So far i have to Belarus 4 times, 3 of those visits I have been in Minsk at some point. Yet I haven’t written about my accommodation much until now – I really should cover my night in the Hotel Minsk and the Hotel Bobruisk some time. I’ve so far visited 4 Belarusian cities (Minsk, Babruysk, Grodno, Barysaw) and slept in a hat trick of them.
My fourth visit to the country was in June 2019 to watch the Northern Ireland football match away to Belarus. The match was played in what appeared to be the middle of a forest! This was at the home stadium of BATE Borisov in the town of Barysaw. BATE Borisov seem to have overtaken Dinamo Minsk as the country’s most successful current football team.
I was sat next to a guy called Andrei on the brisk Warszawa to Minsk flight. We had a beer on the flight and a lengthy chat and he and his friend kindly offered me a lift from the airport to the hostel. 30 minutes later and we were in a courtyard just off Lenin Boulevard looking for the Stary Minsk Hostel which I had booked a bed in just the day before. On this trip, I was getting a visa on arrival but I have also written full details on how to get a Belarus visa in Warszawa. It was a far cry from my debut adventure to Belarus in August 2007…
The Stary Mińsk Hostel had sent me full details of how to find the exact door to the hostel in the large apartment complex, including entrance code and how to get in. In my haste, and being a fast budget backpacker, I hadn’t seen nor read it. I was being a buck eejit so I was!! Luckily Andrei and Olga had a local phone and they called the hostel to find the door and let me slip inside…
I got in no problem in the end and through the years of hardcore whackpacking, I was always ready and aware that things could be hard to find. This was a great hostel to stay in for the night and here are five reasons why I recommend it.
1. Great Location
Stary Mińsk Hostel is well situated within walking distance of the Metro, Lenin Square and many of the city’s key sights. Of course, it was now my third visit to Minsk so sightseeing wasn’t really a priority, so just a few photos this time.
Belarus is still one of the cheapest countries in Europe to backpack in. However recent visa laxes have had a negative effect on hostel and hotel prices. Stary Mińsk Hostel reflects more old school prices. I was in a 6 bed shared mixed dorm and it was 37 zlotych, around £7 for the night – a bargain.
3.Cosy Curtained Beds
There’s a first for everything and despite being a veteran whackpacker in hundreds of hostels the world over, I still love surprises. Here at Stary Mińsk Hostel, In my dorm room, every bed has its own curtain to completely cover each bed.
4.Free Water, Tea and Coffee
The compact yet cosy kitchen doubles up as the hostel’s common road. There is also free tea and coffee 24hours a day.
5.Fast free WiFi
Of course free WiFi is a given these days for most of us but believe me that on my first trip to Belarus in 2007, I had NO free WiFi in any bar, hotel, restaurant, cafe or airport. Times have changed for the better in my opinion. I met up with the Northern Ireland fans on this trip and we got revenge for the 2007 0-5 defeat, this time Paddy McNair banged a 86th minute winner to bring home the 3 points, 1-0 to Northern Ireland, 4 wins out of 4 and top of the group.
Here are the details for booking a night in the Stary Mińsk Hostel:
Here are some videos from my trip to Belarus and my stay in the Stary Mińsk Hostel: