Eastern Europe Tours
Eastern Europe tours cover this vast region made up of many contrasting countries, each with their own proud history and story to tell. Visit Bulgaria in the heart of the breathtaking Balkans, Hungary with its intriguing capital of Budapest, the medieval cities of Poland, and the densely forested mountains and folklore of Romania.
Finding & Loading Tours
- 6 Days - Sofia and Back
- Fly Tour from £599
Bulgaria is astonishing for its varied landscapes but perhaps more so for its unique blend of ancient history and contemporary culture. Visitors adore its fine-sand beaches and ski resorts, but one of Europe’s oldest countries holds many more surprises waiting to be unearthed.
- 6 Days - Braşov to Bucharest
- Fly Tour from £719
Transylvania evokes visions of towering Gothic castles set in densely forested mountains, but this atmospheric ‘land beyond the forest’, deep in the heart of Romania, holds countless wonders waiting to be discovered. In contrast is the bustling capital city, Bucharest, which proudly bears the scars of a communist past – just one of the many intriguing chapters of the nation’s rich and lengthy history.
- 7 Days - Budapest to Passau
- Fly Cruise from £1,149
This cruise along the Danube ticks all the boxes for scenic beauty and enchanting cityscapes. A classical treasure trove of history and the arts, we’ll stop in opulent Vienna - with the option of a live classical concert.
- 7 Days - Warsaw to Krakow
- Tour Only from £1,305
The resilience of Poland is revealed on this exploration of a land marred by war, but restored with enviable verve. This spiritual pilgrimage will take you to the birthplace of Pope John Paul II.
- 7 Days - Bucharest and Back
- Fly Tour from £1,349
History, intrigue and legend accompany you on this fascinating tour of Romania's wonderful highlights. Transylvanian castles, medieval villages, forested landscapes and ancient monasteries all have a tale to tell as you take a round trip from its capital, Bucharest.
- 9 Days - Warsaw and Back
- Fly Tour from £1,399
Poland reverently respects its history while marching forward in hope. Exploring its spiritual side, we head to the ‘Jasna Góra’ (Bright Hill) Monastery in Częstochowa, a hugely prominent place of pilgrimage.
Discover Eastern Europe
Tours to Eastern Europe showcase the history, culture and outstanding natural beauty of this diverse region, with fascinating guided excursions designed to enrich each holiday.
History lovers will enjoy delving into the region's fascinating past. Over the centuries, many empires have ruled Bulgaria, including the Romans and the Ottomans. The country initially struggled following the fall of the Communist regime, but today it is fast becoming one of Eastern Europe's most popular tourist destinations. Bulgaria offers an intriguing mix of architectural styles, from the stunning neo-Renaissance National Assembly Building in the capital of Sofia, to the impressive Roman amphitheatre in Serdica, discovered in 2004.
Without a doubt Budapest's waterfront is iconic, with the spectacular Hungarian Parliament taking centre stage. Just a stone's throw from the Danube river is Buda, home to the ornate Fisherman's Bastion and grand Buda Castle.
The Romanian capital of Bucharest, founded by Vlad the Impaler, is also renowned for its architecture, including the neo-classical Opera House and Romanian Orthodox Church of St Stavropoleos. Another stunning capital is Prague, which straddles the Vltava river. The medieval centre is a maze of cobbled lanes and ancient courtyards, and there are five historical districts linked by the landmark Charles Bridge.
Known as the 'Cradle of the Balkans', Albania and Macedonia offer incredible UNESCO-listed sites and well-preserved churches. Located on the shores of picturesque Lake Ohrid, the UNESCO-listed city of Ohrid has an array of beautiful churches including the Church of St. Sophia, while UNESCO-listed Butrint in southern Albania is renowned for its impressive Roman ruins.
Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and the Ukraine, is a hidden gem bursting with architectural treasures. The capital, Chisinau has an impressive Triumphal Arch commemorating Russia's victory over the Ottoman Empire during the 19th century. Further south is the republic of Transnistria which has retained a strong Soviet character.
Novi Sad straddles the legendary River Danube and is Serbia's second largest city. It is a treasure trove, with the magnificent Petrovaradin Fortress dominating the skyline and the historic Stari Grand offering a plethora of museums. The diverse capital of Bratislava also has interesting museums, including the Slovak National Museum, with exhibits documenting Slovakia's interesting past.
The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes connecting the East with the West. It passed through Armenia, a country with a turbulent past, and Azerbaijan, a fusion of cultures as a result of being frequented by traders and travellers. Its capital, exotic Baku, has a charming 10th-century UNESCO-listed Old City with narrow alleyways and caravanserais.
Eastern Europe is renowned for its architecturally-rich cities, but it also has stunning mountain ranges and an array of hiking trails, just waiting to be explored. Northern Bulgaria is dominated by the flat Danube Valley, with the south being occupied by highlands and plains. The Balkan Mountains cut through the centre of this intriguing country and offer avid hikers endless walking opportunities. The beaches along the Black Sea coast are perfect for a gentle stroll and the ski resorts cater for adrenaline-fuelled holidays.
Georgia is one of the world's oldest Christian nations and boasts rolling green valleys, vast vineyards and incredible natural wonders. Martvili Canyon in the Samegrelo region has stunning cascading waterfalls and was once a bathing spot for the Dadiani aristocracy.
Slovakia is just a stone's throw from the beautiful Small Carpathians mountain range, perfect for a ramble, while a climb up Sighisoara's Clock Tower in Romania promises spectacular panoramic views, but it's not for the faint hearted! Last but not least is Poland. From rugged mountains to the sandy beaches on the Baltic coast, and the stunning wilderness of the Bialowieza National Park, the country is perfect for outdoor pursuits.
In addition to a rich history, myriad of architectural styles, and stunning scenery, Eastern Europe has been the inspiration for greats works of literature. North of the Romanian capital of Bucharest, high in the breathtaking mountains, is the famous Bran Castle, known as Dracula's Castle. Its striking orange spires emerge from verdant forest. It has long been associated with Dracula as it is the only castle in Transylvania which fits Bram Stoker's description of Dracula's Castle.
Highlights of Eastern Europe
Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and has a superb mix of museums, art galleries and parks. There is definitely something for everyone in this fascinating city, steeped in history. Onion-domed churches and Ottoman mosques dominate the skyline, alongside the impressive National Assembly Building, used by the Bulgarian Parliament. Excavations have unearthed incredible Roman ruins, dating back almost 200 years, from when the city was called Serdica. These include an impressive Roman amphitheatre, which was one of the largest in the Roman Empire.
The Hungarian capital of Budapest straddles the River Danube, with historic Buda on one side and modern Pest on the other, connected by the famous Chain Bridge. Buda is hilly and where you’ll find the ornate Fisherman’s Bastion and beautiful Matthias Church. Pest is the lively, urban centre and home to the Hungarian Parliament, which forms part of Budapest’s iconic waterfront. On the outskirts of Budapest is Memento Park, an open-air museum with statues from the Cold War era. After the Communist regime collapsed, statues were removed from the city and placed in the park.
The medieval city of Sighisoara is the birthplace of the infamous Prince Vlad, also known as Vlad the Impaler. His former home can still be seen today as it survived the 1676 fire. Sighisoara has traditional cobbled streets, an array of colourful buildings and a pretty UNESCO-listed Old Town. Magnificent fortified walls encircle the city’s former merchant houses, which are now occupied by cafes and craft shops.
The Romanian capital of Bucharest has earned the nickname of “Paris on the Danube” due to its pretty tree-lined boulevards and ornate 19th-century architecture. There is even a Triumphal Arch and a boulevard which is actually longer than the Champs Elysees in Paris. The city was founded by Vlad the Impaler and the ruins of his 15th-century Old Court Palace and Church are still visible. Other sights include the Church of St Stavropoleos and the opulent neo-classical Opera House.
The fortified city of Brasov, ringed by the verdant Carpathian Mountains, is an architectural treasure trove, with gothic, baroque and renaissance styles on display. The cobbled old town known as Piata Sfatului is encircled by splendid baroque buildings and where you’ll find the magnificent Casa Sfatului. Overlooking the city is the breathtaking Mt Tampa which can be ascended via cable car for panoramic views.
North of Bucharest is the alpine resort of Sinaia, home to the fairytale Peles Castle and the spectacular 17th-century Sinaia Monastery, where it is possible to meet the monks. Deep in the mountains on the Transylvanian border is Bran Castle, believed to be the castle depicted in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula.
Belgrade, known as the ‘White City’, is undoubtedly one of Eastern Europe’s liveliest cities. The Serbian capital has the pedestrianised Skadarska street lined with restaurants and cafes, while in the south, walls are decorated with brilliant ‘trompe-L’oeil’ paintings. Top sights include the impressive Belgrade Fortress built in 535 BCE, the Byzantine Church of Saint Sava, and the large Kalemegdan Park.
Novi Sad, Serbia
Novi Sad is Serbia’s second largest city and straddles the legendary River Danube. The Petrovaradin Fortress dominates the skyline and dates back to the 17th century. On the other side of the river is the historic old quarter, Stari Grand, lined with museums, cafes and shops. It is also home to the stunning neo-Renaissance City Hall. During the summer months, tourists flock to the Strand, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Danube.
Bratislava is the fascinating capital of Slovakia. Learn about Slovakia’s history, archaeology and music at the Slovak National Museum, or for lovers of art, the Slovak National Gallery is well worth a visit. The Small Carpathians mountain range is just a stone’s throw from the city and offers numerous hiking and biking trails. The mountains are also known for their wine growing with several wine cellars dotted amongst the gorgeous scenery.
Butrint is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in southern Albania. The incredible ruins, which showcase several time periods, are set against a stunning backdrop of verdant forests in Butrint National Park. The theatre of Butrint houses the statue of Apollo and the marble heads of Zeus, while the magnificent Venetian tower was built during the time when Venetians were in charge of the area.
Baku, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, is the beautiful capital of Azerbaijan, a country with a wealth of natural resources including natural gas. Dubai-style skyscrapers provide a stark contrast to the lovingly-restored UNESCO-listed old town with its alleyways and caravanserais in the city of Baku. Beyond the city is semi-desert and mud volcanoes, while further inland is verdant farmland and dense forests.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and has a beautiful medieval centre featuring a maze of cobbled lanes, ancient courtyards and stunning churches, overlooked by the impressive 9th-century castle. The city straddles the Vltava river and has five historical districts – Hradcany, Mala Strana, Stare Mestro, Josefov and the new town, all linked by the iconic Charles bridge which is lined with statues of Catholic saints.
Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia and located on the banks of the Mtkvari River, set against a backdrop of rolling hills and majestic mountains. The city was once part of the Greek and Roman trade network serving the east. Today it is a fascinating city with a wealth of cultural sights, including the impressive 4th-century Narikala Fortress and the magnificent 12th-century Armenian Cathedral of St George. There is also the State Museum of Georgia which houses exhibits of gold and jewellery dating back to pre-Christian times.
UNESCO-listed Ohrid is located on the shores of Lake Ohrid. It has a lot of beautiful churches which has given it the nickname of the ‘Macedonian Jerusalem’. Due to its location, it has been ruled by several empires over the years including Roman and Ottoman. Highlights include the Gallery of Icons which houses the largest collection of icons in the world, the impressive amphitheatre, and the spectacular Ohrid fortress. There is also the four-story House of Robev.
Capital of Moldova, Chisinau offers impressive architecture, including the neoclassical Nativity Cathedral and Cathedral Park, complete with a Triumphal Arch which commemorates Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century.
Krakow is the former capital of Poland and was relatively unscathed during World War II. Wawel Hill is home to the magnificent Wawel Castle, once the seat of Poland’s rulers, and a beautiful Cathedral. The old town has plenty of Gothic churches and a large Market Square, surrounded by medieval townhouses and the 14th-century Cloth Hall.