Eurail Planner / October 02, 2018
The top 5 cities in Eastern Europe to stop off on a Eurotrip
Europe has thousands of cities worth visiting on a Eurotrip. Some offer the wonders of old-world Europe while others provide travellers with exciting new sights and sounds. Eastern Europe, in many ways, is still an unspoiled travel destination. The Berlin Wall fell just over 28 years ago, and the Eastern half of the continent is still unknown to many tourists. In fact, some parts of Eastern Europe are still coming to grips with post-Communism life almost three decades on. Due to history, culture, and being cut off from the western world for so long, there are a number of Eastern European cities travellers should explore on a Eurotrip.
Riga has been called ‘criminally underrated’ as a travel destination. It may be due to the city’s former Soviet rule or the fact that it is well-off the beaten track for most travellers. Riga has an astounding old town that showcases beautiful architecture. Many of the buildings have received UNESCO World Heritage honours due to their glorious look.
With low prices for food and accommodation, it is a great Eurotrip destination. Many travellers haven’t found out about the Latvian city just yet. The vast majority are still venturing to Prague and other ‘big’ cities in Eastern Europe; which is their loss.
While you can’t travel to Riga using your Eurail pass, you’ll be able to get as far as Poland then book a dirt cheap train ticket the rest of the way!
Ljubljana is a jewel of Eastern Europe and a Eurotrip must. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana has been called the ‘Green Capital of Europe’. This is due to the city centre being completely car-free, allowing pedestrians to walk the paths and enjoy their day out. The city also has many green spaces that keep people from being overwhelmed by a concrete jungle.
Ljubljana Castle, the Triple Bridge, and Dragon Bridge are just three of the must-see sites. While at the castle, visitors can take a funicular railway up the hill to its grounds. Ljubljana is a great way to start a Eurotrip or to finish it off before heading home.
Tallinn is an up and coming Eastern Europe destination. It makes since as the city successfully combines the beauty of Estonia’s medieval period with modern architecture. According to architecture experts, Tallinn has one of the most well-preserved old towns in Europe. Tallinn is situated on the Baltic Sea, which gives travellers the chance to visit the beach during the country’s warmer months while having a city break.
Tallinn has been influenced by both Scandinavia and Russia. The latter ruled over Estonia for around 50 years as the country was a part of the Soviet Union. Tallinn has put its past behind it, and embraced the west, however.
Estonia is a small country of around 1.316 million people. The capital contains fewer than half the country’s total population. Therefore, Tallinn isn’t a big city to explore. Travellers on a Eurotrip can get to know the city well in a short amount of time.
Again, because your Eurail pass doesn’t work in the Baltic states you will need to purchase a train ticket or bus ticket separately.
Budapest is an old city that successful shows off its history. Some of it is warm and beautiful, while other parts of Budapest exude the pain and scars of the Cold War. Split into two parts – Buda and Pest – travellers will find one of the most beautiful castle complexes in Europe. Buda Castle, located in the old town of the city, provides visitors with an amazing day out. Travellers can take the funicular railway up the hill to the castle. There, tourists can explore the grounds or take a tour. There is also the Matthias Church to view inside and out.
In Pest, visitors can find an amazing assortment of cafes, bars, and street food stalls. The city’s museums are an educational experience like no other. The House of Terror, in particular, is a great museum that showcases the atrocities carried out by the Soviet secret police during the Cold War. It is definitely a must-see on any Eurail trip.
Dubrovnik has fast become one of the top travel destinations for Europeans. Tourists have made the Croatian city the ‘new Prague’. The prices are increasing, so travellers should get to Dubrovnik on their next Eurotrip while it is still a niche travel destination.
The city is located on the southern point of Croatia and travellers will get to experience beautiful Mediterranean weather throughout the year. Dubrovnik’s restaurants are known for their seafood, so foodies will find plenty of reason to dine out each night. The nightlife is great in the city, and the wine produced in Croatia can be explored at its many wine bars.