Top 10 Sights in Belarus
Belarus, often referred to as Belarus, is one of the still undiscovered corners of Europe according to Countryaah. The original nature, small villages, castles and Orthodox churches are to be discovered. The Bialowieza National Park on the border with Poland is a unique natural area and offers bison a home. But visitors are also impressed by the cultural heritage. Minsk in particular presents itself as a proud city with large squares and beautiful sacred buildings.
TOP 10 SIGHTS IN BELARUS
Belarus – often a blank spot on the tourist map – offers some cultural highlights from its eventful history. Be it from Polish-Lithuanian or Soviet times. Go on a journey of discovery and visit our TOP 10.
10TH PLACE: SCHLOSS MIR
Mir Castle, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, is enthroned about 85 kilometers southwest of Minsk, in the town of Mir. Its beginnings go back to the 16th century. As a fortified successor to a wooden feudal castle that was burned down by the Tatars, this castle with its fortifications combines different architectural styles from Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque.
9TH PLACE: BELAVESCHSKAYA PUSHCHA NATIONAL PARK
The call of nature beckons here. You can go on a journey of discovery in one of the last primeval forests in Europe, which was declared a national park as early as 1932 and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you will experience the lowland forest, the biological diversity of which is overwhelming thanks to the lack of human intervention. And with a little luck you can meet the gentle giants of the forest – the bison – in their original environment.
8TH PLACE: HRODNA (GRODNO)
Hrodna, located in the border triangle with Poland and Lithuania, has a long history. The place – on both sides of the Memel – impresses with a whole range of fascinating buildings. Visit the Francis Xavier Cathedral from the early 18th century or the Church of Saints Boris and Gleb, the oldest surviving structure in Hrodna (before 1183). Stroll along the Memel promenade, from where you have a fantastic view of the old and the new castle.
7TH PLACE: NJASWISCH CASTLE (NESWISCH)
Built in the Polish-Lithuanian era, this castle with its moat is like something out of a picture book – it was not for nothing that it was once voted the most beautiful castle in Poland. It once belonged to the Radziwill magnate family – one of the most important and richest families in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland. Take your time and visit the colorful halls (from medieval to baroque) with outstanding paintings of the rulers of the time. Here you will definitely feel the feudal flair of the past centuries.
6TH PLACE: BREST FORTRESS
One of the most visited sights in Belarus is the fortress in Brest. Between 1836 and 1842 it was built on the bank of the Bug to secure the western border of the Russian Empire and was considered the largest fortress at the time. In addition to the fortress with its pretty Cholmer Gate, other buildings can be seen that give a good overview of the turbulent times.
5TH PLACE: NARATSCH LAKE (NAROCH)
Vacation like the Belarusians? It is possible here on Lake Narach, a good 160 kilometers northwest of Minsk. Lake Narach is the largest lake in Belarus and the main destination of domestic tourism. This large lake is something very special for a landlocked country and the forest-lined shores interrupted by bathing bays offer recreation, relaxation and a bit of adventure. Go fishing, swimming, boating or discover the forests around the lake.
4TH PLACE: SHOPPING IN MINSK
The capital Minsk offers interesting shopping opportunities. Visit the underground shopping center Stolica. It lies under the large central square, which is flanked by state buildings, and is hidden under large glass domes. Or how about a detour to a branch of the legendary traditional Russian department store GUM? Or dare to go into the small, local shops and feel the atmosphere of bygone times. We can definitely recommend the lovingly carved wooden works of art – perfect souvenirs.
3RD PLACE: KOMAROVSKIY RYNAK (MARKET)
If you want to dive deeper into the daily life of the Minsk people, we recommend the Komarovskiy Markt. Experience the hustle and bustle with a coffee or try Belarusian (sausage) specialties. It’s not a typical tourist attraction, but you are guaranteed an authentic experience.
2ND PLACE: HOLY SPIRIT CATHEDRAL (MINSK)
Surrounded by the cozy “old town” part, the Holy Spirit Cathedral is a special symbol of the capital and a very important place for the Christian Orthodox Belarusians. Originally built as a monastery in 1633, it experienced an eventful history with destruction, reconstruction and closings. The cathedral with its gleaming white facade and green roofs is a great photo opportunity.
1ST PLACE: NATIONAL HISTORICAL MUSEUM MINSK
If you are only in Belarus for a short time or have only planned a city trip to Minsk, you can still get a good overview of the country, its history and culture by visiting the National Museum. With around 450,000 exhibits, the most popular museum in Belarus offers an understandable insight into the past centuries in the region. The National Art Museum is also in the neighborhood.