Exploring Europe is a rite of passage for most students and under 35’s; however, all too often, many travellers end up hopping between major hubs such as London, Paris and Rome to name just a few.
For many, the thought of Eastern Europe conjures up images of war-torn and dangerous cities with inhospitable residents; instead, what you’ll find, are idyllic coastlines, picturesque mountains, captivating architecture, a buzzing nightlife and exceptionally warm and welcoming locals who are proud to show off their local cities and culture.
When you visit some of the Eastern Europe destinations below, you’ll discover fascinating cities with just as much grandeur as their Western European counterparts – and at a fraction of the cost!
1. Split, Croatia
Split is one of Croatia’s largest and most vibrant cities. The city centre is shaped by the beautiful Diocletian’s Palace. Unlike Roman ruins in other parts of Europe, this roman fortress isn’t so much a tourist attraction as it is an integral part of the town centre. You can visit Split on Sail Croatia’s Navigator Cruises.
2. Kravice, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Welcome to one of Bosnia’s secret paradise spots! Spectacular waterfalls cascade into a natural plunge pool, perfect for a refreshing dip. Kravice is a great introduction to the natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
3. Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar, with its famous arched stone bridge and Turkish Old Town, is a unique melting pot of cultures and traditions. Explore the local shops and hit the nightlife, including the Ali Baba’s cavern club!
4. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Photo credit: Mountain Leon
The capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the home of the 1984 Winter Olympics, Sarajevo has much to take in. Discover the city’s poignant history, from the start of World War One to the horrors of the Balkan War. Explore the market places of the Turkish Quarter, as well as the unique Sarajevo nightlife of this vibrant and friendly city.
5. Belgrade, Serbia
The largest city in Serbia, Belgrade boasts a blend of culture, history and great nightlife. Stroll through the shops of Knez Mihailova, explore the Kalemegdan Citadel and party on the amazing ‘floating clubs’ on the Danube river!
6. Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is the capital of Hungary and is famous for its nightlife, cuisine and hot springs. Party at the Széchenyi Baths, check out the hip ‘ruins bars’ and sample the goulash in this vibrant city.
7. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
Explore the city on our walking tour as we climb up Krumlov’s unusually large Castle to give you an overview of the town. The entrance to the castle even has bears below! Indulge in a cup of tea or two in one of the many tea houses famous here, then finish the night off with a beer or three and enjoy some Czech hospitality at the beer house.
8. Lake Bled, Slovenia
Lake Bled is a popular tourist destination in northwestern Slovenia. Take a boat ride to the church on the island and don’t miss Bled Castle, perched high above the lake.
9. Prague, Czech Republic
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The romantic city of Prague is a must visit. Stroll through the streets of the old town and explore some of the best culture and cuisine that Czech has to offer.
10. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia
Plitvice is the prize jewel in Croatia’s impressive array of National Parks and is rated one of the top natural attractions in Europe. With its turquoise lakes – all linked by a series of beautiful cascades and waterfalls – it’s easy to understand why.
11. Kotor, Montenegro
This historically rich town was first mentioned in 168BC and has been ruled under several different empires in its time. Climb up approximately 1350 stairs to Kotor’s Castle of San Giovanni (Castle of St John) and see the beautiful view of Kotor and it’s waterside surroundings.
12. Kalambaka, Greece
Tour one of the cliff-top monasteries and hike around to one of the hundreds of beautiful viewpoints. This area is truly spectacular as you feel as though you stepped back in time to prehistoric ages! Explore the quaint village of Kalambaka tucked just underneath the six monasteries of Meteora.
13. Salzburg, Austria
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Salzburg – home of the once great Mozart and the filming location of ‘The Sound of Music’, the hills will truly come alive as you explore this beautiful Austrian city. Go to the Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the biggest castles in Europe sitting ontop of a hill overlooking the old town.
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