There are two metro lines in Minsk (the third is under construction). Officially, they are called Maskoŭskaja and Aŭtazavodskaja, but locals often refer to them as first and second, or old and new. The distance between metro stops is short (about 1-2 bus stops) in the city center but may be longer in the suburbs.
The Metro fares for a single ride are the same as for ground transportation. To enter a metro station, you will have to buy a token in a ticket office located underground near the entrance to station. In addition to all types of multi-trip tickets (described above), you can also buy a metro-only card valid for 10, 15 or 30 days starting from the date of the purchase.
The names of the stations that were built before 2007 sound very 'Soviet': Spartyŭnaja ('Sportive'), Maladziožnaja ('Youthful’), Praletarskaja ('Proletariat's'). Some of them bear the titles of the nearby streets or squares (Plošča Jakuba Kolasa, Puškinskaja) but don't get bought into it. Sometimes, a station can be called the same name as the street that is located 8-9 kilometers away, like Maskoŭskaja or Mahiloŭskaja! The most peculiar metro station title is Plošča Lienina where one exit leads to the central railway station, while another leads you to Niezaliežnaści Square – the one that was once called Lienina Square (Plošča Lienina). The square was renamed more than 20 years ago but continues to 'exist' underground.
In the recent years, the metro titles became less ideological, with the new stations such as Hrušaŭka, Michalova, Piatroŭščyna or the ones under construction such as Niemarašanski Sad or Kavalskaja Slabada referring to historically rooted local titles.
You can pay for the ride mostly in three ways: by metro-only card (with the unlimited number of trips or fixed number of trips), a combined metro and ground transportation ticket (valid for metro and one or several ground transportation routes), or a single-ride token. Some mobile communication providers offer SMS-ticketing - you can check this with your local provider. Place your card near the validator or drop a token inside, and wait for a green arrow as a go-ahead. After you saw the green arrow, start walking to the left from the validator. Turnstiles in Minsk are not visible if you have a valid ticket, but if you try to walk without a valid one, they will suddenly jump out catching you in between. Not a pleasant experience!
If you're carrying a big bag or a heavy backpack, you may be stopped by a policeman or a Metro guard in order to check your luggage with metal detector. You may also be asked to show the content of your bag (backpack). The measure was introduced after the blast in the Metro on April 11, 2011.