Trains and buses are among the most affordable options to travel in Eastern Europe on a budget. Popular with backpackers, trains take you relatively fast from one destination to another.
A good option would be the InterRail Global Train Pass, which theoretically offers unlimited train travel within and between 30 European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.
The issue with this pass is that you have to plan your itinerary ahead, and that in some countries you may need to make reservations in advance. To make sure, you’ll need to consult InterRail’s train travel information by country. But the good news is that for each travel day, you can take as many trains as you wish, and that the passes come in various options, either with continuous validity or with flexible validity.
Generally, the railway infrastructure in Eastern Europe is very good. Some countries, like Romania (Romania’s railway network is one of the largest and most dense in Europe), have excellent railway networks; while others, like Serbia, have some of the most scenic routes on the continent. In countries like Slovakia, the InterRail Global Pass is only valid on the trains of the national railway company.
For travelers who would rather explore Eastern Europe by bus, there are several affordable packages from Busabout. These are organized tours, accompanied by professional guides, inclusive accommodation, free Lonely Planet guides and several optional extras.