If you've already visited Minsk, you might think you've landed in another country when you get off the train in Brest. This prosperous and cosmopolitan border town looks far more to the neighbouring EU than to Minsk. It has plenty of charm and performed a massive DIY job on itself prior to its millennial celebrations in 2019.

The city's main sight is the Brest Fortress, a vast and moving WWII memorial. But there are also a few good museums, more than a few attractive churches and a lively central pedestrianised walking street, vul Savetskaya. The impressive Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park is also nearby.

Brest and the city of Hrodna to the north can now be visited visa-free for 10 days if arriving overland from Poland, provided you secure the proper paperwork.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Brest.