Shtetl Routes Tour - Belarus

August 19th - 25th, 2019

Rootka Tours and Shtetl Routes project invite you to take part in a study tour around Belarus! On our route, you will visit Minsk, Slonim, Navahrudok, Mir, Grodno and much more. Join us to learn more about the Jewish heritage in one of the last visited countries in Europe.

The program includes visits in shtetls, meetings with local experts, lectures, cultural events and much more.

Our tour will be led by Tamara Vershitskaya -  a linguist and a museum researcher with 30 years of experience, a founder and curator of the Jewish Resistance Museum in Novogrudok (since 2007), a translator of memoirs of Holocaust survivors; and Jan Bulhak - a Polish photographer; an author of dozens of articles  about the Holocaust, the escape from the Novogrudok ghetto through the tunnel and the Bielski partisans; an author of the book "Pain and Anger. Holocaust and Resistance in Novogrudok"; a specialist in Jewish cultural heritage in the project 'Shtetl routes. Vestiges of Jewish cultural heritage in cross-border tourism. Poland, Belarus, Ukraine'.

Itinerary Highlights

August 19th, Arrival to Minsk

  • Arrival in Minsk on your own before 7 p.m., transfer to the hotel, check-in.

  • An introduction to the program

  • Welcome dinner

  • Night in  Minsk Hampton by Hilton 3*

August 20th, Minsk

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day program
     - Minsk:  city center, Independence Square, the Parliament building, part of Independence Ave, Russian theatre (former main synagogue), Old City, Jewish district, the Pit (Yama) monument to Holocaust victims, Minsk ghetto, Maly Trostenets (former Nazi death camp near Minsk)
    - Visit to the Jewish Community Center

  • Dinner

  • Night in Minsk Hampton by Hilton 3*

August 21st, Volozhin - Naliboki Forest - Rubezhevichi (250 km)

  • ​Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day program:
    - Volozhin: Main Square, yeshiva building, Jewish cemetery

    - Naliboki Forest: Bielski brothers campsite
    - Rubezhevichi. Museum of Rural Jewish Life

  • Dinner

  • Night in Minsk Hampton by Hilton 3*

August 22nd, Nahavrudok - Mir - Nyasvizh (230 km)

  • Breakfast at the hotel, check-out.

  • A full day program:
    Nahavrudok - city center, Museum of Jewish Resistance, ruins of the castle, the monument of Adam Mickiewicz 
    Mir: previous synagogue complex, Yeshiva building, Mir castle (from the outside, UBESCO Heritage Site), local museum
    Nyasvizh: Radziwiłł Palace (from the outside), one of the most beautiful residences of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with rich and diverse architecture and attractive gardens. Today, by many considered the most popular tourist attraction in Belarus

  • Dinner

  • Nigh in Nyasvizh, Nyasvizh Hotel

August 23th, Baranavichy - Slonim (250 km)

  • Breakfast at the hotel, check-out

  • A full day program:
    Baranavichy: previous synagogue building, a memorial stone at the ghetto site, local museum
    Slonim: Main Synagogue (17th c., today in ruins), city center

  • Transfer to Grodno.

  • Shabbat Dinner

  • Night in Grodno, Neman Hotel

August 24th, Grodno

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • A full day program (walking tour)
     - Grodno: Great Choral Synagogue (17th c), Jewish Museum,  Grodno Ghetto, Old and New Castle, Museum of History of Religion, The Kalozha church of Sts. Boris and Gleb

  • Dinner

  • Night in Grodno, Neman Hotel

August 25th, Grodno - Minsk / Departure

  • Breakfast, check-out.

  • Half day program. We offer two options:

    Option I, 300 km (additional cost of 400 PLN)

  • Transfer to Minsk via Radun (with around an hour and a half tour around Radun).

  • Arrival to Minsk around 5 pm.

  • Optional night in Minsk (additional cost of 150 PLN in twin room, 300 PLN in single room)

    Option II (additional cost of 200-250 PLN)

    Please note that if you choose that option you need to have Belarusian visa. Details about visas can be found in section Visas.  

  • Half a day in Grodno (free time on your disposal)

  • 15.00 Transfer to the train station.

  • 16.30 Train to Bialystok or Warsaw

The tour leader is Agata Radkowska-Parka, founder of ROOTKA Tours, an experienced organizer of dozens of study tours in Poland and Ukraine.

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Visa-free movement

According to the Presidential Decree, effective from July 27, 2018, foreign citizens of 74 countries can enter Belarus without a visa for up to 30 days and exit from the territory of Belarus only through the State border checkpoint of the Republic of Belarus “Minsk National Airport”.

The given order of visa-free movement through the airport does not extend to persons coming to Belarus by plane from the Russian Federation, as well as to those who intend to fly to the airports of the Russian Federation (such flights are considered as internal ones and do not have border control).

You will be provided with an invitation and travel insurance from ROOTKA. Together with your passport (valid at least 90 days beyond the intended date of departure from the Republic of Belarus), it is enough to enter Belarus.


More information you can find here


When do you need a VISA?

If you choose to enter Belarus by bus/train or continue your journey to Poland by train, after our tour (option II on the last day of our tour) you will need to apply for Visa in Belarusian embassy or consulate in your country.

Please find the closest embassy/consulate here: 

All procedures about obtaining a visa are described here


Don’t worry, we will help you with all formalities, and contact you individually once you sign up for a tour to help you with an application. Just don’t wait till the last moment. We advise starting the procedure of application no later than a month before the tour.

Please note that while applying for a visa you will have to bear the cost of consular fee (up to 60 euros per person).

Naliboki Forest
Naliboki Forest


PRICE: 4600 PLN (approx 1210 $)

if you sign up before May 15th

5000 PLN (approx 1315 $) if you sign up after May 15th


The programme is conducted in English, therefore participants are required to have good English skills.


The programme includes

- 3 nights in Minsk including breakfast, at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel*** in a double room* (August 19-22) 

 - 1 night in Nyasvizh Hotel*** including breakfast, at the Nesvish Hotel in a double room* (August 22-23)

- 2 nights in Grodno  including breakfast, at the Neman Hotel 

 - Transportation within the programme,

 - 6 dinners (all dinners will include 3 dishes, water and a coffee/tea)

-  Snacks and water on a bus,

 - A full-time tour leader and expert,

 - Guided tours and meetings with local experts,

 - Educational materials,

 - All taxes and fees,

 - Travel insurance on the territory of Belarus.

* Single supplement is 900 PLN


Services not included

 - Travel to and back from Minsk,

 - Flights,

 - Transfers from the airport (optional 150 PLN one way)

 - Transfers outside the announced arrival and departure dates,

 - Pre or post-tour hotels or other accommodation,

 - Meals and services not mentioned above,

 - Personal expenses,

 - Tips for guides and drivers.

 - Visa fee (if applicable)


Please note

To enter Belarus you need a passport. The passport must be valid at least 90 days beyond the intended date of departure from the Republic of Belarus.

To check if you need a Visa to enter Belarus go to the bottom of the page to section VISAS at the bottom of that page.

The easiest way to get to Minsk is to take a flight to Minsk Airport We recommend visiting their website to check connections. 

We will be happy to provide you transfers from the airport to the hotel and back for an additional 150 PLN (one transfer)



A deposit of 2000 PLN per traveler is required to sign up for the tour. 



To sign up for the tour, each traveler must fill in a reservation form and make a deposit of 2000 PLN. Upon payment of the deposit, ROOTKA Tours will issue an invoice. Reservation is only completed upon completing both these stages. Your deposit is fully refundable until April 15th, 2019. The second payment has to be paid no later than June 15th, 2019.


Cancellation and refunds

The Participant shall bear the following costs in case of cancellation:

a) 20% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 90 or more days before the arrival,

b) 30% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 66-89 days before the arrival,

c) 60% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 45-65 days before the  arrival,

d) 80% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for 31-44 days before the arrival,

e) 100% of the value of the cancelled reservation – for less than 30 days before the arrival


By signing up for the tour, you accept the ROOTKA Tours Participation Conditions.




Shtetl Routes – Belarus is one of three study tours prepared for 2019 season together with Shtetl Routes project experts, organized in cooperation with the "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre.


The "Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre" Centre is a municipal culture institution based in Lublin, which for the last 27 years has been working in the area of Jewish historical and cultural heritage and commemoration of the Shoah.


Shtetl Routes is one of the Centre’s projects, aimed to support the development of cultural tourism based on the Jewish heritage in Central and Eastern Europe.


ROOTKA Tours is a travel agency specializing in tailor-made tours and bookings related to Jewish heritage sites in Poland, Ukraine, and Belarus.

Download the programme


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