You will immediately notice the massive communist architecture upon arrival. The big open streets and angles give the city of Minsk an unspoken command. You can feel the history here. Devastated in World War II, this country has been through a lot. It has rebuilt and declared its independence but also continues to make headlines today for political issues. It is the people, the food, the stories and the collective culture that keep the country going as they fight for a better leader and a brighter future.
Drinking water: Drink bottled water. There is little to no risk of radiation poisoning from Chernobyl is low, but better to avoid eating products that originate there such as dairy, berries or mushrooms.
Plugs: Type C and F (See photo below)
Vaccinated travelers are allowed to enter without isolation. Negative PCR is required for all arrivals.
Official currency: Br Belarusian ruble
Credit cards: Widely used
Tipping: Always appreciated but not expected. In cafes and restaurants you can round up of give 5%.
27 jurisdictions can enter without visas while a number of others can enter visa free through the Minsk National Airport under certain provisions including much of Europe, a handful of the Americas and Asia and a few African countries.
**Always check with your government for the most up to date information on visa requirements.**
**Assuming you are current on routine vaccinations. Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on required vaccinations specific to your home country**
Exercise Increased cation
2020 – 2021 saw mass political demonstrations against leader Alexander Lukashenko which resulted in police violence and the oppression of the protestors with questions about human rights violations. Those nearby could be detained and there is a high risk of arbitrary local law enforcement. Avoid demonstrations or large gatherings.
**Always check with your government for the most accurate and up to date information on safety**
Official Languages: Belarusian, Russian
Hello: Добрый день (Dobry Dzien)
Goodbye: Прыемна пазнаёміцца (Da pa-bach-jennja)
Thank-you: Дзякуй (Dziakuj)
When to go
High season: Most people come June – August when the temps are warmest usually around mid 20’s C (70’s F)
Best tine: Shoulder season in the spring or fall to avoid crowds
Winters get pretty chilly, well below freezing but also beautiful to see in the snow.
Avoid public demonstrations and criticizing the government. In addition to political protests there are the current migrant crisis at the Polish border where migrants are essentially trapped, abused and used as bargaining chips in a political standoff with the EU.