When planning a visit to a new place, many travelers would turn to tour guides or ask locals where to hang out. While both are working options, we suggest turning to a third part – the expats, who are a little bit tourists and a little bit locals.
We’ve asked ten foreigners from different countries to share their favourite places to have fun in Minsk.
Shamilka Samarasinha, Sri Lanka, in Minsk for over 4 years
I am the sort of person that can’t stay inside when the weather is awesome.
When the sun comes out and the weather is over 15°, there are so many options here for out door activities!
For example, I enjoy cycling along the lake that is just 2 minutes from my house. To have the option like this right in the heart of the city is just amazing, and to know this is one of the many thousands of lakes here in Belarus is fascinating.
I have been playing tennis since I was 9 and its an activity I totally enjoy in Minsk, too. Apart from playing, I also enjoy watching competitive tennis.
One of my highlights here has definitely been to see the incredible tennis played at the Federation Cup Semifinal, where Belarus competed against Switzerland.
I can’t imagine summer in Minsk without seeing the festivals in the Old Town. The whole city comes alive.
However, life in Belarus for me has not just been about living in Minsk.
I have enjoyed the memorable visits to many lakes and forests! I am a wildlife enthusiast and the Festival of Cranes and Cranberries in in the Yelnya Forest is one that I hold very close to my heart.
The Yelnya bog is the 3rd largest in Europe and one everyone in Belarus should and must visit in their lifetime.
In winter I prefer to watch the performances at the Opera and Ballet Theatre.
The performances are amazing – living in Minsk we are spoilt for choice here. I have seen “The Swan Lake” four times and can definitely watch it again and again.
Tsukinari Kota, Japan, in Minsk for 3 months
I like parks in Minsk so much! For example, Victory park, a park next to Minsk Arena, one more park near the student dormitory and the river between the Victory Square and Kastryčnickaja.
I admire local parks so much because I lived in Tokyo where there is little nature and the air is not good. What is more, in nature I feel comfortable and can relax.
But as summer has finally hit the city, Minsk Sea is definitely my favourite spot now!
Danilo Teófilo Costa, Brazil, in Minsk for 2 years
For me, the best places to hang out in Minsk are on Vulica Brasil, also know as Kastryčnickaja Street.
I like to spend time in Enzo, Hooligan and Ultra Bar.
And if you want to eat something, I would recommend Burger Brazil in Enzo.
Julio Santana, Mexico, in Minsk for 6 months
One of my favorite places – oh, I really like it – is Clever Irish Pub. They have nice beer and good rock’n’roll music.
Last summer I went to the concerts in the city center but most songs were in Russian so for me, as for a foreigner , they were hard to understand. But I really enjoyed rock music in Clever even though it was also sometimes in Russian or Belarusian.
One more place I really, really, really like is the WWII museum. I am keen on history, especially the war history, so for me that museum was 100% recommended. All the installations are awesome.
Oh, some friends told me about “Polie Chudes” (“the field of wonders”). It’s like a flea market (on Zhdanovichi market – BelarusFeed note) and I was curious to see how people were selling the pieces of your history – of the Soviet Union and Europe.
Erin Hsi, China, in Minsk for a year and a half
I’ve been in Minsk already 1 and a half year and I’m still trying to get to know everything I’m interested in Belarus.
I recommended Rakovskiy Brovar, good place to hang out with friends, and I really enjoy having breakfast in Brioche almost every weekend.
Also, as a Chinese girl, I can’t bear without Asian cruise, so Mai Thai and Beijing hotel are always on my list.
Gilmar Perdomo, Venezuela, in Minsk for 4 years
When weather allows it, me and my friends go walking, play football, basketball or volleyball, and do jogging. But our favorite activity is riding bicycles along special lanes or just around the city.
For me, the most beautiful places in Minsk are the Upper Town in Nemiga, Park Chelyuskintsev and Victory Park, the National Library and the area nearby, the lake in the park in Zelyony Lug and Minsk Sea.
This year I also want to do camping outside the city near a river… I think it will be really cool!
My advice to all guests of Minsk would be: if the weather is fine, go riding along the bike lane till it ends as you can see different and magical landscapes. I also highly recommend to attend a performance in the Opera and Ballet Theater.
For shopping I prefer Gallery Minsk mall: it’s beautiful there and nice to just observe the architecture and interior. Besides there is free Wi-Fi. Also, I like Zamok shopping mall – you can do window shopping and watch movies there.
Angel Velasquez, Venezuela, in Minsk for 4 years
I like the Latin bar Macho where I can dance salsa, bachata and reggaeton. Usually I organize Latin parties there!
And my favourite spot to eat out is Cantina Mexicana on Kupala street. They have awesome food there!
Kemal Mominov, Turkmenistan, in Minsk for 4 years
Not so long ago foreign students from my university visited the historical complex Stalin Line.
The impressions from it were great, because the museum is an outdoor one and all the exhibits were really used in the WWII.
We had a wonderful guide who told us all the facts about them. It was interesting to touch all these military aeroplanes, tanks and weapons.
Selena Kovalyov, Canada, in Minsk for 4 months
My favorite place in Minsk is ОМ NAMO near Komarovka Market.
Being a student in a foreign country makes it difficult to eat healthy but this vegetarian Indian restaurant serves healthy and delicious dishes. The owner of the restaurant speaks English so asking about the food is never a problem.
The staff are very friendly and the ambience is very calming.
Barkın Akgül, Turkey, in Minsk for 1 year
I like Kastryčnickaja Street a lot because of great graffitis and because it is a beautiful street in general.
I go there to take pictures and have a walk. And afterwards I usually have a coffee at Lauka – they are the best in the city!
By Nadzeya Prasvirava for BelarusFeed. Title photo by Artem Pryadko, Konstantin Harlamov.
? What are your favorite spots to hang out in Minsk? Share them in the comments!?