Search of Belarus hotels
National Tourism Agency
16.03.12 / The 46th International Tourism Fair, «ITB Berlin 2012», which took place from March 7 to 11 in Berlin, once again confirmed its status as the world's biggest tourism and services exhibition.
Links & publications
If the purpose of your visit to Belarus is a one-two day business trip, you won't probably need to know anything about where to get the items you need. But if you stay longer and want to buy things it will be useful to have a general overview.
First of all you should understand a concept of a "market" or "bazaar", which is a very popular place to buy everything from food to home appliances. I cannot tell you where it came from, probably it is a local tradition, or an outcome of some economic peculiarities, but most shopping in this country is made in the markets. So it was until this year (2005) when the capital city of Minsk saw launching of first hypermarkets and discounters.
Food markets are the places with the largest range of products and almost the only place to get fresh produce and deli. Certainly, you can get vegetables and meat at a shop, but the chances are that your beef will be available only in deep frozen pieces consisting mainly of fat and bones. Good things about markets — you can bargain when buying several items from one vendor, or when buying bulk. The bad thing is that cheating with scales (short-weighting) is common. Another uncomfortable thing are large crowds at week-ends.
In Belarus markets are everywhere. There are several markets in larger towns, and at least one market in smaller towns. The largest markets in Minsk are Komarovka and Zhdanovichi.
Advice: if you need to cook something a food market is the best and cheapest place to get quality products. However, watch out not to be cheated.
There are also markets that sell everything else apart from foodstuffs. Clothes, shoes, home appliances, CDs, toys — you name it. You can get everything you need in the market. If you are ready to experience buying clothes in the open air with changing rooms behind curtains in small tents (they are also open during frosty winter months) you are a welcome guest at the markets like Dinamo in Minsk. By the way, you can find there "Gucci" jeans at 90 per cent off, or "designer" shoes or perfumes very cheap. Needless to say that in the contemporary world there is no difficulty in printing flashy labels. Sure, there may be some authentic items, the problem is you never know which ones.
One special note about CDs and DVDs with music, video and software. You will be able to find dirt-cheap music, movies and software in the markets. You should understand that those are pirate copies. It may well be that importing such items in your country is illegal.
Advice: Visit open markets only for sightseeing or if you have some special interest in this. If you need to buy things go to shops or "exhibitions".
"Exhibition" is the next stage of evolution following open-air markets. Basically it is something between a mall with small shop-like booths and a market. Exhibitions are growing like rabbits in Minsk and major towns. They are relatively inexpensive (though prices at different exhibitions in Minsk may differ up to two-fold on the same article).
Advice: It is normal to go shopping to "exhibitions".
- 11.05.12 /
- 08.05.12 /
- 03.04.12 /
- 20.03.12 /
- 29.10.08 /
- 21.02.07 /