How to Spend 2 Days in Minsk
The capital of Belarus is a wonderland of Soviet-era architecture that fascinates history enthusiasts. With two days in Minsk, you can explore the city, stop by a museum or two, visit some UNESCO World Heritage sites, and maybe even take in an opera at the Bolshoi. Here’s how.
Day 1: Discover the Central City
**Morning:**Walk or take the metro around Minsk to check out some of the city’s most interesting buildings. Minsk was destroyed during World War II, so most of what exists today dates from the Stalinist era. Wide boulevards, brutalist and neoclassical architecture, huge plazas, and riverside promenades will keep you occupied all morning.
**Afternoon:**Continue your on-foot explorations, or head over to one of the city’s best cultural attractions. Art lovers will enjoy the Belarusian National Arts Museum, which is heavy on Russian, Soviet, and Belarusian artists. The Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War is also worth visiting—don’t miss the collection of propaganda art.
**Night:**Sample the local food and vodka, and listen to some live music. For a fun way to experience local-recommended after-dark haunts that you might otherwise miss, join a nightlife tour of Minsk.
Day 2: Take a Day Trip to Mir Castle and Nesvizh Palace
**Morning and afternoon:**The UNESCO-listed Mir Castle and Nesvizh Palace are two of Belarus’ most popular tourist attractions, for good reason. The 16th-century structures are a mix of Polish Gothic and Renaissance styles. The towns of Mir and Nesvizh are about 18 miles (30 kilometers) apart, and about an hour-and-a-half drive from Minsk. Most full-day guided tours go to both places.
**Night:**If you’re not too tired and can arrange tickets ahead of time, spend your last night in Minsk at the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus. Listen to chamber music, or see an opera or ballet. An evening at the theater is a luxurious way of appreciating Belarus’ traditional arts and culture.