Traveling tips for Belarus – what you should know before traveling to Belarus

Are you considering a vacation to the fascinating nation of Belarus? If so, you should read this article. We are aware that every trip is an experience and that being organized may pay off greatly. Because of this, we’ve put up a list of crucial advice to help you learn about Belarus—a nation rich in culture, history, and scenic beauty.

Belarus, known as Europe’s best-kept secret, provides a distinctive fusion of contemporary European charm and Soviet legacy. It does, however, have its own unique set of difficulties and idiosyncrasies, just like every international travel location. The objective of this post is to provide you with the essential knowledge and insights to guarantee a seamless and pleasurable journey.

We can help you with anything from figuring out public transportation to comprehending regional customs and traditions. So, these travel suggestions for Belarus will help you maximize your trip, regardless of your level of travel experience.

Understanding Belarusian Culture and Customs

Belarus boasts a rich culture shaped by diverse influences over the centuries. Factors like its physical environment, the merging of Slavic and Baltic peoples, and the influence of paganism and Orthodox Christianity have contributed to its development. Despite periods of foreign control, including by Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and the Soviet Union, Belarusians have maintained their distinct identity.

Today, Belarus blends its heritage with modernity, cherishing traditions while embracing new ones. From architecture to cuisine, literature to sports, Belarusian culture reflects its unique spirit and rich history. Let’s delve deeper into these facets soon!

Visa and Entry Requirements

If you’re planning to visit Belarus, it’s important to understand the visa and entry requirements. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, a foreign citizen may enter the Republic of Belarus, leave the Republic of Belarus, and transit through the territory of the Republic of Belarus with a foreign travel document if there is a visa of the Republic of Belarus.

There are several types of entry visas:

  • B – Transit visa: It can be single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry. The validity of the visa cannot exceed one year with the right to stay in the Republic of Belarus for up to 2 days each time, including the day of entry.
  • C – Short-term visa: It can be single-entry, double-entry, and multiple-entry. The validity of the visa cannot exceed 90 days.
  • D – Long-term multiple-entry visa: The visa is issued for the period exceeding 90 days but not more than 5 years.

To obtain an entry visa, you should submit several documents to an entry visa issuing authority. These include a duly completed visa application form, one photograph, a foreign travel document, visa support documents, additional documents required (by request of the consular officer), a medical insurance contract signed with “Belgosstrakh“ or “Beleximgarant,“ or a medical insurance contract signed with any foreign insurance organization.

Transportation Within Belarus

Transportation within Belarus is well-developed and offers several options for getting around:

1. Railway Transport:

The railway system in Belarus is extensive and reliable, connecting over 2,100 destinations. Belarusian Railways offers different types of passenger transportation:

  • Urban lines: Within Minsk or an oblast capital and up to stations in satellite towns
  • Regional lines: Within an oblast or up to the nearest oblast subordination city in a neighboring region
  • Interregional lines: Between Minsk and oblast capitals, between oblast capitals
  • International lines: Connect Belarus and other countries. You can buy train tickets at stations, by phone, or online.

2. Bus Transport:

Buses and minibusses are convenient for intercity travel. Traveling by bus usually takes less time than by train. You can learn about the timetable, ticket costs, and seat availability online.

3. Automobile Transport:

You can also travel around Belarus by car.

4. Public Transport:

In major cities like Minsk, buses, trolleybuses, trams, and the 2-line metro are available

Accommodation Options

Belarus offers a wide range of accommodation options catering to all tastes and budgets.

1. Hotels: There are over 380 hotels and about 210 other accommodation facilities in Belarus. These range from luxury 5-star hotels to budget-friendly 3-star hotels. Some of the popular hotels include:

  • Hotel Edelweiss
  • Hotel Belarus: This is a 3-star hotel. A top comment for this hotel is “The Panorama restaurant on the very top floor was very good.”

2. Mini-Hotels and Roadside Hotels: These are officially not rated (as they have a few rooms) but they offer home coziness, modern amenities, and a high level of service.

3. Hostels: For budget travelers, there are economy-class hostels available.

4. Traditional Suits with a Nostalgic Atmosphere: These are available in famous historical sites like Nesvizh Palace and Mir Castle.

5. Modern and Contemporary Hotels: Some of the hotels are constructed by the world-famous hotel operators Crowne Plaza, Renaissance, Hilton, Marriott

Weather and Packing Essentials

Pack accordingly based on the season of your visit. Belarus experiences distinct seasons, with cold winters and warm summers. Be prepared for fluctuating weather conditions by packing layers, sturdy footwear, and essential items like sunscreen and insect repellent.

Health and Safety Precautions

Prioritize your health and safety by staying informed about any health risks and taking necessary precautions. Ensure you have adequate travel insurance coverage and familiarize yourself with emergency contact numbers. Stay vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas, to avoid petty crimes.

Exploring Belarusian Cuisine

Indulge in the diverse flavors of Belarusian cuisine during your visit. Sample traditional dishes like draniki (potato pancakes), machanka (pork stew), and haladnik (cold beetroot soup) at local eateries. Don’t forget to pair your meals with a glass of kvass or Belarusian vodka for an authentic culinary experience.

Must-Visit Attractions

Belarus is a country full of fascinating attractions and cultural experiences. Here are some must-visit attractions in Belarus:

1. Minsk:

The capital city of Belarus has a lot to offer visitors. Some of the key attractions include:

  • National Library of Belarus
  • Holy Spirit Cathedral
  • Church of Saints Simon and Helena

2. Vitebsk:

Known for its rich history and culture, Vitebsk has several attractions worth visiting:

  • City Hall (Ratusha)
  • Zoo
  • Annunciation Church/ Blagoveschenskaya Church

3. Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park:

This park covers both Belarus and neighboring Poland and is a protected area of land as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is famous for its lush landscapes and flora and fauna, the most notable of which is the European Bison.

4. Braslav Lakes:

If you want to explore what is left of an ancient glacier then a visit to Braslav Lake Area is something that you can’t miss. There are approximately 300 lakes in the region that are known as the ‘Blue Necklace’ of Belarus due to their azure waters

Cultural Etiquette and Respect

Show respect for Belarusian culture and customs by adhering to local etiquette. Remove your shoes when entering someone’s home, avoid discussing sensitive political topics, and refrain from taking photographs in Orthodox churches without permission. A little cultural sensitivity goes a long way in fostering positive interactions.

Language Tips for Travelers

Belarus is a multilingual country with Belarusian and Russian being the official languages. Here are some language tips for travelers:

Belarusian and Russian: The official language in Belarus is Belarusian, along with Russian. They are close but different. Belarusian developed from the dialects of Ruthenian found on ethnic Belarusian territory at the end of the 18th century.

English Proficiency: English is not commonly spoken in all areas of Belarus, especially outside major cities. So, learning a few basic Belarusian or Russian phrases can be helpful for tourists.

Basic Phrases: Here are some basic Belarusian phrases that might come in handy:

  • Hi / Hello: Вітаю (Vitayu)
  • Good morning / day / evening: Добрай раніцы (Dobray ranitsy) / добры дзень (Dobry dzyen) / добры вечар (Dobry vechar)
  • Goodbye: Да пабачэння (Da pabachenya)
  • Yes / No: Так (Tak) / Не (Ne)
  • Excuse me: Прабачце (Prabachtsye)
  • Thank you: Дзякуй (Dzyakuy)

Shopping and Souvenirs

Take home a piece of Belarus with you by shopping for unique souvenirs and handicrafts. Visit local markets and artisan shops to find authentic Belarusian products such as traditional embroidery, wooden carvings, and matryoshka dolls.

Responsible Tourism Practices

Practice responsible tourism by minimizing your environmental impact and respecting local customs and traditions. Dispose of waste responsibly, support local businesses, and engage with communities in a respectful and meaningful manner.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Is it safe to travel to Belarus?

A: Belarus is generally considered safe for tourists, but exercise caution and remain vigilant, especially in crowded tourist areas and at night.

Q: What should I wear in Belarus?

A: Dress according to the season, opting for layered clothing in winter and lightweight, breathable fabrics in summer. Respectful attire is appreciated when visiting religious sites.

Q: Do I need to tip in Belarus?

A: Tipping is not mandatory in Belarus, but it’s customary to leave a small tip for excellent service at restaurants and cafes.

Q: Can I drink tap water in Belarus?

A: While tap water in Belarus is technically safe to drink, many locals prefer to drink bottled or filtered water for taste and convenience.

Q: Are English speakers common in Belarus?

A: While English is not as widely spoken as Russian, many Belarusians, especially those in the hospitality industry and younger generations, have a basic understanding of English.

Q: What are the visa requirements for visiting Belarus?

A: Visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. Check with the nearest Belarusian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements and application procedures.


Equipped with this priceless travel advice for Belarus, you’ll be ready to set off on an unforgettable trip to this fascinating nation. Experience the beauty and warmth of Belarus by immersing yourself in local culture and traditional food, making your trip one to remember.

Please feel free to ask questions in the comment box below if you need more information or if you have any queries. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *