Minsk for the New Year | Minsk - LikeALocal Guide
Minsk

Minsk for the New Year

(3 answers)
By Israel traveller November 12, 2016

So I will be visiting colleagues in the city. It's my first time seeing Minsk.

What would you consider the must see place to spend the New Year in Minsk?

I don't speak any Belarusian but do speak English and some Russian, will I be able to get by?

Should I carry cash for transactions or will cards suffice (Visa etc.)?

If so, where would be the best place to have a fair exchange?

How much should I carry for day to day expenses?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.

Answer the question

3 answers

Hello, Israel

Belarusian is actually not as widely used as you would expect. We mostly speak Russian on a daily basis. English is not as widely known here. Also everything will be a step easier if you can read Cyrillic alphabet.

Cards are widely used, you don't really need a lot of cash on a daily basis. You will need some if you are going to use taxi (or just use Uber instead), or, for example, buy public transport tickets from the driver (or just buy a plastic card with some prepaid ones, if you need a further explanation on that - ask me), or for tipping in cafes/bars/restaurants.

Most places have roughly the same exchange rate, since only banks are allowed to manage foreign currencies. There are plenty exchange points anywhere in the city. Please note that you are required to show your passport if you are going to sell your belarusian roubles, if some are left in the end of your trip. You don't need that to buy BYN though.

Depends on what your day to day expenses are :) Personally I don't carry more then 20, plainly because I don't need a lot, and I tend to use a card too.
Maria Local Guru November 14, 2016
Reply
I agree with Yauhen, but I'd add if you want to spend time in some specific place or restaurant on 31st, Dec it worth to reserve a table in advance (otherwise it might be full). This guide may help you - https://34travel.by/post/minsk-english-guide. If you prefer some informal place for the Eve night, their offer for events will be a good option as well - http://34mag.net/en/afisha.
You can check info here for fair exchange - http://finance.tut.by/ (little column in the right for the best exchange rate, unfortunately, in Russian, so please use google translate)
I understood from your profile, you're living in Kaiserlautern. I live not far from there, so I would say for day to day expenses the food in supermarket will cost apr. the same for basic products and more in 1,5-2 times for delicatessen (alcohol in supermarkets is much more expensive as in Germany), for food and drinks in restaurants apr. the same as in Germany, for transport - much cheaper in Minsk (with ordinary fair for German bus or tram the same will cost you to use taxi in Minsk, however, taxi-drivers may take from you more as a foreigner, it's better to switch to Russian in such situations). Hope that helps ;)
Wish you a pleasant stay!
Vika local November 12, 2016
Reply
Actually nothing special on New Year eve, you could come to Nemiga after midnight usually there are some concerts, but it might be a little bit cold, so put on warm clothes and drink some vodka)) As for money you could use your Visa almost everywhere but I'd still recommend to have some cash with you. Anyway if you travel to Mindk by plane you might be asked at border control by Customs officers to show your money, just to be on a safe side bring cash too. If you don't plan to change a lot of money you could exchane at any bank even at the airport as exchange rate wouldn't differ a lot from bank to bank. At the moment EUR/BYN 2.108 And the ladt question is a bit tricky, it depends on your taste, preferences and wallet. But in general midrange cafe/restaurant 20-25€ I would say you could stay there even with 20€ per day but if you want feel comfortable 60-80€ should be enough. Have a great time in Minsk and welcome!!!
Yauhen local November 12, 2016
Reply