Belarus Guide

Belarus Guide

Belarus – country information

Country name Belarus
Official name Republic of Belarus
Capital Minsk
Continent Europe
Area 207,600 km2
Population 9,468,100 (2014)
Foundation of a state 8/25/1991
The highest mountains Dzerzhinsk 346 m
Longest rivers Dnieper 2,280 km (in the country 575 km)
State system a presidential-type pluralistic republic with a unicameral parliament
The biggest cities Minsk (capital) 1,675,000, Gomel 50,000, Mogilev 370,000
Official language Belarusian
Ethnicity/National Composition Belarusians 78.5%, Russians 8.5%, Poles 7.5%, others 5.5%
Religious affiliation mostly Orthodox, Greek Catholics
Currency 1 Belarusian ruble = 100 kopecks
gross domestic product (GDP) US$15,479 (2012)
Average life expectancy of the population 69.08 years (2006)
Structure of GDP agriculture, forestry and fishing 18%, mining and industry 46%, construction 5%, services 31%

Belarus – neighboring states

State Capital Area Population
Lithuania Vilnius 65,300 km2 2,941,953
Latvia Riga 64,600 km2 2,003,900
Poland Warsaw 312,685 km2 38,502,396
Russia Moscow 17,098,200 km2 143,700,000
Ukraine Kyiv 603,700 km2 45,426,200

Country overview

According to Abbreviationfinder, the former Soviet Republic of Belarus, now called by its original name Belarus, is rebuilding an important corridor connecting Russia with Poland and Western Europe. It borders Ukraine in the south and Lithuania and Latvia in the northwest. The country, which is often inaccurately referred to as White Russia, has had a long history of being subjugated by neighboring states. In 1986, it was most affected by the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, whose radioactive fallout affected almost the entire country and caused a large-scale population migration.

Country data

Location: Eastern Europe

Time zone: CET + 2 (during European summer time, CET + 1)

Total area: 207,600 km²

Land area: 202,900 km²

Water area: 4,700 km²

Length of the state border: 3,599 km

Bordering countries:
Latvia: 161 km
Lithuania: 640 km
Poland: 375 km
Russian Federation: 1,312 km
Ukraine: 1,111 km

Coastline: 0 km

Capital: Minsk

Regions: 7
Brest, Homyel (Gomel), Horad Minsk (Minsk City), Hrodna (Grodno), Mahilyow (Mogilev), Minsk, Vitsyebsk (Vitebsk)

Electric current: 220 V / 50 Hz

Telephone code: 00 375 (Source: Allcitycodes)

Highest point: Dzyarzhynskaya Hara 346 m


Population: approx. 9.6 million residents (Countryaah, 2021)

Population growth: -0.2% per year

Population density (residents per km²): 46

Life expectancy: 67 (male), 78 (female)

Official language: Belarusian, Russian


  • 80% Orthodox
  • 20% other


Belarus lies in a moderately warm continental climate zone.

In summer the average temperature is around 18 ° C. On some days the temperature at lunchtime can rise up to 30 ° C.

In the wet winter months the average is around -5 ° C.


Rain has to be expected all year round, intensified in the winter months.

Currency / finance

Currency unit: Belarusian ruble (BYR)

Classification: 1 ruble = 100 capejek

ATMs: Occasionally available in larger cities.

International credit cards: Are accepted in a few larger shops, hotels and restaurants where hard currency can be used.

Regulations: The local currency may be imported and exported in unlimited amounts.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currencies that can be imported. The export is limited to the amount declared at the time of import (minus the amounts exchanged).

You should only exchange money at official exchange offices or banks.

Every change of money must be noted on the declaration form.

You should also keep all receipts until you leave the country.

Customs regulations

The following may be carried duty-free:

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 0 g tobacco
  • 3 liters of alcoholic beverages

(Information applies to people aged 18 and over)

Tourists and people in transit can bring items of personal use with them duty-free.

All particularly valuable items (e.g. jewelry, video cameras, computers) should be declared upon arrival so that no difficulties arise when leaving the country.

Received declaration forms must be kept very carefully.

Travel advice

There is currently no country-specific safety notice for Belarus.

Behavioral advice

As the crime rate is very high in some parts of the country, you should observe a few safety measures:

  • only use government registered taxis
  • do not wear valuable jewelry visibly
  • do not drive at night
  • Always lock the compartment when a train is running
  • Exchange money only in approved exchange offices or at banks.

Even several years after the Chernobyl reactor disaster (1986), the areas in the south-eastern regions of the country are still contaminated by radioactive radiation.

According to the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, the short stay is not questionable.

However, you should note the following:

  • do not drink tap water
  • do not eat forest fruits (berries, mushrooms), fish or game

The increased chemical exposure can cause unpleasant skin irritation. In this case, consult a doctor immediately.


The main focus of the manufacturing industry is in the field of machine / vehicle construction, electrical engineering and textiles. Many of the products produced are intended for export.

Tourism only plays a very subordinate role.

Industries: electrical appliances, vehicles, engines, textiles

Natural resources: natural gas, oil, wood

Land use:

  • Land: 29%
  • Grain cultivation: 1%
  • Pasture area: 15%
  • Forests: 34%
  • other: 21%


About 20% of the country consists of swamps and moorlands. These areas are often very large contiguous areas.

The large forests, which take up about another third of the country’s area, consist of oak, spruce, pine and hornbeam.


Many parts of the country have hardly been explored and in some cases even inaccessible. Therefore a very diverse animal world could be preserved there.

In addition to deer, roe deer, wild boar and other well-known animal species, beavers, brown bears, lynxes and wolves also live here.

Many numerous bird species are also at home here.

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