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Belarus travel guide

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Belarus
Belarus
by fazenross

Belarus

Stalin chic meets the 21st century

Belarus is a country the size of the American state of Minnesota wedged between Poland, Lithuania, Russia, and Ukraine. “White Russia” was been under Lithuanian, Polish, Austrian, or Russian rule through most of its history and the country Belarus only came into existence in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union. The current president Alexander Lukashenko often appears nostalgic about the Soviet era and his regime has faced criticism over its human rights policies. Yet this one-party state has a mixed economy and visitors free to move around at will. Almost everyone needs a visa and they don’t come cheap but crossing the border itself is usually no problem. There are frequent buses and trains from Vilnius, Lithuania, and Walsaw, Poland. After being completely destroyed during World War Two, the capital Minsk was rebuilt in the same ornate Stalinist neo-classicism evident in many ex-Soviet cities. Minsk’s main museum is dedicated to the war. Although history and politics are never far from the surface in this enigmatic country, Minsk can be enjoyable, especially along the Svislach River which winds through the city passing parks and promenades. The theaters and concert halls of Minsk offer outstanding performances at nominal admission prices. Aside from Minsk, most visitors to Belarus also visit Brest on the Polish border. There a 19th century Russian fortress has become a memorial to the Soviet troops who held out against overwhelming German force for over a month during the early days of the war. Also worth a visit is the old ex-Polish town of Hrodna on the road from Brest to Vilnius.

Top 10 Things to do in Belarus

voted by the tripwolf community
  • Nesvizh Castle

    3 votes

    Sight
    in Minsk, Belarus

    Without this residence, who knows how different Europe's history could have been. The Architectura...

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