Europe is fascinating, complex and diverse but also a place of contrasts and sometimes mysteries. Less popular and unjustly undervalued, the East of Europe actually provides an authentic travel experience from the different ranges of cultures and historical landmarks here, to surprising landscapes, warm hospitality and undiscovered places. Like so many undiscovered treasures, Eastern Europe is all set to enthrall new-found friends.
Taking visitors off the beaten path, providing them a realistic time travel, leading them through modern cities and then tossing in some remote villages, even delighting tourists with some incredible beaches and seemingly limitless mountain tops, this little-traveled region of Europe fulfills so many desires the 21st century tourist might possess. Let’s look at some big reasons East Europe should rule your travel itinerary.
Eastern Europe is Affordable
Except Moscow, which is one of the most expensive cities in the world, Eastern Europe is still affordable, and tourists should definitely take advantage of before development changes the touristic landscape here.
With an excellent value for your money in almost everything, from accommodations, food, shopping and even investments, Eastern Europe is a great choice for the frugal traveler, families on a budget, and particularly the business traveler. Sandy beaches, mountains, natural landscapes, off backpacking, cultural spots, any touristic aim can be afforded when taking in this region.
Since the marvels of Eastern Europe haven’t been very well promoted so far, destinations here are perfect for budget holidays, offering the same quality tourists find in Western capitals and destinations, at a fraction of the price. Even the forums online at sites like Lonely Planet speak of the value present for some Eastern Europe destinations.
Locals are Friendly
Feature Image Wikipedia
Living in a less explored area, Eastern Europeans are really simpler people, friendly and welcoming. There is a strong connection between people and traditions here too, and this makes them genuine, somehow more original, and ultimately as glad to see visitors as guests are to visit.
Although Eastern Europe is considered the poorest region in Europe, discipline and good manners have always played an important role in these cultures. The long period of communism gave many the opportunity to develop a strong character, somehow hidden beneath a humble attitude.
Eastern European people are generally sociable, and contrary to some categorizing them as closed-minded, the people of the region don’t have a communist mentality, they are often nationalists and religious, but also educated, flexible and open to new ideas and possibilities. Visitors will find the people of Eastern Europe refreshing in many a sense.
South Eastern Europe abounds in History, Culture and Art
Charles Bridge, Prague Wikipedia
History is one of the main themes played out across the stage of Eastern Europe. From medieval castles and old churches, to fascinating ruins still holding the ancestors’ last echoes of life, the region reveals its amazing past seamlessly coexistent with its present. Many would say that a holiday in Eastern Europe is a step back in time, and this is absolutely true, considering the unbreakable connection between people and traditions, between its territory and the living remnants of a turbulent history, still reminding visitors of a distant past that refuses to vanish. All that majestic legend and lore lain on today’s modernistic environment, trends, ideas.
The wide-ranging cultures of Eastern European states, the innate ability to use art in order to reveal each’s character, makes this place on our planet an destination for cultural trips, the exploration of deep understanding. Although people think of Eastern Europe as one entire piece, this area is much more eclectic and fragmented than one might imagine. The region encompassing a collection of nations, each with its own distinct territory, its own identity, can be unraveled to reveal both the tragic past and an uneven evolution that acted on this place, these people.
The architectural style, related with some major historical periods, is one of the aspects that differentiate the Eastern states. The dramatic Gothic architecture of Krakow, beautifully mixed with the Renaissance style, the Art Nouveau of Kiev captured, and other such examples, exhibit a richness of diversity found nowhere else in the world.
The elegance and delightful architecture of Prague; from the Gothic Charles Bridge to the detailed Renaissance style, the Baroque cathedrals, and the unusual nuances of Cubism adorning that city; the medieval citadels of Romania and the incredible diversity of Budapest with its Roman amphitheaters, Turkish baths, Romantic architecture, Baroque and Neo-Baroque, Renaissance and Neo-Renaissance, Gothic and Neo-Gothic, Classicism and Neo-Classicism, are more than just styles pointless enumerated, each of them representing a story, an era, and their combination, far from being random symbolizes the uniqueness of every nation in Eastern Europe, their values, their visions and their beliefs. You have to see this place, to feel it, it cannot be described herein.
Fagaras Mountains,Romania Wikipedia
Eastern Europe’s geographical location allows travelers to choose between the array of breathtaking beauty from Montenegro, to the endless wild forests that cover Estonia, to Albania’s pristine beaches, and as far afield as the proud Carpathians crossing the Romanian territory. Travelers traverse a biodiversity such as that of the Danube Delta on to Turkey’s natural wonders bordered by four completely different seas. Just describing, even listing the place gives way to the vastness of tangible differences.
Boasting some of the finest beaches in the world and some of the most scenic mountain views, Eastern Europe is a never ending source of activities suitable for any kind of traveler. From skiing, mountaineering, scuba diving, rafting, bird watching and even yachting and hot air ballooning, there’s nothing you can’t do in Eastern Europe, whether you’re a backpacker, a pretentious tourist or you are traveling as a family with kids. Like the image below of a Croatian enthusiastically displaying her country’s flag, there’s a character to be discovered here, one not to miss.
These are just a few reasons that should convince the most diligent Amsterdam backpacker, or the annual trekker to Marrakesh, the Paris loving couple, the London motorcylist to come East. The real reasons to visit here reside in the details- too small to notice at a first gaze, but overly essential when it comes to exploring our world. The rich and hearty cuisine of each region, the rare authenticity of some places, the crazy nightlife contrasting with the historical backgrounds, the haunted castles and the legends, stories that change lives, endow tourists with knowledge and wisdom, and the newness of perceptions about people and cultures, these are some of the reasons to visit, then to love, Eastern Europe. Enjoy the video below of wonderful Azerbaijan, just for a hint of what we speak of. :)
Bine ati venit in Romania! Welcome to the rest of Eastern Europe!
Croatia lady courtesy Alex_Mac – Fotolia.com, Peterhof video courtesy Spot-in – Fotolia.com.