Best places to visit in Eastern Europe
Rather than head to a tried and tested city on the Western European tourist circuit, why not get off the beaten path this time and head to the East instead. Not only will there be less tourists to slow you down, but once you are there your wallet will be much happier as well due to the fantastic value on offer. Here are some of the top cities to visit in Eastern Europe for you to seriously consider.
Nemezis - Wikimedia
Ljubljana is situated in the heart of a beautiful alpine valley. It is a charming city that should be visited if you are looking for quaint and quiet getaway. With everything so close together it is a very accessible city with most things within walking distance. Filled with bikes, students, street musicians and cozy cafes on cobbled streets, there is something undeniably romantic about this place. Most of the city is covered in 16th century buildings after the 1511 earthquake ruined much of it. Presernov Trg is the beautiful bustling square that connects the city centre with the Old Town. There are also great outdoor markets where friendly locals welcome tourists. Do make sure to explore the city by night as it transforms into a beautifully lit wonderland.
Mostar, Bosnia is known for its brilliant turquoise river and white stone buildings. The history of the Balkan War is apparent on walls throughout the city with bullet holes and bombed buildings scattered throughout. The Stari Most, also known as the Old Bridge, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was originally built in 1566 by the Turks and was then rebuilt in 2004 after it was destroyed in 1993. Today, many divers from the Mostar Diving Club can be seen around this area. The Muslibegovic House is a beautiful example of the Ottoman period as it offers a glimpse into the past but be aware that it is only open from April 15th to October 15th.
Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, makes for a unique place to explore. While first impressions of the housing blocks may not be that mesmerising, once you get into the heart of the city your opinion most definitely will change. Start off by strolling on the pedestrian cobblestones of Skadarska Street. This is an adults playground filled with food stalls, cafes and great bars. The Kalemegdan Fortress has been transformed into the main central park where locals and tourists can enjoy a bit of basketball or tennis or simply go there to enjoy a breathtaking sunset with a bottle of wine. One of the great things about Belgrade is the amount of eclectic festivals that are on offer such as jazz and tango festivals as well as a great wine fair.
If you are into gargoyles and beautiful architecture, then Riga, Latvia is the perfect place for you. The famous Brotherhood of Blackheads structure is the iconic building of Old Riga and is a must see. Once you are done there, continue meandering through the lanes of the city and stop off at the local Central Market to check out fresh vegetables and fruit as well as cheap cigarettes and all sorts of clothing. Riga and the surrounding area is also known for some superb local dairy products.