City Breaks are now more popular than ever as tourist numbers grow throughout many countries that were once merely forgotten about. Their symbolic architecture, cobbled streets and unique atmosphere make them a worthwhile trip. So many different European cities make up the “must see” lists of people all around the world but which cities should top your list? Here are some of the best eastern European cities to explore.
Ljubljana , Slovenia
Ljubljana is a city that oozes style, class and charm. A mixture of rich colours and a vibrant atmosphere make this one of the best places to visit.
If the hustle and bustle of the city requires you to take a break then Tivoli Park is the place for you. Tranquillity, green space, stunning trees and trails to trek, this is a place that is loved by locals and enjoyed even more by tourists. Take in the Jakopic Promenade, sip coffee and eat cake at the open-air gallery. This is a place to visit, enjoy your surroundings and be amazed at the wonders of nature.
The Ljublanica River has really made its mark on the city and made it what it is today. It is steeped in history and has helped to bring wealth to the early settlement but now it is here, in all its glory for you to enjoy. Take the time to meander along the river. View the architecture of the bridges while taking in the city from a different perspective. Finish off with a stroll along the promenades and sample many of the bars and restaurants with terraces overlooking the river.
The capital of Estonia, Tallinn, is a destination that you will not want to forget. It brings together mixture of the modern, intertwined with culture history and an atmosphere that will leave you wanting more.
This impressive palace, which was built for Peter the Great in 1718 is now an Art Museum. Take in this gorgeous Baroque palace that was beautifully designed by Italian architect Niccolo Michetti. Be sure to wander around the manicured gardens. The sculptures, artwork and the amazing setting will certainly leave a lasting impression.
A rich Décor and stunning design make this Cathedral a worthwhile visit. Completed in 1900, it consists of Orthodox sacral architecture and houses the largest bell in Tallinn. The interior is carefully decorated with mosaics and looks equally as good at night, draped in light as it is during the day.
This stunning city is steeped in tradition and history but also delivers incredible views. This is a UNESCO Heritage site with the city being built between the 12th and 14th centuries. There is medieval architecture all around and historic monuments that will keep you entertained and intrigued for hours. The city walls are beyond impressive and extend for more than 4 kilometres.
The Lovcen National Park is stunning beyond words. Take the serpentine road from Kotor and be prepared to be amazed by the scenery and the views of the Bay of Kotor.
Covering over 6,220 hectares, it is diverse in every sense of the word. Covered by dense forest, lakes dotted around and home to birds, falcons and eagles. There are plenty of places to visit along the way such as Petar Petrovic Njegos’ Mausoleum for those who want a spot of history with views.
For those who want a spot of adventure and thrill, the zip line will give you exactly what you want. Finally, stop off at Ivanova Kovita, where you can take a casual lunch or picnic. Take in the spectacular views and feel at one with the world.
Bratislava is a city that will intrigue you as much as it will sweep you off your feet. The castle watches over the old town with a backdrop of towns and buildings bring this city straight back to modern times. There is plenty of green around you though, with the banks of the Danube River, the Austrian Border and many parks will give you the ability to explore.
This landmark overlooks the city and was completed in the 9th century. It stands proud in every way and has been home to eleven Kings and eight Queens, making it a popular tourist destination. The Castle delivers a superb silhouette, which is derived from the four wings of which each has a corner tower. Take in the Yard of Honour located at the front of the castle, admire the impressive gates, and guard houses. The Slovak National Museums are open to browse with the eastern terrace providing access to the reconstructed remains of the Great Moravian basilica.
Gdansk has a unique feel that sets it apart from all other cities in Poland. It has a rich maritime history that has underpinned the city for centuries. The architecture of the city is influenced by the merchants who helped to shape the city in years gone by.
The Long Market is a long street that runs through Gdansk and is flanked by colourful ornate houses adorned with architecture and character. A great place to visit in both winter and summer. The square and fountain will certainly deliver a feeling of the city’s past. There are restaurants and cafés aplenty along this street. So finding somewhere to eat and drink will never be a problem.
Considered to be the best attraction in the country, Vilnius is filled with baroque beauty and a charm that is alluring and warm. Tourists are attracted from everywhere with the cold winters and long, drawn out summer evenings make this a place to visit.
Built from an apparent prophetic dream, the castle has dealt with attacks and still stood strong. The tower is a symbol of the city and from the castle, you can experience the amazing views. Inside is the museum where you can view models of the castles from the previous centuries. At night, the castle is equally as impressive, although you are unable to access it. But sitting on the fence that surrounds it will provide you with a spot to relax and chat in subtle, yet beautiful surroundings.
This is one of the most popular shrines in Vilnius and is worshipped by many. This is the last surviving gate from the original five gates that were installed in the city wall between 1503 and 1522. Many visit because of the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary while many believe that sacred power work miraculously. Whatever your reason for visiting, you will not be disappointed.
The old town situated along the Drava River and the buzz of the central streets give this city a breath of life and a real atmosphere. This is an industrial city that oozes culture and is extremely popular with tourists.
For those who like to take in the history of the city, the Maribor castle ruins will deliver just that. The Drava River is flanked by buildings that offer charm, while the spectacular views will leave you amazed. There are plenty of things to do when it comes to food and drink. Regardless of whether you want a snack, a meal, coffee or wine – there is much to choose from.
Just South East of Maribor is Slovenia's oldest towns, Ptuj. Be sure to visit while in Maribor and take in many of the historical and medieval sites to be found here.
Plovdiv will invigorate you and enable you to immerse yourself into history while the surrounding hills give this a natural feel of beauty of intrigue. This is an old, romantic town where colour helps to inject a vibrancy that just cannot be matched.
This ancient amphitheatre was discovered during a freak landslide. It will leave you not only amazed, but feeling like you have been thrown back to times of old. This is history at its very best but as it has been very well preserved you can really see it for what it is – a spectacular journey through time. Lit up at night it provides a warming yet eerie feel to it while during the day, you can really feel its presence and magic.