East Europe is the region that embraces different histories, cultures, ethnicities, and languages. The countries that are part of Eastern Europe have few things common to all; $1 beers, centuries-old Cathedral and old castles, rolling countrysides, and thrifting gems.
Once you take out some time to understand the geography of Eastern Europe, you will realize there are a lot of places to visit in East Europe where you can plan your holidays. Since most of these East European countries fall in the Schengen and European Union zone, you need to check the visa requirements before moving out.
East Europe serves with you various attractions like mind-blowing natural spots, classical museums, ancient architectural gems, and much more that are sure to capture your heart at a single glance.
Exploring entire East Europe would nearly take you 5 to 6 weeks, depending on what places you would like to stay a little long and a little less. Entire Eastern Europe is well connected through buses, trains, and flights that will go cheap on your pocket.
East Europe boasts a stock of amazing attractive places and somewhat remarkably low cost of traveling and living, making it a must-visit destination for the budget traveler, and we bring you some of the places to visit in East Europe that will help you create an itinerary for the wholesome East Europe travel experience.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 20 Places to Visit in East Europe
- 1.1 Skopje, Macedonia
- 1.2 Dubrovnik, Croatia
- 1.3 Orheiul Vechi, Moldova
- 1.4 Prague, Czech Republic
- 1.5 Budapest, Hungary
- 1.6 Moscow, Russia
- 1.7 Krakow, Poland
- 1.8 Bratislava, Slovakia
- 1.9 Vilnius, Lithuania
- 1.10 Kyiv, Ukraine
- 1.11 Sibiu, Romania
- 1.12 Plovdiv, Bulgaria
- 1.13 Nida, Lithuania
- 1.14 Belgrade, Serbia
- 1.15 Ljubljana, Slovenia
- 1.16 Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
- 1.17 Sighișoara, România
- 1.18 Podgorica, Montenegro
- 1.19 Ohrid, North Macedonia
- 1.20 Riga, Latvia
Top 20 Places to Visit in East Europe
Skopje is the capital city of Macedonia that also serves as the country’s economic, cultural, and political hub. The bustling city has plenty of religious buildings, Ottoman-era blocks, and, of course, the national monuments.
The city is a diverse mix of Christian and Islamic societies. This mix has brought forth a lively and brilliant society with a social vibe swarming the town where you see locals playing chess in the parks. The city wakes up around evening when the young crowd rushes to bistros and bars, adding more warmth.
Some of the popular places to visit here include historic structures, museums, the Plostad Makedonija Square, the Triumph Arch, and see Saint Panteleimon Monastery and Matka Canyon, which are of a very short drive from the main city.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Skopje, Macedonia
→ Best Tours for this destination: Visit all the main attractions in Skopje on this 4-hour walking tour around the city
Dubrovnik is a south most town of Croatia, which is instead more popular than the country itself. The city is beautiful although sometimes it can get very touristy and expensive.
However, the city is one of its kind, and that’s why it has been nicknamed as the “Pearl of the Adriatic.” With its spectacular old town featuring the radiance of the ocean, Dubrovnik is ostensibly one of the most beautiful cities in all of Eastern Europe.
Regarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979, it is stacked with fantastic design, flaunting splendid Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic palaces, monasteries, and churches. No visit to Dubrovnik would be finished without a stroll along the city divider.
The beautiful view over the city and the Adriatic is amazing from this vantage point. For a change, all the more clearing perspective take a linked vehicle from town to the highest point of close by Mt. Srd.
So, while you are in one of the best places to visit in East Europe, don’t miss out on Kayaking, wine tasting, Lovrijenac Fortress, Island of Lokrum, and trying out on the exciting menu of restaurants that will never leave you bored.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Dubrovnik, Croatia
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Take a walk along Dubrovnik’s cobblestone streets with a professional guide
Orheiul Vechi, Moldova
Orheiul Vechi is a historical and archaeological outdoor complex, situated in the farmland of Moldova. The ancient civilizations that flourished here go back to Eneolithic, Iron, and Paleolithic Age. The monasteries in this area date back to14th century along with 6th-century ancient fortresses.
In short, you can say, Orheiul Vechi is all about history, which also makes it one of the top places to visit in East Europe for all history buffs and Orthodox pilgrims. The place is situated up on the hill and carved out of huge limestone cliffs right above the Raut River.
Some places not to miss while visiting here include the Orthodox Church, Ethnographic Museum, the rocky ridge on the Raut River, Tatar and Mongol invasions, Church Monastery, and the beautiful far-flung fields.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is one such place in entire Europe that never goes out of vogue. It’s been a must-visit place for tourists for over a decade, and there is no sign of abating the trend. Prague, besides being the capital city of the Czech Republic, is a well preserved gorgeous medieval city that is rich in expansive parks and history.
The nightlife of Prague is easily comparable with Vegas with a little tinge of romance. The city is a huge maze of cobblestone roads, noteworthy design, and mystery yards that lights the hunger for new experiences in everybody who visits this mystical city. The city’s horizon is staggering, flaunting the scenic arches and towers.
With eminent stops and gardens, a cosmopolitan bistro culture, and phenomenal theaters and exhibition halls, you have every reason to add Prague as your next excursion goal. The absolute best places to visit in Prague are The Prague Castle, Veletrzni Palac Museum, and the Letna Beer Garden.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Prague, Czech Republic
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Spend an evening in the heart of Prague enjoying a 3 or 5-course medieval dinner with unlimited drinks
Budapest is popularly known as “Paris of East Europe” and has lived up to all the expectations and hype. The elegant boulevards, larger than life architecture, and the dynamic lifestyle of the city makes it one of the best places to travel in East Europe.
What makes it dynamic is the fact that it is a mix of Eastern and Western Europe. The city is transitioning and getting younger every year with budget travelers flocking in from all across the world. Separated by the long, wandering Danube River, it is a charming story of two unmistakably urban communities.
The rundown of things to find and to do in Budapest is long. Some famous sightseeing places are The Great Synagogue, Memento Park, and The Royal Palace. Take a night waterway journey to catch the beautiful glimpse of lit up Parliament Building and the Szechenyi Chain Bridge.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Budapest, Hungary
→ Best Tours for this destination: Explore the food culture of Budapest on a walking tour!
Moscow is home to over 12 million people, making it a city that means many things to every one part of it. Moscow is Europe’s best cultural destination and also the most popular, largest, and one of the top places to see in East Europe.
There are so many reasons to travel to Moscow from dipping yourself in the world of art and history to visiting certified historian and art connoisseur. Among the lots are famous The State Tretyakov Gallery, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts showcases higher craftsmanship paintings of Botticelli, Rembrandt, Picasso, and Van Gogh.
On another hand, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art displays artworks from the 20th to 21st centuries. The city of Moscow, the focal point of Soviet persona, is a shocking portrayal of Russia of yesterday and today. To welcome the best of Moscow, you must pay a visit to the Kremlin, Red Square, and St. Basil’s Cathedral, a genuine symbol of Russia.
The Tretyakov Museum holds the world’s most significant assortment of Russian workmanship. The widely acclaimed Gorky Park and Bolshoi Theater are two additional motivations to visit the loftiest city in Eastern Europe.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Moscow, Russia
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Discover the city’s long and fascinating history in a 2.5-hour journey along the Moscow river
The Polish student city of Krakow is a must-visit place for people backpacking and traveling to Poland. The city offers you extraordinary medieval architecture style castles, cafes, and cheap alcohol. Flaunting Europe’s biggest market square, the Old Town includes memorable homes, royal residences, and marvelous houses of worship.
A mobile voyage through this region is an incredible method to see and find out about the territory. The best of Krakow places to visit are Wawel Royal Castle and the stone Adalbert Church.
The new Schindler’s Museum recounts to an enthusiastic tale about the Nazi occupation in Krakow. It shouldn’t be missed while you are in the town.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Krakow, Poland
Slovak Republic’s capital Bratislava is also known as “Beauty on the Danube” and boasts an interesting history. The city is located in the center of central Europe’s dynamically developing region.
The town is located in the southern west part of the country that stretches its beautiful wings on Danube’s riverbank and foothills of Mt. Little Carpathian. Even with so much history, Bratislava is among the world’s youngest capitals with the younger population.
The visitors are attracted by the warmth and closeness of this small city that offers an exciting social life, historic charms, and casual lifestyle. The palaces, shopping and trading centers, friendly people, international cultural sports events, and exhibitions make it a must-visit destination.
Its modest old town is pressed with medieval loftiness, all overlooked by the urban areas of superb ridge castles. The limited lanes are fixed with eateries and bars alluring you to eat, drink, and welcome the happy living. Be sure to admire Bratislava Castle and the Slavin Memorial.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Bratislava, Slovakia
Vilnius is not among the places that you commonly hear from the tourists because not a lot of people know about it yet. That is what makes this small walkable city offer you a true revelation of unique experiences. To begin with, welcome to Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius that opens up with green spaces, impressive architecture, tasty food, and plenty of leisure activities.
One of the reasons that make Vilnius as one of the best places to see in East Europe is its rare, well preserved medieval authentic Old Town that is also a UNESCO listed. Let your curiosity lead the way into the old passageways and courtyards away from tourist routes. Another reason to visit Vilnius is its traditional Lithuanian cuisine and modern craft beer.
You will also find yourself awestruck with a crazy selection of special coffees brewed in many excellent ways. Some important sightseeing places in Vilnius are the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, Vilnius Cathedral, Museum of Genocide Victims, and Cathedral Bell Tower and Square.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Vilnius, Lithuania
Kyiv existed way before Russia and Ukraine were even formed. Kyiv, likewise spelled Kiev, Kyyiv, is currently the capital city of Ukraine and have its inhabitants move up and down the hills, leisure around the Dnipro River during hot summers.
This colorful capital is famous for its excellent transportation, accessible landmarks, tasty dining, and lots of religious buildings and cathedrals. There is an array of beautifully designed dome-like structures dotting all over the city that is lit in green and blue lights coloring the overall landscape.
The most prominent site is Pechersk Lavra Monastery, which has an expansive complex of 28 hectares consisting of caves, cathedrals, catacombs, and green hills.
Some other hot spots to visit in Kyiv are Dnipro River, vintage bistros, pubs and cafes, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Independence Square Monument. Do not forget to take the Chernobyl tour to Pripyat town to see the scene of a horrifying nuclear event from 1986.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Kyiv, Ukraine
In 2007 Sibiu received a top vote for being the cultural capital of Europe and was also named as the 8th most idyllic destination to live in Europe. Perhaps a reason worthy enough to travel to this city. Sibiu is located in Transylvania and has a lot of interesting and unique offerings.
It will have you in a split second entranced with its striking medieval appeal, amazing perspectives on encompassing scenes, and flavorful cultural nourishment. This lovely 12th-century town sits on the foothills of Cindrel mountains.
Most of the sightseeing places are in the center of the town, including the Huet Square, Big Square, Liar’s bridge, Goldsmiths’ Square, and the Small Square.
The city has grown so much, but luckily the appeal and charm have been preserved so well that makes this town as one of the top places to travel in East Europe. Brukenthal Museum, and the Crama Sibiu Vechi eatery, an incredible spot to appreciate true Romanian love.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Sibiu, Romania
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Explore the narrow, medieval streets and enchanting central squares of Sibiu with a local guide
As of 2019, Plovdiv has been named as the Cultural capital of Europe and all thanks to the dedicated regeneration of art programs in the Kapana district. The ancient city reflects Persian, Roman, Ottoman influences in its neighborhood, cuisines, and lifestyle.
The city also won the title in 2014 and, since then, has been tremendously putting efforts into music, art, and culture. Plovdiv is the city of ruins, and the ongoing restoration of the old Roman and Ottoman monuments gives travelers more reasons and opportunities to immerse themselves in learning first hand.
It is best adored for its sentimental old town, pressed with brilliant and creaky nineteenth-century chateaus. Some of the must-visit places here are the regular cobblestoned lanes, Tsar Simeon Gardens, Bulgarian Revival-style mansions, and the must-visit world’s best-preserved Roman amphitheaters.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Flawless Nida is a tiny resort town that is located between the Baltic Sea and Curonian Lagoon, offering a spectacular strip of sand dunes, and quiet fishing villages in Lithuania. Curonian Spit is also one of the reasons to visit Nida for it’s listing in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nida is also a starting point of interesting hiking trails of 746 miles along the Baltic coast all the way to Tallinn.
A day trip to this unique town can also include a visit to Thomas Mann Memorial Museum, hike to Hills of Witches, Fishermen’s Museum, climb the Gigantic Parnidis Dune, and explore the beautiful Dead Dunes.
Parnidis Dune, the monstrous great hill, is only South of the town. Dine at Nidos Seklycia and take a visit to explore Curonian National Park.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Nida, Lithuania
Belgrade is an old capital city of Serbia, but not so old when it comes to the lifestyle and overall vibes. Thanks to its location that sits on the confluence of the Danube and Saba river. It’s a town of halves with new and old, both in equal harmony.
The history of this town dates back to 7000 years when it was part of Byzantine and Roman empires. Go shopping in Russian markets to find Matryoshka dolls, Russian embroidery, Russian scarves, boots, and hand-painted boxes.
The old town is walkable and very compact with the main street leading to the public square. Places to visit here are Belgrade Fortress, Temple of Saint Sava, Kalemegdan Park, and Knez Mihailova.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Belgrade, Serbia
Ljubljana is called the Green capital of Europe, which is easy to navigate around the pretty medieval streets up, grand townhouses, and remarkable Italianate churches. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana, is a socially vibrant city loaded with Europe’s best exhibition halls, cafés, and inns.
The focal point of this delightful city is Presernov Trg, a stunning square that is the city’s preferred spot to meet. Vehicle traffic is confined around there, making the banks of the Ljubljana River a perfect place to take a walk to remember.
Bistros set up porches along the stream, making an unending road party sort of vibe. To welcome the elaborate excellence of the city, visit the Ljubljana Castle and the National University Library.
Essential places to check out are city’s Triple Bridge, Križanke & Žale Cemetery. Make sure to visit Ljubljana during its festivity, and you will find yourself in for the range of extravaganzas offering eclectic vibes, making it one of the best places to see in East Europe.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Ljubljana, Slovenia
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Explore the historical city center visit the National Gallery of Slovenia in a 2 hours tour
Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
The idyllic mountain ranges and heritage diversity makes the city of Sarajevo one of the unique places to visit in East Europe. The intriguing city has an indomitable spirit making it a remarkably resilient capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina that is now becoming famous among the travelers.
The city is beautifully placed in the thin, long valley and surrounded by mountain forests that give the city a postcard backdrop. Like a phoenix becoming alive once again, Sarajevo has changed from the dark days of the 1990s clashes to get one of Eastern Europe’s shining gems.
To value Sarajevo’s way of life, visit Biban and appreciate epic city perspectives. Not to be missed, The Tunnel Museum offers a glimpse into the dark history, which is still not forgotten. Minarets and mosque decorate the city’s skyline with the add on to Romanesque towers and onion-shaped Orthodox church domes. Welcome to the city where east meets west.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and Herzegovina
Sighisoara existed from the times of Romans, and even after thousands of years later, it stands as one of the best-preserved and most beautiful medieval towns in Europe. Sighișoara is located on the Târnava Mare River in the historical region of Transylvania’s Mureș County.
Sighisoara still has the 16th-century gems perfectly intact in its cobbled streets, ornate churches, and burgher houses, giving a tough competition to Vienna or old Prague.
This little town in Transylvania is famous as the site of Vlad the Impaler’s youth home. Vlad the Impaler later turned into the motivation for the world-acclaimed Count Dracula. So, all the Dracula fans must come to Sighisoara.
It is presently a beautiful pastel town inside old medieval dividers on a little slope, dabbed with delightful bistros, eateries, and boutique lodgings. Some places to add to your list includes Sighisoara Citadel, Sighisoara Clock Tower, Monastery Church, Covered Stairway, etc.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Sighișoara, România
Montenegro is a tiny country between Herzegovina, Bosnia, and Albania on the coast of the Adriatic Sea with a stunning coastline. Podgorica is the capital city of Montenegro, which is not a very frequented city in Europe.
Even though many regard this city as unattractive and dull, it is too soon to jump to a particular conclusion. It’sIt’s a tiny city after all, that comes to life once the sun goes down. And if you take the time to read about this capital, you will know that the city is changing slowly for its betterment.
From an exciting nightlife to interesting architecture, green spaces, and many historical sights, Podgorica is a quaint little place that is gradually opening to the tourists and perhaps one of the best places to see in East Europe during summers.
The Stara Varoš or the old town is a nice area to feel and explore the city’s Ottoman past. In the Zeta-Skadar valley, which is towards the South of the city.
Lake Skadar National Park is home to medieval religious communities, seashores, and winged animals like Dalmatian pelican. Some popular places you must not visit include Lake Skadar, Ostrog Monastery, Millennium Bridge, Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ, etc.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Podgorica, Montenegro
Ohrid, North Macedonia
The city sits on the edge of quiet Lake Ohrid, with an old-world vibe quarter that falls down steep boulevards, spotted with excellent chapels and medieval mansion.
Conventional eateries and lakeside bistros liven up surroundings cobblestone roads, which in the summertime can be energetic for sure. Ohrid is a perfect place for a quick weekend getaway to hop lakeside leisure to historical monuments. A holiday vibe prevails throughout the summertime.
Therefore, booking your accommodation beforehand would be more convenient to enjoy your holidays. Top sightseeing places here include the Church of St. John, Samoil’s Fortress, Church of Saint Sophia, etc.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Ohrid, North Macedonia
→ Best Tours for this attraction: Visit Ohrid, the most popular city in Macedonia, and discover all the city main sights on a half-day tour
Riga is one of the biggest metropolia in Eastern Europe that perfectly shares the timeless blending of edgy atmosphere and old traditions. Get energized and surprised on every rooftop and corner.
Rigo is also adventurous in terms of giving your taste buds the excellent combination of Latvian cuisines from earthy sausage, smoked fish, black bread, cheese, and much more.
This 700,000 years old city is easy to visit the Latvian countryside. Explore the paradise with fairytale castles, adventure sports, romantic visits, sandy beaches, and click pictures of marvels at Rundale Palace.
The capital of Latvia is the cosmopolitan foundation of the Baltic. The old town resembles something straight out of a fantasy total with gingerbread trim houses and colossal central market.
→ Where to stay: Best hotels in Riga, Latvia
→ Best Tours for this destination: Discover the best of Riga’s food and culture on a 4-hour walking tour of three of its “must-see” districts