Belarus, once part of the Soviet Union, is relatively new on most travellers’ radars, and yet it has emerged as one of the top destinations in Europe in the recent years. With a history of having been in multiple wars, Belarus’ past is filled with stories about provinces it ruled by different rulers. Since it gained independence less than two decades ago, in 1991, the world is yet to get acquainted with its scenic beauty and charm.
Ever since the Belarusian government woke up to the potential of the tourism industry in the country, they relaxed most travel laws to encourage people to visit the country. Tourists from more than 80 countries can now visit Belarus without a visa. The cost of going on a vacation in Belarus is cheaper compared to most European countries. Also, Belarus has a mix of temperate-continental climate with strikingly diverse weather conditions through the four seasons. Due to the long and tumultuous history of Belarus, you can see a mix of palatial castles and historical monuments as well as destroyed derelicts from the past.. Add to that the amazing green cover in the country and you have yourself a holiday destination that is a must-visit for sure.
Belarus has a temperate climate with all four major seasons, however there’s no season that’s completely free of rainfall. However, unlike other European countries, Belarus has long summers and winters. The summers are excellent for travelling thanks to the long sunny hours, but they are also the wettest months of the year. You should carry your ponchos and umbrellas while travelling in Belarus during these seasons. With so many historical sites spread across cities and towns, summer is the best time to visit such places. Spring is the driest season of all. The whole country of Belarus experiences snowfall during the winters.
Minsk, the capital city of Belarus, is the most populous city in the country. In terms of tourism, it is the most happening city of the country with tons of activities for you to do. Minsk was one of the cities heavily damaged during World War II and there were only two ways to go about rebuilding the city -–build it exactly the way it was or revamp the city. They chose the latter bit and as a result, Minsk has a mix of modern and Soviet-era architecture giving it a splendid view. The Belarusian Government Building, KGB Headquarters, Victory Square and National Library are just some of the best buildings in the city. Apart from sightseeing, you can also indulge in the amazing café culture, metro rides, market places as well as explore the smaller towns of the city. You should also visit other tourist cities of the country like Brest, Gomel, Mogilev and Grodno. All these cities boast of buildings with diverse architectural styles –Romanesque and Gothic, Baroque and Classicism, Modernism and Eclecticism.
When it comes to natural landscapes, more than 40% of the land is covered by natural vegetation. You can spend some quality time hiking through the national parks and just relaxing at the lakes. Braslau Lake National Park is one location where you can do both. Lake Narach, Minsk Sea, Prilepsky Reserve and Berezina Biosphere Reserve are some of the most popular tourist places in the country.
Peak Season: June-August
Off Season: November-March
Shoulder Season: April-May and September-October
The peak season is during summer which attracts 50% of the yearly tourists to the country. However, Belarus is great to visit during spring and autumn because of the pleasant climatic conditions andfewer number of tourists as well as the wallet-friendly prices. The season is perfect for you to engage in winter sports and also the ideal if you are going with a tight budget.
|Travel Seasons||Min/ Max Temperature||Weather|
|Spring||3-19°C||Pleasant with less rain|
|Summer||12-25°C||Pleasantly Warm with passive showers|
|Autumn||4-17°C||Pleasant with occasional showers|
|Winter||-7-4°C||Strikingly cold with heavy snowfall|
Temperature: The temperature during spring in Belarus varies between 3°C and 19°C.
Weather: The average temperature of the country during this time of the year stays between 3°C and 19°C with only occasional showers. The snow completely melts during this season and the mountains turn back to green. It is the driest season of all four seasons.
Significant Events: The Festival of Modern Art and Vanguard fashion Marmont in Minsk, International Festival of instrumental music, Guitar Renaissance in Gomel and the International Rock and Bike Festival in Grodno are the must-attend events in April. In May, Belarusian Fashion Week, International Puppetry Festival and the International show of Vintage cars in Minsk are the most popular events.
Why you should visit now: Post mid-April, the weather starts getting better with the sun coming out for longer hours. With the least amount of rainfall during this season, it is the second-best time to visit Belarus, with the first being summer. Therefore, it is also a great time to go trekking or hiking through the national parks in the country. An additional benefit of travelling in this season is that you can visit the entire country without having to spend too much from your pocket.
Things to know before the visit: You must carry your winter gear as it gets really cold during the night. Also, carry your poncho with you as it will rain a lot during May further bringing down the temperature.
Tip: Carry a pair of gloves as it is a lifesaver. Even though it is the shoulder season, you may want to book your hotels before your arrival as spring is the second busiest season of the year.
Temperature: The temperature during summer in Belarus ranges between 12°C and 25°C.
Weather: The summer in Belarus is a mix of sunny and gloomy days. All three months are the hottest as well as the wettest months of the year. There are heavy rains in June followed by bright sunshine. The maximum temperature stays around 23-25°C with the minimum temperature hovering in the 12-15°C range.
Significant Events: The Day of National Cultures is a Festival that you should not miss. The event has artists from more than 15 different countries coming to Belarus and performing their local art forms. Svyata Sontsa is an event that helps you understand Belarusian culture through a play. Kosmos Nash is the leading music festival of the country, mainly focussing on alternate and electronic music. Rock Za Bobrov is an annual event that brings top artists from around the world to perform in an open-air auditorium.
Why you should visit now: Since it snows throughout the country, the best time to visit the cities is the summer season. All the tourist spots are open at this time of the year and every town is easily accessible as well. The cost of travelling within the country as well as the hotel rates are low. Furthermore, unlike the case while travelling to other European countries, Belarus doesn’t not get crowded with tourists during the summer.
Things to know before the trip: Carry your poncho and umbrella throughout the summer as it can rain any moment. However, due to the subsequent sunshine, you need not worry about rain being a spoilsport during your trip.
Tips: Even though there is no overcrowding by tourists, it is still advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially in Minsk, as its popularity as a holiday destination is rising in Europe.
Temperature: The temperature in the autumn in Belarus is somewhere between 4°C and 17°C.
Weather: Autumn in Belarus can see rapid fluctuations in temperatures in a short span of time. The two months (September and October) see a drastic change in the temperature, with it the temperature reaching 17°C in September and falling to 8°C in October. The minimum temperature reaches 4°C as the season comes to an end.
Significant events: Due to the weather conditions, most events take place indoors and hence this is the best time to attend some great theatrical performancesand film festivals. International Theatre Festival Belaya Vezha, International Animated Film Festival Animayevka and International Students Theatre festival are a few events you can’t miss.
Why you should visit now: The Belarusian autumn is quite special because of the way way the landscapes transform. The Alpine forests turn a beautiful redleaving those trekking or hiking through them speechless.. At times, it starts snowing in October as well. Since this is the second shoulder season of the year, the travelling is cheaper.
Things to know before the visit: You might want to work on your fitness levels as it is the perfect time to go trekking and hiking through the forest trails in various national parks. During the month of October, the level of precipitation increases, and it is advisable to carry your raincoat wherever you go.
Tips: Carry a mosquito repellent with you while trekking or hiking through the forest. You can book your hotel post your arrival because of the fewer number of tourists during this time of the year.
Temperature: The temperature stays in the range of -7°C and 4°C in the winter season.
Weather: The winter in Belarus can be a bit tough on you with the temperatures dropping to -7 degrees. The average maximum temperature does not go beyond 4°C. Almost the whole country receives snowfall in the months of December, January and February, while November and March see a mix of rain and snowfall.
Significant events: The Minsk Christmas Opera Forum and Parade of Fathers Frost and Maidens are two of the best festivals around Christmas. International Classic Music Festival in Brest takes you closer to the classical music scene of the country. The Big New Year’s Eve Ball in the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus lets you enjoy the New Year with the locals.
Why you should visit now: If you are into winter sports then Belarus is the right place for you to visit during the season. With the mountains covered in thick layers of snow, Belarus is a dream destination for all skiing enthusiasts. There are several smaller hills as well for amateurs to try skiing. Snowboarding, ice skating and sledging are the other popular winter sports. Additionally, it is the best season for you to visit the country if you are on a really tight budget. All the flight tickets and hotel rooms see a significant drop in price, at times by 40%.
Things to know before the visit: Due to the heavy snowfall, a lot of the tourist spots and towns close down, leaving very few places for you to visit in the cities. The locals like to stay indoors during this time of the year. However, this gives you a great opportunity to get a taste of the incredible Belarusian hospitality.
Tips: Carry at least 2-3 layers of woollens as it can get really cold from December to January. You need not stress about booking your hotel rooms in advance as you can get them upon arrival. Do not forget to wear gloves when you are outdoors.
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