There is always the need to explore exotic locations around the world for travellers who approach Cozmo Travel for travel ideas and packages. What we have noticed is that there is a growing number of travelers travelling to Eastern Europe. It’s the area of Europe east of the Czech Republic and extends from southern Bulgaria to Russia’s border with Asia and the Arctic. Eastern Europe offers travellers an experience of cities rich in culture and medieval architecture with grandeur and pomp! Travelling to this exotic part of the world is steadily gaining popularity.  This region with its range of sensational countries and significantly cheaper cost of living, is also a glorious backpacking reality.

Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and an active modern city with a remarkable history. Earning the moniker of ‘little Paris’ in the early 1900’s, Bucharest really plays the part with hip cafes, impressive tree lined boulevards and dramatic modern and historic architecture. The city plays host to a host of attractions and the most remarkable landmark in this vibrant city is the monstrous Parliament Palace. Equally enormous and ostentatious, it is a colossal architectural feat trumped only in size by the Pentagon building in USA. A tour through the city reveal many other examples of Bucharest’s cultural and architectural splendor, the highlights include the Romanian Athenaeum, an elaborately domed circular building that is the city’s main concert hall, Bucharest University and the National History Museum.

Sibiu, RomaniaSibiu is a city in Transylvania, Romania, that has a cultural magic all its own. Sibiu is sure to cast a spell on you owing to its striking medieval charm, breathtaking views of surrounding landscapes and delectable food. It’s historical center was built into two pedestrian levels filled with most of Sibiu’s historical sites, colorful houses and cobblestone streets.

An artistic and traditional atmosphere exists in the city that contains an appealing list of cafes, festivals and exhibitions that happen here. A few great experiences in Sibiu are the Brukenthal Museum, and the Crama Sibiu Vechi restaurant, a great place to enjoy authentic Romanian cuisine along with viewing the historical town center from the top of the Council Tower.

Bratislava, SlovakiaThe truly charming city of Bratislava is the capital of Slovakia. This small and medieval town is filled with medieval grandeur, all overlooked by the city’s majestic hilltop castle. The narrow streets are lined with restaurants and bars beckoning travellers to eat, drink and appreciate the local culture. Travellers need to visit the Bratislava Castle and the Slavin Memorial for the best city views. It’s also recommended to visit Bratislava at Christmas time and visit the traditional market in the main square at the center of the city. The market at Christmas time offers genuine local holiday specialties including delicious warm beverages and some nice souvenirs that shouldn’t be missed.

Nida, LithuaniaExquisite Nida is the primary settlement on Lithuania’s side of the Curonian Spit. The Curonian Spit is a curved sand dune in between the Curonian Lagoon and the Baltic Sea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is shared by Russia and Lithuania. Nida is the tourist destination located on the Curonian Spit. The relics of yesteryear tell a story of a bygone fishing village. Colorful wooden cottages and brightly painted boats in the harbor add to the natural beauty of this destination. White sand beaches are a short hike away through the pine forest in Nida. Parnidis Dune, the massive and impressive sand dune lies south of the village. It has steps up to its lofty summit where you can enjoy sweeping views of pristine, rippling dunes. Travellers are recommended to eat at Nidos Seklycia and take a tour to explore the Curonian National Park. Both of these experiences will prove why NIda draws visitors to this location.

Skopje, MacedoniaSkopje is among Europe’s most diverse and fascinating capital cities. Skopje reveals an eclectic blend of Christian and Islamic cultures. This special blend has given way to a spirited and colorful society. A social atmosphere is dominant across the city. Travellers can witness locals play chess in the parks and the city comes alive at night as people flock to cafes and restaurants to enjoy music and conversation. It is recommended to visit the Carsija neighborhood to enjoy Skopje’s appealing historic structures and museums. Complete with a Triumphal Arch, the Plostad Makedonija Square is dedicated to national heroes and visitors cannot miss the massive statue of Alexander the Great.

Dubrovnik, CroatiaDubrovnik, nicknamed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, is the star of Croatia. With an awe inspiring old town and highlighted by the sparkle of the sea, Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful towns in all of Eastern Europe. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, it is loaded with remarkable architecture, and the town boasts of churches, museums and sculptures. A visit to Dubrovnik would be incomplete without a walk along the city wall. The view over the city and the Adriatic is breathtaking from this vantage point. For a more sweeping view of the city it is recommended take the cable car from town to the top of nearby Mt, Srd and witness a part of history while visiting Fort Imperial.

Split, CroatiaSplit is the second largest city in Croatia. It lies on the Eastern shores of the Adriatic centering on Diocletian’s Palace, an impressive Roman monument that is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Coastal mountains are the backdrop to the city and adds drama to the Split’s spectacular cityscape. The Diocletian palace is at the heart of the city and is a lively maze of streets filled with people, restaurants and shopping areas. A walking tour of the palace is the best way to see all of the highlights. Split has a flourishing beach scene in the summer. It is recommended for travellers to visit the Bacvice Beach to enjoy the sea and the beach games.

Mljet Island, CroatiaRenowned to be one of the most beautiful Croatian Islands, Mljet is the greenest among these islands. The island, covered mostly in dense Mediterranean forest is interspersed with vineyards, farms and small villages, is the embodiment of tranquility. The north half of the island  is Mljet National Park, with pristine salt-water lakes and a vast range of of wild vegetation, an example of an unspoiled oasis. Travellers can visit Polace to experience the impressive Roman Palace that still remains there and which dates between the first and the fifth century. Dine by the sea at Konoba Ankora, a highly recommended restaurant in Polace.

Orheiul Vechi, MoldovaMoldova’s extraordinary and scenic vista can be found at Orheiul Vechi Monastery. It is a cave monastery sculpted into an imposing limestone cliff making it arguably Moldova’s most haunted place according to local legend. Added attractions at this destination include an ethnographic museum in nearby Butuceni, newly opened caves just across the valley and amazing panoramic views from the monastery’s headquarters.

Belgrade, SerbiaBelgrade is the active and happening capital of Serbia. Its passionate resurgence toward a better future has resulted in a chaotic mix of nouveau masterpieces and old world relics. The Kalemegden Citadel is an excellent example of the old world charm in Belgrade. The formidable and impressive citadel has a history that is still recognizable today despite the cheerful cafes and funfairs that inhabit it. To experience more of Belgrade’s mysteries it is recommended for travellers to take an underground tour in the dungeons and explore more of the city’s turbulent past.

Ljubljana, SloveniaThe capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a culturally rich city loaded with some of the best museums, restaurants and hotels in Slovenia. The centerpiece of this beautiful city is Presernov Trg, a lovely square that is the city’s favorite place to meet. Car traffic is restricted in this area that completely removes vehicular traffic, making the banks of the Ljubljana River that flows through the center, free for a quiet stroll or a bike ride. Cafes set up terraces along the river creating an endless street party atmosphere. To witness the baroque beauty of the city, it is recommended to visit the Ljubljana Castle and the National and University Library, both of which are examples of stunning architecture.

Warsaw, PolandWarsaw is a city of complex character and gritty appeal. The capital was almost destroyed in the second world war and has fought tirelessly to rebuild and replace this loss ever since. Today the city hums with energy and optimism. A remarkable tenacity extends to the city’s edgy art openings and booming club and music industries. To experience some of the past in Warsaw it is recommended to take a tour of the Old Town, filled with the loveliest historical buildings in the city or visit the spectacular Warsaw Rising Museum. For a taste of the present travellers can walk into the Warszawa Powisle Station Bar, a station now converted into a bar. Described as a kiosk of culture this modern spot is a cultural institution featuring a wide variety of food, drink and great music among other experiences.

Krakow, PolandKrakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland. There is local legend here that states that it was founded on the conquest of a dragon. A former royal capital, Krakow is steeped in long and dramatic history. The Historic Center of Krakow is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Krakow boasts of Europe’s largest market square, the Old Town is comprises historic homes, palaces and beautiful churches. A walking tour of this area is a great way to see and learn about the area. The best of Krakow includes Wawel Royal Castle and the stone Adalbert Church. The new Schindler’s Museum unravels an emotional story about the Nazi occupation in Krakow. It is located in the former factory of Oscar Schindler and is an experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Riga, LatviaRiga is the capital of Latvia and the cosmopolitan cornerstone of the Baltic. It has the biggest and most magnificent showcase of Art Nouveau architecture in all of Europe. The Old Town is straight out of a fairy tale and is complete with gingerbread trim houses and well sculpted gargoyles. Travellers to Riga can visit the very old and equally huge Central Market, Europe’s largest market and bazaar, The Riga Art Nouveau Center for a thorough explanation of the creative genius that lies beyond the stunning Art Nouveau facades, and the imposing Riga Castle on the banks of the River Daugava.

Tallinn, EstoniaTallinn’s two-tiered historic center is one of Europe’s most appealing walled cities. Tallinn is right out of a fairy tale with cobbled streets and medieval architecture. The historic sites of Tallinn are astonishingly well preserved. It is recommended for travellers to visit the oldest Gothic town hall in North Eastern Europe, and Tallinn’s chief landmark, the Oleviste Church also known as St. Olaf’s Church. The best view of Old Town can be found from the observation deck of the St.Olaf’s Church. For a fairy tale allure visitors can also go to the Gloria Wine Cellar which is complete with flickering candles and subterranean nooks and crannies and is hidden in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town by the medieval city wall.

Vilnius, LithuaniaVilnius is the enticing Baroque beauty of Lithuania. The city presents a mix of Baroque and Gothic architecture and this makes Vilnius both unique and stunning at the same time. The Gate of Dawn, one the city’s resonating landmarks is a testament to the city forging a new identity. In Vilnius, the past and present combine to offer you continental cuisine, a lively nightlife and warmth so welcoming it will leave travellers wanting for more. It is recommended for travellers to take a walking tour of historic Vilnius to see all of the highlights. Vilnius has endured much tragedy in the past and visiting the Museum of Genocide,headquarters of the Gestapo during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania helps travellers appreciate the history and understand the marvel that is Vilnius today.

Kotor, MontenegroKotor Bay boasts the deepest bay depths (bordering on fjord proportions) in the Mediterranean Sea. The surrounding landscape includes staggeringly steep mountains and the slopes lead directly to the water’s edge. The scene is truly magnificent. Adventure and mystery dominate old Kotor. The old city is a maze built for protection, and this is so effective that even locals get lost navigating the narrow streets. Travellers are recommended to take a city tour to see all of the beauty of Kotor. Highlights of the Kotor tour include St.Tryphones Cathedral and dining at the Konoba Catovic Mlini restaurant.

Sarajevo, Bosnia and HerzegovinaLike a phoenix rising from the ashes, Sarajevo has transformed from ruins due to conflicts in the 1990s to become one of Eastern Europe’s sparkling jewels. Sarajevo is rich in cultural and religious diversity and both of these influences bolster Sarajevo’s appeal to travellers. To appreciate Sarajevo’s culture visit the Biban restaurant and enjoy epic city views and delicious local specialties. Not to be missed, The Tunnel Museum, a war experience attraction, offers a look back on the hope and horrors that the hand dug tunnel inspired during the Bosnian conflict.

Olomouc, Czech RepublicOlomouc is certainly the undiscovered gem of the Czech Republic. Legend has it the city was founded by Julius Caesar and the Roman influence is evident in its culture and historic architecture. Olomouc quietly combines rich historical beauty with youthful energy to create an exciting destination that rivals Prague, the Czech capital, for allure but undoubtedly wins top prize for the experience offered to travellers. Some of the best things for travellers to see and experience in Olomouc are Horni Namesti, Olomouc’s main square that contains two of the city’s six ornate Baroque fountains, Premysl Palace and the Olomouc Archdiocesan Museum.

Berat, AlbaniaBerat, ‘The city of a thousand windows’, is one of Albania’s most beautiful highlights. Ottoman houses stack like stairs up Mt. Tomorri to the Berat castle. The unique mountain town exudes a friendly and laid-back atmosphere for travellers. This is evident from the town’s sunset stroll. Every night, before sunset, hundreds of locals take to the main street to walk and talk or grab a hot beverage at the local cafe. It is recommended to visit the Kalasa neighborhood, beyond the walls of the Berat castle. The views from the castle are breathtaking. Travellers can learn more about the art and culture in this area by visiting the Onufri Museum after a guided tour of the city.

These are the jewels of Eastern Europe waiting for travellers. The region is surprisingly modern, packed with warm people, and is certainly budget-friendly. We recommend you to visit Cozmo Travel and let us create a special package to Eastern Europe, complete with air tickets, hotel bookings and local tours.  

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