Once associated only with Communism, Eastern Europe has quickly become an interesting destination for tourists from all over the world. The biggest advantage of traveling in Eastern Europe is it can be appreciated even by tourists with the most modest budget.
Thinking about Eastern Europe, most Americans imagine Prague, Berlin or maybe Budapest. Everything further East is generally associated with the endless winter and old people waiting in breadlines. The truth is, outdated associations shouldn’t stop you from exploring the multi-cultural region. Welcoming people, crazy parties, and beautiful cities — these are just a few things that make the underrated countries of Eastern Europe great destinations for people who want to explore without breaking the bank.
Is Eastern Europe Really Worth Visiting?
Many travelers first priority is safety and to be honest, Eastern Europe is no different from other parts of the world. If you’re afraid of thieves and scammers, then Western Europe and North Africa may turn out to be much more dangerous regions. In Eastern Europe however, it’s enough to just follow the basic rules of safety and use common sense.
A good thing about Eastern Europe is that you won’t find many tourists there. You can walk around freely, without being a part of a loud crowd. You can fly using budget airlines and move from one country to another by train. Trains tend to be extremely cheap, and the same can be said about accommodation. Sometimes, you can even just ask locals about a room to rent and get a luxury three-bedroom place in the center of the city that costs the same a dormitory in more expensive countries like England. Saving money is just one of the perks of discovering all Eastern Europe has to offer, and without further ado, here are our top things to do in the region on a budget:
1. Listen to Punk and Electronic Music in Sarajevo
The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a perfect place for everyone who’s tired of luxury tourism and is looking for something countercultural. If you’re concerned about the war history of this country, we’ve got great news for you: today’s Sarajevo is one of the safest capitals in Europe.
Listen to jazz music in Pink Houdini, dance to electronic beats in Silver and Smoke, or enjoy street parties in Mucha Lucha. Kriterion is also a favorite place for the LGBTQ community.
In Sarajevo, you can buy drinks for $1.50. Hostels will cost you about $23, transportation won’t exceed $5.93 a day, and three meals cost roughly $27.
2. Take Thermal Baths in Budapest
Hungary has many beautiful places, but Széchenyi Thermal Baths are a must-have experience for everyone. There are more than 18 hot spring pools with different temperature surrounded by century-old architecture. If you’re looking for a party, we suggest visiting these pools at night. Locals call it “Sparty”– spa party. Some people say it’s the best party they’d ever had, others call it an ungodly orgy… The main thing is, everyone agrees the experience was unforgettable!
Hostels will cost you about $52. You’ll spend $20 a day on food, and less than $10 using local transport.
3. Kayak in Bovec
Slovenia not only has a reputation for being a cheap country but also hides one of the cleanest mountain rivers in Europe. You can even drink from it without being worried about catching some exotic disease. River Soca is a perfect place for everyone who loves kayaking, and the incredible beauty of these mountains will leave you with only the best memories.
In Addition, traveling Slovenia is cheap: the most expensive hostel will cost $49, you’ll need about $22 on food and up to $16 on transportation.
4. Chase Waterfalls at Plitvice Lakes
You’ll remember this Croatian national park for the rest of your life. Here you can walk on the boardwalk past dozens of waterfalls that attract tourists from all over the world with their astounding beauty.
In Croatia, you’re likely to spend about $20 a day on food, $40 on hostels, and $8 a day using local transport.
5. See the Castles of Brasov
Brasov is an absolutely gorgeous town in Transylvania, Romania. There are two castles perfect for budding photographers and Instagrammers alike. Peles Castle depicts the history of what happens when a King has more money than he can spend, and Bran Castle will charm you with its rusty mystique. In addition, here you can buy a bunch of Dracula souvenirs for your friends.
A day in a hostel costs about $21. You’ll spend $24 a day on food, and up to $17 using local transport.
About the Author – Berta Melder is a brand manager and co-founder of the Masterra. Berta cooperates with different education courses covering a broad range of digital topics as a guest lecturer. She enjoys sightseeing and backpacking. Follow her on Twitter @BertaMelder.