Cities of Belarus are Minsk, the capital; Gomel; Vitebsk, Mogilev, Grodno, Brest (Belarus), on the border with Poland and Ukraine, Pinsk and Babrousk.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Republic of Belarus, a former Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus found independence she had known only briefly during the transition period between the end of the Russian Empire and the creation of the USSR from 1918 to 1922. In contact with Poland to the west and Russia in the east, Belarus was in history a privileged terrain for fighting cultural, religious, political and military of both countries, and it still barely to build a national identity out of this rivalry and cultural influences exerted by its two large neighbors.
The Republic of Belarus requires most visitors visa for entry and stay on its territory. The list of persons exempted in English can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. Different types of visas can be issued.
For private visa for short stay (less than 30 days) coordinates of the person inviting the visitor enough.
Private visa long stay (more than 30 days and less than 90 days) requires, in addition, an official invitation issued by the militia at the request of the person inviting.
To obtain a tourist visa, the visitor must present an official invitation from a travel agency in Belarus. This document is usually paid. It should also provide a voucher, good proving booking a hotel. For more information, you can consult the website of the French agency Belarus Tour Service
Finally, for a transit visa, the traveler must provide proof of his journey, travel ticket or visa Russian example.
As a guide, 1 December 2006, Visa rates were:
€ 65 for a private visa
€ 50 for a tourist visa
€ 30 for a transit visa
Upon entering, the visitor is issued by the customs an immigration card must be presented for validation during the registration process and to keep leaving the territory of the Republic of Belarus.
Subscription with a company of Belarusian national medical insurance and repatriation is mandatory for any length of stay. Agents of insurance companies offer this service to spontaneously land borders, except arriving by train. The amount of insurance is about 5 euros a week. Insurance is required during the registration procedure.
The visitor must register with the Belarusian authorities. Registration must legally be made within 3 working days of entry into the territory.
In the case of a tourist visa, registration formalities are carried out by the hotel.
In the case of a private visa, the visitor and the host must provide 2 half days to complete the paperwork with the militia of the place of stay. The host will include providing technical passport of the slot, and the militia verify that the visitor is not wanted by the authorities. At the end of his visit, the visitor must prevent his departure and to remove from the register. Registration is paying. It takes about 5 euros for the actual recording, plus 1 euro for processing. All payments are made through the savings (sberkassa).
– By plane
Belarusian national airline offers direct flights from most European capitals at very competitive prices. Schedules and fares can be found on the site Belavia.
The capital city is served by two airports:
Minsk 1 for domestic flights
Minsk 2 for international services
Warning! Only airport Minsk 2 can issue you a visa on the spot. If you arrive by Minsk 1, you must have a visa from your country of origin.
– By train
For travelers from Western Europe, the transition is forced by Germany with a match in Cologne or Berlin. The trains to Belarus are destined for Moscow. Belarusian cities are served, from west to east, Brest, Baranovichi, Minsk and Orsha. Schedules can be found on the site of the French German Rail DB France. The purchase of the Notes may be made in the Paris offices of the company. October 1, 2006, a one-way cost 80 euros round trip 100.60 euros, excluding booking. The berth reservation is mandatory and was 22 euros on 1 October 2006.
Warning! It is impossible to buy the book back Minsk-Minsk-Berlin or Cologne from Paris or Berlin. This reservation is only possible from any other station Minsk and Belarus. For independent travelers, it is essential to know a person on site. In addition, following the reservation system in force in Belarus, the person must be willing to renew the reservation every 2 weeks. Given these difficulties, train travel is not advisable for a first visit.
Warsaw to Moscow travelers occupy closed compartments of 4 berths. In each car controller (pravadnik), usually a woman, pick up the tickets and keep for the trip, you can also buy her drinks. It is best to close the compartment lock overnight.
Crossing the border with Belarus in Brest, change bogies because of different rail gauges between Europe and Russia adds to the charm of the arrival by train. This must stop lasts about three hours, we take the opportunity to set the time Belarusian (1 h), it is certainly an opportunity for customs clearance. The checks are performed on board the train. They are generally lighter than when crossing by car or bus.
– By bus
The bus is probably the means of transport to get cheaper in Belarus, but it is also the toughest. From Paris to Minsk, the traveler will 40 long hours in some discomfort. Schedules and fares can be found on the site of the famous European private company Eurolines. For crossing the border, it takes 5-7 hours waiting and sometimes finicky checks, both on the Polish and Belarusian side.
– By car
It takes a dozen hours of waiting at customs (for consolation, a highway in goods may wait up to a week …). The practice of Russian or Polish is strongly recommended.
It is important to have the certificates tariffs valuables. It will not be a question at the entrance but we may require you to pay up to 10% of the value of your personal belongings when leaving the country.