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Brest (Belarus)

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Brest Oblast : Brest
Revision as of 21:06, 12 March 2010 by 135.11.3.4 (Talk)

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Brest is a border town in the south-west corner of Belarus, near Terespol in Poland.

Understand

Get in

Train, car, bus connections are with the local town on the Polish side, Terespol.

By plane

Atlant Soyuz (Russian Airline) recently started direct service from Moscow. Tickets are ~$175 round-trip. It is 2hr40min flight. You can book tickets on the airline website. [1]

You can also fly to Minsk or Warsaw and take the train (see Trains section for details)

By train

See Belarus. Get out: the customs control in the Brest train station is not very obvious. About an hour or so before the train leaves, you'll see people waiting at a railing next to some glass walls which look they open up to some rather bland and unused empty room. They look a bit like people waiting for arrivals at an airport, except that it's not obvious who they are waiting for. In fact, they are waiting for the customs office to open. If you're trying to leave Belarus, then join the queue a good deal of time before your train leaves. If you arrive only ten minutes before the train leaves, chances are good that the train will leave without you, not because the queue is too long, but just because the rules are strict.

The train from Warsaw runs 3-4 times a day and costs 150 zloty (~$60USD). Alternatively, you can take the train from Warsaw to Terespol (on the other side of the border from Brest) for 40-60 zloty ($15-20USD) and then take a commuter train from Terespol to Brest (runs twice a day) for ~2USD. You can check the schedule for both types of train on Polish Railways website [2]

The train to/from Minsk runs ~20 times per day and costs ~$5-20USD. You can check the schedule on the Belarussian Railways website (note: only in Russian), which has a graphical map to select cities. [3]

By car

See Belarus. There are six control lines of various sorts at the crossing. Allow something like 2 hours to get through them all.

If you are already in Terespol and need to cross over to Brest, you can walk over to the border crossing and "hitchhike" across with one of the cars that is already towards front of the line. They might be happy to take you across as they can "assign" some goods as belonging to you for the purposes of customs. Just go along with the arrangement. Alternatively, they might ask for a modest payment of $5USD or so.

By boat

Get around

Transport within Brest city is very regular, with many different bus route through the city, and also regular trolley-buses through the city. Taxis are also easy to order and "mashrutkas" (Private minivan taxis that follow bus routes) also operate throughout the city. The main attractions are all within walking distance.

See

  • Naberezhnaya (Riverfront), naberezhnaya st (riverfront between TSUM and pr Shevchenko). If you just happen to wander around the city this is my best place, especially late summer - fall. The riverfront has a lot of willow trees and there are a lot of ducks swimming in the river. There are some chairs under the willow trees sitting on which is very relaxing.
  • The Fortress of Brest (PL: Brześć Litewski)[4] preserves the ruins of a massive fortification built in XIX century by Russian Empire, that achieved "Hero Fortress" status during World War II. Admission fee. Walking the grounds of this great fortification is a moving experience that gives a good sense of the privations faced by the forces that were besieged there. There is a museum, where you can learn about fight between attacking Germans and defending Soviets. There is also small part about Polish defenders of this place, who were attacked earlier by Germans and Soviets. The history of Brest Fortress is complicated, as you can see, and worth learning.
  • Gogolya st, ulica Gogolya (between Cosmonavtov blvd and Naganova st). This is nice alley with two lines of old chestnut trees on both sides. Gives you nice quiet walk in summer and fall.

Do

  • Explore Brest Hero Fortress
  • Walk on Sovetskaya Ul with all shops and restaurants

Learn

Work

Buy

There are many shops and boutiques on Sovetskaya street, which sell all kinds of products from fishing gear to real designer wear. Smaller shops are dotted around the town centre and there is a big "TSUM"- Central Department Store on Moskovskaya street.

Eat

  • Restaurant Vesta.
  • Venezia Restaurant.
  • Restaurant Y ozera. In a town park , good meat and starters. Good for business lunches.
  • Retro Pizza (Half way down Sovetskaya street, near the cinema "Belarus"

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Hotel Belarus 6, Shevchenko blvd. Central location, several blocks away from river Muhovetz. Rooms can run anywhere between $30-70/night for foreign citizens. Belorussian citizens still enjoy lower rates.

Contact

Stay safe

Belarus has a low rate of crime, and mostly the atmosphere is very friendly even on big celebrations (when everyone is drunk) :)

Try not to wander off too far at night.

Cope

Never use taxi travel at night time. Busses will not run after 11.30 so you would need a taxi.


Get out

Belavezhskaya Pushcha [5] is an ancient woodland straddling the border between Belarus and Poland, located 70 km (43 mi) north from Brest. It is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest which once spread across the European Plain. It is a UNSECO World Heritage Site.



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