One of the least visited countries in Europe. The last dicatorship of Europe. Why go here?
This country always fascinated me. Aleksandr Lukaschenko, president since 1994, lowest crime rates in Europe. How is life here?
In August 2017, I decided to find out. I heard earlier this year, that it suddenly became a lot easier to visit Belarus, as they now automaticaly give 5 day visas to tourists arriving at the Minsk International Airport. Let’s go!
When you arrive, you will soon feel like this country is stuck in it’s history. Huge squares, wide avenues, extremely clean and soviet architecture, which The Palace of the Republic is sure sign of. Big grey concrete structures, everywhere.
And when it rains, it pours. Well, actually, lucky me experienced the worst downpour ever registered in Minsk.
Belarus has a long and turbulent history. Some of it can be seen in the Great Patriotic War Museum. During the second world war, almost 40% of their population was lost. And even to this day, this country barely speaks their own language, Belorussian. They speak Russian. They are taught both in school, but Russian is given a lot more school hours than Belorussian. This shows the ties they have to Russia, even to this day.
And of course, they have an Opera. The National Academic Bolshoi Opera and Ballet Theatre. Maybe the most beautiful building I saw in Minsk.
If you want to see a show inside, it is recommended to pre order. It is very popular for Belorussians, and the people behind the counter did not appreciate me wanting to buy a ticket right before the show.