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 has performed a massive DIY job on itself over the past few years in preparation for its millennial celebrations in 2019.
The city's main sight is the Brest Fortress, a moving WWII memorial where Soviet troops held out far longer than expected against the Nazi onslaught in the early days of Operation Barbarossa. But there are also several good museums here, and the impressive Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park is nearby.