Being an independent state for already 20 years Belarus today is striving to win its share of the world tourism market. Now most tourists will normally say offhand that Belarus is somewhere in Russia and would write so on an envelope. They will also shiver at the thought of Soviet era service and infrastructure, Cold War treatment of foreigners and painful visa paperwork with the horrible Bratislava scene from the Eurotrip movie in the background...
Fortunately, all these are the stereotypes of the past. As a matter of fact applying for a Belarusian tourist visa is much easier than for a Russian one and all the paperwork consists of filling in a visa application and sending it to the embassy along with an invitation. Once you are here, you will notice that the post-Soviet country boasts of modern roads, efficient transportation system and refurbished cities and towns that offer hotels from two to five stars and plenty of attractions.
The Communist government and the Great Patriotic war left much of the country destroyed including the monuments of culture and architecture. Therefore quite a lot of private tours in Belarus are focused on the WWII sites – Hatyn Village, Stalin Line and the Brest Fortress to name a few. There are a lot of tailored tours that take travelers from Canada, Australia and the USA to remote Belarusian areas like Nalibokskaya Puscha (where the famous partisan team of the Belskies brothers was stationed) to track the roots of their families that were displaced in the course of the war.
The travelers to Belarus will discover rich country’s culture in restored castles and will definitely enjoy tasting Belarusian national cuisine, preferably in an old tavern or at a farmstead. There aren’t too many museums in Belarus, but the Museum of Great Patriotic War – one of the largest in the USSR – is a must-see. Dudutki Village is a special museum of folk crafts where the exhibits turn alive – you can see the potter at work or temporarily become an apprentice to the local blacksmith. Belarusian nature is an asset of the country’s tourism industry – thousands of tourists come to see the wildlife museum in Belavezhskaya Puscha or enjoy a bicycle ride across the old forest in Berezinsky National Reserve.
Preparing your Belarus tour you may have some questions on Belarus visa regime, medical insurance and other issues. You will find Belarus travel tips on a website developed by a private Minsk guide. Whether you seek information support or would like to book private Minsk tours, do not hesitate to shoot me an e-mail!
Berezinsky National Reserve
private Minsk guide