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Minsk is a great city to spend a few days and has an excellent system of public transport for getting around. Compared to many European capitals, Minsk is not that expensive and is also not packed with tourists so I definitely recommend a visit to this interesting city.The city has a population of just under two million and is the largest city in Belarus. It is home to the country's main airport (Minsk National Airport) as well as the national war museum and national art museum and lots, lots more.Getting around Minsk is not difficult once you have figured out the different forms of transport (although I still haven't quite solved marshrutkas... they're confusing) but it can be a little overwhelming at first for a tourist! Most things are also in Cyrillic only (yay for the metro being in English as well) so I hope you find this guide to public transport in Minsk handy during your stay in Belarus.Find a guide to taxis and Minsk's Uber at the end of this article!

So, you're thinking of visiting Belarus. Some people may be confused as to why you wish to visit this country in eastern Europe that most wouldn't think of as a destination and other people might not even know where it is... but you are thinking of visiting! (If you're thinking of visiting because I've shown you ten million pictures and shown you how awesome it is, HURRAH! If not, I'm glad you're thinking of visiting this beautiful country.)Belarus is considered 'Europe's last dictatorship', thanks to their president who has been in power since 1994. Their president has literally been in charge of the country longer than I have been alive. That took a while for me to process but hey, this is how things are. Plus I will speak later on about politics in the country and the attitude towards 'living in a dictatorship' since that's one very interesting aspect of visiting. However, there are a few things you definitely need to know before you visit Belarus!Over the past few years, Belarus has really been opening up to tourism. Starting on the 12th February 2017, they introduced a 5-day visa-free regime for visitors coming from 80 countries that allowed up to 5 days in Belarus without needing to apply for a visa in advance. In December of the same year, they increased the period to 10 days and then in July 2018 they upped it again to 30 days. The country is still 'getting used' to tourism (particularly from non-Russian speaking or non-former-USSR states) so it's not like heading to France or Spain but it's leaps and bounds more accessible than it ever used to be.Read on to find out everything you need to know before you visiting Belarus, from the visa-free regime, visas, registration in the country, language to use, currency, SIM cards, where to stay, how to get around and even things that might get you in trouble...

One of my new favourite cities is, without doubt, Minsk. I wasn't sure what I would think of the city when I planned my trip to Belarus but I ended up falling hard for this completely underrated city! Located between Russia to the east, Ukraine to the south, Lithuania to the north and Poland to the west, Belarus is an oft-overlooked country in terms of tourism.Until the introduction of the visa-free regime in 2016, Belarus was quite a difficult country to visit as pretty much all countries in Europe (excluding Russia and a few other countries, such as Ukraine and Moldova) required a visa to visit the country or transit through. Since 2016, they have introduced a visa-free regime for passport holders from around 80 countries, including all 39 European countries. In 2018, the visa-free period was extended to 30 days, meaning that you can really explore a lot of Belarus now without needing to apply and pay for a visa.Between 2016 and 2018 there was a 40% increase of inbound tourists to Belarus, presumably thanks to the relaxed visa conditions. However, even with Belarus' relaxing of visa requirements and their hosting of the European Games in 2019, the country still doesn't seem to be on many people's radars.Here is a selection of my photos that will inspire you to visit Minsk!