MINSK, BELARUS – First European Without a Visa?! Travel Vlog | How to travel better


– Just about to leave Grodno for Minsk! It’s gonna be about a four-hour trip and looking forward to getting there and celebrating New Year’s Eve with my buddy Rémy so it was crazy night last night but ready to go for another one and let’s see what happens on the bus! So how did I find myself in an obscure Western Belarusian town without a visa? Well it all started a few weeks earlier when i made the fateful decision to allow a friend to decide our destination for New Year’s Eve. Rémy, where are we going for New Year’s Eve?
– Me, I think we should eastwards. Take your compass and we will look to the east.
What would you think if we went to the last dictatorship in Europe according to Western media, that means Minsk in Belarus? – And you know that we need a visa to go there?
And that’s messy! – That’s true that it’s a mess! – It’s more complicated for a European to get a visa to go to Belarus than it is for a Belarusian to get a visa to come to Schengen! No wonder Belarus is the country with the least number of tourists per capita in all of Europe. There are just so many alternatives to go to be visa free. Why go to Belarus? – Here in Switzerland or in the French or British media, we say a lot of bad things about Belarus. We speak about Belarus as a state that is 25 years behind in terms of infrastructure. A state that is not capitalist but still communist. I would like to go and see another version of the story – Belarusian embassy … – I’ve decided that I’m not going to go through the visa process to go to Belarus, the formal visa process because it’s a pain and there is a fact an alternative and so I’m going to be showing you how you can go to Belarus as a European without a visa. By now it’s Christmas time which I’m spending in Galway, Ireland and I’ll have to take a circuitous route to Belarus in order to avoid my visa. So my attempt to avoid the Belarusian visa means leaving Galway, Ireland for Dublin Airport then flying to Warsaw in Poland before taking a train to Białystok on the Belarusian border. Then the following day I’m going to enter Belarus with an invitation to visit the border town Grodno only which is valid for five days visa-free. Now Minsk is then another four-hour bus ride to the east as I can only enter and exit with this invitation by vehicle at four border crossings with Poland and Lithuania, I have to return the Grodno and then exit heading for Vilnius in Lithuania from where I can get a flight to my next destination: Odessa, Ukraine. So this is how my day begins let’s go to Belarus! [You can now start to feel at home in Białystok] Am going all the way from Galway on the west coast of Ireland to Grodno! So here we have an honesty box where you can pay for the water. You just leave the money. There’s no actual cashier so what you think would this work in every country or not? So I’ve finally made it to eastern Poland,
in Białystok and going to stay overnight before hitting the bus tomorrow and finally making it to western Belarus. – … in addition the Belarusian girls that we find absolutely fantastic, really pretty etc. All of them we can say … I am a huge fan of Stalinist architecture …. I’m just about to leave Grodno for Minsk. It’s gonna be about a four-hour trip … looking forward to getting there and celebrating New Year’s Eve … … every apartment in Minsk should have a dancing pole! We’ll see who’ll be dancing on that later with a view on to … So Happy New Year to everybody! Happy New Year! [French] – Happy New Year to everyone!
– Happy New Year! [Italian] Happy New Year! [Russian] – … all the time. Such words our youth have to say … – Hello! Yes, right … my friend … ok … Rémy, what’s up? You’re live!
You should say ‘hi’ to everyone! – A joyful new year to everyone! Happy New Year! I hope you it will be excellent and full of emotion. Enjoy it! – So now back in Grodno which is the town to which I was originally invited in western Belarus. Now I got the invitation to go to the museum of this Polish language author. So behind me there is my bus to leave Belarus, to leave Grodno and it’s been a real long trip in terms of traveling but let’s see how things go on the last …
on the border Was this all worth it? Is it that different say to maybe Ukraine Russia? It is a bit different. It was very clean. Things were very well organized in terms of infrastructure. Everything was orderly. It was quite pleasant to be there … not very stressful and people actually a bit more respectful towards each other than I’ve seen and say other countries in the region like Russia and Ukraine. Another interesting thing about Belarus was the language situation because they actually have two official languages, one being Russian of course which is spokem everywhere by everybody and then Belarusian which is spoken by a minority in the country even though the country’s called Belarus and I saw it written everywhere, actually on all the buses, signposts and it’s very similar to Ukrainian especially the alphabet they use. It reminded me of Ireland because there we also have two languages we have Irish and we have English so Belarus was pretty similar. I did hear Belarusian just once in Grodno. So after all my moaning about this incredible effort it takes to get a Belarusian visa, ironies of ironies today really really today President Lukashenko has announced that you can go for five days visa-free directly to Minsk Airport. And why couldn’t he have done that two weeks ago? It would have saved this entire trip but at least that’s good news for the future that you can go in and out of Minsk Airport and stay for 5 days visa-free so who knows maybe even Lukashenko heard all my moaning about how much hassle it was to go and do this Belarusian visa and all the efforts I had to take – one week of travel – just to get there that he decided this made a lot more sense which I thoroughly agree with! You should sign up for my mailing list if you’re not on it. That’s … there’s also another link to that below in the description. That’s because T have an inner circle there where we discuss these issues in greater detail and need to be on the mailing list to sign up for that. I also have some additional bonus videos there and of course it’s completely free so what are you waiting for go to that now! So it’s going to be ‘до свидания!’ which is ‘goodbye’ in Russian from Odessa, Ukraine and see you in the next video!

48 thoughts on “MINSK, BELARUS – First European Without a Visa?! Travel Vlog | How to travel better

  1. I spent 1 month in Belarus and it was painful to get the visa and now it is visa free for Brazilians and most europeans according to recent news. Damn!! What did you think of Grodna? Is it worth a visit? I want to spend 2 months in a russian speaking country. I was considering Odessa or Kiev. What did you like best? Which one seemed more interesting and cheap?

  2. This is really stupid, imo why would any country make it so difficult for tourists to enter? Belarus is literally still one of the only countries with the most restrictive visa policies in this day and age. I caught wind of this five-day visa free policy and felt it was finally a good time to visit Belarus, that's why I'm here doing the research 😉 But still 5 days is not enough, they should consider extending it to 2 weeks visa free

  3. There was much Easier way. Once in in Biolystok, there are woods in outskirts of town. You can go through there to Belarus.

  4. Блять, почему они такие пиздючие? Три минуты их слушаешь – типа спасибо.. Пять – очень хочется дать пизд.ку англо-скасу в бло.. говорили же – "короче" блять.

    Не, этот менталитет размазывания пизды по древу я не поимаю – и икто в рашке тем более. "Меня зовут майк – я хочу ебать твою жену и продавать лес" – это немного лучше и честнее чем его "понос чуйств" школьника недоумка блять..

  5. Do you personally consider Belarus to be part of Europe or is it too different in terms of culture and stuff? I awlays wonder, if people say that countries that are to the east of Poland like Belarus and Ukraine are not Europe, then what are they? Certainly not part of Asia nor Middle East 😀

  6. Nice video. Do you realize that you actually violated the visa-free regime by going from Hrodna to Minsk? 🙂 In January, visa-free area was limited to the town itself and a small area to the west and north of it that borders with Poland and Lithuania.

  7. Damn Lukashenka ruined his nation's obscurity. That's a shame, now everything gonna get more expensive there due to increased Tourism demand.

  8. thanks for your video. I would love to go to Belarus one day.was there signs at bus stations and restaurants menus in English at all?

  9. I'm finding it hard to find easy to understand information on the visa situation for US citizens. Anyone got an idea?

  10. I'm from Belarus Minsk.
    I want to write a few words about my country, although it is very dangerous for me. Anyone come to us in Minsk and he think "Oh how clean it is, what's the order here – maybe it's good here". But it is not so.
    In 1994, Lukashenka became the president. We had a normal constitution and normal laws. But by 1996, Lukashenka was managing country badly and then the parliament and the constitutional court tried to dismiss him. But Lukashenka created a special police and, with the help of the Russian government, by force, he grabbed government power in the country. He completely changed the constitution and laws. We have become a monarchy from a free country – the president received absolute power. Those who were against, they were abducted and killed. Absolutely every Belarusian knows about this. Therefore, many other politicians either left work or began to obey Lukashenko – they were afraid for their lives. During the 23 years of Lukashenka's rule, the dictatorial power became very lazy and ineffective. Salaries in small hills and villages are only 60-100 euros. Salaries of 300 euros are a very big money in our country. But at the same time, prices are not small compared to Europe. And many people go to buy goods in Poland and Lithuania – there are cheaper for us. I got a higher education, I worked as a laboratory assistant in the institute in Minsk and my salaries was only 46 euros – and I had to work as a loader and a waiter and a builder to survive. I do not have a home, and sometimes I had to sleep on the street. Because renting the cheapest room (not an apartment) is worth a minimum of 120 euros.
    Lukashenka are constantly arrested by big businessmen, they are pick up business. In such conditions, the economy can not function normally. But we have always been funded by Russia and even by Europe (loans – but we have never paid them). And now came up with Decree No. 3 – the tax on the unemployed. And there are a lot of such people. And they physically can not pay it!!! They do not have money even for food!!! They were just paupers, and now they are criminals for government! They are in despair.
    To disagree with Lukashenka's policy, to go to rallies with us is a huge risk – they are imprisoned, fined, even his family members will dismissed from their works. It becomes very difficult for such people to get into Belarus – they get on the black list – they difficult to find a job, to take a credit, they are watched by the KGB(special police). It’s awfully.
    Many people who interfered with Lukashenka were kidnapped and killed, for example the politician VIKTOR GONCHAR, journalist DMITRY ZAVADSKY, Minister of the Interior YURI ZAKHARENKO, businessman ANATOLY KRASOVSKY and many others. They are heroes for me and for us. I have a dream – I dream that these crimes committed by the Belarusian authorities are officially opened. I want to know where the graves of our heroes, I dream to bring flowers there.

  11. guys. You are a little impaled. Since February, Belarus has become a tourist without a visa. I myself am from Belarus and I know this.

  12. I was in Belarus few days ago… Very clean, organised country. Ok I had language difficulties, but decided to learn Russian and go back.

  13. hi (sorry for my mistakes)
    one person wrote here about how it, to live in belarus. And he is write. We have hot a president, we have a dictator, which here since 1994(!!!). Opposition can't say any words, people can't go to meetings. In that plan we are like ussr.
    But in something we are like any european country. In last years we make a lot to invite many tourists (now you can stay here 10 days without visa if you'll come here through the airport. We are developing our infrastructure and very fast, so now (in the middle of 2017) i can say that minsk is good city for visiting (not like excursion back in ussr).we are a special city, in which mixed so many cultures (cause we are between europe and russia).
    So this is a wonderful country for visiting. But not for living

  14. I love Minsk and have been going every couple of months for the past two years. The VISA free regime is much better. Hope they extend it!

  15. The reports are in. Minsk is impeccably clean, orderly infrastructure and the people are very respectful of each other. Now that that's out of the way. What do people do fo fun and excitement?

  16. The honesty box is a neat thing, we've had versions of it some places in the U.S.A. , I'd venture to say it would work more often-than not but of course there would be certain demographics that would not pay up.

  17. the free viza is only if you enter minsk with plane.no bus or train.and not traveling from moscow.from kiev,praga and other airports is free v5 days viza.now will be for 30 days!

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