Visas and Transport in Belarus: How to Get Around Safely

From visas to local transport tips, here's what you need to know about getting in and out of Belarus.

Minsk covered in snow during winter Photo © Getty Images/Egor Kunovsky / EyeEm

Visas in Belarus

Recently introduced visa-free travel regulations have made entering the country much easier than before.

Previously, all foreigners, whether transiting through or entering the country, required a visa. Now, there is an opportunity to travel to Belarus for 30-days visa-free. To find out if you're one of the 74 countries eligible, click here.

It's important to note that you must arrive and leave the country only through Minsk National Airport. If you enter via any other border checkpoint or airport in the country, the visa-free entry rules will not apply.

Do not pay any border or railway officials for transit visas or transit visa fines, as they are not authorized to issue such visas. If you do find yourself in Belarus without a transit visa and you are confronted by border or train personnel, you should request to be put in contact with your consular officials in Minsk.

Getting Around Belarus

Potholes, poor or non-existent street lighting and an almost complete disregard of traffic rules are just some of the hazards you will face on the roads here. In the countryside the risks to your safety are heightened by the prevalence of pony and trap combinations.

That's right, in rural areas where street lighting is not common, be aware that pony and trap combinations are regularly used on the back-roads, and if you are driving you may not see or hear them coming.

If you are brave enough to drive there are a few things to be aware of. First, driving in Belarus is erratic at best and basic road rules seem optional rather than mandatory. Throughout Belarus A class Highways are in fair condition but the condition of B Class Highways varies considerably, and due to snow and ice they may be impassable during winter. It's best to check with locals on the state of back roads.

Drink driving is not tolerated; authorities operate a nil-tolerance policy.

There are police checkpoints throughout the country, stop where instructed and ensure that you have all documentation required, here's what you need in original form:

  • Ownership documents or letter of Power of Attorney
  • Third Party Car Insurance (to be purchased at Customs on entry to Belarus)

Drivers of foreign vehicles must pay a fee to use Belarus Highways, and payments are collected at border checkpoints, and vary according to the length of your stay. Finally, don't violate the temporary import terms of your car, doing so may result in confiscation of the car at border or police checkpoints.

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1 Comment

  • Vadim said

    You article is a little bit outdated. Travelers from 80 countries can visit Belarus without visa for 5 days. They should use only international flights! Flights from Russia are National and it is impossible to visit Belarus using 5 days visa-free entry via flights from Russia. We collected all needed information, restrictions and useful advises about 5 days visa-free entry to Belarus in one article. Here is the link to this article: https://www.minskairporttransfer.com/5-days-visa-free-visiting-belarus/.

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