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River landscape Belarus

This year, the French edition Le Figaro included Belarus among the top twenty tourist destinations worldwide.

The newspaper called the republic the sleeping beauty of Europe and one of the continent’s least visited countries by tourists.

As a tourist attraction, Belarus is the birthplace of world-famous artist Marc Chagall, has extensive forests and numerous national parks with animals not found in Western Europe. The publication also refers to the architectural heritage of Minsk.

It also emphasizes that tourists from more than 40 countries can come to the Republic without a visa, which is undoubtedly an advantage when planning a trip.

Figaro’s top 20 destinations also include the Cook Islands, Madagascar, Western Australia, the Wild Coast of South Africa, Sumatra, Barbados, Abu Dhabi, Georgia’s Svaneti, the Slovenian Alps, Cuba, the Italian region of Puglia, the Japanese peninsula of Kii, Hawaii, the Philippine island of Palawan, the Nile Valley, the islands of Pierre and Miquelon, Costa Rica, Lower California in Mexico and the Brazilian region of Northwest.

If you are just planning your annual holiday for 2020, why not join us on our exciting round trip through Belarus and get to know the country in all its exciting facets.

16/01/2020
gti 2019

An international commission of experts has just published a study entitled “The Global Terrorism Index” (GTI). Belarus is considered to be the safest country in terms of the potential danger of terrorist attacks.

Belarus shares its place (138 out of 138) with 26 other countries, including Portugal, Slovenia, Mongolia, Romania, Oman, Cuba, Singapore. Turkmenistan has also been included in the list of the safest CIS countries.

Among the neighbouring countries, Ukraine occupies one of the worst ranks, ranking 24th, Russia 37th, Poland 106th, Lithuania 108th and Latvia 117th.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, India, the Philippines, Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo have been classified as the most dangerous countries in terms of terrorist threat.

The Global Terrorism Index is a comprehensive study of the global terrorist threat. The GTI is prepared each year by an international group of experts led by the Institute for Economics and Peace at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Come with us on a journey and discover the Belarusians’ love for peace.

16/12/2019
Fernforest with car Belarus

A sight in Belarus has made it to the first places in the National Geographic Magazine, which invites you to visit it in 2020.

National Geographic magazine has selected the 25 most exciting places in the world to visit next year. The Belovezhskaya Pushcha has also been included in this list. The Pushcha is located in the southwest of Belarus, part of which is in Poland.

The National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the last deep virgin forests in Europe, an oasis of wilderness. Discover some of the forest’s more than 250 bird species and the most famous of its 59 mammal species: the European bison, Europe’s largest land mammal. The 800 or so bisons of Białowieża represent the largest freely migratory population of a species that retreated into the forest after almost becoming extinct in 1920.

Come on our Belarus tour and see this extraordinary beauty with your own eyes.

02/12/2019
The custom "Christmas Tsars" in Belarus. UNESCO World Heritage Site

The custom “Christmas Tzar” takes place on the so-called “generous evening” (Shchedry vetscher) – in each case from 13 to 14 January.

In 2009, the unique Belarusian folk custom “Christmas Tzar” was included in UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. This custom exists only in the village of Semezhevo (Kopyl district, Minsk region).

The history of the custom has its roots in the 18th century, when units of the tsarist army were stationed near the village of Semezhevo. Legend has it that during the New Year celebrations soldiers and officers walked around the courts in the old style (Julian calendar) and performed comedies. In return they were served by the landlords. After the troops had left the village, the locals not only preserved the tradition, but also developed it into a unique Christmas tradition.

The custom “Christmas Tzar” combines elements of carnival and folk drama. These include folklore, decorative and applied arts and special Christmas dishes.

In whose house the “tzars” were, according to popular belief, peace, harmony and wealth prevail throughout the year.

The custom has developed into a permanent institution in the cultural life of the country, which is celebrated by a large number of locals and tourists.

Take the opportunity to visit Belarus in winter and combine it with our Minsk trip.

06/11/2019

In Minsk there is a free festival for Jewish music.

The festival of Jewish culture and klezmer music “Litvak Klezmer Festival” is held on November 7 and 8 in Minsk at 16 Oktyabrskaya Street.

Klezmer is the traditional folk music of Jews from Eastern Europe and a special style of their performance.This is a very important event for Belarusian culture. Jewish culture has always been an integral part of Belarusian culture. The Litvak Klezmer Festival is an attempt to revive it.

In 1791 the Russian tsarina Catherine II founded the so-called settlement rayon for the Jewish population of the Russian Empire. This also included the Belarusian territories, which were annexed to the Russian Empire. Jews could only live in approved cities and towns. After the establishment of the settlement rayon, the Jews began to predominate among the population of Belarusian cities. According to the 1897 census, 91.000 people lived in Minsk, 47.000 of them Jews.

But due to emigration, anti-Semitism policies in the Russian Empire and the USSR, and the Holocaust in World War II, Jewish culture in Belarus practically disappeared completely. That is why attempts are being made to revive it.

The festival is attended by musicians from the USA, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Austria – more than a dozen musicians and bands. They will perform traditional klezmer music.

The festival also includes creative master classes, dance classes, exhibitions, and an extensive food court. Everything will be dedicated to klezmer music and Jewish culture. The musical program with concerts starts at 15:00 and lasts until 23:00.

If you are interested in Jewish culture and history, you can visit our capital on these days and also get to know it better on our Minsk city trip.

We can also help you to learn more about the history of your family and the fate of your ancestors. Join us on one of our genealogy tours.

16/10/2019

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed the decree № 351 “On stay in border zones”.

According to the decree, foreigners no longer have to pay for entry and temporary stay in Belarusian border zones. Until then, many border regions in Belarus had limited access with special passes (e.g. in the border region of Grodno or the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park near Brest).

The free special identity cards are issued by the territorial border police authorities. They can also be issued electronically.

This innovation will make it easier for foreigners to stay in the border zone and increase the attractiveness of the area for tourists.

We will be happy to help you with your application or with any questions you may have about your stay in the border regions.

You can discover one of these exciting regions on our round trip through Belarus.

24/09/2019
In front of Minsk City Hall Belarus

From 13-15 September 2019 Minsk celebrates the Day of the City. On these days numerous events take place. The founding year of Minsk is 1067. This year Minsk will be 952 years old. The festivities begin with an official laying of a wreath at the monument of the hero city Minsk in the center of the city.

Minsk coat of arms

Coat of arms of the city Minsk Belarus

The Minsk coat of arms is depicted in the form of a baroque shield. The Virgin Mary is depicted on a blue background.

The following events, among others, are planned for the Day of the City:

  • The “H.O.G. Rally Minsk 2019” Festival. Here motorcyclists from all over the world celebrate the end of the season, with numerous actions and the traditional “Poker Run” to the most interesting places in Minsk for motorcyclists and bus tours through the city for all who are interested.
  • As part of the festivities, a public wedding of nine wedding couples will take place under the motto “Nine stories of love” (In the concert hall of the Upper Town, LINK).
  • The world-famous IT company Wargaming (World of Tanks) organizes its traditional festival “Tank Rifle Day”. More than 200,000 guests from 28 countries are expected to attend this festival. Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian groups as well as the legendary band “The Offspring” will take part in the musical part of the festival. LINK
  • As part of the Day of the City there will be an international festival on the history of ancient Minsk. Guests can learn more about the eventful history of Belarus, from the Late Palaeolithic to the Second World War.

On Saturday evening the guests can expect a big fireworks display.
You can learn more about the city of Minsk, its history, culture, architecture and the life of its inhabitants on our Minsk trip.

12/09/2019
Great stone industrial park Minsk Belarus

Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko, is in trouble: The EU criticises him for violating human rights and freedom of expression. And Russia is said to want to annex the small country. So he is looking for supporters – and has found them in China.

Investors from the Far East are to build a small town near the capital Minsk, with Sichuan-style architecture, bilingual street signs and the „Beijing Alley” as the main street. A corresponding agreement with the city of Chongqing was recently signed. It alone has three times as many inhabitants as all of Belarus. The employees of Chinese investors will probably live in small China near Minsk.

Lukashenko had an 11,000 hectare special economic zone established. Companies such as Huawei do not have to pay taxes there for ten years. The ruler hopes that “high-tech companies” will be lured into his country. Chinese banks would also provide Lukashenko with loans amounting to around nine billion dollars.

Belarus already has eight billion in debt in China, which is about 13 percent of the gross domestic product. As a sign of the unbreakable friendship between Belarus and China, a small Belarusian town will be built in Chongqing. The Minsk City Hall and the famous Nyasvish Castle will be rebuilt. You can see the original on our exciting journey around Minsk.

(Source: SPIEGEL 33/19)

17/08/2019
Republic of Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has signed Decree No. 300 “On the introduction of visa-free entry and exit procedures for foreign nationals”.

Previously, there were two separate visa-free zones for the areas around Brest and Grodno, which have now been merged into the visa-free area “Brest – Grodno”. It includes five other districts of the Grodno region.

For citizens from 73 countries, the duration of the visa-free stay for tourist purposes increases to 15 days in this region.

At the same time, visa-free entry to Belarus is allowed for up to 30 days via the border checkpoint at the national airport in Minsk (according to the decree № 8 of 9 January 2017 with amendments coming into force on 24 July 2018).

Detailed information on visa-free travel to Belarus and other travel details can be found here.

15/08/2019

On August 24 the 5th Festival of Georgian Culture “Tbilisoba” takes place in Minsk.

This year “Tbilisioba” will be held under the motto “Georgian-Belarusian Friendship” and both Georgian and Belarusian groups will perform.
Guests will be offered Georgian specialties such as shashlik, khinkali, and harcho, as well as performances by famous Georgian and Belarusian artists.

The first festival “Tbilisoba” took place five years ago and the Minsk people liked it so much that it was followed by a series of days of other national cultures. But the Georgian festival is still the most popular among the inhabitants and tourists of the city: last year the festival was attended by about 80,000 people. The Georgian festival was the first cultural festival at which the Minsk authorities allowed the festival to continue until midnight.
The fifth edition of “Tbilisoba” will again take place in the Upper City, the various stands with folk art and specialities of Georgian cuisine will extend as far as River Svisloch.

The Upper City is the historic city centre. Now the square of the Upper City is called Liberty Square. As a few centuries ago, many cultural events are held on Liberty Square today. You can learn more about the history and culture of our city and surroundings on our Minsk city tour.

14/08/2019