Where usually wants to go the average Russian traveler, when it comes to Europe? Of course, France! To see Paris and the castles of the Loire, to admire the Provence, to drink French wine.
Or, for example, in Italy: stroll through the magnificent Rome, ride a gondola on the canal in Venice, to stand under Juliet's balcony in romantic Verona.
You can also go to Germany to admire the Saxon Dresden, drink beer in the old Royal brewery in the Bavarian Munich, or finally see the Imperial Berlin with its wide streets, huge squares and many museums.
It turns out that more famous (and popular in terms of tourism) we have Western Europe. As for Eastern Europe, more or less visited Russian "voajeri", perhaps, only the Czech Republic (or rather, its capital Prague).
Other countries in this very large region, we imagine or very bad, or don't know at all. But in vain! In fact, there's not only lots to see (and even admire) – it even cost much cheaper.
We present you the 10 countries of Eastern Europe, which is proving much more interesting than we could what to expect.
Our nearest neighbor Lithuania – part of the once thriving and occupied a considerable territory of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In fact, the name of its capital before sounded different – Vilna.
Echoes the glorious times of princes Gediminas, Algirdas, Vytautas and others, and nowadays can be found everywhere. For example, tourists are strongly recommended to visit the former residence of the Lithuanian princes – Gothic castle of Trakai. Yes, and the historical center of Vilnius is the real picture of the era.
Narrow streets of cobblestone and cobblestone magnificent Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque cathedrals, the ancient (and still living!) home – all this is a special, very pleasant and cozy atmosphere.
And in Vilnius is almost a true Republic is the district of artists and of artists užupis (with its own currency, anthem, ambassadors and consuls, customs and, of course, the President and the Ministers).
Of course, in Lithuania there are many other attractions that are worth visiting. For example, do you want to feel the chill in the back and as "memento mori"? Then you need to hill of crosses near šiauliai (there are more than 50 thousand).
"Yeah!" – you say, "What's there to see in the Belarus? Do they even still the Soviet Union!". And you're right, but only partially. Yes, those who are still nostalgic for the Soviet Union, this country will, in fact, comfortable. And not because of standard of urban types, like Khrushchev-era buildings and shops of a sample "General store" (this is, in small towns), and because of this, very soulful and good, the attitude of the Belarusians as their compatriots and to the tourists.
And there are Belarusian rubles (not so long ago denominated), and therefore, the current prices in Belarus, especially for food – very reminiscent of the good old Soviet.
But, in fact, Belarus has changed a lot since those times. Minsk is really prettier and bloom: here there are many new, beautiful and unusual buildings, – that there is only one national library in the form of rhombicuboctahedron.
By the way, Belarus also was part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and there remained the castles of those times. The most beautiful – the Mir and Nesvizh (once belonged to the princes Radziwill). We will remind also about the Brest fortress, Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Naroch, the Museum "Dudutki", etc.
8. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Of all the countries of the former Yugoslavia the most "unknown" are, perhaps, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia (and to Slovenia, we also gradually get). So – Bosnia and Herzegovina. Actually, this is a wonderful region with a very rich (and often tragic) history.
Once Slavic, this country was, at the time, very heavily "Turkified" after it came under Ottoman influence. And now you can easily be between a Catholic Cathedral and a mosque, standing on different ends of the same square.
Another example – here you can stroll along the typical European (formerly Austro-Hungarian) quarter and come to the real Souq. Orthodox, Catholics and Muslims here for a long time lived peacefully until Eastern Europe in the late 1980s – early 1990s decided to become independent. In these years, throughout Yugoslavia and swam suddenly a lot of old grudges on their neighbors. In some areas, BiH is still unsafe to go off the road: you can stumble on a mine of times of the Bosnian war.
But here is even there, what to see: the capital city of Sarajevo – "the European Jerusalem", Mostar with its old bridge high over the turquoise Neretva river, beautiful nature of national Park Sutjeska and mount Maglic, beautiful kravice falls, is not all beauty big.
Montenegro our travelers know best, as a country resort where you can relax on the beautiful beaches of the Adriatic. Yes, the most attractive in this country – pure and warm sea. But Montenegro also has a very rich history reflected in its architecture and other attractions: once this area was filled by Turks, Venetians, Austrians, etc.
Therefore, almost every city in Montenegro – the so-called Montenegro in Europe – combines several styles. Especially great in this respect, the old Kotor, Perast bright, cozy Budva, etc.
And here is a great nature: very beautiful mountains, clear fast rivers, emerging from deep gorges (by the way, the alloys on them are very popular among active tourists), marine inlets and bays, whose beauty is difficult to describe, is a must see.
In addition, in Montenegro many Orthodox monasteries, some of which are located high in the mountains and is carved in the rock (so the monks at the time were seeking refuge from the Turks). Oh Yes! And yet this country has a very nice "cultural capital" – Cetinje.
Here the story is about the same as with Montenegro: well you can see where the cornerstone of tourism – clear sea of the most incredible colors and a very comfortable temperature? Actually – a lot.
First, in Croatia, almost half of the area of the country is not the mainland, and the numerous picturesque Islands, on which the bright, welcoming seaside towns and villages.
And, since the Northern part of Croatia is just opposite Venice across the Adriatic, it is logical to assume that Venice at the time, somehow influenced this country. And there are many coastal towns of Croatia differ in its architectural appearance clear Venetian colors.
In addition, the long time southern part of the country was "under the Turks" and the North "under the Hungarians," and it is also still evident. Well, in very ancient times the territory of today's Croatia were Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Illyria. And from that era until our days remained a number of well-preserved Roman buildings, including a huge amphitheater in Pula (which looks better than the Coliseum).
Oh Yes! And in Dubrovnik was filmed a few episodes of "Game of thrones" (which in this city the flow of tourists has grown so much that he is literally "chokes" them).
For many of our tourists (especially those who prefer to ride in the bus tours) Poland is only a transit country. Again, what can be interesting there? It's not Germany, and even Czech Republic with its numerous castles.
And you were in the old centre of Warsaw, where bright house is collected in a narrow cozy streets? And restored the beautiful district of Gdansk around the old port (completely destroyed during world war II)? And in the ancient Episcopal wrocław (which two centuries was German Breslau), the Central part seems to be "conserved", approximately in XVII-XVIII century?
By the way, did you know that Wroclaw is the capital of the gnomes krasnolobov? Since 2001 in this city constantly appear new and new sculptures of these amusing creatures – today they have about 400. Therefore, the most favorite activity of tourists in Wroclaw – "hunt for gnomes". Here even sell special cards (!), as dwarves are wont to lurk in the most unexpected places where they are not so easy to detect.
And we have not mentioned the magnificent Royal Krakow, about which we can talk for hours with aspiration and enthusiasm. So, if you thought that Poland is not worth your attention urgently reconsider.
About Romania, too, often think quite dismissive: just some unimportant Eastern European country, almost poor by the standards of Western Europe, the population, mostly peasant, "uncivilized" (not that refined French or neat and disciplined Germans). But again you're so vain!
First, Romania over the past few decades is also very advanced in many ways. And second, guys, this is a country famous count Dracula! And Romanians (quite adept in recent years in attracting to their country the tourists) will gladly show you many related to the legendary character of places: the ancestral castle of Dracula (Vlad Tepes) bran (though there is evidence that, in fact, Vlad Tepes, most likely, only a few days was there in the Turkish captivity); and his native city Sighisoara; vintage Snagov monastery on an island in the middle of the lake, where Dracula, according to legend, was buried, and more.
In fact, Romania is a very beautiful country: here and there are many others (both ancient and "almost new") the beautiful castles and very beautiful (such "atmospheric") horodecki with a medieval layout, and amazing mountain landscapes, etc., etc.
How often do we hear about Hungary (at least on TV)? Agree – definitely not every day and do very little. Meanwhile, this country is an interesting (both in terms of history and culture, and, again, in relation to the beauty of nature).
You will understand how it is, if you visit (at least!) only its capital – a great city. Believe me, this city in no way inferior even to Paris! There are truly gorgeous areas, created in the style of classicism, eclecticism and art Nouveau, and beautiful palaces and huge stately cathedrals, and unique old bridges.
One Hungarian Parliament building will leave you with an unforgettable experience! And you do not want to swim in the thermal water baths in luxury under the open sky? Here a few of them. But if you decide to look at other regions of the country, then you will fall in love with Hungary.
There are huge lavender fields (Yes! as in France!); and limitless pleasure-"emerald" warm lake Balaton, on the shores of which is a huge number of resorts and camp sites (and be sure to drop by the Tihany Peninsula – that's where the real Paradise of beauty and silence!); and; castles and many other "Goodies".
For example, how about the picturesque town of Szentendre, where there is a Museum of delicate marzipan (which you can buy "a")?
About Slovakia we usually hear (and know) even less than about Hungary. It is just part of the once United Czechoslovakia. Here the Czech Republic is another matter. Prague, Karlovy vary, Czech beer, Bohemian crystal, cartoons about a funny mole, etc. – that's us more or less familiar.
What is Slovakia? What are the things "out there" we can remember? Yes, almost no... (In fact, this country exports to Russia mainly cars, miscellaneous equipment and vehicles, but not consumer goods).
And, by the way, Slovakia is a picturesque Tatra mountains, is the thermal mineral springs (thermal baths and for them), and very good wine (especially the fruity varieties: plum, currant, etc.), and truly brutal medieval castles and fortresses, and much more.
And yet Slovakia is very cozy, quiet and pleasant capital. In the lovely Bratislava, where nobody is in a hurry, lots of greenery and flowers, and very beautiful historic centre you will find the most unusual, funny and strange sculptures, like the monument to crazy town, a plumber, a soldier in Napoleon's army, witch, etc. and how beautiful white Bratislava Castle, visible from virtually anywhere in the city!
Finally, a real "white spot" on the map of Eastern Europe (from the point of view of Russian tourists) – Macao. Perhaps the only thing we know about this small country, she is part of the former Yugoslavia. (And many do not distinguish Slovenia from Slovakia).
Domestic firms very rarely offer tours in Slovenia, but it is just surprisingly lovely. And here it even is, something to see. For example, Ljubljana – one of the most "modest" of the capitals of Europe by population, – so cozy and kind of "home" here really want to be in the nearest small cafe in a Bathrobe and Slippers.
While the picturesque Maribor lies on the river Drava, was once called the Marburg and withstood two long Ottomans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, what now remains of the old bastions at the Maribor castle.
Would you like to see one of the largest (and truly beautiful) caves in Europe? Well, then you direct road to the Postojna Pit. I bet you the first time go through the cave on a real railroad?
And not far from the Postojna Pit, you can see another "beauty" (but artificial). Predjama castle – castle of the XIII century, was literally built into the rock (which is very well protected him from the enemy from the rear).
But the real "pearl" of Slovenia – mountain lake bled (located in the Julian Alps), the main "highlight" of which there is a chapel built on the island in the center, and the Bled castle on the high cliff above the lake.
And all this is useless to describe and better to see with your own eyes.