Is Belarus safe for travel?

Posted in the Belarus Forum

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“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#1 Jun 6, 2009
For an American tourist? I kinda want to go, but I'm also kinda scared. It hasn't gotten such good press lately

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#2 Jun 9, 2009
Of course Belarus is safe Mr. Phillip! Belarus has criminal elements just like other countries, but you'll find the people there curious to learn about you, and very friendly, once they warm up to you. My impression of Belarusians is that they don't like B.S. Be real or keep your mouth shut. If you're genuine you'll probably have a wonderful time and make some of the best friends of your life. I highly recommend Belarus.

When you're there just keep in mind that you're not in America. You shouldn't pull people into the discussion of politics. It's a sensitive and risky topic there.

Are you going to Minsk, or where?
Mr Phillip wrote:
For an American tourist? I kinda want to go, but I'm also kinda scared. It hasn't gotten such good press lately
bil

Minsk, Belarus

#3 Jun 9, 2009
Belizerealtor is right, i live full time in Belarus 5 years now and its safer then most places.
Theres probably more police on the street here then most other countries which makes it safe to walk at night, follow all the same rules you would follow when visiting anyother country and you will be just fine

“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#4 Jun 10, 2009
are taxis safe? anything to be careful about? What happens if I get stopped for speeding?

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#5 Jun 10, 2009
Taxis in Minsk are probably safer than in the USA. Why are you asking these questions? Despite its isolation and differences, Belarus is a modern society, full of educated people, artists, scientists, architects, animal lovers, students, grandmothers, farmers, gays and lesbians, athletes, etc. It's truly a wonderful country.
Mr Phillip wrote:
are taxis safe? anything to be careful about? What happens if I get stopped for speeding?

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#6 Jun 10, 2009
If you get stopped for speeding expect to pay a fine.
Mr Phillip wrote:
are taxis safe? anything to be careful about? What happens if I get stopped for speeding?
bil

Mogilėv, Belarus

#7 Jun 10, 2009
Where are you going to, Just Minsk ? Minsk has a good metro system and if your staying anywhere near a metro you will have little use for taxis.
Take a look at lonely planet's web-site for latest info on visiting Belarus.
If you are in a taxi you wont have to pay a fine for speeding !!!!!
Are you serious ?
bartman

Snowflake, AZ

#8 Jun 11, 2009
Belarus hasn't really ever gotten good press. I've been there 5 times in the last 2 years, for a total of 4 months, and you'lle be fine. Just don't go handing out wallet sized copies of the US constitution around town. It's an interesting place, go for it. And the women...oh my. Hint--if you're looking for women, forget Minsk. Go to Gomel. You won't be sorry. It's like a fricking Miss America pageant on the street every day.
bartman

Snowflake, AZ

#9 Jun 11, 2009
Furthermore, the people are wonderful, as long as you keep it real like belize said. And remember, you're not in the US any more. There are some things you will have to get used to, 'cause if you don't, people can take it as a sign of supremeism and you won't make many friends.

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#10 Jun 11, 2009
Mr. Phillip,

Another thing about Belarus, is that not as many people speak English as you would find in other parts of Europe. It would be a good idea to know how to read some basic Russian, so that you can look up at a sign and at least know the basics of what it is saying. If you can speak some survival Russian it will help you out a lot. My taxi drivers never spoke a word of English, but they were very nice gentlemen. I felt very safe with them. My own experience with Belarus is that the Belarusian people are less likely to rip you off than in other countries. Of course everyone needs to make a few extra dollars, so be generous to these very good people. And use your good sense!
Mr Phillip wrote:
are taxis safe? anything to be careful about? What happens if I get stopped for speeding?

“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#11 Jun 11, 2009
Will I get riped off if I try to change dollars? Will they accept Mastercard and American Express?

“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#12 Jun 11, 2009
Oh wait. According to the Lonely planet web site "All Western visitors need a visa, and arranging one before you arrive is essential". So I can't just drive in?

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#13 Jun 11, 2009
It's just like anywhere in the EU. You can find many places that exchange currency. Just find one that gives the best deal. Very few places accept credit cards, except some hotels, clubs and restaurants.
Mr Phillip wrote:
Will I get riped off if I try to change dollars? Will they accept Mastercard and American Express?

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#14 Jun 11, 2009
Yep. You've got to have a visa. A regular tourist-type visa cost $131 US dollars, and you get it pretty quickly through the mail, if you're sending it to the embassy from inside the USA.
Mr Phillip wrote:
Oh wait. According to the Lonely planet web site "All Western visitors need a visa, and arranging one before you arrive is essential". So I can't just drive in?

“Humans are God's agents”

Since: May 07

USA

#15 Jun 11, 2009
Mr. Phillip,

Here's Belarus' site for it's consulate in Vilnius. Scroll down the page and you'll find the visa information.

http://www.belarus.lt/ku_e.php
Mr Phillip wrote:
Oh wait. According to the Lonely planet web site "All Western visitors need a visa, and arranging one before you arrive is essential". So I can't just drive in?

“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#16 Jun 11, 2009
belizerealtor wrote:
Yep. You've got to have a visa. A regular tourist-type visa cost $131 US dollars, and you get it pretty quickly through the mail, if you're sending it to the embassy from inside the USA.
<quoted text>
Deal is off. Too many cool places to go for free to spend that kind of money to go somewhere known as the last dictatorship in Europe
Mcginty

Palo Alto, CA

#17 Jun 11, 2009
Mr Phillip wrote:
<quoted text>
Deal is off. Too many cool places to go for free to spend that kind of money to go somewhere known as the last dictatorship in Europe
If $131 is too steep, I don't know where you think you can travel elsewhere in Europe for less. And good luck exchanging dollars for Euros - you'll lose about 25% on that deal.

The fact that it's a dictatorship has no effect on visitors; only the people that live there and have to deal with the idiotic bureaucracy worry about that. Very nice people in general, and Minsk is infinitely cleaner than say, St. Petersburg. To be honest, you sound like a paranoid American(which I was the first time I visited too - for about 5 minutes).
bil

Minsk, Belarus

#18 Jun 12, 2009
Maybe you could crawl through the gas pipe line, no visa costs and wont be done for speeding

“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#19 Jun 12, 2009
Mcginty wrote:
<quoted text>
If $131 is too steep, I don't know where you think you can travel elsewhere in Europe for less. And good luck exchanging dollars for Euros - you'll lose about 25% on that deal.
The fact that it's a dictatorship has no effect on visitors; only the people that live there and have to deal with the idiotic bureaucracy worry about that. Very nice people in general, and Minsk is infinitely cleaner than say, St. Petersburg. To be honest, you sound like a paranoid American(which I was the first time I visited too - for about 5 minutes).
I figure I'll just drive into Latvia for free next week. I could maybe do it in Estonia too and the wait time is about 5 minutes when I get to the border. Also suppose I get stopped for some stupid thing by cops? In a dictatorship I'd assume the whole lawyer thing won't go well when they find something they planted.

Call me paranoid, but things like this happen in places where everyone says is great. Some Australian surfers got the death penalty for having some drugs in south east asia once. Belarus doesn't have a reputation as a wonderful happy go lucky place.

If it was so great their neighbors would say better things about it

“I was Phillip before.”

Since: Dec 07

New England

#20 Jun 12, 2009
bil wrote:
Maybe you could crawl through the gas pipe line, no visa costs and wont be done for speeding
I'm afraid the pipeline might not be up to code

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