What to do the First Time You Visit Eastern Europe

Pick up any list of must-see destinations, and you’ll find more than one country from Eastern Europe has made its way onto those coveted round-ups. This may be why everyone wants to visit Eastern Europe all of a sudden.

With fascinating countries such as Poland, Hungary, and Romania, the Eastern Europe region has often been overlooked by most travellers in favour of more traditional places like Italy, Paris, and Spain. The shift in traveller trends towards moving away from destinations that are overtouristed is making for an exciting change and paving the way for exploring alternate destinations in Europe.

We’ve partnered with Trafalgar to show you how to make the most of your first trip to Eastern Europe. If you haven’t visited these countries before and are hoping to plan an Eastern European vacation in 2020, then read on for the 101!

These are the best countries to see when you visit Eastern Europe

As defined by the United Nations, the following countries are considered to be part of Eastern Europe: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, and Slovakia, as well as the republics of Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine. Some sources consider the Baltics and the southeastern Balkan region to also be part of Eastern Europe.

There are many destinations contending for the best countries to visit in Eastern Europe, each one packed with its own charms. While you might not be able to see all of them in one go, thanks to how close they are to each other – if you’re visiting for a week to ten days – you could easily plan a trip around two to three different countries. This table gives you a very quick overview of what not-to-miss!

These are the cities to see when you visit Eastern Europe

Character, immaculately-preserved architecture, and modern-day culture mixed with heritage – you’ll find incredible experiences in each one of these cities, and you can visit many of them with Trafalgar. Should you choose one of their carefully curated itineraries, you’ll enjoy unique activities that rival any old bucket list. Trafalgar’s Be My Guest experiences will give you the chance to dine with locals, learn about traditions first-hand and immerse yourself entirely in Eastern Europe

Budapest, Hungary

Eastern Europe’s darling, Budapest has plenty of romance. Packed with all the attributes of an enchanting European city: views along the river, medieval buildings, art and delicious food – don’t leave Budapest off your itinerary.

St. Petersburg, Russia

As far as European fairy tales go, exploring the streets of this majestic city is like walking through the pages of a storybook. St. Petersburg is alive with imperial beauty, art, and culture.

Moscow, Russia

Few European capitals can capture you in the way that Moscow can. You’ll find a vibrant kaleidoscope of experiences here – and it’s not just because of colourful buildings that pop. Performing arts such as ballet, ancient landmarks that have stood the test of time, and intricate history make Moscow a fascinating place to visit.

Kraków, Poland

This city has plenty of charm, but another reason to visit Kraków is to soberly witness first-hand its resilience and the vestiges of its tangled past. No trip to this city is complete without a flourish of vodka and kielbasa.

Warsaw, Poland

Easily one of Eastern Europe’s most picturesque capitals, Warsaw will grab your attention in a trice. This is a city where you go from exploring old-world neighbourhoods one minute and toast to good fortune in hipster bars the next.

Brasov, Romania

This city will make you want to run free through cobbled streets – and there’s no better place to do it than in Brasov. Caught somewhere between fantasy and reality, the truth of this colourful medieval-throwback-of-a-city is that for the most part, it is a living legend.

Bratislava, Slovakia

Located in between several wine-producing regions, Bratislava’s nearby vineyards are a playground for people that love to drink and be merry. With nature on its doorstep and penchant for bars and cafe culture, there’s more to this city than meets the eye.

Prague, Czech Republic

Unusual, quirky and packed with interesting things to do – you’ll find everything from bizarre attractions to the downright macabre, and that’s what makes Prague both weird and wonderful. Let your inner child run loose at museums that deal in magic and astronomy.

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