Autumn in Eastern Europe
Autumn in Eastern Europe
When most of us think of autumn we imagine red, yellow and orange leaves falling from trees, crisp mornings, cosy evenings and hearty meals in warm pubs. Nowhere in the world is this more true than Eastern Europe.
When you start planning your European trip of a lifetime you might think summer is the best time to go… but so does everyone else. Heaving crowds, over-priced accommodation, the heat and more tourist traps than you can shake a stick at could end up ruining the holiday you’ve been dreaming of for years.
Autumn in Eastern Europe means the muggy heat of summer is gone, mornings are fresh, restaurants and bars are welcoming back the locals instead of hundreds of tourists and hotels aren’t filled to capacity so you can usually get yourself a good last-minute deal.
There are plenty of places to see and things to do in Eastern Europe. Here are some of the best…
Since the fall of communism, Prague has become one of Europe’s must-see cities. The Old Town and Castle district are worth exploring but if you want to see real Prague (and avoid getting ripped off) head to the suburbs. Here you’ll find bars, nightlife, museums and good value accommodation. To help with planning your visit, sign up for the Prague Tourism e-news at http://www.praguewelcome.cz/en/. The weather will be mild so a great way to see the sights is a walking tour.
Budapest originally started as two cities (Buda and Pest) on either side of the Danube River. Today it is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. A good public transport system and cheap taxis make it easy to get around and outside the main tourist season (i.e. summer) you’ll find reasonably priced accommodation. Best of all, you could spend days eating and drinking your way around this amazing city (try a stuffed cabbage roll). In fact, a specialty of Budapest is 'Ruin Pubs'. Some clever folks there have converted abandoned buildings into some of the hottest nightspots in town.
Believe it or not, Warsaw in Poland is where all the action is. The city was nearly obliterated in World War II and since then the rebuilding efforts have been almost non-stop. This place has everything – buzzing music and nightclub culture, street festivals, great restaurants (head south of Al Jerozolimskie for dinner) and a vibrancy that can’t be matched by most of its European counterparts. And seeing as you’ll be there in autumn, check out Warsaw Autumn, the largest international Polish festival of contemporary music. This 8-day festival is held in the second half of September each year.
Sitting as far south in Croatia as you can get, Dubrovnik is worth the trip. The city centre is surrounded by walls (which you should walk around while you’re there) and beyond those walls is the magnificent green-blue ocean where you can see all the way to the bottom on a good day. You can swim in the ocean until October so you won’t miss anything by not going in summer. Include Dubrovnik in a trip down the Dalmatian Coast from Split and you won’t be disappointed.