Welcome to Minsk, Belarus

The ICONO/LAT 2016 will be organized in Minsk, Belarus.

The oldest mentions of Minsk, the capital and largest city in Belarus, date back to the 11th century (1067). In 1242 Minsk became a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and received its town privileges in 1499. From 1569 it was a capital of the Minsk Voivodship in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 1793 Belarus became a part of the Russian Empire. During 1919–1991 Minsk was the capital of the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1991 Minsk became the capital of independent Belarus.

Minsk is a mind-blowing experience. Ostensibly a European capital, the city hearkens back to Soviet times: the clean streets are lined with more Soviet iconography than you can shake a sickle at. There's a palpable pride of the survivor about Minsk - it has risen from the dead several times. Reduced to rubble during WWII, architects were given a blank slate to transform ruins into a model Soviet city. Today it's a clean, safe city with many tourist attractions, best enjoyed as locals do - among interesting people in cafes, parks and kicking clubs.

Etiquette and Customs

Greeting someone

A simple handshake is sufficient for most occasions. Address the person with his/her title and last name until requested to use their first name. If visiting someone in a more social setting, it is customary to bring a small gift such as wine, flowers or chocolates.

Tipping advice

Tipping is left to your discretion if the service warrants it. An amount of 10 to 15 percent is sufficient.

Dress code

For business, attire is the same as in any major capital city, i.e. smart suits. When visiting tourist attractions such as churches, remember that Belarus is a at large a Christian Orthodox country and women are requested to cover their heads.

Minsk Weather

Autumn is a great and favorite time of the year to visit Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Generally, Autumn begins in mid of September and lasts until  to late October. Autumn can be quite cold, but the weather warms up in early Autumn, so you'll be comfortable here in a traditional Autumn jacket and footwear.

Be sure to bring an umbrella for the rainy days of spring. It is also a good idea to bring along a backpack or carrying case of some sort to stash your souvenirs and other purchases as you explore the many city sights and attractions and suburban parks and palaces.

Sightseeing program

An extended sightseeing program is offered to the conference participants and accompanying persons. Please contact the travel agency table at the registration area for details.



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