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Vulitsa Ezha street food festival Minsk Belarus

For more than six years now, a big city picnic called Vulitsa Ezha (street food) has been held in Minsk.

This festival brings together delicious street food and quality outdoor leisure.

There is a wealth of entertainment for every taste: street food, live music, designer markets, cookery workshops and lectures on various themes. On top of that, the festivities include outdoor activities and a large playground with a variety of activities for young and old children with their parents.

Without leaving the city, it is possible to have an unforgettable picnic with family, friends and relatives.

This year the festival takes place in the Minsk Botanical Garden, which is the country’s largest center for the conservation of biodiversity of living plants, a leading research institution in the field of plant introduction, acclimatization, physiology, molecular biology, biotechnology, biochemistry and ecology. So in addition to the festival, you can also enjoy the beautiful plants and views of the Botanical Gardens.

This year’s Vulitsa Ezha big city picnic is July 23-24 and September 3-4. Come to Minsk and enjoy this big family event!

Vitebsk Slavyansky Bazaar Belarus

As usual since 1992, the annual international festival Slavianski Bazar (Slavonic Bazaar) 2022 will be held this summer in Vitebsk, Belarus. The festival will be taking place from July 13 to 18.

Residents and guests of Vitebsk will see a number of interesting programs and performances on the stage of the summer amphitheater as well as on other stages of the festival.

The details and the program can be found on the official website of the festival.

Visa-free entry from 73 countries will be granted for the participants and guests of the festival.

Visa-free entry for foreign citizens will require an original or electronic ticket for the festival events in the Summer Amphitheatre or the Concert Hall “Vitebsk”.

At the same time, one foreign citizen is allowed to enter Belarus with one ticket no later than the date of the event indicated on the ticket. In this case, foreign citizens and stateless persons are also exempt from the state duty for the registration of temporary stay.

Come to Belarus and visit this magnificent festival!

Halshany castle Sapieha castle in Halshany Golshany Belarus

Halshany (Golshany) is a small agrotown in the Grodno Region with a rich history and serious heritage. It is often called the “open-air museum”, and it is absolutely true. The castle in Halshany is the ancestral home of the Halshany and later the Sapieha dynasties. Nearby is the 17th century Baroque church, with typical 19th century houses lining the streets. Prior to World War II, most of the population of Halshany was Jewish. There was also a synagogue and a Jewish bank, which unfortunately have not survived.

According to chronicles, the castle had existed here since at least 1280 and belonged to the dukes of Halshany. In 1525, the two famous families merged – Helena of Halshany married the magnate Pawel Sapieha. The Halshany castle owes its new stone appearance to Pawel. For grandeur of exterior and interior decoration, for integrity of the architectural concept in XVII century the Halshany castle was deservedly considered one of the most beautiful in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Not far from the castle Pawel Sapieha built a Catholic Franciscan monastery and a church. Unfortunately, the architectural ensemble has survived in its sad state. The monastery and church have somehow survived, but the castle was almost destroyed.

The castle of the Sapieha preserved its grandeur, even being a ruin. The towering tower and numerous massive walls of enormous size are a delight to adults and children alike.

It was not until 2018 that the ruined castle was rebuilt. The North Tower was rebuilt and several viewing platforms over the ruins of the Halshany castle were built.

The ruins of the Sapieha castle in Halshany are also a venue for various festivals and celebrations. Visiting one of the festivals will give you a chance to discover Halshany from a slightly different angle. You’ll be part of a unique experience, you’ll be able to reconstruct some of the events and you’ll undoubtedly learn something new.

You will be able to see the Halshany castle and get acquainted with its history on our tour in Grodno.

Main square in Novogrudok (Navahrudak) Belarus

Novogrudok (Navahrudak), is situated in a picturesque hilly area, often called the “Belarusian Switzerland”, 160 kilometres west of Minsk. It is now a relatively small town in terms of regional centres, but it has not lost its importance as a centre of Belarus’ historical and cultural heritage.

First mentioned in chronicles in 1044, the town soon became an important political and trade centre. The history of Novogrudok is directly linked to the history of Belarusian statehood, and it is believed that Novogrudok was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Duke Mindaugas made Novogrudok his residence. In 1507 the dynastic marriage between the Duke Jogaila (Władysław II Jagiełło) and the Polish Princess Jadwiga made Novogrudok a part of the newly created state of Rzeczpospolita (the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania). Novogrudok retained its special status, ceding primacy to Vilnius: meetings of the sejm and meetings of the king with foreign diplomats were held in the city.

The ruins of an ancient castle in Novogrudok, once the residence of Lithuanian grand dukes, have long become the city’s brand name. Only the ruins of two towers of the “Mindaugas Castle”, as it is often called, have survived. Wars and destruction have prevented it from surviving in its original form. The castle’s high ramparts offer a remarkable view over the city, so it’s not hard to imagine how imposing it must have been.

Nowadays knights’ tournaments are traditionally held near the fortress walls. Travelers can watch horse tournaments, archery competitions and knightly duels, as well as try on the armor of ancient warriors or the outfits of beautiful ladies.

A trip to the first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania will stay in the memory of a tourist who chose the vacation in Belarus for a long time. The city where history comes to life will not leave anyone indifferent.

We invite you to visit Novogrudok and its attractions during one of our tours.

Entrance gate of the Ruzhany Sapieha palace Belarus

The palace complex in Ruzhany is one of the most unique places in Belarus. For centuries, the beautiful architectural ensemble, called the Belarusian Versailles, belonged to the powerful Sapieha dynasty.
Ruzhany palace is recognized as a visiting card of Belarusian architecture of the late eighteenth century.

In 1598 the future Chancellor of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania Lew Sapieha bought Ruzhany for his residence. It was here, in Ruzhany, that he drew up a law code that was progressive for its time – the Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was, by the way, written in old Belarusian. The cellars of the castle in Ruzhany held the treasury of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and a whole arsenal of weapons.

In the times of Lew Sapieha it was a defensive castle. At the beginning of the XVIII century during the war with Swedes the Ruzhany castle was looted and destroyed. A descendant of Lew Sapieha, Alexander, was forced to rebuild everything, and under his leadership, the palace was built, which can be compared to Versailles, with its own theatre, rich library, a collection of art and weapons.

Thanks to the Sapieha family the small town became well known in Europe. In 1637 the town received the Magdeburg Rights. It had its own town hall and a coat of arms depicting St. Casimir (the patron saint of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania).

Time, war, fires and changes in political periods did their part: only ruins of the main and eastern buildings, arcades, wings and the entrance gate with the Sapieha coat of arms, carved out of wood, have survived by a miracle. The slightly better preserved buildings of Ruzany Palace have been reconstructed in our time. The Eastern wing houses a museum with four exhibition halls, where you can see the palace complex in Ruzhany in miniature, as it would have been without the war and the Soviet era. The “chancellor’s living room” with furniture in the style of the 17th-18th centuries has also been recreated.

Since 2011, the Sapieha Palace is the venue of an annual festival called “Ruzhany Entrance Gate”. Its guests can learn about the past of the residence, attend guided tours, watch historical reconstructions and performances, and attend a folk craftsmen’s fair.

You can also see Ruzhany Palace on one of our tours.

Sunny flowers summer Belarus

Belarus has extended visa-free entry for citizens of Latvia and Lithuania until the end of this year, said the Belarusian Foreign Ministry on May 15.

“It has been decided to extend the visa-free entry, exit and stay in the Republic of Belarus for citizens of Lithuania and Latvia until the end of 2022,” reads the statement of the ministry.

The decision was made taking into account the positive feedback and numerous requests by foreign nationals. Officials believe that this step will allow citizens of neighbouring countries to form their own unbiased opinion about modern Belarus, its politics and economy, to learn more about the culture of the Belarusian people.

Earlier, visa-free entry to Belarus was allowed for citizens of Lithuania and Latvia from 15 April to 15 May.

All visitors to Belarus are welcome to choose one of our tours or compose their own tour based on our tours or tour elements.

Radunitsa, Commemoration Day of the Departed Belarus

On Tuesday, 3 May, Belarus celebrates Radunitsa (Radonitsa), or Commemoration Day of the Departed. It is one of the ancient Slavonic holidays.

On the eve, everyone visits cemeteries, puts their ancestors’ graves in order and decorates them with flowers.

Every year on this holiday more than a million Belarusians go to the cemeteries. Christians also pray in churches for the salvation of souls of deceased relatives.

In Belarus, in contrast to many countries, this holiday is traditionally an official non-working day.

Easter cake kulich with painted eggs Belarus

On 24 April, Orthodox Belarusians celebrate the holy holiday of Easter.

As usual, on the eve, believers bake Easter cakes (kulich), paint eggs and take them to church to consecrate them.

Easter is always a joyful, exciting and long-awaited religious holiday in Belarus. On Easter morning the whole family gathers for Easter breakfast and lights a candle brought from church. Everyone congratulates each other with the words “Christ is risen”. The answer is: “He is risen indeed.”

The g4 tours team would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter!

Free flight of a bird Belarus

As of April 3, there are no restrictions for foreign citizens and stateless persons to enter and leave Belarus. However, foreigners need a PCR-test or a vaccination certificate to enter Belarus.

From April 3, 2022 within the Grodno and Brest Regions the 15-day visa-free regime in Belarus operates, which includes famous sights and the largest cities of the west of Belarus.

To visit the visa-free territory, you need the following documents:

  1. A valid passport;
  2. Medical insurance policy in the amount of at least 10 thousand euros, valid in Belarus;
  3. A document granting foreign citizens the right to individual (or group) visits to the visa–free territory of Brest – Grodno.
beautiful sky over the forest Belarus

We are happy that during this not so easy times, g4 tours provides valuable insights to our audience around the world.

In the last 28 days our website reached over 10.000 visitors.

We are glad that people all over the world are interested in Belarus, its culture, history and the life of ordinary people.

Of course, we believe that more tourists from all over the world will be able to visit Belarus soon.