"Grodno : 80's communism is still alive." Top 5 Page for this destination Hrodna by danyo

Hrodna Travel Guide: 115 reviews and 289 photos

80's communism is still alive.

Grodno is one of the strangest places I have ever visited in Europe since my visit in East Germany in 1988. After the fall of communism almost all former Eastern European countries have been modernized, but in Belarus not much has changed, or at least not in Grodno.

Grodno is the only place in Europe I have visited which doesn't have a MacDonalds or a Burger King, at least something positive ;-)
There are in the whole town just a few hotels and not more than 7 restaurants, 3 of them belonging to the big hotels.

The main shopping street has more vague offices (they all looked like KGB office to me) than stores and most shops are inside of the 'magazines' (mini ware houses).

Nightlife is almost non-existent in Grodno, the local youth buys beer in the supermarkets and hangs outside on the main square (Stefan Batory) or near the Drama theatre, which has a nice view over the river. Only the rich people in Grodno go to the Drama theatre, because even for a tourist the price for a ticket is quite expensive. There is a disco (on opposite side of the Orthodox Church) which looks quite sober and not very tempting from outside.

Most of the restaurants are quite big, but almost nobody eats there (because it's too expensive for the people who live there). Once we were sitting in a restaurant which has place for certainly 100 people and only 3 tables were taken. The food was good (except the 'bouillion', which was just hot water with an egg) and extremely cheap.

We often didn't know good what to do anymore, since we saw the whole centre already in 2 days. Especially in the evening we didn't know where to go, so we watched TV in the hotel and enjoyed Russian music channels (At least they have good music there ;-) ).

Nevertheless it was an experience to be here, here you can see a bit how other Eastern European countries where in the eighties during the last years of communism.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:eh... ;-) o.k., it is a quiet place and quite safe I think (because police is everywhere), people can be very friendly (allthough a lot of people were very uninterested and on a distance, sometimes even a bit rude).
  • Cons:Everything is old fashioned, trolley busses from the 60's, bad roads, there is not much to do (not much nightlife), not many restaurants, not so many stores, too much police on the street.
  • In a nutshell:Where time stood still in the 80's communist time.
  • Last visit to Hrodna: Apr 2004
  • Intro Updated Mar 2, 2005
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Reviews (23)

Comments (4)

  • sunshine9689's Profile Photo
    Mar 21, 2006 at 7:10 PM

    Things have changed since your visit. Come again, I guarantee you`ll have a better experience. ;-)

  • Jan 13, 2005 at 7:17 AM

    Very interesing page you have here - hopefully the KGB doesn't see it ;-)

  • gale.blog.pl's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2004 at 1:56 PM

    That must have been a weird experience. It's sad that people HAVE TO live there :( Anyway, thanks for sharing. It's been years since I last visited Grodno...

  • prleprle's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2004 at 7:25 AM

    Well, maybe it's old-fashionated but city centre still looks attractive and beautifull.

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