Planning a summer trip but don’t wanna head to the Costas with every other f***er? Yeah, we hear ya. If you’re looking to get out of London in the summer months, a trip to Eastern Europe is a great way to unwind, get some foreign culture, not blow silly money on accommodation and generally escape the worst of the summer crowds.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the nicest places to visit in Eastern Europe in the summer.
1. Zakopane, Poland
About 2 hours from Krakow, this mountain resort makes a stunning retreat in the summer. Poland’s premier ski resort (yes, they do have skiing in Poland) is a quaint chocolate box town, with wooden buildings, horse and cart tours and lots of country walks to lakes and mountain passes.
Zakopane is also quite buzzing, with some great nightlife. And if you want to escape from it all, head a little further into the surrounding countryside for that rural view without the drunk people shouting at 2am.
2. Sibiu, Romania
With an airport served by flights from London, Sibiu is a gem of an Eastern European break. Not quite as packed full of inter-railing tourists as Cluj-Napoca or Brasov, but with all of the charm. Think dreamy spires, old houses, cheap food, fun nightlife and cheap as chips tourist attractions.
You can also use Sibiu as a base to explore the Transylvanian hills, if you’re thinking of hill walks or generally seeing more of Romania. Check out this nifty article about things to do in Sibiu.
3. Karlovy Vary, Czechia
This spa town close to the German border was once a popular escape for European royalty. Today it attracts its fair share of tourists, but nothing on the level of Prague. In fact, think of this as Prague-lite, but with the same beer, great food, stunning architecture and affordability.
Karlovy Vary is 1 hour 30 from Prague, and is well served by buses and trains from the capital. In fact, grab a Flixbus as they run hourly throughout the summer.
4. Ljubljana, Slovenia
European capitals don’t come more quaint and compact than Ljubljana. And the city is also one of the least teeming, even in the summer. OK – let me just add a caveat to say that it is busy, and you will be jostling for selfies of the bridge and the castle with Chinese tourists. But…. This is still one of those European city breaks that doesn’t get the tourist traffic of, say, Budapest or Dubrovnik.
Make sure to squeeze in a trip to Lake Bled, which is the fairytale image with that church in the lake. And that is very busy in summer.
5. Durres, Albania
Want that Adriatic/Mediterranean break but without the package tours from Birmingham? You’ll be wanting to head to Albania then…. The once reclusive state has really opened up in recent years and is definitely a top notch Eastern European destination to add to the list. Durres is the gateway to the coast, and the city can get very lively in the summer months. But you won’t hear anyone singing Sweet Caroline at the top of their lungs.
Fly either into Durres, or take a bus from Tirana, the nearby capital.
So these are our best tips for Eastern European summer breaks – what did we miss? Share your best suggestions in the comments. Multumesc.