Route: Berlin Krakow Prague Vienna Bratislava Budapest Belgrade Zagreb Split
Duration: 21 nights
Transport: This route is a 22 day trip and you’ll spend 20 nights in your accommodation and one on a night train. The rest of the time you’ll travel by train or bus during the day.
Sustainability: This trip only creates 202.4 kg of carbon emissions! To fly the same route would cost 810.7 ♻️
Reviews: All independent reviews
Timing not quite right? Check out these versions of the route.
Alternative Durations: Timing not quite right? Check out these versions of the route.
The Eastern Trooper is a great value option if you want to see some of Eastern Europe’s top cities on a budget in just 3 weeks. Want an even bigger adventure? We also offer a 4 week and 5 week version of this route.
All of these cities have a great combination of nightlife, culture and foodie treats to discover, plus you’ll end up by the beach at the end of your trip for some well-deserved chill-out time!
Not sure about travelling independently? Check out our 3 week Eastern Europe Group Tour for a very similar route as a guided trip with like-minded travellers and a fun and friendly tour leader!
Experience the lesser-visited side of Europe
On this route, you’ll get to take in the best of Eastern Europe essentials. Exploring amazing countries that were off-limits until quite recently in Europe’s history, this fast-paced 3-week Eastern Europe interrailing trip covers a real mix of destinations from grand old cities to stunning Adriatic coastal towns. If you have some more free time, why not go for the 4 week or 5 week options for a slower-paced trip?
Hit the ground running in bohemian Berlin, one of Europe’s most historically rich cities. With more incredible museums than you can shake a stick at, you’ll have plenty of the city’s history to explore! Wander around its streets and pass what was the border between Eastern and Western Europe before the Berlin Wall fell. Counterbalance the culture and history lessons with bar-hopping and partying at the city’s many clubs – from the edgy to the downright bizarre. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get into Berghain…
Then you’ll head to Krakow, Poland. Packed with imposing and impressive architecture, homely eateries and luscious green parks – there’s plenty to fill your days with. With the city’s natural beauty, it’s hard to believe that it’s also bursting at the seams with amazing and vibrant nightlife. Whilst there, be sure take an unforgettable day trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau. We guarantee that it’ll be one of the most moving experiences you’ll ever have on your travels.
Next, head to magnificent Prague where you can soak up the fairy-tale atmosphere alongside plenty of cheap and locally made beers. Then you’ll head to Vienna, the musical capital of Austria where coffee and cake reign supreme. A short hop across the border takes you to Bratislava to see its brilliant buildings and Disney-esque castles for yourself, before following the blue Danube as you make your way to the Hungarian capital of Budapest. Take a dip and relax in a thermal bath before sinking a glass of the local wine, Tokaji. You’ll appreciate some relaxation before carrying the party on at one of Budapest’s many Ruin Bars. The final port of call along the Danube is Belgrade, the capital of Serbia and one of Eastern Europe’s most interesting and underrated destinations.
Next up, you’ll head to Croatia, calling first at the vibrant capital of Zagreb, before heading South to the stunning city of Split perched on the shores of the Adriatic. Visit Krka National park, take a ferry across to Hvar or Brac islands for a relaxing day trip..
Head to the beach, chill with a cocktail and watch the sun set on the trip of a lifetime!
Berlin is the alternative, cool kid of Europe and a pro at being edgy. It’s how people dress, their liberal attitudes, the graffiti, the skaters and BMXers, the art, the clubs, and the food. Berlin is also crammed full of fascinating WWII history around every corner so there really is something for everyone!
See a section of the old Berlin Wall
Climb the dome of the renovated Reichstag
Discover the nightlife of Schoneberg and Kreuzberg
Trains to Krakow – 10 hours
Krakow escaped being reduced to rubble in WWII, preserving the postcard-perfect Old Town and the cellars housing its famous bars and clubs. That’s not to say it doesn’t share a chapter of history in the nearby Auschwitz Concentration Camp which demands a humbling visit.
See Europe’s largest medieval market square
Take photos of Poland’s best-preserved city
Find one of many Gothic cellar bars open until late
Night Train to Prague – 9 hours
Prague is stunning, there’s no better word to describe it. On any side street or square you’ll find unique buildings full of colourful detail. The Czech Republic is also the home of Pilsner beer, with no lack of establishments to sample it.
Cross the enchanting Charles Bridge
Marvel at the curvy design of the Dancing Building
Try all the Czech Pilsner beers in the Old Town pub
Train to Vienna – 4 hours
Vienna is crisp, clean, and chic with its biggest draw factor being the multitude of classical palaces and grand imperial buildings. Whether you’re into your royal history or not, the sheer scale of it here will be encapsulating for all, whilst not forgetting the great bars and eateries.
Visit the Spanish Riding School of Vienna
Eat real apple strudel and wiener schnitzel
Go to a classical concert in a city renowned for music
Train to Bratislava – 1 hour
Bratislavans are incredibly friendly and, as the city has not yet been discovered by the mainstream tourist (stag-dos aside), food, beer, and wine are still cheap here. It’s just as beautiful as its neighbouring Eastern European capitals, but smaller, quieter, and with an idyllic medieval feel.
Climb up to the 19th century castle
Take a night tour to admire Bratislava’s beauty
Do some folk-art shopping at Úľuv
Train to Budapest – 3 hours
Proudly guarding the Danube, the once twin cities of Buda and Pest show off every architectural style from Baroque to Art Nouveau. With its rickety trams and turn-of-the-century feel you’ll be charmed by its past while you cure your hangover in any of the multitude of hot baths.
Relax in the 15th century thermal spas
Take panoramic photos from the scenic Buda castle
Go to Sziget rock and indie festival in August
Bus to Belgrade – 9 hours
The capital of Serbia won’t disappoint you. Visitors from surrounding countries come here for the all-night party scene and friendly atmosphere. Tourists also come to see the world’s largest Orthodox church or just wander around the bohemian town centre, with its arty cafes and hipster foodie hangouts.
Visit the 18th century Belgrade Fortress
Climb the cobbled streets of Skadarlija
Float down the Danube on the splavovi party boats
Bus to Zagreb – 6 hours
A city of flowers and fountains with a curious Mediterranean feel, Zagreb is a year-round destination with a museum-café-theatre culture by day and a lakeside party by night. In winter, a tram ride out of the city provides scenic hiking and skiing opportunities.
Catch a 360-view from the Lotrščak Tower
Have a coffee in Kino Europa, Zagreb’s oldest cinema
Stroll through the beautiful Mirogoj Cemetery
Bus to Split – 5 hours
Even though Split is a port for many Croatian islands, sitting elegantly between the Adriatic and the mountains, the country’s second city has two Unesco World Heritage sites within its walls, a marble waterfront walkway, and a buzzing atmosphere around its bars and pubs.
See the amazing ruin of Diocletian’s Palace
Admire the city as you approach it from the sea
Stroll along the glittering waterfront
The quickest way to get to and from the UK will be to book a flight. Travelling by train from the UK to Berlin could also work, but travelling back by train/bus from Split will take you a long time so bear that in mind!
Need extra time in Split at the end as well? Let us know and we’ll customise this for you!