Eastern Europe has been a part of Europe that has become quite interesting to tourists around the world but for some reason I’ve never considered visiting with the kids – until recently when I realised how beautiful some areas were and what great value for money it could be!
Before I get into the places that are on my travel wishlist, it’s important to note that many of the countries I’m going to tell you about have their own currency and I’ve been advised that the best way to get a good deal on currency is to buy it before travelling. Apparently the exchange rates can work out quite pricey when you’re there if you use your card to pay for things so cash is the way forward.
We’ve found a great way to buy currency for our recent trips has been to buy it at the supermarket, a little at a time when we do our shopping each week because the rates are great and it’s just buying it gradually, like saving up. I think you’ll be surprised at how good the Tesco exchange rates are – they’ve worked out better than the rates of high street travel agents when I’ve checked.
Now that we’ve got the sensible money bit out of the way, let’s move on to the fun travel part….
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Prague, Czech Republic: Prague is a great place to tour through in Eastern Europe. Many tourists have called Prague the Disneyland of Europe because it has a castle that is quite pronounced along the river. That being said, Prague is at its best once the Christmas markets begin. There are delicious food vendors and beautiful arts and crafts to purchase while wandering around the main square in the city centre. Prague is on the Czech Koruna, which can be difficult to obtain unless it is ordered in advance before travelling. I’ve found some really reasonable cheap flights to Prague recently so this is first on my list!
- Tallinn, Estonia: Tallinn, Estonia is a post-Soviet era city that is truly on the cutting edge in terms of technology. In addition to the large technological sector that is here, there are medieval streets and trendy cafes for tourists to enjoy. Estonia is on the Euro, which makes it an ideal place to change from GBP to EUR with ease.
- Budapest, Hungary: Budapest is a romantic and magical city that is ideal for luxury tourism. The Danube river is located in front of the Budapest Castle, which is one of the best places to see the famous Parliament while sipping on an elegant Hungarian wine. B
- Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava, Slovakia is only a short ride up the river from Vienna. Even though Bratislava has many influences from the Soviet Era, it is still a charming city bustling with outdoor cafes and elegant parks to walk through. It truly is a delightful day trip to take from Vienna to see more of what Eastern Europe has to offer.
- Belgrade, Serbia: Belgrade, Serbia is a city that is developing quite quickly due to the recovery from the bombings in the 1990’s. Belgrade is located on the Danube river as well, which makes for a divine historic downtown centre that is perfect for traditional Serbian meals. Serbia uses the Serbian Dinar for their currency, which should be acquired before entering the country for the best possible rates.
- Danube Delta, Romania: Even though the Danube is in many Eastern European countries, Romania has a special section of the Danube that is called the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. Here, bird watchers have a fantastic site to enjoy the native species to the Danube on small boats in the fresh air. Romania uses the Romanian New Leu, which travelers should be aware of before travelling to Romania.
- Riga, Latvia: Riga, Latvia is a new locale that is up and coming for nightlife and restaurants. The city itself boasts some of the most intricate art nouveau architecture in the world. Despite the former Soviet influence, Riga is a diverse city that truly has its own unique spirit for travelers to enjoy. In terms of currency, Latvia is on the Euro making it an easy locale to change money from GBP.
- Durmitor and Biogradska National Park in Montenegro: Montenegro is known for its glamorous sights and posh restaurants; however, what many tourists forget is that Montenegro has some great country sides to enjoy. One such example is the Durmitor and Biogradska National Park that is a natural grassland with divine mountain views. Travelers should absolutely take this into account when travelling to Montenegro. Lastly, Montenegro is also on the Euro making for easy access to currency when travelling there.
- Tatra Mountains in Slovakia and Poland: For travelers that enjoy hiking and active travel, there is a mountain range that is on the border of both Slovakia and Poland that is a great place to experience high altitude lakes and waterfalls. Bear in mind that if you travel to both sides of this nature reserve, that you will likely need Polish Zloty and Euros for your upcoming holiday.
- Krakow, Poland: Krakow is a special city in Poland in that it is one of the few cities that was not bombed during World War II. For this reason, it is best to visit Krakow to get a glimpse of Poland’s famous historic architecture. When doing so, you will be able to see Europe’s largest medieval square and have a memorable meal there. Be sure to have sufficient Polish Zloty in your wallet as many of the traditional restaurants still do take cash only.
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