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“Don’t listen to what they say. See,”
Part of traveling is to learn new things and cultures. It’s a great experience to be able to visit a place and country that you’ve never been to before. Belarus is one of those European countries that is usually unheard of. Most travel agencies rarely mention it.
But Belarus is gradually showcasing its beauty over the years. Minsk, surprises in terms of technology and development, comparable to other European cities.
The city itself is clean, with wide pedestrian sidewalks. It has historical monuments and parks scattered throughout the city.
Known for its grand stronghold, socialism architecture and ancient forests, Belarus is an interesting, safe and inexpensive place to visit.
The capital, Minsk has a colourful nightlife, distinctive, historic landmarks and an impressive Stalin – era architecture.
Belarus will be hosting The European Games 2019 from 14th to 30th June 2019, and it will feature 199 events in 15 sports, participated by more than 50 countries. So it’s an excellent opportunity to explore the city and cheer for your favourite sports team.
This country is proud of its history and heritage, which is reflected in countless museums and castles.
Almost 80% of Minsk was destroyed in WWII and the wild years of the 1990s. Then it was rebuilt. You’ll find Soviet monuments everywhere like Lenin statues around the city and the hammer and sickle in the opera house.
There are a few building that remains of the post – Revolution years, which are built during Stalin’s reign. For example the Central Telegraph building, a building constructed in 1923 in the Constructivist style.
It was later renovated into a modern working place, a popular choice for events and exhibitions.
Belarus is politically cultivated by communism and socialism. And the story behind it is worthy of the history buff.
Communicating In Belarus
Not everyone in Belarus can speak English, especially people from outside the city. But, most who work in the town and the younger generation can converse the language adequately.
The Belarusians are in general, considerate people. If you ever need assistance, they will be glad to help you.
It Has Lots Of Interesting Landmarks To Visit
You won’t be empty-handed for a list of things to do in Belarus. With so much to see, here’s a list of some of the more popular attractions to visit while you’re there.
If you’re a history and war geek, visit the Brest Hero Fortress. It’s the perfect place to feed your curiosities and understanding of Belarus’s history during the war.
Before it turned into a monument of heroism, it was a Soviet castle. It’s a national symbol of Belarus as it held against the Nazi army during the war.
This monument of heroism has memorials and obelisk you can’t miss. One, in particular, is the mighty ‘Courage’ statue, that stands firm in the middle of the castle.
It was built by the Soviet as a memory to the soldiers that fought during the war.
There are bullet holes on the walls, shooting marks and rubble left by bombs that’ll give you chills. You’ll learn how soldiers defended the castle and survived during the battle.
The place is well-maintained, clean and repainted quite often.
All of the information is written in Belarusian, so you’ll need to hire a guide for a proper experience when you’re there.
Meow! This feline-themed museum is a perfect place for cat lovers. It has attractive and interesting displays, and allows visitors to interact with its resident cats.
Everything here is cat-oriented. You’ll find a quaint cafe serving tea in a cat cup. Or you can play chess that uses cat pieces. You can also adopt the resident cats if you can’t resist their cuteness.
This museum is great for kids. They’ll enjoy playing with the cats.
The Stalin Line
The Stalin Line is the old barricade along the Western border of the USSR turned defence museum.
If you’re a military buff, you don’t want to skip a visit to this awe-inspiring exhibition. It has an extensive collection of tanks, helicopters, APCs, missiles and other war equipment display in an open field. The museum is located in Lashany, just 15 miles northwest of Minsk.
You can pay extra to fire several weapons on the free range. But take heed of the loud noise. They don’t offer hearing protection so be aware of that.
This place is great for kids too. Not only do they learn about war paraphernalia, but they can sit and ride the tank also.
You can also taste soldier’s porridge, which is sold at the cafe on site. It may not get high ratings, but don’t knock it until you try it!
Lee Harvey Oswald’s Apartment In Minsk
Lee Harvey Oswald, the famous assassin settled down with Marina Prusakova in 1961. He was a lathe operator back then, and they stayed in an apartment in Minsk for a time.
The apartment is a private residence; you can’t go in the building without an invitation. But you can see the building from the outside.
The apartment is located in a beautiful and peaceful area. Back in 1959, it was likely a luxury place to live.
Mir Castle Complex
Mir Castle is one of the famous landmarks in Belarus. This splendid castle is so beautiful that it looks like it popped out from a child’s fairytale storybook. Surrounded by a beautiful landscape, Mir Castle rises stunningly near a lake and delightful parkland.
The construction of this castle was started in the 1520s by Duke Illic, in Gothic style. It was later constructed and extended into the Renaissance style. Then reconstructed again with the Baroque style. At the end of the 19th century, the castle was restored.
A major fix had been done to mend the massive damage during the Napoleonic era. It then came to Mikolay Radziwill’s hand, who finally completed it in Renaissance style.
Today, Mir Castle stands as one of the stunning castles in Europe and receives millions of visitors every year.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha Park
Plan a day trip to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, the largest and oldest forest in Europe. It’s a haven for all nature lovers.
Belarus has ancient forests and beautiful parks. You can take a long walk, rent a bike or hop on a bus with a guided tour to enjoy the scenery. The entrance fee is reasonable, and you can see everything for a few dollars.
If you’re visiting with kids, stop by the Eastern of the Frost Father, Belarus’s version of Santa Claus. The estate is decorated with wooden structures and statues. It’s impressive that even adults admire it.
There’s a mini zoo near the entrance of the park. Your kids can see various animals from the region like bison, wolves, ostriches, wildcats, racoons and more.
Walking further, you’ll find a science museum. Situated in the forest, its a pleasant surprise waiting to be explored.
It features all the wild animals that inhabit the Belovezhskaya Pushcha forest. Surely a fun stop for kids.
Things You Should Consider Before You Plan A Trip To Belarus
It’s recommended to join a tour agency when you’re visiting attractions that are located outside of the city. Though many places have English signs or English speaking people, it’s safer to be in a group with other travellers and a tour guide with you. You’ll save time, rather than getting lost.
Practice the same precautions you would when visiting any foreign country. Respect the locals and act appropriately, and you’ll be fine. Don’t get drunk and wave your valuables in public, that’s only asking for trouble!
Check the weather forecast as Belarus’s weather can be unpleasant at times. You don’t want the lousy weather to disrupt your holidays.
Best Time To Visit Belarus
The best time to visit Belarus is between May to September, when the skies are clear, and the days are long, suitable for sightseeing and walking.
If you want to see the city covered in snow, come between November to April. You’ll experience magical snowy landscapes in a beautiful scenery.
Belarus is a country worth visiting. It’s more than meets the eye. You’ll never know the real experience if you don’t visit it yourself. Don’t listen to what others say about Belarus, see for yourself.