Minsk has recently been named one of the cheapest cities for expats. But is the capital of Belarus equally money-friendly to tourists?
While some parts of the world are considered “cheap” to visit while others are “expensive”, travelers may have a hard time quantifying those descriptions more precisely.
Things are made easier by Backpacker Index and 3-Star Traveler Index that were launched by Price of Travel several years ago.
Both rankings include 56 European cities, but sadly Minsk is not in the list.
So based on the criteria applied to other places, a travel website Visit-Belarus calculated daily budgets of different categories of travelers who visit Belarusian capital. They’ve also compared them with the spendings of tourists who prefer luxury and can afford to splash out on expensive things.
One Day In Minsk For A Budget Traveler
The cost of a budget stay was calculated based on the criteria of Backpacker Index.
Those include the cheapest accomodation (least expensive hostel with good location and reviews), two trips by public transport, a visit to one attraction, three cheap meals and “entertainment fund” ( in this case, three beers or glasses of wine).
The cheapest accommodation, found by the authors, is Hostel Flatcon, where a bed costs $8 per night.
One trip on public transport in Minsk costs 0.55 Belarusian rubles (land transport) or 0.6 Belarusian rubles for the metro.
But, as one paid attraction is taken into account in the rating, museum of the Great Patriotic War, one of the most popular sights of the Belarusian capital, was chosen for calculation. An adult ticket to the museum costs 8 rubles (~$4).
Eating out in Minsk can be really cheap, and it’s not necessarily in McDonald’s. In fact, places with Belarusian cuisine, cafes that serve lunch menu or even local steet foods can be a good alternative.
For example, a portion of draniki costs about 3 rubles(~ $1.5) on average. Lunch menus vary from 7 to 12 rubles depending on the location (you can find even cheaper ones in student canteens). The smallest shawarma from the most popular cafe in Komarovka costs 5.5 rubles.
So, we take the minimum value and add 20%, and multiply by three and get the cost of a budget meal in Minsk equal to $5.4.
The “entertainment fund” for a thrifty traveler includes local beer, coffee with a dessert, or a concert/show of a local band/artist. Let’s choose local beer, which costs starting 2.5 rubles for a glass – the total will be around $4.
One Day In Minsk For A 3-Star Traveler
Mooving on, let’s calculate the budget for a traveler who is ready to spend a little more.
The 3-Star Traveler Index includes the following costs: one night at the cheapest 3-star hotel, two 3km trips by taxi, one popular attraction, three meals in the best budget cafes, and “entertainment fund” similar to the one of a budget traveler.
Hotel prices in Minsk have dropped in recent years, which is good for tourists. The cheapest accommodation in our case (preferably with a central location, and mostly positive reviews) is Orbit Hotel for $48, that is $24 per person.
Although, Visit Belarus notes, apartment rental is rather popular in Minsk and can cost less.
Cost of a 3-kilometer taxi ride in Minsk is $3.
The paid attraction remains the same – after all, many tourists really recommend it.
Tourists will find a variety of cafes and bars that fit into budget category: for example, Lido, Pizza Tempo, Stolle, Golden Coffee and others. A soup or a salad there cost about 5-6 rubles (~$3) making the daily total of $9 for a 3-star traveler.
Let’s substitute Belarusian beer with a foreign one – the “entertainment fund” will now reach $6.
One Day In Minsk For A Luxury Traveler
“The rating or index of the cheapest cities in Europe at the luxury level does not exist,” Visit Belarus writes.
So they created their own version to satisfy also some travelers who want to spend time in Minsk with luxury without spending a fortune on exclusive entertainment.
The criteria of this imaginary index include one night at the least expensive 4- or 5-star hotel, two short rides by VIP taxi, one individual excursion, a VIP ticket or an exclusive sightseeing tour or a remarkable place, three meals in a restaurant with Belarusian cuisine. The entertainment part is also wider and includes 3 drinks in one of the popular bars or a concert/ theater/entrance to VIP nightclub.
Among the most inexpensive 4- and 5-star hotels in Minsk with good location and reviews, the authors name Renaissance, where a double room will cost from $110; Marriott with a one night costing from $117 fro a double room, and Beijing hotel with a minimum price of $118.
For the calculation they take Renaissance as the cheapest option and divide the cost of a double by two.
There are several VIP taxi services in Minsk with Mercedes, BMW, Lexus and others immpressive cars in stock.
A 5km trip with them costs 10 rubles, or $5.
An individual tour of the old town of Minsk will cost about $50 for 2 people, same as excursions to other parts of the city.
When it comes to food and history, one of the best options is the recently-restored chick Vankovichi mansion not far from the National library. The meal per person here will cost about $30-40.
A glass of good beer in one of the best bars in Minsk will cost you about 6-7 rubles. Coffee with dessert will be about 6 rubles, same as for middle-class travelers.
If you are interested in nightlife in Minsk, the entrance to popular nightclubs in Minsk costs from 12-16 rubles, and the reservation of the table is about 150 rubles.
As above, beer will be the most inexpensive entertainment adding $10 to the budget.
So, one day in Minsk for those who can afford to splash out a little will cost $185. A good enough price!
This article is a short version of on article “Price of 1 Day in Minsk” written by Visit Belarus. For more prices and travel options, go here.