In the past, we have selected a few accommodations in the world where the major selling point was not even related to the hotel itself. That’s the case with the Dreamy Castle Hostel. The location of Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk has a very deep and dark secret that is said to have sealed President Kennedy’s fate on November 22, 1963.
The unusual location of the Dreamy Castle Hostel piqued my interest when searching for accommodation in Minsk.
In the early 1960s, a defector, U.S. Marine Lee Harvey Oswald, lived in the same building as the current Dreamy Castle Hostel. His main residence was of great interest to both the KGB and FBI, both of whom wire-tapped and secretly monitored his personal life. After moving back to the States with the Russian wife he met here in Minsk, he shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963. While in custody, he was murdered by Jack Ruby. This left many unanswered questions and has fostered many conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
For more than 50 years, the world’s interest has been focused to Oswald’s past life prior to Kennedy’s assassination. A big part of his mysterious past was focused in Minsk, Belarus. Inside this very compound where the Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk is located.
Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk Location
Dreamy Castle Hostel is located in the Tsentralny District, northeast of Minsk city center. It’s near Victory Square, where the Metro Station is located
The hostel is on the fifth floor of what would have been a typical mid-50s Soviet-style building for middle-upper class citizens. If you are familiar with the systematic and simplified communist housing system, a typical floor plan was a single design. It was a cookie cutter, with one building was built exactly like the next one. This is the case of this whole block of building apartments.
Unit no. 24, which Oswald used to live in, is no longer in existence due to the building’s renovation and expansion. Instead, his former unit was combined into several bigger units, such as Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk, which occupies at least two of the original units of the building. Dreamy Castle is located in unit no. 18, on the top-level of the structure.
If you are doing a guided tour in Minsk, including the Free Walking Tour Minsk, you are guaranteed to walk by this very structure and to talk about Lee Harvey Oswald and JFK. This building is one of the things to see in Minsk, and many onlookers wish to be able to access the inside of Oswald’s unit! And by staying at the Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk, you are staying in it!
Booking Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk
You can book any of the beds from booking.com. If you book through our affiliate link, we will make a small commission at no extra cost to you. So please do!
Andrei, the front desk staff member, is courteous and can answer any questions you have about the hostel and anything in general. He particularly enjoys having American guests, who are usually aware of the hostel’s significant location history. He has a stack of pictures of Lee Harvey Oswald, as well as photocopies of historical documents and Wikipedia print outs for anybody who asks.
The hostel does not take credit cards or any currency other than the Belarusian Rubble. By law, they have to take a copy of all foreign passports and to report your stay to the local police. Typically in Belarus, a hotel or hostel adds a stamp to your Belarus immigration form in your passport. They did not do this here.
I booked my bed in a 8 mixed-dorm room, which was a pleasant, bright and clean room.
You will receive a clean sheet, pillow case, comforter cover, and a towel at check in. It is your responsibility to make your bed, as well as to remove all sheets at check out. There are a limited number of electrical outlets inside the room; however there is a power strip next to the locker for guests to use. You may ask to borrow the hostel’s power adaptor if needed. Belarus power outlet is similar to the rest of Europe with two rounded prongs. Any non-European plugs need an adaptor.
Lockers are available for your valuables, as well as a plastic container that is big enough for your luggage that can slide under your bed.
Beds and Private Rooms
The typical beds in mixed-dorm room, as well as in female only dorm room is available for budget travelers. The hostel also offers one double bed private room, which all are quickly filled due to popular demand. At the time of writing, dorm rooms cost BYN14 ($7), while private room with shared bathroom costs BYN50 ($25). You can see their available rooms here.
The hostel has two showers and two toilets. The highlight of my stay was the shower. Every shower in Minsk seems to look the same – a cube. But this is the only shower I’ve seen here that has blue lights, a fan, water jets, and a radio inside the cube. Every shower is an enjoyable dancing opportunity!
An ironing board and a clothes drying rack are available for guests to use. You may be able to ask to use their washing machine for free if you are nice and ask politely!
There are two levels inside the Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk, with the top-level only occupying the cupola of the building. This is where the common area of the hostel is. It includes a TV room, comfy bean bags, along with pillows, a guitar, and a shelf full of board games, and a world map. You can borrow the hostel’s binoculars to check out the wonderful view of Minsk from above!
Hands down, the best selling point of this hostel is the speed of its Wi-Fi. It will reach everywhere on the property, and it provides a fast service. You’ll have no problem uploading files if you need to do that.
There is a full kitchen, a dishwasher, stove, and dining tables for guests to enjoy. The window opens up to the dense city of Minsk – and a morning sunrise here is a must to enjoy while having a cup of tea!
The hostel offers free street parking, and you may be able to park inside the building’s courtyard as well. Please clarify it with the staff when booking for your room.
Other things to consider
It’s difficult to find
Although the Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk location is clearly marked on online maps, it is next to impossible to find it on the actual street. Especially if you don’t know how to read Cyrillic or speak Russian. There are no signs anywhere. I had to walk around the building several times, as well as entered the inner courtyard.
After ringing a random bell to try my luck, the lady (who thankfully spoke English) pointed out the entrance. Even with that confirmation, there is only a buzz control panel with descriptions in Cyrillic. I had to wait for a while before a building resident happened to walk out and allowed me to get in.
Tips. If you book with booking.com, there is no instruction to include how to find the place. Write the hostel and ask them the code or what to do. Even better, if you have a working Belarusian phone number, call the hostel. Print your confirmation page with all of the important information, such as the address and phone number, and do not come unprepared.
If you have physical limitations that don’t allow you to climb stairs, then you should consider another place. The hostel is on the fifth floor.
The door buzzer
If you come for the first time, you will see on your confirmation receipt that the Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk is in apartment 18. If you can’t read the Cyrillic alphabet on the panel, basically you need to buzz in the unit number, and followed by the letter C. That’s pressing 1-8-C.
Since most guests must be buzzed in, and then ring the hotel’s front doorbell, there is a lot of activity during the evening. You can hear these loud door bells clearly throughout the place, including inside your rooms. All guests get a unique code, but you still have to ring that doorbell!
The front desk normally only operates until midnight. If you are planing on being out until past midnight, you need to pre-arrange it with the staff. They will give you contact information, such as WhatsApp, phone number, or instant messenger.
You cannot smoke in the hostel, but you can smoke outside
Overall, I had a very good stay in the Dreamy Castle Hostel Minsk. If you are looking for accommodation in Minsk, and you are a budget traveler, this is definitely a great hostel to consider. The staff members were very helpful, and other guests were polite, mature, and travel-oriented.
At a Glance
Dreamy Castle Hostel
praspiekt Niezaliežnasci 31, 5th floor, apartment 18
Minsk 220005, Belarus
Phone: +375 29 375-92-29
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