Recently, I was looking for cheap flights to Tbilisi, Georgia. As luck would have it, the cheapest flights that I could find all made a stop in Minsk, Belarus.
Having already traveled through much of Eastern Europe, including visiting Chernobyl and other cities across Ukraine, riding the Trans-Siberian Express and exploring rural Romania, the opportunity to explore another Eastern European country was very appealing. And with the government very recently having relaxed visa restrictions for citizens of many countries, the timing seemed perfect. I was going to Belarus!
As luck would have it, my visit to Belarus took place shortly before the government opened the borders even further. When I was in Minsk, travelers were restricted to five days of visa-free travel. However, in the middle of 2018, the laws were changed to give most travelers thirty days of visa-free travel in Belarus. As long as you fly in and out of the Minsk International Airport, don’t connect through an airport in Russia and come from one of the eligible countries, travelers are now free to spend an entire month exploring this fascinating country.
It’s no wonder that Belarus has finally been recognized by Lonely Planet as one of the Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2019!
Because my time in Minsk was very short, I had to make the most of every minute in the city. Luckily, I followed my own advice for making friends while traveling and connected with another cool traveler on the bus from the airport into the city. We were staying in the same hostel and spent the next four days exploring Minsk together. Although we spent a ton of time just wandering around and taking in typical daily life in Minsk, we also found all sorts of cool things to do in Minsk, from scenic walking routes to stunning architecture to more than one crazy, vodka-fueled night on the town. Keep reading to discover some of my favorite experiences from my five days in Minsk!