Ah Belarus, it is often described as the last Soviet state of Europe and is seldom visited, needless to say this country doesn’t get the love it deserves. Now that it relaxed its visa policy, we believe it is the next place to be! Don’t believe us? Here are the Top 5 things you could do in Belarus.
5. Camp at Plescenitsy, Klevoe Mesto, or one of the many other lakes
Whether it’s camping in a tent or staying in one of the lodges, this is a very local experience that everyone should have. Go there in the afternoon and relax for a few hours, go for a swim or rent a boat, then cook a barbecue and share a bottle of vodka with some locals, and in the evening do as the locals do – use the sauna.
4. Ride the largest dump truck in the world at the Belaz Factory
You must have a pre-arranged appointment and tour to visit the factory, but as one of the leading manufacturers of heaving vehicles, it’s well-worth a visit. You’ll be driven around the vast complex and given a nice propaganda-ey tour, including of course the souvenir shop and a short tea and biscuit break (the biscuits being mini dump trucks of course), then if you’re game you can go for a test drive in the largest dump truck in the world.
3. Y Gallery and October Street
This is a side of Belarus that most are surprised to find. Starting at the Y Gallery, a contemporary art space run by the new wave of Minsk’s semi-underground artists, stroll down October Street for an incredible insight into Minsk’s modern hipster scene and the gentrification of the city. Formerly an industrial area, the brick factory walls are covered in graffiti art, including the largest mural in the world, and little hipster cafes are popping up between the old factories. The irony of a Lenin statue half way along the street is not lost on the locals, and with the street art as its backdrop, has become a symbol of this new side of Minsk life.
2. Brest Fortress
One of the Soviet Union’s “Hero Cities”, Brest Fortress was originally a 19th Century Russian Fortress, but 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
1. Ride a tank at Stalin Line
For anyone who loves tanks, guns and all things Soviet, Stalin Line, just outside Minsk in Belarus, is an absolute must-see. Aside from the chance to shoot a real life Kalashnikov and explore bunkers and pillboxes of the former Soviet frontier, you can even ride a tank. Whether it’s straddling the main gun at the front, poking out of the opening at the top, or squatting on the back, this is certainly an exciting and unique experience. In fact, it is so cool that we have dedicated a whole article to it!
Want to make sure you enjoy this top 5 activities while visiting Belarus? They are part of all our trips to the country!