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15 Best Places to Visit in Belarus

At first glance, Belarus may not sound like the most exciting of destinations, but if you look closely there is much to see and do in this landlocked country that counts Latvia , Poland , Lithuania , Russia, and Ukraine as neighbours.

As over 40% of the country is forest, expect lush vegetation and picturesque countryside, as well as an abundance of local wildlife including rare European bison.

You can take a trip back in time at the numerous forts and castles in Belarus, as well as keeping up with the more modern side of things in the buzzing capital city of Minsk.

Minsk

The capital city of Belarus has a lot to offer visitors. Head to Independence Square which at 7 hectares is one of the largest public squares in all of Europe, and is perfect for an evening stroll to take in the pretty water fountains and dancing lights.

Also not to be missed is Independence Avenue that acts as the main artery of the city, and has cafes, restaurants, and shopping opportunitiess, as well as clubs and music events.

Minsk is also known for its parks and gardens, so don’t miss a trip to the Gorky Central Children’s Park that features fairground rides as well as an observation wheel that provides stunning views over the city. Dive into Belarusian history at the National History Museum, or take in the cultural sights at the National Art Museum.

2. Braslav Lakes

Braslav Lakes

If you want to explore what is left of an ancient glacier then a visit to Braslav Lake Area is something that you can’t miss. There are approximately 300 lakes in the region that are known as the ‘Blue Necklace’ of Belarus due to their azure waters.

The area is also studded with rugged countryside such as bays and cliffs, and the lakes contain over 30 species of fish. Bird watching is a common pastime here as well as rambling and climbing.

You can also see the boulders left over as a result of the glacier, some of which can weigh up to 40 tonnes. The most famous of these rocks have names such as Devil’s Footprint and Cow’s Stone due to their size and shape

3. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park covers both Belarus and neighbouring Poland, and is a protected area of land as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The park is famous for its lush landscapes and flora and fauna, the most notable of which is the European Bison, and is one of the few places in the world where these majestic animals can be viewed in their natural habitat. As well as bison, there are also semi-wild horse known as konik, wild boar, and Eurasian elk found in the park.

If you should happen to come here during the winter months, there is a holiday museum that is set up at the park that features the Belarusian version of Father Christmas and is bound to be a hit with younger visitors.

4. Mir Castle

Mir Castle

One of the premium attractions in Belarus, Mir Castle lies in the Grodno region and dates from the 16th century. This mighty architectural feat is built in the Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, and is heavily surrounded by fortification walls.

Visitors to the castle can enjoy a stroll in the stunning flower gardens that are designed in the Italian style, as well as the vast artificial lake on the property.

The castle offers a spectacular look at some of the best architecture in Belarus, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and although it was badly damaged by cannon fire in the days of old, it has now been lovingly restored to its former glory.

5. Brest Hero Fortress Memorial Complex

Brest Hero Fortress Memorial Complex

A memorial complex erected in the city of Brest that stands on the site of the original fortress, Brest Fortress is dedicated to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War.

The site features conserved parts of the original ruins of the fortress as well as ramparts, and there are also modern art installations including memorial structures that stand on site.

The fortress is built in the shape of a star, and there is a central island in the centre on which the main citadel of the fortress sits, that has been naturally carved out by the surrounding Bug River.

6. National Park Pripyatsky

National Park Pripyatsky

National Park Pripyatsky lies in a valley that is also known as the Belarus Amazon, due to the amazing number of forests and swamps found here. Visitors to the region flock here for the sheer diversity of wildlife present, and photography safaris are a popular activity.

There are 51 species of mammals in the park including deer, elk, racoons, and beavers, as well as rarer animals such as lynx and mink. If you like bird watching then you will love it here, as there are over 250 species of birds that migrate to the Pripyat River.

The river also offers visitors the chance to take a boat tour to observe the aquatic life up close, and there are fishing and hunting trips available for those who want to explore the park even further. There is also a Nature Museum on site for those who want a more structured tour of the area.

7. Minsk Sea

Minsk Sea

Found to the north of the capital city of Minsk, the Minsk Sea is actually and artificially created reservoir that is popular amongst locals and tourists alike, particularly in the summer months in Belarus.

On the edges of the sea you will find sandy beaches, quaint local cafes, and restaurants where you can sample the local delicacies. If you want to get out on the sea, you can rent a pedalo or even a catamaran and take to the waters for a scenic view of the surrounding countryside.

To access the sea there are dedicated trains that depart from Minsk.

Lida

Located in the west of Belarus, the city of Lida is the home of Lida Castle, first constructed in the 14th century. The castle is known for being trapezium in shape, as well as for its crimson walls that are the result of the ornate brickwork.

Also of interest in Lida is the Church of Saint Joseph, a working church that is instantly recognizable due to the dome that tops the main building, and which was built in the 18th century.

There is also a large Jewish community in Lida, and visitors will find a wealth of Jewish eateries and shops, as well as a Jewish memorial stone in memory of the victims of the Second World War.

9. Berestye Archaeological Museum

Berestye Archaeological Museum

Berestye Archaeological Museum is one of the more unique museums in all of Belarus, and stands on an important archaeological site outside of the city of Brest that dates from the 13th century.

The site is that of a former wooden town that was excavated in the 1960s and turned into a museum in the 1980s when a class roof was placed over the site.

Visitors to the area can observe 28 traditional log cabins in addition to 1400 period artefacts from the region that give an amazing glimpse of life in Belarus in the days of old.

10. Polotsk

Cathedral of Saint Sophia, Polotsk

Known for being the oldest city in Belarus, having first been mentioned in the year 862, Polotsk is a place of significance historical and architectural importance and has a whole host of heritage buildings for visitors to explore.

The Cathedral of Saint Sophia dates from the medieval period and was restored over the years in the Baroque style, and there are several cultural museums of note in the city. For those interested in the rich textile industry in Belarus, there is the Museum of Traditional Weaving, as well as the Museum of Belarusian Printing that has examples of works that date from the 16th century.

You can also join a walking tour to explore Polotsk on foot and learn more about the history and culture of the region.

Grodno

Found on the western border of Belarus, come to the city of Grodno in particular for the Kalozha Church, a nominee as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is still in working order and is a place of worship for Orthodox Christians in Belarus, and is said to have been built in the 12th century.

The church sits on the banks of a river giving it a romantic waterside feel. Look out for the church’s six circular towers and the exquisite ceramic work in the interior. There are even frescoes said to date back to the 12th century.

Other attractions in Grodno include the Old Grodno Castle that is built from local stone and features a stone arch bridge that is still intact.

12. Brest Railway Museum

Brest Railway Museum

A quirky and whimsical spot in the town of Brest, located near the south western border of Belarus, the railway museum has fifty-six trains and features steam locomotives, steam cranes, diesel trains, and even a snow plough!

The museum opened in 2002 to showcase train travel in Belarus and is the first open-air museum in the country. There are various festivals held at the location so check the listings when you go to see what’s on throughout the year.

If you want to do something a little different then this is definitely well worth a visit if you happen to be in Brest.

13. Dudutki

Dudutki

If you fancy a day trip from Minsk, then head to Dudutki Ethnological Museum Complex to go back in time and take in the history and folklore of Belarus. The museum complex features local handicrafts and offers a glimpse into the local traditions of the people of Belarus.

You can learn how ancient horseshoes were made, watch local potters in action, and you can even stay on site at one of the period guesthouses that feature traditional Belarus saunas.

Another big draw at the museum complex is the creamery which features traditional cheeses and cheese making techniques that allow you to sample the local fare, and there is a bistro where you can enjoy a typical Belarus meal.

As if that wasn’t enough, there are stables, a vintage car museum, and romantic courtyards to explore at your leisure.

14. Nesvizh

Nesvizh Castle

The city of Nesvizh is famous for its medieval castle, also known as Nesvizh Castle. The building is a mix of Baroque and Renaissance styles, and was completed in the 17th century.

The former home of the Radziwill family, the castle is now open to the public who can explore the building as well as the sprawling gardens that are modelled on traditional English rose gardens.

The castle was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and from there visitors can move on to Corpus Christi Church, one of the oldest Jesuit churches in the world outside of Italy, that houses the tombs of the Radziwill family.

15. Tower of Kamyenyets

Tower of Kamyenyets

Also known as the ‘White Tower’, the Tower of Kamyenyets is actually red in colour due to its construction from red bricks in the 13th century. The tower stands in the town of Kamyenyets and in the past the tower was one of several located across Belarus, including in Kamyenyets, Brest, and Grodno.

Unfortunately, all of these were destroyed during various wars, and now only one remains.

Aside from visiting the tower which is a historic site in Belarus, visitors can also stop by a branch of the Brest Regional Museum that is also located on site.

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Discover Belarus

Belarus is famous for its national parks, historic castles, various health resorts and many other attractions. In addition to the impressive, modern and actively developing Minsk, other cities can pleasantly surprise and open our country to tourists.

One of the main advantages of Belarus is its vast forests and clean lakes and rivers. No wonder more than 40% of the territory of our country consists of forests, and the largest and oldest forest in Europe, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, is located in Belarus. European bison live in this mysterious forest.

Plains prevail in the Belarusian landscape, almost half of the territory is occupied by fields, meadows and forests. The country itself is often called "blue-eyed", because there are more than 13,000 rivers and lakes of amazing beauty in Belarus. For lovers of a relaxing holiday, this will be the best place in Europe.

In Belarus, you can feel the spirit of the Soviet era by visiting numerous monuments, museums and architectural ensembles. Particular attention is paid to preserving the memory of the events of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

Once upon a time Belarus was a multi-confessional country. Orthodox Christians, Catholics, Greek Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, and Jews lived here at different times. Undoubtedly, such a mixture of cultures could not but leave its traces. There are many artifacts and temples important for different confessions in our country.

The modern look of the country will also appeal to all lovers of outdoor activities: cafes and bars, the IT community, friendly and friendly residents, sports competitions and the absence of obstacles - all this will make your trip unforgettable!

Regions of Belarus

Belarus is divided into six regions and the city of Minsk, which has a special status being the capital of Belarus. Minsk is also the center of Minsk Region. Belarus has a common border with Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine

How to visit Belarus

According to the Presidential Decree, effective from July 27, 2018, foreign citizens of 74 countries can enter Belarus for up to 30 days* and exit from the territory of Belarus only through the State border checkpoint of the Republic of Belarus “Minsk National Airport”.  The given order of visa-free movement through the airport does not extend to persons coming to Belarus by plane from the Russian Federation, as well as to those who intend to fly to the airports of the Russian Federation (such flights are considered as internal ones and do not have border control). The term of visa-free stay is calculated in calendar days; the first day corresponds to the date of arrival, the last day coincides with the date of departure (regardless of the time of arrival and/or departure). Visa-free regime does not extend to holders of diplomatic, service, special and other passports equivalent to them. The trip is carried out for private, business, tourist or other purposes not related to employment, commercial activity and education, if the term of education exceeds 30 days. To enter the Republic of Belarus in the visa-free regime via the checkpoint “Minsk National Airport”, foreign nationals should have the following documents: — a valid ordinary passport. The passport must be valid at least 90 days beyond intended date of departure from the Republic of Belarus; — financial means: amount equivalent to not less than 2 base rates for each day of stay or 50 base rates if the stay is full 30 days, in Belarusian rubles or foreign currency; — a medical insurance policy with coverage for at least 10 000 euros, valid in Belarus during the whole duration of stay. For citizens of Vietnam, Haiti, Gambia, India, China, Lebanon, Namibia, Samoa a valid multiple visa of the EU member states or Schengen zone with a mark in passport on crossing the border of these states and tickets with confirmation of departure from “Minsk National Airport” within 30 days from the date of entry is a compulsory additional requirement. NB: When staying in Belarus for more than 10 working days, foreign citizens need to register with the divisions on citizenship and migration of the territorial bodies of internal affairs or via the unified portal for electronic services portal.gov.by. When staying in hotels, hostels, sanatoriums and other collective accommodation facilities the registration of foreign citizens is carried out by the administrations of such facilities by default upon check-in. The term of visa-free stay can not be extended beyond the established 30 days.

Foreign visitors can enter Belarus visa-free to visit the “Brest-Grodno” tourist visa-free zone for the period up to 15 days. 

Source:  https://mfa.gov.by/en/visa/freemove

Agritourism has become a kind of "visiting card" of tourism in Belarus. Like various spa complexes amd eco-trails it invites tourists to relax not only with their body, but also with their soul.

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Our country has a rich historical and cultural potential. Objects of intangible cultural heritage, festivals, ceremonial events, memorable dates ... Be inspired by Belarus through impressions!

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tourism en belarus

Long regarded by travellers as little more than a curiosity, Belarus has suddenly emerged as one of Europe’s ‘it’ destinations. Fuelling that rise are relaxed visa requirements, a sneaky-good art and cafe scene, and hospitable locals. While political dissent remains muted, the country seems to be having fun again.

Attractions

Must-see attractions.

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Nyasvizh Castle

Over a causeway leading away from the town with lovely lakes on either side lies this palace-like castle and park complex. Erected by the Radziwill family…

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The 16th-century Mir Castle, reflected magnificently in an adjoining pond, resembles something straight out of Disney. A recent renovation has the place…

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Museum of the Great Patriotic War

Housed in a garish new building, Minsk's best museum houses an excellent display detailing Belarus' suffering and heroism during the Nazi occupation. With…

Homel Palace

Homel Palace

Homel's signature attraction was built by Field Marshal Pyotr Rumyantsev in the late 19th century, soon after Homel became part of the Russian Empire. He…

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Museum of Railway Technology

The outdoor Museum of Railway Technology has a superb collection of locomotives and carriages dating from 1903 (eg the Moscow–Brest Express, with shower…

Vul Kastrychnitskaya

Vul Kastrychnitskaya

Vul Kastrychnitskaya – still known by its Soviet name, ulitsa Oktyabrskaya – has blossomed into Minsk's unofficial arts district. Brazilian street artists…

Battle scarred gate in Brest Fortress.

Brest Fortress

During Operation Barbarossa in the early days of the Great Patriotic War (WWII), a small band of soldiers gallantly held off a superior Nazi force at…

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Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Unesco World Heritage Site Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park is the oldest wildlife refuge in Europe and the pride of Belarus. At the National Park…

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tourism en belarus

Apr 23, 2021 • 6 min read

April 26 marks the 35th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Travel writer Richard Collett traveled to see the lesser-visited exclusion zone in Belarus. 

tourism en belarus

Jun 19, 2019 • 2 min read

St Nikolaiv Church in Brest © Greg Bloom / Lonely Planet

Feb 1, 2017 • 5 min read

Mary Magdalene Orthodox church and dome, Minsk. Image by Sir Francis Canker Photography / Getty Images

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Holy Spirit cathedral, 1642-1687, Minsk, Belarus, 17th century

Places to visit in Belarus in a 1-week itinerary

By Joan Torres Leave a comment Last updated on April 24, 2024

Belarus one week itinerary

Belarus may not be the most exotic destination we talk about in this blog but, with all its bizarre places, it truly deserves to be marked as an actual Against the Compass country, for real.

The Soviet Heritage is, definitely, the highlight and the country’s main magnet, ranging from a former Soviet border turned into an open-air museum to endless metro stations featuring Lenin and the hammer and sickle.

Moreover, with more than 11,000 lakes and 40% of its territory composed of misty forest, the landscapes are splendid, dazzling; and you will discover that the capital Minsk, composed of stately Stalinist architecture, is by far, the most majestic capital in the former USSR, outside of Russia.

Add to this a few UNESCO World Heritage castles and the largest Chernobyl Exclusion Zone that nobody visits and Belarus will certainly blow your mind, especially, because you don’t really expect it.

In this post, I will show you all the places to visit in Belarus in a 1-week itinerary , with a special mention of the most offbeat stuff.

For all the generic information, including how to get a visa, getting around and all travel tips, check my practical guide to Belarus

Belarus itinerary

In this Belarus itinerary you will find:

Table of Contents

  • 7-day itinerary
  • Day 1, 2 – Minsk
  • Day 3 – Stalin Line
  • Day 4 – Nesvizh

Day 5 – Brest

Day 6 – grodno, day 7 – back to minsk.

  • Extending your itinerary
  • More information

our recommended travel insurance for Belarus

With all the current sanctions, IATI Insurance is one of the very few that covers travel in Belarus.

How many days are needed for completing a proper Belarus travel itinerary?

Most travelers used to spend a maximum of 5 days in Belarus, especially because, until very recently, that was the maximum number of days the free visa on arrival (VOA) allowed you to stay.

Today, however, you can get a 30-day VOA (see my Belarus travel guide for more information), so you can finally explore all around the country bureaucratic-hassle-free (almost).

Related: Moldova travel itinerary

Belarus 3, 4-day itinerary

Belarus is so close to anywhere in Europe and visiting it – even if it’s just for a few days – is undoubtedly worth it, as you can properly visit Minsk , plus do 1 or 2 days trips to one of the UNESCO World Heritage castles and the Stalin Line.

Belarus 1-week itinerary

If you have a full week, you can get on a Soviet train to Brest and perhaps, pay a visit to the city of Grodno.

This is the Belarus itinerary described in this post.

Belarus 10-15-day itinerary

With 10 days, I recommend you visit the northern lakes of Braslaw and, if you have 2 entire weeks, do visit the Soviet city of Mogilev and Chernobyl Exclusion Zone .

Useful books for planning your Belarus travel itinerary

Belarus travel guide by bradt.

A super guide, the one I personally bought. Bradt has the most insightful guides and they always focus on off the beaten track countries.

tourism en belarus

Eastern Europe travel guide by Lonely Planet (2019)

If you are traveling all around the region, you can also get this generic guide, which includes one chapter about Belarus.

tourism en belarus

Belarus Itinerary: Places to visit in Belarus in a 1-week itinerary

Moving around Belarus is very easy. On the one hand, you have marshrutkas (the local bus) and on the other hand, you can travel on a Soviet train. Train tickets can be booked here . For more information, check my Belarus travel guide .

Day 1, 2 – Minsk, most majestic capital in USSR

Minsk is a reason by itself to come to this country, and the best place to visit in Belarus.

This is one of the least known cities in Europe, a capital composed of imposing Stalinist architecture but, also, a city filled with craft beer bars and a dynamic young hip-vibe.

tourism en belarus

Places to visit in Minsk in 2 days

These are just a few of the things to see in Minsk, all located near and around downtown.

Minsk is pretty big however and if you have more than 2 days, I recommend you check out all Minsk’s Soviet Heritage , which you can read about in my post.

  • Minsk City Gates – Built at the end of the WWII, these glorious twin towers were built in the style of Stalinist Classicism.
  • House of Government and Lenin statue – One of the few pre-war Soviet buildings that wasn’t destroyed
  • Saint Simon and Saint Helen Cathedral – A Roman Catholic Church and one of the few Christian sites in Minsk.
  • KGB Headquarters – As the name suggests
  • GUM State Department Store – A Soviet-era mall
  • Belarusian State Circus – Built by Stalin as a prize for Belarus’ contribution to the victory over the Nazis.

tourism en belarus

  • Island of Tears – A monument to commemorate the victims of the Afghan war.
  • Soviet KFC – An American KFC featuring a massive Soviet mural.
  • Minsk Old Town – Recently renovated, here you will find some cool bars.
  • Zair Azgur Memorial Studio – A museum containing statues of renowned Soviet leaders.
  • Museum of the Great Patriotic War – The WWII museum

For more information on all those places, read my guide to visit Minsk

Interested in visiting Minsk on a walking tour? CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

tourism en belarus

Where to stay in Minsk

Budget Hostel – Urban Hostel Minsk – A modern hostel for backpackers in the best area.

Budget apartment – Center Minsk Apartments – In Minsk, apartments are a great value for money option. This one is in the city center.

Mid-range Hotel – Willing Hotel – Super neat hotel close to bars and restaurants from Octoberskaya. The best choice for mid-range travelers.

Top-end Hotel – President Hotel – The best 5-star hotel in Minsk.

tourism en belarus

Day 3 – Day trip to the Stalin Line

If you are interested in Soviet history, this will be your favorite place to visit in Belarus.

The Stalin Line is the former USSR border with Europe, built by Stalin in an attempt to build a defense against potential European attacks.

Today, they have turned it into the most insane propaganda open-air museum, a crazy Soviet theme park where you can get in the former trenches, enter Soviet bunkers, check a recreation of the physical border and even shoot with actual guns from the era.

There is also a permanent exhibition featuring both Soviet and Nazi tanks, as well as all kinds of weapon.

English tour for the Stalin Line ! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

tourism en belarus

How to get to the Stalin Line from Minsk

Head to the bus station (Druznaya), located just across from the main railway station, where you will have to take a marshrutka towards Maladzyechna, and tell the driver you wish to get off at Lenina Stalina (Stalin Line).

As an alternative, you can visit Khatyn Memorial complex , a village burnt by the Nazis today turned into a Memorial. In order to get there, you must head to Druznaya and take the marshrutka that goes to Vitebsk but tell the driver that you want to get off at Khatyn’s intersection, from where you will have to walk for 6km to the actual site.

tourism en belarus

Day 4 – Nesvizh and Nesvizh Castle

A 500-year-old town in rural Belarus, home to a UNESCO World Heritage castle named after the town itself: Nesvizh , or Njasvizh .

To be honest, Nesvizh town doesn’t have any attractive, but we spent our stay in a pleasant wooden guest house and also had dinner in a relatively fancy restaurant, so our short 1-day stay was great.

The main reason to come here, however, is to check out a beautiful castle from the 13th century that served as a residence for the Radziwill Family, a noble family originally from present Lithuania.

You can learn more about it here .

The castle is delightful but to our surprise, the thing we enjoyed the most was the location, especially because we came in the month of November, when the autumn colors were at their best, so we sneaked in a bottle of wine and finished it under a tree with the best castle views.

If you have your own vehicle, it is realistic to also visit Mir Castle on the same day, as it is only 30 minutes away from Nesvizh but, if going by public transportation, it would be challenging to fit it in this Belarus one-week itinerary.

Belarus travel itinerary

How to get to Nesvizh from Minsk

You must take a train to a village called Haradzeya, from where you can take a marshrutka to the village of Nesvizh.

Visit both Nesvizh and Mir castles on an organized tour from Minsk CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Where to stay in Nesvizh

Nice local guest house – Agrousadba Nesvizhskaya – The place we stayed at was absolutely great. Cozy wooden rooms with a great balcony and a lovely family. Ideal for budget travelers.

Mid-range – Palace Hotel – Located within the castle walls, hence made of classic architecture and surrounded by gorgeous nature, this inexpensive hotel has the most prime location in the city.

tourism en belarus

After Minsk, Brest must be the most cosmopolitan city in Belarus but this isn’t a coincidence because Brest has always been located in a very strategic position, traditionally, in the middle of a trading route from Moscow to Berlin and today, within walking distance from Poland, the reason why many Brest citizens feel culturally, and also emotionally, closer to the EU than Russia.

The city, nevertheless, is pretty quiet but it has a few markets and bars which are definitely worth stopping at, plus here you find an unmissable site of your Belarus travel itinerary, Brest Fortress .

beautiful places to visit in Belarus

Places to visit in Brest

Brest Fortress – A massive fortress from the 18th century, but more famous for being the defensive line which the Germans managed to break through, hence beginning the invasion of Belarus.

The defense of the fortress from the Nazi attacks is seen, by people from all over the USSR, as one of the most heroic events in the history of the nation.

There is even a good movie about it which I recommend you watch.

Today, the fortress has been turned into a big memorial that houses many museums and tanks, the highlight being a giant bust (the biggest I have ever seen) of an unknown soldier.

Gagarin Café – A Soviet-themed café named after famous cosmonaut Gagarin and decorated with all sort of Soviet stuff, from propaganda to holiday brochures.

The waitresses are lovely and they dress up in traditional clothes from the era.

The restaurant’s menu had all the classics, with very high-quality food, and I recommend you order borsch, pelmeni and dranikis.

Soviet street (Sovetskaya street) – This is nothing more than the main leisure street that houses a bunch of bars, restaurants, cinemas, etc. The best place to hang out before or after visiting Brest fortress.

Visit Brest on a guided tour! CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

Kafe Gagarin Brest

Where to stay in Brest

Backpacking Hostel – Privokzalnyi Hostel – The best option for backpackers.

Budget Apartment – City Centre Apartment – We stayed in this apartment located in the city center. Fully equipped and very comfortable.

Nice hotel – Hampton – One of the best value-for-money options in town, if you fancy a good hotel.

4-star hotel – Hermitage Hotel – If you are fancying a bit of luxury and extra comfort, this stylish, classic hotel is located at the heart of Brest.

How to get to Brest from Nesvizh (or Minsk)

If you are in Nesvizh, you must go back to the city of Haradzeya and catch the train.

If you are in Minsk, you can easily book a direct train.

tourism en belarus

Grodno is located at the border with Lithuania and, as such, it reminded me a lot of Vilnius, architecturally-speaking.

As in the rest of Belarus, in Grodno you will also find a Lenin statue and, of course, a T-34 tank but it has nothing to do with the Soviet Belarus you have seen so far, like not at all.

In fact, Grodno’s old town seemed to me like the most touristic place in the country or, at least, the most properly prepared to host tourists, especially because, for years, the border that leads to Grodno was the only place where you could get a visa on arrival, with the only condition that you would not leave Grodno Oblast (region), this way benefiting from the overland tourism from neighboring Poland and Lithuania.

Belarus route

Places to visit in Grodno

In my humble opinion, Grodno is a pleasant town to walk around, but its touristic sites are not very exciting.

There is the Old Castle , which is all right and then, the most beautiful place is Sovetskaya square , where you find St. Francis Xavier Cathedral , the most important church in the city.

Grodno, Belarus

Where to stay in Grodno

Backpacker Hostel – GOSteam Hostel – We stayed in this hostel which also had private rooms. The location was excellent, right next to the city’s main square.

Budget apartment in Grodno – Functional, comfortable apartments in Grodno City Center.

Nice hotel – Hotel Prival – A beautifully decorated hotel built inside a classical building.

How to get to Grodno

From Brest, you can take a direct nearly 4-hour marshrutka.

tourism en belarus

Grodno is nearly 300km away from Minsk. Trains run often and the journey takes a couple of hours.

Extending your itinerary: Additional places to visit in Belarus

If you are having some extra days, you may add the following places to your Belarus itinerary:

Braslav Lakes (3 days)

Located 250km north of Minsk, in Vitebsk Oblast, Braslav Lakes is a 70,000ha National Park composed of hundreds of blue-water lakes, interconnected by a maze of hundreds of rivers.

If you want to explore the most beautiful natural place in Belarus, it doesn’t get better than Braslav.

It’s a big region where you will find many villages, many of them having plenty of accommodation options, especially in Braslav, but I recommend you stay in a place outside of town, like in the village of Slobodka or Lake Zovolo.

Mogilev (2 days)

Mogilev is another city and oblast, once the industrial and agricultural center of Belarus, but the region’s economy went into decline as a direct consequence of the Chernobyl disaster, as a large part of the oblast was highly affected by the radioactivity.

There aren’t proper touristic places to visit in Mogilev, other than this is the most traditionally Soviet city in Belarus, with loads of Soviet buildings and functional collective farms, so only the most intrepid travelers should it to their Belarus itinerary.

Moreover, in Mogilev Oblast you also find Aleksandriya, a small village 40km north of Mogilev, famous for being Lukashenko’s birthplace , the first and only Belarusian President. In the school’s village, there’s a propaganda museum devoted to his personality.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

The Nuclear Plant of Chernobyl is located in the city of Prypiat, Ukraine .

Nevertheless, due to the wind’s direction, most of the radiation ended up on Belarus, contaminating 25% of the country’s territory.

Therefore, Belarus is the country that suffered the consequences the most but people seem to forget that.

Anyways, in Belarus there is an Exclusion Zone which is barely visited, and you can go there on a guided tour, this way avoiding the crowds of the already sensationalist Chernobyl tour in Ukraine.

The problem, however, is that there aren’t many scheduled group tours, but you need to be lucky and plan it in advance. Otherwise, you can also do a tailor-made tour, but it will be expensive.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to join a group through this website .

tourism en belarus

More information to complement your Belarus itinerary

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

All guides and articles for traveling in Belarus destination

  • Travel Guide to Minsk
  • Unusual Things to do in Belarus
  • Belarus Travel Guide

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Belarus: A Complete Travel Guide

If the idea of exploring a destination that’s rich in history and culture, yet relatively untrodden by the typical tourist appeals to you, Belarus should top your travel list. It offers tranquil nature escapes, extraordinary wildlife, fascinating historical sites, and a captivating culture.

Visitors to Belarus are often struck by the warm hospitality of its people. The Belarusians are proud of their cultural heritage and traditions, and they eagerly share these experiences with guests.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Belarus

Belarus, a country situated in Eastern Europe, is often overlooked by many travelers. But those who venture into this hidden gem discover a world of timeless charm, rich traditions, and diverse landscapes.

Geographically, Belarus is landlocked, bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Despite its central location in Europe, Belarus is one of the continent’s lesser-explored countries.

Belarus spans an area of approximately 207,600 square kilometers and is home to about 9.5 million people. Its largest and most populous city, Minsk, serves as the country’s capital.

tourism en belarus

The country is renowned for its rich historical heritage, with well-preserved castles, grand fortresses, and WWII-war memorials dotting the land. However, Belarus is not stuck in the past; it’s a place where history and modernity blend seamlessly. Among the medieval architecture, you’ll find bustling cityscapes, innovative tech hubs, and contemporary art scenes.

Belarus’s natural beauty is no less impressive. A significant portion of the country is covered by lush forests, which are home to a diverse range of wildlife. Four national parks and more than a hundred nature reserves protect its exceptional biodiversity, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Rahachow District, Belarus

The Belarusian culture is a melting pot of influences from its neighboring countries, yet it has a distinct identity. From traditional folk music and dance to an exciting gastronomic scene, you’ll find expressions of the country’s spirit and lifestyle at every turn.

Top Cities to Explore in Belarus

Belarus, despite its relatively small size, is home to several cities, each offering a unique perspective of the country’s rich history, culture, and natural beauty. Here are the top cities that you must include in your Belarus travel itinerary.

Minsk – The Modern Capital

Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is a vibrant city that beautifully encapsulates the spirit of the country. It’s a city where the old and the new converge harmoniously. The city’s architectural landscape is a mixture of Soviet-era buildings, modern high-rises, and historical structures. Key attractions include Independence Square, the monumental KGB Headquarters, the Holy Spirit Cathedral, and the impressive National Library of Belarus. Don’t miss exploring the Trinity Suburb, the oldest surviving district of Minsk, boasting charming houses and cobbled streets.

Church of Saints Simon and Helena.

Brest – A City of Rich History

Located near the Polish border, Brest is one of the oldest cities in Belarus and is steeped in history. It houses the Brest Fortress, a massive complex recognized for its significant role during World War II. Walking through the fortress, you’ll get a sense of the city’s resilient past. Beyond its historical sites, Brest is also known for its vibrant shopping street, Sovetskaya Street, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes.

Grodno – A Taste of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Grodno is another gem in Belarus that’s worth visiting. This city was once part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and its architectural style reflects this rich past. The city’s architectural highlights include the Grodno Castle and St. Francis Xavier Cathedral. Furthermore, Grodno is the gateway to Augustow Canal Park – a unique hydraulic-engineering ensemble of the 19th century.

Vitebsk – The Cultural Hub

Vitebsk is widely recognized as the cultural capital of Belarus. It was the birthplace of Marc Chagall, the famous painter, whose house has now been turned into a museum. Every summer, the city holds the Slavianski Bazaar, a festival celebrating Slavic music and arts, attracting artists and visitors from all around the world.

Gomel – The City of Parks

Gomel is the second-largest city in Belarus, known for its tranquil vibe and beautiful parks. The Gomel Palace and Park Ensemble is a must-visit, featuring a palace, chapel, and a large park with swan-filled ponds. It’s an ideal city for those looking to unwind and relax amid nature without straying too far from urban conveniences.

Exploring these cities gives you a broad perspective of Belarus, from its eventful history and rich culture to its contemporary life and natural allure. Each city has a unique tale to tell, and together, they weave the fascinating narrative of Belarus.

Popular Attractions in Belarus

Beyond its cities, Belarus is home to an array of attractions that reveal the country’s natural beauty, rich history, and cultural significance. Here are some must-visit attractions that should not be missed during your visit to Belarus.

Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, one of Europe’s largest primeval forests, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is renowned for its ancient oak trees, some of which are over 600 years old, and its diverse wildlife, including the iconic European bison.

Nesvizh Castle

A visit to Belarus would not be complete without exploring the Nesvizh Castle, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This impressive fortress was the residential castle of the Radziwiłł family and reflects the architectural and cultural influence they had over the region. The castle, surrounded by a beautiful park, houses a museum and hosts cultural events.

Bialowieza Forest

Straddling the border between Belarus and Poland, the Bialowieza Forest is another must-visit for nature lovers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest that once spread across the European Plain. It is also home to the continent’s heaviest land animal, the European bison.

The Mir Castle complex is a unique monument of Belarusian architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site, combining the features of a medieval fortress and a Baroque and Renaissance palace. This 16th-century castle is surrounded by a picturesque pond and a landscaped garden, making it a perfect spot for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

Dudutki Open Air Museum

Experience traditional Belarusian life at the Dudutki Open Air Museum. Here, you can discover traditional crafts, taste local food and drinks, and even participate in workshops. The museum exhibits the historical and cultural aspects of Belarusian rural life in a lively and engaging way.

Gomel Palace & Park Ensemble

Located in the city of Gomel, this architectural complex is a prime example of late 18th-century aristocratic residence. The complex includes a palace, chapel, burial vault, winter garden, watchtower, and a park. It is a perfect place to stroll and enjoy the scenic beauty.

These attractions offer a glimpse into the diverse experiences that await in Belarus. Whether you’re exploring the ancient forests, marveling at architectural masterpieces, or stepping back in time at open-air museums, Belarus promises a wealth of unique experiences.

Experience the Culture and Cuisine of Belarus

Belarusian culture, deeply rooted in history and tradition, is a captivating blend of Slavic customs, influences from neighboring countries, and a unique Belarusian essence. This rich cultural tapestry is vibrantly reflected in the country’s festivities, arts, music, and of course, its cuisine.

Cultural Experiences

Belarusian culture is alive in its folk art, music, and traditional festivals. The local folk music, often accompanied by traditional dance, is an integral part of Belarusian identity. You might have the opportunity to witness folk performances at local events or festivals, and it is well worth your time.

Belarus is known for its rich traditions in linen production and straw weaving. The crafted items, such as linen clothes, straw toys, and other traditional handicrafts, are not only popular souvenirs but also beautiful expressions of Belarusian culture.

If you are visiting in February, don’t miss Maslenitsa, a traditional pre-Lenten festival with feasts, sleigh rides, and folk games. Kupala Night, held in June, is another fascinating celebration involving traditional rituals, singing, dancing, and a search for the mythical fern flower.

Belarusian Cuisine

Belarusian cuisine offers a flavorful journey through the country’s history and traditions. The cuisine is characterized by simple, hearty dishes often made from vegetables, berries, mushrooms, meats, and grains that are readily available in the country’s fertile lands.

A classic Belarusian dish to try is “draniki,” a type of potato pancake that is often served with sour cream or meat. “Borscht,” a beetroot soup commonly associated with Eastern European cuisine, also features prominently in Belarusian meals. Other traditional dishes include “kolduny” (meat-stuffed potato pancakes), “babka” (baked grated potato pie), and “vereshchaka” (a meat stew served with buckwheat pancakes).

Belarusians are also fond of their dairy products, and local cheeses are worth tasting. For the sweet-toothed, “zefir,” a marshmallow-like dessert, and “kommunarka,” a local chocolate, are a must-try.

Pair these meals with “krambambula,” a traditional Belarusian alcoholic beverage made from honey and spices, or “kvas,” a fermented beverage made from rye bread.

Diving into Belarusian culture and cuisine allows you to connect with the country’s rich history, understand its traditions, and appreciate the warmth and hospitality of its people. From vibrant festivals to comforting food, Belarus offers a cultural experience that lingers in the hearts of its visitors.

Practical Information for Traveling to Belarus

Planning a trip to Belarus involves several practical considerations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. Here is some essential information you need to know before you embark on your Belarus adventure.

Belarusian and Russian are the two official languages in Belarus. While younger people and those working in tourism may speak some English, it’s not widely spoken, especially among the older generation. Learning a few basic phrases in Russian or Belarusian can enrich your travel experience and help you connect with locals.

The official currency is the Belarusian ruble (BYN). Credit and debit cards are widely accepted in cities and towns, but it’s a good idea to have some local currency on hand, especially when traveling in rural areas.

Belarusian ruble current exchange rates

  • 100 BYN = $30.55 or $1 = 3.27 Belarusian ruble
  • 100 BYN = €28.43 or €1 = 3.52 Belarusian ruble

Other currencies:

  • 100 BYN = 24.02 British Pounds
  • 100 BYN = 45.79 Australian Dollar
  • 100 BYN = 41.89 Canadian Dollar
  • 100 BYN = 319.02 Swedish Krona
  • 100 BYN = 122.92 Polish Zloty
  • 100 BYN = 707.95 Czech Koruna
  • 100 BYN = 42,237.49 South Korean Won
  • 100 BYN = 221.67 Chinese Yuan
  • 100 BYN = 4,824.48 Japanese Yen

Weather and Best Time to Visit

Belarus experiences a moderate continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers. The best time to visit depends on your activities. For sightseeing, the warmer months from May to September are ideal. If you’re interested in winter sports, the colder months from December to February would be suitable.

Best Time to Visit Belarus in 2024 for Cultural Events, Nature Trails, and Historical Tours: Belarus Weather Guide

Transportation

Belarus has an efficient public transportation system, with extensive train and bus networks covering the country. In cities, public transport includes buses, trolleybuses, trams, and in Minsk, a metro system. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also readily available.

Health and Safety

Belarus is generally a safe country for tourists, with a low crime rate. However, as with any travel destination, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure.

For health considerations, it’s recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical expenses. Also, check if you need any vaccinations before your trip.

Connectivity

Belarus has good internet connectivity, with widespread Wi-Fi access in cities and towns. It might be useful to get a local SIM card if you need regular internet access.

Remember, this information can change, so it’s important to research and check for updates before your trip. With these practical aspects taken care of, you can focus on experiencing the best of what Belarus has to offer.

Useful Websites

  • Belarus Official Travel Website https://www.belarus.by/en/travel/travel : This is the official travel portal of Belarus. It provides comprehensive information about travel and tourism, including popular attractions, travel tips, and event listings.
  • Belavia Airlines https://en.belavia.by/ : The national carrier of Belarus. This site can help you with flight bookings to and from Belarus and provides useful information on the airline’s operations.
  • Belarusian Railway https://www.rw.by/en/ : The official website of the Belarusian Railway, useful for checking train schedules, booking tickets, and understanding the rail network in Belarus.
  • Minsk Guide https://www.minsk-guide.com/ : An online guide providing information about the city of Minsk, including attractions, dining, entertainment, and accommodation.
  • Tut.by https://news.tut.by/tourism/ : A popular Belarusian news portal that has a dedicated tourism section providing updates on travel-related news in Belarus.
  • BelarusFeed https://belarusfeed.com/ : An English-language website covering news and stories about Belarus, including travel and lifestyle topics.
  • TripAdvisor Belarus Forum https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g294447-i5620-Belarus.html : A platform where you can find traveler reviews, tips, and discussions about traveling in Belarus.
  • Lonely Planet Belarus https://www.lonelyplanet.com/belarus : Provides travel information about Belarus, including top experiences, travel tips, articles, and guides.

From its thriving cities filled with history and culture to its untouched natural landscapes, the country holds an allure that’s waiting to be discovered. Experience the charm of its traditions, savor its unique cuisine, and lose yourself in its myriad attractions. With the right planning and knowledge, your trip to Belarus promises to be an unforgettable journey into the heart of this captivating nation. Discover Belarus – the unexplored paradise of Eastern Europe, where every experience is a story waiting to be told.

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tourism en belarus

A magnificent church in the Neo-Gothic style, which can decorate any European capital, was built in the village of Gerviaty in the years 1899-1903 at the expense of Prince Olszewski.

tourism en belarus

The Zdravnevo estate is located near the village of Koitovo, on the left bank of the Western Dvina. In 1892 it was acquired by the famous Russian painter Ilya Repin.

tourism en belarus

Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.

tourism en belarus

The National Park Narochansky is located in the north-west of the country and is part of the Belarusian Lake District. Naroch Lake area is a unique natural treasure and the largest resort region of Belarus. Picturesque sceneries, clear lakes and rivers and healing mineral springs attract visitors from all over the world.

tourism en belarus

The National Library of Belarus, being at the head of the library system of the country, is the keeper of a powerful information resource. For more than 90 years it has been collecting the documentary heritage of the Belarusian people.

tourism en belarus

Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve has a particular role in nature protection, what is highlighted at national and international levels.

tourism en belarus

Hundreds of picturesque lakes, primeval nature and an unusual landscape shaped by the Ice Age made the Braslav region one of Belarus’ most amazing places.

tourism en belarus

Iconic Minsk Victory Square is both a famous tourist attraction in Belarus and a place of pilgrimage for Belarusians remembering those who died in the Great Patriotic War (World War 2).

tourism en belarus

Augustow Canal is an outstanding hydraulic engineering installation of the 19th century, one of Europe’s largest canals, which has been included onto the preliminary UNESCO World Heritage List.

tourism en belarus

Khatyn memorial, in the Minsk region of Belarus, remains one of the most haunting memorials of World War 2 in all Europe

tourism en belarus

Trinity Suburb is an old picturesque part of Minsk located on the bank of the Svisloch River in the city center. Its cozy little streets and houses, with tile roofs and delicate colors, have become a symbol of Minsk. Their image can be often seen on souvenirs and candy.

tourism en belarus

The town of Kamenets, Brest Oblast, is home to a unique specimen of defense architecture – the Kamenets Tower (also referred to as the Kamenets pillar or Kamenets Vezha). Its origins go back a long way to the second half of the 13th century.

tourism en belarus

The primeval forest of this National Park is home to over 900 plants and 250 animals and birds, including several rare species.

tourism en belarus

Brest Fortress, one of the most important places in Belarus, dates back to the 19th century and became a key symbol of Soviet resistance in World War 2.

tourism en belarus

Vitebsk, the hometown of Marc Chagall, was an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the artist during his whole life. Domes of churches and old streets, miniature houses and shops with signboards, strips of wooden fences, horse-cab drivers in the streets are perpetuated in the artist’s canvases together with the famous angels and lovers in the sky...

tourism en belarus

Mir Castle in Grodno region is one of the most important tourist attractions in Belarus, an outstanding 16th-century fortification and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

tourism en belarus

Sts Boris and Gleb Church (Kolozha Church) is an architectural pearl of ancient Grodno, a unique specimen of Eastern Orthodox architecture in Belarus and entire Eastern Europe.

tourism en belarus

The Belarusian State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War was the world’s first museum to tell the story of the bloodiest war of the 20th century, and the only one in Belarus created during the years of Nazi occupation.

tourism en belarus

The top list of free attractions in Belarus is opened by Belarusian castles. Combining various architectonic and constructive elements and traits of different epochs and styles, they become a great touristic opportunity not only for those interested in history and culture, but actually for everyone.

tourism en belarus

Nesvizh Palace is considered the country’s most beautiful and renowned palace. Its richly diverse architecture and attractive gardens were designated the national historical and cultural reserve, and in 2006 it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Best attractions in Belarus: Top 15

tourism en belarus

Belarusian sights are a tidbit for those who collect vivid impressions. The originality of this country lies in the peculiarity of national traditions and rich culture. Travelling to Belarus will give you many fascinating acquaintances with historical and cultural monuments.

What to see first of all in Belarus

For your trip to bring only positive emotions it makes sense to plan the route beforehand, and guides in Belorussia will help you to find your way around. Please note that some of the monuments of nature and architecture are located in one city or in neighboring settlements - it will allow you to see as much interesting things as possible in one visit.

Sights of Belarus - Brest

If you’re thinking about what to see in Belarus, the legendary city of Brest should be your first choice. It is a quiet and tranquil city that is lost in the southwestern part of the country. The cultural life of Brest is rich and its economy is developing dynamically.

A geographical peculiarity is the fact that Brest stands at the confluence of the Western Bug and Mukhavets. Historians have established that the first mention of the city dates back to 1019. It was then that a new species of elm - birch bark, which gave its name to the city, was spread in Russia.

Brest has a heroic history. Invasions of enemies and raids of nomads many times destroyed the architecture of the city. Nowadays, a great interest for tourists is the Brest Fortress, which witnessed the heroic battles during the Great Patriotic War. The feat of the people here is engraved in stone.

Official site: https://www.brest-fortress.by

Belarus | Save on hotel reservations

2. nesvizh castle (nesvizh).

Sights of Belarus - Nesvizh Castle

The town of Nesvizh is nestled almost next to Minsk. It’s a small provincial town that was once a major principality of Lithuania. Nesvizh Castle is a reflection of the luxury of the Lithuanian nobility. It is large, ambitious and very strict. The architectural structure was built in the sixteenth century.

Originally the project was built of wood. Later the building was many times modernized. In the facing of its facade, as well as in the arrangement of interior partitions had been used stone. The palace complex is decorated in a restrained style. Yellow-brown facades contrast with the terracotta roof. The rounded lattice windows are a direct reference to the style of the old times, when every window had to be secured against unwanted intrusion.

The castle was planned as a fortification structure. Its architecture is subordinated to the idea of protection. For example, it is known that ancient architects strengthened the earth ramparts with a brick wall 4 m high. Deep ditches were dug around the castle, which were filled with water from the local river Osh. In the 16th century, it was possible to get into some fortification structure only by the collapsible bridge. Several more secret passages were arranged in this castle.

As a defensive structure, the castle was quite justified, as it was defended by 30 guns. Those tourists who are solving the question of what to see in Belarus, should definitely get acquainted with this castle and its main attraction - the Golden Hall.

Official site: https://niasvizh.by

3. Mir Castle (Mir)

Sights of Belarus - Mir Castle

In the Grodno region there is an amazing architectural structure - the Mir Castle. From the outside it looks like a birthday cake. The cream-brown tones in the facades and the pointed towers make it look festive and smart. And in fact, it is a powerful fortification. The towers of the castle are 25 meters high. Mir Castle has everything for those tourists who are thinking about what to see in Belarus.

Interestingly, the underground part of the castle greatly exceeds its above-ground component. The underground has an extensive system of passages, in which it is easy to get lost without a guide. Directors of adventure films often use the castle as a background for their films.

For tourists the castle is also interesting because, according to legend, it is haunted. Who knows, maybe it is true. Excursion group is necessarily told that at night in the dungeon you can hear the clanking of weapons and groans. The inner courtyard of the castle is lined with large paving stones, which further enhances the impression of an ancient structure.

As for the functions of the fortification, they were reinforced by water protection. The castle now has access roads to make it more convenient for travelers to view it.

Official website: https://mirzamak.by

4. Church of St. Simeon and St. Helen (Minsk)

Sights of Belarus - Church of Saints Simeon and Helen

The Church of Saints Simeon and Helen in Minsk was built of red brick. It is visible from various points of the city, as the building is quite high. An amazing feature of this monument is that it fills everyone who visits it with kindness and bright thoughts. The church was built at the beginning of the last century.

It has preserved its original architecture, although Minsk was ravaged many times during the war. The church is dedicated to the dead children of the Minsk nobleman Voynilovich. In 1910, the temple was consecrated. It has a second name by the color of the stone - the Red Church.

Voynilovich was a prominent political figure in Belarus in the early 20th century. The church was named after the saints who were the patrons of his children.

The Soviet regime caused the destruction of many historical sites in Belarus. This church was not an exception. However, the authorities are careful with the culture of the country, so the church at different times was restored. The remains of Edvard Voynilovich were reburied there in 2006.

5. St. Sophia Cathedral (Polotsk)

Sights of Belarus - Saint Sophia Cathedral

Looking for something to see in Belarus? St. Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk should not be left without your attention. The Christian shrine, erected in the eleventh century, originally served as a fortification structure. The state power had its landmark symbols at all times. In the 11th century such a symbol was the St. Sophia Cathedral. It was on the territory of this cathedral that ambassadors from other states were received.

There were stored religious shrines. Since the 11th century the cathedral had been rebuilt or reconstructed many times. But the global change of its architectural shape has undergone in 18 century. The cathedral was blown up in order to build an even more magnificent structure in its place. Nevertheless, the elements of 11th century architecture in the new structure have been preserved to this day. For example, here you can see the remains of ancient frescoes.

The cathedral is a masterpiece of architectural sights of Belarus. The decoration and geometry of the location of the towers is such that visitors experience a real aesthetic shock. The optical perspective creates the impression of a lacy outline of the towers resembling a crown.

The architectural style in which the cathedral is executed meets the Baroque criteria. Among the many relief compositions the most famous is the “Trinity of the New Testament”. The style of its execution is rococo. Visiting the sights of Belarus, tourists invariably admire the St. Sophia Cathedral.

Official website: https://sophia.polotsk.museum.by

Landmark of Belarus - Khatyn

The Khatyn memorial complex is an iconic symbol of the hot pain of the Belarusian people. Khatyn itself is not on any map of Belarus. The tragedy of a small village scorched by the Nazis is immortalized in the memorial complex. The events of the war are depicted here in harsh and expressive architectural solutions. The memorial complex is designed in black and gray colors, which increases the sense of grief.

The village was completely destroyed in 1943 on March 22. Of all the inhabitants only 3 people survived. Many architects applied for the right to capture the tragedy of Khatyn in stone, so a professional competition was held among them in the sixties in Belarus. Architects Gradov, Levin and Zenkovich, as well as sculptor Selikhanov received the right to work on the project.

The means of representation used are the most concise and realistic. The monument is very emotional, which is provided by the sound accompaniment and a special architectural plasticity. I. Kaminsky, the rescued blacksmith, is carrying his dead son in his arms to the sounds of the bell. There are no architectural excesses here. But the grief of the people-sufferer is conveyed extremely deeply.

Official website: https://khatyn.by

7. Bobruisk Fortress (Bobruisk)

Sights of Belarus - Bobruisk Fortress

Bobruisk fortress was built at the command of the emperor Alexander 1 . The author of the project was K. Opperman, who had the title of count. The count’s professional baggage by that time already had several similar works, as he was a fortification engineer by profession. The beginning of the work is considered June 4, 1810. The citadel in Bobruisk had the first class of fortifications.

In total the fortress occupied the territory of 120 hectares. The defense was provided by the earth ramparts of 10 meters high, and the fortress was also surrounded by water. To defend the fortress, 300 guns of different calibers were placed. The amount of ammunition was brought for about a year. It was Bobruisk fortress in 1812 that first took the blow of Napoleon’s army.

The works were completed only in 1855, when Bobruisk fortress became really fortified. Moreover, by that time the style of classicism was fully implemented in it. Among the attractions of Belarus, Bobruisk Fortress holds a special place. It is a whole city with its cultural and social infrastructure. On the territory of the fortress there was even a paved Botanical Garden and the Cathedral Alexander Nevsky . Since 2002, the fortress is in the state list of cultural values in Belarus.

8. The Berezina Biosphere Reserve (Vitebsk)

Sights of Belarus - Berezinskiy Biosphere Reserve

If you have not yet decided what to visit in Belarus, be sure to pay attention to the Berezinsky biosphere reserve. Excellent conditions for ecotourism and professional hunting are created here. Besides the fruitful nature of the Berezinsk reserve is a guarantee of a good rest with small children.

Many recreation options are offered for guests here: from an introductory excursion to complex ecological tours. Several guest houses are equipped with civilized amenities.

In 1983 an international seminar on biosphere reserves was held here, which was attended by representatives of 50 states. As for the historical significance of the reserve, tourists will be interested to know that the medieval route “from the Varangians to the Greeks” passed through its territory.

Official site: https://www.berezinsky.by

9. Cathedral Church of St. Francis Xavier (Grodno)

Sights of Belarus - St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral Church

The sights of Belarus leave an indelible impression on anyone who gets to know them intimately. The Church of St. Francis Xavier has become a remarkable monument of 17th-century architecture. It was once considered the most magnificent in Poland. In the seventeenth century the church occupied an entire residential block. The interior decoration of the church was pretentiously expensive, as Catholics tended to expensive decorations in architecture.

The interiors of the church were decorated with expensive decorations, mosaics, and paintings. As for the fresco paintings, the church is full of a wide variety of compositions of them. The fresco painting flows smoothly from wall to wall inside the church. At the same time, the authors of the project tried to stick to some specific story compositions in the paintings.

The church looks smart and festive. The facades are decorated with white soft plaster. The highlight of the church are the pointed towers of emerald-green color. Under them, there are the oldest European tower clocks. They are still running, even though they were designed back in the 15th century.

10. Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Sights of Belarus - Belovezhskaya Pushcha

When deciding what to visit in Belarus, you cannot forget about Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is a nature conservation site that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992. The natural complex is located on the territory of Brest and Grodno regions. There are extremely many species of animals, and many of them are in the Red Book of Belarus. It is believed that the Belarusian bison is the master of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

It is the bison that tourists from all over the world come to see. Unique flora and fauna are kept here in pristine freshness and strength. The environmental situation in the reserve is impeccable. The national park is maintained by specialists whose main task is to maintain both the rich vegetation and fauna at the proper level.

One of the iconic sites of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the Museum of Nature where one can learn about literally every blade of grass growing there. In addition, the halls of the Museum have realistic stuffed animals of all animals inhabiting the territory of the reserve.

Not far from the museum there are open-air cages with animals. Some of them originally lived here, while some species were brought here and acclimatized in the course of time. In addition, it is in Belovezhskaya Pushcha where the estate of Belarusian Santa Claus is located. All children in Belarus dream to visit this place, and it can be done all year round.

Official site: https://npbp.by

Belarusian sights: what else to visit, being in Belarus

In fact, there are many more places that can interest travelers, so if the popular excursions in Belarus do not suit you, there is always an opportunity to find an alternative. The main thing - do not forget that time in the country is not infinite, so choose the attractions that impressed you most.

11. Lake Svityaz (Valevka, Grodno region)

Sights of Belarus - Lake Svityaz

Lake Svityaz is rightfully considered one of the attractions of Belarus. It is located on the Novogrudskaya hill and has amazingly beautiful panoramic views. The crystal clear water of the lake is surrounded by green velvet of sloping shores. For those who like active rest, the trip around the lake will be really fascinating.

Only here you can see century-old giant oaks. And only here you can see through many meters deep sandy bottom, so clean is the water. The lake is unique: it has a lot of alkaline compounds, so the water is endowed with a special softness.

Of course, such a beautiful place should be surrounded by many legends. One of them tells about the mass death of the townspeople in protest against enslavement. The townspeople decided to die all together to avoid the conquerors. The city, according to the legend, fell into an abyss.

However, soon the souls of the dead townspeople were revived by the flowers that sprouted wildly on the shores of the lake. Locals believe that in clear weather in the middle of the lake you can see the cobblestone sidewalk of the city that once was on this spot.

12. Rumyantsev-Paskevich Palace (Gomel)

Sights of Belarus - Palace of the Rumyantsevs-Paskevichi

The palace of General Field Marshal Rumyantsev was built in the 19th century. The best Russian architects of that time worked on the project: Blank, Mostsepanov, Alekseev. The palace’s main advantage is the splendid panoramic views from its luxurious terraces. The fact is that the palace is located on a beautiful hill on the bank of the local river Sozh.

Being the property of a general-field marshal, the palace was an ordinary dwelling that was characterized by pretentiousness in decoration and peculiar luxury. In addition, the palace was surrounded by a park ensemble, where rare plants were gathered in amazing compositions.

Unfortunately, the palace was looted during the war. Later, however, the individual pieces preserved here were returned. Currently, the palace complex is a modern museum. There are a lot of old printed books belonging to the Paskevich family.

In addition, there are many rare archaeological finds and coin collections in the museum’s archives. Answering the question of what sights to visit in Belarus, the locals immediately name the Palace of the Rumyantsevs-Paskeviches.

Official site: https://www.palacegomel.by

13. Lida Castle (Lida)

Sights of Belarus - Lida Castle

The Lida Castle complements the sights of Belarus with its interesting history and special features. The castle was built in 1323 by order of Prince Gedimin. It is a regular fortification construction of that time. Its functional purpose originally was to protect its owners from enemies.

Natural rock and bricks were used in the construction works. The castle has a shape of a quadrangle, disproportionately elongated to one side. The two corner towers allowed a view of the surrounding area. The two-meter moat served as another means of protection against crusaders.

In the 18th century the fortification was reinforced and an artificial lake was built in front of it. On the territory of the castle there is an Orthodox church and many social facilities. There are also living quarters, they are located on the upper levels of the two corner towers. The history of the castle has a lot of attacks. At different times it was besieged by Crimean Tatars, crusaders and Swedes.

The castle was damaged in 1891, when a fire almost completely destroyed Lida. The city authorities began to sell the castle buildings to somehow support the residents. However, the castle was later partially restored.

14. Naroch National Park (Naroch)

Sights of Belarus - Naroch National Park

The sights of Belarus connected with the ecological tourism include the resort settlement Naroch. Here all conditions are provided for lovers of horse riding, fishing and hunting. Lake Naroch attracts by its beautiful landscapes and perfect ecology. Rest here is a real pleasure for those who appreciate the beauty of nature.

There are a lot of historical monuments near the lake. For example, tourists are interested in parking lots of ancient people. Nearby there is also no less beautiful lake Mastro, famous for the fact that in its center there is a fortification of the 11th century. On the shore of the lake Myastro stands the Church of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.

The fertile Belarusian nature is interesting for those who like active rest and appreciate the primeval freshness of the dense forests and clear lakes. Tourist routes passing through the Belarusian Lakeland are attractive for the tourists because they are accompanied by the organized excursions. Professional guides will tell about the peculiarities of the Narochansky National Park and about the variety of historical monuments in this area.

15. The historical complex “Stalin line” (Loshany, Minsk region)

Sights of Belarus - Historical complex "Stalin line"

What to visit in Belarus? First of all, the “Stalin Line” is an open-air museum. The complex was built on the basis of restored fortifications. Its grand opening took place in 2005, it was timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Victory. The initiative to create the historical and cultural complex was approved by Alexander Lukashenko.

The authors of the idea recreated trenches, machine-gun bunkers and command and observation points as realistically as possible. The engineering equipment was recreated according to the real pre-war drawings. In the exposition you can see trenches, trenches, anti-tank trenches. There are also dugouts for the soldiers, and the pillboxes made of wire, metal or wood.

In addition, an open-air museum displays military equipment of World War II period, as well as one of the monuments to Joseph Stalin. History shows that none of the fortifications has played its role to the end. Nevertheless, they had some kind of fortifying function. “The Stalin Line is the unfading memory of the Belarusians of the war victims. It is one of the most visited complexes on the territory of the republic. Next to Belarus is a small but very beautiful country - Lithuania. When traveling in Belarus, think about visiting this country as well. Read about sights of Lithuania and be inspired for your further travels in Eastern Europe!

Official website: https://stalin-line.by

  • Sightseeing

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Belarus • Facts

50 things to do in belarus.

tourism en belarus

Here on our website we have created a unique guide to the most vivid impressions that  a tourist can get by traveling around Belarus.

Belarusians put their hearts and souls into this list to help our foreign guests to experience Belarus to the fullest!

That is why we are happy to challenge you: how many of these 50 things can YOU do during your next trip around Belarus?

tourism en belarus

♦ Hear the Middle Ages’ voice in the corridors and towers of Mir Castle

♦ Recognize Mona Lisa on the mural “Belarusian Fire Service History” on the facade of the old city firehouse in Grodno

♦ Check your watch with the oldest existing tower clock in Europe located in the tower of the St. Francis Xavier Church in Grodno

♦ Connect with the past and visit the Soviet era symbol – the House-Museum of the 1st RSDLP Congress in Minsk

♦ Rub a finger of the magician-astrologer granting wishes on the Ploschad Zvezd (the Stars Square) in Mogilev

♦ Wish on the next trip at the Eternal Passenger monument in the city of Gomel

♦ Compare a copy of the Christ statue located in the town of Ivye with the original statue in Rio de Janeiro

tourism en belarus

♦ Plunge into the history by visiting ancient Belarusian country estates

♦ Learn to distinguish the sounds of a bass and a cello by attending the musicales ‘Classic Music at the Town Hall’ in Minsk

♦ Twist cornflowers into a wreath

♦ Try to weave a traditional rushnik (a homespun towel embroidered with ritual symbols and cryptograms) in the village of Neglyubka, Gomel region

♦ Sleep in a cabin of the floating hotel in the town of Turov

♦ Learn the recipe of the most delicious cocktail in the bars in Zybitskaya – the most happening street in Minsk

♦ Climb the tower of the Roman Catholic Church in the township of Gervyaty, Grodno region, and enjoy the panoramic view

♦ Learn a football chant at the match in Borisov Arena

♦ Plunge into the Berezina River near Borisov to know the feelings of the soldiers of Napoleon’s army in 1812

tourism en belarus

♦ Take a look at the House-Museum of Tadeusz Kosciuszko in Kossovo to see around and learn about the professional traveler whose name was given to the highest mountain in Australia

♦ Break the logic laws and check your vestibular apparatus in the inverted Ella’s house in Dukorsky mayontak (estate) near Minsk

♦ Buy souvenirs with the Belarusian ornaments in the tourist information center at the railway station in Minsk

♦ See the Faberge eggs and other exhibits in the Museum of Rescued Art Treasures in Brest, which was opened based on the things confiscated by border guards

♦ Bring a vyshivanka (an embroidered shirt) to your homeland as a keepsake remembering about the Belarusian culture

♦ Take a photo with the tank in the homeland of the legendary game World of Tanks

♦ Get selfies with the sights of Belarus in the MSQRD mobile application developed by Belarusians

♦ Steer the steam locomotive in the Railway Equipment Museum in the city of Brest

♦ Walk down the sobriety alley in the township of Mosar, Vitebsk region being sober

♦ Enjoy the architectural splendor of the towers of Kossovo palace and then count them

tourism en belarus

♦ Try swamp shoes to be able to go through the swamp, collect cranberries and see cranes

♦ Go for a spin in a BELAZ in the city of Zhodino

♦ Take part in the traditional potato harvest in the fall

♦ Put a note under the wish stone in the Nesvizh Park and make a wish at panna Barbara statue

♦ Step the longest suspension bridge in Belarus located in the town of Mosty, Grodno region

♦ Find the Centre of Europe in Polotsk, Vitebsk region

♦ Take a photo with the famous sculpture of one-headed Tsmok (a dragon) in the town of Lepel

♦Take a photo in front of the monument to the unique ‘Ў’ letter (the short U) in Polotsk

♦ Recall the history of the Ancient Rus in one of the oldest surviving churches in Belarus — Boris and Gleb Church (Kalozha Church) in Grodno

tourism en belarus

♦ Take a photo of salt mountains in Soligorsk at sunset

♦ Get familiar with a traditional vytinanka (crafts made of paper and cardboard) and shape something beautiful

♦ Taste candied cranberries

♦ Taste traditional potato dishes of the Belarusian cuisine: draniki (potato pancakes), kolduny, babka, dumplings, potato casseroles, etc.

♦ Try to solve the John F. Kennedy murder riddle looking into the windows of Lee Harvey Oswald’ apartment in the Ploschad Pobedy area in Minsk

♦ Visit the ‘Belovezhskaya Pushcha’ National Park and ask the Belarusian Santa Clause about the secret of granting New Year’s wishes

♦ Learn what is ‘hot ice’ visiting a Dinamo-Minsk ice hockey game

♦ Understand the philosophy of the world famous artist Marc Chagall’s paintings in the city of Vitebsk

♦ Connect with the Soviet era in the Memorial Museum-Workshop of the Belarusian Soviet sculptor Z.I. Azgur

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Visit Belarus

Best travel website about Belarus

7 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Belarus This Year

Lake and church in Belarus, trip planner and reasons to visit Belarus

A couple of years of hard work, and now Belarus is in Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2019 according to Lonely Planet ranking.

To prove that this is the year to visit Belarus, we have collected 11 Reasons to come to our country in 2019. Find out what they are!

2nd European Games 2019

Minsk European games 2019 logo

Perhaps, the main event in Belarus this year are the second European Games held in Minsk between 21 and 30th of June. 

Winners of most of the sports disciplines in this year’s competition will be qualified to go to the Summer Olympic Games in Japan in 2020.

Similar to the rules of the Hockey World Championship 2014 which was also held in Minsk, visitors having tickets to at least one of the games, will be able to stay in Belarus between 10 of June and 10 of July visa-free.

You can buy tickets to the events on the TicketPro website .

More information about the requirements of visa-free entry you can find on the official website of European Games 2019.

One more sports event held in Belarus this year is the European Ice Skating Championship 2019 held between 21 and 27 of January. Learn more information here.

30 Days Without a Visa

passport with visa stamp, visa to Belarus

From high prices to get a visa in 2016 (some prices reached even $1000!) through 5-day visa-free regime to 30 days without a visa to Belarus for citizens of over 80 countries in 2018!

The Ministry of Tourism realized that nobody would like to pay so high amounts for a visa to the country they barely know.

Visa-free entry helped to entice about 100 000 visa-free tourists in 2017 and much more in 2018 (we’re still waiting for the exact data).

Learn more about the visa and visa-free entry in Belarus.

It is EXTREMELY Cheap

Belarusian money, interesting facts about Belarus

While the main attractions in Belarus are not as popular as the ones in France or Germany (yet), and the salaries are much lower, the prices for everything are some of the lowest in Europe.

In 2018, Minsk was called the cheapest European city to visit . Check the prices in Minsk here.

Of course, it’s not all low-cost and cheap. In Belarus, you can also find a wide range of luxury activities.

Why not ride a tank, jump with a parachute or explore amazing Belarusian nature from an air balloon?

Check some of the best activities in our luxury itinerary!

Amazing Nature

Belarusian Nature is the best place for relaxation and recreation, things to do in Belarus

Perhaps, one of the main features of Belarus interesting for tourists is its nature .

Some slogans people use for our country are “ the Lungs of Europe ” (forests occupy about 46% of country’s territory), “ Blue-Eyed Belarus ” or “ the Country of Lakes ” (there are about 20 000 rivers and 11 thousand lakes in Belarus).

forest lakes in Belarus, things to know before visiting Belarus

Nature made ecotourism a very popular reason to visit Belarus. Numerous farmhouses built next to rivers and lakes became popular places to spend a weekend among both tourists and locals.

Diverse national parks stand for a big part of the forests territory .

The most notable of them is Bialowieza forest  laying on the border with Poland. It is the largest forest in Europe with the largest animal on the continent living there , the European bison!

Beautiful chalk pit near Volkovysk in Belarus to visit this summer

One of the newest natural attractions in Belarus are the amazing chalk querries with turquoise lakes and white sand surrounding them. Locals often call them “ the Belarusian Maldives “.

There are also many outdoor activities you can try in Belarus. Learn more about them in our guide

Exiting History

Brest monument, Belarus travel safety

The national anthem of Belarus starts with the words “We, Belarusians, peaceful people”. It is a true feature of the national character.  However, historically located between the largest states in the world history, Belarusian people paradoxically had to fight to leave in peace.

Location on the crossroads of large wars left many traces in the country completely destroying cities and historical landmarks.

Bridge to the Mir Castle, reasons to visit Belarus

After it’s independence in 1991, the government, different companies, and volunteers worked hard to restore numerous Belarusian castles and historical buildings.

Lubcha castle was completely restored only with the help of volunteers, while Puslovskys palace restoration was finished in 2018 with the help of different means and sources.

Kossovo castle in Belarus from afar

Belarus and especially its cities are quickly renewing and developing. Each year, dozens of new unique places are opened all around the country. Here is our quick overview of the new venues you need to visit in Belarus this year:

Minsk: Hipster Places and Luxury Bars

Island on Svisloch river, Price of 1 day in Minsk, places to visit

Minsk is developing similarly to Berlin when its Eastern and Western parts reunited.

Lots of unconventional and hipster places, techno clubs along with luxury bars and restaurants that very few Belarusians can afford. Here is a quick overview of the new places:

With the restoration of the Revolutsionnaya , as well as the development of Zybitskaya streets in the old town of Minsk, there are a couple of new places that we’d like to pay attention to:

Mama Stifflera (Stiffler’s Mom)

Unusual bar with an unusual name. Stiffler’s mom is a lounge bar and a nightclub on Zybitskaya 2, street of the most active nightlife in the capital.

Cafe, bar and night club Stiffler's Mom in Minsk

Bar on Internacyjanalnaja 25

Bar duck in Minsk

Wine tasting shop and bar on  Nezavisimosti avenue 47.

Owino wine bar in Minsk

Another unusual bar looking like a laboratory of a crazy scientist on Zybitskaya 6.

Tesla bar on Zybitskaya street in Minsk ,reasons to visit Belarus

Luxury and stylish bar on  Internacionalnaya 25a, 21.

Madmen stylish bar in Minsk

Svoi Restaurant

Cozy coffee shop and restaurant on Nezavisimosti avenue 22 .

Coffee shop and restaurant Svoi in Minsk

Lo-Fi Customs

It’s hard to categorize this place. Lo-Fi Customs is a workshop, a creative space, a coworking and a tattoo salon at the same time located on the most ‘hipster’ street in Minsk, Oktyabrskaya 16/3 .

Lo fi customs workshop Minsk

Techno nightclub and a creative area in the daytime often organizing sales of designer clothing also on  Oktyabrskaya 16/3. Learn more about raves and techno parties in Minsk.

Squat Minsk techno nighclub, reasons to visit

Pesochnitsa (Sandbox)

A place where street-food and other festivals organized during the whole summer and Christmas market in winter. Address: Kuibysheva 45 .

Sandbox area Minsk

Learn more about the main tourist attractions and unusual things to do in Minsk .

Grodno: Food Trucks and British pubs

People in Grodno seem to love food trucks. With a low number of new restaurants this year, there are about 6 new food trucks with various delicious foods and drinks.

Food truck in Grodno, reasons to visit Belarus in 2019

Apart from food trucks, there are two British bars opening in Grodno: Mr. Hops and Greenwich

Greenwich British bar in Grodno

Gomel: City with Weird Tastes

Gomel has a weird taste. Most notable new places opened in 2018 are the Hot-Dog mini-cafe, where you can order a hot dog with ice-cream, Nutella with bananas or jam, as well as Bubbles cafe where you can order bubble waffles not only with sweet filling but also with meat and cheese!

Gomel hot dog restaurant

Brest: Fast Food and Small Coffee Shops

We couldn’t find any new large bar or restaurant which was opened in Brest in 2018, but we found dozens of small cozy cafes and fast food restaurants.

Without mentioning particular names, if you walk along the main pedestrian Sovetskaya  street, half of the places there are new!

Soviet Architecture

Gates of Minsk in front of railway station, Belarus

Belarus is becoming more and more modern every day, while the old towns of the largest cities are being restored to get their old look. At the same time, main avenues, squares, and residential areas still look like in the Soviet Union. Such a mix makes it even more interesting to visit Belarus.

If you want to get the feeling like you’re a citizen of the USSR, you can check this guide.

It was just a small part of the reasons to visit Belarus this year. On our website, you can find much more of them. We especially recommend checking our list of the  best activities to try in Belarus.

To help you plan a trip to our country, we’ve created a travel planner . Have a great trip!

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How to visit Belarus + Belarus itinerary

Why would you visit Belarus? In everyone’s travel life comes a moment, when you stop being interesting in popular destinations. You’re searching for some underrated places, some places where tourism is not even a thing. You want to explore in peace, you want to get in a bit complicated situations just because you’re not on the beaten tourist path. Well, the good news is climbing seven thousand meter peaks is not your only option. You can also visit Belarus. And here is how to do so plus our suggestion for an itinerary in Belarus.

The main reason we visited the country was an English teaching opportunity Bistra decided to take. After that, it was clear that we wanted to explore the country for a few days at least. And it was the special number 75 for us.

Traveling to Belarus, Minsk

Getting to Belarus

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There’s one major advantage of flying to Belarus – you can enter the country for up to 30 days visa-free, provided that you arrive at Minsk National Airport. That’s why we chose this option, even though it might be a bit cheaper to travel by land from Bulgaria to Belarus.

There are quite a few airlines that serve the airport in Minsk with easy connections in many major European cities. Sometimes the Belarusian Airline Belavia has some pretty good flight deals.

If you have an easy way to reach one of the Baltics’ capitals – Vilnius, then it’s just a 4-5-hour train or 5-6-hour bus journey to Minsk. The irony is that a half-an-hour flight would cover the distance for about the same price (on lucky days). But maybe you want to consider the environmental impact when choosing your means of transportation.

Riding the 10-ish-hour train from Kyiv to Minsk will be the way I will visit Belarus next time. Both the central train stations are highlights by themselves, plus you get to see plenty of Belarus on the way. The price goes from 10 to 60 euros one-way.

Traveling to Belarus, Minsk

If you’re a citizen of many countries, you don’t need a tourist visa for Belarus. The visa policy offers visa “exemption” under a regional visa-free provision. This means is that some travelers can enter Belarus without a visa but only if they do so through the Minsk National Airport. The government of Belarus also issues visas on arrival, but you must submit your documentation and request 3 days before arrival. If you need a student or work visa, you have to contact your nearest embassy.

This blog post contains some affiliate links to services and products we like. If you book through those links, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you for helping us keep The Magic of Traveling going!

Check here if Belarus requires a visa for your nationality.

Driving in Belarus was safe and easy. Renting a car was easy, too (we used rentalcars.com ). The thing was the millage limitation per day, which was 200 km. There was not an option to book it limitless, and you had to pay quite a bit if you exceed it. So we did a lot of math to manage to cover Minsk airport – Minsk – Brest – Belovezhskaya Pushcha – Mir – Nesvizh – Minsk – Minsk airport and not hit the limit (we actually did, but the rent-a-car guy was nice). Distances in Belarus are not tiny and those limits can be very hard when you plan to leave the Minsk area.

Traveling to Belarus, Minsk

We want to share the places we stayed during our time in Belarus.

If you want to stay at one of the best places to stay in Minsk, and especially for first-time visitors, we highly recommend Trinity hostel on Trinity hill. They have dorm rooms, as well as private rooms, but you might need to book way in advance, as the place is quite popular with visitors to the city. The hostel organizes tours in Minsk and in Belarus which are great if you don’t have your own transport or want to meet new friends.

If you want a decent apartment in a living neighborhood still close to the center and access to a kitchen, we recommend this apartment at Kozlova street. Especially if you’re staying in Minsk for longer.

If you want a quirky intro to Minsk and Belarus, stay at the traditional Plan eta hotel. You’ll get views of the lit-up city and an old-school yet impeccable service. It’s like you traveled back in time but in a good way.

For our night in Brest, we chose Hotel Byg . It has a very quirky interior and serves as the museum of the famous bard Vladimir Vysotsky. The reception offers affordable beers and souvenirs.

Traveling to Belarus, Brest

If you’ve decided to visit Belarus, getting to know more about its people and culture will definitely help you understand the country better. And those Belarus fun facts we prepared will probably make you fall in love, instantly!

Belarusian people love potatoes! They can literally eat 2 or 3 meals a day, based on potatoes. They joke about that, foreigners joke about that too. They confess it’s their national thing, and they don’t want to change it for anything in the world. If you travel to Belarus, you’ll notice plenty of the national dishes are indeed based on potatoes. Don’t miss trying Draniki or a purer form like mashed potatoes, just enjoy the high quality of the potatoes they grow. After eating potatoes every day for more than three weeks, I can say I haven’t started to hate them. Maybe I’m part Belarusian.

Traveling to Belarus, eating Draniki

The most widely spoken language in Belarus is Russian. At first, I found it confusing – why so few people mastered the Belarusian language. But then I read some articles that explained it all. Historically, most of the time other languages were spoken in the lands of Belarus – languages like Russian and Polish. Belarusian used to be only spoken by the higher society as a demonstration of wealth and status. Nowadays, Belarusian becomes more and more common and people are starting to appreciate the beauty of the language, starting to speak more of it, and you can feel how they’re feeling proud about it. 

Some are actually questioning those who don’t bother to learn more than a few words in Belarusian. In the meantime, Russian is the language that literally everyone in Belarus speaks. 

English is becoming more popular, but don’t expect to get along with everyone. Younger people tend to study English a lot, some places in Minsk offer service in English. It’s better if you get your Russian ready – it will come in handy in Belarus. Or at least learn to read the Cyrillic alphabet.

Belarus has so many IT companies and professionals that you start to wonder if it is the next big location in IT or what. There’s a joke that every second person in Belarus is a programmer. Obviously, Belarusians are good with maths and computers, but there’s more to this interesting fact about Belarus. 

In Soviet times, Belarus was the IT headquarters of the Soviet Union. They produced a lot of hardware and created software in the area. So Belarus has the full right to claim they have traditions in IT.

Couple travel quotes, royal traditional costumes in Belarus

If you’ve been to Bulgaria , you probably notice those grumpy waiters and bartenders. Sometimes we even think Bulgaria and especially Sofia come first in the bad service attitude when it comes to cafes, restaurants, bars. Well, Belarus tries to fight for that spot. 

Some say that it’s just because Belarusian people are not so open to strangers, so they don’t give away smiles per kilo. Maybe it’s a national trait, maybe it has something to do with the fact that most of the staff is just employed and badly paid so they’re honest and don’t pretend to have the job of their lives.

However, in our communication with Belarusian people outside the services area, we might say that we’ve received a lot of smiles. So I don’t think Belarusians are incapable of being nice to strangers.

If you stay in Belarus for a while, you’ll notice a lot of people are named Masha, Dasha, Pasha. Belarusians seem not to care about originality when it comes to naming their kids. Looking from the positive perspective, if you forget someone’s name, it’s easy to shout Masha and you have quite the chance to guess it. 

Short names and nicknames are the norms in Belarus, so don’t worry and use them as you please. There’s this nice article about Belarusian names and how frequent each one is.

That came as a huge surprise. Even in crowded areas in the capital, even in smaller towns, and even on the roads in the middle of nowhere – it’s super clean! You can’t just get enough of it! Until visiting Belarus, Bhutan felt like the cleanest place on Earth, but after the hike to Tiger’s Nest , we changed our minds. Now Belarus is the cleanest country on Earth!

The explanation for this is simple – people just don’t throw out their trash everywhere and there are people who clean the streets at night. Plus there aren’t that many tourists to introduce their unhealthy cleanliness habits. It’s so refreshing to witness something like this on our polluted planet. Respect!

Traveling to Belarus, Minsk

Depending on how many days you plan to spend in Belarus, the itinerary would vary. If you have just 2 or 3 days to visit Belarus, we suggest focusing on the capital Minsk and maybe squeezing a day trip to the nearby castles – Mir and Nesvizh, or to Stalin Line. If you have 5 days in Belarus, you can visit Minsk, Mir and Nesvizh, Brest and Brest Fortress, and Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. That was pretty much our itinerary. If you have 7 or more days to visit Belarus, you can venture to other cities like Grodno and Polotsk, and visit Lida Castle and other places of interest.

You can easily spend a whole day walking around Minsk and not even visit half of the major landmarks. The capital has spacious boulevards, huge squares, many monuments. On top of that, the Great Patriotic War Museum and the National Library can absorb at least half a day each. Minsk is also a very livable place – you’ll enjoy the many quality coffee shops where you can work and play, as well as the wonderful restaurants and bars that cater to every taste. We wrote a separate article with our favorite things to do in Minsk .

Traveling to Belarus, Minsk

The Historical and Cultural Complex Stalin Line was founded to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Soviet People’s Victory in the Great Patriotic War. The structures in the complex were a part of the defense system created at the beginning of the 1930s along the western border of the Soviet Union. This system is unofficially called the Stalin Line.

The complex is located on the outskirts of Minsk, you can get there by car or public transport. A highlight of any visit is riding a military vehicle – e.g. T-55 tank. You have to book this experience in advance.

Mir Castle was built in Polish Gothic style. It has a citadel and 5 towers, a cellar, an Italian garden, and an artificial lake. The UNESCO World Heritage site is a blend of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture. You can admire a demonstration of different battle techniques in the courtyard, and if you’re brave enough – join to play with some weapons used centuries ago.

Belarus, Mir Castle

Nesvizh Castle was built as a residential castle and is a mix of many styles – Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Classicism, Neo-gothic, Modernism. It has landscaped gardens and ornamental lakes and is considered the most beautiful castle in Belarus. You can rent a medieval outfit and do a photoshoot in the castle courtyard to complete the atmosphere of old times.

As Nesvizh and Mir castles are close to each other, it makes sense to visit them together – as a day trip from Minsk or on your way from Minsk to Brest.

Belarus, Nesvizh Castle

Dudutki is a museum complex of ancient crafts and technology. You take an open-air journey to the world of ancient life and professions, tasting original dishes and experiencing life as it used to be.

Lida Castle was built on sand but it obviously resisted any conditions for 7 centuries. If you’re in the region of Grodno, make sure to visit the castle. In summer you can witness knights’ tournaments and in winter you can go ice-skating in its inner yard converted to an ice rink.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is one of the last primeval forests left in Europe and home to many different species including the European bison. Actually, it is the last natural home to the European bison and that’s just one reason to visit it. You can go hiking, cycling, and walking on the footpaths, and it’s a fun experience for all ages of travelers. The park has some cafes, hotels, and road infrastructure so it’s accessible for a wider range of visitors.

Belarus Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park

Brest Fortress or as it was later named Hero Fortress served as the defense of the frontier stronghold during the first week of the German-Soviet War of 1941-1945 . The fortress was not rebuilt at the end of the war but instead became a shrine to the terrible and heroic events that took place there. The entry of the fortress represents a huge star cut into a concrete block. As you walk up to the center of the fortress you see “Thirst” – a large monument depicting an injured soldier trying to get some water from the river. The monument reflects the bravery of the last remaining soldiers who defended the fortress for many days without food or water. Even if you’re not a history buff we recommend visiting this landmark revealing terrible and heroic moments of Belarusian history.

Traveling to Belarus, Brest Fortress

Brest is a pure example of the magic of traveling. Every evening around sunset, the main pedestrian Savetskaya street gets lit! There is a lamplighter who goes to each of the 17 kerosene street lamps, climbs a ladder, and manually lights the lamp. This is one of the most fascinating human phenomena that holds the spirit of tradition and attracts smiling observers from the city, as well as visitors from other places.

We even managed to take a photo with Victor (the person who lights the lamps every evening for the last several years) and rubbed the buttons of his old-style jacket (making a wish, they say it comes true). If you want to observe this amazing process, you can check the lighting time for the current day on the special street clock at the beginning of the street. Don’t go to Brest without getting lit!

Traveling to Belarus, Brest

If you want to experience more of a western-European city vibe with yet some Soviet monuments, head to Grodno. You can cycle the city and enjoy its landmarks. Visitors from the nearby countries of Lithuania and Poland head to Grodno to shop for booze, petrol, and cigarettes.

The oldest city in Belarus has seen a lot: invasions from Vikings, occupations by crusaders, Ivan the Terrible of Moscow, Napoleonic War battles. Polotsk became the center of Christianity during the first Russian state of Rus and nowadays you can admire many religious buildings, e.g. Catherdral of Saint Sofia, Saint Ephrosinia Convent, Epiphany Monastery.

We hope we inspired you to visit Belarus and discover the special places and moments on your Belarus itinerary that would make you enjoy the country, its people, and its amazing off-the-beaten-path vibe!

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Probe Ordered into Hollong Bungalow Blaze in Jaldapara National Park

The west bengal government has initiated a probe into a fire that gutted the hollong bungalow in alipurduar district's jaldapara national park. the structure, a popular tourist site, had been closed since june 15. preliminary reports suggest a short circuit might be the cause..

Probe Ordered into Hollong Bungalow Blaze in Jaldapara National Park

The West Bengal government has launched an investigation into the fire that destroyed the renowned 'Hollong Bungalow' located in Alipurduar district, according to Forest Minister Birbaha Hansda.

A team of experts is set to visit the popular tourist lodge, which was engulfed in flames around 9 pm on Tuesday, to determine the cause of the fire, as mentioned by the minister.

"Since the bungalow had been closed since June 15, an on-the-spot inspection is essential to understand the factors behind the incident," Hansda told PTI, adding that preliminary reports suggest a short circuit.

Hansda also noted that the wooden bungalow holds significant value for the state, as it has strong emotional and nostalgic connections with people. On whether the state will restore the iconic structure, she mentioned, "We will act as guided by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee."

No injuries or fatalities were reported from the fire that broke out at the lodge located inside the Jaldapara National Park.

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COMMENTS

  1. Welcome to Belarus. Useful travel information for tourists

    Brest region West Polesie. Grodno region Neman land. Minsk region Central Belarus Minsk. Information about Belarus Where to look, to see everything? Go and find out. Tourism and traveling in Belarus . Official Travel website of Belarus. Helpful travel information for visiting Belarus.

  2. 15 Best Places to Visit in Belarus

    4. Mir Castle. Source: Grisha Bruev / shutterstock. Mir Castle. One of the premium attractions in Belarus, Mir Castle lies in the Grodno region and dates from the 16th century. This mighty architectural feat is built in the Baroque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, and is heavily surrounded by fortification walls.

  3. National Tourism Agency

    14.03.2024 Health official explains why foreigners come to Belarus for medical treatment Read more. ... State institution «National Tourism Agency» Minsk, Kirova St. 8/2, office 909 +375 17 226 90 98 (general affairs) +375 17 226-02-72 (educational workshops and guid certification) [email protected] ...

  4. Belarus travel| Belarus.by

    Travel in Belarus. Belarus offers much more to travellers than you could ever fit into a single visit. The culture, outdoor activities, cuisine and historical sites will keep even the most experienced traveller busy. Plan your visit to Belarus using the trip planner, or spend time formalising your itinerary by researching places to visit and ...

  5. Visit Belarus the country in eastern Europe

    Belarus is famous for its national parks, historic castles, various health resorts and many other attractions. In addition to the impressive, modern and actively developing Minsk, other cities can pleasantly surprise and open our country to tourists. One of the main advantages of Belarus is its vast forests and clean lakes and rivers.

  6. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Belarus (2024)

    1. Museum Strana Mini. 1,102. Speciality Museums. Museum of architectural miniatures «Strana mini» is an excellent choice for tourists. What expects you in «Strana mini»: Sightseeing exposure of 22 key Belarussian attractions, trip to which you…. 2. Memorial Complex Brest Hero-Fortress.

  7. Visit Belarus

    Discover Your Belarus. Explore Belarus, famous for its historic castles, beautiful nature and living traditions. Enjoy exciting special events, theatre, concerts, and more. Plan your trip to Belarus with great deals on accommodation, travel advice, and a variety of things to see and do.

  8. Must-see attractions Belarus, Eastern Europe

    Discover the best attractions in Belarus including Nyasvizh Castle, Mir Castle, and Museum of the Great Patriotic War.

  9. Top 12 Things to do in Belarus Like a Local

    Kayaking and Canoeing. If you like kayaking or canoeing, Belarus is a perfect country for you. Using the country's 19,000 rivers, you can reach almost any place in the country from any other. The rental prices are also quite low.

  10. Top 5 Belarus Attractions You Need to Visit This Year

    Boris and Gleb (Kolozhskaya) Church. (Photo from www.photosight.ru ) Kolozhskaya church is a place worth visiting for antiquity lovers, as the only building on the territory of Belarus left from the period of Ancient Rus. It is located in Grodno, on the picturesque high bank of the Neman River.

  11. Visit-Belarus.com

    Our website is created to let people from around the world know more about Belarus, breaking false stereotypes about it. We want to show the beauty of our country, various attractions, medieval cities, and the diverse nature of Belarus, as well as help to plan a perfect trip here. For Belarus travel planning, check out our trip planner.

  12. Belarus travel

    Europe. Long regarded by travellers as little more than a curiosity, Belarus has suddenly emerged as one of Europe's 'it' destinations. Fuelling that rise are relaxed visa requirements, a sneaky-good art and cafe scene, and hospitable locals. While political dissent remains muted, the country seems to be having fun again.

  13. Places to visit in Belarus in a 1-week itinerary

    GUM State Department Store - A Soviet-era mall. Belarusian State Circus - Built by Stalin as a prize for Belarus' contribution to the victory over the Nazis. Minsk Old Town. Island of Tears - A monument to commemorate the victims of the Afghan war. Soviet KFC - An American KFC featuring a massive Soviet mural.

  14. Belarus: A Complete Travel Guide for the Modern Explorer (2024)

    For sightseeing, the warmer months from May to September are ideal. If you're interested in winter sports, the colder months from December to February would be suitable. Best Time to Visit Belarus in 2024 for Cultural Events, Nature Trails, and Historical Tours: Belarus Weather Guide.

  15. 12 Most Beautiful Places in Belarus to Visit

    1. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is a realm of natural wonder that you simply can't miss when visiting Belarus. This UNESCO World Heritage site protects European bison and other species in Europe's last and greatest primeval woods. The park is a living museum, each tree and animal playing a role in a larger ecological tapestry.

  16. THE 30 BEST Places to Visit in Belarus (UPDATED 2024)

    1. Museum Strana Mini. 1,102. Speciality Museums. Museum of architectural miniatures «Strana mini» is an excellent choice for tourists. What expects you in «Strana mini»: Sightseeing exposure of 22 key Belarussian attractions, trip to which you…. 2. Memorial Complex Brest Hero-Fortress.

  17. Top Tourist Attractions, Attractions, Travel and Tourism in Belarus

    Top Tourist Attractions. Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity in Gerviaty. A magnificent church in the Neo-Gothic style, which can decorate any European capital, was built in the village of Gerviaty in the years 1899-1903 at the expense of Prince Olszewski. Add to My Guide. Museum-Estate of Ilya Repin "Zdravnevo".

  18. Top 15 places to visit in Belarus in 2024 (Lots of photos)

    Among the attractions of Belarus, Bobruisk Fortress holds a special place. It is a whole city with its cultural and social infrastructure. On the territory of the fortress there was even a paved Botanical Garden and the Cathedral Alexander Nevsky. Since 2002, the fortress is in the state list of cultural values in Belarus. 8.

  19. Top 10 Cities in Belarus You Should Visit in Your Lifetime

    10. Pinsk. Brest. 130,777. Source: Wikipedia, Data from 2015. It was a list of top 10 largest cities in Belarus. Now, it is time to move to the most beautiful ones. This list is in no particular order, they are the top 10 cities in Belarus to visit. You decide, which the best one is.

  20. 50 things to do in Belarus

    That is why we are happy to challenge you: how many of these 50 things can YOU do during your next trip around Belarus? ♦ Watch a lamplighter lighting street lamps at Sovetskaya Street in the city of Brest. ♦ Hear the Middle Ages' voice in the corridors and towers of Mir Castle. ♦ Recognize Mona Lisa on the mural "Belarusian Fire ...

  21. Belarus: All You Must Know Before You Go (2024)

    Belarus Tourism: Tripadvisor has 120,046 reviews of Belarus Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Belarus resource.

  22. 7 Reasons Why You Need to Visit Belarus This Year

    Some slogans people use for our country are " the Lungs of Europe " (forests occupy about 46% of country's territory), " Blue-Eyed Belarus " or " the Country of Lakes " (there are about 20 000 rivers and 11 thousand lakes in Belarus). Nature made ecotourism a very popular reason to visit Belarus. Numerous farmhouses built next to ...

  23. How to visit Belarus + Belarus itinerary

    Depending on how many days you plan to spend in Belarus, the itinerary would vary. If you have just 2 or 3 days to visit Belarus, we suggest focusing on the capital Minsk and maybe squeezing a day trip to the nearby castles - Mir and Nesvizh, or to Stalin Line. If you have 5 days in Belarus, you can visit Minsk, Mir and Nesvizh, Brest and ...

  24. Probe Ordered into Hollong Bungalow Blaze in Jaldapara ...

    The West Bengal government has initiated a probe into a fire that gutted the Hollong Bungalow in Alipurduar district's Jaldapara National Park. The structure, a popular tourist site, had been closed since June 15. Preliminary reports suggest a short circuit might be the cause.

  25. Tensions flare on Poland-Belarus border as more migrants arrive

    Surrounded by lush forests, a dozen people huddled near a razor-tipped fence along the Belarus border, waiting for a chance to scale it or push aside its slats to head west into Poland.