East Europe is said to be a highly underrated travel destination. But those who choose this destination, are rewarded with charming countryside villages and unspoiled landscapes. The fact that it is not as frequent as in other parts of Europe makes it an excellent choice for travellers who want to avoid the crowd.
Known as an under the radar destination, it will enable you to enjoy all the sights and attractions that it has to offer. Places that have fewer crowds and at more reasonable prices. Making your own Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks shouldn’t be that hard or time-consuming.
Are you ready to discover the hidden gems of East Europe? Make sure to take note of the list of places to visit when you are in the region. Plus, we have a few ideas on what to see or do while you are spending 3 weeks in Eastern Europe.
MUST-READ: Europe in 3 weeks on a budget
IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS FOR EAST EUROPE
First, let’s talk about the amazing places you can explore in East Europe and which trail will save you time, be easier to travel through, and will maximise your holiday. East Europe is massive, it will exhausting and will be a rushed trip if you want to cover the entire region in just 3 weeks.
So, I added 3 areas or trails to explore this region. Each trail or route offers amazing places to see, and historical locations and is worth a visit for 3 weeks. Below, you will itineraries for 3 weeks to the Baltics, the Balkans, and the Visegrad separately.
Read each route’s itinerary and decide which one suits you better. I will first give a quick overview of each country featured. Later on, you will see the actually day-by-day Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks.
3 Weeks in The Baltic Region (Estonia – Latvia – Lithuania)
Exploring the Baltic region is one of the main attractions in East Europe. It consists of three countries: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. While this area is often overlooked, those who travel the region are rewarded with fairy-tale-like experiences.
These countries serve as the medieval roots of Europe with many histories and tragedies to tell. There are also plenty of small towns and forests that have their unique charm. This region is a perfect destination for spending 3-week in East Europe. You can easily take the train to get to the next country (or city) or rent a car.
As a country that is located between the border of the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea, Estonia is known for its diverse terrain. This goes along with its picturesque lakes, old-growth forests, and rocky beaches. It was once a member of the Soviet Union and as such is home to many hilltop fortresses, churches, and castles.
- How to get there: To get to Estonia, you can book a flight to Tallinn Airport, the main airport in the country. You can also take the train + ferry combo if you are coming from Stockholm or Copenhagen. And Eurostar provides connecting train services from other parts of Europe.
- What to see: Pikakari Rand, Eesti Vabaohumuuseum, Lennusadam, Tallinn Town Hall, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Lahemaa National Park, Narva-Jõesuu
- Language: Estonian
- How many days to stay: 3-5 Days
- Must-try food: Kiluvoileib
- Must-try beer or cider: Blackmouth Cur
As a vast yet unspoiled landscape filled with lakes, wooded areas, and the sea, Latvia offers its capital city of Riga. The rest is just filled with natural beauty and diverse terrain that is waiting to be discovered.
Even though it is a small country, it packs a lot of sights that are mostly pristine in the setting. It showcases the actual work of nature.
- How to get there: To get to Latvia, you can fly to the Riga International Airport. There are commercial flights from various parts of the world. You can also fly into Lithuania and take the bus to Latvia.
- What to see: Rundale Palace, House of the Black Heads, Gauja National Park, St. Peter’s Church
- Language: Latvian
- How many days to stay: 2-3 Days
- Must-try food: Beetroot soup, mushroom picking
- Must-try beer or cider: Valmiermuiža beer
As the southernmost state in the Baltic region, Lithuania is a country that is known for its unique character. It has been designed by a mixture of Gothic, Baroque, and Renaissance architecture.
As the largest of the Baltic states, it offers plenty of things to see and do. The diversity of the attractions means that it is a great tourist destination for all kinds of travellers, and people of all ages.
- How to get there: To get to Lithuania, you can book a flight to Vilnius International Airport. There is also a smaller airport – Palanga Airport – but the flights that are served are quite limited. You can also travel to Lithuania via train from Poland, Belarus, Russia, or Latvia.
- What to see: Trakai Island Castle, Gediminas Castle Tower, Vilnius Cathedral, Hill of Crosses, KGB Museum, Uzupis
- Language: Lithuanian
- How many days to stay: 4 Days
- Must-try food: Cepelinai, Bulviniai Blynai, Kepta Duona
- Must-try beer or cider: Sakiškių Chipotle Porter
3-weeks in The Balkans (Romania – Bulgaria – Serbia – Hungary)
At the heart of Eastern Europe are three culturally rich countries: Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia. Each of these countries is worth adding to your itinerary in East Europe. If you have limited time, they are a must-visit.
This trail offers a fascinating history, picturesque landscapes, and eclectic architecture. The countries you can visit in the region represent the best of what Eastern Europe has to offer. This Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks will take you to 4 countries and dozens of attractions to see.
As a country best known for the legend of Dracula, Romania is a country noted for its pristine rolling hills, rocky mountains, stone churches, and monasteries. The towns that makeup Romania have their own stories to tell.
Thus, it makes it worthwhile to explore them too. Whether you are looking to see nature and wildlife, castles and medieval towns, or folk culture, you are sure to have your fill. If it’s your first time in this country, check this list of the best things to do in Romania.
- How to get there: To get to Romania, you can choose from one of many international airports, including Henri Coanda Airport or Aurel Vlaicu Airport in Bucharest. You can also get to Romania by train as it is part of a massive European rail network. There are international trains from Vienna, Budapest, Sofia, Kyiv, Moscow, and more.
- What to see: Bran Castle, Peles Castle, Palace of Parliament, Poiana Brasov, Balea Lake
- Language: Romanian
- How many days to stay: 5 Days
- Must-try food: Sarmale, Ciorba de Burta
- Must-try beer or cider: Timisoareana
If you are planning to visit Bulgaria, you will be relieved to know that it is one of the more affordable countries in Europe. That alone should convince you to visit this country when exploring East Europe. It is a country abundant in natural resources.
Featuring the rivers, mountains, seaside towns, plains, and highlands, it makes your visit worthwhile. Whether you want to experience a bustling metropolis with a hint of the old or the natural scenery, you will have your fill!
- How to get there: Bulgaria is easily accessible from major European cities and other continents, as well. But as of now, there are only direct flights from Europe and the Middle East. Those from North America or Australia need to book a connecting flight.
- What to see: Rila Monastery, Borovets, Sunny Beach, Boyana Church, Seven Rila Lakes
- Language: Bulgarian
- How many days to stay: 3-4 Days
- Must-try food: Banitsa, Tarator
- Must-try beer or cider: Glarus
As quickly emerging as one of the most coveted tourist destinations in Europe, Serbia is a diverse country and warm with friendly locals. Since this is a landlocked country, you won’t find any beaches or lots of bodies of water.
Located at the heart of the Balkans, Serbia shows off a feisty spirit. It highlights world-class nightlife, epic festivals, historic metropolises, and sacred monasteries.
- How to get there: To get to Serbia, you must fly to the Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport. It is located about 18km from downtown Belgrade, serviced by direct and connecting flights from major cities outside Serbia. There are also day and night international trains that travel to Serbia from Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and more.
- What to see: Belgrade Fortress, Church of Saint Sava, Knez Mihailova Street, Novi Sad Strand, Ada Ciganlija
- Language: Serbian
- How many days to stay: 3-4 Days
- Must-try food: Sarma, Cevapi
- Must-try beer or cider: Apatinska pivara
On the surface, Hungary appears to be just like any other East European country with stunning architecture, interesting folk art, and gastronomical delights. But for those who dare to look past that, they are rewarded with a treasure trove that is Hungary.
It is an architectural gem at every turn – from churches, museums, and public buildings. But more than just an architectural wonder, these structures have a history to tell. The famous bathhouses are also drawing tourists from all over the world.
- How to get there: To get to Hungary, you must book a flight to Liszt Ferenc Airport in Budapest. There are several daily flights with Easyjet, Ryanair, Eurowings, and Wizzair to this airport. You can also take the train from other parts of Eastern Europe such as Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia via international train connections.
- What to see: Buda Castle, Fisherman’s Bastion, Heroes Square, Parliament Building, Lake Balaton
- Language: Hungarian
- How many days to stay: 3-4 days
- Must-try food: Goulash, Chicken Paprikash
- Must-try beer or cider: Dreher
3-weeks in The Visegrad Group (Czech Republic – Slovakia – Poland)
Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks is not complete with the Visegrad group. The Visegrad Group is another popular route that tourists take when visiting Eastern Europe. The highlight of your trip is filled with castle towns that offer picturesque views with a fascinating history.
There is a right mix of the medieval past and the urban energy to appeal to a wide range of travellers. But if you are after fresh-air fun activities, these destinations will leave you satisfied.
The history of Poland dates back to the 10th century. This is what makes this an excellent destination for anyone exploring East Europe because you can uncover that history with every building, street, or castle you visit.
There is no shortage of heritage trails in Poland along with living museums in the form of architecture and ruins. If you are seeking to escape to nature, it is also rich in rivers, woodlands, lakes, and hills that beckon you to discover them!
- How to get there: To get to Poland, you can book flights to Warsaw or Krakow – the main gateways to Poland. There are several other airports in various cities in Poland to consider as your point of entry, too. Train travel to Poland is another good option to get into the country. There are international train services from Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Kyiv, and Budapest.
- What to see: Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wawel Royal Castle, Auschwitz Birkenau, Warsaw Old Town, Bialowieza Forest, Wawel Cathedral
- Language: Polish
- How many days to stay: 5 Days
- Must-try food: Pierogi, Rosol
- Must-try beer or cider: Ciechan Pszeniczne
There is more to the Czech Republic than just Prague. While Prague is undoubtedly a fantastic destination, the country invites you to explore a bit more, and you will be rewarded if you do so. It is home to many historic neighbourhoods.
You can also take your time to visit the beautiful squares, castles, and cathedrals. Walking the streets of the Czech Republic, you can feel and immerse in that living history. Indeed, this country feels like one large open-air museum.
- How to get there: All major airlines and carriers service flights to the Czech Republic. There are numerous flights to Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport on a daily or weekly basis. You can also book an international train service from significant points in Europe to Prague. There are direct rail connections to the Czech Republic from Hungary, Romania, Belarus, Germany, Poland, Austria, and Slovakia.
- What to see: Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Astronomical Clock
- Language: Czech
- How many days to stay: 5-8 Days
- Must-try food: Palačinky, Trdelník
- Must-try beer or cider: Pilsner Urquell
Known as the land of castles and mountains, Slovakia is a country as a fairy-tale town transformed into reality right before your eyes. The capital city of Bratislava is one of the best destinations in the country.
Moreover, it boasts of a thriving old town and a vibrant drinking culture. There are also plenty of opportunities available for nature and outdoor lovers.
- How to get there: To get to Slovakia, you must book a flight to Bratislava Airport. There are many direct and connecting flights from various European cities or from outside Europe. You can also fly via Vienna Airport and then transfer via bus or train to Slovakia.
- What to see: Bratislava Castle, St. Martin’s Cathedral, Spis Castle, Michael’s Gate, Orava Castle
- Language: Slovak
- How many days to stay: 3-4 Days
- Must-try food: Bryndzové halušky, Kapustnica
- Must-try beer or cider: Lager by Minipivovar Buchvald
BASIC TRAVEL TIPS FOR EAST EUROPE
When you start planning and creating your own travel itinerary, see if these travel sites can be useful. I love using these websites because they are affordable, flexible, and have so many options. From hotels, flights, tours, and even travel insurance.
EASTERN EUROPE ITINERARY FOR 3 WEEKS: RECOMMENDED TRAVEL ITINERARIES
East Europe might be underrated, but it won’t be soon. More travellers are finally coming to the realization of what beauty, history, culture, and gastronomy are waiting for them in each of these destinations. While you can use the information provided here to build your itinerary, make sure to be open to some spontaneity. There will be lots of surprises and hidden gems that are still waiting to be discovered for each of these destinations.
Via The Baltics (Estonia – Latvia – Lithuania)
The good thing about this travel route is that these three countries are standing vertically across each other. Making the trail either go north or south. You can either enter through Tallinn, Estonia or Vilnius Lithuania to maximise your time. Personally, this Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks is my favourite. The vibe in each country is so relaxed and the crowd is not as intense at the other destinations.
- Day 1-4 Vilnius: do day trips from here, sleep in Vilnius – Trakai Castle from Vilnius
- Day 4: take a bus to Klaipeda (cost: €20, takes 3.45 hours) or train (cost between €13-€25, takes 4-4.5 hours)
- Day 4-6 Klaipeda: sleep in Klaipeda – Curonian Spit tour
- Day 6: take a bus to Siauliai (cost €11.80, takes 3 hours)
- Day 6-8 Siauliai: sleep in Siauliai – Hill of Crosses tour
- day 8: take a bus to Riga (cost €11, take 2.5 hours)
- Day 8-15: day trips from here, sleep in Riga – Riga day trip | Riga hop-on-hop-off bus | Sigulda and Gaugja National Park
- Day 15: take a bus to Parnu
- Day 15-17: Parnu, sleep in Parnu, visit Kihnu Island
- Day 17-20: take a train or bus to Tallinn, sleep in Tallinn – Tallinn Walking tour | Lahemaa National Park | Tallinn Bike tour
- Day 20: take a bus or train to Tarlu or extend your stay in Tallinn
I recommend this route to be done the other way around and start in Tallinn, Estonia instead if that works best for you.
Via The Balkans
The Balkan Trail is actually pretty cool. You can easily do a circle route and start wherever you want and what’s the most convenient especially if you are already travelling some around Europe.
I will start the itinerary in Budapest, Hungary. But you can begin anywhere you want, I recommend you look at the airfare and see which is the best place for you to start this amazing 3 weeks in Eastern Europe.
Hungary – Romania – Bulgaria
- Day 1-4: Arrive in Budapest, day trips and city tours, sleep in Budapest – Szechenyi Spa | Budapest Evening Cruise | Budapest hop-on-hop-off bus
- Day 4: take a train or bus from Szeged to Timisoara, Romania (cost €12-€14, takes 2.5-4 hours)
- Day 4-6: explore Szeged and sleep here –
- Day 6: take a bus to Timisoara, Romania (cost €6, takes 3 hours)
- Day 7-9: explore and sleep in Timisoara – Timisoara day tour
- Day 9: head to Cluj-Napoca ( cost $9-$15 on a 6-7 hour bus or $7-$25 on a 6-hour train)
- Day 9-12: Cluj-Napoca, explore the Transylvania region, sleep in Cluj-Napoca – Turda Salt Mines and Rimetea tour | Cluj Medieval City tour | Dracula’s Castle & Birthplace
- Day 12: head to Bucharest (cost $16-$25 for an 8-hour bus or $11-$40 on a 9-hour train)
- Day 12-14: Bucharest – Peles, Bran Castle, Old Town Brasov tour | Dracula’s Castle tour
- Day 14: head to Varna, Bulgaria (cost $17-$30 for a 4-7-hour bus or $9-$20 for a 7.5-hour train)
- Day 14-17: Varna, Bulgaria – Black Sea Cruise with Lunch | Varna Gourmet and Wine Tasting
- Day 17: head to Sofia (cost is $14-$21 on a 6.5-hour bus or $12-$19 on a 7.5-hour train)
- Day 17-21: Sofia
Serbia – Bulgaria – Romania
- Day 1-4: Belgrade, Serbia – Novi Sad & Sremski Karlovci tour | Full day Belgrade tour
- Day 4: take a bus to Nis, which cost $9-$20, and takes 3.5-4 hours
- Day 4-6: Nis – see Devil’s Town and Nis Fortress
- Day 6: take a bus to Sofia, Bulgaria, cost $9-$14, takes 3 hours)
- Day 6-9: Sofia, Bulgaria – Rila Monastery & Boyana Church tour | Skopje (N. Macedonia) day tour
- Day 9: head to Plovdiv, cost $5-$10 for a 2.5-hour bus or $4-$10 for a 2.5-hour train
- Day 9-11: Plovdiv
- Day 11: head to Varna, cost $14-$30 for a 6-7-hour bus or $9-$15 for a 5.5-hour train
- Day 11-14: Varna – Black Sea Cruise with Lunch | Varna Gourmet and Wine Tasting
- Day 14: head to Bucharest, Romania, cost $17-$30 for a 4-7-hour bus or $9-$20 for a 7.5-hour train
- Day 14-18: Bucharest, Romania – Peles, Bran Castle, Old Town Brasov tour | Dracula’s Castle tour
- Day 18: head to Cluj-Napoca, cost $17-$40 on a 6-9-hour bus or $11-$40 9.5-hour train
- Day 18-21: Cluj-Napoca – Turda Salt Mines and Rimetea tour | Cluj Medieval City tour | Dracula’s Castle & Birthplace
TIP: You can skip Plovdiv in Bulgaria and head to Varna from Sofia right away via a bus or train.
Hungary – Serbia – Bulgaria
- Day 1-4: Budapest, Hungary – Szechenyi Spa | Budapest Evening Cruise | Budapest hop-on-hop-off bus
- Day 4: take a bus to Szeged
- Day 4-6: Szeged (sleep here)
- Day 6: take a bus to Belgrade, Serbia – either connect in Subotica or Novi Sad, both will take 5-6 hours, and cost $10-$15)
- Day 6-9: Belgrade – – Novi Sad & Sremski Karlovci tour | Full day Belgrade tour
- Day 9: take a bus to Nis, which cost $9-$20, and takes 3.5-4 hours
- Day 9-12: Nis
- Day 12: take a bus to Sofia, Bulgaria, cost $9-$14, takes 3 hours
- Day 12-15: Sofia – Rila Monastery & Boyana Church tour | Skopje (N. Macedonia) day tour
- Day 15: head to Plovdiv, cost $5-$10 for a 2.5-hour bus or $4-$10 for a 2.5-hour train
- Day 15-17: Plovdiv
- Day 17: head to Varna, cost $14-$30 for a 6-7-hour bus or $9-$15 for a 5.5-hour train
- Day 17-21: Varna – Black Sea Cruise with Lunch | Varna Gourmet and Wine Tasting
TIP: You can skip Plovdiv in Bulgaria and head to Varna from Sofia right away via a bus or train. You can also do this itinerary the other way around.
Via The Visegrad Group
The Visegrad Group or region is probably one of the most curious places for me personally. The countries here are so the same but also highly different in many ways. The best way to learn the difference between them is to pack your bags and explore. This Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks is so rich in activities. From visiting historical spots to trying out local food and drinks in 3 different countries.
Here is a recommended three-week itinerary for Czech Prague, Slovakia, and Poland.
- Day 1-4: Arrive in Prague, Czech Republic – Sightseeing Dinner Cruise | Prague City tour | Medieval Dinner
- Day 4: head to Brno, cost €4 on a 3-hour bus
- Day 4-6: Brno – Brno Walking Tour
- Day 6: head to Bratislava, Slovakia, cost €5 on a 2-hour bus
- Day 6-8: Bratislava – Bratislava Sightseeing Bus | Soviet Era and Post-Communist Tour
- Day 8: head to Kosice, cost €20 on a 10-hour bus or €19 on a 5-6 hour train
- Day 8-11: Kosice
- Day 11: head to Krakow, Poland, €8 on a 4.5-hour bus or
- Day 11-14: Krakow – Wieliczka Salt Mine Tour | Schindler’s Factory | Auschwitz-Birkenau Tour
- Day 14: Head to Warsaw, €9 on a 4.5-hour bus or €16 on a 3-hour train from Katowice or Krakow
- Day 14-18: Warsaw – Ghetto Walking Tour | Chopin Concert | Hop-on Hop-off Bus
- Day 18: head to Gdansk or stay longer in Warsaw, €7 on a 5-hour bus or €15 on a 4-hour train
- Day 18-21 Gdansk beach day and – City & Boat Tour | Gdansk Walking Tour | Stutthof Concentration Camp Tour
SUMMARY OF EASTERN EUROPE ITINERARY FOR 3 WEEKS
East Europe might be underrated, but it won’t be soon. More travellers are finally coming to the realization of what beauty, history, culture, and gastronomy are waiting for them in each of these destinations.
While you can use the information provided here to build your itinerary, make sure to be open to some spontaneity. There will be lots of surprises and hidden gems that are still waiting to be discovered for each of these destinations.
I hope you found this Eastern Europe itinerary for 3 weeks suggested helpfully. I’ve said it before and I’ll say as long as I could, Eastern Europe have so much to offer and I will never get sick of exploring this part of the world. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below.