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Planning to visit Eastern Europe

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Noida, India
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Planning to visit Eastern Europe

We are eight couples, all seniors, planning to visit Eastern Europe. With God's grace, all are quite healthy and fit.The duration of the vist will be of 3 weeks or so. We request for suggestions so that we could build a suitable itinerary. Suggestions could include the following aspects;

(a) Best time of the year for the visit

(b) Must see places

(c) The best and most economical mode of travel, etc

Warsaw, Poland
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1. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

Your question is just too general to provide any useful advice and Eastern Europe are countries to the east of Poland, which could mean you are posting on the wrong forum(s) to start with.

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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2. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

Hi

First, Ozzlem is absolutely right on two counts – Poland is in Central Europe, and your question is too vague – like saying you want to visit the sub-continent.

Narrowing things down to Poland itself, you will find we have many cities and areas of merit to the traveller, whether seeking castles, medieval cities, beautiful lakes and forested hills, mountains, desert, canals … the list of possibles is a long one so you need to get a focus o what sort of thing interests you – I could suggest visiting Krakow, Zakopane and the Tricity to give you a genuine medieval city, beautiful mountain scenery and unique architecture, and a visit to the Baltic Coast and the many attractions there, but even that would not include Malbork Castle, sailing on the land on the Elbląg Canal, or the many other places in PL that reward a visit with unique history and beauty.

I cannot close without returning again to our beloved Krakow. Krakow is the old Royal Capital, so we have the Wawel complex including the castle and cathedral, she has the largest market square in the country, surrounded by amazing buildings, collections of art, religious and defensive architecture, homes of the rich and the poor, a complete 1950s-60s planned city (Nowa Huta) Auschwitz, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Tyniec, the Polish Air Museum, river cruises and swimming, sailing and beaches n nearby lakes, relics and museums of World War II, including the Schindler Factory, now the Museum of the Occupation. Walk in Krakow and you explore 1,000 years of Polish and European history.

But do some research, look at the other cities of Poland and our neighbours, get a clearer focus on what you want to see and experience and come back with more questions, please.

Transport – you have three usual choices – coaches are good and cheap and probably better than trains; trains can be good, especially for overnight journeys (Krakow to Prague, for example) but watch as they may be slower than coaches and more expensive, flying internally and within Europe can be competitive too, but watch the time you spend getting to the airport and waiting vs moving by coach.

If you want to see snow, lots and lots of snow, come in January. Otherwise, I’d suggest May-June for rising temperatures.

Warsaw, Poland
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3. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

Sorry, but I really don't understand why it's a problem for so many on Tripadvisor when Poland is called Eastern Europe. What is so bad about it? Most Poles would say that countries located west of Poland are Western Europe and that Poland itself is not a part of it. Furthermore, we will never change this attitude as for the average German, American, Dutch etc. Eastern Europe begins at the Polish- German border. It's a historical fact (also an economical one).

Nowy Sacz, Poland
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4. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

But it's simply not true, FT. Or would an Indian have no problem with being called a Pakistani, a Canadian with being called American, or an American with being called Mexican? If you're going to divide a continent into zones, then at least get it right!

Durham, North...
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5. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

Perhaps because it is geographically incorrect and the division of the continent into an Eastern and Western (and nothing else) part has been strictly political and artificially brought about by the Cold War. Now that the Cold War is over there is no reason to call Poland Eastern Europe. We are geographically more in the West than East, politically too with our EU membership. Culturally we place somewhere in the middle - we are predominantly Slavic just like most people to the East of Poland, but there are some differences like our use of Latin and not Cyrillic alphabet or the dominance of Roman Catholicism as an adhered religion and not Eastern Orthodox Christianity. We are in the Central European Time Zone, our legal system has come from the West and many others. We are just tied with the West of Europe (west of Poland) much more than with the East, but still different. Hence I believe that calling Poland Eastern Europe is wrong, just like calling it Western Europe would be wrong too even though we have more in common with countries to the west now. Central Europe is a term that places us somewhere in-between.

Historically, there has been a region called Central Europe too, and this was only changed following World War II. Germany was also considered Central European, and Austria too. Basically, pretty much anything between the Rhine and Bug rivers was historically Central Europe.

dallas tx.
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for Warsaw
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6. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

where will you fly into?....where will you fly out of?....that will determin alot of your itinerary.....may and sept are the optimun months to visit....warsaw,krakow and gdansk are the top cities......followed by wroclaw,torun and poznan.....zakopane in the mountains south of krakow is the best country town and a top tourist site in poland.....though it may be technically innacurate to call poland eastern europe,most people like yourself,news reporters,authors,and just about every other breathing entity on the face of the earth,will call it so, and its quite well understood as such

Wroclaw, Poland
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7. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

Well, about the division. According to the UN Poland is in Eastern Europe, when we take cultural aspects into consideration then part of Poland is in Western and part in Eastern Europe... etc. And according to a guy I met in Japan Poland is somewhere north from Finland ;) And I just don't care about the labels as long as Wroclaw stays where it is.

Vijay Kumar M, I agree with the above - we need more data to help you. Which countries are you interested in? Mind that travel times between certain parts of Europe are long even though on map distances are short.

Vadnais Heights...
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8. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

I think that trying to categorize something into "Easter and "Western" makes little sense, because each country (especially in Europe) has its own history that has determined much of what it is like TODAY.

Some may put the European E-W dividing line somewhere near the the current western Russian border while others might put the line at the location of the old political line (after WWII) that put Poland, CZ, Hungary, etc, and the rest of the Eastern Bloc into Eastern Europe.

The Romans split it up into the Eastern and Western empires. - Probably the only consistent dividing lines are rivers and mountain ranges, because they have a latest effect on the development and character of each country and climates.

It seems travel is a combination of physical/geographic comparisons and current human characteristics/traditions.

It drives my wife crazy when we see a shot clip on something on TV and I can identify the region/country and possible city based on background, architecture, cars, clothing, signs, etc. - This based on observations in the last 30 years and I have been in 45 countries and she has been in 2 (U.S. and Canada).

I prefer to refer to areas as countries to narrow things down. - A prime example is the differences between Poland and Belarus where the is little geographic difference between the countries, but a totally different culture and traditions.

Dick

dallas tx.
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9. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

oh come on people.....this man is asking for advice on travel.....not a history lesson!

Warsaw, Poland
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10. Re: Planning to visit Eastern Europe

That's another reason why one should not use the term 'Eastern Europe' when referring to Central European countries - it immediately sends the discussion in a completely different direction.