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Travel Within Belarus

Metro

Minsk is the only city with an underground metro in Belarus. It is clean, efficient and inexpensive (about $0.25-0.50 for any ride, no matter how far). Trains depart every 2-5 minutes.  The metro has only two lines which cross at the October Square station on F. Skariny Street. To see a plan of the Minsk Metro. To use the metro, purchase a 'Jeton' or token, from the attendant in a booth at the entrance. Drop the Jeton into the entrance gate before entering, otherwise alarm will sound and the gate will close on you. The Minsk Metro opens at 5:30 am and closes at 1:00 am. 

 

Taxis 

In Belarus they are inexpensive, but many drivers are thieves and will resort to trickery to inflate the fare. Always insist that the meter is turned on before the taxi moves or negotiate a fee before climbing in. Every car can be a potential taxi. If you do not see any around you can simply stand on the street and stick out your hand and a car will quickly stop. However, be sure to negotiate a price before climbing in. This can be hard to do if you do not speak Russian. Never get in a car with more than one person.  Expect to pay from $25 to $30 for a the ride from the airport to the center of Minsk. Otherwise a ride within Minsk should never cost more than about $5-$8.

 

Bus

There is an extensive bus system serving Minsk as well as long distance travel around Belarus. Buses are generally very old. The main bus station in Minsk for long distance travel is located near the Central Train station. Refer to the time table (in Russian only) for Minsk buses . Buses generally start between 5:30 am and 6 am. They stop running between midnight and 1 am.

 

Trains

Lately Belarus seems to be investing in their train system. Many of the train stations have received attention. The Minsk train station is new and modern. We have even seen some modern stations in other parts of Belarus. The trains are, however are quite old. But they can have charm, with wooden frames and white curtains around the windows. The trains are heated in the winter, though they can be drafty.

 

 

 

 

Train Schedules for Belarus:

Russian Only 

 

English 

 

German 

 

Types of Train Accommodation in Belarus:

Coupe: (French pronunciation): Compartments with closing doors. Seats are long like benches or shelves and can be used as beds. They are usually available only on overnight trains. If there are 2 benches it is called a Dvuh-mesno-ye Coupe. If there are 3 benches it is called Treyoh-mesno-ye coupe, 4 seats is a  - Chetiryoh-mesno-ye coupe.

 

PlatskArt: Just like Coupe, divided compartments, but without closing doors. 

 

Ob-shiy Vagon: general open train car, with many rows of seats

 

There may be 2 or 3 levels of benches in Coupe and Platskart. Lower benches (Nez-ne–ye mesto) are probably most comfortable. If you choose an upper or middle bench you might have to spend most of the time lying down. Bed linen may be included in the price; otherwise, you may be charged a few dollars on the train.

 

You can usually order hot tea, coffee, or snacks on the train. On overnight trains, restaurant car is available. Toilets are available but may be closed while in cities or at the boarder.

 

Car Rental

Avis has two locations in Belarus: One at the airport and one at the Hotel Belarus in Minsk.

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