The 20 Most Charming Places you MUST Visit in Eastern Europe!

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As one of my favourite areas to explore not just in Europe but the entire world, I cannot express enough how many beautiful and unique places there are, that you must visit in Eastern Europe. Most if not all of these small towns, villages and cities are completely underrated and many of these places are once in a lifetime, fairytale, picturesque towns to visit. So, what are you waiting for!? Here are the 20 most charming places you must visit in Eastern Europe!


Brașov, Romania

Brașov is a city located in Transylvania, a region of Romania renowned for its castles, eerily foggy skies and charming little towns and villages. Although classified as a city, Brașov feels much more like a small town to be discovered on foot, even when climbing to the infamous “Brasov sign” (a rip off of the Hollywood sign – yup, really!) From here you can explore the beautiful Bran Castle (also known as Dracula’s Castle) as well as nearby Peles Castle, said to be Europe’s most beautiful castle.

Why You Should Visit Wroclaw, Colourful

Wroclaw, Poland

Commonly regarded as the prettiest town in Poland, Wroclaw is full of charm every which way you look. The buildings are bright and playful, with friendly locals giving this city a similar small town feel, especially when centring your explorations around the old town itself.


Riga, Latvia

Located further North in the Baltics is the impossibly quaint and charming Riga; the capital of Latvia. This is a city that feels absolutely nothing like most capital cities in Europe, as it is characterised by its cobblestone streets that are at times impossible to navigate (in the best kind of way!)


Sofia, Bulgaria

Another great capital to visit is often referred to as the “Paris of the East”; Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. Sofia is said to be one of Europe’s most laid-back capital cities, offering a charming east-meets-west feel with old and new coexisting throughout the city. Though many travellers overlook Sofia en route to Bulgaria’s resort coastal towns, one look at the architecture on offer might persuade you otherwise! (Image Source).


Sibiu, Romania

One of the most surprising cities I visited in Romania was completely by chance, as I was travelling by car from Brasov (Romania) through to Belgrade (Serbia) and stopped in to Sibiu to pick up supplies (every road trip needs snacks!) This city was so full of charm that I was skipping around the streets like a school girl… a true highlight from my Romanian adventures! (Image source).


Tunnel of Love, Ukraine

If a picture tells a thousand words, there really is no need to explain the above photo of The Tunnel of Love in Ukraine. The tunnel is located near Klevan (closer to Lviv than Kiev) and stretches an impressive 3 kilometres in length! (Image Source).

Tallinn Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia

Located on the Baltic sea a convenient ferry ride from Finland’s Helsinki, Tallinn is a hidden gem. If you find yourself in the Baltics this is by far and large one of the highlight cities to stop at and is incredibly well connected by air, land and sea. As far as sightseeing goes the best way to experience Tallinn is just to stroll without any intentions of seeing or doing anything at all… just stumble across things!

blagaj bosnia and herzegovina

Blagaj, Bosnia & Herzegovina

When I made a visit to Blagaj back in 2014 I expected to stay a few days, but wound up staying a full week in this gorgeous little town, located a 20-30 minute drive outside of better known Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Although there isn’t a whole heap to do (above is the Blagaj Tekke, the town’s biggest attraction, accompanied by the castle hike, these are the two sole attractions), the town is a fantastic chance to slow down and enjoy Eastern European hospitality. I stayed with a family who made me feel so welcome and gave me a great insight into local culture – by way of my stomach mostly!

St Petersburg

St Petersburg, Russia

I’m often heard singing the praise of the former Russian capital, St Petersburg, and today will be no exception! I am so incredibly fond of St Petersburg, once a city of tsars and full of endless fascination by way of Russian Royal history! The city is lined with canals much larger than you see in Venice and the streets are full of incredible architecture that will leave you dizzy from straining your neck just to take it all in!

cesky krumlov

Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic

This charming little town is perhaps the single place in all of Europe that looks as if it has been ripped completely out of a fairytale book. The terracotta rooftops glisten in the summer sun, whilst in winter it is often covered in a thick blanket of snow (which resulted in me falling over more than once!) If there were just one town I would send you to in Eastern Europe, it would be Cesky Krumlov… a town that forever has a piece of my heart.


Lviv, Ukraine

Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city of Lviv is unlike anywhere else you will visit in Ukraine. This city is charming and incredibly so… without even trying the city will lure you in and leave you wanting more time here, never less. Be sure to allow at least a few days in Lviv to wander the lush green parks and colourfully lined streets that are just bursting with intriguing architecture! (Image source).


Budapest, Hungary

There’s no denying that Budapest has become incredibly popular over the past few years or even the past decade, but I still hold the opinion that Budapest is one of the most underrated cities in Europe. Despite its increasing popularity, Budapest has so much more to offer than originally meets the eye – beyond the public bath houses and impressive city views at Fisherman’s Bastion, there is much more to see in the Hungarian capital. Allow yourself at least 4 days to explore this still somewhat hidden gem.


Skopje, Macedonia

Skopje is another of Europe’s most charming small capital cities. Throughout the ages Skopje has been influenced by a number of different regimes, and today continues to show influence from the Roman Empire, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. (Image source).


Kotor, Montenegro

This is hands down one of the most idyllic settings for a city to be located. Located in the Balkans, the city of Kotor in Montenegro is situated beside a bay and enjoys a much lighter tourist visitation than nearby Dubrovnik, making it a great little gem to discover off the beaten path! (Image Source).


Ljubljana, Slovenia

One of my all time favourite capital cities in Europe is the highly underestimated Ljubljana (yup, its a mouthful!) If you have just one day in Ljubljana perhaps en route to the popular Lake Bled, you should still make time for a visit as this is a great city to discover in 3 hours or less due to its size and walkability.


Dubrovnik, Croatia

Over the past few years and especially since the inception of Game of Thrones on our television screens, Dubrovnik has become an incredibly popular tourist destination and perhaps could be said to have put Croatia on the map. There is much to discover along the entire coastline of Croatia, though Dubrovnik in all of its old world charm is a logical place to start!


Berat, Albania

Not too long ago in 2008 Berat was dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, showing just how much heritage this small city has to preserve! Albania is one of Eastern Europe’s least visited countries, making it another great choice if you’re looking to get off the beaten path. (Image source).


Počitelj, Čapljina, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Another standout from my travels in Bosnia & Herzegovina was this gorgeous little town attached to a cliff side, surrounded by lush greenery and glistening in the Spring sunshine. Bosnia & Herzegovina is still very much flying under the radar and will likely become a hot spot in coming years, so be sure to put it on your list and discover it before the crowds come!


Belgrade, Serbia

I never expected I would love Serbia’s capital nearly as much as I did. As a big city, I never expected it to be charming as such, despite many travellers telling me I “had to go there and see for myself”… so I did! Indeed, this is a very charming capital city with a large al fresco dining scene and a great insight into the history of the Former Yugoslavia. (Image source).


Peleș Castle, Romania

Whilst Peles Castle may not be a town or a city, it is a charming little place that deserves its’ very own listing in this article because it is just. that. beautiful. Romania in general is absolutely full of surprises, so if I could recommend just one place you should have on your list in Eastern Europe, Romania would be it!


Over to you! Where are your favourite places in Eastern Europe!?

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    April 16, 2016 at 10:50 pm

    One of best place in my trip last year in eastern europe has been Albania, also best hostel in balkans for us has been Florians Hostel in Skodaer north of Albania, if you re around do not miss it, it amazing i cant waite come back,

    April 12, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Wroclaw is great 😉

    Miles of Happiness - Marie
    April 5, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Waow, so much to explore in Eastern Europe indeed! Beautiful list. Makes me dream…

    Mike Kukral
    April 4, 2016 at 3:53 am

    I would add the Czech cities of Olomouc and Straznice to your list, Krakow and Elblog in Poland, and Kosice and Bratislava in Slovakia.

  • Weekly Reads | A Wandering Foreigner
    April 4, 2016 at 3:15 am

    […] “The 20 Most Charming Places to Visit in Eastern Europe” – […]

    Christine Sadowski
    April 1, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Great article!! Did you drive through most of these or would they be easy to reach by public transport?

    Kıbrıs Transfer
    March 31, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Great advices. Pictures are very beauty. Thank you for share.

    March 30, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Oh my gosh, Wrocklaw looks absolutely stunning! As do all the other places on the list…

    Ameya Krishna B
    March 29, 2016 at 6:55 am

    My friend is travelling to Croatia and Bosnia. This is the perfect time to forward this blog-post to him! Thanks Brooke

    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate
    March 28, 2016 at 7:09 am

    I’m going to several of these places, mainly Romania and the Balkans, this summer with my family and this just makes me even more excited!

    María Dolores
    March 28, 2016 at 5:50 am

    I love travelling but I have only travelled by Spain because here in Spain, there are beautiful places to visit with beautiful beaches or museum. In the future, I would like visiting Saarema in Estonia, Sunny Beach in Bulgaria or Moscú in Russia-

    Carina @timestowander
    March 27, 2016 at 6:18 am

    I haven´t been to a single one and didn´t use to be very interested in visiting a lot of Eastern Europe, but I´m getting more and more interested in seeing more of it. And one of the reasons definitly are your posts. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    March 27, 2016 at 5:06 am

    You have totally inspired me to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina based on your previous posts! Now I want to go to all of these spots. Thanks for expanding my bucket list 🙂

    • Brooke Saward
      March 27, 2016 at 7:03 pm

      You will adore B&H! One of my favourite places in all of Europe 🙂

    March 26, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Great list of unique places to visit. My favorite place in this list are Tunnel of Love, Ukraine because is a relax place and Skopje, Macedonia because are a cosmopolitics city.

    Daniela Soares
    March 26, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Eastern Europe is so so beautiful! <3

    Another Lovely Blog!

    The Sunday Mode
    March 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    There are no words to describe how much I want to travel right now. I’ve been overseas a few times but there are still so many places I haven’t been too.

    March 26, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Ahhh you finally included Bulgaria in an article 🙂

    March 26, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Can’t believe so many beautiful places exist! These are all so pretty.

    March 26, 2016 at 7:13 am

    It’s so nice to see polish town on this list <3 Love your blog and your soul of traveller 🙂

    Brittany from Boston
    March 26, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Great list! Eastern Europe has a lot of hidden gems and under-the-radar cities that are more affordable than Western Europe but just as beautiful!

    March 26, 2016 at 5:57 am

    You missed Kraków, Poland. In the summer I’m going to visit Lviv because I live close to the Polsih-Ukraine boundary.

    March 26, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Czech Republic and Croatia, plus the rest of these places look so beautiful! I traveled to Europe last summer and feel as though I barely got to see it, there is just so much to explore. Lovely list, I really hope I can cross some of these off of my list soon.

    Posh, Broke, & Bored
    March 26, 2016 at 4:34 am

    I’ve been to Peles Castle, Brasov, Kotor, Riga, Tallinn, and Saint Petersburg – in fact the last three were last year! I must say that my absolute favourites are Riga (I went in winter and it was eerily beautiful) and Saint Petersburg for its grandeur. x

    Jasiminne: Posh, Broke, & Bored

    March 26, 2016 at 3:49 am

    Ok I have some serious wanderlust now. These photos are incredible! The only one on this list I’ve been to is Budapest and I totally agree that it’s very underrated! I loved it!

    March 26, 2016 at 1:57 am

    I totally had Croatia on my list!

    March 26, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Peles is in the town of Sinaia, which is a well known ski resort and camping area. Just below the Peles parking lot is the Sinaia monastery, which is a pretty and quaint place. There’s a lot more than just a castle there.

    March 25, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    Wow most of the places I didn’t even know off. I have just been into planning where to travel this year in the summer and this blogpost had definitly helped! And its so cool that you have visted so many places!

    rajasthan tour operator
    March 25, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Mostly all European countries are fantastic.
    Completely enjoyed your post and the images are superb..!!

    March 25, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Oh, I’m off to Romania, Hungary and Ukraine in a month and I’ll be visiting the places you mention. Love Eastern Europe!

    March 25, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    He place are magnificent, it is interest because we do not hear of his place in sites tourist a lot. Nevertheless they are worth it ! ^^

    Sarah xx

    Suzan Hall
    March 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Beautiful places! I have been to tunnel of love once with my partner, believe me walking in that tunnel with your partner is something you can never feel any where else. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    March 25, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Maybe some of the places aren’t really Eastern Europe but ok:)

    March 25, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Such a great list!

    Gabi @ Books & Trips
    March 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    So glad that Brasov, Sibiu and Peles Castle made it on this list! I’m happy that you enjoyed my home country, it is definitely a wonderful destination if you come with the right expectations!

    March 25, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    I also love to see Romania on this list and I like all the other locations. Granted, I haven’t been to every country listed, but it is my intention to epxplore more of Eastern Europe, especially since I’m living here. I would have added Bulgaria here. I visited Veliko Tarnovo and I was impressed by the Tsarevets Fortress. Although, I do realize that asides from that, there are mostly churches that can be visited , which is not everyone’s cup of tea.

    March 25, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I’m reading the nth post in your blog, I just couldn’t stop. I’m travelling solo to Europe soon and I found so many helpful posts here. Continue doing a good job and I wish you good health to enjoy the travels! <3

    March 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Love this list! I’ve only been to a few places but plan on crossing them all off my list!
    The Fernweh Wolf / Travel & Lifestyle Blog

    March 25, 2016 at 10:52 am

    The Czech Republic is actually nowadays commonly considered to be in Central Europe, as are Slovakia, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia and Poland. These countries stopped being considered Eastern Europe roughly 25 years ago after the fall of the Eastern Bloc.

    March 25, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I don’t agree with all the places, but in general is a good list. My main disagreement is about Skopje. And that’s because people starving and the government keeps building monuments and replicas of other european monuments. That kind of activities should not be encouraged in my opinion. Not to mention many of these countries behaviour about refugees. I know you don’t think is a huge thing, since you are an aussie and really far from this, but we are all people and on planet earth there are no natural borders. Only the ones fascism builds. Thanks for reading.
    I love your blog btw!

    March 25, 2016 at 8:12 am

    I love you and said,

    April | April Everyday
    March 25, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Ooh there’s so many places on this list that I’d love to visit! I’ve had Kotor, Dubrovnik and Ljubliana on my list for a while now, but I think I’ve just added a few more too!
    xo April | April Everyday

    March 25, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Love how many times Romania is on here, deservedly so! It’s one of my first suggestions for travelers who’ve already done a lot of Europe (Tallinn being a close second — and I’m currently falling in love with Ukraine!). Thanks for sharing, Brooke!

    March 25, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Love all of your lists! I’ve never even heard of most of these cities but thanks for bringing them to light!

    March 25, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Great list of unique places to visit. I’ve only made it to one place on this list so far.