Belarus is a country in Eastern Europe. Minsk is its capital city. It borders Russia to the northeast, both Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest, Ukraine to the south and Poland to the west.

Belarus has a tendency towards dictatorship. Its current President Alexander Lukashenko has been at rule since 1994. Presidential elections under his rule were widely criticized by the international community as unfair and illegal. The political opposition, however, was violently suppressed.

On the other hand, despite the political situation, Belarus is not a dangerous country for tourists. Visitors from neighboring countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, and Latvia, tend to visit Belarus more and more often in the recent years.

The official currency is Belarusian Rouble. The approximate exchange rate is Br20000 per US$1. The currency exchange is available at banks, money-changing kiosks and bureaus de change. Preferable currencies for exchange are US Dollars, Euros, and Russian Roubles. Major credit cards are accepted at major hotels, shops, and restaurants. ATMs are widely available, although they mainly accept Visa and MasterCard cards. 

To get around the country, trains would be the best option. They are clean, comfortable and reasonably priced. Trains run around the country, as well as to neighboring Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia. In the cities, taxis are numerous and inexpensive. Also, you can hire a car at the airport in Minsk and from major hotels. Main highways are in good condition, although smaller roads are often hazardous and in poor condition. Cars drive on the right side of the road here. 

In Belarus, they use electric sockets of types C and F, as everywhere in Europe. The standard voltage is 220V. 

To visit Belarus, you need to know some basic phrases in Russian. However, many young people nowadays can understand and speak English rather well. 

The country is a kind of a Soviet-exotic tourist destination. Although it has a fast developing industry and technology, there are still a lot of features of the Soviet past, including the service. If you are fed with perfect smiling service in popular tourist destinations, come to Belarus, for exchange. By the way, it is not traditional to leave tips in Belarus. However, even with the service in restaurants and shops not being the best, people in Belarus are still polite and hospitable.

Also, the Belarusian government pays much attention to the quality of food and other products. Dairy, meat products, cereals in Belarus have the highest quality among all post-Soviet countries. This fact makes Belarus a favorite gastro-tourism destination among the neighboring countries and regions.

The Bielaviezskaja Pushcha National Park is here. It is both a primeval forest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It shares a border with Poland. Mir Castle Complex is also a popular destination and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Belarus also boasts other popular haunts. The Khatyn Memorial, a WWII memorial is here. Both the Mount of Glory, built in honor of the Red Army and the Stalin Line Museum are worth seeing. 

If you are an adventurous traveler, be sure to visit this historically-rich country!

July 18, 2016 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

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