Hi, guys! I finally found time to write this blog post. Sorry that I made you wait a little bit. So, as you have seen on my insta stories, I went to Belarus last month. It was quite an interesting experience. Normally, most people would travel somewhere warmer at the end of their summer vacation. We decided to find a place that is not widely known. Our stop was in the capital city of Minsk. It was quite easy to arrive there, and we ordered a car from our hotel to make transport to/from the airport smooth. We were lucky that the Double Tree Hilton allowed us to check in super early. We even got a few hours of sleep. After our nap, we finally walked around to get to know the city. What I truly loved about Belarus are the clean streets. I felt quite safe and the food was very delicious. What was a bit weird though, is that if you don't speak Russian, you will have a tough time navigating places. If you don't learn a few basics before arriving, you will be lost. And don't be surprised that people in former Soviet countries don't smile.
1 Day: We were staying at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel. We definitely enjoyed our stay there. The staff was incredibly attentive and helpful. The room was fantastic, especially the view from our bathroom. On our first day, we visited the Holy Spirit Cathedral, which was built in the 16th century. It was quite beautiful inside and, in my opinion, it is probably the most beautiful Orthodox church I have yet seen. Afterward, we decided to walk towards the Belarusian National Art Museum. When we came there, we realized it was the right time, because they were filming a show or movie in this neighborhood. Also, we got quite lucky to enjoy not just Belarusian and Russian arts, but also a special exhibition of Aivazovsky's work. I have never seen his work so close before. It was quite a delightful experience. After spending hours viewing Belarusian and Russian art, we decided to take a small break at the Grand Cafe. I truly loved their desserts and interior. They also have free wifi. As for dinner, we thought that it would be great to try traditional Belarusian cuisine. We were advised to check out Talaka, and we absolutely loved the hearty potions and traditional fare. They offer live music every Friday.
Double Tree Hilton Hotel
Holy Spirit Cathedral
National Museum of Belarus
2 Day: As soon we woke up, we decided to walk around until arriving at a private collection Museum. I don't truly remember the name of this museum, but you will definitely find it on the way to the Island of Tears, where you will find a monument dedicated to soldiers. We also took the metro several times to see different parts of the city. After walking for a few hours, we decided to find Enzo Cafe. It was quite cool, because it is located in a really urban location with a ton of wall arts. I definitely advise you to visit Kastryčnickaja street, because of the youthful and colorful vibe. The rest of the city is famously gray due to the Soviet architecture. After snacking at Enzo, we took an Uber (btw, if you never used UBER before, make sure to use my Invite code "dianak295" and get a free ride) to get to the gates of the city. It was quite chilly, so we thought that it would be better to take a Minsk City Tour. In retrospect, we probably could have spent the time better. It took about 40 minutes to go around the city. The bus doesn't stop, which means you have to see everything from the window. For dinner, we decided to go again to a traditional Belarusian place. We stopped at Kuhmistr, and OMG, their food was really delicious! Our waitress was super sweet. I would love to go there back again.
Island of Tears
The Gate of the City
Great Patriotic War museum. Sadly, as we soon discovered, it is closed on Mondays. The cold wind compelled us to take the subway and get to Praspiekt Niezaliezhnasci, where is located the Red Church of Saints Simon and Helena, as well as the Lenin monument that you can't take pictures of. There are not so many countries today that still have Lenin monuments. I read somewhere that Belarus has over 400 Lenin Monuments. Crazy, right? Anyway, when you will come to Belarus, you will see a lot of Soviet architecture, modern shopping malls and even McDonalds. Overall, it was an interesting trip, and the traditional cuisine makes a visit worth it! I hope that the Belarusian government will relax travel requirements for tourists (things like having to buy medical insurance, or only being able to stay four nights), so more people may discover what the country has to offer. I'm sure if we had more time, we would have gotten outside of Minsk to experience even more.
Great Patriotic War Museum
Church of Saints Simon and Helena
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