Belarus in

Five Days

Five days gives you enough time to explore Minsk plus get a taste of rural Belarus. Spend day one exploring the capital's Soviet past. Walk along interminable pr Nezalezhnastsi, take in the the Great Patriotic War Museum, and pop in for a vodka at Tsentralny. Day two is for culture. Check out an art museum, pop into a gallery on vul Kastrychnitskaya, and go bar hopping in the lively Old Town. Next, explore castle towns Mir and Nyasvizh, with a potential overnight in either. Spend your last day cycling around Minsk's outskirts or do another day trip – folklore museum Dudutki and the Stalin Line Museum are options.

Ten Days

After a few days in and around Minsk, hop a train or drive to the appealing western city of Brest, which mixes European cafe culture with a slew of Soviet historical attractions. On day seven, head north along the Polish border to Belavezhskaya Pushcha National Park, where lovely cycling trails and rare European bison await. Next, keep driving north to pleasant Hrodna with its preserved pre-WWII architecture. Alternatively, take a night train from Brest (or drive) east to Chagall's hometown, Vitsebsk, or to Belarus' fun-loving second city, Homel, before heading back to Minsk.