• 31 January 2020

Looking for a hidden gem in Europe? Somewhere far from the crowds and off the beaten track? 

Belarus might just be the perfect destination for you!

This unique, landlocked country differs from the rest of Europe. Think modern cities, fairytale castles, a flourishing cultural scene, ancient forests and tranquil national parks. Belarus has all of this and more. Owing to its history steeped in war and the Soviet times, its appeal as a full-fledged travel destination has been on the rise only recently. Belarus is still relatively unexplored and is currently a quiet tourist spot – you’ll find some people might not even have heard of this intriguing country!

This is why Dzmitry Marozau decided to start BelAgroTravel – a Belarusian tourism company  – with the mission to share his country and the beauty of Belarus with travellers from around the world.  

The Lutownia river in Balowieza Forest National Park
The Lutownia river in Balowieza Forest National Park

Learn everything you need to know about visiting Belarus, and its captivating capital city Minsk, from Dzmitry the co-founder of BelAgroTravel, below…

1. Could you provide a brief history of BelAgroTravel?

BelAgroTravel was established in 2012 and there are two founders – Fillip Huly and myself. Most of the staff initially were from the Faculty of History at the Belarusian State University – my Alma Mater. In the beginning, our major market was the Russian Federation and our major product was seven-day coach tours from Moscow to major attractions in Belarus. 

Today, we are a team of 29 people and we offer a variety of tourism services, welcoming about 28,000 tourists per year from Europe, Asia, and the Americas!

2. What motivated you to co-found a travel and tourism company in Belarus?

After guiding tourists in Western Europe (mostly in France, Spain, Italy, and Germany) and the USA, my partner and I found that pretty much no one there heard about Belarus. We know what an amazing country it is and finally, we decided to organize a company at home to show foreign guests our country.

It is authentic, different from neighbouring countries and not spoiled by mass tourism. 

The Bolshoi Theater for Opera and Ballet in Minsk, Belarus
The Bolshoi Theater for Opera and Ballet in Minsk, Belarus

3. Why should travellers visit Belarus?

First of all, it’s a country which will surprise you, and it will be a great surprise! Usually before going to Belarus people have neutral or negative expectations, but when they are here, they see beautiful, clean cities, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, picturesque countrysides and friendly people. You’ll leave with a positive impression and great memories!

4. What makes Belarus a unique destination? 

It is probably the last of Europe’s unexplored destinations. It is authentic, different from neighbouring countries and not spoiled by mass tourism. It can offer a lot: a rich history and cultural heritage, architectural monuments of different epochs from the 12th to 21st centuries, diverse cultural life (opera, ballet, modern art), authentic Eastern European folklore and delicious cuisine, pristine nature and many other interesting things. So I would say that it is an off-the-beaten-track, hidden gem.

Victory Square in Minsk, the Republic of Belarus
Victory Square in Minsk, the Republic of Belarus

5. What are your top three favourite destinations in Belarus?

  • Halshany Castle: Not far from the border with Lithuania, this is the most mysterious place in Belarus, with many legends and incredible landscapes surrounding it. I have even bought a house in the forest nearby!
  • The Polesie State Radioecological Reserve: This is a unique place where you can visit the villages, evacuated in 1986 after the fallout from the Chernobyl disaster, and see picturesque and pristine nature. The reserve hosts many rare and endangered species, which thrive there thanks to the virtual absence of humans. They include bears, European bison, Przewalski horse, Golden eagle and White-tailed eagle. It is also home to the world’s largest population of the European marsh turtles!
  • Minsk: It is my native city and I like it very much! It has many things to explore. Every time you come here you can find something new. I have lived here all my life, but every time I walk around I see how the city is changing, and I can say that dynamic is very positive with a cool vibe.  

6. What are your top 3 experiences to have in Belarus?

  • Take an unusual ride on a WWII tank, Belarusian tractor or just the biggest truck in the world the BelAZ! 
  • Explore Minsk by kayak. 
  • Enjoy Belarusian traditional cuisine and folk music in the countryside.
Enjoy Minsk’s nightlife after a day full of exploring!
Enjoy Minsk’s nightlife after a day full of exploring!

7. What are the main things visitors to Minsk should see and do?

  • Enjoy the lights of Minsk by night.
  • Enjoy opera or ballet shows at the Bolshoi Theatre of Belarus.
  • Try “Kvass” – Belarus’ traditional non-alcoholic, fermented beverage. The drink is made by fermenting rye bread with “Kvass” being the liquid that results from the fermentation process. Cheers! 
  • Create a sculptural masterpiece together with a modern Belarusian sculptor in Zair Azgur workshop. 

Every time you come here you can find something new.

8. What can travellers expect from a guided tour of Minsk with BelAgroTravel?

On Expat Explore tours, travellers will see all major architectural attractions of the city centre and main avenues such as the National Library building, Victory Square with its 38-meter obelisk and the eternal flame commemorating the victims of WWII, the Trinity suburb and the Afghanistan War Monument on the Island of Tears, old town, the Catholic and Orthodox Cathedrals, Independence Square with the House of Government of 1930th, the KGB historical office and the Residence of the President. 

They will also explore some hidden gems of Minsk. One spot is Oktyabrskaya Street – an informal hipster cultural centre of the Belarusian capital with wonderful murals on factory walls that contrast starkly with the Vladimir Lenin statues, as well as creative areas and very cool people.

Get a glimpse of local Belarusian culture on a trip to the rural countryside.
Get a glimpse of local Belarusian culture on a trip to the rural countryside.

9. Are the tour leaders and guides locals? 

Yes, they are all locals and we have 12 English speaking guides. 

10. Do you have any fun facts about Belarus or Minsk to share? Something visitors to the city wouldn’t know?

  • A secret place: an old man café near “Dynamo” football stadium, run by an ex-soviet military helicopter pilot, involved in the liquidation of Chernobyl right after the incident. This is a great place to hear unique stories and to try “Bedouin” coffee which is boiled on sand with secret desert herbs.
  • The largest dump truck in the world is produced in Belarus (the BelAZ).
  • Belarus is the “Silicon Valley” of Eastern Europe. About 10 years ago, High Tech Park was created here, where about 170 companies and 27,000 IT specialists work now.
  • Bialowieza Forest, the largest and oldest forest of Europe also home to the largest animal in Europe (the bison), is situated in Belarus.
  • Belarusians are very fond of potatoes! Most national dishes include them and In Belarus, there are more than 300 dishes made with potatoes (“bulba”)!

Rich history and cultural heritage, architectural monuments… diverse cultural life, authentic Eastern European folklore and delicious cuisine, pristine nature and many other interesting things.

11. What are useful phrases in Belarusian for visitors to the country to know? 

  • Hello – Вітаю (Vitaju)
  • Please – Калі ласка (Kali łaska)
  • Thank you – Дзякуй (Dziakuj)
  • Bon appetit – Смачна есьці! (Smačna jeści!)
  • Potatoes – бульба  (Bulba)    

*Please note that most people in Belarus speak Russian as well. It’s similar to Ireland, where people mostly don’t speak Gaelic in daily life.

Brest, Belarus, is home to a 19th Century Russian fortress and the “Courage” monument.
Brest, Belarus, is home to a 19th Century Russian fortress and the “Courage” monument.

12. What do you hope that guests take away from BelAgroTravel’s tours around Belarus?

An impression of Belarus that is way better than their expectation before a tour!


Are you keen to discover this hidden gem? You can see the highlights of this unique destination and adventure through Belarus and Minsk on our Helsinki to Warsaw Tour.

Questions & Comments




  1. Expat Explore says:

    Hi Amina

    Thank you for your message

    Schengen Visa/Any Visa for that matter is dependent on the tour you do, please click here Do I need a Visa?

    Hope to see you on one of our tours.

    Kind Regards
    Customer Service

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