Republic of Belarus | Рэспубліка Беларусь
Belarus declared independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, but to this day remains as a key friend and ally of Russia. Many consider Belarus to be Europe’s last dictatorship, including President Lukashenko himself saying that “an authoritarian ruling style is characteristic of me.” On top of that, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) rates the Democracy Index of Belarus to be the lowest in Europe, after Russia moved up on the scale.
Still, Belarus is a country that offers a glimpse back in time for travelers. It’s a section of Europe that still feels and looks as if it is still part of decades-gone Soviet Union. Most (around 80%) of the population of just under 10 million reside in urban areas.
Belarus has four designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Nesvizh Castle, the Mir Castle Complex, the Belovezhskaya Pushcha (with Poland), and the Struve Geodetic Arc (shared with Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Moldova, Russia, Sweden, and Ukraine).
Belarus Travel Information & Key Points
General points to know about the country of Belarus – demographics, important ages, phone numbers, key statistics, and more, whether you’re traveling there or not.
Capital: Minsk (& largest city)
Population: 9.5 million (2020 estimate)
Language(s): Belarusian, Russian
President: Alexander Lukashenko
Prime Minister: Sergey Rumas
Currency: Belarusian ruble (BYN)
Area: 207,595 km2 (80,153 mi2)
Dialing Code: +375
Time Zone: Further-Eastern European Time “FET” (UTC+3)
Drives on the: Right
Demonym: Belarusian (what is a demonym?)
Endonym: Byelarus (translit.) (their name for their country)
Emergency Number: 101 for fire, 102 for police, 103 for ambulance
Drinking Age: None, but 18 to purchase (rarely enforced)
Smoking Age: None, but 18 to purchase
Age of Consent: 16
Electricity & Adapter: 220 V, 50 Hz, Plug Types C / F (define)
ISO Country Code: BY