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4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com

The next time you're wishing for a European vacation, look past the obvious choices like Paris, London, and Rome. Instead, consider heading to Eastern Europe and spending time there. Not only will you have fewer crowds to fight (since this part of the European continent is a bit of a hidden gem for travelers), your budget will stretch further as there are bargains to be had throughout Eastern Europe.

Eastern Europe is a term used to describe a number of countries that were formally part of the Soviet Union, in other words behind the Iron Curtain. There is much heated dispute about which countries actually constitute Eastern Europe but some of the better known names are Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania and Moldova. There are many more, and together they offer a huge variety of wonderful destinations.

Here are 4 up-and-coming spots in Eastern Europe that deserve your attention!


Prague

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com


The capitol of the Czech Republic, Prague is known as the City of a Hundred Spires. The historic town is packed with history: Gothic and medieval buildings are everywhere. You cannot miss one of Prague's most outstanding features: the 600 year old astronomical clock on the Old Town Square. 

There is something here for everyone: museums, a vast array of architecture, and historic castles await. Wander across the 14th-century Charles Bridge to see the city from a new perspective, then visit St. Vitus Cathedral and the Josefov Fortress. End the day with a ballet or concert at the Municipal House.

Ljubljana

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com


Don't let the tongue twister of a name deter you from planning a visit. (And, FYI, it's pronounced "Lee-ub-li-ana.") This Slovenian city is without doubt one of the most beautiful in Eastern Europe. It straddles the Ljubljanica River in an alpine valley and is divided into two parts: the old town and the newer, commercial area.

The city is full of cobbled streets, devoted green spaces, and a café scene to rival any. Make sure to allow plenty of time to explore the city's 14 museums, the 12th-century castle and over 50 art galleries.

Booking.com


Tallinn

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com


The capital city of Estonia is perfect for those who want a more active visit. Tallinn was winner of the 2011 European Capital of Culture award and boasts a versatile nightlife scene, stunning historic sites, and opportunities for water-based activities. The Old Town is a wonderfully preserved medieval city, one of the best in Europe.

Spend time wandering the cobblestoned streets in the historic quarter, then take in the 15th century defense tower, Kiek in de Kök, or the medieval St. Nicholas Church. Wander underneath the city in the bastion tunnels, the earliest of which date back to the 1630s. For those interested in seeing Tallinn by water, take a kayak or canoe trip to explore the southern coast of the Finland Gulf or Lake Ülemiste's 3.6 square miles of water.

Riga



4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com


For fans of architecture, Riga, Latvia boasts a magnificent collection of buildings in the art nouveau style. These architectural wonders contrast beautifully with the medieval Old Town and its fairytale-like character, cobblestone streets and brightly colored buildings.

Riga is Latvia’s capital city and buzzes with music and life, especially on Livu Square (which is a great spot to people watch!). Catch a ballet at the Latvian National Opera, or watch a professional basketball game (the sport is big here and boasts three teams that have won European league titles).


The best way to see Eastern Europe

I've a huge fan of road trips (check out our itineraries through Germany and Luxembourg, Scotland and England, and Prince Edward Island, Canada), and Eastern Europe is perfect for an epic road trip. 

One thing I love about all of Europe is that everything is (relatively) close together, so you can add on multiple cities or even countries to your itinerary at the last minute. For example, Tallinn is 50 miles from Helsinki so hop on a quick car ferry ride and you've got a brand new country to explore!

Have you taken a European road trip before? What parts of Eastern Europe have you visited?

4 Gorgeous Eastern European Cities to Put on Your Bucket List | CosmosMariners.com


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