Belarus is a vast steppe straddling the shortest route between Moscow and the Polish border. Wide stretches of unbroken birch groves, vast forested marshlands and wooden villages amid rolling green and black fields give it a haunting beauty.

When To Go
If you're prepared for it, travel in winter is recommended: the snow makes for a picturesque landscape and the insides of buildings are kept warm. Avoid, though, the first snows (usually in late October) and the spring thaw (April), which turn everything to slush and mud.

Early summer and autumn are many people's favourite periods for visiting Belarus. By May temperatures are pleasant, while the golden autumnal colours of September and early October are stunning.

July and August are the warmest months and the main holiday season. These are also the dampest months in most parts of Belarus and European Russia, with as many as one rainy day in three. It's always low season in Belarus, so don't fret too much about being overwhelmed by your fellow tourists.


Credit Cards: At most hotels and restaurants, at some shops V'ISA and MASTER CARD are welcome.

Belarus is an ancient Slavonic country situated in the East of Europe. It occupies the territory of 207,600 sq. km. and is populated by 10.3 million people. Belarus stretches 650 km from the West to the East and 560 km from the North to the South. It has 6 regions, about 4000 rivers and 1 1000 lakes. The largest rivers are the Dnieper, the Western Dvina, the Nieman, the Bug; the biggest lake is Naroch.
Belarus borders on Russia in the North and the East. On the Ukraine in the southeast, on Poland in the West and on Latvia and Lithuania in the northwest.
The history of the Belarussian nation has been long and complicated. The first written documents of the Belarussian state go back as far as to 980 AD From the 14th till the 16th centuries the territory of modern Belarus was the centre of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was one of the largest, most powerful and flourishing states ill medieval Eastern Europe. Being situated on the crossroads of the commercial routes from the East to the West and from the North to the South. Belarus was doomed to get into the focus of infinite wars waged by European countries to control the strategic overland routes. It has been invaded by Russians and Poles, Germans and Swedes, Danes, French and Ukrainians. After one of such long-lasting and devastating wars Belarus appeared to have lost half of its population. More recently, during the Great Patriotic War of 1941 - 1945 Belarus lost 25% of its inhabitants. It was only recently that Belarus reached its pre-war demographic quantity of 1 0 million people

Facts about Belarus
·Area: 207,600 square kilometres
Population: 10.3 million people
Capital city: Minsk. About 2 million inhabitants in Minsk
Language/Script: Belarussian, Russian/Cyrillic
Religions: Orthodox. Other: Roman Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, and Jewish.
Political System: The President - the Head of the State; the Executive - executes, determines economic and socio-political situation in Belarus. The Council of Ministers, The Prime - Minister, the Legislative - creates laws, adopts decisions, The Parliament - the House of Representatives and the Soviet of the Republic, The Constitutional Court - settle disputes, conflicts.

Terrain: Predominantly flat, with hilly areas occupying only 8 % of its territory. The highest point is 346 m above sea level.

Climate: Moderately continental

Time Zone: GMT+2 hrs,

Customs regulations: No limitation in bringing the foreign currency in Belarus. Usual European rules for duty-free imports are valid.

Business Hours: Shops are open from 9 a.m. till 7 p.m. on working days and Saturday from 9 a. in. till 6 p. m, The biggest shops work on Sunday. too (from 11 a.m. till 5 p.m.). Currency exchange offices are open from 9 a.m. till 7 p.m. and round the clock at some hotels. Government office hours are from 9 a.m. till 6 p.m. on working days.

Currency: The Belarussian roubles, no coins, notes: 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 20 000, 50 000, 100 000 - Exchange rate in January 2000 about BR 550,000 to $1

Electricity: AC220 V, 50 Hz

Before you go get covered for all events

Healthcare Tourism

There are some unique places in Belarus that provide health benefits. One such famous place is for people with respiratory diseases - asthma etc. - in Salihorsk. They have man-made caverns - former salt excavation places - where a specific inhalation techniques are used to treat respiratory diseases, so called speleotherapy. Dentistry is lately on the rise in Belarus. One can do the same procedure as in US some 10 times cheaper using modern materials and techniques. And just general health spas with hydro-massage, sauna, different medical prophylactic procedures, like oxygen cocktails, inhalation, specific diets -n are widely available for pretty low fee as compared to the West.

Driving: On the right side. Radar speed control. Children up to 12 years of age must sit on the back seat. Seat belts compulsory. Unleaded fuel is most petrol stations. Speed limits (km/hr): motorways - 100, roads - 90, habitable areas and cities - 60, Alcohol is prohibited. National or international driver's licences are valid.