What to do in Grodno and Brest for 10 days without visa?

What to do in Grodno and Brest for 10 days without visa?

Visa-free regime in Grodno showed curious results. There are tourists from Poland, Lithuania, Singapore, Mauritius and even Australia. As many as 15,000 visitors were expected to come, however, to everybody’s surprise, the number was twice as high. New cafes and hostels appeared in the city; businessmen started buying abandoned buildings and turning them into hotels for 50 people.

As Marek came from Wroclaw which is geographically further south than Grodno, he is pleased with an unusually warm weather in this region.

Marek, a tourist from Poland: 
I’d like to see the castle as I’m interested in historical landmarks. Grodno is a very interesting place, not a typical one. You can see a lot here.

Marek is going to spend a week in Belarus. It’s convenient and practical since a Belarussian visa is quite expensive in Poland comparing with a special passing card.

Marek:
You can come with this passing card to Belarus and you don’t need a visa!

Marek didn’t need to think about a place to stay but, as a rule, other tourists book a room in a hotel in advance.

Alla Karpovich, a hotel manager:
A swimming pool with an underwater hydraulic massage, a gym and phyto teas are free for tourists. Also, we have an electric sauna and a steam bath.

Tatyana Troyanovskaya, a general manager of a hotel:
We always meet our guests with joy. We’ve been working with a Lithuanian travel agency for quite a long time. This agency brings all the tourists to our hotel.

The menu in the restaurant is translated into different foreign languages and it has pictures. All is done for the tourists to easily order a dish from Belarussian cuisine.

Marina Luferova, a travel agency guide from Minsk:
People order draniki – a traditional dish which looks like potato pancakes – to take with them on a ride. We tell tourists that draniki won’t be tasty as they aren’t warmed up but the tourists say the contrary; they say cold draniki are delicious.

The year of visa-free regime was sort of an exam for Belarus; the exam was successfully passed. There are more than 50,000 tourists without a visa, a lot of new travel agencies and service stations which lead to 400 vacant workplaces. The most significant point is the revenue from the tourism sector, the amount of which is 12 million euros.

Galina Buro, CTV:
The visa-free regime boosted infrastructure development. Over the past year new restaurants, cafes and coffee shops have opened, which is really convenient. For example, you are going on a tour and it’s cold outside, just grab some coffee and you are ready to go.

Since the beginning of 2018 foreign citizens can stay in Grodno Oblast and in Brest Oblast for ten days. This opportunity may also help develop medical tourism; ten days will be enough for that.

Sergey Vizgalov, deputy chief doctor of surgery department of Grodno Regional Clinical Hospital:
The bottom line is the prices which are 30-40% lower for medical services which are of high standards.

As Brest is a magnificent city, it should develop medical tourism as well. This city was included in the visa-free zone on January, 1, 2018 and it was the first place to see visa-free tourists from Poland.

Sławomir, a tourist from Poland:
I see only advantages in the visa-free regime. It will be easier at the customs to enter the country and drink a cup of coffee.

There are currently more checkpoints located at railway terminals and in the Grodno airport.

At the present moment the Grodno airport is negotiating with low-cost airlines as they are popular all over the world. Moreover, the airport has a capacity of 300 people per hour.

Irina Loyko, a production supervisor of a state-owned enterprise ‘BELAERONAVIGATSIA’ of the Grodno airport:
The Grodno airport is an international airport and it meets international standards. We are ready for airplanes from other countries.

Social networks are the best proof of good time-spending in Belarus; hundreds of foreigners mark Belarus in hashtags and geolocations.

Michał Sikorski, a Polish video blogger, shot two videos about Belarus. The first video was about breaking stereotypes about Belarus; the second was about his visa-free traveling experience. The videos got more than a million views. Michal explained how to come to Grodno without a visa, where to rent a place to stay, what goods are worth buying in Grodno shops.

Michal Sikorski, a tourist from Poland:
I definitely recommend fermented-bread kvass. I like it more than Cola. Belarussian fermented-bread kvass is much better than a Polish one. Also, Belarussian brown bread is way better than our bread.

Anyway, Michal’s videos were about five days without a visa. As the days of stay were extended to ten, new videos should come out soon. There are more places to visit and to explore Belarus.

a tourist from Poland
Grodno
Marek
a hotel manager
A general manager of a hotel
a travel agency guide from Minsk
a traditional dish
CTV journalist
Grodno
deputChief doctor of surgery department of Grodno Regional Clinical Hospital
Brest
A tourist from Poland
Grodno
Airport
A production supervisor
A Polish video blogger
A tourist from Poland