FAQ: How to Come to Belarus? (updated)


Basic Info



Belarus is one of the last terra incognitas in Europe and can turn out to be an intriguing place for a curious traveler who is fed up with all European cities. As visa restrictions are getting softer Belarus is becoming more attractive. That’s why we’ve carefully studied dozens of official papers and websites to make a summary of all you need to know to come here: from getting a registration to downloading useful apps to your smartphone.



Who needs a visa?


There are three types of Belarusian visas: transit (2 days), short-term (90 days) and long term (valid within a year, allows 90 days of staying in the country). Tourists usually need a short-term visa which can be single, double or multiple entries. But if you plan a short visit and follow some simple rules, you can arrive without one. Here are the details of visa procedure in Belarus.



Without a visa

No visa for short-term visits (usually up to 90 days)


  Azerbaijan (90 days)

  Armenia (90 days)

  Brazil (twice a year up to 90 days)

  Venezuela (90 days)

  Israel (90 days)

  Georgia (90 days)

  Kazakhstan (90 days)

  Kyrgyzstan (90 days)

  Qatar (30 days)

  Cuba (30 days)

  Macedonia (with an invitation or a tourist voucher)

  Mongolia (90 days)

  Moldova (90 days)

  Russia (90 days)

  Tajikistan (90 days)

  Uzbekistan (90 days)

  Ukraine (90 days)

  Serbia (30 days)

  Turkey (30 days of one visit and up to 90 days within one year from the date of first entry)

  Montenegro (30 days with an invitation or a tourist voucher)

  Ecuador (30 days of one stay and 90 days within a year)

  Chinese citizens don’t need a visa in case of a transit travel (up to 3 days if you come by direct flights from China and have a valid Schengen visa). In case of group tourist visits you also need no visa.


Travellers from 80 more countries don’t need a visa if they arrive at the national airport Minsk and stay in the country for no more than 30 days. This includes all the counties of the European Union, USA, Brazil, Japan, Indonesia and some others. Citizens of Vietnam, India, China, Lebanon and some others will need to have a valid Shengen visa and tickets back. In case you want to use this visa-free opportunity you can’t arrive or go back through Russia as there is no border control with this country.

All in all, you will need your passport, insurance (see below) and proven amount of money for your stay (approximately € 22 a day). Welcome to Belarus!


List of the lucky countries :


Antigua and Barbuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Czech Republic

El Salvador
Hong Kong

New Zealand
Order of Malta

San Marino
Saudi Arabia
South Korea
St Vincent and the Grenadines
United Kingdom
United States



There some more ways to come to Belarus without a visa: you can come to travel around the ancient forest Biełaviežskaja pušča or the beautiful city of Hrodna and Augustow channel.


  All the details about visa-free Belarus  |   5 ideas for 5 visa-free days in Belarus



Obtaining a visa


Wanna come for a longer stay? For all the others the visa process is not so scary as it may seem.

To get a visa you should apply to the Consulate of Belarus in your country. There you can specify which documents you need as there may be some differences in different countries, but generally this list is enough:

  Visa application form

  one photograph (35×45 mm, not older than 6 months)

  valid passport

  medical insurance

  a confirmation of the consular fee paid

  visa support documents

Visa support documents should confirm your purpose of travel to Belarus. It can be an invitation from your friend or a contract with a travel agent. The good news: in many countries you don’t need such documents according to the decision of the consul (lucky citizens of Australia, Austria, Andorra, Argentina, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, SAR China Hong Kong, Denmark, Greece, Ireland Iceland, Spain, Italy, Canada, Qatar, Cyprus, Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, SAR China Macau, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, United States, Uruguay, Finland, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Chile, Switzerland, Sweden, Estonia and Japan). Anyway, better call in advance to your consulate and clarify the situation.

Your visa will be ready within 5 working days (in urgent cases it may be even 2 days, but you will have to pay additional fee for that).

Speaking of payment, visa cost varies and depends on your citizenship and visa type. For most countries it’s € 50-60, for the citizens of Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Estonia – € 25. The full list is available here.

If you don’t want to bother with the consulate, here is another possibility: get your visa at the consular section of Minsk National Airport (only if you come with a direct flight). In this case visa will cost about twice as much as the usual one. Also be sure to send the documents to the visa center at the airport beforehand.  They must be delivered at least four days before your arrival, so ask your friends or travel agency. Mailing address: Division for the Admission of Foreigners of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minsk International Airport, 220054 Minsk; phone 375 172 792 058. Department workers should put a special stamp on your documents marking that they are admitted, so ask them to fax or e-mail you a copy of your documents with this stamp. You will need to show it to the airport staff while checking in on your flight. Consular fee at the airport should be paid in euro in cash only.



How to get insurance?


Insurance is obligatory for all foreigners coming to Belarus. It can be an insurance from "Belgosstrakh" or "Eximgarant" which you can buy on the border (at the airport or border control look for a window that says "Obligatory medical insurance"). You can pay for the insurance in Belarusian or Russian rubles, dollars or euros (31 € for 30 days’ insurance, € 89 for 90 days).

Insurance from "Belgosstrakh" can be made for you by your local friend (or inviting organization) in Belarus: they just need to tell the insurance agent your full name, address of permanent residence and dates of visit to the country. They should also send you the insurance itself, as you need to show it while crossing the border.

You can also make the insurance in your own country, just make sure it meets all the following requirements:

  Name and details of the insurance company (address and telephone)

  Your first and last name,

  Validity area — Republic of Belarus or the whole world,

  The insurance contract period should cover the dates of your stay,

The insurance amount  should be not less than € 10 000. The insurance cards without specifying the amount of insurance are accepted only if they are valid for traveling all over the world.

You can skip the insurance if you are a citizen of the states having international agreements with Belarus on providing free emergency medical help. These are Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.



On the border


Prepare your passport and insurance (or buy it – insurance, not passport, of course) for checking in.

Fill out a migration card. It should be given out by a flight attendant, train or bus steward or stewardess. You can find instructions for filling out on side A. Border control officers will put a stamp on the migration card and give you back side B. You must get there a registration stamp (in case you stay in Belarus for longer than 5 days – more information below) and give back at the border control point when you leave Belarus. Be careful not to lose it as you can get a fine up to 1050 BYN (€ 500) for an administrative offense.

If you travel by car you should have an insurance certificate valid on the territory of Belarus and confirmation of the insurance liability in the member-state of the Green Card System.

If you go to Belarus for less than 30 days, you should have enough money which officially is two basic units per day of stay (in December 2017 it is about 46 BYN or € 23 per day). If you are going to stay longer it should be 50 basic units for the whole period of time (1150 BYN or € 575).

Important: double check that there is no random money in your documents as it can be considered as  bribery. At the border you are not allowed to take pictures or videos and talk on the phone – leave it for later.

You are allowed to bring with you no more than three liters of alcohol, 200 cigarettes (50 cigars or 250 g tobacco). Total luggage should not be more than 50 kg. We doubt that you will need more, but if this is the case, be ready to pay at least € 4 per each kilo of the overweight.  Fill out the declaration if you have more than $ 10 000 in cash. Weapons, drugs and explosives are not allowed – no surprises here. If you are traveling with a dog or another animal, prepare the vet certificate.

Unfortunately, not all of our officials are fluent in English, so some basic knowledge of Russian language or some translation app on your smartphone will be a good idea.

More info on the State Border Committee website.



How to get to Minsk from the airport?


Minsk Airport is 40 km away from the city. You can get to the centre by bus, train or taxi.

   300E bus or 1400TC/1430TC minibus. Probably the most convenient way to reach the city center is by bus – it will bring you to the central bus station plus you get a free sightseeing tour as the bus goes through the main city avenue. You can buy your ticket in the airport terminal or from the driver. The bus and minibus tickets cost 4 BYN (about € 2). If you buy from the driver, only BYN will be accepted, so exchange a small amount at the airport. The road takes about an hour and the bus also stops at "Uručča" metro station. Buses start their route at 00.30 and end at 23.50, leaving almost every hour (during the daytime – every half an hour). The bus stop in the airport is directly at the exit of sector 5-6 in the arrivals area.

   Taxi. Taxis are waiting for their passengers in front of the 5-6 sector in the arrivals area. The distance from the National Airport Minsk to the first metro station "Uručča" is about 33 km, to the center of Minsk – 42 km. Travel time is 30-40 minutes. If you are ordering a taxi online the prices start from 30 BYN (€ 17). Most popular taxi options: 135, 7788, 157, 107, 152. You can also book a car in advance via Uber: a trip to the nearest metro station will cost € 10, to the city center – € 16.

   Rent a Car. Finally, you can rent a car for maximum freedom and independence from transport schedules. You can find several car rentals directly at the airport on the 1st floor, sector 3-4 (Sixt, Auto-Sale, Avis), the price for one day is about € 40-50.



Where to exchange money?


The national currency in Belarus is the Belarusian ruble BYN. It is not freely convertible, so you can’t buy it in advance.

Belarus went through denomination in 2016 and now we have new money in banknotes (5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 rubles) and coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 copecks; 1 and 2 rubles). Exchange rate for € 1 is about 2,30 BYN (check the current rate of the National Bank or through any online currency converter).

Money can usually be exchanged at banks or exchange offices (you can find them in hotels, supermarkets and shopping malls, at the airport or railway station). There is no exchange commission. Dollars, euros and Russian rubles are available at all money exchange offices. You can also get your euros or dollars from ATMs or simply pay by card (accepted almost everywhere).



How to use public transport?


There are all kinds of public transport in belarusian cities: buses, trolleybuses, trams, taxis and minivan "taxis" (so called marshrutka). In Minsk there are also two metro lines.

You can buy public transport tickets at "Minsktrans" («Мінсктранс») or "Belsayuzdruk" («Белсаюздрук») kiosks at most bus stops or directly from the driver (the ticket will be a 0,05 BYN more expensive then).

In Minsk one single-ride ticket costs 0,6 BYN/0,2 € (0,65 BYN/€ 0,25 for metro or if you buy from the driver). You can also buy a smartcard with a given amount of rides or given period of time for different kinds of transport. The most useful for you will probably be a card with unlimited amount of rides (except for metro) for 1 day (2,97 BYN/ 1,5 €), 2 days (5,24 BYN/ 2,2 €), 3 days (7,22/3,5 €). There are also options for 10, 15, 30 and 90 days of unlimited rides, but in this case the price will differ depending on the types of transport you want to use (from 9,5 BYN/4 € to 109,59 BYN/55 €). Another option is a smartcard with a limited amount of rides (from 10 to 100 rides). The price depends again on the types of transport (from 5,7 BYN/2,5 € to 62,25 BYN/27 €). We’re sorry it’s quite complicated – better ask your local friends to figure out the best variant for you.

Every time you take a bus, put your smartcard to a special device at the door or validate your one-time ticket. The devices should give a reassuring beep and you can travel with clean conscience. Transport control is not so rare and the penalty is 11,5 BYN (€ 5) which you have to pay on the spot.  

Transport runs on schedule, so you can check the time and routes on the website (so far only in Russian). Many bus stops have electronic displays where you can see how many minutes are left until the next bus.

Unfortunately there are no night buses in Minsk and the metro runs only until 0.40 a.m. After this time the main means of transport are your own legs, and a taxi – you can call 135, 7788, 157, 107, 152 from your phone. Price is about € 3-4 for 8-10 km. Uber also works here with rates around € 10 for a ride from one end of the city to another.



How to obtain registration?


It is important: all foreign citizens spending more than 5 days in Belarus should have an official registration (otherwise you will get a fine up to 500 € on the border).

Good news for the citizens of Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and United Arab Emirates: you can relax and enjoy your time in Belarus as you don’t need the registration for 30 days. Staying in the hotel is also convenient because the staff usually makes the registration for you.

Everyone else should make a temporary registration in the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at the place of actual residence. You can check the list of district offices with addresses and working time here (only in Russian). The registration should be done within five working days (excluding Sunday and public holidays).

For the registration you will need a request and application from the owner of the place where you will stay during your visit, your passport, insurance, migration card and a receipt of registration fee payment  (0,5 basic amount, around 5 €, bank details here). Check that the officers put the registration stamp in your migration card and give it back at the border control when leaving Belarus.


  All the details about foreigners’ registration in Belarus 



How to travel around Belarus?


  Train is a popular and convenient transport here and the route network covers most cities. Check the schedule on the website. If you see the electronic registration badge, it means that you can pay online by card and there is no need to print the ticket, so you can save trees and paper and simply show your passport when boarding the train. Otherwise you can buy any ticket at the railway ticket office. Ticket price depends on the distance and the level of comfort of the train.

  Buses go wherever the train don’t. Check the schedule and buy your ticket online or at bus stations.

  By car. Although public transport in Belarus is developed quite well, there are still a lot of interesting and faraway places where you can best get by car. So rent a car and plan your own route. Pay attention that we have some toll roads in Belarus – you can find the info and map of toll roads here under the section "In Belarus, there is a toll collection system in place – BelToll".



How to stay in touch?


In Minsk you can easily find wi-fi connection in most cafes, shopping malls and hotels, so just ask the staff for the password. Wi-fi in the streets is not for free. Buy a plastic card "Beltelecom" with a username and password (again "Belsayuzdruk" / «Белсаюздрук» kiosk, you might find it quite useful) or pay through the web-portal self-service (it opens automatically when you connect to the network Beltelecom). Three hours of the Internet will cost around € 3. Check out the coverage map here

For mobile connection buy a local sim card from A1, MTS or Life. The connection itself is usually free of charge (but you will need to show your passport when buying a SIM-card). Many tariffs include some free calls and Internet traffic – ask your mobile operator.



Emergency and safety


112 – Emergency number

102 – Police

103 – Ambulance

In case of health emergency do not forget to show your passport and insurance card. Emergency phone numbers of belarusian insurance companies: Belgosstrakh +375 17 252 48 90, +375 29 231 42 24 (MTS), +375 25 741 42 24 (life), +375 44 741 42 26 (velcom); Beleximgarant + 375 173 60 21 21.

Minsk is mostly a safe city and you don’t need to worry even in the suburbs in the evening.



How to get tax free?


If you're making a one day shopping in one store and pay 80 BYN and more, you can register Tax Free. It is possible only in certain shops participating in the refund program – check the list.

In the store you need to ask for a special form for a VAT refund. Show the employee your receipt and your passport. The refund check should be issued in two copies – one is for you, the other one stays in the store. Check that your data has been entered correctly, that there is the signature of the seller and store stamp and the original receipt is attached.

When leaving Belarus show your purchases to the customs officers. The packages must not be opened.  The custom officers will give you another stamp on your form (remember that this must be done within three months from the date of purchase).

When you come home fill in your bank card number on the back side of the form and send it by mail (special envelope with the address RUE "Beltamozhservice" should be given to you together with a check). Don’t put it off for too long as it is valid only during 6 months after the purchase. Within 30 days after the "Beltamozhservice" receives your letter they will transfer the money to your card. All the rules of tax free refund are here.



Info / Lifehack


  Time zone GMT + 3.

  Current sockets – 220V, 50Hz (European plugs fit, but for British or American you will need an adapter).

  Telephone code +375. – official Minsk tourist website – a list of contacts and embassies in Belarus – how to get, what to do and where to stay in Belarus – train tickets and schedule – city public transport, international and inter-city buses in Belarus – system of electronic tickets for cultural and sport events – movie tickets online – entertainment catalog



Text and translation by Maria Gulina, photo by palasatka





Basic Info


Read more

FAQ: How To Travel Around Belarus?

Trains, buses, and even water transport – here is a complete manual on logistics in Belarus.

How to come to Belarus visa-free (updated)

The list of all available options to visit Belarus without visas.

How to register foreigners in Belarus (upd)

Laws, terms and fees: everything you need to know.

How to Come to Belarus on a Budget?

You don’t have to fly directly to Minsk anymore!

Minsk-2019: What are European Games?

15 sports, 4000 athletes, visa-free entry, and just a valid reason to come to Minsk, even if you're not that into sports.

34 Links on Coming to Belarus

Useful links and services for your perfectly planned trip to Belarus.

Comments (18)

Arif | 21.11.2018 13:17

I intend to visit Belurus from Pakistan on tourist visa. During my visit i will explore educational possibilities for me in Belurus. In case i got admission in a university for a course of more than 3 months, then will it be possible for me to convert my tourist visa into a long term visa for study purpose (while being in Belurus) thus facilitating residency permit - Or I have to come back to my home country and again go to Belurus on study visa?
Please reply guide and advise.

0 0
Sergio | 15.05.2018 22:04

I am traveling to Moscow with a 22-hour stopover in Minsk, I would like to visit the city, is it necessary to have a visa to make the trip? (I already have the Russian visa)

0 0
Jacob | 2.05.2018 22:14

Two updates, as of May 2018:
- you can simply buy insurance at Minsk international airport, there are officies of two insurance companies just before passport control. They both charge about 2 euros per day. You can pay by cash or credit card.
- the migration cards have now been abolished. You still need to register your stay though. If you stay at a hotel you get a special document from them confirming your registration, and you need to keep it together with your passport until you leave Belarus.

4 1 +3
Chris | 27.04.2018 10:44

Hello, I will come to Minsk for a stop-over flight of ca. 24 hours, will stay overnight till the next flight. Ok, I understand that I won`t need a Visa, BUT do I need a travel insurance? As it is not really clear for me, what is meant with "
Thank you very much for your help! Chris from Austria
PS: This is what I have found, is this really necessary for me? --> "All in all, you will need your passport, insurance (see below) and proven amount of money for your stay (approximately € 22 a day). "

0 0
Joe | 11.02.2018 09:17

I am a US citizen and will be in Vilnius. While there I would like to go to Minsk by Train or Bus.. Since I will not be entering Belarus at MSQ airport I will need a visa. Can I get that Belarus visa while I am in Vilnius, Lithuania? If so where & how. Thanks Joe from Las Vegas

0 0
Edik Mglamyan(сat)
Edik Mglamyan(сat) | 8.12.2017 18:18

Ребята всем привет, специально для путешественников запустили канал в телеграме -
Все о путешествиях и даже больше (Красивые фотографии,лайфхаки,советы и многое другое) Расширяй горизонты вместе с нами,

0 0
Roger | 16.11.2017 20:12

Visa is normally for up 90 days, I have 2 questions.
First. how long do I need to stay out for Belarus to apply for a visa Again?
Second. If I have double nationality, could I apply for a Visa with different passport after I leave Belarus first time?

0 0
Robert | 27.10.2017 12:51

Hi. Wow this quite a comprehensive webpage thank you. Excellent reaseach! We found very helpful.

My wife and I are semi retired and I still work part-time on line. We would like to stay and enjoy Belarus for one year. In that time travel to some surrounding countries.

Our question is... Can we get a visa for that period? Or could we come and go every 3 months as tourists? Or are there limits on that 3 month visa coming and going?

Option 2 is... we do if we have friends there. Would they be able to invite us for one year?

If none of that works, do you have any other suggestions? Business visa?

I have an Australian passport and my wife has Ecuadorian.

Many thanks


1 0 +1
Sergio | 8.09.2017 17:58

If I stay in Belarus for 7 days (Tue to Mon) with a regular VISA, do I need to register it at the immigration office? I'm not sure if business days are Mon-Fri o Mon-Sat. Thanks

0 0
Sharon | 12.07.2017 06:55

Is the sim card available at the airport/train station? How is the network by using
the sim card? Mostly will use it for translation and google map.

0 0
man | 5.06.2017 07:35


if there is no direct flight from my country ot a belarussian counsleer is it allowed for me to get visa if i come through other country ?

0 0
Sasha | 21.05.2017 16:14

Hi I am a Serbian citizen. Would like to enter Belarus from Kiev by bus or train. Is it possible to buy insurance at border in the middle of the night.

0 0
Karla icazbalceta
Karla icazbalceta | 18.05.2017 20:23

I would like to know how much is the medical insurance in the airport and what do I need to get it for 5 days if I have a us passport?and what do i need to register for a 5 or 4 day stay?

2 2
Alejandro | 22.04.2017 00:41

What do I need to do in case I wanna stay longer after entering with the 5 days free VISA option? Thanks!

0 0
KB Safdar
KB Safdar | 1.04.2017 13:47


Would appreciate to know complete charges for visit visa, I am Pakistan citizen and hold Pakistan passport, I intend to visit to explore business opportunities in Belarus.

Thanks and Regards
KB Safdar

0 0
Michaela | 26.03.2017 19:29

How tourist friendly is Minsk language wise? Is it possible to get around without speaking Belarusian, just English?

5 0 +5
Alex | 4.04.2017 10:28

Yes, you can. But it will be a little bit difficalt in the countryside

0 0
Alex | 11.01.2017 21:44

Would be nice to have list of countries in A-Z order, now it follows А-Я order

7 1 +6

On the main page

Visiting Belarusian Lake District

Tourist attractions, nature venues and holiday camps in the most famous resort region of Belarus.

Why do you need to include Kamarova in your itinerary around Belarus?

‘A village should have everything that a city has, even by a good deal cooler’

Sluck in 10 Minutes: Podcast

The city that has experienced a lot of disturbance throughout its long history, but came out of all the mess with dignity.

Polack in 10 Minutes: Podcast

More then a thousand years of history.

Babrujsk in 10 Minutes: Podcast

Exploring secrets and legends of one of the largest cities in Belarus.

Pinsk in 10 Minutes: Podcast

We’re traveling to the ancient capital  of Palessie.

Turau in 12 Minutes: Podcast

A new episode of our audioseries is about Turaŭ, one of the most ancient cities of Belarus.

Navahrudak in 11 Minutes: Podcast

 A trip to the ancient capital of the Grand Dutchy.

Mahiliou in 11 Minutes: Podcast

The rock capital of Belarus has a lot of stories to tell.

Show more Show more