Where to book:
It is common knowledge that demand creates its own supply. Business-minded Minskers offer travelers short-term and long-term apartment rentals. Renting a big apartment in the city center will cost you about the same as a double room in a 3-star hotel. An average one-bedroom apartment will cost you $50/night. So, if you're traveling in a big company or with your family, apartments pay off.
When choosing an apartment, don't rely only on the description on the website. Ask the agency that lets out the property whether you will be offered the same apartment as shown on the picture. Often the agency will have two or three apartments available and may change the offer last moment. Don't expect an exclusive interior design, though. Many apartment owners in Minsk are convinced that no one would complain about the apartment that has a fridge, a TV and fresh and clean bed-sheets. What else would you need? Therefore, they don't hire professional designers and decorate their properties as they see it fit - yet, many will tell you this is "European style".
It's an open secret that these apartments are often rented out for romantic tête-à-têtes. Hence the bedroom décor may be rather bold.
Many owners will insist on being informed about the exact number of guests to be staying in the apartment. If you choose to withhold this information, you may not get your keys or will be charged a higher price.
Some apartments are rented out as hostels: you pay for a bed in a dorm, not for the room. The webpage will always specify the type of accommodation. Another form of apartment rentals is apart-hotels; they are usually based in the suburbs of Minsk.
However, if you need to rent a flat for a month or longer, you may spend more time finding a decent place. To give you a hint: in May 2014, a one-bedroom apartment next to a metro station was rented for $250/month. Locals usually search for long-term rentals on http://www.kvartirant.by or http://realt.by. If you don't speak Russian, ask your Minsk friends for assistance or contact an estate agent.