Often called 'Europe's last dictatorship' Belarus remains in isolation from the west, and was labelled by the US government as one of 6 'outposts of tyranny' in 2005. 40 per cent of its land is forested but this includes the remarkable Bialowieza forest which straddles the border with Poland. It is the largest remaining part of the ancient forest which covered all of Europe, and is the only place in which the European bison were not hunted to extinction.

You can travel through Belarus by train from Warsaw to Moscow. The capital, Minsk, was almost entirely rebuilt during the Soviet era. So expect large squares and large monolithic buildings. There is an excellent metro system, however.



Why you should go:

You are interested in the Soviet era.

Why you shouldn't:

You are a political objector.

Map of Belarus