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4 Cheap but Fabulous Places to Visit in Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe has a variety of countries to choose from. These four cities offer unique and affordable experiences tailored to your needs. 

Eastern Europe is home to many hidden gems offering incredible, affordable experiences. Tourists can find great places to visit that remind them of their food and language. Here are some underrated cities in Eastern Europe that are often overlooked but offer a fabulous travel experience:

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana is a charming and picturesque city with beautiful architecture, a lively cafe culture, and a vibrant arts scene. Tourists can see the old part of town, go to the famous Ljubljana Castle for great views, and take a boat trip on the calm Ljubljana River.

This beautiful city offers a wide range of outdoor activities. You can explore Tivoli Park or take a day trip to Lake Bled or Lake Bohinj for stunning natural landscapes. The Ljubljana Castle is 900 years old, and you can hike to it or reach it by funicular railways.

In this city, you can go to museums and restaurants. There, you can try the local food and learn about Slovenian history. You can also enjoy the city’s beautiful views. If you wish to explore the city on foot, visit the famous Triple Bridge, designed by the world-renowned architect Joze Plecnik.

Ljubljana has used the dragon as its symbol for a long time. You can see amazing dragon sculptures on the Dragon Bridge, which was built in 1901. You can take some memorable pictures here or visit the Central Market.

The Central Market, designed by Joze Plecnik, is a place where locals shop, meet, and socialize. They also have fun and sometimes try different foods. These occur every Friday from mid-March up until October.

To see beautiful wall paintings and other art in Ljubljana, visit St. Nicholas Cathedral, City Museum, or the National Gallery of Slovenia.

Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade is known for its lively nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and floating river clubs along the Danube and Sava rivers. You can also go to the Nikola Tesla Museum, walk around the Bohemian Skadarljia district, or relax in Kalemegdan Park.

The white city’s rich history and welcoming atmosphere are paralleled only by its lively music and arts scene. If you visit Kalemegdan or the Belgrade Fortress, you can still witness its ancient protective walls.

The fortress was built in 279 BC and hosts one of the best parks in the city. During the summer, tourists can freely enjoy music and take dance lessons. There is also a famous statute here with a shocking history.

If you want to taste locally produced wine, tour guides can take you to some areas in the park where wine tastings occur. The park is situated on top of ancient Roman tunnels that can also be visited.

Near the Kalemgdan fortress lies the oldest church in Belgrade, Ruzica Church. Its walls are beautifully engulfed in moss and other plant species, making it an excellent site for memorable pictures.

To enjoy the most spectacular panoramic views and additional unique architecture, you can go to the Avala Tower. Here, you can take a picnic and enjoy one of the most famous landmarks in the country. Visit Skadarlija in the city’s center to enjoy numerous traditional restaurants, music, and the bohemian spirit.

Cluj Napoca, Romania

Club-Napoca is a vibrant university city with a mix of architectural styles, a thriving arts scene, and lively nightlife. Explore the historic center, visit the impressive St. Michael’s Church, and experience the city’s vibrant festivals and events.

In addition, you can visit Napoca Botanical Garden, the main park in the city. You can also learn about the city’s history at the National Museum of Transylvanian History. Portuguese and Spanish-speaking tourists visiting Cluj Napoca will have a higher chance of understanding and communicating with locals through their own language.

Portuguese and Romanian have a 72% lexical similarity, and many Romanian women often know Portuguese and Spanish due to their love of Brazilian, Argentinian, and Spanish telenovelas.

In Cluj-Napoca, you will also experience a vast cuisine of traditional Romanian dishes and drinks. Many foods or drinks are locally sourced through sustainable and ecological means.

Riga, Latvia

Riga is the capital of Latvia. This city combines a rich history with a modern vibe rarely seen in other Eastern European regions. Here, you can explore the UNESCO-listed Old Town, visit the impressive Riga Cathedral, and enjoy the city’s vibrant art nouveau architecture and bustling markets.

The Old Town is a delight to explore due to its medieval architecture, narrow streets, and lively atmosphere. You can also visit the Riga Central Market, take a canal boat tour, or admire the Art Nouveau buildings in the Art Nouveau district.

Safety Tips to Follow in Eastern Europe

Although about 90% of Eastern Europe is safe to travel, it’s always essential to prioritize traveling safety. When visiting Eastern Europe, research your destination well and familiarize yourself with local customs, laws, and safety concerns.

Be vigilant of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas, and pay attention to your belongings. Keep your valuables secure and avoid displaying signs of wealth. Opt for reputable and licensed transportation options, such as taxis or ride-sharing services.

Choose accommodations in safe and well-reviewed areas. Also, make sure the lodgings have proper security measures. Keep original traveling documents safely secured, such as in the hotel safe.

When using ATMs, shield your PIN while entering it and be aware of potential card-skimming devices. Visit ATMs that are properly lit and in secure areas. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, always be cautious.

Avoid conducting financial transactions or accessing sensitive information on unsecured Wi-Fi networks. Public WI-Fi networks are often unsafe. However, you can always use a VPN to boost your online security.

If you want to use a VPN on your iPhone, download a VPN app from a reputable provider. With a VPN iOS service, you can actively safeguard your online activities. This includes accessing region-restricted content, securing personal information, and browsing the internet anonymously. 

You can also use a VPN to get better offers on plane tickets, train tickets, and other exclusive offers usually reserved for locals. So, don’t wait—plan your Eastern European trip.

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