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Travel Guide: Underrated Cities in Eastern Europe

Editorial Team

Eastern Europe boasts an array of hidden gems that offer rich history, vibrant cultures, and stunning landscapes beyond the usual tourist routes. Here’s a revised look at some underrated cities in Eastern Europe that deserve a spot on your travel itinerary, taking into account current travel advisories:

1. Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Sarajevo, where East meets West, showcases a blend of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian histories. The city’s resilience through its recent history, including the 1990s siege, is inspiring. Visit the Baščaršija bazaar for a taste of traditional crafts and coffee, and don’t miss the panoramic views from the surrounding hills.

2. Riga, Latvia

Riga is celebrated for its Art Nouveau architecture and the historic Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city’s Central Market is a paradise for foodies, offering an array of local Latvian specialties. Riga’s picturesque streets and the vibrant arts scene make it a must-visit.

3. Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Cluj-Napoca, in the heart of Transylvania, is a dynamic city with a rich medieval history meshed with a contemporary cultural scene. The city’s highlights include the Gothic St. Michael’s Church and the Central Park. Cluj-Napoca is also known for its lively festivals and vibrant nightlife.

4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv, one of Europe’s oldest cities, is renowned for its Roman ruins, including the ancient theater. The city’s artistic quarter, Kapana, is filled with galleries, cafes, and artisan shops. Plovdiv’s rich history and cultural diversity make it a fascinating destination.

5. Ljubljana, Slovenia

Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, offers a blend of green spaces and historical architecture. The city is known for its sustainability efforts, bike-friendly streets, and the Ljubljanica River that adds charm to its cafes and bars. Ljubljana Castle, overlooking the city, provides stunning views and a historical backdrop.

6. Belgrade, Serbia

Belgrade is known for its historical depth, lively atmosphere, and beautiful riverfronts. The city’s nightlife is vibrant, with numerous bars and clubs. Kalemegdan Fortress offers a glimpse into Serbia’s past, while the confluence of the Danube and Sava rivers provides picturesque settings for walks and cruises.

7. Gdańsk, Poland

Gdańsk, on the Baltic coast, has a rich maritime history and an Old Town that has been meticulously restored. It’s known for its role in the Solidarity movement. Key attractions include the medieval port crane and the Museum of the Second World War, offering insights into the city’s and Europe’s turbulent history.


These underrated cities in Eastern Europe offer unique experiences away from the crowded tourist spots. From Sarajevo’s historic bazaars to Riga’s Art Nouveau splendor, and from Cluj-Napoca’s youthful energy to Gdańsk’s maritime heritage, each city promises an unforgettable journey through history, culture, and natural beauty. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins in Plovdiv or enjoying the lively streets of Belgrade, these destinations provide a deeper understanding of Eastern Europe’s diverse tapestry.