Explore Eastern Europe Overview

Enjoy a fascinating tour of Eastern Europe from Hungary to Turkey. From Budapest head to Romania, Bulgaria and end up in Turkey's capital, Istanbul.

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Explore Eastern Europe's Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey

Travel across romantic Eastern Europe from Hungary to Turkey and experience the diverse range of cultures and landscapes in between. From beautiful Budapest to the haunted castles of Transylvania, and through stunning mountain scenery to Bulgaria and beyond - be enchanted by medieval monasteries, old-world towns and the warm hospitality of this little-travelled region of Europe.

  • Admire Istanbul's majestic Aya Sofia
  • Delve into a communist past in Bucharest
  • Experience traditional peasant life in a Maramures village
  • Explore Byzantine ruins in Plovdiv
  • Get spooked at Dracula's Castle near Brasov
  • Learn spooky stories while travelling through Transylvania
  • Sample Hungarian wine in Eger
  • Travel through the scenic Rila Mountains

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    Budapest, Hungary
  • Finish:

    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Group size:

    Min 1 , Max 12
  • Ages:

    Min 12
  • Meals:

    6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • Accommodation:

    Guesthouse (5 nts), Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (7 nts), Overnight sleeper train (1 nt), Pension (3 nts)
  • Transport:

    Metro, Overnight sleeper train, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train
  • Included activities:

    Bucharest - Guided walking tour, Eger - Wine tasting, Gorno Draglishte - Rila Monastery, Maramures - Guided tour, Plodiv - Guided tour

  • Carbon emissions offset:

    221kg pp per trip
  • Notes:

    1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip. See under the Single Traveller section of your Trip Notes for more information. 2. This trip finishes in Istanbul on day 18 at 12pm midday.

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About Bulgaria , Hungary , Romania , Turkey

Explore Eastern Europe Summary

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Day 1 Budapest

Get the adventure underway in Budapest and be greeted by elegant palaces and a bubbly nightlife.

Day 2 Eger

Investigate Eger Castle in the lovely Baroque town of the same name. Sample excellent local drops at a wine tasting and perhaps have a singalong with local folk musicians.

Days 3-4 Maramures

Call into the attractive city of Debrecen before hopping across the border into Romania. Gain a firsthand experience of peasant culture in provincial Maramures.

Day 5 Sighisoara

Be spooked by the bloodcurdling myths that surround Transylvania, perhaps enjoying a meal at Casa Dracula or venturing up to the clock tower.

Day 6 Viscri

Arrive in Viscri and learn about the Sock Project, a warming initiative which supports the local community. Dine with a local family and try to pick up a few tidbits of the Romanian language.

Days 7-8 Brasov

Head to medieval Brasov, a town flanked by mountains and city walls that boast a collection of ornate buildings including the impressive 14th-century Biserica Neagra.

Day 9 Bucharest

Travel on to Bucharest, where a guided tour visits the expansive Piata Unirii Square and prodigious 12-storey Palace of Parliament, supposedly the largest civilian administrative building in the world.

Days 10-11 Veliko Tarnovo

Cross the Friendship Bridge into Bulgaria and travel to scenic Veliko Tarnovo. Wander the Tsarevets Fortress that looms impressively over the town, tread the cobblestone streets of the Old Quarter or relax in the cafes or vinarnas and people watch.

Day 12 Sofia

Walk along tree-lined boulevards in the city of Sofia and see the Aleksander Nevski Memorial Church. At night, why not dive into the happening nightlife.

Day 13 Gorno Draglishte

Journey into the Rila Mountains and explore the most important of Bulgaria’s orthodox monasteries. Join a family as their guests overnight.

Days 14-15 Bansko

Unwind in charming mehanes (stone taverns) in Bansko and feast on local dishes like filet elena or kapama.

Days 16-17 Plovdiv

Travel to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second largest city. In free time, check out the underground crypt at Bachkovo Monastery or visit traditional craft workshops. Wander among Byzantine ruins and be sure to visit the ancient Roman Amphitheatre.

Day 18 Istanbul

Arrive in Turkey via overnight train and set off to explore enigmatic Istanbul city. Get happily lost in the Grand Bazaar, visit a Turkish bath, marvel at the awesome Aya Sofia or perhaps take a boat ride up the Bosphorus to cap off the adventure.
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