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| Home | Travel | Adventure Sports | Cycling tourism

Cycling tourism in Belarus

Belarusian cities and roads are becoming increasingly convenient for cycling tourism enthusiasts.

You can use the bicycle path in Minsk, choose an organized cycling excursion to visit the famous sights of Belarus or take an eco-tour of one of the national parks.

Bicycle paths and infrastructure

This convenient and mobile transport has long been popular with Belarusians, especially in rural areas where almost every family has one or more bicycles.

But at present Belarus focuses on the development of urban infrastructure for cyclists. Bikeways are built, bicycle parking racks and road signs for cyclists are being installed and separate lanes on cities’ sidewalks are being marked.

New residential districts of Minsk and other cities are built taking into account cyclists’ needs. Wide sidewalks are separated into two lanes, one for pedestrians and the other for cyclists. Descents and low curbs are also made with cyclists in mind.

Roadsides along main intercity roads are separated by traffic lane markings. Motorists do not usually use roadsides, so cyclists can ride a bike there. Some sections feature special lanes for cyclists.

However, you should be careful and follow traffic rules for the sake of your own safety.

Bikeways in Minsk

A cycling policy was adopted in Minsk in 2011. The policy will guide cycling promotion efforts till 2020.  Minsk is gradually becoming increasingly comfortable for cycling enthusiasts. Local residents are offered free cycling lessons by volunteers of the Minsk Cycling Community. Car-Free Days and urban cycling festivals and rides have become traditional events. The Viva Rovar cycling carnival launched in 2014 has turned into one of the favorite events for active leisure lovers. The Minsk International Cycling Week made its debut in 2019. It was an umbrella event, hosting a series of nationwide activities dedicated to all those passionate about cycling.

Minsk is expanding its bikeway infrastructure, as bikeways are increasingly popular with locals and tourists.

The longest bikeway in Minsk (27km), which opened in September 2009, crosses almost the entire city from the northwest to the southeast (from the Drozdy reservoir to the Chizhovskoye reservoir).

It passes along the Svisloch River through the most picturesque places of Minsk: Pobeditelei Avenue, Victory Park, Yanka Kupala Park and Gorky Park... This bike path also connects Minsk Arena and Chizhovka Arena which became the main venues of the IIHF Hockey Championship 2014. You can also see the renovated Dinamo Stadium along the way. In June 2019 the stadium hosted the biggest events of the 2nd European Games.

The width of the track is 2.5-3m. During the warm season mobile bicycle rentals operate here along with Minsk’s first bicycle cafe on the bank of the Svisloch River.

Another bikeway starts at the Sports Palace near the Svisloch River and goes along Pobeditelei Avenue to the Vesnyanka neighborhood. The bikeway is about 4km long.

There is also a bike path along Independence Avenue, the city's main motorway. This bikeway leads from the Belarusian State Circus to the National Library of Belarus through Victory Square, Yakub Kolas Square, the Minsk Central Department Store, Central Botanical Garden and Chelyuskintsev Park.

Another interesting bikeway (2km long) is situated in the historic part of Minsk, Loshitsa Park.  The park is famous for a beautiful manor built in the 18th-19th centuries. This architectural gem houses a museum now. Nearby there are a old outbuilding, a watchman’s house, ruins of a chapel, a former wine distillery and a former mill.

One of the most picturesque bikeways is located in the Zeleny Lug neighborhood. This 8.5km-long bikeway offers a great view of the Tsna Reservoir with its beautiful serene beaches.

Pritytskogo Street and Dzerzhinskogo Avenue also have lanes specifically designed and designated for bicycle travel. Another cycling thoroughfare (3km) can be found in an urban park adjoining the Drazhnya, Stepyanka and Angarskaya neighborhoods.

Those who would like to go for an outing can take the bike path Logoisky Trakt-Raubichi, which was built along the motorway M3 in 1980. The 15km route starts from the Minsk ring road and leads to the sports complex Raubichi.

Another suburban bikeway starts in the Malinovka neighborhood and finishes at the Ptich (Volkovichi) Reservoir. This route can be handled even by fledging cyclists, as it is nearly two times shorter than the Raubichi lane.

Bicycle rentals in Minsk

The first dockless bicycle-sharing system was launched in Minsk in July 2019. This system allows you to borrow a bike in any part of the city. To do this, you need to download a special mapping application (it shows bikes available nearby) and enter your payment information in the app in order to unlock a bike. After a ride, you can leave a bike anywhere you want. However, it should be kept in mind that improperly parked bikes can potentially block pedestrian traffic on sidewalks.
However, you can rent a bike for some time (a few hours or days) and return it to the same rental station. Such services in Minsk are provided by the following agencies:

  • the city rental network (during the warm season additional mobile stations are open in city parks and along bike paths)
  • specialized stores and private rantal stations
  • some gas stations

Bicycle rental prices may vary depending on the original cost of the bike. You can also rent pumps, baby seats and other equipment.

If you do not return the bike on time or damage it, you will have to pay an additional fee.

Dock-based systems are not available in Minsk yet, however such a project has already been developed. This system will be 100% national. It means that all the bicycles, docks and software will be developed in Belarus.

Bike trails and excursions

During the warm season this eco-friendly transport is especially popular with tourists. New bike routes regularly appear in Belarus. They are equipped with information signs, bicycle parking racks and places for recreation.

Bike routes run through the national parks Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Narochansky, Braslav Lakes and the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve.

Volozhin Tracks is a beautiful bike route  that runs through the Nalibokskaya Pushcha reserve. The route is 150km long, which implies that a bicycle journey will last for three days. During this exciting trip tourists can see the most interesting places near Volozhin: eco-museums, eco-tourism estates, historical sites and natural monuments.

Bicycle travelers will certainly appreciate the bike routes that run along the famous Augustow Canal. There are nine routes and all of them are located in a picturesque park. The biggest of them is the August Velo cross-border route (49.6km) that is up to par with European infrastructure standards. Summerhouses, information stands, fences, bridges and places for recreation can be found along the bikeway there.

Not far from the Augustow Canal, in Grodno, there is a 30km bike route that circles around the Pyshki urban park.

Pribuzhskoye Polesie Biosphere Reserve offers three themed routes. The route titled Domachevo at the Crossroads of Three Cultures is 15km long and runs across the juncture of Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. The other two are Mysteries of White Lake (22km) and Green Serpentine (79km).
A bikeway in Oshmyany and the Miory Round Trip, a 415km cross-border bike trail across the territory of Belarus and Latvia, were developed as part of the Latvia-Lithuania-Belarus cooperation program. 

Cycling events in Belarus

Cycling is among the most popular sports in Belarus. The country hosts a great number of cycling events and international tournaments. Minsk Velodrome is one of the best cycling facilities in Europe. It is the place where the world’s best athletes come for competitions and training.

There are plenty of events for cycling amateurs, too. At the onset of a cycling season, Minsk and other cities of Belarus join the 30 Days of Biking Challenge, a pledge to ride a bike every day in April.

Other most spectacular cycling events include:

  • Minsk International Cycling Week
  • Viva Rovar cycling carnival in Minsk
  • VeloMiss pageant in Minsk
  • Car-Free Day run in Minsk and other cities
  • Susedzi cycling marathon on the Augustow Canal (Grodno District)
  • Ladies on Bicycle ride in Grodno
  • Between the Sozh and Dnieper international cycling festival in Gomel Oblast
Great Patriotic War monuments in Belarus