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Where to go in Belarus

Belarus Custom Tour Packages

We'll make no bones about it, Belarus is not politically free. President Lukashenko took office in July 1994 when he was just 40 years old, and has not allowed open opposition since. Following the much-criticised and obviously rigged elections in 2020, Belarus has become harder for Americans to visit, with the cancellation of the visa waiver program. So what's so fascinating about the place?

Europe’s Last Dictatorship

We have many former communist countries on our map. But for us and anyone who has already visited those countries, Belarus still provides a unique opportunity. Rather than being a “time warp” like Transnistria in Moldova, Belarus represents an alternate reality. It's a “what if” for all those countries around it that fought either physically or politically for freedom and democracy. Belarus had a window of opportunity after declaring independence from the USSR in 1990. In the 1994 elections, a large majority voted for Lukashenko. From then on he cemented his position, seizing parliamentary power and replacing representatives with his own allies.

It’s Very Clean...

Visiting Belarus nowadays, you'll notice a few things. Firstly it's very clean. It seems that litter is either not tolerated, or is tidied up very quickly. Secondly, you'll notice that everyone in Belarus seems to have a good word to say about the President and the government. In public at least. This deference and the presence of large-brimmed military hats can give the impression that stepping out of line is frowned upon. Personal safety in Belarus is definitely not a concern. The locals range from being a little cold to being friendly and curious as to why you're visiting.

Belarus Beyond Minsk

Beyond the sizable capital of Minsk, you'll find flat, green countryside and a number of castles that make for great day trips. For a long time Belarus was a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Around 1800 it became part of the Russian Empire.

Suggested Combinations

Many expect the Belarusian government to soon expand the visa waiver program to cover other border crossings. Until then, it is still easier to arrive in Belarus by air. There are direct trains from Vilnius to Minsk if you don't mind the administrative hassle and cost of applying for a visa. Though inexpensive regular direct flights negate the advantage of travel by train. Belarus makes for an interesting combination with its neighbors: Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine. Many other countries in the region have direct flight links to Minsk too.

Get your customized Belarusian trip plan

We provide Belarus travel services to Minsk and elsewhere. We also offer travel destinations throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Contact us for a free travel consultation and we will prepare an Belarusian vacation package just for you.

Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Belarus

Is it safe to travel to Belarus?
Due to the country's involvement in Russia's invasion of Ukraine we are not facilitating travel to Belarus at this time.
When is the best time to visit Belarus?
Belarusian winters are cold, and followed by warm summers (with highs usually in the 70s). The weather tends to change often, and fall and spring can be foggy. We recommend visiting between late April and late September (the spring is especially nice).
What is Belarusian cuisine like?

Belarus’ food is focused on pork, vegetables, and bread, and combines influences from all of its neighbors. Belarusians take their time preparing food, often making stews or slowly cooking ingredients. Draniki, potato pancakes very similar to latkes but occasionally stuffed, are a national dish, and hearty soups are very common.

Belarusian drinks tend to be strong, with vodka popular, and often flavored with birch sap or forest herbs. Mead, sometimes made with vodka, is experiencing a revival. The most popular non-alcoholic drink is Kvass, which is made from fermented rye bread and sometimes compared to root beer. A popular summertime refreshment, people can be seen selling Kvass from trailers in parks. Minsk has high-quality tap water, but elsewhere in the country, you’re better off sticking to bottled water.

What is public transportation like in Belarus?
Most travel in Belarus is conducted via informal minibuses that only depart when full. While you're unlikely to need to use it, Minsk has an effective subway system, with photogenic stations. All subway stations are equipped with security scanners, and people with luggage and backpacks will have their belongings scanned.
Do I need a visa to visit Belarus?
Since September 2021 Americans are not included in Belarus’s visa waiver program (Canadians and most other western country citizens are), so a visa is required. We can provide our guests with the necessary paperwork for their visa application through our local partners. Visa application and associated fees must be handled by the traveler themselves. We cannot offer visa assistance to anyone not travelling with us.
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