The city of Minsk suffers from severe fogs in March, April, October and November so these are probably not the best months to visit, however due to the cool temperatures of around 0 – 7 degrees Celsius, and foggy skies, cheap flights to Minsk tend to be available throughout these months. Temperatures are rarely very high, but May to September are warm enough, usually around 23 degrees Celsius, for comfortable walking and exploring so are considered the best months to book flights to Minsk. Go prepared for rain, however, as these are also the wettest months. Minsk is home to an annual fire festival in May. This first took place in 2012 and competitors from other Eastern European countries and Russia demonstrate different acts of bravery and daring with fire. November sees the International Film Festival celebrating films from the Baltic countries and Asia.
Sitting where the Rivers Svislach and Nyamiha meet, Minsk is the capital city of Belarus. The city is in a beautiful setting surrounded by mixed forests and country parks. As well as the two main rivers, six smaller rivers also run through the city, giving plenty of opportunity for boating, kayaking and waterfront walks. Much of the town was destroyed during the Second World War so visitors will find many examples of post war Soviet Union architecture, such as the stunning National Academic Grand Opera and Ballet Theatre. In the National Arts Museum there is a fine collection of Belarusian art from the 16th to the 20th centuries. An extra charge is made here if you wish to take photographs. For a breath of fresh air and to escape the city for a while, take one of the regular buses to Minskaje Mora a couple of miles north of the city. Here there is a pleasant public beach and pedal boats can be rented. When exploring the city it is advisable to avoid taking photographs of government buildings or Lenin’s monument in the Independence Square.
The first thing a visitor should do on arriving on a flight to Minsk is to buy the large English language map of the city centre available from most bookshops and kiosks. This also has some tourist information and will be very useful as English is not widely spoken in the city. The public transport system in Minsk is extensive, cheap and efficient with buses, trams and trolleybuses. There is also a metro system with 28 stations some of which are protected buildings because of their architecture. Each station is decorated in an individual theme celebrating communism or folk history. The well-staffed metro has a reputation for being very clean and very safe.
Once your flight to Minsk International Airport (MSQ) arrives you will be roughly 26 miles (48 km) from the city. The airport receives flights from Europe and the Middle East. There will be private taxi drivers at the arrivals hall but these are not regulated and a price should be agreed before you start. A regular public bus service runs from the airport into Minsk; tickets are bought from the driver or at the ticket machine in the arrivals hall, which only takes credit cards. There is only one bus stop at the airport which is in front of the arrivals terminal.