Hi there, I'm planning to travel through Eastern europe for 1.5 months this Oct/Nov 08. I plan to cover croatia, slovak, czech, east germany, romania, bulgaria, hungary and poland. Maybe even russia. Since I'm gonna be on a tight budget and would be backpacking through it all, I was wondering if anyone could advise the best mode of transportation to get from point to point? IS there a rail network that's similar to what they have in western europe? ANy other helpful tips will be much appreciated. Thanks.
A good resouce for train travel is the Man in Seat 61 website
Thanks much. Is bus travel inter-country in Eastern europe recommended? If so, do you have a good website to recommend for that as well?
Bus is a very slow option....
Don t worry about. Of course railway network exist as well as buses lines. Depend from country to country but i think train is very good solution. Since you are travelling on Oct/Nov can be cold to do it by hitchike.
Very best and good luck
train is probably your best option (in terms of your time frame and accessibility) and it's fairly efficient in E. Europe. Depending on what cities/towns you want to see, there should be some daily train options to get you from point A to B (though as you get more remote, bus may be a better option.)
it may also be worthwhile for you to purchase a eurail pass to get you through several countries (Russia won't be included) but it's usually an economical option: http://www.railkey.com/tickets/regional.asp?AFF=bootsnall
hope this helps...
sometimes the train system isnt that good.. i found that when going from poland to slovakia the train was the worst option. the buses were comfy, faster and cheaper. i think youll have to ask locals/hostel staff in each place, beacuse it varies alot!
Hi there Suigeneris,
Eastern Europe for me means bus and train. If you plan on going between the main towns and cities well then it has to be train. But in Croatia for example train is a very limited mode of transport and you will almost certainly have to rely on their excellent Bus network, it goes to every town and village in the country.
Eastern europe really is the home of the freindly train journey and they usually link somehow with busses, even in small places.
Russia is covered by a vast train network which will get you wherever you want to go. If you want to delve deeper into the country side where trains don't run, busses usually will, or else someone will give you a lift. Offer them some small money or souvenir for the lift is advisable.
Hope that's some help. If you have any specific questions on locations you can PM me.
Am curious. For such long trips, spanning 1-2 months, do you normally purchase a combination of rail passes ro do you buy 1 and then wing it the rest of the way? Problem is i'm uncertain as to how accessible it is to get hold of a railpass mid way through the trip if I ever need to replenish my pass. Train stations dont normally seem to sell it, contrary to what I was told earlier. How do you seasoned folks normally handle this sort of situation to ensure you keep your trip economical?
Hiya.. I did a similar trip during July & August this year.. We were in Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, Croatia, Slovenia & Hungrary and used all modes of transport to get around depending on the country.. Trains in Poland were great, buses in Czech Republic & Croatia and trains in Hungrary.. Also sailed down Danube from Vienna to Bratislava and flew from Bratislava to Dubrovnik.. I'd advise against buying a train travel card as this leaves you limited to travelling on trains only unless you want to spend more money then on buese etc.. Best option is to ask in your hostel/accomodation the best route to your next destination.. Good luck and enjoy it!!