Northern Belarus features the main cities of Minsk and Vitsebsk. Both cities were almost completely razed to the ground during world war two and have since been rebuilt. Before the wars, Vitsebsk was home to a large population of Jews, including the famous artist Marc Chagall. There are several museums in the city celebrating his life and work.
Southern Belarus is dominated by gentle plains, forests, fields and small villages.
Brest is the major town in the south, just on the border with Poland and with a more European atmosphere. However, the nature is the main thing to see in the south. Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park is the best place to see Europe's largest mammal, the European bison, and 60 other varieties of animals as well as 900 species of plants. Pripyatsky National Park, also known as ‘the lungs of Europe’ due to the amounts of oxygen that the forests and swamps produce here, offers fantastic birdwatching opportunities.
This is the place to go if you are interested in Soviet period architecture. Rebuilt in the 1950s after being completely destroyed in the second world war, the capital of Belarus has many fine examples of Stalinist-style buildings. The capital is surprisingly lively, despite authoritarian rule: art galleries, trendy cafes, restaurants and nightclubs give the city a modern, forward-looking atmosphere.
Located close to the city of Brest on the border of Poland, this national park is a widely undisturbed tract of woodland, which is home to many endangered species and the last place in Europe where bison can be seen in the wild. Previously a hunting ground for nobility, it is one of the last remaining parts of the immense primeval forest which was formerly part of central Europe.
The Glory Mound is an imposing monument located at the top of an artificial hill near Minsk. It was built in 1969 in honour of the Soviet Army which liberated Belarus in 1944. The soil used in the construction of the hill was from the nine ‘Hero Cities’ of the former Soviet Union and from the various battlegrounds of the second world war.
Located in the west of the country close to the borders of Poland and Lithuania, the town of Grodno is one of the oldest cities in Belarus, founded in the 11th century. Visitors to the city are attracted to the fine examples of medieval and baroque architecture.
Often described as the most beautiful building in Belarus, Mir Castle has been listed as a Unesco world heritage site. Construction started in the 16th century, originally in the gothic style, but was finally completed in the Renaissance style.
See Belarus come alive in this image and video gallery, showing off some of the best areas that you can visit and explore.
Discover the temperatures and rainfall you can expect when visiting the main areas of Belarus, along with the best time to travel.
We have collated some of the best books and guides to Belarus, to help you make the most of your holiday to the country.
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