I really like the area in Nemiga next to the river Svislach. I think it’s a great place to hang around in summer. Park Cheluskincev is also cool, because it gives you the chance, to experience some nature in your hectic daily life.
I was most surprised, that there are so friendly and open-minded people living in Belarus. Youth are really interested in Germany and other countries and they are less different from young people in other countries, than I thought. I’m also every day surprised and impressed of Minsk’s architecture, which still looks very Soviet to me, but I also expected this kind of architecture.
To other foreigners I would give the advice to draw conclusions not too quickly. If you go to the supermarket, you could experience that the employees there don’t seem to be the friendliest people. But don’t generalize this, give people a real chance and you will figure out, that they are nice and warm-hearted.
Also, but this might apply to all countries, don’t enter Belarus with a too biased opinion of the country and be prepared to change it. Otherwise you will only see, what you were expecting.
And if you don’t speak Russian or Belarusian and don’t want to learn it, study at least the Cyrillic alphabet and the basic words, like «Здравствуйте» or «Спасибо». It helps a lot.
Before I arrived in Minsk I imagined the city as pretty cold, big buildings and streets. When I arrived here a year ago, it was almost exact what I had imagined, however not quite. It was warm, the birds were singing, everything was green. Yes, the streets were big, the houses and roads Soviet but… Minsk did impress me a lot, it’s a unique place, and I can really say it since I have traveled the world almost my whole life!
My favorite places in Minsk are the parks, especially Chiluskinstev. I also very much enjoy drinking a coffee or a wine at Galary Y, that has for me the perfect atmosphere of not too busy, space and good food and drinks.
What I like most in Minsk are the people. The warmness of people that truly care for you once you get to know them. I like Belarusians because of their honesty, even if its (sometimes) not appropriate. But most of all I like the spontaneous characters that many people in Minsk have.