|Currency:||Belarusian rouble (Br)|
A gap year in Belarus might not be the most commonly seen choice. In fact, this corner of Europe isn’t exactly well known by travellers, who instead flock in droves to neighbour Poland instead. This is a shame though, as a gap year in Belarus – or, at least, part of a gap year spent in Belarus – is a great choice, with loads to do and a completely different culture to explore. So, why not put Belarus on your list of countries to visit?
Minsk is the capital of Belarus, and the place most backpackers will find themselves. Most will have preconceived ideas of Minsk as a gloomy, post-Soviet city, but this means that most will be surprised. Instead, they’ll find a city vibrant with life, with loads of cool cafes and restaurants to spend time in, watching the world go by. There’s not much in terms of history in the city though – it was almost entirely razed during WWII – although those wanting a glimpse into the country’s Soviet past will find plenty to see.
Should you just stay in Minsk though while on a gap year in Belarus? Absolutely not! You might not realise it, but Belarus is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the region, perfect for hiking, cycling and photography. Bialowieza Forest is a must-see location as well – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with wolves and bison aplenty. So, don’t gloss over Belarus next time you get the map out – stick a big pin in it instead!
Working in Belarus
If you visit Belarus, the chances of finding paid work are pretty slim. There might be some opportunities in the bigger cities to teach English, especially if you have some qualifications, however that’s pretty much it. There are a number of volunteering opportunities in Belarus though, especially working with children, so why not consider these? Of course, you could just relax though, and enjoy everything a gap year in Belarus has to offer though!
Belarus is a landlocked country, surrounded by Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Ukraine – so all of these are options for onward travel. Many people simply use a train to travel throughout the region, however onward travel is also possible by air – Minsk National Airport is well-served and flights are available to destinations throughout the world.