Belarus Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Belarus in 2022
Welcome to Belarus
Belarus is a small country with an area of about 30,000 square kilometers and a population of around 10 million people. It shares borders with Russia (to the north), Poland (west) and Ukraine (south), among others. The capital city, Minsk, is located on the Svislach river. Belarus was part of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the Gini coefficient (inequality indicator) is one of the lowest of European countries, making this nation one of most equal in the world.
There are plenty of museums, galleries, and theaters for those interested in art and culture. For sports fans, there is a large stadium, soccer fields, and an ice hockey rink. In summertime, there are lots of outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling or horseback riding.
Here in this ultimate Belarus travel guide, you will get all the info you should know to plan your trip to visit Belarus!
Document checklist for Belarus
Valid passport (at least 6 months)
Return airline ticket
Essential Belarus travel information
Currency - Belarusian ruble (BYN). USD 1 is equivalent to approx. BYN 2,53.
Daily budget for 1 person - For one person, the budget per day is around BYN 175 (USD 69).
Languages - Belarusian and Russian are the official languages, however, there are 3 recognized minority languages: Polish, Ukrainian, and Yiddish.
Socket type - For Belarus, there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Belarus operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.
Time zone - (GMT+3).
Top 3 cities to visit - Minsk, Brest, and Nesvizh.
Top 3 landmarks/monuments - Brest Fortress, Great Patriotic War Museum, and Nesvizh Castle.
Visa information for Belarus
Nationals from many countries need a visa to enter Belarus. This country issues transit visas, short term and long term, depending on the reasons for the visit and the duration of your stay. It also offers single-entry, double-entry and multiple-entry visas. We recommend using our Visa Checker Tool, so that you know with certainty if you need a tourist visa or other type of document to enter Belarus.
Most countries around the world can enter Belarus without a visa by going through the Minsk Airport, except for flights departing to and from Russian airports.
It is also important that you have your Belarus Health Declaration, as it is mandatory and required by the belarusian authorities to control the spread of Covid.
Right now we are offering help with the Embassy Registration, which is essential for your trip to Belarus.
Embassy Registration explained
Travel Registration is a service provided by the government. This service allows you to record information about your upcoming trip abroad with the Department of State, so it can be used to assist you in case of an emergency. People residing abroad can also get routine information from their nearest embassy or consulate if registered.
Typical costs and budget for Belarus
Here you will find the costs for your travel to Belarus.
Daily spending per person - The daily spending is around BYN 175 (USD 69).
Meals - Daily spending on food is around BYN 45 (USD 18).
Transport - Local transportation is around BYN 29 (USD 11).
Hotel - A hotel room for one person is around BYN 69 (USD 27,30), and BYN 139 (USD 55,00) for a couple.
Traveling to Belarus for one week usually costs around BYN 1,225 (USD 484,67) for one person. Consequently, a two-person trip to Belarus costs around BYN 2,451 (USD 969,73) for one week.
Transport and ways to travel around Belarus
There are many ways to move within Belarus over short and long distances. Here we will mention the most used and easiest means to plan your trip to Belarus.
- Train- It is the most popular means of transport if you are traveling within Belarus or to nearby countries; it has many regional connecting lines that will take you to your destination comfortably and quickly. You can enjoy a quiet train ride while enjoying the incredible views of the natural landscape that the country has for you.
The cost of the ticket depends on the type, whether in economy or business class. However, both have affordable prices. You can buy train tickets in person at the train station or online, with delivery in Minsk, Gomel, and Mogilev.
Bus- You can travel to Belarus by private bus or minibus. Depending on you and your budget, the cost of travel can be between 5-15 rubles, also depending on the route. You can book your virtual ticket and pay the driver before the trip.
Air transport- You can arrive in Belarus through the Minsk international airport. Being a small country, there are few active domestic flights. You will find flights to Gomel, Grodno, and Brest airports, which offer regular flights to the Russian city of Kaliningrad.
Safety in Belarus
Belarus is generally a safe country to travel to. However, there are general precautions you should follow to take care. Here are some travel advice for when traveling to Belarus:
Avoid talking about the political situation in the country, the opposition, and the government, so you won’t have any problems.
Drugs are illegal in Belarus, including marijuana, therefore you should not carry drugs during your trip.
If you get lost or need assistance, do not hesitate to ask the local police for help; they are friendly and will help you if you need it.
Keep your belongings close and avoid being in lonely places late at night.
Always travel with your travel documents, such as international medical insurance and your passport.
Contact the consular assistance if you need some information on foreign affairs of consular services.
As long as you take these general precautions and always take care, you will have an excellent trip in Belarus.
Weather in Belarus
The best season to travel to Belarus is during the warm summer (22°C/ 71.6°F), from June to September , given the winter is long and extremely cold. Belarus has a temperate-continental climate characterized by moderate temperatures, typical of Central Europe.
Popular cities and towns in Belarus
If you are in Belarus, you must explore the most famous Belarusian cities visited by foreign citizens.
Minsk - It’s one of the major cities and Belarus’s capital, so your trip should start here. Minsk offers great swimming spots, as well as beautiful gardens and parks for pleasant walks, such as the Central Botanic Garden. Also, if you are a history buff, you should visit the National History Museum to learn more about Belarus. Are you ready to start your journey in the lovely city of Minsk?
Brest - It is one of Belarus's major cities and most popular tourist sites. You can visit the Brest Fortress, where you will find a Soviet memorial that is the main attraction for visitors. Here you can see the Museum of Railway Machinery, which opened in 2002 to show the history of train travel in Belarus, and which is the first open-air museum in the country. You should also take a walk along the pedestrian street Sovetskaya in the center of Brest or in Lenin Square.
Like other cities in Belarus, Brest was devastated after World War II, but the Russians rebuilt it.
Nesvizh - This city is located 120 km from Minsk and is truly popular thanks to the Nesvizh Castle, a World Heritage Site, and many other attractions. It is a small town with fantastic places that will take away your breath, like the Mir Castle, Slutsk Gate, and much more.
Polotsk - It is the oldest city in Belarus, and one of the oldest cities in the entire Slavic region. Polotsk was the country’s first capital. Its main attraction is the Cathedral of Saint Sophia, the first stone-made church in Belarus, giving it unparalleled importance as a cultural point. You can also visit the Boris Stone (which grants wishes according to legends), the Red Bridge, and other destinations that will steal your heart.
Grodno - It is located on the Neman River, near the borders of Poland and Lithuania. A great and beautiful city. A popular place in the times of the Soviet Union, so you will see remnants of the Soviet era, like the statues of Lenin. You will also find the Tower of Fire, the Castle of Grodno, and other places that keep secrets of history that are there for you to travel to the greatness of the past.
Must do and see in Belarus
Brest Hero-Fortress - The fortress is the most popular tourist attraction in Brest, symbolizing Soviet resistance during World War II. Created to immortalize the courageous action of the fortress's defenders in the fascist attack in 1941. This site resisted the German offensive for 28 days. It’s a monumental representation of the historical tragedy lived by the fallen heroes.
Great Patriotic War Museum - In 1943 this museum was created, it shows the history of the struggle of the Belarusian people against the German invaders during the Great Patriotic War, which led to the first exhibition in 1944, shortly after the city of Minsk was liberated. Today, the Museum of the Great Patriotic War is one of the most interesting military history museums in post-Soviet territory. It is increasingly popular among Belarusians and foreign tourists.
Nesvizh Castle - It is another of Belarus's most popular architectural masterpieces and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its beautiful Renaissance art, along with Baroque, Classicism, and Modernism styles make it an extraordinary place for visitors, who will be surrounded with an atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
Belarusian State Art Museum - It is one of the most iconic museums in Belarus, located in Minsk and built in 1939. Here you will see Soviet social realism works that represent the country's history, like one depicting the arrival of the Red Army to the city in ruins by artist Valentin Volkov.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park - One of the largest and oldest forests in Europe, protected by UNESCO, it’s a symbol of pride for Belarus. Here walks free the European bison, a majestic animal, through the forests of this national park. This valuable territory received the European Diploma in Protected Areas from the Council of Europe in 1997, for special merits in the conservation of biological, geological, and landscape diversity.
Typical Belarus food to try
Here will mention the most delicious local food you should taste in your trip:
Draniki (potato pancakes) is the most typical dish of Belarusian cuisine. Its ingredients are potatoes and grated onions, although it sometimes includes meat, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. It is served with sour cream.
Tsibriki is an appetizer, a great side dish to try if you want to start with something small. It’s made of potatoes and a cheese filling, which is fried.
Kvass is a traditional drink that is fermented and consumed in the summer. This drink dates from the middle ages and is produced by the natural fermentation of bread. It’s flavored with fruits, berries, or raisins.
Vaccine information for Belarus
Before your trip, you must get all the information you need about the Covid vaccine and other health requirements, like your travel insurance; for this reason, we recommend you to click on the CDC website. It’s very important to check this information given the increasingly serious health concern.
Russian language prevalence is strong in communication
Both Belarusian and Russian are considered official languages in the country, but only around 10% of citizens actually use Belarusian in daily communication. Many inhabitants speak Trasianka, which is a mix of Belarusian and Russian.
Fun facts about Belarus
Belarusians love potatoes, they are a staple of Belarusian cuisine and there are over 300 types.
Forests cover about 40% of Belarus. This nation could be considered one of the lungs of Europe.
Belarusians have a pancake week, it’s a Slavic holiday called Maslenitsa. Pancakes are made in every home to enjoy among friends and family, as well as in local festivals.
Independence Avenue is the longest street in Belarus. One of the last Neoclassical ensembles of world architecture and one of the longest streets in Europe. It is also a candidate on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The bison is one of their national symbols. These were animals that were on the verge of extinction, but you now find more than 600 European bBison in the forests of Belarus.
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