Belarus, officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Covering an area of 207,600 square kilometres (80,200 square miles), more than 40% of Belarus is forested. Its capital and largest city is Minsk.
What to see & do
The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Bielaviežskaja Pušča National Park and the Mir Castle Complex are two of the main attractions in Belarus. Bielaviežskaja Pušča National Park is a primeval forest situated on the border with Poland, in the Brest and Hrodna regions. The park is where mammals including bison, wild boar, elk, and wild horses have habitats. Mir Castle Complex in the Kareličy region of Grodno Oblast in Belarus is a late medieval castle that offers tours, which also include the nearby city of Navahrudak that holds impressive ruins of a gothic castle. The oldest city in Belarus is Polack. Here tourists will find several interesting historical architecture. For more impressive architectural sights, Brest is another city to visit. Belarus is also known for its World War II memorials. The Khatyn Memorial was opened in 1969 and features the remains from the original homes. Built from the scorched earth of the nine Hero Cities of the USSR and battlegrounds of World War II, in honour of the Red Army, is the Mount of Glory, a hill topped by four bayonets. Another interesting World War II site is the Stalin Line, which is a museum that features the largest defence line built before the World War II. The museum also houses the collection of weapons. A popular tour within Belarus is ‘Minsk at Night’, showcasing the most important and spectacular areas in Minsk during night-time. The tour covers Privokzalnaya square, the "City Gates", Nezavisimosti square (a political and administrative centre of the city), the House of the Government, the Red Catholic Church, and more.
How to get around within Belarus
Travelling within the country is done by train, by bus, or by car. Express trains and regional trains are available, which are a nice way to get from point A to point B while appreciating Belarusian nature; forests and plains become visible on the edges of the cities. When riding the bus, inter-city bus tickets are bought from the bus station. The buses depart from numbered platforms that match the traveller’s ticket. There is also a network of yellow coloured minibuses (marshrutka), which are cheaper that local authority buses. Car rental is also available in Minsk.
How to get there
The main international airport of Belarus is Minsk National Airport, located 42 kilometres (26 miles) to the east of Minsk. It serves as a hub for Belavia. Other airlines that operate at the airport include Aeroflot, Aeroflot operated by Rossiya, airBaltic, Austrian Airlines operated by Tyrolean Airways, Azerbaijan Airlines, Etihad Airways, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Transaero Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Turkmenistan Airlines, Ukraine International Airlines, UTair Aviation, Uzbekistan Airways, and Vueling. By train, the entry and exit points along the Poland-Belarus border are Kuźnica-Białostocka/Hrodna and Terespol/Brest. Buses from any border of the country also enter Belarus. Belarus also shares many rivers with its neighbouring countries, making it possible to travel by boat.