Continuing on from our first tour in a number of years in 2017, YPT is going back to the country that has been described among other things as the last holdout of the Cold War and Europe’s ‘only Soviet State’.
We ourselves have been visiting the country over the last 3 years and know a similar yet quite different place. Belarus is populated by a resilient people, and Minsk in particular has an extremely vibrant and interesting night life. That being said, in many ways Belarus does retain a lot of the charm that the average YPT fan loves – Soviet architecture, war memorials galore, and markets full of Soviet kitsch.
This tour is being run very much in line with our regular tours to other parts of the globe, with us following the kind of itinerary that would have been offered circa 1985, but with us having the freedoms afforded to us in 2017.
If you like our North Korean and Iran tours, you will love this!
The tour will be limited to a very strict maximum number, on a first come, first served basis, with us offering great discounts to all former pioneers. This trip also finishes directly before, and connects with our Eurasian Adventure Tour, going on to Chernobyl and Transnistria, with bookings for those joining multiple groups.
Arrive in Minsk, transfers from the airport according to your flight times and meet your YPT guide and fellow travellers
To get an idea about some of the views of modern Belarusians, our first destination will be the Y museum, a small contemporary art museum hidden in the courtyard behind a nondescript block of Soviet apartments.
Even if you’re not an avid money collector, the small museum of old money which is displayed in the Central Bank will have something to interest you.
After lunch we’ll visit the Alivaria Brewery and Museum, where you’ll have the opportunity to taste their finest brews.
Free time in the evening and a relatively early night in Minsk.
Day 2 – Saturday 3rd November
After breakfast we take the new, super comfortable train to Brest
After a quick lunch we start exploring the narrow streets of the very European style old town.
In with the theme of the day, we visit the train museum, an open-air museum featuring locomotives from throughout the 20th Century
After dinner we’ll get our first taste of the nightlife in Brest – do you know the difference between Russian and Belarusian vodka? Now’s your chance to find out!
Overnight in Brest.
Day 3 – Sunday 4th November
Begin the day with a trip to the Brest Fortress, or Hero Fortress, as it is often known.
A 19th Century Russian Fortress, this spectacular example of Soviet architecture is now a war memorial commemorating the first battles of WWII featuring two of the most amazing Soviet monuments in the former USSR.
After lunch, continue on to the Confiscated Items Museum, a small museum full of items that have been confiscated at border points, with an interesting display about the nearby Polish land border crossing.
Take a walk down the Alley of the Lights in the centre of the town, a street lined with lanterns all designed by local artists, and every one of which is totally unique.
Free time before dinner, which you might like to use to browse through one of the best Soviet antique shops in the former USSR, or simply just sit in one of Brest’s many cafes while you take in the vibe of the town.
Take the slow, night train back to Minsk, for a more Soviet style of journey
Day 4 – Monday 5th November
After breakfast we leave Minsk to go out to Nesvizh Castle. This 16th century castle was fought over by Russians, Polish and Lithuanians, eventually becoming a sanitarium in Soviet times, before being made a UNESCO heritage site in the 1990s
Here we’ll take part in a specially organised quest around the castle. Using real legends and stories as the basis, we’ll be guided through parts of the castle that aren’t usually open to visitors, completing quests as we go.
Return to Minsk and meet a group of locals we’ve gathered to party with, Belarusian style.
Overnight in Minsk.
Day 5 – Tuesday 6th November
Leaving Minsk again we’ll visit Stalin Line, a huge open air museum of military technics, including tanks, rockets, artillery, cars, helicopters, aircrafts, bunkers, and much more. This was originally part of the western line of defence of the USSR before the Nazi-Soviet pact
Here we’ll have the opportunity to participate in another quest game with local actors, costumes and a series of fascinating tasks, taking you all the way back to pre-WW2 Soviet times!
In the afternoon we’ll visit Khatyn, a breathtaking complex of monuments devoted to the village of the same name which used to inhabit the space, but of which all 156 inhabitants were massacred in 1943.
Return to Minsk in time for dinner, and overnight in Minsk.
Day 6 – Wednesday 7th November
Meet the Eurasian Tour travellers who are coming from Moscow in the morning (8:06 arrival on the train).
Spend the day exploring Minsk on a driving tour, beginning with visits to the Former Residence of Lee Harvey Oswald, the Belarus National Museum of History and Culture, the House of the 1st Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Liberal Party, and the famous KGB Building.
Stop for lunch at one of Minsk’s many cafes.
You won’t miss the Belarus National Library, a spectacular and bizarre building that resembles a futuristic cosmo station, and of course we’ll make a trip to the huge observation deck on the top floor.
Then we’ll round out the day with a walk down October Street; an incredible insight into Minsk’s modern hipster scene and the gentrification of the city, this is a street in an industrial area where the brick factory walls are covered in graffiti and little hipster cafes are popping up between old factories.
Dinner in the Old Town before a night of debauchery in one of the most delightful and cheap ex-Soviet cities.
Overnight in Minsk.
Day 7 – Thursday 8th November
Drive half an hour out of Minsk to visit the Belarusian Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle.
Return to Minsk and finish off with a trip to the new WWII Museum, an important part of any trip to Belarus.
Farewell dinner and drinks and anyone continuing on the Eurasian Adventure Tour can stock up for the 10.40 pm train to Kiev. Everyone else overnight in Minsk.
Day 8 – Friday 9th November
Airport transfers for those not continuing to Kiev.
Price Inclusive of:
Transport according to the itinerary
Accommodation in 3 star hotels in double/twin share rooms
YPT guide and local English speaking guide throughout the tour
Breakfast every day
Price Exclusive of:
Letter of Invitation (not all nationalities need this, but if you do we can provide it for you, €30-50 depending on your nationality)
Insurance letter which you need to get the LOI €15
Visa (we can give you advice on this)
Transport to and from Belarus at the beginning and end of the tour (train to Kiev is included if you are joining the Eurasian Adventure Tour
•Letter of Invitation (not all nationalities need this, but if you do we can provide it for you, €30-50 depending on your nationality)
•Insurance letter which you need to get the LOI €15
•Visa (we can give you advice on this)
•Transport to and from Belarus at the beginning and end of the tour (train to Kiev is included if you are joining the Eurasian Adventure Tour
•Meals other than breakfast
•Single supplement (€295 for the whole tour)
•Quest games at Nesvizh Castle and Stalin Line
•Souvenirs or any other personal expenses
•Tips for guides and drivers
We have expert guides ready to help answer any questions you may have.