This post will analyse the advantages and disadvantages of Belarus for digital nomads, analyzing cost of living and internet connection availability
Belarus is seldom a destination that digital nomads and tourists consider when traveling in Europe. This Eastern European nation can however bring pleasant surprises for its visitors
Belarus for Digital Nomads: Overview
While Belarus is not the most obvious tourist destination, it is a quite affordable one. It’s relatively isolated situation in Europe is also exotic to some of the few visitors it gets every year.
Belarus is however, one of the safest countries in Europe. It is also the home of the some of well known IT development brands like Wargaming and Viber.
This profile, added to the fact that the country has a relatively low cost of living, might attract a number of visitors to this mysterious Eastern European nation.
The country’s capital Minsk, is the preferred city for most of its international visitors. It is just a short train ride away from Vilnius, Lithuania, which has a strong low cost flight network.
Getting a Visa to Belarus
One of the main reasons why Belarus is often excluded from travel plans is the fact that most visitors require a visa. With a very few exceptions outside Eastern Europe, citizens of most countries have to go through a relatively lengthy visa process.
The two easiest options to get a Belorussian visa are coming as a tourist, or as a private visitor.
There are a number of companies that will help you with your visa procedure, providing and invitation letter and hotel bookings. These hotels are generally expensive, but most likely you will not need to book all of them prior to your arrival.
The cheapest option is coming as a private visitor. For most European visitors and some other migration safe countries, you can apply for a private visa with much less bureaucracy than as a tourist.
This however involves knowing someone in Belarus who will be willing to help you. You will have to put this person’s detail on the visa application. Once in Belarus you will have to visit the local police station with the person who has invited you.
With this option, you can stay up to 30 days in Belarus without a lot of formalities. It is still a quite lengthy process, but your efforts might be worth it.
Internet Connection in Belarus for Digital Nomads
Internet connection is pretty fast in Belarus and widely available. You will not experience much different from Western European connection standards. In most of the cases, internet is also pretty cheap in Belarus.
If you get a Belorussian sim card, odds are that you will pay less for prepaid data than in most developed countries.
Cost of Living in Belarus for Digital Nomads
Cost of living in Belarus remains well inferior if compared to virtually all European countries. Only in a few countries like Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Ukraine, the prices can be considerably cheaper.
As a tourist, the highest you will have is accommodation, especially in Minsk. As Minsk is the biggest hub for economic opportunities in the country, many Belorussian citizens move from the countryside to the capital. This is reflecting on rampant accommodation prices in the country’s capital.
Food is cheaper than in the neighboring Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania), but comparable to those of Poland.
Transport is definitely cheaper than in most countries in Europe, as Belarus gets oil at attracting prices from Russia. A metro ride in Moscow still costs less than 0.50 $.
Entertainment is also quite cheap in Belarus, however the options are limited. You can find good restaurants, theaters and nightclubs in Minsk.
If you would like to consider other options in the region, check our post on Ukraine and Bulgaria for digital nomads.