The international airport in Belarus is located in the capital city of Minsk and is called the Minsk National Airport. The airport is divided into two locations – Minsk 1 airport and Minsk 2 airport, located almost 42 kilometers east of the main city of Minsk. The latter is where all the international flights land and take off from.
Minsk 2 airport caters to all the major airlines such as Etihad Airways, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Lot, Ukraine International Airlines, Finnair, Air China, Air Baltic, and Aeroflot. These airlines also fly from all the major cosmopolitan cities in India, such as Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, to name a few, and you’ll find tickets to Belarus quite easily. However, do keep in mind that most of the flights you’ll find will include at least one stopover, as there are limited options for direct flights to Minsk. With the stopover, the travel time shouldn’t exceed more than 10 hours and 30 minutes.
Belarus shares its borders with Russia, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine, Poland and Russia, which means that in order to travel to this country by train, you must pass through any of these countries first. The railway station in Minsk, known as Minsk Central Station, hosts international trains, as well as domestic ones. In order to visit Belarus by train, you must have a valid transit visa.
If you want to get into the country via road, you must first visit any of its bordering nations and then drive to Belarus. Driving from Vilnius in Lithuania to Minsk is one of the most popular drives because of the scenic beauty around the roadway. This drive typically takes around 3 hours, but may take longer if you travel in August, which is when most Europeans choose to travel.
Another highly popular route is from Bialystok (Poland) to Minsk, which takes close to 4 and a half hours. Do keep in mind that if you’re renting a car to drive to Belarus, the car must be fitted with a BelTol unit, which digitally transfers toll charges at the borders when you enter the country.
There are typically long queues at border crossings so do take a little bit of delay into account while planning your travel. Additionally, keep in mind that the terrain changes as you enter Belarus and inexperienced drivers may find the same a bit challenging.
You’ll also find many options of bus going on the same route if you want to visit Belarus. Eurolines is a very popular carrier that can get you to the country from Vilinus in 4 hours.
Belarus is a landlocked nation, so it’s fair to say you can’t travel here by sea. However, if your heart is set on enjoying a lavish cruise, you can find one that sails to any of its neighbouring countries and then take a boat ride along the many rivers and channels that connect to Belarus.
The Minsk National Airport is the only one in Belarus so domestic travel by air within this country is not possible.
The Belarusian Railway is easily one of the most popular ways to travel in the country, and you can go from one end of the country to another within the same day. Train fares are quite cheap and with the travel time being on the shorter side, this mode of transportation is highly convenient. Some of the trains date back to the Soviet era and you’ll have a great time travelling in old Ammendorf cars while making your way through the country.
As is the case in India, the train fare depends on the class that you choose (and so does the overall comfort and experience). The standard class is also known as the 3rd class. This carriage is lined with several bunks. The second class, on the other hand, offers travellers their own carriages with four bunks in each, guaranteeing some privacy. Finally, the first class also offers individual carriages but with only 2 bunks for sleeping. This is also the plushest of them all. In order to get the carriage of your choice, you should book your train tickets well in advance.
There are various inter city buses available and they are both, comfortable and cheap. Sometimes, these buses sell out so it’s best to get your tickets in advance to ensure you’ve got a spot!
Mini-buses are also very popular forms of travel in Belarus, with their tiny yellow bodies being a huge hit with travellers who want kitschy photographs. They are cheaper than regular buses but due to their sheer size, they do get filled up quite quickly. Like buses, you can get tickets for these online in advance.
Many travellers love to rent cars and take their travel in their own hands. If you’re one of them, know that you can approach small rental companies all over the country to get a car. Rental cars are also available at airports, though they are a bit expensive when compared to cars offered by independent companies.
Belarus is filled with beautiful rivers so it should come as no surprise that boat travel is a popular way to get from one city to the next. You’ll find a ton of cruises run by Belarusian tourist companies and the Belarusian River Steamship Company. If you’re up for the challenge, you can also participate in canoeing, kayaking or rowing your way down a channel to travel to a different city. Of course, this is definitely going to be a physically draining activity and you should only do this if your body gets regular exercise.
Belarus is filled with picturesque cityscapes, historical monuments and beautiful views everywhere you look. If you’re always on the lookout for off-beat destinations to visit for unique experiences, then add Belarus to your list!
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