Fly To Minsk, Belarus
Minsk is one of the least-visited European capitals – at least by western tourists – and offers an unusually authentic experience as a result. The well-preserved soviet-style architecture and Stalinist city planning makes this a fascinating place to visit if you’re interested in the former Soviet Union. Just remember to pack your Russian phrase-book – English-speakers are few and far between.
Summer sees Minsk’s street cafés and nightlife at its most vibrant, but winter is the most beautiful time of year in the city. It can get bitterly cold around December/January, and snowfall is common, making it a fairy-tale wonderland when it’s lit up at night.
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Visa Requirements & SA Embassy Details
- South African Passport holders do require a Visa to visit Minsk, or anywhere else in Belarus. Make sure you leave enough time for Visa processing, and check that your passport is valid for 6 months after your return date, and that you have 2 blank pages available for entry stamps.
- There is a sub-office of the South African Embassy to Russia, situated in Minsk, Belarus. Zakharova Street 19, Office No. 29, 220034, Minsk. Phone: + 375 17 288 1768.
See and do
Minsk boasts 16 museums, 11 theatres, and 139 libraries in total, so you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re into history and culture. The National Library of Belarus is particularly spectacular, with 22 floors making up the 72-metre-high building with its eye-catching feature of a rhombicuboctahedron dome. The National Arts Museum and the National Museum of History and Culture are also well-known institutions, giving excellent overviews of Belarusian life.
If you’re braving the Minsk winter, you’ll be pleased to know there are two skiing resorts at which you can enjoy the plentiful snow. The ice rink in front of the Palac Respubliki is another winter treat, and you can rent skates from 8am to 10pm at night.
For souvenirs, try Suveniraja Lavka, located in Vulica Maksima Bahdanovica 9. It stocks traditional straw crafts, wooden boxes and hand-embroidered linen, and you can pick up some local Belarusian liquor to take home as well.
Public transport in Minsk is reliable and cheap, and between the bus, tram and subway, you can get to most places of interest. If you’d like to save a few rubles and are in town for a while, consider buying a 10 or 14 day subway pass. It negates the need for tickets, so you won’t need to carry cash, and it’s cheaper than using tokens at the station as well.
Minsk National Airport – MSQ
Food and beverage: Chomolungma, Aero, Meridian, Lebed, and Polet.
Currency Exchange: Belarus Bank and BPS-Sberbank both offer currency exchange facilities at Minsk National Airport.
Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Items lost or found within the airport can be reported to one of the two Lost & Found desks on the ground floor, near Gates 4 and 6, in the arrivals area.
Airport Hotels: Minsk National Airport has temporary accommodation rooms for short lay-overs. Alternatively try Crowne Plaza, Minsk Hotel, Victoria Hotel Complex, Yubileiny, Planeta, Garni or Sputnik, which are closer to central Minsk.
Car Hire: Car rental agency desks can be found in the arrivals area, opposite gate 6, near the stairs.
Airport Hub: Minsk National Airport (MSQ) is a hub for Belavia.