The cheapest way is just hitch-hiking to Terespol and then to Brest.
You can also go to Brest directly from Warsaw by a train, but there is more cheap way of going there.
Go to Terespol (a border town) from e.g. Warsaw by a train. It costs 22 PLN (7 USD) for a second class and 33 PLN (11 USD) for a first class. Travel time app. 3,5h - 5h.
In Terespol buy a ticket to Brest. It costs app. 4 PLN (1 Euro).
The price from Brest to Terespol is app. 4800 BYR (2,5 USD).
Roads in Byelorussia are better than in Russia (E30). Though there are speed restrictions (120 km/h between Minsk and the Russian border and 130 km/h between Minsk and Brest) we moved at speed of 140-160 km/h and enjoyed almost absence of other cars there...
Metro looks just like a pharmacy. Everything is so clean and tidy. No grafitti, no posters, no dirt. However, everything is written in Belarussian but it wasn't a problem for me because I understood everything. Besides, The Main Train Station is new and makes you feel as if you're in Japan.
I haven't noticed any rush hours in Minsk. There's not so many cars in the streets. Maybe because the public transport works brilliant.
Belavia is the official airline of Belarus.
It is the only company flies directly from Istanbul to Minsk. Two way ticket from Istanbul to Minsk is 410 USD, but it is for 290 USD for those who are Belarus citizens and who has got residence permit in Belarus.
Eurolines offers connections from all European countries.
In Moscow busses to Belerus can be found at the station Belaruskaja.
The drivers search for passengers in the waiting area and shout Smolensk - Minsk Autobus.
But the train is more convenient than the bus.
For longer distances the bus might be cheaper.
More information can be found in the Minsk chapter soon.
This site is for the people which can read the kyrilic letters well.
When you are traveling in Belarus you always have to buy a ticket in advance.
Sometimes the women in the "Kassa" don't want to buy tickets for foreigners.
It is best to insist that you want to buy a ticket and not go away from the counter.
Try to speak russian with them.
It is best to write on a paper: Train number, time of departure, destination in kyrilic letters and the class.
In all russian trains there are three classes:
1first class: Class odin (2 beds)
2 class: Coupee (4 beds)
3 class: Platskarta (open wagon for 50 people)
There are no sites of the belarussion company with arabic letters.
I have linked a page which has the most common trains to Belarus.
Tip: If you come from Poland. Buy a ticket only to the polish border.
In Brest there is enough time to get off the train and buy a ticket for further connections.
This tactic will save you a lot of money!
Most gas stations seem to be self-service in Belarus. Fuel comes from Russia and is subsidised so my diesel was around $0.50 per litre compared to $1.60 in the UK.
In Belarus, you need to pay before fuelling. You go to the cash desk and say which pump you are at and how much fuel you want in litres or by cash value. Or you can leave a big banknote and say you will fill your tank. The cashier will then activate your pump and you can fill up your tank. The pump will cut off at the desired amount unless you have opted to fill up. If this is the case, don't forget to collect your change!
We took our own car to Belarus for may different reasons, one of which is that we are a family of 7 and air fares soon add up! I had read of how bad the roads were and how Belarussians are crazy drivers, also the police stop you and fine you for nothing. Well...
In fact, Belarus is no worse than some other countries to get around. The main M1 highway is reasonable condition although there are some potholes between the lanes to watch out for. There are also lots of contra-flow roadworks where the road goes down to a single lane. This is not a big problem as there is hardly any traffic on this road except Russian trucks transiting Belarus. Apart from trucks you will see the following on the side of the motorway: Tractors, Horse and carts, mushroom sellers, bicycles and the odd wandering babooshka!
Do be careful of changing speed limits on motorways, sometimes its 120Kmh sometimes 100Kmh and I got pulled by the police for doing 105Kmh on a 90Kmh road! Luckily our Belarussian friend Ludmila was with us and she spoke nicely to the officer who was very interested in England and let us go!
In Minsk and Brest the roads are straight and wide. Try to avoid the right-hand lane as the trolley busses use this lane and stop frequently. I found the city drivers to be fine and quite patient - London is much worse!
Around the towns and villages, the road conditions can be varied. Anywhere off the main routes can be littered with potholes so be careful. Also, railway crossings can be lethal if you cross at speed so slow down and cross carefully. In town, most drivers dont go fast enough to be a hazard as their cars are not capable of high speed! Be careful on roundabouts, there is no real priority here and you will have to fight for your place on it!
In general, take your time and stay alert and you will have no problems. With fuel at 25% of the cost in the UK you will go far!
If you plan to use the main highway M1 to cross Belarus be prepared to pay at the toll booths. On our Journey from Brest to Orsha we came across 3 Toll Plazas. On seeing we were in a foreign car, they demanded US Dollars or Euros for the toll - NOT Belarus Roubles. It is probably just a scam for them to get some nice foreign money to exchange when they come off their shift - I don't know!
Don't panic, it is only $1 or $2 per toll so it wont upset your travel budget. Just be ready with the right currency!
It is rather convinient to go to Belarus by train.
What was strange that on my way from Moscow to Minsk none asked me to show my passport. There is no border between countries, but what is more strange that even train conductors asked only for ticket.
Taxi are quite frequent though agree a price before you start your journey. Use registered taxis 'only' or you may find that you are in very real danger.
Walking, my advice is to walk and if possible higher a local guide. This will prove invaluable.
I would only take a plane, if you have to take a car, you might be sitting in line at the border for a few hours.
Take the subway when ever you can. It's wonderful. If you can't hail a cab, they are reasonable, don't be afraid if a car just pulls over and wants to pick you up.
The most comfortable way to come to Belarus is air in my opinion. The National Airport Minsk has connection with 14 European countries as well as with post-USSR counries. Flights are regular, and fares are not too pricey. Here is a link for National Airline website: BELAVIA Belarusian Airlines
The chain of railroads is well developed also, but the service is far not perfect. If you prefer traveling by car, you would probably have some problems with endless waiting at the border-crossing points, bad conditions of roads (except one Brest-Minsk-Moscow), and absence of services along the road.
Flights inside Belarus are hardly worth considering. In fact, only a handful of domestic flights is available. It would be more comfortable to use a bus or train. There are some car rental agencies in Minsk, though you should bear in mind that distances within the country are pretty long.
59, Pobediteley Ave, Minsk, 220035, Belarus
Good for: Families
For Soviet citizens it was always practically impossible to lodge in a hotel "Intourist". The best...more
13 Kirova str., Minsk, 220040, Belarus
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Solo
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