East Europe: 6 destinations I fell in love with (and you will too!). Places, food, wine and…

Leggi in italiano 

When I left Milan for my project of living a South Italy Lifestyle, starting my own freelance/digital nomad business close to the sea, there was one thing that scared me.
This was not (just) the South Italy unemployement issue.
This was not (just) leaving a full time good job.
This was not (just) starting from the scratch (nothing new for me) or even worse, starting from South.
What scared me was the absence, in Puglia, of so many flights to go wherever whenever, like in Milan.

I was so afraid I couldn’t enjoy travelling as I was used to in Milan, for very affordable rates, even more so, since I was choosing a lower income for a better life quality.

But I was forunately wrong, as usual.

In fact, as soon as I could search for flights leaving from Brindisi and Bari I found myself in front of a huge amount of destinations I had never considered before, so busy to visit the most common European and international destinations!

So… I discovered East Europe!
Now I tell you why I loved so much my first 6 East Europe Destinations.

Sofia

I went to Sofia with a lot of doubts. I was told it was insignificant, even ugly. I left with a friend of mines, just thinking “who cares? it’s a new place to see so that’s fine”.
Actually I must say that my Sofia detractors were more than useful since they lowered my axpectations letting me be amazed and puzzled by a city that I found so nice and welcoming.

Maybe because of the green, so well kept and scattered all around the city, maybe because it’s so clean, thak to the constant job of local cleaners, or because of the very (very vey very) good wine and its diversity than all the other countries and cities. Here there are, in the same square, a catholic and a ortodox church, a synagogue, a mosque.

Go to Sofia in spring (now) or in fall (octobber). The climate will be mild and you’ll love its colors.

you may also enjoy My Sofia in 30 seconds video

Warsaw

IMG_9541

Such a great European capital! Me and my man could’t believe there is such a great cultural life based on concerts, theatre (also open air shows), and it’s very nice!

The Old Town (Stare Miasto) has been a UNESCO Heritage since 1980. It is good to know that it was almost completely rebuilt after the German occupation and particularly after the Warsaw Uprising, one of the longest  civil resistances in the world, the longest of the Second World War. The poor Polish people awaited the arrival of the Russians that actually abandoned them to devoted to more profitable war fronts. The greatest war strategists in Europe’s history were only a handful of scoundrels. Some civil populations were the only heroes.

You’ll be amazed by the green and waters of Park Łazienki and by the Multimedia Fountains park shows in Summer, the best period to fully enjoy the local culture at its best.

Timisoara

timisoara street food

I was there last January, in a freezing 7/-4 degree week end getaway. The difficulties me and my boyfriend had, were mainly due to the weather conditions, but I often think about how colorful can be now, in spring, that small and silent city.

By the way, I come from a very mild area so a snowy travel is always a crazy and interesting way to see a country and a city for the very first time.

If you’ve got a high sense of humor, you might like to know that here I’ve found the craziest and most embarassing street food I’ve ever seen.

Budapest

budapest 2

You know what? When I think about Budapest I remember that this was the city where I had the best and healthiest travel food ever!

So many kinds of cheap tasty soups that will make you feel good! For example the veg version of the Goulash soup, which was named after the herdsmen (gulyás) who lived for very long periods in the desert in the cauldron and cooked their food to be eaten with/in the bread.
I will always remember the GOMBALEVES (mushroom soup, vegetables and nutmeg), the Brokkoli KRÉMLEVE broccoli and potatoes, and the pumpkin soup, SÜTŐTÖK KRÉMLEVES.
I have tried (and recommend) the Restaurant name “Symbol”, 220 years Cantina in Bécsi út 56 and the ‘M’ Restaurant (M Étterem), Kertész utca 48.

Belgrade

Kalemegdan is the most vivid image I have of Belgrade. A big park where old people, boys and girls and children go and share spaces in total reciprocal ease. This place spreads around an old city fort and its walls overlook both the old city (where you can access from) and the green area at the feet of this high point.

Here you can rest, read, walk, play chess with young and very old people after a walk in the main streets of the city center or, better, after a walk back from the St. Sava Temple (I went there on foot but it takes quite a lot, it’s not so close to the old city as it looks in the city maps.

Prague

Never fed up with Prague, I was there 3 times and I’m lookig forward to go back there. This city is so romantic! Much more than the over rated Paris, I must say.

The city of Prague is so mysteious! The puppets shops, the dolls expositions, the characters coming out of the old astronomical clock in the Old Town main square… everything is so theatrical!
Even more so… Prague has 1,2 millions inhabitants and 3.4 millions seats in theaters!
Fiction is takes so seriously here!

Also read why Prague is like the sugar cube in the black coffee

Have you visited any of these cities? What and which did you like most?

16 pensieri riguardo “East Europe: 6 destinations I fell in love with (and you will too!). Places, food, wine and…

  • Maggio 9, 2016 in 9:46 pm
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    Hi Sabrina,

    Each photo has a story! I am so captivated by your amazing photos and your experience! I hope one day I will be able to visit all those beautiful places. Thank you for this wonderful post!

    Zaria

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  • Maggio 9, 2016 in 4:43 am
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    When I decided to travel to Sofia, many people asked me “why”, suggesting there wasn´t much to see and do… But as you, I loved the city! For me Sofia has an edge, an artistic vibe and a mix of religion and cultures… Now my next trip to Eastern European counties will be to explore Belgrade and Serbia, realy exited for it!
    Cheers and thanks for the tips!
    Nat

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  • Maggio 8, 2016 in 7:23 pm
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    I’ve got such mixed feelings about Warsaw, which is my capital city. I used to really dislike it, but then it has changed so much in the recent years, that now I find it a totally different city from the one I remember from the years back 🙂

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  • Maggio 8, 2016 in 5:49 pm
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    I do intent to travel to three out of your list of six eastern European destinations. The other three I don’t know much about, but now I will certainly consider them. I really like what I saw of Sofia in you video.

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  • Maggio 8, 2016 in 8:00 am
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    I live in London, but I’ve never been to Easter Europe at all! REally time to change that, I haven’t even seen Prague!

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  • Maggio 8, 2016 in 7:05 am
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    Definitely a lot of fun destinations in Eastern Europe. We had a blast in Bulgaria! Plus, many of these places are extremely budget friendly too. Bonus!

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  • Maggio 7, 2016 in 10:11 pm
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    I have never been to the east of Europe and it is a shame. I am trying to go this summer, not sure where yet, could be Prague or Budapest

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  • Maggio 7, 2016 in 2:03 pm
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    YES!! I loved Eastern Europe – I’m so glad that in my gap year I chose to take my Contiki tour through Eastern Europe – I took in Prague, Belgrade and Budapest from your list, and just fell in love. So much more authentic and with less tourism than the west. Thanks for the extra destination ideas to add to my list 🙂

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  • Maggio 7, 2016 in 9:00 am
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    I’ve been to four out of these six and I totally agree with you, they are amazing! I hope to cross off Belgrade and Warsaw soon.

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  • Maggio 7, 2016 in 8:19 am
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    I’ve only been to Prague and Budapest… looks like I have a lot more exploring to do. Thanks for the inspiring list! I think Warsaw, Poland will be next on my list!

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