Eastern Europe is the West’s less frequently explored sibling. Although cities like Budapest, Prague and Krakow have long been on the well travelled tourist path, once you venture further South and out of the major cities most people’s knowledge starts to dwindle. At Euroventure we love the East – it’s cheap, fascinating and stunningly beautiful, and with more destinations than ever it couldn’t be easier to explore it with us. If you don’t believe us, check out this list of 5 of the most incredible Eastern gems. We bet you won’t know much about them, but these unbelievable places should definitely make it onto your travel bucket list.
You’d be forgiven for believing this beach was in the Caribbean rather than the Adriatic. White shores, lush green forests and crystal clear sea are just a few of the reasons why this Zlatni Rat is one of Brac’s biggest attractions – it’s nicknamed “The Golden Horn” after its huge triangular beach which juts out into the ocean, sea on either side. Easily accessible by bus or taxi from Supetar (about 50 minutes by ferry from Split, Croatia), it’s well worth the trip over to Brac to sip a cocktail and gaze over the sparkling sea.
When you think of Slovakia you probably don’t think of incredible scenery (not many people know much at all about it to be honest!) but actually this Eastern country has some of the most stunning mountain scenery in the region. In winter the Tatry National Park is home to hosts of skiers and mountain explorers, while in Spring and Summer you can explore the lush green forests, wild flowers and beautiful hiking opportunities. The tops of the mountains are spectacularly snow-capped all year round – unsurprising since Gerlachovský štít’s peak reaches the lofty heights of 2,655m. It’s the highest mountain in the Carpathian range, as well as in the whole of Eastern and Northern Europe.
Transylvania is the land of Mythical vampires and mysterious mountain scenery. Brasov is a great base to explore the region, but make sure you don’t miss Castelul Bran, just outside of the city. A bit like Neuschwanstein (The “Disney castle”) in Germany, this is an iconic landmark in the Transylvania area and a designated national monument in Romania. It’s commonly known as Dracula’s Castle as it’s thought to have been the inspiration for the setting of Bram Stoker’s world famous novel.
Kotor, a beautiful medieval city situated on one of the largest and most spectacular bays in the Adriatic, has been a certified World Heritage Sight since 1979. Not surprising when you consider its stunning views, historic monasteries and churches and beautiful lagoons and islands. For its size, this region at the Southwestern corner of Montenegro packs a punch for travellers. Its cheap accommodation and living costs, combined with the comparative lack of tourists make it the perfect alternative to more well known lakeside destinations such as Garda and Bled.
Less of a natural wonder and more of a man made feat, the People’s Palace, or Palace of the Parliament has to be seen to be believed. Construction started on the project at the height of Soviet Power in Eastern Europe, when the powerful state had attempted to oppress both religion and the monarchy. The aim was to create an enormous monument to the communist state, however when the Berlin wall came down in 1989 the progress of the People’s Palace was halted. The structure remains unfinished on the inside, but that doesn’t take away from its monumental exterior. Taking up a whopping 2,550,000 m3, the Palatul Parlamentului is the 2nd largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon, and the heaviest building in the world!
Feel inspired to visit the East today? All of these unbelievable places in Eastern Europe can be reached easily by train from large European transport hubs. If you fancy including them on an interrailing trip, why not create your own custom quote with Euroventure this summer. We put together bespoke routes combining accommodation and trains, so you can see the best of East and West!