MINSK, the hidden gem of the East

© Mark Veraart on https://www.flickr.com/people/marcveraart/

Discover why this city is truly magical and check out our tips for a full Belorussian experience.

Located in the heart of Belarus, it definitely surprises the visitors with big parks, huge buildings and welcoming people.

Almost totally destroyed during WWII, Minsk was remodelled in a typical Stalinist style, with impressive and imposing architecture. However, it is still possible to find a few characteristic buildings from the pre-war years, which are definitely worth a visit.

Despite its past, Minsk is a vibrant, modern and clean city, with a lot of fashionable cafes and international restaurants.

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Isle of tears - Mark Veraart on flickr
Island of tears © Mark Veraart on https://www.flickr.com/people/marcveraart/

What to see?

  1. National Art Museum of Belarus, largest museum in the Country, it hosts one of the main collections, both Belorussian and international, in Eastern Europe. Today, it is also a science and art development centre.
  2. Island of Tears, memorial to Belorussians who died during the 1979-1989 war with Afghanistan.
  3. National Library, the main information and cultural centre of the Country, it is also one of the most characteristic landmarks in Minsk.
  4. Museum of Great Patriotic War, opened in 1944, it was the first war-related museum in the World. The collection was started during the Nazi occupation, when nobody could predict how long the War would last. Today, it is one of the most important war museums, along with the museums in Moscow, Kiev and New Orleans.
  5. Memorial Church of All Saints, the most beautiful Orthodox church in Minsk
National Library C Mark Veraart - httpswww.flickr.comphotosmarcveraart
National Library © Mark Veraart on https://www.flickr.com/people/marcveraart/

What to do?

  1. Visit the Botanical Gardens, the 3rd in Europe for extension
  2. Attend the change of the guard at the Eternal Flames in Victory Square
  3. Shop at the GUM Department Store for a typical Soviet shopping experience
Mark Veraart on flickr
© Mark Veraart on https://www.flickr.com/people/marcveraart/

What to eat and drink?

The Draniki is one of the most popular dishes in the Belorussian cuisine. These pan-fried potato pancakes are famous for their rich taste and fluffy texture. They are traditionally served hot with sour cream. But the pride of the national cuisine is the traditional Belorussian bread. It is made with rye flour and a special leaven, that made it a bit sour but very healthy.

The most famous alcoholic drink is Vodka. Served during special occasions, it can be found in different varieties like the one made from bread or with honey and pepper. But the most traditional drink is undoubtedly the Kvass: made using naturally fermented bread and cereals, it is a typical summertime refreshment.

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