Cross the border between Lithuania and Belarus looks like an easy task but is not because there are important things to keep in consideration before travel. Here I’m going to explain all the process in details for avoid any kind of issues.
One of main concern of the travellers is the visa. For enter in Belarus the visa policy for is confuse for some countries, especially for europeans. Majority of the European countries need visa only entering by land, but visa is excepted for 30 days entering via International Minsk Airport.
For more informations and updates check the official website: http://mfa.gov.by/en/visa/visafreetravel/e0ced19bb1f9bf2c.html
Another mandatory requirements are:
- Medical Insurance for a minimum of €10000
- If you want to stay more than 5 working days without visa you’ll need to register in the citizenship and immigration during the check-in process at the hotel. If you have any questions ask at the hotel but to be prepare to use translator app because in majority of the places a few people speak English.
- Valid passport for 90 days from the departure day.
- Financial support: Credit cards, debit cards, cash, etc.
The best, faster and comfortable to travel from Vilnius to Minsk is by train. The trains operated by Lithuanian Railways are modern and comfortable. Also has sockets for change the phone and free WIFI.
The frequency is not too bad for an international train in this kind of region: 2 trains per day, during the morning and other during the evening. The travel time is around 2 hours 30 minutes.
Tickets are available online 1 month in advance from the official Lithuanian Railways website: https://www.traukiniobilietas.lt/portal/
Trains arrive usually on time from Vilnius Central Station, Geležinkelio Stotis and there is a passport control at the station. In the Belarus border there is another passport control and luggage check. At this point the officers ask for medical insurance. Some officers has a basic English so is better to cooperate and point to the minimal cost covered by the insurance: 10.000 euros. In my case I had a credit card insurance which is perfectly valid as well.
Arriving in Minsk the train ends in-front of the old station. At this point I recommend change money in the new station (Stantsiya Minsk-Passazhirskiy) which is located in-front of the Minsk towers. Few people speak English here as well and majority of the labels are in Cyrillic but the Exchange office is not too difficult to find but it looks like an ATM.
From Vilnius bus central station there are several buses from different companies per day to Minsk and Ecolines is one of the most important. The travel by bus is around 5 hours.
For timetables and tickets check the official website: https://ecolines.net/international/en/trip/bus-tickets/buy-ticket
Enter in Minsk by flight
In general the flights to and from Minsk are not cheap because there are not too many low cost flights cover the Minsk route. The national airline is Belavia which is not one of the best in the world but is one of the best for travel to Belarus. Alternative Aeroflot link Belarus with some European countries as well or from Russia for sure.
From Minsk International to the city centre the best and economical way is with minibus which departure every 50 minutes from the airport and arrive in Minsk central bus station.
For airport bus timetable check this website: http://airport.by/en/transport/regular-route-bus