Imposing and charming architecture, World Heritage-listed historic centers and an extremely complex and fascinating history. Add it all to beautiful natural settings, such as emblematic seas and rivers, beautiful mountains and an extensive collection of fully preserved medieval buildings. These are just some of the beauties that travelers to Eastern European countries can find.
Eastern Europe corresponds to the region that lies between Europe and Asia and has about 22 countries, including those in the so-called transcontinental area. Due to their proximity, some Central European and Middle Eastern countries are often included in the Eastern European category. All of these nations were part of the Soviet bloc — or were directly influenced by the old configuration.
The countries assigned to Eastern Europe are: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Czech Republic , Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine. Due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the two countries are currently not considered safe for tourist travel.
With a temperate climate, there are several regions that get snow in the extreme winter, offering the chance to practice ice sports or observe very white mountain peaks. However, the region is also considered a tourist hub for those who enjoy very high temperatures in summer: between June and September it is common for the thermometer to reach 35 ° C, making it possible to visit beaches and pleasant walks in the air for free.
As they are less prominent countries among Brazilian tourists, another advantage of traveling to Eastern Europe is the low cost. In addition to finding cheaper airline tickets, accommodation and tours, it is possible to save on food, for example. This is because the cost of living in this region is considered lower compared to other European countries. However, it is important to keep in mind that, due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, prices may be slightly higher at the moment.
Traveling through Eastern Europe during the war between Russia and Ukraine
The countries in the region were recovering from the drop in tourist numbers following two years of restrictive measures due to the novel coronavirus pandemic; however, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine further baffled the possibility of a revival in the sector. With the proximity of the borders with Ukraine, travelers began to fear that the stay would become unsafe or even unethical – due to the fact that a nearby country was at war.
Slovenia – Slovenia is one of the six nations that made up the territory of Yugoslavia and became an independent nation in 1991. The country offers the nature highlights of the Eastern European region. There, very green fields, caves and mountains of the Alps are among the scenarios to explore.
One of the highlights of the destination, the city of Ljubljana is remarkable for its landscapes full of medieval buildings, narrow streets and mythological symbols. The strongest examples are Ljubljana Castle, where you can climb to the top to see the city from above; the Triple Bridge, which represents the capital and crosses the Ljubljanica River; and Kongresni Trg Square, which is full of dragon sculptures.
Those who want to discover the Julian Alps and get in touch with Slovenian nature can include the city of Bled, which is 50 km from Ljubljana, in the itinerary. There you can visit more than 300 lakes, including the famous Lake Bled, the main local attraction. The lake was once considered the most beautiful in the world because of the transparent water that reflects the surrounding nature.
There is also the castle of Bled, which seems to come straight out of a fairy tale: built in the 11th century, on an island in the middle of Lake Bled, surrounded by greenery.
Czech Republic – Anyone who wants to enjoy good beers, artistic destinations and some of the most important monuments of sacred architectural styles, from Gothic churches to Renaissance facades, will enjoy the destination. Boasting some of the most enchanting landscapes in Europe, the Czech Republic is a formidable cultural, artistic and gastronomic center.
Prague, the Czech capital, is the country’s premier destination and has become one of the prime locations for those wishing to discover cities full of personality, glamour, charm and history. Castles, Baroque and Gothic buildings, important churches and a first-class gastronomic experience are among the main attractions. Prague is also known as the City of a Hundred Spires, as it has several architectural structures with peaks that can be seen from different parts of the city.
In the capital, you must visit the Old Town Square, which has many important cathedrals and historic buildings; Prague Castle, founded in the 9th century and inhabited by Roman emperors and Czechoslovak presidents; and Charles Bridge, one of the city’s postcards, which sits above the Vltava River and offers one of the best views of Prague.
Some regions have beautiful natural areas, such as the Bohemian Switzerland National Park, which stretches between the Czech and German territories. There it is possible to walk through scenarios fully integrated with surreal rock formations and precipices. In addition to discovering beautiful holographic lakes, picturesque mountains and rivers, it is possible to camp in small chalets or even in tents.
It is also worth including Český Krumlov in the itinerary. The town preserves castles from the 13th century and consists of a village of small houses with orange roofs, built on the banks of the river, in the middle of greenery. The medieval city represents a freshness on the walkway and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Croatia – With a coastline spanning the Adriatic, an area of over a thousand islands and the company of the Dinaric Alps, the country is home to a host of museums, medieval buildings and beautiful beaches – including one called Copacabana, located in Dubrovnik.
The city puts the visitor in direct contact with the Adriatic Sea, where it is possible to dive between rock formations and areas where the water is a mixture of greenish and turquoise. There it is also worth seeing the 16th century buildings and Baroque icons such as St. Blaise and Sponza Palace. The walk along the Stradun is very popular as it is a limestone street in the old town: the 300 meters long are surrounded by walls and have towers that stand out.
The city of Split also has beautiful beaches and is located on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. The tourist can find a beautiful view of buildings on the mountain and boats that amble along the coast. The city was important during the period of the Roman Empire and inherited the beautiful Diocletian’s Palace, which was a central fortress opened in the 4th century.
While coastal cities stand out more in the country, it is also worth investing in guided tours of the country’s capital, Zagreb. There are notable monuments of the Austro-Hungarian architecture movement, beautiful Gothic cathedrals, and the trendy Tkalčićeva Street, pedestrian-only and home to many cafes.
Poland – Traveling to the country will find many medieval castles, charming historic centers and a vast Jewish culture, as the city was heavily influenced by Nazi Germany during World War II – for example, the country was home to the Auschwitz concentration camp. , one of the most important from that period, which today houses a memorial that can be visited. In fact, this is one of the major tourist attractions that should be included in travelers’ itinerary.
The city of Krakow is one of the most popular. Located near the border of the Czech Republic, the town is a real collection of medieval buildings, especially in the Market Square area, which has several colorful buildings and is one of the oldest medieval squares in Europe.
There it is worth visiting the Wawel Castle, where you can still see the Dragon Cave and the cathedral housed there; the Basilica of Santa Maria, built in the 13th century; and the Oskar Schindler factory, which employed Jews rescued by Oskar during the Holocaust (the story is told in Steven Spielberg’s movie “Schindler’s List”).
The capital Warsaw is also extremely charming. It is a metropolis full of modern skyscrapers, many palaces and blocks whose aesthetics have been preserved since the Soviet Union era. The Old Town, the Market Square, the Museum of Polish Jews and the Mermaid Monument in Warsaw are some of the top places to visit.