As a part of Soviet Union for a long time Belarus was undiscovered country for worldwide travelers. Problems with obtaining a visa, political regime, a small number of flights and the lack of information about the country made visiting Minsk very difficult.
In 2010’s Belarusian government has done a lot to visit Minsk has become much easier. And, as a consequence, the effect came very quickly. First for tourists from neighboring countries. In 2017 Minsk entered top 5 most popular destinations among Russians and Ukranians. And now, The Independent named Minsk number 1 most happening destinations for 2019. Travel Weekly also consider 2019 is better time to visit Minsk in 2019
There are a lot of reasons to visit Minsk in 2019. We have selected 10 main for you.
1. 30-day visa free entry
On January 9th, 2017 was adopted a decree, allows foreign citizens of 80 countries (list of countries) enter Belarus through National airport “Minsk” for up to 5 days without visa. From July 24th, 2018, the visa-free entry to Belarus for the citizens of 80 countries has been increased from 5 to 30 days. Two main rules are the same. A traveler must get in and get out using Minsk airport. A traveler can’t use flights from Russia or to Russia.
2. International events
In 2019 in Minsk planning a lot of international events. Every tourist will find something interesting. The closest one is for football fans. Especially for a fans of Arsenal FC from London. February 14th, 2019 on Borisov Arena stadium in 1/32 of the Europa League, FC BATE Borisov will play against Arsenal from London. Next one is 2nd European Games on 21-30th June, 2019. More than 4,000 athletes from 50 countries will compete for medals in 15 sports and 23 disciplines.
3. Undiscovered country
When Belarusians travel around the world and somebody ask where are they from many people think for some time and try to understand where it is. Some ask again, thinking that Belarus is a part of Russia, but not independent country. Belarus is very different. Big cities with high population from one side. For example in Minsk live more than 2 million people. From another side it is Belorussian countryside with untouchable nature, big lakes and long rivers, endless fields and huge forests, clean and fresh air, authentic villages.
Minsk is very safety city. Any ourist may walk around everywhere and any time of the day. In Minsk there are no any districts where it is not recommended to walk in the night. Do not take into account crime news from Russia. Belorussian are very tolerant, polite, kind and calm people. You can always count on the help of others without feeling that someone is watching you.
If you think that you have seen or been in the cleanest city of the world, you are mistaken. Minsk is recognized as one of the cleanest cities in the world and the cleanest in Europe. You will not find any paper on the street. In summer time every morning special cars wash the streets
Minsk is one of the most inexpensive cities in the world. In 2017 Minsk entered top 10 cities around the world according to the conclusion of consulting group Mercer. At the same time Minsk is totally European city with all kinds of services and high quality of it. There are hotels from International brands like Hilton, Marriott. Any traveller can find a place to stay. From 5-star hotels for 150 EUR per night to cheap hostels for 20 EUR per night
7. Minsk nightlife
Belarus is famous for its craft bars, clubs and discos. In Minsk city center is a huge multi-bar zone area. About 30 bars and clubs with author cocktails works almost around the clock. 1000’s of young people, boys and girls, spend weekend evenings and nights there and open for meeting with new people.
8. Minsk architecture
It is impossible to count how many different states and epochs have left their mark on the architecture of Minsk. Minsk survived the war of 1812 and in the First World War but was completely destroyed during the Great Patriotic War. Now Minsk architecture is a mix of Old Town with its coffee shops and bars, monumental Soviet architecture with long avenues, neo-classical palaces and stately squares
9. UNESCO World Heritage
The 2 most important places you should visit in Belarus are Mir castle and Nesvizh palace. Both these places are in UNESCO World Heritage list. Mir castle is a unique monument of the national culture of Belarus. It is an outstanding example of the defense architecture of the 16 century with mighty walls and towers. Nesvizh city is one of the oldest historical & cultural centers of Belarus. It is the former capital of the Radziwill’s Ordination. Park complex and Nesvizh palace is another pearl of Belorussian architecture and history.
10. Easy to get
There are many options available to get to Minsk. But the fastest, most convenient and the one (if you plan to use visa-free mode) is by plane. National air company Belavia regularly updates its fleet and today has new models of Boeing, Embraer, Bombardier. Also, Belavia route map includes direct flights from 53 cities to Minsk and back. The price for a taxi from Minsk airport to city center is 30EUR with Minsk Airport Transfer company. At the airport many illegal drivers with doubled or tripled price. Be careful! As The Independent we also recommend to include Minsk to the route of your next vacations.