Travel to Belarus
Flying to Belarus
Belarus’ national airline Belavia (www.belavia.by) offers direct flights from a number of destinations, including London, Amsterdam and Berlin. Other airlines flying to Belarus include Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com) and Ukraine International Airlines (www.flyuia.com). Direct flights to Moscow are regularly available with Belavia and Aeroflot (www.aeroflot.ru).
International flights land at Minsk-2 airport (www.airport.by) which is approximately 40km (25 miles) east of the capital. Most domestic flights and also flights to Kiev and Moscow leave from the smaller Minsk-1 airport.
To Minsk: from London - 3 hours; New York - 11 hours (including stopover).
Travelling to Belarus by Rail
All trains arrive and depart from Minsk-Passazhirsky Railway Station located in the centre of Minsk. There are several lines from Berlin via Warsaw and Brest with connections to Minsk. Another line runs from Vienna via Warsaw and Brest. Further direct trains are available from other cities, including Kaliningrad, Moscow, Odessa, Riga and Vilnius.
Belarus does not offer and is not included on any rail pass schemes. However it should be noted that it is possible to travel as close as neighbouring Poland with a European East Pass for rail travel.
Train is probably the most convenient way of getting to and from Minsk. Due to its location, it's no surprise that Belarus sees a lot of travellers in transit and a transit visa allows you 48 hours within the country if you are just passing through. You should also make sure the correct visa and documents are in place for final destinations.
Driving to Belarus
There are approximately 10 ‘official’ road routes into Belarus – which should be stuck to in order to avoid undue complications. The roads between Vilnius (Lithuania) and Minsk and between Minsk and Bialystok (Poland) are probably the most popular. International Driving Permits are required to drive inside Belarus.
As long as you have the correct visa, entering Belarus by road is (in theory) relatively unrestricted. That said, due to long queues at border crossings, it can be a very time-consuming experience. For the more adventurous traveller, hitchhiking in Eastern Europe is still popular and commonly used – Belarus is no exception, but of course crossing any border in such a way should be entertained with due caution.
Getting to Belarus by boat
Belarus is a landlocked country with no approaches by water. However with the Baltic States and Russia close by, it could always make a viable extension to any journey.