk architecture and lifestyle is divided into three parts (Central Belarus, Dniapro region, Lakes region) that give you an idea of the traditional lifestyle of Belarusian peasants. When weather is good it’s nice to have a walk here. Occasionally you can come across some massive festivity.
There is a “Belarusian Inn” where you’ll be treated to traditional draniki and local liqueurs.
By car: 7km South-West from the ring road to Озерцо (Aziartso) village (turn right behind the village). See the bus schedule here.
The national currency can be bought from banks and currency exchange offices. You will easily find them in any shopping centre. It’s worse at night, but there’s always a chance. 24 currency exchange can be found inside the railway station (Pryvakzalnaya - пл. Прывакзальная, 3) and in the hotel “Minsk”( Niezalezhnastsi – Незалежнасці, 11/1). See the list here.
http://www.iihfworlds2014.com/ – official IIHF World Championship web-site
http://afisha.tut.by/ – Minsk culture and entertainment agenda
http://34mag.net/afisha/ – alternative Minsk culture and entertainment agenda
http://www.relax.by/ – catalogue of Minsk restaurants, bars, etc.
http://360.by/ –another catalogue of Minsk restaurants, bars, etc.
http://www.kvitki.by/ – electronic ticket system to cultural and sports events
http://34mag.net/post/zlachnyaki/ – review of low dives and cordial spots of “Low-budget Minsk”
http://www.kinopark.by/ – cinemas timetable
http://citydog.by/ – online magazine about Minsk
http://minsk-old-new.com – lots of interesting information on the city’s history
Viktor Martsinovich, writer:
– You absolutely have to walk down Koshevogo street – this place is much more interesting than the famous Osmolovka. Here you will find sophisticated houses, real monuments of the Stalinist architecture – with pilasters, bay windows and arcades. I recommend walking in the evening so that you can see the fantastic interior of staircases. Beside it, there is one of the nicest public gardens – it goes all the way along Dolgobrodskaya street and borders with picturesque residential area on the left.
The eating place I recommend is “Al Khalil” restaurant (Kazlova - Казлова, 14). The chef is Palestinian and he makes magnificently delicious Middle East dishes at low prices in the Soviet-style interiors.
Anton Kashlikov, journalist:
– Go to the old Military Cemetery (Kazlova - Казлова, 11). Some great guys are resting here (for instance, Yanka Kupala, Yakub Kolas and Kuzma Chorny). There’s also a beautiful Alexandr Nevski church, constructed in the late 19th century. Yakub Kolas Museum (Akademichnaya - Акадэмічная, 5) is worth visiting as well. By the way, the poet’s descendants still live in the next building – drying the linen and watering flowers. Poet Sergey Zhadan told a story of how he took a nap on Yakub Kolas’s bed. During some literature festival he drank a little too much and found a quiet place to lie at. But shortly after he was waken up by an indignant keeper.
I also recommend seeing Church of Holy Trinity (Niezalezhnastsi - Незалежнасці, 44). Though located in the very centre, it’s hidden from the public eye. Almost all interesting things in Minsk are hidden from the public eye – it should be explored and found.
It doesn’t make much difference where to eat or drink. Everything is pretty the same. At the same place you can be served as a monarch on one day, but short-changed on the following one. The main advice – try to take a seat on a summer terrace to watch the city and passers by.
Yevgeniya Sugak, chief editor at “Bolshoi” magazine:
– On Friday evening, or even at night, go to “Geroi” bar (Kazlova - Казлова, 3). It’s tiny and classic, but on Friday night it’s jammed with people: loud music, joy, fumes and obscurantism. Have a cup of coffee or a snack at “Tapas-bar” (Internatsiyanalnaia - Інтэрнацыянальная, 9), but take a seat next to the window to see the wonderful “Pobeda” cinema.
In May “Y Bar” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 37a) opens summer terrace, i.e. four little tables in the yard some 40 persons are hanging on. Everybody drinks wine in the candlelight.
Take a walk on Krasnaya street to the river bank, pass by the Radio House and step on a round patch with benches and great view of the river. Take a seat, take a breath. Refrain from drinking, or you’ll get fined. Buy a book of Belarusian poems in original as a remembrance. Though you won’t understand anything, this is the best souvenir from Belarus.
Polina Respublika, singer:
– The perfect place for a breakfast in the sunny morning is café-bakery Buvette (Rakauskaya - Ракаўская, 34). The best way to reach it is going up the Rakovskaya - one of Minsk’s oldest and most beautiful streets. I also like spending time at small and cozy cafes “London” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 18) and “Stary Mensk” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 14). The latter serves great krambambulia. Highly recommended.
I like to go for an airing from “Plošča Lienina” station to Yakuba Kolasa square. On the way you will find “Stolitsa” shopping centre, Museum of Belarusian Cinema History, circus, Gorky Park with innocuous rides, planetarium and cotton candies, modern arts gallery “Y” (Niezalezhnastsi – пр. Незалежнасці, 37a) and the Victory square.
Anna Chistoserdova, gallerist:
– The best drinking place is Sweet & Sour (Karla Marksa - Карла Маркса, 14). They offer a unique cocktail menu, perfect service and approach everything professionally and creatively. This is what a real bar should be like.
In terms of tasty food I prefer the Italian restaurant “Bergamo” (Kulman - Кульман, 37). Though they have been working for many years already, they manage to keep their food on the highest level.
Botanic Garden is a pleasure to visit in any season. A walk there is the best way to escape the urban hustle. In winter you can stroll in the snowed forest in the city centre. If you get cold, go to the greenhouse – it’s warm and beautiful.
Aleksandr Korneychuk aka KorneJ, DJ:
– As a light aperitif to the weekend call on the funk party at Shaka Bar (Skryhanava - вул. Скрыганава, 6а) or check some high-quality house by Kontrapunktura on the lowest floor of Saquella Espresso Club (Niamiha - Няміга, 12). After this, I recommend visiting the hidden
BarBQ Terrace in Chill Out Café just outside the city hall or break into the economical “Cherdak” (Zybitskaya - Зыбіцкая, 9) thereabout. And, of course, experience the weekend grooves at “Hooligan” (Kastrychnitskaya vulitsa – Кастрычніцкая, 16). After midnight you may be required to show a club card, but it can be substituted with a wide smile.
Before club pilgrimage check the agendas. Auroom Club (Niezalezhnastsi - пр. Незалежнасці, 116а), Loft Café (P. Brouki - П. Броўкі, 22) and «Piraty» (Partyzanskiy - пр. Партызанскі, 6а) often invite good DJs from Europe. In the summertime, look for information about open-airs as the main parties are moving out of the city.