Best places to travel in Eastern Europe
If you immediately think of Paris, Barcelona and other overwhelmingly popular western destinations when you hear the word “Europe,” we’re here to make a case for the absolutely stunning cities across Eastern Europe. ✈️ Many of these spots still fly relatively under the radar, so you could be on the forefront of experiencing the newest hot spots in travel. We’ve rounded up some of the best places for a “hot Europe summer”… any time of the year. 🔥😉
1. Know before you go
What is the best time of year to go to Eastern Europe?
While summer is prime time, many travellers have the same idea and elbow room can be lacking! 🌞 Opt for the shoulder seasons in spring and summer for slightly lower prices and fewer crowds. However, many vendors may be operating on a reduced schedule, so be sure to plan ahead and do your research.
Photo: Deborah in Moscow for Flytographer. Jeva and their partner capture memories in Moscow on a couple photoshoot.
What to pack for your trip to Eastern Europe:
- For long days of sightseeing, opt for comfortable clothing in natural fabrics to stay cool during the warmer months. While we love a comfortable athleisure moment, most Eastern Europeans tend to dress up. We suggest trading leggings for a breezy sundress or linen shorts!
- Cobblestone streets are quaint … and deceivingly tough on the ankles! Bring comfortable and supportive shoes or sandals for long days of exploring. 👟
- Many people in Eastern Europe tend to dress a little more conservatively, especially when visiting beautiful churches. Pack some options that cover your arms and legs, or bring a light scarf to wrap up in.
- A swimsuit and a hat are a must, especially for the seaside cities. Don’t forget SPF! 🧴
- Especially during shoulder season, the weather can change by the hour. Pack a light rain jacket just in case.
Photo: Diana in Warsaw for Flytographer. Asrar captures memories on a trip to Warsaw with a Modern Headshot photoshoot.
Friendly locals, romantic streets and a progressive culture, Ljubljana is quickly becoming a European hotspot … and for good reason! Ranked as one of the greenest and most livable cities in Europe, car access is restricted in the city centre leaving the streets free for cyclists and pedestrians. 🌲 Meander under the leafy trees along the Ljubljanica River and explore museums and cafés by day, then join the many students that call this city home for a night out dancing. This capital city is truly one of the standouts of the Balkans.
Photo: Mankica in Ljubljana for Flytographer. Sandra captures memories on a solo adventure to Ljubljana with a Modern Headshot photoshoot at Triple Bridge.
Julie’s Travel Tip for Ljubljana
“Wander! There’s so many beautiful little nooks and crannies in Ljubljana. Grab a beer and some traditional Slovenian meats and cheeses from Sloveska Hisa in old town, sit outside and watch the city go by. You can’t go wrong with a dinner at Gostilna Na Gradu at the castle either! After dark, wander around the Triple Bridge and Preseren Square…Ljubljana at night is simply charming.” – Julie
Read more Ljubljana Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Mankica in Ljubljana for Flytographer. Adam and their partner capture memories in Ljubljana with a couple photoshoot in the Old Town of Piran.
This stunning city of Dubrovnik borders the Adriatic Sea, and whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or not, it’s easy to imagine a dragon flying over the city walls surrounding the UNESCO World Heritage Site. 🐉 Narrow, cobbled side streets and stone fortresses are the perfect backdrop to let your imagination run wild. While the city itself is small in size, it’s packed with hidden spots to uncover, plus must-do’s like a walking tour of the city walls. 🏰 Find our favourite, local-approved spots in our Ultimate Travel Guide to Dubrovnik so you don’t miss a thing!
Photo: Božo in Dubrovnik for Flytographer. Julia and their partner capture memories in Dubrovnik on a couple photoshoot.
Larissa’s Travel Tip for Dubrovnik
“Our favourite place for some coffee and a nice view was Panorama at the top of the mountain. There’s a cable car that goes straight to the top and the view was absolutely incredible. It’s best to go early in the morning before most of the crowd gets out and about.” – Larissa
Read more Dubrovnik Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Božo in Dubrovnik for Flytographer. Lenore and their family capture memories in Dubrovnik with a family photoshoot.
Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik
See our city guide for the best things to eat, see and do in Dubrovnik.
While Dubrovnik is the crown jewel of the south, there is so much more to Croatia. Take a road trip from Dubrovnik to the Croatian capital city of Zagreb, stopping at Split, Hvar, Korčula and Plitvice Lakes National Park on the way. 🚙 Zagreb is a walking city, where afternoon strolls are only interrupted by stopping at the many cafés lining the red-roofed streets. Where Upper Town is exquisite spires topping ornate churches, Lower Town is a playful mash-up of architectural styles and colourful murals thrumming with youthful energy.
Photo: Mankica in Ljubljana for Flytographer (shot in Zagreb). Neil and their partner celebrate their engagement in Zagreb with a proposal photoshoot.
Split by the Danube River, Budapest is best known for the famous thermal baths (and late-night thermal bath parties, if you’re feeling brave 🛁), ruin bars, the thriving Jewish Quarter and more. Indulge in Hungarian classics like goulash and langos, but as a food capital of Europe, exploring the city through your taste buds is a direct line to the city’s heartbeat. If you crave an authentic experience that extends past the more touristy classics, utilize our Local Travel Guide to Budapest packed with local tips to craft your perfect itinerary. ✈️
Photo: Meli in Budapest for Flytographer. Trever and their partner celebrate their proposal in Budapest with a proposal photoshoot.
Aleeza’s Travel Tip for Budapest
“You have to have dinner at Menza. They have wonderful traditional Hungarian food in a trendy eatery. It’s a lively, bustling restaurant. If it is your birthday, this is where you want to have your birthday dinner. They turn off all the lights and play a fun birthday song and everyone claps for you.” – Aleeza
Read more Budapest Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Roky in Budapest for Flytographer. Bayu and Ivony celebrate their honeymoon in Budapest with a couple photoshoot.
From the Byzentines to the Ottomans, the Greeks, Romans and Venetians all once ruled this empire that connects the East to the West along the Bosphorus Strait, and they certainly left their marks. With more history and culture embedded into the city than guidebooks could ever cover, Istanbul is a cultural buffet of attractions. ✨ Tea gardens, Turkish baths and getting lost in a bazaar are just the entry points to Turkey’s lively and vibrant community and way of life.
Photo: Murat G. in Istanbul for Flytographer. Diana and their partner celebrate their anniversary with a couple photoshoot in Istanbul at the Hagia Sophia.
Graysen’s Travel Tip for Istanbul
“There is this incredible restaurant called Mikla, with the most delicious food and wine. It has a rooftop bar that overlooks the entire city, the perfect place to sit with a cocktail and look at the city lights.” – Graysen
Read more Istanbul Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Murat G. in Istanbul for Flytographer. Whitney and their partner celebrate their anniversary in Istanbul with a couple photoshoot at Karakoy.
Don’t let this exciting city just be a stopover on your way to Transylvania (vampire hunting? We won’t tell 🧛🏼♂️). Elegant architecture from past centuries is neighboured by more recent Communist builds, and that same contrast is reflected in the diverse personality of Bucharest as well. The trendy and spirited arts and dining scene mixes effortlessly with the laid-back vibe of the city. With the Black Sea to the east and Bran Castle, the alleged home of Count Dracula, to the north, there are endless places to explore in this beautiful country.
Photo: Madalina in Bucharest for Flytographer. Laura and their partner celebrate their engagement with a couple photoshoot in Bucharest.
While Krakow might no longer remain Poland’s capital city, it still makes a strong case as its cultural capital. A young, student-fueled energy is tangible through the hip bar and nightlife scene, trendy restaurants and cafés, and a contemporary arts scene, all juxtaposed by the surrounding medieval architecture. ✨ Refuel with a kiełbasa, pierogies (did we mention there is even a pierogi festival?) and vodka, which can be purchased from humble stands. Find the best things to eat, drink and see on your trip our local’s guide to Krakow.
Be sure to include a somber tour of Auschwitz in your visit. These harrowing camps are a reminder of the darkest times of WWII, and it is an important way to pay tribute to the memory of the lives lost during the Holocaust.
Photo: Marta in Krakow for Flytographer. Annie and their partner capture memories in Krakow on a couple photoshoot at the Main Square.
Heather’s Travel Tip for Krakow
“Check out St. Mary’s Basilica – beautiful colors. Wish we had gotten tickets sooner after our shoot since we were there before the crowds and could have avoided the line.” – Heather (photographed below)
Read more Krakow Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Photo: Marta in Krakow for Flytographer. Heather and their family capture memories on a trip to Krakow on a family photoshoot with Flytographer.
Formerly a war-torn city, Warsaw has risen from darkness into a beautiful jewel of Poland. 👑 Beautifully restored buildings, sprawling green spaces, and stunningly comprehensive museums like the Warsaw Rising Museum, POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the Frédéric Chopin Museum leave no stone of Warsaw’s history unturned. Traverse the Old and New Towns in search of a new dining hotspot (hint: you won’t have to search far) and immerse yourself in the triumph of this beautiful city. Find the best places to eat, drink and see with our local’s guide to Warsaw!
Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania make up the Baltics, and Riga is the largest of the three Baltic capitals. While Gothic spires dot the skyline, the city streets playfully come alive through the colourful Art Nouveau architecture. Like many Eastern European cities, Riga might initially seem reserved and unassuming — but beneath the quiet exterior lies an exciting and cosmopolitan energy that permeates the innovative dining scene, modern art scene and thriving bar scene. Speaking of drinks, don’t leave without sampling the powerful drink of the city, Riga Black Basalm!🍷
Photo: Uri in Riga on Flytographer. A family photoshoot in Riga.
Venice isn’t the only European city filled with canals and hundreds of bridges. 🇷🇺 The Russian culture dazzles here from endlessly bright summers through dreary winters, with a never-ending list of things to do. As Russia’s first great modern city ruled by the Romanovs, St. Petersburg is still a showcase of Russia’s unmatched arts and culture scene. Ballets, operas, classical music and museums housing some of the most famous art in the world are all just in a day’s work in this grandiose city. 🎨
Photo: Kate in St. Petersburg for Flytographer. Ann and their family capture memories on a trip to St. Petersburg with a family photoshoot.
Ann’s Travel Tip for St. Petersburg
“Budget your time so you can walk the city and enjoy many of the sites. You really could spend one whole day at one castle or one museum. Peterhof’s Grand Palace was definitely worth the boat trip (outside the city center); you could also spend a day or two here.” – Ann (photographed above)
Read more St. Petersburg Travel Tips from Flytographer customers.
Best Places to Take Photos in St. Petersburg
View all three expertly-curated Flytographer routes through St. Petersburg.
Photo: Kate in St. Petersburg for Flytographer. Josef and their partner celebrate their engagement with a proposal photoshoot in St. Petersburg.
If you think of snowy, barren landscapes and grey, Soviet-era buildings when you think of Russia, Moscow is here to defy all of your preconceived notions. From the famously beautiful Red Square to metro stations that look like world-class museums, this city is a true treat for your eyes. 🚃 With St. Basil’s Cathedral and its colourful, onion-shaped domes, the famed Fabergé eggs, and world-class theatre performances, Moscow is pure opulence. Bookmark our Guide to Moscow for the best things to do.
Photo: Deborah in Moscow for Flytographer. Jennifer and their family capture memories on a trip to Moscow with a family photoshoot.
Capturing memories in Eastern Europe
Capture the magic of Eastern Europe with a Flytographer shoot as you fall in love with each and every city you explore. 📸 Stay tuned for our travel guide for Central Europe featuring the best places to visit such as Berlin in Germany, Prague in the Czech Republic, Vienna in Austria, Bern in Switzerland and more!