If you’re travelling through central Europe and countries like Lithuania and Latvia, Belarus is quite close and is worth a visit. The reasons are obvious: a different culture, one of the countries with some Soviet heritage preserved, yet a place with hospitable people and reasonably developed tourist infrastructure. And a factor one cannot overlook these days – Belarus, now visa-free for over 75 countries – has only recently eased its visa regulations and is not overcrowded with tourists in the high season.
While many people in the tourism industry speak English, it’s still hard to communicate on the streets, in the province and even at some places like cafes or restaurants. Locals are willing to help but only about 10 per cent speak English at some level. Naturally, you can organise your Belarus travel logistics online these days, mostly in Minsk and larger cities, but more delicate operations like a guided tour, offline police registration or meeting arrangements are best arranged through a tour guide.
A private Minsk tour guide could be a handy solution in many cases. It’s your eyes and hands on the spot even before you arrive. If your card (and many US-issued cards fail) doesn’t work when it comes to getting a train ticket, a local insurance policy or a good opera seat – there’s only one person on the ground to help. When you have to check on your relatives in Minsk or in the province, this matter can be efficiently handled by a Minsk tour guide majoring in ancestral tours.
Entertaining day trips from Minsk or a Minsk city tour are an ideal way to quickly learn more about the country you are in, its culture and traditions. The tour of Minsk is an ideal introduction to your stay in Belarus – the key facts about the people and their everyday life is not something you find in the most recent guidebooks. Such sights of Minsk as Independence Square, Victory Square and Trinity Suburb can make a combination with the oldest churches of Minsk or even the Soviet buildings, depending on your interests. If you are looking to do some shopping – food or souvenirs – there are cool options, too.
If you’re interested in the war history of Belarus, the tour of Khatyn and Glory Mound is a great option. Khatyn is a memorial installed on the site of a village destroyed by the Nazi during the occupation. The grim fate of the villagers reflects the harsh regime of the invaders who claimed they were liberating the country from the Communism.
Long-term private tours like Belarus tour packages are a wonderful solution. Travel at your own pace focusing on the Jewish heritage or the Belarusian culture, cooking and village ways, or the country’s industrial potential. Don’t forget about the hospitality traditions of the Belarusians and great food served in the restaurants and at homes! Welcome to Belarus!
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