1. About this project.
To open up Minsk (Belarus) to tourists who want to discover our country the local way!
Minsk is a beautiful Eastern European city with two faces. The better known face of Minsk is what it shows from the outside: rich Soviet heritage with spacious avenues, huge green parks, and numerous buildings dating back to the Lenin and Stalin period. The lesser known face of Minsk is its exceptional restaurants, world-class bars and clubs, and our hipster districts. Minks offers a diverse cultural life from theatre to opera to experimental dance, all set within this beautiful and remarkably green city.
Would you like to know more about this secret piece of Europe?
The good news for many travellers: Since 2017, no visa is needed to explore the country for 5 days! (*80 countries in total including the US and EU citizens)
Minsk seen by a traveller: "Minsk is a city like no other city in Europe. A time traveling experience that will take you back to the Soviet Union, surprise you with its modern lifestyle, and within 10 minutes from city centre you can find yourself in the beautiful countryside. Try to find that in Europe!" Paul, 28 years old.
"What makes Minsk so unique is the very fact that there are very few foreigners. Even in the capital you will never be part of a tourists crowd. It is really an undiscovered country, offering a good escape from all touristic, packed destinations". Sanne, 27 years old.
2. What is this travel guide?
Why we believe this is the best travel guide for you:
We have collected insights from locals about their favourite places to eat, drink a coffee, hang-out, and party. We have also done thorough research on previous traveller’s experiences and share their insights and advice for future travels. Making this a very local, best practise, travel guide for travellers.
Fun, no bullshit, illustrative and compact guide.
After buying numerous travel guides throughout the years we realised that we had never fully read a travel guide from cover to cover; only one or two chapters. The main reason for this was because of the overload of dull text. Our thorough survey 250 Europeans confirmed our suspicions. That is why we did everything we could to select the most interesting and valuable facts and information for you about Minsk. This fun and illustrative guide will puta smile on your face. You also won’t need to lug around a massive book because this guide will be light, pocket sized with easy to turn pages.
Travel guide in Socks.
Minsk in Socks? What is that all about? Well, we wanted this guide to be original and enrich your buying experience. When you purchase this travel guide you can choose to get a pair of specially knitted socks by a Belarusian grandma. Every Belarusian who has a grandma has a pair of knitted socks. It’s how Belarusian grandmas show their love. Yes quirky but once you get them on your feet you will understand what we are talking about. So, when you buy this travel guide with socks, you not only get all the information you need for your trip to Minsk, but you also support the employment of elderly people and your cold feet in the cold winter days: killing two birds with one stone!
Promotion of Sustainable businesses.
We are well aware that tourism helps support the local economy and culture. However, the other side of tourism is that it could also harm the environment and/or the culture. That is why we promote and support sustainable private businesses that don’t harm people or the environment by devoting a separate chapter about all the green and fun socially sustainable things to do in Minsk.
3. Why did we write this Travel guide?
Tourism is very important both for travellers and for the destinations. Travellers broaden their horizons and gain new experiences and understandings for other cultures. While the destination gains exposure to foreigners, an increase in living standards, generation of jobs, income creation and infrastructure. Our wish for Minsk is that it will become a travel option for tourists just like any other city in the world. There is so much Minsk can offer travellers who are looking for an unique destination with kind people.
4. Who is the team behind the Travel guide?
We have several things in common, but the most important is our love for travelling and Belarus. We are also all experienced writers and have published a number of books between us. And, we have a strong Crowdfunding team with different specialisations.
5. The process so far & where do we want to be in the near future?
So far, we have researched, written, edited, and illustrated 14 chapters.
1. Introduction to this guide
2. Preparation time
3. Stereotyping Belarus
4. Local insights
7. About us and our languages
8. Getting around / Transportation
9. Events and festivals
Districts of Minsk:
10. City centre: Niamiha
11. City centre: Praspect Niezaleznasci
12. Serebryanka & Shabany
13. Traktarny zavod
14. Kamiennaja horka
What we have planned for the coming months?
Districts of Minsk:
15. City centre: Jakuba Kolasa & Park Caliuskincau
16. City centre: Kastrycnickaja
18. Paudniovy Zachad
21. Sustainable organisations
22. Minsk for kids
23. Routes around the city
24. What to bring home?
25. Contributions (THANK YOU chapter)
Once finished we plan to self-publish the travel guide and sell it in all (online and offline) bookshops that are interested in our travel guide to Minsk. At the same time we will add half of the content online and have an updated website so all those travelling to Minsk will be able to view the best tours to take, concerts to attend, and festivals to crash.
6. Why we need your help.
We have spent the last seven months on making this idea become a reality. Now we only need travellers like you who are interested in visiting Minsk and Belarus the local way. We are a team with six passionate girls dedicated to expand tourism in Belarus but with limited financial resources for the project. That is why we are asking for your support!
7. What we will use your help for.
• Finalising the content and the design (illustrations, maps, and layout).
• Hiring the best final editor (We have one in mind: Christine Fox).
• Self-printing the book (already found the printing house).
• Support the Belarusian grannies who knit the socks.
• Market the book so you will hear about us also after this crowdfunding campaign.
+ If we reach more than 110% we will use this to develop a website, making it possible to carry the travel guide with you on your phone and laptop.
8. Additional important information about the PACKAGES:
The Travel Guide “Minsk in Socks’
Available language for the first edition: English
The socks: There are two different pairs of socks available for your feet both knitted by a Belarusian grandma. One is made from recycled wool (packages number 5, 8, 9 and 10), meaning a grandma took an old sweater and used the wool from this sweater to upgrade it to a simple pair of socks. The other one, more expensive one (package number 3) is made out of new wool and has a beautiful Belarusian ornament on it. To knit this beautiful Belarusian ornament takes 2 days time to knit, that is why the price is higher than the recycled pair of socks.
The t-shirt: In package 6 we offer together with our Travel guide a really handy and beautiful t-shirt for travelers. On this t-shirt you will find 20 universal Icons and 4 specifically designed for Belarus and Eastern Europe in general. Perfect for those occasion when you don’t speak the Belarusian or Russian language and have difficulties to explain your need for a toilet!
Special tours in Minsk: Through package number 7 we offer you to discover Minsk in a really special way: an exclusive 3-hours walking tour through Minsk designed by the authors of Heta Belarus Dzietka project. During this tour we will show you all the secret places only locals know about. We will tell you about Belarusian history and how Belarusians live today and what makes them special. The other tour we propose is to discover a typical Belarusian ‘dacha’ (summer country house) where Belarusians usually spend their weekends! In the middle of a beautiful nature you will be hosted by very kind Belarusian people who will cook typical Belarusian food for you. You can take a swim in a river and enjoy a special Belarusian sauna (‘banya’). All ingredients for a very relaxed experience in the Belarusian nature. Tours are available from June 2017 for 2 years.
5 day trip to Minsk: Package number 10 offers you a full trip to Belarus for 5 visa-free days where we will organise your accommodation (4 nights), food (breakfast and dinner for 3 days), and the above mentioned tours. For 2 people!! So together with your friend or partner you will be able to discover Minsk in a very special, never to forget way, that is guaranteed! The trip is available from June 2017 for 2 years.
Risks and challenges
We see the promotion of Minsk as an attractive tourist destination as our priority. Masha, Olga, and Hanna will dedicate as much time as needed to write, design, publish, and market this book. The rest of the team will support us as much as they can.
The content, design, and maps are already devised. The right people have been found for the different tasks: editor, printing house, marketing expert, and web developer.
We have enough experience to know what we’re doing and to overcome any unexpected obstacles. What still needs to be done is the writing of the remaining chapters and finalising the maps for the guide, followed by production and shipping.
Production and shipping will happen in the following way: 1. We print the books in Riga with a printing house we have worked with in the past. We ship the socks, and the t-shirts from Belarus to Riga where we will compile the ordered packages together. 3. Ship the package so it will reach its owner as soon as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)