Basic Information & Frequently Asked Questions About Minsk
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Curious about Minsk or planning your visit? Find the answer to your question here or ask us anything about Minsk, Belarus, national traditions, food, weather as well as everything you would like to know and get factual responses. Welcome to Belarus!
Where is Belarus?
Belarus, official name Republic of Belarus, is located in Eastern Europe and has common borders with 5 countries: Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.
Country Code: BY
Telephone Code: +375
Top Level Domain: .by
Emergency numbers: Police – 102, Ambulance – 103, Rescue & Fire Service – 112.
Is Minsk safe?
Minsk is a very quiet, clean and safe city. Minsk is marked Level 1 – Exercise Normal Precautions by US Travel Advisories. Safety index by Numbeo is 75,28 and crime index 24,80. As a result, Minsk ranks 17th among the safest countries in the world.
There is no any kind of racism in Belarus. At the same time, locals not very friendly with sexual minorities LGBT (or GLBT).
What is the population of Minsk?
The population of Belarus is 9 503 800 people (2017). Next population census scheduled for October 2019.
The population of Minsk is constantly growing and today is 1 975 million (2017). In other words, more than 20% of the total population lives in Minsk. Thus, Minsk is 11th most populous city in Europe.
Where is Minsk?
Minsk is the capital and biggest city of Belarus. It is located in the center of the country and is political & economic centre of Belarus.
What is Minsk time zone?
Minsk is on Further-Eastern European Time (FET), UTC +3. Moreover, daylight saving time does not apply. The IANA time zone identifier is “Europe/Minsk”.
Is Belarus a part of Russia?
Definitely not! Belarus is an independent country with its governing bodies (president, parliament), army, and borders. Moreover, Belarusians are very offended when anybody call the country Belorussia, Whiterussia or Weißrussland.
What is the weather in Minsk?
The climate of Belarus is moderately continental, formed under the influence of the air from Atlantic. It is characterized by rainy non-hot summers, mild winters with frequent thaws, unstable weather in autumn and winter.
The warmest month in Belarus is July. The least precipitation falls in February. The coldest month is January. Average temperature in Belarus for months:
What language do people speak in Minsk?
There are two official languages in Minsk: Russian and Belorussian. For writing in Belarusian as in Russian, cyrillic is used. However, some letters are very different. If you see Мiнск – it is Belorussian, if Минск – it is Russian.
Almost all signs, street names and some inscriptions in Minsk are written in Belarusian. However, you will not hear Belarusian speech in Minsk. As an exception, people who work in art area speak Belarusian, as well as real politicians who are in opposition to the president and citizens living in villages and small towns.
For a long time Belarusian language was not supported by the state and is now considered almost extinct.
What currency is in Minsk?
Belarus Local Currency
In Belarus, the Belorussian ruble BYN is the main currency. First thing to remember, all cash payments in Belarus allowed only in local currency. You can withdraw rubles from ATM or exchange it in currency exchange office or bank.
Credit Cards and ATMs
Most hotels, restaurants, and shops accept credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express. However, we recommend that you always carry a small amount of cash in Belarusian rubles. Small purchases are more convenient to buy for cash.
Banks & Currency Exchange Offices
Currency exchange offices and banks are almost everywhere: on the streets, in shopping malls, stores and supermarkets. This converter allows you to determine the value of other currencies compared with the Belorussian ruble.
Transportation in Minsk
Whether you live across the world, getting to Minsk is easy. If you’re coming from outside Belarus, check visa information or visa-free rules before your visit. See below for the best ways to get to Minsk from anywhere in the world and ways to get around Minsk.
Getting to Minsk
By plane There are nearly 15 air carriers traveling to Minsk. The main one is the national airline Belavia (baggage rules). Air travelers arrive at National Airport Minsk (MSQ). Visitors can get from airport to Minsk city center by using taxis (15-50 EUR), private transfer service – 30 EUR flat fare (non-metered), routed bus 300Э and 1400TC/1430TC minibus – 2 EUR and rent a car (40-200 EUR depending on the car class). The most famous world car rental companies are represented (Avis, Budget, Sixt, Europcar).
All methods how to get from Minsk airport have their own advantages and disadvantages
Get to Minsk using visa-free entry possible only by plane through Minsk airport.
Avoid taxi drivers at the airport entrances! They will cheat you and you will pay twice or even three times as much.
By train Minsk is at the intersection of trade, tourist and other routes between Europe and Asia. This leads to a large number not only direct trains to Minsk, but also a huge number of passing trains.
Minsk Central Railway Station is located in city center next to the Plošcha Lienina subway station.
2 main types of locomotives are used: electric trains and diesel locomotives. Belorussian railway provide 3 types of comfort for passengers: SV – the most comfortable, compartment – lockable cabins for a maximum of 4 passengers, “plackart” – lying places without doors. There are 2 types of electric trains: old SSSR and new Stadler trains.
Ticket prices are not expensive.
By bus For some travelers, especially those coming from near cities and countries, buses are an affordable and convenient travel option. Minsk enjoys service from such companies as Intercars, Ecolines, as well as other local carriers.
Central Bus Station is located right next to the Railway Station. All international bus routes, routes across Belarus and their schedule are here.
By car Driving to Minsk? Use Google Maps to get directions, and plan ahead for where to park. In the city center there are practically parking places without payment. However, the cost of parking is not high – from 1 to 2 euros per hour. When booking a hotel, specify if it has free parking for guests. Parking outside the city center is free, but it’s not so easy to find a free place in the evening.
Getting Around Minsk
Minsk is an excellent walking city, and getting around by foot is the best way to discover the city and see as much as possible. Of course, sometimes you’ll need to move more quickly or cover great distances, for which you’ve got subways, buses, cabs, electric scooters and bicycles at your disposal.
Subway In general, metro (subway) is the fastest and low cost way to travel within the city. Minsk subway has to lines: Moskovskaya line and Avtozavodskaya line. 29 metro stations in total. Among them are monumental stations built during the Soviet Union period and new modern stations. Minsk metro map
The cost of one trip is BYN 0,65 (€ 0.26). You can buy a token every time you need a ride on the subway or buy a Railpass for 10 20 or 30 trips. You can buy tokens or a Railpass at the cashier in the subway or at bus stops. But you cannot use it in land transport (bus, trolleybus, tram) because the cost of a trip in the metro is 0.05 ruble higher.
Public transport (Bus, Trolleybus, Tram) Minsk is famous for the production of buses (MAZ ), trolleybuses (Belkomunmash) and trams (Stadler). A large number of routes and dedicated lanes on the main streets of Minsk will make your trip by public transport quick and easy.
The cost of one trip is BYN 0,60 (€ 0.22). You can buy a ticket every time you need a ride or buy a Ticketpass for 10 20 or 30 trips. You can buy tickets at the bus driver or at bus stops.
Another one type of public transport in Minsk is Marshrutka – routed minibus. The cost of one trip is 1 BYN (0.8 EUR).
Taxi This is the most controversial way of transport to getting around Minsk. The thing is that most of taxi drivers are individual entrepreneurs and set tariffs themselves. Often they are several times higher than the tariffs of taxi services. Therefore, we strongly advise not to take a taxi on the street, but to call a car. In our opinion, the most popular taxi services in Minsk are: UBER & Yandex.Taxi (Apps), 135, 7788, Bavaria, Pyatnica.
The average cost of a taxi ride in Minsk at a distance of 10 km is 8-9 BYN (about 4 EUR). Low cost taxi services like UBER and Yandex.Taxi a little cheaper – 6-7 rubles (about 3 EUR), Bavaria and Pyatnica a little expensive – 12-14 BYN (6 EUR).
Electric scooter & Bike Although Minsk is not the most bike-friendly city, but much is being done to make it better. So you can use the electric scooter sharing and bicycle-sharing service provided by Kolobike
The price is extremly cheap! Only 1 BYN (0.4 EUR) per 30 minutes. Electric scooter is more expensive – 1 ruble for the start of the trip, plus 0.15 BYN per minute.