You like sightseeing, but think that historical and literary museums are boring? Well, Minsk has something to offer instead!
Here are some museum that will help you learn the Belarusian capital from an unusual side. Expositions in those museums are fascinating and won’t leave you indifferent.
1. Museum of Boulders
Museum of Boulders (or Stones Museum) in Minsk is an open-air museum and a nature monument of national importance.
More than 2100 stones and boulders from all over Belarus have been collected in this museum. Some of them are “Hellos” from Belarusian glacial past, some of them are sacrificial stones and grave tombs.
The giant stones are laid in the form of the map of Belarus, with the terrain and hills repeating the highest and lowest points of the country and blue spruce denoting the main cities.
Visiting this place is totally worth it, given the fact that the visit can easily be turned into a picnic on the fresh air.
Where: Ac. Kuprevicha str
How to reach:
Get there by public transport. Take metro to Uručča or Barysauski trakt and then go by trolleybus (No 2, 41, 61, 62) or bus (No 27, 31, 33, 63) till the Museum of Boulders stop
2. Museum of the Great Patriotic War
The museum is dedicated to Soviet Belarus during the Second World War.
It is the only Belarusian museum created during the occupation years.
Formerly located in Kastryčnickaja Square, the museum is housed in a new building erected near Minsk Hero City monument since 2014. Military parades and festive processions are held near it.
The exposition of the museum spans on the area of more than 3,000 m² and includes over 8,000 exhibits telling about the Great Patriotic War history. There are 10 exposition halls in the museum which are made according to the events chronology (from pre-war days and military operations to the restoration of the whole country).
Historic footage from newsreels and over 40,000 photographs of war time create unique atmosphere. Moreover, there’s an outdoor exhibition of military vehicles – rare examples of Red Army armaments – behind the museum’s building.
Excursions in English are held for groups of up to 25 people. The cost of the excursion is 35 Br (~ €18*).
You can also book a 2.5-hour individual excursion for 47 Br (~ €24*). All excursions can be ordered right at the museum or in advance by phone +375 17 203-07-92.
Where: Pobediteley pr., 8
How to reach: By metro to Niamiha station and then by buses No 1, 136, 29, 44, 69, 73, 91 to the Museum of the Great Patriotic War stop.
Open: Daily from 10:00 till 18:00 (closed on Mondays)
Price: Adult admission is 8 Br (~ €4*). Audio guide – 3.5 Br (~ €2*).
You can visit the museum for FREE on a third Tuesday every month!
3. Belarusian Folk Museum of Architecture and Rural Life
If you want to feel the spirit of Belarusian culture, go back to the roots and to see how the people lived in the old days, you should travel out of Minsk for a one day to visit this museum.
Learn about the traditions and lifestyle of Belarusians, take part in ancestral pastimes, listen to folk songs and master Belarusian dances there! You can also watch how artisans work, make real Belarusian souvenirs with your own hands, taste national dishes and drinks.
The uniqueness of the museum of Architecture and Rural Life lies in the fact that it is an actual Belarusian village that consists of buildings brought there from all regions of Belarus.
The open-air museum in divided into three exhibition sectors, each of them representing a fragment of a typical settlement with characteristic buildings of late 19th-early 20th centuries.
There are excursions group excursions (up to 25 people) in English costing 18.5 Br (~ €9*). You can order excursions at the museum or do it online beforehand.
Where: The museum is located a few kilometers from Minsk, between Azjarco and Strochitsy villages.
How to reach: You can get there by bus – find the schedule here.
Open: From 10:00 to 17:00 (except Mondays and Tuesdays).
Price: 5.5 Br (~€3*). An English audio guide costs 2 Br (~ €1*).
4. Museum of Miniatures
This new museum allows you to see the most interesting attractions from all over Belarus in one place.
At present its exposition includes 18 displays: Nesvizh, Lida, Kossovo and Krevsky castles are among them.
“We have selected the most interesting 70 attractions of Belarus and decided to recreate them in miniature during the next 3 years specially for you”, the museum’s team says.
The cool thing about the museum is that there are English language audio guides and excursions. Or you can install the app Miniland and come prepared!
In addition to the exhibits, the museum has an excellent souvenir shop where you can buy unusual Belarusian magnets and purses. There is also a photo zone with the interior of a Belarusian hut and a rest area with coffee and sweets.
Where: Nezavisimosti pr., 25.
How to reach: By metro to Kastryčnickaja station and then on foot.
Open: Daily from 11:00 till 20:00.
Price: 14 Br (~ €7*).
5. Jewish History and Culture Museum
Did you know that in 19th century 60% of the Minsk population were Jews, and in the early 20th century the Jewish language was official language in Belarus?
Less than a hundred years later the situation has changed drastically. What has happened? Why the hard-working and talented people were affected by the genocide? What is a ghetto and how is Jewish culture and history reviving in our days? You will find the answers to all these questions in the museum.
Where: Very Khoruzhey str., 28.
How to reach: By metro to Niamiha station and then by bus No38 to the Kropotkina stop.
Open: Mon – Fri: 12.00-17.00; Sunday: 14.00 – 17.00. Closed on Saturdays.
Visits are only by pre-arrangement. You can make it by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +375 17 286-79-33.
6. Cat Museum
If you like cats and miss your pet, it’s worth visiting the Cat Museum.
Most cats and kittens living in the museum were homeless in the past, but now they are well-groomed and vaccinated. Unfortunately, you can’t take cats in your hands (unless they jump on your lap), just stroke them.
The museum also has an exposition of art works devoted to cats. Any visitor can draw a picture and then put it on display in the museum. There is also a small Cat Cafe with cat-drinks and cat-sweets there.
Where: Intiernacionaĺnaja str., 23.
How to reach: By metro to Kastryčnickaja station. The museum is located here.
Open: Daily from 11:00 till 22:00.
Price: 5-7 Br (~ 2.5-3.5€*).
7. Alivaria Brewery Museum
Visiting museums is an entertaining but tedious process. At the end of a tour one often feel like relax and and have a drink, for example, a glass of beer.
The Alivaria Brewery Museum suggests combining business with pleasure. Excursions take place in the 19th century building that houses the exposition about the oldest Belarusian brewery.
In addition to the excursion, you can attend brewing master-classes and learn how to drink beer correctly. Yes, there’s beer tasting!
It is possible to have an excursion in English language (in a group of 4 people).
Where: Kiseleva str., 30.
How to reach: By metro to Plošča Pieramohi station and then by bus No18, 26 to Prospekt Masherova stop.
- Excursion Historical route – from 18.00 till 19.30 on Wed-Frid, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays by pre-arrangement.
Price: 14 Br (~ €7*).
- The brewing course – on Sunday from 16:00 till 17:30 by pre-entry.
Price: 16 Br (~ €8*).
You should sign up for a visit here.
* Prices in euro are for information purposes only and can differ depending on the exchange rate. Tickets are paid with Belarusian rubles.