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Tips for backpacking Central/Eastern Europe?

Travel Forums Europe Tips for backpacking Central/Eastern Europe?

1. Posted by KaneAlexxander (First Time Poster 1 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

I'm going to be departing from Zurich on october 7th and then going through countries considered to be in central and Eastern Europe (Slovenia, croatia, Serbia, Slovakia etc). I am a Canadian citizen and will be traveling alone. Have a route planned, although I'm sure I'll reroute. Any tips for traveling around this area, or anywhere in particular you would recommend for me? I'm all ears!

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3. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1059 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Looks a good route. I think you'll find it easy travelling and marvellously cheap.

If you have ample time in Bled you could continue to Lake Bohinj and take the cable car up the mountain - that was a highlight for us.

Many of these places have free walking tours which are a good way to oriented. Google free walking tour Ljubljana for instance.

One of my favourite things about Budapest is the spa baths. Try Szechyeni, it's the biggest and with the grandest architecture.

Happy travels.

4. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 492 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

I drove around the Balkans region so I can't be sure my suggestions will be that practical for a backpacker so you will have to check these. For Slovenia a visit to Postojna Cave is worth doing, it is touristy but the caves are really fascinating.

Plitvice Lakes is obvious one for Croatia and a lot of buses service this area so easy for a backpacker to visit. Zadar and Pag Island are also worth a look. Hvar Island is pricey but it very beautiful and popular with backpackers.

Bosnia you want to stop at Mostar and Blagaj, if you can Kravice Falls are amazing, Tuzla is also a nice stop and the salt lake is interesting, I don't know if it is possible to visit without your own vehicle but Srebrenik Fortress is spectacular so if you can visit definately put that on the list. Brcko has an interesting situation that makes for an educating visit.

If you are planning on climbing Kotor Walls I recommend doing so at the crack of dawn, you not only save on entry fee but your climb will be before the sun hits the walls after which the walk becomes very hot and uncomfortable. Again I don't know if you can visit without your own vehicle but Lovcen is an amzing viewpoint, that takes in all of Kotor Bay.

Before you get to Krakow consider stopping at Zakopane. It is a beautiful area in the mountains with lots of hiking and pretty lakes.

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 989 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

Suggest you add Vienna to the itinerary, even though some may think it's not a worthy destination. I've been there many times, including earlier this year. I often visit friends in Austria. Many of the countries you plan to visit once were part of the Austro Hungarian Empire.

Also suggest you consider booking inexpensive online fares with Austrian Railways (OBB): http://www.oebb.at/en/angebote-ermaessigungen/sparschiene

For example, you can travel from Vienna to Prague, Warsaw, Krakow, etc., using these heavily discounted fares. The trip can originate from another country. For example, I bought an OBB Nightjet ticket from Milan to Vienna using my U.S. credit card. I printed the ticket at home (however, if the international trip originates in Vienna, you pick up your ticket at a train station there, either from a machine or from a ticket office using your confirmation number).

Earlier this year, I traveled from Italy to Austria, traversed the Czech Republic to Poland and then to Ukraine (Lviv and Kyiv) using the rails. For timetables, see these links:
https://www.bahn.com/en/view/index.shtml
https://www.seat61.com/

Buses are a convenient mode of transportation in the Balkans. I used them extensively throughout the region.

6. Posted by Teoni (Respected Member 492 posts) 39w Star this if you like it!

In Belgrade you might want to visit Skardaska. It is a little street full of traditional Serbian eateries and it is about half the price of anywhere else in central Belgrade. Since you are going from there to Budapest you could stop in a Novi Sad, there is a train station so it shouldn't be too hard. It is a pretty little town full of Austro Hungarian architecture and the views of the Danuabe from Petrovaradin Fortress are fantastic.