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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi to all Belarusian forumers. Hope it's ok to post in English. I can't write in Russian or Belarusian but I can read both so I would appreciate any remarks or feedback in any language. :)

It was my first time in Minsk and those are the general observations I have made:

- It's a very clean, tidy and orderly city.
- Easy to navigate, walk and drive at all times
- Feels very safe
- People are nice, polite and helpful in most situations
- I was extremely impressed by street network and transport infrastructure. Driving in or around Minsk is pure pleasure (we rented a car)
- There seem to be quite a few new trendy nightlife spots. Most seem to be nice (especially Cherdak). However prices of alcoholic drinks seem to be more comparable to London or Paris than to Vilnius or Riga
- Girls. I knew that girls in Minsk should be pretty nice but I didn't know they were THAT hot. I have never seen so many beautiful and sexy girls in one city before (except Macau and Bangkok). :D
- Public transport is fast, efficient and very cheap
- While Stalin era (or Interwar) architecture is impressive the post 2000 architecture, in my view, needs to get better
- Overall planning of Minsk is very systematic, consistent and effective. Something that most European cities are struggling with these days

Anyway, here are the photos

The sights right outside the Central railway station. While railway station areas in many European cities are often a matter of concern it doesn't seem to be the case in Minsk. It seems to be clean and safe with some impressive Stalin era buildings along with newly built developments


Iconic Stalinist buildings facing the Railway Station square


Government House which contrary to what I thought is not a post-WW2 structure. It's built in 1934. Designed by Iosif Langbard


Area around Independence Square. By now you might have noticed that Minsk looks very clean and tidy. It doesn't apply only to main central areas but very much so to the entire city. In fact it must be one of the cleanest and tidiest cities I have ever been to. In this respect I would compare it to places like Singapore or Helsinki
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Independence Avenue. This must be the main street of Minsk




KGB Headquarters. Yep, it's still named the KGB in Belarus. Along with statues of Lenin and all the Soviet street names. Most street names in central part of Minsk carry some sort of reference to the Soviet history


Monument to Felix Dzerzhinsky. Best known for being the guy who created the KGB
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
More snapshots of buildings and surroundings of Independence Avenue





Underground pedestrian crossings are very common in Minsk. Overall the city is very well planned with adequate facilities for both pedestrians and cars. One could instantly tell that Minsk is putting serious amounts of money into infrastructure development


Lenin Street. Note the size of the pedestrian walkway. This seems rather typical for Minsk. Massive avenues lined by no less massive pedestrian spaces. I like that
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Public bus. Public transport in Minsk is generally very good and adequate. And cheap too. A single bus, trolleybus, tram or metro ride costs under €0.3. Bus in the photo is locally-produced MAZ equipped with a Mercedes-Benz engine




Inside the inner-yard of some random building in the downtown


Buildings on Internatsyanalnaya Street
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you :)

Continued

Square next to the Holy Spirit Cathedral with highrise quarter in a not so far distance


Minsk old town is very compact as a result of extensive WW2 destruction which ruined most of the city. At present there is a number of dining and nightlife establishments in the area. A number of construction/renovation sites are busy in the area which seems to be turning into one of the central dining/entertainment areas of the city




 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Harley parked on one of old town streets


The text translates 'Apartments of your dreams'. Perhaps they could have done a better job given the location (city center)




Decorative monuments to the World Ice Hockey Championship which took place in Minsk earlier this year. It seems to have been a big event
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Volat, the official mascot of the Ice Hockey Championship


A big fountain next to the river


Belarus Hotel. It seems to be one of the few Soviet highrise landmarks in central Minsk. I checked booking.com and it has a very good rating (8.3). I guess it's worth staying in a place like that just for the atmosphere. There is a big public park in the area along the river. Overall Minsk did a good job with parks and open public spaces


Minsk - hero city. A Soviet era slogan which represents a honorary title given by the USSR to 12 cities in the aftermath of WW2 for outstanding heroism during the war


Apartments along Masherava Avenue
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just in case someone started to think that this thread is going to get a yet another boring city thread with all those streets, cars and buildings, fear not.

There is another side to Minsk which is very far from boring.

It has to be said that girls in Minsk are not just pretty but it won't be an exaggeration to say that in this respect it must be one of the most exciting cities on earth. It may be partially due to hot weather but girls in Minsk certainly know how to dress properly (i.e. to my taste) :D

(Karl Marx street)


There will be more if you'll be patient enough :)
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Lidskoe is a popular beer brand in Belarus. It's quite good too




Bicycle path along Pyeramozhtsav Avenue. Minsk has perfect landscape and urban layout for cycling however cycling infrastructure seems pretty limited. I saw a few newly built paths but clearly not enough. There were very few cyclists on the streets too compared to neighboring major cities (Vilnius, Warsaw, Wroclaw). Most cycling activity also seemed to do with leisure rather than commute. Overall Minsk has a great potential to become a cycling city (there is lost of space to build bicycle paths or dedicated lanes) but it doesn't seem to be the case at the present


Parushttp://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1151347, a 133m tall highrise which will be Minsk's tallest for the time being
 

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planquadrat
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Park along the river


Bank Razvitija building. This must be one of my favorite modern buildings in Minsk




Bridge over Svislach river. The bridge accommodates 6 lanes of Masherava Avenue which functions as a partial ring road. Note the unused space between the pavement and traffic lanes. It could carry at least another 2 lanes of traffic. I have no idea what the plans were but I guess it was meant to carry a metro or a tramway line. Or perhaps some more lanes if the inner ring road was to ever get completed
 
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