Exploring a new country, especially, Belarus, Minsk and its traditions, is not only about seeing the most popular tourist attractions, visiting the best restaurants and trying traditional food. Buying a souvenir and bringing it home will support your travel stories with some physical evidence!
Here at MeetnGreetMe, we take souvenirs seriously, so we made a list of the top-10 must-haves, both traditional and trendy, that you can bring home from Minsk, Belarus to remind you of this beautiful city and country.
Alright, let’s cut to the chase!
Traditional souvenirs from Minsk
1. Sugared Cranberries (Клюква в сахаре)
Let’s start with some tasty souvenirs!
Healthy and organic sugared cranberries are produced according to a patented technology, which makes them really exclusive worldwide. They are sweet and absolutely delicious. Make sure you take them with you.
Savour it to the last cranberry…yummy!
2. Zefir (Зефир)
Another sweet, tasty and popular confectionery in Belarus and Russia as well is zefir. It’s extremely popular here, but unknown in many other countries. If you’ve never zefir this in your life, we’ll just say that the closest dessert to it are marshmallows. Just a bit lighter, softer, and, in our biased opinion, tastier. Zefir is made of apples, sugar and egg white.
The oldest confectionery Krasny Pishchevik has been producing delicious and healthy zefir, pastille, fruit jelly from genuine fruits and berries for more than a hundred years.
Make sure you take good large boxes with you.
You can find zefir at any supermarket!
3. Traditional Belarusian alcoholic drinks
If you are looking for a bottle of a traditional drink from Belarus, opt for krambambula, zubrovka (or zubrowka) and balms of different kind. Sure the male half of your family and friends should love them and appreciate as a great national souvenir from Belarus.
Krambambula is a national vodka drink flavored with honey and spices. The recipe appeared back in the days when the Grand Principality of Lithuania existed. As for zubrovka (or zubrowka), sometimes it is also called bison grass vodka. Zubrowka is called this way because it is an alcoholic Belarusian beverage flavoured with herbs, a tincture of bison glass, in particular, and distilled from rye. This type of grass grows in Belovezhskaya Pushcha where Belarusian bizons (zubr-s) live. And finally, Belarusian balms. Belarusian balm is a toning alcoholic drink flavored with herbs and fruits of a different kind. The natural ingredients have a strengthening effect on people’s organism. People add it to coffee and tea sometimes to add a special aroma.
You can find those at any supermarket!
4. Belarusian linen
Belarusian flax has been grown here since many many many years ago. Flax is used to create exclusive Belarusian linen products ranging from napkins, table cloths, and bed linen, to trendy clothes, bags and toys. This material is absolutely eco-friendly and healthy. People in Belarus prefer to wear linen clothes in summer, in particular, because the material allows the cloth to ‘breath’ and you never feel hot in it.
5. Golden straw souvenirs from Belarus
Straw has always been of great value to Belarusian people throughout its history. It was believed that golden straw possesses the energy of the sun and nature. It symbolizes prosperity and happiness. Belarusians believed that it could transfer the power of nature and share it with its owners. Perhaps, golden straw is one of the most unusual materials used to make handmade amulets and decorations for the house.
One of the most popular talismans was a straw spider with its net. It used to symbolize the Universe. The straw spider absorbed and accumulated all negative energy from the house and let only happiness live there. At the end of every year, the spider was burnt down and a new one was hung on the ceiling.
6. Ceramic souvenirs
Ceramics has always been popular in Belarus, even today there are a lot of talented Belarusian craftsmen who make fantastic pottery, ceramic figures of animals, decorations and much more. Every craftman has their own technique of modeling and glazing their works of art. Clay was also a popular material for creating traditional musical instruments.
If you are looking forward to buying something really traditional, opt for figures of animals and birds, especially, bears, bisons, and storks, or penny whistles and decorative bells. They say that would bring luck and happiness to your house. You never know if that is true, but why take chances? ;)
Trendy souvenirs from Minsk
1. Pins from Zorka Venera store
Just take a look at these adorable enamel pins!
These are created by design store Zorka Venera and show some symbols of Minsk in the form of everyday things and cultural allusions: a famous tractor “Belarus”, pickles, a lion from a painting of a belarusian artist Alena Kish, and a flying couple from a famous painting “The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk” by Marc Chagall.
By the way, these pins look really cute on coats and jackets!
You can get these pins in Nemiga 3.
2. Hand-made designer goods in Vialiki Dziakuj! store
We couldn’t decide on just one item from Vialiki Dziakuj! (translates to “Thanks a lot!”) store, so we just recommend you to visit it. It’s a designer shop with some amazing hand-made souvenirs such as organic products, jewelry, pottery, and clothes.
A nice bonus! It’s located on one of the most vibrant streets of Minsk – Kastryčnickaja, 23a.
3. Clothes by LSTR Adzienne
If you think of a souvenir as of something you can put on yourself instead of putting it on the shelf then clothes by LSTR Adzienne is exactly what you need.
LSTR Adzienne make designer clothes with Belarusian symbols, beautiful prints, and embroidery. Don’t forget to check their Instagram to see the wide range of their stylish goods!
The sore is located on Viery Charužaj, 5
Belarus is a very hospitable and friendly country. It has a lot to offer to international guests traveling to Belarus both for the first time or on a regular visit. Just make sure that you have someone with you to help you enjoy the true Belarus and buy presents from Belarus at the best prices. Right, MeetnGreeters in Minsk would be glad to help you out ;)
Would you like to ask any questions about the best places to buy these souvenirs? or maybe share your impressions about Belarus? Feel free to leave a comment below!
And in case you need tailor-made services before or during your trip, feel free to leave your request here!