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Perhaps you’ve been tempted to check out Belarus and its Bialowieza Forest — one of the last remaining swaths of Europe’s primeval forest — full of wolves, lynx, European Bison, and scores of other animals you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.

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But don’t sleep on Minsk, one of the most affordable capitals in Europe, and one few people know much about. Check out our travel guide to Minsk to get the lay of the land.

In addition to this forested UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll also find urban sites worth exploring in Belarus, including the restored medieval castles at Mir and Nesvizh, as well as the natural wonder that is the Struve Geodetic Arc. And if you’re hungry, make sure to try one of Belarus’ famous potato dishes. They eat the most potatoes in the world, and there’s a good reason why.

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