Having long been off the mainstream tourist maps of Europe, Belarus is now one of the continent’s emerging destinations, helped significantly by the new relaxed visa regulations. When flying into Minsk, a visa is no longer required for up to 30 days.
The capital offers a pretty old town, gothic Soviet architecture and wide, tree-lined boulevards. Outside the city, the pace of life slows dramatically, with opportunities to enjoy some of the last primeval forest in Europe, native wildlife, Unesco-listed castles and manor houses, and cosy agritourism farm stays, giving the opportunity to learn traditional Belarussian cooking.
The historic city of Brest in the south-west of the country is another highlight. The city was the epicentre of the war between Nazi Germany and the USSR and was witness to some of the most brutal warfare of the 20th century. Today, this dark period of history is captured in the imposing ‘Courage’ and ‘Thirst’ monuments at Brest Fortress – a powerful reminder of the region’s tragic past.
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Currency Belarussian rouble
Flying time from London 2.5 hours
Official language(s) Russian, Belarussian
Time difference +2 GMT
Visa requirements Visas are required before travel for UK passport holders
The Belarus Experts
Our experts will be delighted to tailor a completely personalised itinerary to suit your interests, dates and budget.
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.
Visit Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park
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.
See the Glory Mound
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.
Explore Mir Castle
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.
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