Living and studying in Belarus
Belarus is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Belarus is famous for its stunning architecture, grand fortifications, and primaeval forests.
Belarus has suddenly emerged as one of Europe’s ‘it’ destinations, driven by relaxed visa requirements, outstanding art and cafes, impressive dining and nightlife, elaborate museums and above all hospitable and friendly locals making for a thoroughly enjoyable experience in the country.
Minsk is the capital and most populous city of Belarus accommodating a pulsing nightlife, excellent museums and Stalinist architecture. Minsk has also hosted global summits and sporting events such as the 2019 European Games. The western cities of Brest and Hrodna are European styled, while around the centre you’ll find ancient castles and national parks.
Music and art also play an important part in the national life of Belarus, with national and international festivals held regularly across the country.
Climate in Belarus
Belarus is a wonderful place to explore no matter what time of year. With a diverse geography and a passion for natural history and wildlife, Belarus would be an outdoor enthusiasts’ dream. The climate features mild to cold winters, with average January minimum temperatures ranging from −4 °C (24.8 °F) in southwest (Brest) to −8 °C (17.6 °F) in northeast (Vitebsk), and cool and moist summers with an average temperature of 18 °C (64.4 °F).
Languages in Belarus
Belarus’s two official languages are Russian and Belarusian; Russian is the most common language used by 70% of the population, while Belarusian, the official first language, is spoken equally. Minorities also speak Polish, Ukrainian and Eastern Yiddish.
But even if you don’t know the local language you will still be fine and can get around with English easily. Many of the young people can speak excellent English and there are also signs or menus in restaurants in English.
Religion in Belarus
Overall, 48.3% of the population is Orthodox Christian, 41.1% is not religious, 7.1% is Catholic and 3.3% follows other religions.
Food in Belarus
Belarusian cuisine consists mainly of vegetables, meat (particularly pork), and bread. The national dish Draniki is a Belarusian style shallow fried potato pancakes made of grated potatoes. Foods are usually either slowly cooked or stewed. Common dairy products included curd cheese, sour cream, and butter. Milk is a regular ingredient in many Belarusian recipes, including all kinds of soups, porridges, mokanka.
Currency in Belarus
The official currency is Belarusian ruble (BYN). You can easily withdraw money from ATMs, pay by card or exchange money in numerous exchange points all over the city. The exchange rate is similar almost everywhere and the most popular currencies to exchange are US dollars, Euro and Russian rubles.
Shopping in Belarus
Shopping in Belarus is very affordable and convenient. Local Brands in Belarus are quite popular with visitors making clothes and accessories of these brands very sought-after. Chocolates, sweets, tableware, cosmetics, alcoholic beverages, and intricate trinkets are the top items that tourists are recommended to buy, while in Belarus.
Travelling in Belarus
Minsk is located on the main transportation routes connecting Western Europe and the East, regions of the Black Sea coast and the Baltic States. Minsk has a large railway network which connects Brest, Moscow, Vilnius and Gomel.
The city has a very good public transportation system. You can easily reach any place by bus, trolleybus or tram. Minsk, like most big European cities, has a fine metro system.
From the Airport:
There are a couple of buses and minibuses travelling between the airport and the city (Central Bus Station, next to the main train station and metro station Ploshcha Lenina). They depart every 20-30 minutes in each direction. It takes around 40-60 minutes for the journey.
At the airport, the bus stop is located on the left side when you leave the terminal. At the central bus station, the airport buses depart from platform no. 2.
How to reach Belarus from India
The Minsk National Airport or Minsk -2 Airport is the main international airport of Belarus. This airport is the hub of the national airline, Belavia and most of the international flights to Belarus land here. There is nearly 100 weekly connecting flights to Minsk, from New Delhi. The top airlines flying on this route are Aeroflot, Air Astana, Lufthansa, and Etihad Airways. The travel duration is around 10 hours.
Visa-free travel is settled for the citizens of India for not more than 30 days. A valid national passport of the citizen of India or another substituting document for travelling abroad is required.
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