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Savvy Travel & Family Time

The 8 Best Places to Visit in Eastern Europe in 2020

Eastern Europe is a surprising delight with a unique mix of history, culture, ethnicity, and nature. Discover the best places to visit in Eastern Europe here.

Eastern Europe is often overlooked by it’s flashier western counterparts. But travelers are starting to explore and appreciate the beauty and diversity of this mid-continental region.

If a trip to this historic region is in your future then read on for the best places to visit in Eastern Europe.

1. Minsk, Belarus

Nestled between Poland and Russia, Belarus is known for its stunningly green landscape and rural charm. At the heart of the country is one of the most sought after cities, Minsk. Home to over 1 million people, it’s one of the most populated cities in Europe.

Tourists visit Minsk to see Nesvizh Castle, The Red Church, Dudutki Museum, and the Khatyn Memorial. Minsk is a city that still feels the pangs from the World Wars, and many city landmarks are dedicated to those lost during those years. 

Belarus has a pretty moderate climate with short, cold winters and mild summers. If you’re visiting anytime from September to April, you should pack a coat. Otherwise, a light jacket will do.

Minsk should be on every traveler’s list for a unique, historical, green, and less crowded European experience.

2. Burgas, Bulgaria

Although the Black Sea borders Bulgaria to the east, most travelers don’t associate the country with a beachside experience. But look no further than Burgas for a summertime getaway to the sea. 

During the summer months temperatures average around 29 Celcius/84 Fahrenheit. And because the city falls off the beaten path, you’ll avoid the crowds. 

A short boat ride will take you to St. Anastasia Isle, a beautiful little island that houses a small church, a museum, and delicious seafood.

Adjacent to Burgas’ beaches is the beautiful Sea Garden. This garden complex features beautiful walking paths, statues, and food kiosks to enjoy a relaxing stroll. 

3. Zadar, Croatia

It’s almost impossible to pick just one city in Croatia for tourists to hit on their Eastern European tour, but Zadar is our pick. This coastal and centrally located city will give you a taste of Croatia that you’ll never forget. 

At sunset, visitors should visit the Sea Organ. As the waves roll through the cement steps air gets pushed out of a series of pipes that let out a beautiful hum. The sounds of the organ and the waves are the perfect soundtrack to any Croatian evening. 

Zadar is a great launchpad for a day trip to many of Croatia’s other popular sights. It’s a half-day trip to visit the Plitvice lakes area or the world-famous Krka waterfalls.

4. Tbilisi, Georgia

In the crossroads of Eurasia and Eastern Europe is the small country, Georgia. Don’t let it’s size rule it out of your travel itinerary. The capital city, Tbilisi, is a melting pot you’ll remember for years to come.

Atop your Tbilisi itinerary should be the bathhouses in the downtown district. You can enjoy a soak in the clay baths, or in the intricately tiled Turkish bathhouse adjacent. Right behind the baths, a short paved walk will take you into a small canyon that houses a hidden waterfall. 

A short drive out of the city will take you to the ancient Gori ruins that were carved centuries ago out of soft rock. You can tour intricate caverns, dwellings, and complexes before visiting the more modern Georgian church that is perched at the top of the hill. 

5. Budapest, Hungary

 Budapest is home to many world-class museums and memorials including the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest Pinball Museum, and Shoes on the Danube along with many others paying tribute to the war years.

Take a boat ride along the Danube river to see the Hungarian Parliament building as it lights up at night.  

Visit the architecturally stunning Halaszbastya, a castle-like building decorated with golden towers and intricate stonework. It’s perched atop a hill giving visitors panoramic views of Budapest. 

Your Instagram will thank you for stopping at the Széchenyi Spa, a public bath complex that is home to 18 indoor and outdoor pools. You can also get a massage while you’re there!

6. Gdansk, Poland

Gdansk, which is due south from Stockholm Sweden features some Scandinavian influence in architecture and culture.

In the Old Town district, visitors can see pirate ships sailing through the harbors, and tall thin, brick buildings squeezed snuggly together. The cobbled streets, pubs, and smell of the sea are nostalgic and charming, to say the least. 

The museum Europejskie Centrum Solidarno is one of Gdansk’s must-see attractions. It pays tribute to Poland’s rise from a communist regime. Oliwa Park is another must-see and is considered one of the city’s greatest outdoor spaces.

Day trips can take you to many significant sights in WWII history including the Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s headquarters.

7. Moscow, Russia

 No Eastern European itinerary is complete without Russia’s capital city, Moscow. 

Red Square is central to Moscow’s tourism and history. It houses the Kremlin (Russia’s presidential residence), Saint Basil’s colorful cathedral, and Lenin’s Mausoleum. Red Square was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. You can click to learn more about visiting the Red Square.

Some of Moscow’s most popular museums include the Museum of Cosmonautics, the Kolomenskoye Historical and Architectural Museum, Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines, and the State Tretyakov Gallery.

8. Kyiv, Ukraine

Wrap up your Eastern European experience by visiting Ukraine’s capital city. Kyiv offers a beautiful mix of rural and urban culture and modern and historic landmarks.

The beautiful Saint Sophia Cathedral, located in the old town, took 9 centuries to build and is a tribute to Byzantine era architecture.

Add the Pirogovo Open Air Museum to your travel itinerary. It offers visitors a look back at provincial Ukrainian life, traditional homes, and the culture of Kyiv. 

The Best Places to Visit in Eastern Europe

Now that you’ve got an idea of the best places to visit in Eastern Europe, it’s time to book your flights.

Get ready for a fascinating mixture of culture and history on your upcoming trip!

Which amazing city will be first on your travel itinerary?

3 Comments

  • Maureen

    I went to Gdansk with my father about 15 yrs ago. It is such and interesting and historical city.
    I went to Budapest quite a long time ago. I do not remember much of it. Thank you for the description.

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