Living in Brest as an expatriate

Caffeinate Your Brest Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today

Image of Brest

Nestled in the northwest corner of Belarus, Brest is a city steeped in history. It has played a significant role in shaping Belarusian culture, traditions, and identity for centuries. Brest Fortress, one of the most memorable landmarks in the country, is located here. Today, Brest has transformed into a modern city, boasting a myriad of amenities and opportunities that make it an attractive destination for expats.

Tips for expats in Brest

Visa requirements

Citizens from most countries, including the EU, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, do not need a visa to enter Belarus for stays up to 183 days. However, it’s essential to register with the local authorities within five days of arrival. Other nationals need a visa that must be obtained from a Belarusian embassy or consulate before arrival.

Language resources

While Russian is the primary language spoken in Brest, most people also communicate in Belarusian and Polish. Expats can enroll in Russian language courses at universities and private language centers in the city. English is increasingly used in popular areas, and many young people speak English fluently.

Cost of living for expats in Brest


The cost of living in Brest is significantly lower than in other European cities. A room in a shared house can cost around $125 (100€) per month. A one-bedroom apartment costs around $250 (220€), while a two-bedroom apartment costs approximately $350 (320€). A three-bedroom house can cost $550 (500€) in the suburbs.


Groceries in Brest are reasonably priced, with the prices being marginally higher than in nearby border towns. A weekly grocery shop for a family of four can cost around $50-$60 (45-55€). Meat, vegetables, and dairy are available in abundance in the vegetable markets and supermarkets.


Taking the trams and trolleybuses in Brest is affordable, with the fare costing around $0.40 (0.36€) for a single trip. Daily, weekly, and monthly tickets are also available at reduced rates. Cycling and walking are also popular modes of transportation as Brest has well-maintained cycle paths.

Climate in Brest

Brest has a moderate continental climate with cold winters and relatively mild summers. The average temperature in January ranges between -4°C (25°F) to -8°C (17°F), and in July, it can be as high as 21°C (70°F). The city receives ample annual rainfall, with the driest months being January and February, and the rainiest months being June and July.

Job market in Brest

Brest's economy is largely driven by its manufacturing, agriculture, and service industries. The city has a diverse job market, with opportunities in various sectors such as aviation, engineering, pharmaceuticals, and IT. There are international companies such as Philips, Siemens, and Niva running their operations here. Moreover, there are numerous SMEs and startups contributing to the growth of the region.

Healthcare in Brest

The healthcare system in Brest is comprehensive and easily accessible. The city has several hospitals, clinics, and medical centers equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and specialists. Expats can also visit the polyclinics or family doctors' practices for routine checkups and treatments. Pharmacies are widely available across Brest, and the medicines' costs are generally affordable.

Transport in Brest

The public transportation system in Brest is reliable and convenient, with trams, trolley buses, minibusses, and taxis plying all over the city. Route 1 is the longest tram line in Belarus, starting from the central heart of Brest all the way up to the Brest Fortress. The minibusses, known as marshrutkas, are small private buses that operate on flexible routes and are often less expensive than the regular trams and trolley buses.

Safety in Brest

Brest is a relatively safe city, though it’s always essential to follow basic safety precautions. The residential areas in the northeast of the city are relatively safe, while the western districts are less secure due to their proximity to the border. Expats should avoid carrying large sums of cash, displaying their valuables, and traveling alone after dark.

Neighborhoods in Brest

  1. Oktiabrsky

    Oktiabrsky neighborhood is located in the southern part of Brest and is home to several government and military institutions. It is a quiet area with tree-lined streets and beautiful parklands. The Brest Fortress is also nearby, making it a popular choice for families.

  2. Tsentralny

    Tsentralny is situated in the heart of Brest and is the cultural and commercial hub of the city. It is a bustling area with numerous shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and cinemas. The historic city center, Minskaya Square, and the Belarusian State Museum of History and Culture are all located in Tsentralny.

  3. Globoye

    Globoye is a rapidly developing neighborhood in the northern part of Brest, surrounded by forests and lakes. It is a well-planned area with modern amenities, including a large shopping mall, a medical center, and several international companies such as Caterpillar and Nidec.

Attractions in Brest

  1. Brest Fortress

    Brest Fortress is an iconic landmark of Belarus, serving as a testament to the country's illustrious past. It was built in the late 19th century and played a vital role during World War I and II. It now features historical exhibits, memorials, and regular events, including military parades and festivals.

  2. Belarusian State Museum of History and Culture

    The Belarusian State Museum of History and Culture is located in the heart of Brest and features exhibits showcasing the history and culture of Belarus. The museum covers different periods, such as the ancient times, medieval era, and modern times.

International Schools in Brest

  1. Brest International School

    Brest, Mikhalova Street 50A

    Brest International School offers a curriculum based on international standards for students in the elementary and secondary levels. It encourages a bilingual approach in English and Russian, preparing students for global academic opportunities.

Useful expat resources in Brest

Expat destinations in Belarus