"Minsk - City of grandiose Stalinist architecture" Top 5 Page for this destination Minsk by HORSCHECK

Minsk Travel Guide: 438 reviews and 1,101 photos

Railway Station Square (Ploschad Privaksalnaya)

In summer 2011 we decided to explore Belarus, which was already on our must-visit list since a few years. Unfortunately, a visa is mandatory for the country. We started our journey in Vilnius (Lithuania), because there we could conveniently organise the visa for a 10 days independent trip through Belarus.

The first city we visited in Belarus was Minsk, where we stayed 5 nights to become acquainted with the country's peculiarities.

Minsk is not only the capital but also home to the headquarter of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). With more than 1,8 Million inhabitants, Minsk is the biggest city in the country. It is located at the Svislach river.

Due to its almost total destruction during the Second World War, Minsk is nowadays a masterpiece of Social Realist and Soviet architecture. We were impressed by places like the Indpendence Square, Independence Avenue, Victory Square and October Square, just to name a few.

We also took the chance to take a day trip by suburban train to Zaslavl, which is a small town dating back to 985 AD. On this trip we also got in contact with a young Belarusian couple with whom we enjoyed a great day out of the big city.

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."
--- Martin Buber ---

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great mixture of Soviet style, classic and modern architecture.
  • Cons:Visa requirements make an independent trip difficult.
  • In a nutshell:Belarusian capital of grandiose Stalinist architecture.
  • Last visit to Minsk: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated Oct 21, 2012
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Reviews (54)

Comments (22)

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Oct 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    I enjoying in recovered your Minsk memories (as I start again with my own)! Seriously good work, almost documentary. I wish to visit Minsk soon! Thank you for sharing!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM

    Minsk sounds to be very interesting to visit. I'm thinking of visiting only for a few days from Vilnius, but it sounds to be quite complicated and expensive with the visa.

    • MalenaN's Profile Photo
      Aug 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      I had a look at Viliota's webpage and it seems that the express visa is now 220 Euro. Unfortunately there is no Belarusian embassy working in Sweden right now. 220 Euros for a visa when only visiting a few days will probably be too much :(

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    Hi Holger,
    Thanks for your encouraging comments. I'll be slowly building my reviews now that I'm back from BY. I had a great trip.
    Best wishes,

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Mar 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

    Holger, I knew you would post fabulous information and tips about Belarus! The old trams look fabulous -- as does the architecture of the Metro station. As usual, your tips about restaurants and local food are wonderful. Unfortunately, the pizza in Minsk does not look very good. For the best pizza, you need to visit New Jersey. :) Cheers!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Holger, I will have to return. So far, I've had an enlightning tour of Minsk. I didn't know what to expect, but have found from your writings, that its a nice city to visit. Once again, the Churches are my favorites!

    • balhannah's Profile Photo
      Apr 2, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      Holger, This is an excellent page! I know I will never come here, so it was a very interesting read, and also to see the photos of the city. Actually, it looks like a nice place to visit.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    A very good page, have just started reading the first pages, don´t like at all what they did to the churches, storing fish in there etc.

  • SWFC_Fan's Profile Photo
    Jul 29, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    Thanks for visiting my updated Herceg Novi page, Holger.
    Your Minsk page is brilliant - a great selection of restaurant tips and the obligatory football stadium and beer tips that I can always rely on you for! :-) I'm looking for somewhere interesting in eastern Europe to spend Easter weekend next year; Minsk looks like a great choice, but the cost of visas might push me towards Chisinau instead.

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    Great Minsk page! Minsk really did not change too much since the time I lived and studied there in 1981-1985...
    Thank you for stopping by our Kotor page.

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    Hi Holger, a very interesting page about a place I did not know anything about before! It sounds quite difficult with the lack of English menus etc., but your page shows that the trouble is worth it!
    I really like your pictures of the churches, and all the buildings look beautiful in the sunshine :-) Oh, and the stadium looks interesting, the style of the exterior rather seems like a palace :-)

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    Apr 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Holger, I enjoyed reading about your recent trip to Minsk. Belarus looks like a fascinating place to visit because of its barriers of entry (need visa) and lack of Western tourists. Congrats on getting pizza in yet another country! However, based on the photo, the pizza did not look so good. If you want great pizza, come to New Jersey! Cheers, Bill


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