Belarus is a relatively lesser known country in Europe that has lots of great places to visit that most people don’t know about. The wide diversity of things to do in Belarus allows everyone to find something interesting.
The country is the best place to visit if you are a nature lover, if you want to discover former Soviet Union countries, if you like visiting medieval castles or spending time in old historical cities. Here is a list of 10 Best Places to Visit in Belarus:
10 Best Places to Visit in Belarus
- Bialowieza Forest National Park
- Braslav Lake Group
- Medieval Mir Castle
- Brest Hero-Fortress
- Minsk, capital of Belarus
- Grodno full of architectural sights
- ‘Belarusian Maldives’
- Geographical Center of Europe
- Silichi Ski Resort
- Visit Zabrodie Village that Still Remembers the First World War
Some information about Belarus
Belarus is a country situated in the geographical center of Europe, although many people think it is on the East. It seems so, as the only European country to the East from Belarus is Russia. The Eastern border of Europe, the Ural Mountains, is situated several thousand kilometers away from Belarus.
The country used to be a part of Soviet Union, the remnants of which you can still see here. In most of the small towns, and even in some places in Minsk, capital of Belarus, you will still find monuments of Lenin and Soviet signs. Still, after over 25 years of independence, Belarus managed to become a European country with cozy cafes, great festivals, and a much better service than it used to be. From the beginning of 2017, more than 80 countries don’t need a visa to Belarus, you can check if yours is on the list here.
Belarus borders Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia. Its population is almost 10 million. It is not a tiny country, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland could altogether fit on the territory of Belarus. For more information, check 50 interesting facts about Belarus here. One of the main places to visit in Belarus is Minsk, while there is much more to see in the country. So, I will tell you about the best attractions and places to visit in Belarus.
Bialowieza Forest National Park
Did you know that the largest and oldest forest in Europe is situated in Belarus, on the border with Poland? It is called Bialowieza Forest National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is a great place to visit in Belarus with kids.
If you visit Brest (which I strongly recommend you doing), you can easily get to the Bialowieza Forest situated less than 100 km away from it. There, you can rent and ride a bicycle through one of the numerous bike paths in the national park, go to one of the nature and local lore museums, visit the Father Frost (Belarusian Santa Claus), or simply walk along the forest alleys enjoying the calmness and fresh air. You can even stay in a house in the center of Bialowieza Forest.
To find out more about activities and things to do in the Bialowieza Forest check this article.
Braslav Lake Group
Braslav lakes is one of the favorite places to visit in Belarus among locals. These lakes are also one of the Belarusian national parks.
The lake group includes dozens of small and big lakes, some have a very well-developed infrastructure around them, but some are just hidden in the forest.
Medieval Mir Castle
Another popular place to visit in Belarus in the Mir Castle Complex. It is situated in Minsk region and is easily reachable by car or bus.
The castle used to belong the famous rich family of Radzivills and is surrounded by numerous legends that you can find out during your visit. The architecture of it is a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance. This blend makes the Mir castle special.
In summer, numerous knight and music festivals are held on the territory of the castle gathering thousands of people.
Here is an official website of the Mir Castle.
Brest fortress, which is situated close to the city of Brest, on the south-west of Belarus, is famous for its heroic defense against German invaders during the World War II. As you might know, the whole of Poland was conquered in just 2 weeks, while the Brest fortress alone could restrain constant attacks of Germans for 1 month.
The fortress is now part of a big complex of monuments and museums. You can visit the Museum of War, the 5th Fort Museum, as well as Defense Museum. Being in this place lets you feel the atmosphere of those difficult times. Entering the fortress gates, you will hear the original announcement about the Fascist invasion. On the walls of the fortress, you can still find the famous inscriptions of the soldiers. The most famous of them is “I’m dying, but I’m not giving up. Goodbye, Motherland!”
Find out more on the official website of Brest Fortress.
Minsk, capital of Belarus
Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is the most visited place in the country. It is a big city with almost 2 million people, but you don’t feel the business, dirt and noise of a big city. Minsk is a great place to visit with kids. The city is very convenient for tourists, as most of the main attractions of Minsk are located close to each other, in the city center. They include the Grand Theater of Opera and Ballet, cozy houses and cafes of the Trinity suburb, Upper town with the town hall, the Independence avenue with its chic boutiques and many other places. Just walk around the city center and you will easily find them all.
One attraction worth visiting that is situated not in the center of Minsk, is the Belarusian National Library having a form of a diamond, one of the largest libraries in the world, the roof of which is also a great panoramic point.
You can go to one of the numerous museums of Minsk: the new Great Patriotic War (World War II on the territory of former Soviet Union) Museum, Strochitsy Architecture and Local Lore Museum, the Museum of Stones with a map of Belarus made of huge boulders and many others.
If you like spending time with nature without leaving the city walls, Minsk has a lot of different parks for any taste. Go to the Loshitsa park, which is regarded as the best park in Minsk, and walk along the nice alleys and a fruit garden, visit the Central (Yanka Kupala) park to ride on its numerous attractions, enjoy the Victory park near the Great Patriotic War Museum with a Bird island and outdoor fitness equipment, ride a bike through the Cheluskintsev park, or feed the swans in the third largest Botanical Garden in the world.
Grodno full of architectural sights
Due to the central position, Belarus has been continuously crossed by enemy troops and was the main battlefield in the region during the First and Second World Wars. Because of that, a lot of architectural sights didn’t survive to our days. For example, Minsk was completely destroyed numerous times, and after the World War II, the government wanted to rebuild the city 30 km away from the place it was situated before, but changed their mind in the end.
So, Grodno is the city that preserved the most of architectural sights in the country. That is why it is a great place to visit in Belarus. You should go to the Zamkovaya street to see its two castles, the new and the old one. The city is also full of beautiful churches of different religions. Belarus is a country, which is very tolerant to such a diversity.
Go to the Grodno Regional Drama Theater, look at this unusual structure and try to think of what it is similar to. Another place I recommend to visit in Grodno is the Old Pharmacy Museum having a collection of old chemist’s utensils and equipment.
Another great attraction in Belarus that was just recently found, are the ‘Belarusian Maldives’, chalk quarries with turquoise water and cliffs with white sand. The water has such a beautiful color because of the chalk and limestone formerly mined here. There are several places, where you can view the ‘Belarusian Maldives’, the most famous are situated close to the Volkovysk town.
Today, the chalk quarries have a limited access, because the government decided to build good infrastructure around them for more safety. Hopefully, in a few months, we will be able to visit the beautiful ‘Belarusian Maldives’ and stay in a tent for a night in such a wonderful place.
Geographical Center of Europe
You have never been to the center of Europe? You have to!
You can visit it in Belarus, in the city of Polotsk, the oldest city on the territory of Belarus with over 1000 years of history. Here, you can find the monument of the center of Europe and get a certificate that you’ve been there.
Silichi Ski Resort
One of the favorite things to do in Belarus among tourists is visiting one of the country’s ski resorts. Despite the fact that Belarus doesn’t have high mountains, there are numerous artificial hills with a good infrastructure and low prices. Silichi Ski Resort is one of them. It has ski slopes of all the levels of complexity, so you will definitely find the one, which suites you the most, or ask an experienced instructor to teach you skiing.
Find out more about Silichi and other ski resorts in Belarus here.
Check prices on the official website of Silichi Ski Resort.
Visit Zabrodie Village that Still Remembers the First World War
The last place to visit in Belarus that I will tell you is Zabrodie village, which still remembers the events of the First World War. This complex was created by a Tsitovich family in the place, where the front line of the First World War was situated. Here, you can observe the collection from this war, see and even ride one of the oldtimers and enjoy the atmosphere of the rural life. You can find out more here.
Other places to visit in Belarus
Belarus has lots of great places to visit. This list could include other beautiful castles, like Nesvizh and Kossovo castles, Pripyat and Berezinsky National Parks, other old cities like Slonim, Novogrudok, Gomel and Vitebsk, numerous museums and places to discover the Belarusian culture. Just come here and find the best places to visit in Belarus on your own!
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