About Belarus

Why to visit?

The enchanting nature of Belarus has attracted interest in the country since time immemorial. The country is incredibly reach is sites of tourist interest: castles, historical villages, churches, museums and art galleries, theaters and shopping centers, not talking about the natural beauty of picturesque rivers, lakes, woods and fields of our country. The Belarusians are always looking forward to meeting new people and welcoming guests with all their heart.

Why is it worth coming to Belarus?

In Belarus one can see many unique architectural monuments of 11-18 centuries, which will impress amateur tourist as well as sophisticated in history and arts ones. St. Sophia Cathedral, Mir and Nesvizh Castles, Kalozhskaya Church, Kamenetz Tower – all these monuments of architecture are definitely worth your attention and visiting.

Belarusian tradition of cooking will impress you with gastronomic abundance: potato pancakes, dumplings, machanka. In Belarus you will not be hungry! After all, Belarusian cuisine is always hearty and delicious!

Belarus gives the opportunity to relax and think: there you have an opportunity to lie on ashore of some beautiful lake or on a river bank in the shade of trees enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings. It is a perfect way to get some rest when you are tired from living in a big noisy city.

Belarus is famous for its cleanliness and safety of natural landmarks.

The most popular tourist destination in Belarus is Belovezhskaya Puscha – a place where an ancient forest with its unique flora and fauna has been preserved. The main residents of the forest are aurochs.

Belarus is an welcoming, joyful country, and all kinds of entertainment are available there!Theatres, Zoo, dolphinarium, circus, sports centers, exciting nightlife – in Belarus it`s easy to find activities suitable for everyone.

If you would like to visit our “blue-eyed” Belarus, we have prepared for you tips to help you during your stay in the country and make it as comfortable as possible.

Safety

A potentinal tourist cares obout his or her own safety in the country he or she is going to visit. We can confidently say that Belarus is one of the safest and most peaceful countries not only in Europe but in the whole world. Our safety system is based on several national characteristics. Belarusians is a peaceful nation, and we have warm and friendly attitude not only each other but to the guests of our country as well.

All tourists know that railway stations in large cities are unsafe places. However, Minsk Railway Station and Central Bus Station are safe – of that you can be sure! Besides the comfortable waiting rooms at stations there are police patrols that monitor your and your luggage safety. Of course, this does not mean that you can leave your belongings unattended and go where you want with the confidence that they won’t be stolen. But it is a fact that you can safely take a nap waiting for your vehicle with absolutely no fear.
To choose Belarus as a place of a tourist destination is to coose safety and comfort!

For extra confidence in your safety we recommended you to have with you the following short phonenumbers of emergency services in Belarus:

101 – Ministry of Emergency Situations (call in case of emergencies);
102 – Police (call in case you become a victim or witness of a crime);
103 – Emergency medical care;
112 – Unified number for emergencies;
104 – Emergency service of gas network

We very much hope that you will not have to use these numbers throughout the entire period of travel across Belarus!

Belarusian cuisine

The rih and delightful belarusian cuisine has been formed under the influence of neighboring countries of northeastern Europe in the long historical process of political and cultural communication.

The gastronomic diversity of Belarusian cuisine had always been original and wide, but decreased significantly in the years of the USSR, when many aspects of life were standartized. The diet of the belorussians had always consisted of meat, vegetables, dairy products and, of course, bread, while the diet of simple rural people and gentry had always been greatly different. The so-called “Belarusian elite” could afford foreign-made delicacies, while the peasant food was scarce.

The peasants who worked in fields, were used to a hearty breakfast, because the work in fields required a lot of strength.This habit can be still traced in the Belarusian nation; lots of people are accustomed to have hearty breakfasts, paying to their lunch and dinner less attention.

Working in field, farmers cultivated cereals: rye, wheat, buckwheat, oats, and barley. Cereals occupied a large part in the cooking of traditional Belarusian dishes. The main product on the table was bread; not only bread was made from grain glour, but also pancakes.

Housewives of those times often cooked soups, because they did not require a lot of products and at the same time were nutritious. They prepared cabbage soup, borsch, rossolnik, sorrel soup, all of which are still very popular. In summer people preferred cold soup from beet, so called “holodnik”.

A belorussian table is always full of vegetables: beets, carrots, cabbage, beans ans, of course, potato! More than 100 famous dishes can be prepared from it. The most popular of them are draniki and deruny. Potato can be also served as garnish to meat dishes.

As for meat, not everyone could afford to eat it every day. Poor people were able to treat their families with meat dishes only on holidays. Later, when everyone had their own farms, meat has become available to all society members. The most popular and accessible was pork. Keeping meat in large amount wasn’t possible, so people made sausage or dried it. Also among popular meat dishes there were zrazy, machanka, cutlets, stews, goulash and kolduny.

Dairy still occupy large part of goods in refrigerators of housewives. They are used both in pure form and added while preparing main dishes and desserts.

The main drink of the Belarusians was kvas, prepared from bread. The most popular alcoholic beverages were “garelka” and “krambambulya”, which were made from honey and herbs. Today vodka keeps the leading position among alcoholic beverages in Belarus. Mineral water, compote and juice are popular among non-alcoholic drinks.

Modern Belarusian cuisine borrows a lot of dishes from abroad, but the traditions are preserved and respected: all the dishes that we got from our grandparents always stand at the head of the festive table.

Medicine

Belarusian medicine has always been attractive for foreign citizens. There are a lot of reasons for it : the high level of service provision, a wide range of services to choose, good results of the treatment and reasonable prices.

In recent years our medicine has risen to a proper level and become competitive among the neighboring countries. The achievements in the field of oncology, hematology, oncology are noteworthy, as well as the achievements in orthopedics and traumatology. An important contribution is made by auxiliary means of treatment.

Belarusian medicine successfully developes organ transplantation (heart, kidney, liver) and plastic surgery. Every year a number of successfully carried out surgeries increases.

Stomatological services are on top of the list for the visitors of our country. You can refer to the dentist for treatment, prosthetics, surgery, physical therapy and prevention.

It`s much better and easier to prevent a disease rather than treat it and waste lots of money, time and nerves, so it`s more practical to check the condition of your health on a regular basis. In Belarus you have an opportunity to get a complete examination as well as a “health passport” after the completion.

In Belarus there are special rules for for citizens of the CIS, who have certain benefits in our country.

Of course, all these factors create favorable conditions for medical tourism in Belarus.

Money

The fact that having arrived in Belarus one can become a “millionaire” was known to everyone. But in July 2016 denomination was carried out and banknotes in the country were changed.

Belarusian money today are presented by paper banknotes and coins. New money is represented by the banknotes valued of 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 rubles. The banknotes depict the major attractions of Belarus.

Furthermore, there are coins in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents, and 1 and 2 rubles in circulation. The obverse of a coin features the coat of arms of Belarus, the reverse- its nominal value.

Banknotes have 6 degrees of differences and a variety of degrees of protection, visible and invisible. Some safety signs are known only to the staff of the banks.

In addition, new notes have marks by which blind people can distinguish money without turning to other people`s help. All cash payments in Belarus are carried out in Belarusian rubles. That`s why you should change currency immediately on arrival in the country in the neatest bank or currency exchange office.

If you are not a supporter of cash, it won’t be a problem to make non-cash payments by credit card through terminal.

Visa to Belarus

In the Republic of Belarus there are three types of entry visas:

  • visa for entry into the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter – entry visa)

Entry visa can be single, double or multiple.

The entry visa comprises several categories:

B – transit visa (ensures transit through the territory of the Republic of Belarus and is valid for two days);

C – short-stay visa (valid for 90 days);

D – long-stay visa, that is (issued for up to one year with the right to stay for 90 days, unless Belarusian international treaties otherwise provide.

The entry visa is issued at the National Airport Minsk-2 by the diplomatic authorities, consular offices and the Department of the Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

  • visa for exit from the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter — the exit visa);
  • visa for exit from the Republic of Belarus and for entry into the Republic of Belarus (hereinafter — the exit-entry visa)

In order to obtain entry visa to Belarus foreigners should provide the following documents:

  1. Filled visa application form (for application blank visit http://mfa.gov.by/visa/vjezd/info/faefad5873cc7ea0.html);
  2. One photo;
  3. A foreign travel document;
  4. Visa support documents;

To get entry visa for tourism purpose foreigners should provide the following documents: an application of visa support of a Belarusian tourist company, issued on a letter-head with the full name of the tourist company, its location and telephone number and the obligation of the tourist company to assure a foreign citizen observance of the rules of stay in the Republic of Belarus, sealed by the tourist company;

We wish to draw your attention to the fact that our company provides visa support supplying the tourists with all necessary documents as long as they book our services. The price of application of visa support is 35 USD per person.

Entry visa applications for a purpose of business, private or for participation in sport or cultural activities for the period of up to 30 days of the citizens of Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland , France, Germany, Greece, SAR PRC Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Latvia , Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, SAR PRC Macau, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Uruguay could be considered by the consular officer without visa support documents, that confirm the purpose and conditions of the visit.

  1. Additional documents if requested by the consular officer;
  2. Medical insurance contract concluded with RUE «Belgosstrakh» or «Beleximgarant» or medical insurance contract concluded with any foreign insurance organization
  3. A confirmation of the consular fee paid.

Transport

Our guests have an opportunity to travel around Belarus by any means of transport depending on what they want to see and do. The most convenient way to travel is to rent a car.
Advantages of car rental are obvious – freedom of movement and independence from public transport schedules, ability to reach any point of Belarus because of the compactness of our country that allows one to get quickly from one point to another, and, of course, because of our good quality roads.
Besides car rental there are three variants of travelling across Belarus.
The first variant is long-distance and suburban buses. Comfort varies depending on the route, but you certainly will be able to get to your destination easily and safely, even if it is not as fast as by car.
You can see schedules, ticket prices and buy them online on the website http://www.minsktrans.by (“Minsktrans” , a state enterprise, which is engaged in bus transport)
http://ticketbus.by – tickets online
The second variant is to choose rail links. A clear advantage is that travelling by trains is much more comfortable, what is specially important during thr long journeys, for example, Minsk-Brest, Minsk-Vitebsk, and so on.
In some cases, train is cheaper and faster than bus, but it is necessary to take into account that railway routes are not laid to all the cities of Belarus. In such a case you should choose bus or a third variant of transport – a minibus taxi.
You can see schedules, ticket prices and buy them online on the website http://www.rw.by/
At some point minibus taxi has become the most popular means of transport in Belarus.
There are several explanations for that. First of all, minibus taxis develop higher speed than usual shuttle buses do. Also all the minibus taxis in Belarus posses a high level of comfort and always equipped with Wi-Fi and TVs. This means of transport have passed state registration, so you can be sure that you and those who travel with you will safe and protected during the journey.
The city public transport is represented by buses, trolley buses, subway and minibuses.Some towns are so small that the use ofpublic transport is not necessary at all.
In Minsk the most popular means of public transport is subway, which has two brunches: Avtozavodskaya and Moscovskaya, and the third bruch is being constructed at the moment. You should have into consideration that for using public transport for free you can be charged with fare. In order to avoid such a situation you should buy a ticket in special gray-colored stalls with the lettering “Mіnsktrans” – thay usually stay at the public bus stops or you can buy tickets from drivers.
A trip by land transport in Minsk will cost 0.55 BYN, it is approximately equal to 0.20 euro cents.. Don`t forget that the driver ticket will cost a little more – 0.6 BYN.
As for minibus taxi, you are supposed to pay directly to the driver approximately 1.2-1.5 BYN or 0.70 euro cents.
The subway operates accourding to the following system: a one-time travel, a monthly travel card and a card with number of trips. The subway tickets should be bought in a special box office, which is located directly at the metro station.
Note that in each subway station there is a police officer on duty who may inspect your things if the size of the luggage is too large (suitcases, bags, etc.).
Entrance to the Minsk subway is marked with a red letter “M”. The subway itself is represented by only two branches, the transition between them is carried out at the stations “Kupalaўskaya” and “Kastrachnіtskaya”.

Entertainment

One of the most popular cultural centers of Belarus is undoubtedly the capital of the country Minsk. Everyone can find the best way to spend leisure time there. Minsk has a wide range of entertaiment to offer!

The Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus, which is famous now all around the world, will amuse even sophisticated connoisseurs of the classic art. A visit to National Museum of Art will be also interesting for all tourists: both traditional and modern exhibitions are held there.

Those who prefer romantic walks in picturesque places we can advise advise to walk along Svisloch and visit the Trinity Suburb to enjoy the view of beautiful tiled roofs.

Experienced party-people will appreciate cheerful gatherings on Zybitskaya street – a street full of bars of all possible kinds.

For those who are on a trip with children may consider an idea to visit aqua park «Lebyazhiy», Zoo, Dolphinarium or Dinopark or to enjoy a colorful performance in The Belarusian State Circus.

If you are determined to get all the possible impressions and experiences in our country you should definitely see our most famous castles – Mir and Nesvizh, and then try a shot of our national alcohol drink and cracklings (fried bacon), or «charka» and «shkvarka» as we call it, in the Museum Complex of ancient crafts “Dududki”. You can also shoot a real gun on “Stalin Line”, breath crystal clean and fresh air in the Berezinsky Reserve or feed a bison in the relict forest of Belovezhskaya Puscha.