Quite a common question, if it’s possible to take a flight from Kaliningrad to Minsk. Well, it’s quite a complicated puzzle. Russia and Belarus are parts of the so-called Eurasian Union. And the border formally exists, but air travel between two countries treated as a domestic flight and do not incur all standard border controls checks. So, what does it mean for travelers?
I had a chat with the local representative of Belavia (Belarus National Carrier) on this issue and got the following reply:
- You can use this flight as a connection if you fly from Minsk to some other destination, except Russia. You will have to show the ticket to prove that. 24 hours allowed for transit.
- If you have a Belarus visa, you will proceed to border control in Khrabrovo airport and then free to travel to Minsk.
- You can’t use this special Minsk-Airport-visa-free entry system from Kaliningrad. Regular Belarus visa is required to board the plane.
What? Visa-free trip to Minsk?
Belarus offers special visa-free mode for citizens of 74 countries if you arrive by an international flight to Minsk International Airport only. As mentioned above, unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to Kaliningrad and other flights from or to Russia.
Note that there is also a general visa-free entry for citizens of 44 countries: mostly ex-USSR, and some mostly small nations.
Any alternative ways to visit Minsk without a visa?
Well, yes. Plan B is to travel to a neighboring EU country and take an international flight to Minsk to be able to apply for visa-free entry. Here are three possible options:
- Plane or Bus to Warsaw and flight Minsk.
- Plane or Bus to Riga and then fly to Minsk.
- Bus or train to Vilnius and take a Minsk flight. Probably, the cheapest option.
Hope this will help to understand the current situation. Have a good time in Kaliningrad and Minsk! Don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments.