Vitebsk is a historic city filled with pedestrianised boulevards, elegant architecture and gold-domed churches. It's home to a handful of museums, including a gallery celebrating the legacy of Marc Chagall, one of the country's most famous artists. You can also stroll around the atmospheric Old Town, soak up the vibrant cafe culture and relax on the grassy banks of the Daugava River.
Things to do
The Chagall Art Centre celebrates the career of the iconic Belarusian artist. It's housed in a handsome terracotta-coloured building and showcases hundreds of original works, including lithographs and graphic artwork. Don’t miss the Art Museum, which is filled with 18th-century oil paintings and realist sculptures.
Topped by a pair of twin spires, the Holy Resurrection Church was inspired by the beautiful Baroque cathedrals of the 18th century. Gaze up at the elaborate facade before venturing indoors to admire the beautifully painted frescoes. Uspensky Cathedral is another city icon, topped by gleaming golden domes and Orthodox crosses.
Visit the historic Town Hall to explore the Vitebsk Regional Museum, where you can check out archaeological finds, weaponry and Soviet-era relics. There are fantastic displays on traditional Belarusian folk culture, including hand-painted porcelain and birch bark paintings.
Vitebsk cradles a flourishing cafe culture, with local institutions like Biskvit serving up fantastic espresso and tempting homemade cakes. Bite into traditional Belarusian fare at Zolotoy Lev, where you'll find dishes like stuffed "pierogi" dumplings, cabbage rolls and vodka-cured salmon.
Pedestrian-friendly streets make much of Vitebsk easy to get around on foot, especially around the Old Town and riverfront district. The city is also serviced by local buses and taxis. Trains depart from Vitebsk Station in the city centre and travel to Minsk in 3.5 hours.
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