Belarus, Oman sign memorandum to expand relations in tourism
Belarus and Oman have confirmed a high level of partnership. The Belarusian Foreign Minister held talks with the leadership of the Sultanate as well as businessmen during the official visit to Muscat.
The sides discussed possibilities of cooperation in politics, economy, investment, education, science and culture.
A memorandum of understanding was signed to create a basis for the expansion of tourist contacts.
Belavia plane collides with flock of birds
A Belavia plane Minsk-St. Petersburg has returned to the airport just after takeoff. The aircraft departed from National Airport Minsk and collided with a flock of birds at a height of 150m.
The captain decided to return. The aircraft dumped fuel and landed safely.
114 passengers were on board. There were no injuries in the incident.
Investigating the incident is the Department of Aviation Commission. More to follow in the next news releases.
Free Wi-Fi at 19 railway stations in Belarus by summer 2017
Free Wi-Fi will be installed at 19 railway stations of the largest cities of Belarus.
The Internet hot spots will be available in the halls and waiting rooms by the summer of 2017.
The Wi-Fi network will cover some towns of the Minsk region, include Molodechno and Borisov.
The novelty will be available to subscribers of any cell operator after they pass authentication.
For this you will only need to enter your mobile phone number in a special field and then receive an SMS with an access password.
How does Belarus develop its bison population?
Mighty bison were on the verge of going extinct in the early 20th century.
However, scientists managed to revive the species. Poland gave 10 bison to Białowieża Forest in 1946. The bison population has increased with the course of time. Belarus has nine bison populations in Volozhinsky experimental timber enterprise, Osipovichesky experimental forest holding, Pripyat National Park, and Polesye state Radiation-ecological Reserve.
Over 4,000 tourists visit Belarus after one month of visa-free regime
Over the 30 days of the visa-free regime in Belarus, more than 4,200 foreigners visited the country. Most often visitors were Germans - about 700 people. Among the leaders also Poles, Italians, French, British and Americans.
The new order of entry to Belarus came into force on 12 February. Foreigners can visit Belarus for five days for free, but only if they arrive via Minsk National Airport.
Visa requirements were dropped for citizens of 80 countries, including all the EU member states, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan and others.
Minsk saying goodbye to national exhibition center BelExpo, first Belarusian glass building
The exhibition hall of Economic Achievements of Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic was opened on December 27, 1968, designed upon the project of Sergey Botkovsky, Yuri Gradov and Leonid Levin.
Yuri Gradov, architect, laureate of the Lenin Prize:The decision to build the exhibition hall in Minsk was taken on the 50thanniversary of the BSSR.
We visited Mosсow to see the hall in Sokolniki Park, built of glass and aluminum.
The Belarusian hall became nationwide and forward-looking.
CandyBattle tournament held in Minsk
Lovers of sweets and candies competed in Belarus for the first time on March 11. Amateur chefs and the most famous confectioners of Minsk presented their works on equal footing.
There were a total of 46 participants from all over Belarus. The jury was headed by famous Russian pastry chef Renat Agzamov.
Renat Agzamov, pastry chef:I really love cooking cakes from Belarusian products. Fantastic, unreal! It's just incredibly delicious condensed milk, incredible milk and sour cream.
Lyubov Cherkashina on Beauty Run in Minsk: We would like more such events
The Beauty Run events was held in the center of Minsk on March 8, with women taking part in a festive athletic race. At the finish, they were all met with medals and flowers.
Participating in the race were both residents of Minsk and guests of the capital.
All in all, 2000 participants ran on that day.
Participants of the race:Super! Great, just great. Emotions are excellent, right, girls?
Horses to appear in Minsk Horsecar Museum
Minsk Horsecar Museum's exhibition will soon be replenished by some new exhibits.
Horses will be among the first additions to the museum, said Lidia Markovich, a leading researcher at the Museum of the History of Minsk.
"We lack horses here. After all, horsecar is horsecar, so we need horses here.”
“Among other things, we are going to have a Live History project, some interactive activities.
Minsk Zoo launches most beautiful female animal vote ahead of March 8
Minsk Zoo has begun a voting campaign to determine the most beautiful female animals. The zoo deliberately chose animals whom people would not call especially attractive.
The list of nominees includes the frog, hyena, spider, moray eel, turtle and bat.
Thus, on the eve of International Women's Day the competition organizers decided to once again remind that there are no ugly women. The zoo revealed curious facts about each participant of the contest.
For example, hyenas appear to be great moms, while bats are very pleasant to touch.
Small farmsteads in Belarus: why do they attract tourists?
The Minsk region retains its first place in farm tourism. The farmers of the farmsteads have an opportunity to not only show their hospitality, but also run a business in the village thanks to this. One of the largest farmers of the Minsk region has already decided to make his yard a place for tourists from the former Soviet republics and other countries.
17 years of work on several acres of farm fields have produced their effect.
No plans to raise public transport fares in Belarus in 2017
Fare in Belarus' public transport in 2017 is going to rise, said the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The payback level of transport corresponds almost completely with the budgeted parameters.
The ministry also developed measures to increase efficiency, which will reduce the internal costs of companies. As is known, it is carriers' costs that are the economic basis for tariff increases.
MORE: Public transport in Minsk
Business tourism to be developed in Minsk
Business tourism will be developed in Belarus capital Minsk.
Oleg Stepaniuk, CTV:Different kinds of tourism are widespread all over the world (event tourism, health and nostalgic tourism). Do such kinds of tourisms exist in Minsk? May be there are interesting offers?
Tourists spend at least 200 euros in Minsk
According to unofficial statistics, 700 thousand tourists visit Minsk during one year. How does Minsk earn on it? The TV program Big City found out.
Elena Plis, director of the tourist and information center Minsk:The minimum check of the tourist when staying in Minsk is about 200-250 euros. We can calculate how much money tourists leave. They live in hotels, buy souvenirs, eat in restaurants or cafes.
That is, incomes are very good.
Belarusian police's 100th anniversary parade due in Minsk March 4
Rehearsal of a parade in honor of the 100th anniversary of Belarusian police was held yesterday late in the evening in October Square. On March 4, Minsk will host a grand procession of Belarusian police.
The solemn march will involve various police units, the orchestra of the Ministry of Interior, as well as a motorcade.
It will consist of a variety of models: armored cars and sapper-pyrotechnic cars with robots. Viewers will see the skills of motorcycle escort.
Tourist navigation guidance to appear in new areas of Minsk
Where else will navigation elements for tourists appear in Minsk?
Oleg Stepaniuk, CTV:As far as I understand, you evaluate Minsk’s tourist potential as sufficiently high, don’t you?
Elena Plis, director of information and tourist center "Minsk": I think that Minsk has all the facilities to welcome tourists, to show itself as a modern European city.
Minsk bus tours : learn more about the city
What tourist routes will get Minsk residents interested?
Elena Plis, director of information and tourist center "Minsk": A project “Excursion Minsk” is available for Minsk residents. Excursion buses number 1 and 100 were designed in the same style. At the price of a bus ticket a person can go on a coach excursion at a set time (from 10 am to 5 pm or from 8 pm to 10 pm) and listen to it in the Russian, English, and the Belarusian languages.
Both routes are accompanied by an excursion dubbing.
Up to 700,000 tourists visit Minsk annually
How many foreigners visit Belarus capital?
Elena Plis, director of information and tourist center "Minsk":Official statistics don’t look too promising, they count only those tourists, who come to the capital using travel agency excursion services. Taking into consideration the world tourist flow, some 80-85 % of the flow are individual tourists. They enter a country without travel agency services.
According to unofficial figures, about 600,000- 700,000 tourists visit Minsk annually.
Travel companies in Minsk developing English-language tours for travellers
Where can English-speaking tourists go in Belarus? The TV program Big City asked Elena Plis, director of tourist and information center Minsk.
Elena Plis, director of tourist and information center Minsk:Agencies in the capital have joined very actively and are now developing new programs of excursions, including in English. There are companies that have developed a schedule of excursions for English-speaking groups until the end of the week.
Germans are the most frequent visa-free visitors to Belarus
Germans are the most frequent visitors to Belarus after the introduction of the visa-free regime on February 12, said Elena Plis, director of the information and tourist center "Minsk".
Elena Plis, director of information and tourist center "Minsk":During such a short period of time, according to the airport and the state border authorities, over 1,000 foreigners entered Belarus visa-free.
How bison overcome winter in Belarus' part of Bialowieza Forest
The largest herd of adult male bison was registered in Bialowieza Forest. In the herd of over 150 head scientists counted 19 wild bulls. Previously, this figure did not exceed 13. It is known that adult males prefer to live separately during the rutting season.
Bison experts were surprised to see that the forest giants prefer agribusiness fields to numerous feeders, especially if these fields are sown with winter rapeseed. Unfortunately, it was not without losses this winter: two young bison did not survive the cold season.
Week of Belarusian cuisine kicks off in Minsk February 27
Seven days with taste! The Belarusian cuisine Week kicks off in Minsk on 27 February. This "gastronomic marathon" will be held for the 13th time.
As always, cafes and restaurants will serve five national dishes, prepared by a single formulation.
At this time gourmets are invited to taste vereshchaka with pancakes, jellied carp and potato dumplings, at democratic prices.
More than 100 metropolitan cafes and restaurants have updated their menus. Moreover, national dishes will cost the same regardless of the price category of an eatery.
Military reconstruction at Stalin Line
An extensive reconstruction of the Great Patriotic War event “Battle for Moscow” took place at the Historical and Cultural Complex Stalin Line. It was dedicated to Fatherland Defenders Day, to veterans and military service men, who defended and defend Belarus.
Weapons, equipage, munition, explosions and thundering salvos of riffles is an epochal moment in history, which once again reminds visitors of the events of that time.
Organizers also prepared a couple of interactive zones.
Maslenitsa in Minsk
Maslenitsa is a sensational festival, which is celebrated according to ancient traditions. We have prepared a list of places to visit and taste pancakes.
“I’ll be back”: visa-free regime in Belarus and first impressions of tourists
While Europe is closing its borders for immigrants, Belarus receives tourists from 80 countries. The visa-free regime was adopted on February 12, 2017. Visitors may make only a 5-day visit to Belarus for now. However, longer term may be introduced soon. Alena Syrova has the story.
One of the first to visit Belarus was a Chinese Lee Yen from Abu Dhabi, while the first sportsman to visit the country was an English Liverpool halfback Wade Maxwell.
Video about Belarus gaining popularity on the Internet
How do foreign guests see Belarus? A new image movie about Belarus is gaining popularity on the Internet.
Shrovetide rites, national souvenirs and, of course, pancakes, which flavor and taste is familiar to everyone who has ever been to Belarus.
The two-minute video tells the whole story how you can spend time in Belarus - from the era of knights in Mir Castle to outdoor recreation in winter fir forest.
Over 1,000 foreigners visit Belarus without visas since February 12
More than a thousand foreigners have visited Belarus visa-free since the abolishment of visas. Citizens of 46 countries have already used this opportunity.
Belarus is the most popular among Germans, Poles and Italians. However, there are also visitors from some distant countries such as Malta, Ireland, Bahrain and others. The majority of these are businessmen.
The visa-free regime for a period of five days became effective in Belarus on February 12. Visas were abolished for citizens of 80 countries.
More tourist information spots in Minsk planned
Foreigners will be able to learn about Minsk directly from the central railway station Minsk-Passazhirsky.
Minsk is going to increase the number of tourist information points.
The need is dictated by the increase in the number of visitors after the introduction of the 5-day visa-free regime for foreign citizens.
By the way, it has been in force since 12 February.
New border crossing point opens at Belarusian-Lithuanian border
Another international crossing point opens on the border with Lithuania on February 17. The border crossing point Losha-Šumskas acquired such a status at 8am today.
Previously, this section of the border had a status of a simplified one and only border inhabitants could cross it.
Now it will be available to everyone, but only when a person is in a car. Trucks and pedestrians will not be let through this checkpoint.
You can carry only goods for personal use through the Losha-Šumskas checkpoint.
Unique exhibition of irons in Brest
A unique collection of irons and old household items such as authentic and scales and samovars has been presented at an exhibition in Brest.
Nevertheless, the most impressive is the collection of irons. The exhibition presents heavy 10-kilogram irons, and tiny irons with a weight of just over 300 grams.
Moreover, there are coal, alcohol, gas and braziers irons on display! A resident of Brest was gathering these items all over the world during over 10 years.
500 tourists visit Belarus in first four days of visa-free regime
About 500 foreigners have visited Belarus without obtaining a visa since February 12 when the visa-free entry was introduced.
Most guests came from Germany and Poland - about 80 tourists from each country.
Almost 50 Italians have also expressed interest in Belarus. Among other nations are Lithuanians, French and English.
Coins sculpture appears in Minsk
Literally big money: you can't put it into your pocket or purse and even pick up from the ground. Belarusian coins have been immortalized in vulica Savieckaja.
This is how one of Minsk's restaurants decided to attract visitors.
The installation is a close-up of new coins introduced in Belarus in July 2016, for the first time since the Soviet Union era.
'Belarus. Above Expectations' tourism promotional video
An image video about the tourism potential of Belarus has been released.
A new promotional video about the tourism potential of Belarus has appeared on the Internet. It was created at the order of the National Tourism Agency of Belarus and published on marketing.by's YouTube channel.
The video is called "Belarus. Above expectations."
Minsk Tractor Works neighborhood: “Town inside city” and threat of demolition
Many people visited Tractor Works Town and many of them compared it either with a small Paris or with Monmartre Boulevard but Belarusian poet Piatrus Brouka compared it with a huge hero pulling out pines in the forest with his broad shoulders.
Cosy low-rise buildings, steeples, fancy balconies and empire pilasters. The tractor works town is a memorial to the post WWII period. Now it seems to be created for leisurely walks through avenues. And only creative intellectuals are to live there.
Belarus 10th safest country in Numbeo ratings
Belarus is one of the top 10 countries with the highest level of security.
In Numbeo ratings, Belarus has bypassed its neighbors Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.
First place is occupied by Qatar. Other peaceful countries for life are Singapore, Austria, the United Arab Emirates and Georgia. The highest crime rate is registered in Honduras, Papua New Guinea and Venezuela.
Numbeo has assessed safety in 125 countries.
About 100 foreigners visit Belarus on first visa-free day
About 100 foreigners have already taken the opportunity to visit Belarus without a visa. The checkpoint at National Airport Minsk is ready to welcome foreign guests.
Citizens of 39 countries of Europe, as well as Brazil, Indonesia, the US, Japan and other countries can come to Belarus without a visa for five days. First of all, these are countries that are favorable in terms of migration, with which Belarus cooperates closely.
What is the most attractive in Minsk Oceanography Centre?
Are you into fascinating marine flora and fauna? Then you definitely need to see unique exhibits - animals, insects, fishand coral reefs – at the Minsk Oceanography Centre in Minsk.
Alexey Azarov, Director of the Oceanography Center:It is not just a museum of the Oceanography Center. This is an area of attraction for those who are interested in sea life, marine romance and sciences.
Nevertheless, the mysterious atmosphere of the oceanariumis divided bystrict boundaries. The exhibition includes five zones.
Affordable stay, good service and nice prices to please guests of Minsk
Minsk is ready to receive hundreds of tourists from different countries. The visa-free stay in Belarus for up to 5 days for the citizens of 80 states will be opened on the 12th of February. Affordable stay, decent service and nice prices will definitely please guests of the capital! Minsk is increasingly becoming a favorite city among foreign visitors especially during the holidays.
Minsk is one of cities which Russians choose for a romantic Valentine's Day trip.
English announcements launched in Minsk subway
The English language has returned to Minsk metro. The last time the Minsk subway had announcements in English during the 2014 Ice Hockey World Championship.
Back then thousands of foreign fans came to Minsk. In 2015, announcements in English were removed.
These days Minsk is again preparing to receive a large number of foreign visitors.
Already from 12 February Belarus will introduce visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries, including the entire EU, USA and Japan.
US Embassy in Minsk announces changes to visa policy
Changes to US legislation emigration have affected Belarusians too. The US Embassy in Minsk has announced changes in its visa policy.
Now the embassy will only consider requests from citizens whose visas expired less than a year ago. All the others, with a few exceptions, depending on the type of visa, must go to US diplomatic offices in neighboring countries.
Visa interviews can be completed in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev, Warsaw, Vilnius and Riga. Moreover, Russian language people may face a language barrier in a number of embassies.
13 species of waterfowl live in Minsk
Waterfowl have recently been counted in Minsk and its surroundings. Ornithologists have found 13 species of them, with some listed as endangered.
Among the 6,500 the most popular are mallards, in second place gulls and in third mute swans.
According to experts, the birds wintering in Belarus feel fine. The temperature generally did not differ from the average rate, strong cold did not hurt the birds.
World Tourism Organization welcomes Belarus' visa-free decision
The World Tourism Organization supports the decision of Belarus on visa facilitation.
According to international experts, unimpeded access to the country for people from 80 countries will benefit not only to the development of the tourism industry.
The visa-free regime will strengthen the relationship between the business community, benefit business and the development of the economy as a whole.
Eco-trails to appear in every Minsk district
Minsk authorities are planning to increase planting areas. Every district of Minsk should have its own ecological trails.
An eco-trail in the city is a place where you can enjoy a unique landscape, listen to birds' singing, including those that are listed as endangered. In the spring of 2017, the second stages of parks named after Mikhail Pavlov and Hugo Chavez will be commissioned. The Slepyanskaya water system will be restored.
Belarus' Brest can become visa-free for tourists
Brest in the near future may become visa-free for foreign tourists. Convenient border regime has been in force in the Bialowieza Forest for one and a half years already. And, most importantly, it fully justifies itself.
During 2016 the picturesque Belarusian reserve was visited by more than seven thousand visa-free visitors.
Belarus is country of pleasant surprise, deputy sport and tourism minister says
The French want to surprise tourists with croissants and Belarus with pancakes and the national dish called mochanka! What else? This week, the Ministry of Sports and Tourism of Belarus has opened their portal belarus.travel, which is expected to lure curious foreigners. The search for paparats-kvetka, unique forests, the lungs of Europe - swamps, bison and all other things are there, with a touch of conspiracy and slight mystery. "The country of pleasant surprise" - this is how organizers of inbound tourism portray Belarus.
Visiting Belarus in winter: What to see?
Look at the snow-covered forests in the solar glare. Winter trip around Belarus may turn into an unforgettable fairy tale. There is no such a flow of tourists like in summer, so you can completely relax.
It is better to buy a tourist map of Minsk and explore its attractions in advance.
Lovers of history will certainly be delighted by Grodno and its open-air architecture.
Belarus President: Visa-free regime is not absence of control
The visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries doesn’t have any risks for Belarus and neighboring countries.
On the 20th of January Alexander Lukashenko approved the decision on the protection of the state borders of the country in 2017.
This topic was earlier discussed twice at the highest level. It was affected by some external factors such as difficult international environment, increase in terrorism and illegal migration.
Belarus, Hong Kong plan to abolish visas
Belarus and Hong Kong have agreed on the mutual abolition of visas. The agreement was reached during the official visit of the Belarusian delegation to the special administrative region of China.
This official visit has significantly intensified contacts at the business level.
The sides have also signed an agreement on avoidance of double taxation.
This document provides for measures to help prevent tax evasion on income and property between Belarus and Hong Kong.
Tourist information center opens in Brest Fortress
An interactive information center has opened in Brest Fortress. Tourists can now better orient themselves here. Moreover, you can book a tour, buy souvenirs and take a brochure.
Previously, information about the defenders of the Citadel could be obtained only in the Brest Fortress Defense Museum.
Belarus' Foreign Ministry holds visa consultations in social networks
The news about the possibility of visa-free travel to Belarus was well received by people from the different parts of the world. The Foreign Ministry of Belarus held the first consultation in social networks.
About a million people took this opportunity.
In Grodno, the visa-free regime for foreigners was introduced in late 2016. The average amount a foreign tourist spends on gifts is about 70 euros.
Tourists usually buy craft products as souvenirs. Products made of vine and flax are the main subjects of shopping in Belarus.
Visa-free entry to Belarus comes into force February 12, 2017
Visa-free regime of entry to Belarus comes into force on February 12, according to the Belarus Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The innovation, first of all, will be convenient for independent travelers,
including those arriving in the country without support of travel agencies.
Welcome to Belarus: visa-free entry requirements
Belarus is introducing a visa-free regime for citizens of 80 countries. These are all EU countries, Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan and others.
Foreigners will be able to visit Belarus without a visa through National Airport Minsk and stay here up to 5 days.
The new regime of entry is provided by the decree signed by the head of the state. This document is developed for short trips for tourists or businessmen.
EU, US citizens can enter Belarus visa-free via National Airport Minsk
Visa-free regime for foreign citizens was introduced in Belarus under Presidential Decree. The rule applies to those arriving in our country for a period up to five days. Moreover, they must enter Belarus through the National Airport Minsk.
The decree applies to citizens of 80 countries, including the entire European Union, as well as Brazil, Indonesia, the USA, Japan and etc.
The document is aimed at attracting businessmen, tourists and individuals.
However, it doesn’t apply to foreigners on official visits.
Winter fun in visa-free Grodno, Belarus
The traditional holiday "Spiritual family is well-being" was cancelled because due frosts in Minsk on January 8. The organizers postponed the meeting near the House of Mercy until the following weekend. But Grodno did not refuse from traditional Christmas fun.
The ruler of cold, Zuzya, welcomes guests with the faithful dog Blizzard. You literally forget about cold once you get into the frosty kingdom: people can ride in gutters, pull the rope and take part in other various fun competitions.
Video: Bison attacked by wolves in Bialowieza Forest
Giants of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha forest have successfully repelled an attack by a pack of wolves.
The predators attacked the herd suddenly. Bison first fled but then gathered courage and strength and completely expelled the intruders from their place.
This video was filmed by surveillance cameras in the Polish part of the Bialowieza Forest.
SEE: Belarus' part of Bialowieza Forest now visa-free
More meat for animals in Minsk Zoo
Animals in the Minsk zoo are now getting increased amounts of meat because of the frosty weather.
Improved nutrition helps maintain the required body fat to safely ride out the colds.
In addition, all pets can hide in their own insulated houses. Some of them were moved to winter pavilions.
The Minsk zoo called on Minsk residents who have natural New Year trees to bring them to the zoo. Here these trees will be processed and used as food or toys for some animals.
Minsk struggling with record cold days ahead of Orthodox Christmas
Belarusians have felt the breath of the Arctic. January frosts have come to the country. In Minsk, the thermometer dropped to minus 17 but forecasters say this is not the bottom. The situation on the roads is complicated. All road and utility services are working in emergency mode.
Only a couple of days ago there was zero degrees Celsius in the street. But look what is happening now. Piercing wind, snow drifts and icy roads.
Snowstorms and -27°C expected in Belarus by Christmas
Everyone who loves ice hockey can themselves grab skates these days and get out on the open ice. January frosts are gaining momentum. By evening January 5, the thermometer will show around -16°C.
Belarus was covered with a veil of snow the night before. The cyclone has brought snow to the country. Utilities services continue to clear roads and courtyards. Transport is coming on schedule but there might be minor delays.
Belarusians are preparing for a cold snap.
Complicated history of Kollektornaya Street
Kollektornaya Street, in spite of such an industrial name, is actually one of the oldest streets in Minsk. It was founded in the late 60s of the XIX century. In 1868, the old Jewish graves were moved to this area. At that time, the Jewish cemetery was located on the territory of modern stadium Dinamo.
Sergei Kharevsky, art critic, historian of architecture:Many older tombstones were moved here. And this street, which arose along this cemetery, originally and until 1919 was called Moiseyevskaya. It was in honor of the prophet Moses.
Pobeda cinema in Minsk closes for renovation. What will new building be like?
The legendary building of the cinema Pobeda has closed for renovation. This cinema was built in the middle of the 20th century. In addition, because the building is an architectural monument, the style will be preserved. Nevertheless, a technical part will match the requirements of the XXI century.
The cinema Pobeda is the oldest in Minsk. From 1 January 2017, renovations began here.
More and more foreigners meet New Year in Minsk
Minsk is becoming an increasingly popular place among foreigners wishing to celebrate New Year. Dozens of tourists from Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, England and many other countries choose the capital of Belarus as a place to celebrate the New Year.
Sayyid is from Turkmenistan. He came to Minsk to celebrate the New Year. This will be his eighth birthday in the Belarus capital. However, he still does not forget traditions of his native country.
New Year streets of Brest, Belarus (video)
One of the oldest cities in Belarus, Brest, was clad in festive illumination back in the middle of December 2016. The city in southwest Belarus has turned into a magical realm.
A ‘missile tree' has 'landed' on Boulevard of Cosmonauts. Not far from it are snowmen-aliens on a Christmas flying saucer.
A huge designer tree near one of the city's department stores is worth seeing too. It sparkles like a real New Year's beauty, but none of the inhabitants of coniferous forests has been damaged. Near the Christmas tree fly colorful butterflies.
Smoking to be banned in Belarusian eateries in 2017
It will be banned to smoke in Belarusian eateries in 2017.
This will not affect only designated areas. Thus there will be no more rooms for smokers and non-smokers in Belarusian eateries as it was before.
Owners of public catering establishments will be required to equip areas for tobacco lovers.
In addition, restaurateurs will be offered to determine the dress code for their clients.
It is expected that this measure will also be introduced in 2017.
Belavia to start flights to Brussels
Belarusian air carrier Belavia will open flights to Brussels from April 27 2017. Flights to the capital of Belgium will be made three times a week: on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
The flight time will be 2 hours 45 minutes.
According to Belavia, the price of tickets to one end will start at 89 euros and 175 euros with the return flight.
The plane will depart from Minsk at 9:40 and from Brussels at 12:00.
Minsk planetarium starts showing spherical movies
Alexander Mikulich, head of the laboratory "Minsk planetarium" has explained why the planetarium appreciates new and old projection equipment.
Alexander Mikulich, head of the laboratory "Minsk planetarium":
Modern planetariums switch to digital technologies. Computers have appeared and we can use digital projectors. We've recently purchased such projection technology: we now have a new service - full-dome projection, we demonstrate full-dome spherical movies.
It is very colorful: immersive and all in 3D.
Where to celebrate New Year 2017 in Minsk?
30 open areas will be working on New Year's Eve in each district of Minsk. The hub of all celebrations will be the area near the Sports Palace, where a New Year concert is expected.
Oleg Stepaniuk, CTV:
What bands will we see?
Minsk's first electric bus tested in city December 26
The first electric bus took to Minsk streets on December 26. Residents of the south-eastern part of Minsk at Partyzanski praspiekt were the first to see the new vehicle.
The new kind of urban public transport is better than buses, trolleybuses and trams in all characteristics.
Soon 20 such vehicles will be added to the fleet of Minsk public transport. Their charge will be made at the last stops during five-seven minutes. The capacity of electric buses is more than 150 people.
Tourists about visa-free areas in Belarus
Nearly 6,000 foreigners have visited Belarus without visas. We are talking about cross-border tourism, especially in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Augustow Canal. Guests visit Belarus mainly from Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the UK, Spain and the United States.
Ekaterina Romantsevich, tourist from Latvia:We will surely come back. We have promised our daughter and we will invite some friends. In terms of logistics, you still have some work to do.
Architectural miniatures museum opens in Minsk
All Belarus is now available inside one building. The Palace of Trade Unions in Minsk has opened a museum of architectural miniatures. The Lida and Kossovo castles, Kalozha church and Brest Fortress - all in all, the exhibition includes 17 replicas of Belarusian sites. There are many more to come.
Minsk's second ring road opens
The second Minsk ring has been opened to traffic. The solemn ceremony was attended by the Belarus head of state, Alexander Lukashenko.
The length of the second ring road is about 160 kilometers. This comfortable four-lane road meets all modern requirements. It is equipped with bridges and overpasses, barrier fences to avoid head-on collisions, the barriers against animals and noise screens near residential areas.
Minsk's second ring road to open December 22
The second ring around Minsk will fully open to traffic on December 22. The opening ceremony will be attended by the President of Belarus. The second phase of construction connected the Grodno and Moscow routes.
Concrete at this section was laid back in autumn and now it has acquired the necessary strength. Curbs, junctions and barrier fences are already in place. Among other features are noise screens, nets for animals and information signs for drivers.
Peru: economy, politics and culture of mysterious land of Incas
Peru may well be another country where an embassy of Belarus may open. This is only my guess, but I think Peru is one of the most important countries in Latin America and the former Spanish colony, by the way. Many Peruvians associate achievements with the introduction of European culture and European technologies. But let's not forget that Indians had achieved fantastic successes before that - thousands of years ago, they already knew how to make cranial trepanation. Europeans did not even wash at those times.
Belarus may drop visas for foreigners by end of 2016
Belarus may introduce visa-free regime for foreigners by the end of 2016.
The only condition is that you need to arrive in Belarus through the main air harbor - National Airport Minsk (also known as Minsk-2).
This issue is now at the stage of approval in the Ministry of Sports and Tourism. The agency has cited positive experience of the introduction of such a regime with certain countries.
Belarus' Radon health resort known worldwide for radon waters
The health resort Radon has won the prestigious international award "Choice of the Year". This sanatorium is one of the best health resorts of Belarus, which is famous for radon waters. Their curative properties are not inferior to the well-known sources of Georgian resorts.
This award is won by the Belarusian health resort for the second year in a row.
5G development in Belarus due in 2017
4G standard will appear in all regional cities of Belarus as early as in December 2016. 5G technology will be developed in Belarus beginning with 2017.
The first wave of information innovations is expected on 23 December. On this day, 4G will be launched in Gomel, Brest, Vitebsk, Mogilev and Grodno. The next step will be more than 30 regional centers to which 4G will come in January.
Therefore, advanced technologies will be available to more than 5.5 million Belarusians.
Movie "Belarus. Country for life" wins at Eurasian International Festival in Kazakhstan
The promo video "Belarus. Country for life" has received worldwide recognition.
The mini movie that boasts soulful story and colorful characters and emphasizes the achievements of Belarusians became the winner of the Eurasian International Festival in Kazakhstan.
The movie praises the beauty and greatness of Belarusian nature, splendor of architecture and the country's achievements in various fields.
The movie took six weeks to make. The same time was spent to select the actors.
Vitebsk, Grodno regions leading in growth of tourism services
The Vitebsk and Grodno regions are in the lead in terms of the growth of tourism services, according to Belarus' Ministry of Sport and Tourism.
Guests from China, Turkey, Israel and India have started to come to Belarus more often.
During the first 9 months of 2016, the growth rate of exports of travel services to Ukraine and Russia exceeded the 2015 figures.
There are more foreign tourists who exercise their right to visa-free travel in the Bialowieza Forest and the Augustow Canal.
Belarus still on track to simplified visa regime with EU
Belarus will continue to work for the early signing of the agreement on simplification of visa regime with the EU, said December 8 spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Mironchik.
The Lithuanian side is interested in these negotiations to be accelerated, said Lithuanian ambassador to Belarus yesterday.
The sides will sign the agreement after technical issues are harmonized.
Colobus monkey settles in Grodno zoo, Belarus
The only Belarusian colobus monkeys can be seen in Grodno Zoo. The Oriental animals come from Russia's Kaliningrad. Playful and active, they cause enthusiasm not only in children but also in adults.
The animals are now getting accustomed to the new place, next to a young alpaca and two baby tigers. They are not hiding from people, unlike barn owls, who arrived in Grodno from Russia.
Who decides on hotel star rating in Belarus?
30% of rooms in Minsk are in three-star hotels. There are four five-star hotels, approximately 6.5% of the number of rooms in Minsk. The share of four-star hotel rooms is 16%. The number of premium hotels does not exceed the number of hotels of the budget segment.
Minsk is ready to provide accommodation for any tourist - depending on the wishes of the level of service and payment options.
The biggest thermometer in Belarus is 40m high
Can you imagine a multi-story thermometer? Well, the residence of this house can. They follow the swings of winter temperatures by simply passing by the thermometer on their house.
The street gadget of the impressive size is installed on an ordinary house in the neighborhood Novaya Borovaya, and this has become a real local attraction!
The thermometer is the highest in Belarus.
The 40-meter giant can be seen from the neighborhood Uruchcha, Minsk ring road and even Independence Avenue.
Newspaper stalls in Belarus to become mini-shops with Wi-Fi and coffee
BelSoyuzPechat newspaper stalls in Belarus will radically change their appearance in the coming years. Small stalls will be replaced by large shopping pavilions. Such transformation has been already carried out in Minsk and now this will be done across the country.
New shopping pavilions are warm and convenient: you can not only buy a periodical or a book but also have a cup of coffee and access the Internet via wi-fi.
A special electronic system will help you track the sale of newspapers, journals and related products.
2016-2017 winter temperature in Belarus to average -5,5°C
The winter in Belarus will be colder than in 2015-2016, said Belarusian forecasters.
The average temperature is expected to be near the climate norm: 5.5°C below zero.
There is expected more precipitation than normal. You may face adverse weather events, such as snowfall, which has already caused congestion and drifts on the roads of Belarus.
Major European hotel operators to be present in Minsk by 2020
10 hotels will be built in Minsk by 2020. Thus, the hotel network of the capital of Belarus will reach 58 complexes. That would be about 13,000 beds and 7,000 rooms.
Yuri Natychko, head of household and hotel service of the Minsk City Executive Committee:
All hotels that are being built at the moment are expected to be completed by 2020.
These are hotels built without the involvement of public funds.
White lions from Armenia appear at Minsk Zoo in Belarus
White lions have appeared in Minsk Zoo right at the beginning of winter. The lion and lioness came from Armenia. The noble animals will live separately from their relatives, which are already considered old-timers.
The predatory blondes are still teenagers in human terms. It is a male and female. The new residents of the zoo are not afraid of winter conditions. The exotic beasts spend almost all the time outside and have fun posing for visitors.
English-language description of sights now available in Minsk center
There will be more English-language tourist information in Minsk. The facades of architectural monuments in Upper Town in the center of Minsk now have glass plates with a picture and description of the history of each of the main buildings.
Sights are in Belarusian and English languages: tourists can now explore the historical center even without a guide.
Brazil joins the club: all about visa-free travel for Belarusians
From November 25, there is one more country Belarusians can travel visa-free: Brazil has joined the club of 40 countries keeping their doors open to the citizens of Belarus. There is some more good news for avid travellers. Belarusian passport climbs slow and sure up the “travel freedom” list.
All in all
Belarusians can visit 41 countries without red tape constraints. The list of them is really astonishing. Not to mention the neighbouring Russia and Ukraine, there are, for instance, such exotic spots as Peru, Ecuador and Cuba.
Over 100 eateries join Belarusian cuisine week in Minsk
Seven days with taste! The week of Belarusian cuisine has kicked off in Minsk. On the eve of New Year, Minsk cafes and restaurants have updated the menu adding traditional and age-old dishes from Belarusian cuisine.
The event is held in Minsk for the 12th time. As practice shows, the smell of potato pancakes in Minsk cafes attracts gourmets from all over the world. This time, lovers of tasty meals have a wide choice, with lots of gastronomic delicacies on offer.
Organizers promise not only a wide range of dishes, but also reasonable prices.
Friday is free day in 4 Minsk museums until end of 2016
Free contemplation of priceless works. Want that while in Minsk?
From November 18, 2016, four museums of Minsk have started a campaign of unprecedented generosity.
Every Friday until the end of 2016, visitors can come free to the National History Museum, National Art Museum, the Museum of the History of Theatrical and Musical Culture and the Gallery of Modern Art.
Enjoy Minsk's cultural life for free!
Short history of Muslims and mosques of Minsk
The history of Minsk Muslims through the centuries and a short tour of the incredible brand new Cathedral mosque in Minsk all in the following report.
Minsk has always been a multinational city.
Tatars started to settle on its outskirts at the beginning of the 16th century. Since then the North-West of Minsk had been called Tatarskaya slabada or Tatarskaye pradmescie, which means Tatars' Suburb.
Minsk subway gets digital information screens
Minsk subway carriages now have new digital information screens! You can watch safety videos as well as social and commercial advertising on these displays.
Moreover, now there are special stickers in the subway to remind passengers about basic safety rules.
Andrey Kuzmin, Minsk Metro spokesperson: We think this information is important. Visual information is always easier to percept. We are planning to show some animated demonstrations, too.
First electric buses to appear in Minsk in December 2016
Sunny color for winter streets of Minsk: residents of the Belarus capital have decided on the future color of a new kind of metropolitan transport - electric buses.
These electric buses will appear in Minsk already in December 2016.
The electric buses will be like electric vehicles. They are powered by clean energy sources: a battery or a supercapacitor. The energy will be enough to cover about 12 kilometers.
Then they need to be recharged at special stations, which are equipped at the last stops.
New Year tree 2016 in Belarus to be adorned with national ornament
Minsk is immersing in the New Year atmosphere with coming snow and holiday preparations in the city.
On November 9, works began on Lenina Street to decorate it with festive illumination.
These are white 'light rains' that will frame the 16 lamps along the boulevard. Also, bright garlands will appear on trees and office buildings. First decorated New Year trees have appeared in Minsk stores, while some shopping centers already have artificial New Year trees on sale.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends opening of first mosque in Minsk
Belarus is famous for its tradition of religious tolerance and mutual respect between people of different nationalities, said President of Belarus during the opening of the first mosque in Minsk November 11.
The ceremony was also attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived in the Belarusian capital on an official visit November 11.
The opening of the mosque was a welcome event for religious associations and communities. After all, about 20,000 Muslims live in Belarus alone.
First mosque to open in Minsk November 11
The history of the Minsk mosque began in the distant 16th century. Then it was located in present-day Dmitrova Street, near modern hotel Yubileiny. At the initiative of the head of the Tatar elder statesman, a small wooden building was constructed with a modest interior decoration and two halls for men and women.
Only at the beginning of the 20th century, a stone mosque appeared on this place. Unfortunately, after 30 years of the Soviet regime, it was decided to reconstruct the building, and in 1961, it was completely destroyed.
No plans for new hotels in Minsk in coming years
Minsk hotels are reducing prices for services. Over the past year, they have cut 20% off the prices on average. This is achieved through a system of bonuses. The number of hotel visitors has increased.
Minsk now has 48 hotels and 5 official hostels.
By the way, there are no plans to build new hotels. This despite the fact that Minsk is preparing to host the 2019 European Olympic Games.