Anyone with a social media account has realized just how many people are flocking to Eastern Europe. Back in the day, you needed to be right next to someone for them to bore you with how amazing the Eiffel Tower was or what the gelato tasted like in Rome. With the advent of social media, however, they can do it from a distance.
We aren’t saying there’s anything wrong with hitting some of these unbelievable destinations. But maybe there is more to life than what everyone else is doing. If you have slowly started to realize that, but you still want to come travel Europe, there is another option.
Why Eastern Europe is a Backpacker’s Paradise
Heading away from the land of tourism can be quite a jump, but we assure you that it’s worth it. It’d be tough to say why Eastern Europe is an amazing place to visit in just one article, but we are going to give it a shot.
Budget cuts won’t bite hard
Are you the type of traveler who loves to save money, but doesn’t want to spend your vacation eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?
A traditional Slovak meal with starters of bean soup, 5 pounds of roasted pork knuckle with sides, and 4 pints of beer cost two people $30! As far as dining experiences go, you can eat like royalty. This price was for one of the most popular restaurants in Bratislava. So this is about as expensive as it gets. My travel buddy and I were able to make pork sandwich for two days afterwards, as well.
If you’re looking for food on a budget, you won’t be forced to eat at street-side burger stands, although those are good too. You can easily find a meal for less than 7 bucks with a drink at a sit down restaurant.
Fascination In Eastern Europe
Attractions, as well, are budget friendly. Museums all over Eastern Europe are spared from the exorbitant fees charged out west. Here, you won’t be paying $15 to visit a WWII museum like you would in Paris or Berlin. Most churches, too, are free to enter and climbing to the city lookouts within them costs less than a couple dollars.
Transportation, another major travel expense, is also a great area to save money on by traveling in Eastern Europe. Taking a ride on the metro in Berlin is not a pleasant experience, but doing it in Prague isn’t nearly as bad. It isn’t going to break the bank and it will get you from point a to point b.
Travel between cities and countries is as cheap as it is easy in Eastern Europe. If you find yourself in Bratislava and are interested in going to Vienna, just an hour away, it will cost you just 14 euros round trip. That price is certainly on the steeper end, as it’s one of the most popular tourist routes in the region, so it only gets cheaper than that. I’ve personally taken an overnight train from Krakow to Prague that seemingly cost nickels and dimes for a sleeper berth. Waking up to the fresh winter snow is infinitely better when you know you’re seeing it on the cheap.
Lost in The Island
How many of you have searched for “off the beaten path” itineraries in an attempt to avoid all of the wandering, photo snapping tourists blocking the views that you spent so much time and money to see? Some Eastern European cities like Prague, Budapest, and Dubrovnik have more recently become tourist destinations. However, they are still relatively undiscovered compared to places like Paris and Barcelona.
Some cities have become notorious for being overrun by party-crazed foreigners, but those are few and far between. In most of the gems of Eastern Europe, like Bratislava, Bucharest, and Belgrade, you won’t feel like you’re lost in a crowd of tourists.
But don’t worry, a visit to Eastern Europe does not mean that you will constantly feel lost in translation by the lack of English speakers. Romania, for example, is home to tons of people with excellent English skills. You will have an easier time there than in most of Western Europe’s southern countries; (we’re looking at you, Spain and Italy). There will always be someone to help you out. Even if you can’t get by with the tried and true hand signals method.
Curiosity Communicate With Places
This goes hand in hand with point number two. But there’s something about being in Eastern Europe that will make you take a step back and think about how glad you are to be on the road. Paris or Rome or London just doesn’t feel as foreign as Ljubljana. Not to take anything away from those stunning cities, but there really is something to getting off the beaten path.
Also, not as many people have visited these places and the top destinations aren’t being exploited. It’s nice to see some of the world famous sites like the Eiffel Tower or the Coliseum. However, it can be draining being heckled by street vendors every 10 feet. The world-class destinations across Eastern Europe have so far been spared that unfortunate fate. You can walk down the street and take in the sites with undisturbed city life alongside you.
The established cities of Western Europe that I mentioned above will always be available to travel, too. But unfortunately, tourism will eventually make its way east and these destinations won’t be the same. Get out and enjoy the beauty in Eastern Europe before going to Bratislava is as stereotypical as going to Barcelona.
Feel The Beauty of tourism!
Three reasons aren’t nearly enough to describe why we love Eastern Europe. It’s a region rich in history, culture, and filled with diversity. If you take a three-hour train ride you’ll be listening to a language you can’t even begin to make sense of in a country you can’t pronounce. But that is the beauty of Eastern Europe. It takes you off of the typical tourist trail, which is tough to do in the most traveled continent on earth.
We live in a unique era where the countries of Eastern Europe are developing a great infrastructure for tourism. But the tourists haven’t found out about it. Getting between cities and countries is a breeze, all at a price that you can enjoy. If you have visited all of the blockbuster destinations in Western Europe, why don’t you pack your bags and consider heading east before you call it a day?