A big guide to the Belarusian capital, Minsk: all your favorites in one

Nemiga in Minsk

Welcome to the capital of Belarus, Minsk. For this big guide, we’ve carefully selected top attractions, and places for romantic strolls, as well as bars, authentic cafés, and really good restaurants.    

How to move around

The national airport is located 40 kilometers from the city center. You can get from it to Minsk by buses and shuttle buses, which run every 20–30 minutes, and arrive at the Central Bus Station. Check the schedule on the airport’s website. The trip will take about an hour.

If you prefer a cab, order one through the Uber and Yandex Go apps. It will be cheaper than going with cab drivers who solicit clients at the airport exit.

The railway station, as well as the Central Bus Station, are located in the city center, next to the metro station “Plošča Lienina”. In general, the subway is the easiest and cheapest way to move around the city. Minsk subway consists of only three branches; everything important is within walking distance from the stations.

One subway ride costs €0.35 (1.1 BYN). Tickets for buses, trolleybuses, and streetcars are even cheaper. On the website of “Minsktrans,” you can find all the points where tickets are sold. You can also buy from the driver—it will be a bit more expensive. 

Cabs in Minsk are not very expensive; a trip of 8-10 km will cost €4-5. If you prefer to use apps, try Uber or Yandex Go. If it is more convenient to call, write down short numbers: 135, 7788, 157, 107, 152, and 7585. 

If your choice is an electric scooter or bike, download the Kolobike, Jet, Eleven, BusyFly, and Whoosh. There is a Kolobike bike-share (30 minutes = €1.3). 

streets with a view on the Central Station in Minsk
stroll around Minsk in Belarus

Where to stay

In Minsk, it is convenient and profitable to stay in apartments for a day. Most of the options are available on the following websites: realt.by, hata.by, flatbook.by, kvartirant.by, domovita.by, gohome.by. For something decent in the city center, you will pay from €30; for remote but still nice options, ask for €20. To find a hotel or hostel, you can use 101hotels.com. 

If you are one of those who do not save money and prefer to stay in hotels of world chains and five-star hotels, then in Minsk you can stay in the Renaissance Minsk Hotel, “Pekin”, Mariott, Hampton by Hilton, and DoubleTree by Hilton. If you want something comfortable but with local flavor, then it may be the Monastyrsky Hotel, which is located simultaneously in two parallel realities: Christian Minsk and Party Minsk.

The very center of Minsk is the first transport ring within the boundaries of the streets: Masherov Ave.—Kozlov St.—Pervomayskaya St.—Bobruyskaya St. Once you have unpacked your bags, you will discover that the city’s most significant buildings, cultural attractions, hangout spots, and well-kept green spaces are all within easy walking distance of where you are.  

Upper Town, Minsk
Government House and University in Minsk

Cultural Program

Important spots

Independence Avenue—Getting acquainted with Minsk starts with this 15-kilometer highway, which cuts the city into two halves. Most of the classic Minsk sights are located, if not on the avenue itself, then close to it. Actually, the avenue itself is also a landmark and a unique example of the Stalin Empire. 

Independence Avenue starts at the square of the same name, where the Government House was built in the 1930s. The building of the Government House is the biggest in Belarus, although you can’t say so at once because it is tucked away in the corner of the square. 

A few steps away from the Lenin monument on the square, there is a church—the Red Church of St. Simeon and St. Elena, built in 1910. 

view on the the Red Church of St. Simeon and St. Elena

When you reach Victory Square, pay attention to corner house number 31 on the bank of Svisloch—it was here that Lee Harvey Oswald, the legendary assassin of John F. Kennedy, lived in the early 1960s.

Nearby, you can check out the island of tranquility, which is fondly loved by locals—the courtyard of St. Roch Church (Independence Avenue, 44a).  

Victory Square in Minsk

Further on, Independence Avenue will show you several more squares, and at its end, you will find yourself at the National Library (Independence Avenue, 116). Tourists visit the rhombicuboctahedron of the book depository primarily because of its observation deck, which offers views of the Soviet mosaics along Independence Avenue, and the overflowing Slepian water system.

National Library in the form of dimond in Minsk

Nemiga—near the metro station with this name is the Upper Town, where you can try to catch the atmosphere of the early 19th century. Here is the Holy Spirit Cathedral (Cyril and Methodius Street, 3)—the main Orthodox church of the city, built in 1633–1642. On Freedom Square stands the City Hall, erected in 1600 in honor of Minsk receiving the Magdeburg Law and restored in 2003 according to old drawings and pictures. In summer, some streets of the Upper Town become pedestrianized; in the evenings, you can catch musicians performing; and in winter, there is a Christmas fair.

Across the street from the Town Hall is the Catholic Cathedral of Saint Virgin Mary (9 Liberty Square), built in the Vilnian Baroque style in 1700–1710. It is also known as the “Jesuit Church”.

Nemiga, Minsk
Nemiga River in Minsk
Nemiga in the night

Across the river from the Upper Town is the Trinity Suburb—the official tourist “piece of old Minsk”. In the XV-XIX centuries, craftsmen and traders actively settled here; nowadays, Troitskoye is home to offices, residential apartments, restaurants, studios, and the museum of poet Maxim Bogdanovich. A small bridge from the suburb leads to the Island of Tears, a monument to the soldiers who died during the Afghan campaign.

Nearby is the opulent Opera and Ballet Theater (1 Paris Commune Square), a monument to Soviet constructivism. 

Nemiga also includes the best street for hanging out, Zybitskaya Street. It probably wins the award for “Street with the Most Bars Per Square Meter.”. Here is a building that houses 11 bars simultaneously!

Trinity Suburb in Minsk, Belarus
Opera and Ballet Theater in Minsk

If you are interested in alternative neighborhoods in terms of architecture, be sure to check out Red Courtyard, Oktyabrskaya Street, the Osmolovka neighborhood, and Tractorostroiteley settlement.

The Red Courtyard (st. Revolutionary 7) is one of Minsk’s unique magnets, which attracts both locals and visitors. The majority of the buildings date back to the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. Look how beautiful it is!

Oktyabrskaya Street is an illustration of the processes of gentrification and revitalization: a few factories still operate here, but most of the loft spaces have been given over to clubs, bars, restaurants, offices, rocking chairs, and other yoga studios. People come to Oktyabrskaya to take pictures with the murals left over from the Vulica Brasil street art festival, have lunch, have a drink, make new acquaintances, and, in general, hang out.

street art in Oktyabrskaya Street

The Tractor Builders’ Settlement (near Chebotarev, Koshevoy, Klumov, and Stakhanovskaya Streets) is a residential area that was built right after World War II. The workers of the Tractor Plant, which was to provide equipment for the entire USSR, were going to live here. 

The Tractor Plant district is Minsk Valletta, with the most beautiful balconies, empire pilasters, arcades, and columns in the city. The house on the corner of Stakhanovskaya, 2, and Klumova, 11 (where, by the way, there is a cool café called Mon Nom) is a particular favorite of the locals.

Also, not so far from the metro station “Uruchye” is the modern residential complex neighborhood of Novaya Borovaya, where walking is a pleasure. Although it is on the outskirts of the city, it is definitely worth visiting.   

retro car in the Oktyabrskaya Street, Minsk


Gorky Park (metro station “Victory Square”) is the central Minsk “recreational zone,” with children’s attractions and a couple of simple cafés. We advise you to make a round or two on the Ferris wheel and only jump into the closed booths—from them, it is more convenient to look around the city.

Chelyuskintsev Park (metro station “Park Chelyuskintsev”) is a beautiful park with old pine trees that was built in 1928–1931. Turn off the main paths to walk in silence and breathe fresh air, feed the squirrels, and watch grandpas play chess in warm weather. Be sure to take a ride on old rides from 30 years ago or on more modern ones, eat cotton candy, and feel like a kid again. Across the fence is the wonderful Botanical Garden (2v Surganova St.).

Loshitsa Park is the most inspiring and romantic park in Minsk and the main recreation place for the residents of the Loshitsa neighborhood. The central part of the park has been thoroughly restored, and now there are smooth paths, cozy pavilions, and the Lubanski estate. If you go deeper into the alleys, you can come across apple orchards and the remains of a mill, where, according to legend, devils live.

Also, I recommend visiting Medvezhino Forest Park; you’ll definitely feel tranquility there and will leave full of energy and inspiration.  

The Reservoir Drozdy is the best way to be in nature without leaving the city. Here you’ll find forest waterfalls, a red dam, a wheat field, and views of the lights of the big city. 

fountains in Minsk
Botanical Garden in Minsk
Botanical Garden, Minsk

The best places for art lovers

The National Art Museum (20 Lenina St.; 24 K. Marksa St.) is the main art collection in Belarus. It contains a large collection of classical Russian paintings, old Belarusian icons, and Sarmatian portraits of the Radziwill family. The collection of works of socialist realism is worthy of special mention.

The National History Museum (K. Marksa St., 12) is located not far from the art museum. Inside, there is a full retrospective of the life of Belarusians, from the epochs of ancient tribes to the present time. In total, the exposition contains more than 400 valuable artifacts.

The National Art Museum, Minsk
The National Art Museum in Minsk, Belarus

A newly renovated Great Patriotic War Museum was officially opened on July 2, 2014. It was built on Heroes Square near the Stela Minsk-Hero City and Pobeda museum and park complex. There are 28 collections presented in ten themed halls, featuring multimedia technologies such as holographic 3D installations, smoke screens, and a spherical screen.

Great Patriotic War Museum in Belarus
Side of the Great Patriotic War Museum, Minsk

The Art Belarus Gallery (3 Kozlova St.) in the Palace of Arts holds more or less regular exhibitions of contemporary art and constantly exhibits the Belgazprombank collection, which includes Marc Chagall, Chaim Soutine, Leon Bakst, and other art stars.

The National Center for Contemporary Arts concentrates its activities exclusively on the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. There, you can often catch a fabulous exhibition. Nekrasova Street, 3 is the address of the main building. Additionally, the National Center has a large and spacious exhibition hall on Nezavisimosti Avenue, 47.

Artel Gallery Café is a two-in-one: here, you can constantly find interesting exhibits and, in the meantime, drink a cup of delicious coffee. 

interior of the Mastacki Dom Ugrinovic in Minsk


The main street food of Minsk is concentrated on the “kebab mile” near Komarovsky market (metro station “Ploshchad Yakub Kolas”) at the junction of the shopping centers “Monetka” and “Atlantic” on Kulman Street. The main dish of the neighborhood is shawarma, and many people prefer to take it at the trusted chain “Mirage” (9 Kulman St.). 

My favorite place for eating shawarma and falafel is called “My Dear Kebab” (Kamsamoĺskaja street, 3). 

During the warm season and Christmas holidays there are three outdoor food courts in Minsk: “Pesochnitsa” (45 Kuibysheva St.), Lidbeer Dvor (1/8 Kulman St.), and “Best Street” opened on the grounds of Minsk Watch Factory (Independence Avenue, 95, bldg. 9, metro station Park Chelyuskintsev). Food courts often host various parties, live music, movies, or soccer broadcasts.

Also, a cool food mall called Konkors opened recently in Minsk in the Galileo shopping center

churros at the Lidbeer Dvor in Minsk

Pancake houses “Depo” (6 Zybitskaya St.; 23 Oktyabrskaya St.) bake pancakes with a huge number of fillings to choose from. 

BurgerLab (19/4 Oktyabrskaya St.) is an institution with a soul, that grew out of a small food truck. Burgers are served with a medium-fried patty.

Sabroso (Kuibysheva St., 45; Oktyabrskaya St., 16)—here, you’ll find legendary Latin American burgers.

Beten Gav (28 Kiseleva Street) is an institution with simple Israeli food and a compact menu: hummus with pine nuts, babaganoush, shakshuka, falafel and the sweet drink bubaleh. 

Gaststätte beer restaurant, Komsomolskaya Street, 9. Here, I recommend trying the tartare.

Pinky Bandinsky (13a Komsomolskaya Street). Stylish interior, imaginative menu, large cocktail list, and extensive choice of alcohol. 

Cultura (Pobediteley Ave., 100) is a very gastronomic place. Tartars, ceviche, tom yam, incredibly tasty Italian pints—this is just a part of what is worth trying at the place.

Umami (28, Revolutsionnaya Street) is one of the most gastronomic places in the city. Unusual combinations of products and carefully checked recipes from the chef. The menu includes ceviche, tartars, poke, and rolls. And there are also cool author’s desserts here.

“Monet Manet” (18 Independence Avenue)—This restaurant relies on the interior, which in every detail refers to the works of French artists Édouard Manet and Claude Monet. Brushes and paints, art books, paintings, easels—the restaurant has the atmosphere of a real art workshop. The food is also decent, so the place is popular—you’d better book a table.

“Kamyanitsa” (18 Pervomayskaya Street) is the most patriotic place of all the ones presented in this review. The interior is made in the style of a medieval tavern. Here, you can taste excellent horseradish, zhuravina, and mead of your own making. There is a wide choice of national dishes, and live music is often played.

If you want to try Belarusian potatoes called “draniki” and other national dishes, go to the chain of restaurants “Vasilki” and “Litviny”

SFB (17, Revolutsionnaya Street) is an institution from the chain of fish shops John Dory, where gourmets who lose their heads over seafood should definitely visit. 

If you like wine, the good place to go is the wine restaurant “OWINO”

For those with a sweet tooth, I recommend such places as Lakomka (Ave. Nezalezhnosti 19), the Kommunarka chocolate outlet & café (Pobediteley 7), and Museum-Coffee “Kommunarka” (st. Aranskaya 18).

And in supermarkets, be sure to buy and try the frosted cheesecakes—you won’t get that anywhere else!

Top coffee places

Coffee lovers, be prepared—in Minsk, you will find many good spots. 

Why Knot? (21 Volodarskogo Street). This third-wave café not only brews excellent coffee but also makes delicious porridge for breakfast and fresh sandwiches all day long. 

River Espresso Club (6 Starovilenskaya Street) is a thoughtful coffee house in the Troitskiy suburb. 

Kitchen Coffee Roasters (16/3 Oktyabrskaya Street) is a semi-secret place on the underside of the Oktyabrskaya hangout with a view of the quietly flowing Svisloch and the railroad.  

Stories (14 Internatsionalnaya Street). Another pleasant coffee place that Minsk citizens love for its fresh croissants.

Moby Dick (16 Oktyabrskaya Street). The takeaway coffee is brewed on the first floor of the blackest building on Oktyabrskaya Street, where there is a comfortable summer terrace. One more point operates in the Victory Square neighborhood in the format of a full-fledged café: Moby Dick Caffe (Zakharova Street, 24).

“1801” (95, Independence Avenue; 18 Independence Avenue) is a collaboration of the Luch watch factory and local coffee roasters. You can drink coffee and buy watches. 

“Dreamers” (28 Kiseleva St.): good coffee, breakfasts, and a great location in the quietest center of the city. 

Coffeehouse Blackmill in Minsk
coffee house in Minsk

Tiden (Kuibysheva Street, 31) is the most eco-friendly coffee house in Minsk: there are no disposable dishes here, and they also give you a discount if you buy coffee in your own cup. There are many vegan desserts, toasts, and croissants. 

Coffee house “M” (17 Karla Marksa St.)—here you can not only drink a cup of excellent coffee but also eat something caloric

Lyon (25/1 Rakovskaya Street)—oh, that stupefying smell of fresh croissants that wafts across Rakovskaya in the morning! Good coffee is served to accompany the flavorful pastries. 

Paragraph (37 Nezavisimosti Ave., 37; K. Marksa St., 9; Kalvariyskaya St., 5; Nemiga St., 5)—the Brest chain of coffee shops burst into Minsk and immediately became a favorite of the citizens.  

MON NOM, which we’ve already mentioned. You should run here not only for the coffee (although you should also run here for the coffee), but also for the legendary location. The coffee house is located in the “house with mermaids” in the village of Tractor Plant.

I love very much Red Coffee Store on Oktyabrskaya 19/4 street and Blackmill Coffee Shop, Belinskogo str. 23.

Also, a very atmospheric place is Mastacki Dom Ugrinovic (ul. Bogdanovicha, 3), where you can not only drink coffee but also buy beautiful ceramics. And the interior is simply stunning. 

MON NOM cafe in Minsk
drinking coffee at the Mastacki Dom Ugrinovic in Minsk
ceramics inside of Mastacki Dom Ugrinovic

Shopping and where to buy a souvenir

GUM (21 Independence Avenue). Opened in 1951, the main department store remains a kind of museum of Soviet trade, continuing in many respects to adhere to the traditions and style of those times.

TSUM (54, Nezavisimosti Ave.). It is another mecca of Soviet trade, preserved almost in its original form, a showcase of Belarusian producers’ opportunities, and a center of souvenirs made in Belarus, such as linen towels, ceramic dishes, and cosmetics.

Central Universam in Minsk

If you need a “classic” shopping mall with clear brands, food courts, and cinema halls, Galleria (9 Pobediteley Ave.) will satisfy your needs in the city center. In case it’s not enough, you can also easily get to Dana Mall (9 Petra Mstislavets St.) and Green City (156 Pritytskogo St.) along the metro line.

Komarouski Market (8 Vera Khoruzhey Street) is the main food market in the capital. Minsk’s residents go here on weekends for fresh meat, vegetables, and fruits. In reality, though, you can find anything here: from rare spices or ingredients for Chinese cuisine to seasonal berries and mushrooms.

Komarovsky market in Minsk
Inside of the Komarovsky market in Minsk

Store in the Art Museum (24 K. Marksa St.)—we recommend going here for smart souvenirs like art books, sleep masks with art prints, pins with vases from Independence Avenue, and other local memes.

Vershy Krama (Kastrychnitskaya Street, 19)—here they sell clothes, accessories, and all sorts of other nice things from Belarusian designers, as well as paintings and other art.

Oktyabrskaya Street, Minsk, Belarus
Share 0
Share 0
Pin it 0
Share 0
Share 0
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bravo, your opinion will come in handy

You May Also Like