Though it doesn't feel old by most European standards, traditional architecture and a prewar atmosphere are the main draws of Grodno (pop. 263,000). Start by seeing a pair of castles—the hilltop Old Castle (destroyed and rebuilt several times) and the next-door New Castle (built in the 18th century), which once served as a royal residence. Take some time to stroll through the old-town center and investigate the many churches and monasteries. Make a day trip to the must-see Mirsky Zamok (Castle), a masterpiece of medieval Belarusian architecture. Keep an eye out for the music and art festivals that often take place there. 115 mi/185 km north of Brest and 150 mi/240 km west of Minsk.

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