by Hanna Hrydziushka
If you want to know more about Belarusian history, culture and highlights we recommend you to visit these most interesting museums in Minsk.
Belarusian National Art Museum. Photo by Vitali Brazouski
Lienina St., 20
11:00-19:00, +375 17 327-71-63
The best place in Minsk for those who love art! The National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus has the largest collection (more than thirty thousand artworks) of the Belarusian and foreign art within a country. You will be fascinated by the modern art section and impressed by the religious one. The museum holds special exhibitions and events. While the outside it looks very classic, the inside is surprisingly modern with lots of light and tranquillity. Guided tours are available. A must see for all!
2. Museum Of The Great Patriotic War
Pieramozcau Ave., 8
+375 17 203-07-92, email@example.com
If you are into history, more specifically interested in the World War II and the Eastern Front (called the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union), visit this museum. It was first opened in 1944 and moved to a new building in 2014. The museum wonderfully illustrates Belarus’ role during WWII. Inside you will see collections of contemporary guns, tanks, uniforms, documents, and other trinkets from the war. If you are not a big fan of war memorabilia or already have been to a few war museums, we recommend walking around the building as it is quite unique and overwhelming, with great monuments and interesting architectural features.
3. Strana mini (‘Страна мини’)
Strana Mini Museum. Photo by Aliaksandr Kalenik
Niezaleznasci Ave., 25
+375 29 15-15-670, firstname.lastname@example.org
Discover Belarusian highlights and heritage in miniature in this Minsk museum! A free audio tour can guide you through this ‘miniland’ of ours. You also have an opportunity to take a selfie in a real Belarusian kitchen and buy some unique souvenirs.
4. Museum of Minsk Horse Drawn Railway
Cyril and Methodius St., 8Д
This brand new museum takes you back hundreds of years, showing how the animal-drawn transportation network in Minsk evolved over time. You will get a good impression of what the transportation system looked like and how it worked in Belarusian capital in the late 19th-early 20th century. The original horse-drawn railway was built to connect two railway stations in Minsk and set the groundwork for our modern city tram. You can even go on a journey through the museum and earn a certificate as a horse railway driver.
5. Open-Air Museum of Stones
Park at Akadеmіka Kuprеvіca St.
This is another interesting place to visit. The museum actually is more a park with more than 2,000 sacral stones. All of them have a story but as an English speaker you will have to take a tour to know the stories (you can book the tour from a travel guide Pavel via email PavelDziusekau@gmail.com – this is the only guide who makes tours there). For example, the stone called ‘Grandpa’ was the altar stone of a Minsk pagan temple located on the Svislach River and stood there until the beginning of the 20th century. Even now some people still believe that by leaving an offering like a coin or candy on the stone they could fall pregnant… which is actually better than the more extreme version which entails a woman sitting entirely naked on the stone! But please don’t try this one because the police do not take kindly to this ritual.
6. Open-Air Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle (‘Museum in Strotsitsy’)
Aziarco village, 4 km away from Minsk Beltway
An interesting place to discover Belarusian history and culture. It is a small traditional village full of stories. They are hidden in the historic houses, shops, and farmhouses you will find in the museum park, as well as in our work, lives, customs, and traditions. Take an interactive tour or audio guided tour and after treat yourself to a Belarusian dinner or moonshine vodka.
How to get there: take bus No. 170Э from Jugo-Zapadnaja Bus Station (Cyhunacnaja St., 41) at 9:20, 11:30, 13:40 or 16:10 from Monday to Friday and every hour from 9:10 on weekends, and stop at ‘Pavarot K Muzeju’ (‘turn to the museum’).
Check out what else you can do and see in Minsk and Belarus.