Minsk, Belarus: Where Soviet Communism meets Capitalism

 

This VLOG is about my visit to the beautiful city of Minsk, the capital of Belarus, in April 2017. The video features the main sights, Soviet architecture, Belarusian churches, Communist monuments, Capitalist businesses, Minsk metro (subway) and much more (contents with time code see below).

Minsk is a city with an interesting history. The city was destroyed and fought over many times. 80% of the city were destroyed in World War II. Minsk also lost a huge part of its population in the war. It recovered during Soviet times from 60,000 to around 1 million inhabitants. It still has a Soviet vibe – here you can experience a Communist country in the 21st century. But there are also many other things to do in Minsk: there are great bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants – and there are various modern shopping malls that offer anything you desire.

Minsk is a heavily patrolled and very safe city. I had no issues walking around town day and night. The streets are VERY clean and people very friendly and helpful. The metro system is efficient and cheap. Whenever public transportation was not available, Uber worked very well. I was positively surprised about Belarus in terms of hospitality. It was quite the opposite of the terrible reputation of “the last dictatorship in Europe”, as Western media outlets sometimes like to call it.

It is now possible to visit Belarus for five days without a visa, as long as you enter the country at Minsk National Airport. I spent three days in Minsk and another day in Brest to see the massive Brest Fortress (not included in this video). There is a lot to discover in this beautiful country, far off the beaten path, and I can’t wait to come back another time to see more of Belarus!

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