Young Pioneer Tours

Belarus: Back to the USSR Independent Tours

Belarus is a country that has earned various nicknames in the past few years. Some of them being ‘’the last corner of the Soviet Union’’ and ‘’Europe’s last dictatorship”. On our private Belarus tours, we take you on a journey through this fascinating but overlooked country that has a wealth of fascinating experiences on offer.

Whilst once closed off to the world due to its nightmarish visa process, Belarus is now visa-free for 30 days provided you fly into and out of Minsk airport. From joyriding Soviet tanks and giant dump trucks to visiting some of the most sacred WW2 sites in the former Soviet Union and exploring the former workshop of a Lenin statue sculptor, Belarus promises a travel experience like no other.

Price per person:

1 person – €1,495

2 people – €845 per person

3 people – €695 per person

4 people – €595 per person

Inclusions:

  • Private room at a hotel
  • Breakfast and lunch
  • 24-hour services of a YPT guide
  • All transport to complete the itinerary to and from the airport
  • All admission fees and additional fees such as tank driving etc.

Exclusions:

  • International airfare
  • Personal expenses such as souvenirs
  • Visa fees (if applicable)
  • Dinner

Itinerary:

Day 1:

  • Arrival into Minsk airport at your own leisure where our driver will be waiting for you in arrivals.
  • Check into our classic, modernized Soviet-era hotel.
  • Meet up with your YPT guide at 18:00 to head out for some traditional Belarussian food and good local beer in a local Minsk institution.
  • Here we’ll go over the tour plan and discuss any specific requests or aims you have for the tour.
  • Overnight in Minsk

Day 2:

  • After breakfast, we’ll set about exploring everything Minsk has to offer.
  • First, we’ll head to the workshop of Azgur. One of the most esteemed sculptors of the USSR, his workshop is full to the brim of monuments to Lenin, Soviet War heroes, and statues of other communist figures from Kim Il Sung to Fidel Castro.
  • Traditional Belarussian lunch in a shopping pavilion dating to the USSR and teeming with Soviet-era artwork and nostalgia.
  • We’ll see the house of the Soviets with an enormous Lenin still standing outside, the still-functioning KGB building, Lee Harvey Oswald’s apartment, the island of tears dedicated to the Soviet-Afghan war, and much more.
  • After lunch, we’ll head to what is arguably one of the best WW2 museums on earth: the museum of the Great Patriotic War in Minsk which details the devastating impact of the Second World War on Belarus where 1 in 4 of the population was killed.
  • We’ll then grab dinner at Tovarisch (comrade) which is a nostalgic restaurant designed to glorify the days of the Soviet Union. It is very much a place for nostalgic locals and not tourists. The waiters dress as Young Pioneers and serve mouth-watering food!
  • Overnight in Minsk.

Day 3:

  • We’ll have breakfast and check out of the hotel before meeting our driver and transfer to the ‘Soviet Disneyland’ known as the Stalin Line. A series of Soviet Bunkers from WW2 and a mass of Cold War-era weaponry.
  • After exploring the bunker complexes we’ll ride a Soviet tank around a mock battlefield, fire a Soviet anti-aircraft gun and some machine guns, and then climb inside another Soviet tank to fire the cannon and blow up a German tank.
  • Visit the mound of glory, an incredible Soviet-era monument to WW2 that greets visitors on their way from the airport. In the past, it has been symbolically visited by high profile visitors to the country such as Fidel Castro.
  • We’ll then experience the Belarussian train system as we catch the afternoon train to Brest which should take around three hours and will take us right next to the Polish border.
  • Check into our nearby hotel on arrival and head out for dinner and a few beers at Traktor on the lake which is home to flights of vodka including a locally infamous horseradish variant.
  • Overnight in Brest.

Day 4:

  • After breakfast at the hotel, our first stop will be at 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.
  • The complex features an array of tanks and WW2 museums inside which we’ll visit.
  • We’ll have lunch in the bullet-riddled tunnels here Red Army soldiers sheltered in their apocalyptic fight against the Wehrmacht in the opening days of Operation Barbarossa.
  • The next stop will be at the train museum, an open-air museum featuring hulking Soviet locomotives from throughout the 20th Century.
  • We’ll take a walking tour of the quaint, very European-feeling old town. After passing through Lenin Square, we’ll meander down the Alley of Lights, a street lined with unique lanterns all designed by local artists, and every one of which is totally unique, from a nose wearing a suit, to a shoe-polisher whose chair you can sit on, to a horse and carriage. You can even put your foot in a giant boot!
  • We’ll see Lenin outside of the local KGB headquarters.
  • We’ll catch the evening train back to Minsk and check back into our hotel.
  • Dinner and overnight in Minsk

Day 5:

  • After breakfast, we’ll meet our private driver and head to the town of Zhodino, home to the Belaz plant which makes the biggest dump trucks on earth and export them to a range of countries including North Korea.
  • Not only will you receive a rather bizarre state tour around the plant, but you’ll also be able to ride in one of the dump trucks around the training arena!
  • Visit the worker’s canteen and enjoy some Russian tea and cookies, baked in the shape of dump trucks of course!
  • Visit the bronze Soviet war memorial of Zhodina in a park that has an enormous Red Army helmet structure inside.
  • We’ll then grab lunch somewhere in the provinces before heading to the infamous Berezina battlefield which is marked by Soviet and Tsarist war memorials. It was here that Napoleonic forces suffered a gruelling defeat as they made their depressing retreat from Russia back in November of 1812.
  • As they attempted to cross the Berezina River, the French suffered losses of up to 40,000 people but managed to cross the icy cold water and avoid being trapped and completely annihilated by the Russians. Since then “Bérézina” has been used in French as a synonym for “disaster”. It is also the site of alleged treasure lost by Napoleon’s men that still sits somewhere in the area, waiting to be discovered.
  • Return to Minsk, stopping at a Soviet town that has a statue of both Lenin and Marx in front of the town hall.
  • Head out for a farewell dinner when back in Minsk.
  • Overnight in Minsk

Day 6:

  • Breakfast at the hotel before checking out and meeting our driver who will bring you to the airport.
  • End of tour.
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