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Niasviz, Belarus
Niasviz, Belarus by Egor Kunovsky on Unsplash.

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Belarus Travel Notes

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Belarus Travel and Tourism on Travel Notes


The charm of Belarus is in its historical sites, vibrant culture, and welcoming locals. Explore ancient castles, orthodox churches, and picturesque landscapes.

About Belarus

Belarus has a lot to offer to tourists, from impressive modern architecture to well-preserved historical landmarks.

However, there are some travel restrictions and concerns that travellers should be aware of due to the country's political situation.

Countries neighbouring Belarus: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and Ukraine.

Travel Map Mapping Belarus

Map of Belarus

Map of Belarus

Belarus is bordered by Russia to the east and north-east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the north-west.

The capital and largest city of Belarus is Minsk.

Belarus Overview

Belarus, officially known as the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe.

Belarus is also known as Byelorussia, or White Russia.

Belarus Economy

Belarus has a mixed economy, with a significant state sector and a growing private sector.

Its economy is heavily reliant on its close economic ties with Russia, which provides cheap oil and gas to Belarus in exchange for favorable economic policies.

Belarus is known for its heavy industry, including manufacturing of tractors, trucks, and heavy machinery, as well as for its agricultural sector.


Belarus has a long and complex history, having been part of various empires and states throughout the centuries.

Belarus was a convenient battleground for Polish and Russian armies between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The Russians retreated in 1812 when Napoleon's armies invaded, and the area never had a real chance to develop.

A Belarusian democratic republic was proclaimed after the collapse of the Russian Empire, but the Bolsheviks soon put a stop to that idea.

The country was again almost devastated during World War II, when the Germans were expelled.

Belarus also received the highest amount of nuclear fallout, of all the Soviet republics, from the Chernobyl disaster; across the border, in Ukraine.


Belarus has a population of around 9.5 million people, with Belarusians being the largest ethnic group.

Spoken languages are Belarusian and Russian, although Belarusian is the only official language according to the constitution.


Belarus  finally gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, and since then has been governed by President Alexander Lukashenko, who has been in power since 1994.

Lukashenko has been criticized for his authoritarian rule and suppression of political opposition, as well as for his government's human rights record.

In recent years, Belarus has been in the news for political turmoil, following the disputed presidential election in August 2020, which opposition leaders claimed was rigged.

Protests erupted across the country, and the government responded with a crackdown on opposition leaders and protesters, resulting in widespread international condemnation.

In February 2022, Belarus was used by Russia as an invasive way into neighbouring Ukraine. Belarus would subsequently suffer sanctions, alongside Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Belarus Tourism

Belarus is known for its beautiful nature, including its many forests, lakes, and rivers.

Visitors can explore its national parks, such as Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, which is home to the European bison, or visit the Pripyatsky National Park, known for its marshes, swamps, and diverse bird population.

The country also has a rich history and culture, with many museums and historical sites to visit, such as the Brest Fortress, Mir Castle, and Nesvizh Castle.

Belarusian cuisine is also something to experience, with dishes like draniki (potato pancakes) and machanka (pork stew).

Visit Belarus

The currency is the Belarusian ruble, and the country operates on Central European Time (CET).

It is important to note that visa requirements vary depending on your nationality, so be sure to check with the Belarusian embassy or consulate in your home country before traveling.

Some of the most popular tourist destinations in Belarus outside of Minsk.

Braslav Lakes National Park

A stunning natural reserve with over 30 lakes, hiking trails, and wildlife.

Brest Fortress

An historic landmark and museum that tells the story of the heroic defense of Brest Fortress during World War II.

Mir Castle

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous castles in Belarus, known for its unique architecture and beautiful gardens.

Nesvizh Palace

A magnificent 16th-century palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its beautiful gardens and rich history.

In addition to these attractions, Belarus also offers a range of cultural festivals and events throughout the year, including the Minsk International Film Festival 'Listapad', the 'Slavianski Bazaar' international arts and music festival, and the 'Belarusian Fashion Week'.


Belarus is a fascinating destination with a rich cultural heritage and stunning natural landscapes

If you are planning a trip to Belarus, be sure to do some research on the local customs and traditions, as well as the best times to visit based on your interests and preferences.


The capital of the Republic of Belarus was founded in 1067, as Mensk, and has been under Lithuanian, Polish and Russian control during its history; and was even occupied by the Germans.

Map of Minsk

Map of Minsk

Minsk offers a vibrant mix of old and new architecture, museums, and cultural events.

Minsk in Your Pocket:
Travel information for visitors to Belarus, from the esteemed In Your Pocket guide series.

Private Tour Guide in Minsk:
Andrei Burdenkov, a certified private tour guide registered in Minsk, offers Belarus guided tours to English-speaking visitors. His website also has Belarus travel tips and other useful information about Belarus.

Belarus Visas

Belarus Facts:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

Fifty Things to Do in Belarus:
Travel like a local with these great tips of what to do in Belarus.

Belarus Visas:
Visa requirements for visitors to Belarus.

Around Belarus


Once a part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Brest is situated in the western Belorussian Polessye.


The Gomel region is in south-eastern Belarus; bordering Ukraine and Russia


Founded in the 11th century, Grodno overlooks the Neman River and is one of the oldest cities in Belarus.


The Mogilev region is in eastern Belarus; bordering Russia.


Centred around Vrtebsk, the Vitebsk region is situated in north-eastern Belarus; bordering with Lithuania, Latvia and Russia.

Where to Stay in Belarus

Where to Stay in Minsk

Hotel Minsk

Hotel Minsk, Belarus

Hotel Minsk: Nezavisimosti Avenue 11, Minsk.

After its opening in December, 2002 Hotel Minsk became the first four-star hotel in the Republic of Belarus. Located on the central Nezavisimosti Avenue, Hotel Minsk offers a picturesque view of the city, Independence Square and the Red Church.

Guests staying in one of the 252 rooms at Hotel Minsk have a choice of three restaurants. There's also a Lobby Bar and Night Club as well as a Fitness Club and Beauty Salon.

Hotel Yubileiny

Hotel Yubileiny, Minsk

Hotel Yubileiny: Pobediteley Avenue 19, Minsk.

The Yubileiny is one of the busiest hotels in downtown Minsk.The cheaper rooms are of the Soviet variety while the more expensive 'business class' rooms actually have renovated bathrooms and are much brighter.

Designed by an Italian architect, the restaurant at the Hotel Yubileiny serves traditional Belorussian and international cuisine.

Hotels in Minsk.

Belarus Maps and Travel Guides

Belarus (Bradt Travel Guides) Belarus

Belarus Travel Guides - Belarus Maps.

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