About the Region
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   Minsk, the capital of the Republic of Belarus, is a modern city having a population about 2 million inhabitants. It is an important industrial, administrative and cultural center of Belarus with more than 940 years-long history. Minsk meets its guests with splendors of broad avenues and boulevards, spacious squares, green parks and public gardens. There are a number of theatres, museums, art galleries, exhibitions. The Republic of Belarus with population about 10 millions is a country of plains, low hills, tranquil rivers, lakes, green woods and meadows. The climate is mild and moderate. During the time of the Conference the temperature is usually comfortable 18รท25oC.


   Belarusian and Russian/Cyrillic.

Food & Drink

   One delicacy unique to Belarus is Belarussian borscht, a soup made with beetroot and served hot with sour cream. Potatoes and mushrooms are common in regional cooking with berries often being used as a side dish. In-tourist meal vouchers are accepted at a wide variety of hotels and restaurants. A local drink made from over 100 different herbs is Beloveszhskaya Bitter and has an interesting taste! Chai (black tea), is popular with the locals. Soviet law prohibits the serving of more than 100g of vodka per person per meal.

Local Transport

   At present, Minsk is in the process of expanding its Metro system. Public transport is efficient and cheap. Buses, trams and trolleybuses operate between 5.30am and 1.00am, whilst trains run between 6.00am and midnight. Taxi in Minsk is rather cheap, and all the taxi drivers speak English (part of preparation for the World Hockey Championship). To call a taxi from Minsk phone, you need to dial 7788, 7778, 7777, 7577 or 7007.


   Shopping hours are Mon-Fri 9.00am - 7.00pm, Sat 9.00am - 6.00pm. Larger stores are open on Sundays 11.00am - 5.00pm. Best buys include wooden caskets, trinket boxes, straw items, decorative plates and other handicraft items.