With as many different languages as there are types of beers (probably), this side of Europe is where the party’s at. Soak up the architecture and historic landmarks, explore pretty cobbled streets and squares, and dance until dawn on stunning beaches. What’s not to love?
This buzzing cluster of countries is all too often overlooked when travellers compile their European wishlists. But the region has plenty to offer, and is way more affordable than its neighbours to the west. Check out our tips for a top adventure…
Absorb the beauty of Lake Bohinj, Slovenia.
Here’s Our Top 5 Things to Do Throughout Eastern Europe
Take the train in Slovenia
We love a train ride, and the scenery in Slovenia is absolutely stunning. With turquoise rivers, lush forests and chocolate box villages, this tiny hidden gem has plenty to shout about. This corner of the world gets plenty of sunshine, which really makes all the natural colours pop.
Interrailing is a great way to get around because you can stop and take a look around the places that take your fancy. Check out the famously gorgeous lakes Bled and Bohinj and meet plenty of friendly folk along the way.
Explore the winding streets of Dubrovnik onld town, Croatia.
Go Croatian island hopping
The cobalt blue Adriatic Sea is beckoning – hire a boat and explore the thousands of islands that are dotted along the coastline of Croatia. Try the party islands of Pag and Korcula then crash out in for a few days on the sunny island of Rab, famous for its cheeky nudist beaches. We love the practically deserted isle of Mjlet and Hvar’s fishing village is really pretty too.
From the mainland, strike out from ancient Split, or the walled city of Dubrovnik. With cool beach bars and hangouts tucked into the bullet-scarred walls, this laid-back place is putting its war torn past behind it.
Hunt for vampires in Transylvania
Yes, Transylvania is a real place. Base yourself in the quirky town of Brasov before exploring fairytale castles and wild forests. Tiny villages perch on mountains and locals pride themselves on their traditions. Get the gossip over a beer in a tavern and watch horse-pulled carts and donkeys plod along the rocky roads.
Superstition abounds in these isolated areas and it’s easy to see what inspired Bram Stoker to write his spooky tale of a blood-hungry vampire.
Swap shots, for shops and cobbled streets in Prague.
Party in Prague
It’s not all about jelly shots and Slippery Nipples. Prague gets a bad rep thanks to the Great Stag and Hen Do Invasion of the Naughties – yet subcultures survive and there’s something for everyone in this hedonistic hotspot.
Every genre and preference is represented on this well-trodden nightlife circuit. Check out a jazz bar, catch some live bands or rave until the sun comes up. And at about £1.50 a pint, there’ll be enough money for chips at the end of it all. If you do manage to see daylight, make the most of this world heritage site and take in churches, castles, cathedrals and palaces.
Relax in the spas of Budapest, Hungary.
Wash your cares away in Budapest
Budapest is the city of spas, and Szechenyi Bath and Spa on the Pest side of the city is perfect for the weary traveller. Get swept away with a gaggle of Hungarians as they splash their way through a sunny afternoon. This massive complex has something for everyone, and entire families come along to enjoy the healing water from thermal springs.
Get comfy in the steam room, slosh around lazy rivers, breathe deeply in the effervescent bath, then prepare yourself for a shock. Nothing blows away the cobwebs quite like plunging into a freezing cold pool with eight hairy blokes in budgie smugglers. Fresh!