Eastern Europe Itinerary - Two weeks
Travelers frequently overlook Eastern Europe in favor of countries such as Italy, France, Greece, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Spain. If you want to visit Europe but prefer less crowded and more affordable countries, consider Eastern Europe. The region is a treasure trove of unspoiled landscapes, rugged mountains, fairytale castles, medieval architecture, rich history, and friendly people.
When you begin planning a vacation to Eastern Europe, you will realize you have much ground to cover. It isn’t easy to plan a two-week itinerary if you have options like Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Montenegro, and Austria. The suggested itinerary only includes the most popular towns, as two weeks is insufficient time to explore lesser-known destinations of this picturesque region. It is intended primarily for first-time visitors to the area. I saved the countries further south, such as Croatia and Montenegro, for another trip. For tips on visiting Croatia, click here.
Why Should You Visit Eastern Europe?
Eastern Europe is a destination that appeals to all types of tourists, from backpackers to luxury travelers. There is something for everyone in this spectacular region.
- Breathtaking landscapes
- Incredible architecture
- Engrossing history
- Warm hospitality
- Delicious food
- Buzzing nightlife
- Less crowded
- Surprisingly Affordable
When to visit Eastern Europe:
The tourist season runs from May to September, but the majority of visitors arrive in July and August. The days are longer and the weather is perfect during peak season, but the crowds can be overwhelming and the prices are higher. May, June, and September are ideal shoulder months because there is more elbow room and rates are competitive.
Getting Around in Eastern Europe:
Trains and buses run frequently, and you can plan your journey based on how much time you want to spend in a city. The best mode of transportation in Eastern Europe varies according to region. Some countries have faster and cheaper trains, while others have a more efficient bus network. As a result, it is advised that you gather as much information about public transportation as possible. Rome2rio.com is a useful website for comparing the time and cost of various modes of transportation. You can save money on hotel rooms by taking night trains and buses.
Eastern Europe Itinerary for Two Weeks:-
We will begin our Eastern Europe itinerary in Prague, the Czech Republic’s capital. Prague is easily accessible by plane and train due to its central location in Europe. Prague Ruzyne Airport is about 9 miles from the city center, and the Airport Express Bus will take you there in about 30 minutes. You can also hail a taxi or arrange for a private transfer. Prague is also easily accessible from the rest of Europe via Eurail and Rail Europe. The main train station in Prague is Praha Hlavni Nadrazi.
Eastern Europe Itinerary: Day 1-3 - Prague, Czech Republic
Prague, which is perched on the bank of the River Vitava, is breathtaking everywhere you look. It’s impossible to resist falling in love with this medieval old town with its colorful buildings, picturesque riverside, cobblestone lanes, secret courtyards, and quirky boutiques. The city has a fairytale charm due to its Art Nouveau buildings, Gothic Cathedrals, hilltop Castle, and numerous church spires. The Vltava River, which is traversed by over thirty footbridges and bridges, is one of the most picturesque rivers in the world. The city is also well-known for its vibrant, cultural atmosphere. Despite being one of the most popular tourist destinations, Prague remains reasonably priced. It has one of Europe’s best public transportation systems, with an integrated tram, bus, and Metro network.
What to do in Prague, Czech Republic :
- Climb all the way to see the 19th century Prague Castle, the oldest known ancient castle in the world.
- Cross the Charles Bridge that links the Old Town with Prague Castle and admire the beautiful statues.
- Walk around the Old Town Square
- Go cruising on River Vltava
- Have a look at the Astronomical Clock and Dancing Building
- Check out quirky museums like the Czech Beer Museum, Karel Zaman Museum, Speculum Alchemiae Museum, & Apple Museum
- Taste the amazing Czech cuisine and the famed Czech beer
- Enjoy the buzzing nightlife and the best beer in Europe.
Krakow is the next stop on the itinerary. The best option is to take a night train (EuroNight) from Prague to Krakow, which departs at 22:05 and arrives at 5:45 a.m. If you don’t have any financial constraints, take a flight (one hour). A private car will take approximately 6 hours.
Eastern Europe Itinerary: Day 4-5 - Krakow, Poland
Krakow is not Poland’s capital, but it is the country’s most popular city. The old town, with its colorful streets, majestic main square, quaint churches, and grand historic architecture, is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. For history buffs, a visit to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp is a must.
What to do in Krakow, Poland :
- A day trip to Wieliczka Salt Mine is highly recommended and it can be combined with Auschwitz.
- Visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camp for an unforgettable and humbling experience
- Explore Krakow’s main square
- Take a tour of the vibrant Jagiellonian University
- Admire the St Francis’ Basilica and Wawel Castle
You can take a night train from Krakow to Budapest as it saves time and night accommodation. It leaves around 10 pm and takes roughly 10 hours. Other options include taking a day train, a flight (one hour), or a private car. Traveling by car takes 6.5 hours, and you can stop for sightseeing along the way.
Eastern Europe Itinerary: Day 6-8 - Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is without a doubt one of the most spectacular and romantic cities in the world. The Danube divides the city into two parts: Buda and Pest. The two historic towns are linked by the iconic Chain Bridge. The grandeur of the city, with its Neo-Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture, wide boulevards, and majestic castles and churches, must be seen to be believed. The vibrant theatre scene, steamy thermal baths, never-ending eating establishments, and thriving nightlife make you realize why everyone adores this spectacular city. Budapest may be steeped in history, but it is also a fun city with a laid-back vibe.
What to do in Budapest, Hungary –
- Take a tour of Hungarian Parliament House (if you want to go inside, book tickets in advance)
- Take a dip at Gellert Baths – you cannot leave Budapest without experiencing the famed thermal bath
- Climb up to the spectacular Buda Castle and Castle Hill
- Wander on the Danube Promenade and take the Danube River Cruise
- Visit the State Opera House, National Museum, and St. Stephen’s Basilica
- Shop at Central Market Hall and Esceri Flea Market.
- Take a day trip to Lake Balaton
- Have a look at the Dohany Street Synagogue, Hero’s Square, and Fisherman’s Bastion
- Party at the famous ‘ruin pubs’ and quirky cafes
Our next destination is Vienna, and the best way to get there from Budapest is to take an early morning train on the ninth day. It will take approximately 3 hours. At roughly the same time, one can also travel by bus or car.
Eastern Europe Itinerary: Day 9-10 - Vienna, Austria
Technically, Vienna is not in Eastern Europe, but you can’t pass up this beautiful city after coming this close. Vienna is a must-see for its stunning modern and traditional architecture and is not as overrun as other ‘popular’ Western European cities. World-class museums, imperial gardens/palaces, State operas, rich cultural vibes, classical music, and old-world charm abound in Europe’s most walkable city. Is it any surprise that Vienna is known as the City of Music, given the presence of names like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, and Schubert? Walking down the cobblestone streets of Austria’s artistic capital will recharge your batteries.
What to do in Vienna, Austria –
- Explore the National History Museum and Belvedere Museum
- Take a tour of the Schonbrunn Palace and its majestic gardens
- Admire the Hofburg Palace and the Vienna Town Hall
- Shop at Naschmarkt, Vienna’s best-known market
- Visit the Stephansdom, Vienna’s Gothic Cathedral
- Attend a show at the Vienna Opera House
- Have fun at Prater – the biggest theme park in Austria
If you’ve already been to Vienna, you can go to Salzburg and the Werfen Caves instead. They are definitely worth a visit. Our next stop is Lake Bled, which can be reached by train, car, or bus. A car is the quickest option, as the trip from Vienna takes four hours. Both the train and the bus will take approximately 6 hours. Leave early on the 11th day to give yourself enough time in Lake Bled.
Eastern Europe Itinerary: Day 11-12 - Lake Bled, Slovenia
The picturesque town of Bled draws visitors from all over the world. A cliffside castle and the majestic Julian Alps flank the enchanting town. Bled, with its alpine lake, church-topped little island, secluded coves, medieval castle, and numerous hiking trails, is one of Europe’s most popular resort towns, attracting everyone from backpackers to honeymooners. Bled is famous for more than just its breathtaking beauty. People come here to enjoy the adrenaline-pumping adventure activities and the mouth-watering Bled Cake.
What to do in Bled, Slovenia –
- Take a stroll around Lake Bled
- Enjoy a ride in the traditional ‘Pletna’ boat on the glacial lake.
- Visit Bled Island and ring the church bell to get your wish fulfilled
- Climb up to Osojnica for the breathtaking view of Lake Bled
- Explore Lake Bled Castle
- Enjoy adventure sports like canyoning, ballooning, rafting, skydiving, and paragliding
- Take a tour of the Vintgar Gorge with its stunning waterfalls and pools.
- Gorge on the famous Bled Cream cake – it is a must.
Ljubljana is the final destination. The distance between Lake Bled and Ljubljana is only 52 kilometers, and it is easily accessible by any mode of transportation. On the 13th day, leave Lake Bled in the morning.
Eastern Europe Itinerary: Day 13-14 - Ljubljana, Slovenia
Ljubljana is definitely the hidden gem of Europe. Thanks to its student population, the charming old town is always in high spirits. Cars are restricted in the center, leaving the narrow cobblestone streets open to pedestrians and cyclists. The entire town comes alive in the summer with festivals, events, street performances, and open-air kiosks. The town has impressive structures such as the Ljubljana Castle, the Old Town, and the Triple Bridges. However, Ljubljana isn’t about ‘must-see attractions.’ People come to Ljubljana to enjoy the lively atmosphere and delightful experiences.
What to do in Ljubljana, Slovenia :
- Explore the Old Town with its medieval buildings and narrow alleys.
- Visit the Ljubljana Castle
- Taste the yummy street food and the mouthwatering gelato
- Shop at the quaint central market
- Have a look at the art galleries and museums
- Try the local wine
- Admire the Triple Bridges
We’ve finished our two-week vacation exploring the beautiful countries of Eastern Europe, and it’s time to fly back from Ljubljana International Airport. I hope this two-week itinerary helps you plan an unforgettable trip to Eastern Europe.