You Should Travel to Central and Eastern Europe (Part 2 of 2)
We told you the advantages. Now here are the drawbacks — and also recommendations on where exactly to go.
I recently wrote how, in many ways, Central and Eastern Europe is an absolutely amazing travel destination.
But there are definitely some drawbacks too. And after detailing them in this article, I’ll provide some specific information on each country we’ve visited.
Full disclosure: This article is written for Westerners from a Western perspective.
The Drawbacks to Travel in Eastern Europe
It’s more difficult to get around.
When people from car-centric America visit Western Europe, they usually marvel at the amazing transportation systems — not only the fantastic bus, bike, and metro systems within the cities, but the fast, cheap, reliable train systems between cities.
Things are less fantastic and less reliable in Eastern Europe. The cities themselves are usually just as compact and pedestrian-friendly (and just as frustrating for less mobile, disabled travelers), but local public transportation tends to rely more on old buses than sleek new trams and subways.
Meanwhile, the trains between cities are usually older and slower than in Western Europe. And many cities have no train service at all.
There are exceptions, of course. Prague, Budapest, and Istanbul all have fantastic metro systems.
And even if the trains between cities are often older and slower, the rides themselves can be scenically fantastic. The train between Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina is famous for a reason.
But as a general rule, the poorer (and less expensive) the country, the worse the public transportation and train systems will be.
That said, the price on these transportation systems can be ridiculously low — $1 USD or less per trip. And the price of cabs is shockingly low too. In Tbilisi, Georgia, you can go almost anywhere in the entire city for $5 USD or less.
The price of buses between cities is also very low. To get between cities or countries, we often hire a driver, which is surprisingly affordable. Prices are even lower when you hire locally, bypassing online brokers. Ask your hotel or host for recommendations.
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