Belarus is a beautiful country located in Eastern Europe. It has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. While there is no truly bad time to visit Belarus, some periods are less ideal than others due to weather conditions or major holidays when prices rise. Here is an overview of the worst times to visit Belarus and what to expect if you do travel during these periods.
The winter months from December to February can be the worst time to visit Belarus for a few reasons:
- Temperatures often drop below freezing and winds make it feel even colder. The average high in Minsk is around 0°C (32°F) while average lows are -6°C (21°F).
- Days are very short with only 7-8 hours of daylight. The sun sets as early as 4pm in December.
- Some attractions, museums and smaller restaurants/shops close or have reduced hours. Walking tours and outdoor activities are very limited.
- Major public holidays like New Year’s and Christmas see many locals off work and travelers visiting family. Prices and demand for transport/hotels is higher.
However, if you bundle up and time your visit between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, winter can be a magical time to see Belarus’s historic cities dusted with snow. Focus on indoor activities like museum visits, shows, and sampling Belarusian cuisine.
Major public holidays in early May every year make it a difficult time to visit:
- May 1: Labour Day
- May 9: Victory Day
- Many Belarusians have long vacations around these holidays. Popular destinations get very crowded and hotel prices rise.
- Public transport has reduced service. Taxis and rideshares surge price due to high demand. Airports and train stations are packed.
- Museums, restaurants and other businesses often close for the long holiday weekends or have limited hours.
If visiting during May holidays, plan transportation ahead of time and focus on outdoor activities outside the major cities. The weather is mild, making it a great time for nature getaways.
July can be uncomfortably hot and humid in Belarus:
- Average highs are 23°C – 25°C (73°F – 77°F) but it often feels hotter due to humidity.
- Overnight lows only drop to around 15°C (59°F) so little relief.
- Afternoons can see thunderstorms and showers.
Outdoor sightseeing, walking tours and events can be draining in July. Opt for air-conditioned museums and theaters or escapes to Belarus’s lakes if visiting in summer.
Recommended Times to Visit
- Spring (March – April): Mild weather perfect for strolling through cities and nature hikes before crowds arrive.
- Late Summer (August – September): Warm weather but slightly cooler than July. Good for outdoor activities.
- October: Beautiful autumn foliage and fewer crowds. Weather is cool but comfortable.
Yes, July is peak visitor season and popular destinations get quite crowded, especially on weekends. However, you can escape crowds by venturing outside the well-known spots.
October has cooler temperatures, with average highs of 10°C (50°F) and lows around freezing. It’s a wetter month with more rainfall but has beautiful fall scenery.
Many attractions in major cities stay open year-round but may have shorter hours. Smaller museums and businesses are more likely to close or have limited winter hours.
Airfare to Belarus is often cheaper in winter months, outside of the Christmas/New Year’s travel peaks when it rises. Lodging prices also tend to be lower in winter.