During Christmas, one melody is sure to unite the world. This carol has been sung for over two hundred years by Christians all over the world. Do you know it? Where does it come from?
We seem to take it for granted that Christmas presents are brought by Father Christmas in his sleigh. That's down to C.C. Moore, but what came before and is still practiced in many Three Seas States?
Ho! Ho! Ho! With the merriest time of year around the corner, the cities of Europe are getting into the festive spirit. What better way to do so than by eating, dancing, and Christmas shopping? What are the best destinations to travel to?
In the Slovene Alps, there is a valley called Planica. Although incredibly beautiful, that isn’t what sets it apart from other alpine valleys. What makes it unique is a century-old tradition of ski flying, an extreme version of ski jumping, with much longer distances.
A national holiday in Romania and a popular customary feast in more countries of Central Europe, the commemoration of St. Andrews Day on November 30 is an occasion to witness ghostly activities and get them to share insights from the future.
Hungary is known to have more thermal spas than any other country. With over 1300 springs nationwide, a staggering 123 are found in Budapest alone. Fancy a spa getaway? This is the place to go!
The magical combination of carrot, parsley, celery, and leek is so ubiquitous in Polish cuisine that it forms its own category called "the Italian stuff”. The tradition dates back to one dynastic marriage in the 16th century.
Estonia's capital, Tallinn, occupies a coveted spot among the best cities in the world, at least according to expats. But as great as it sounds, there are still some things Tallinn should work on.
Slovenia has a rich tradition of building chapels. You can see them everywhere, in any shape and form, old and new. Although visitors to the lands would point to this extraordinary fact, it is unclear why the tradition was so alive among Slovenes.
The 11th of November is a day of remembrance virtually within all European countries scarred by the First World War. How exactly did this day shape Europe as we know it?
Sometimes referred to as the European Thanksgiving, Sant Martin’s day is a feast that unites many countries in the region. Like every good party, it is marked with traditional specialties – wine, goose, and sweet pastries.
One of the most contested Guinness records, "Largest human image of a country/continent," has been held by Romania since 2018 when, on the occasion of the country's centenary, more than 4000 people joined hands in framing the shape of their homeland.
Growing up in Poland, it was always fun to follow weather forecasts (*talking about the weather is not actually only a British thing). As kids, we kept a comparison score of whether it would be as cold where we were as it was in the northeasternmost Polish town of Suwałki.
Throughout millennia, humans have always paid respects to their dead and laid them to rest with elaborate burial styles. Gradually, these were replaced by rituals. Are you sure you know how they developed and what remains of them today?
We know. “Merry” and “cemetery” aren’t two words that usually go together. So what makes this graveyard, literally, merry? Is it the lively-colored gravestones? Or the humorous poems inscribed on them? Take a look and decide for yourself.
In Halloween costumes, light-hearted witchcraft, and door-to-door trick-or-treating, many conservatives in Central Europe see Satanism, postmodernism, and westernization. But in times past, the spirit of Halloween was summoned even here on Forefather's Eve.
There are places on earth that were created as a result of great hardship and human sacrifice. Blaca Hermitage on the island of Brač is one of them. The buildings, which were built into rock under harsh and inconvenient conditions, impresses with its uniqueness and history.
Nutritious, versatile, and flavorful, Latvia's big gray peas are a long-term hero of national cuisine. Today, they even stand in for chickpeas in localized versions of hummus and falafel.
Serving as a primary means of transportation for the city and nuclear shelter in the past, the new vision of Prague Metro introduces a fully autonomous modern intra-city connection.
There is no other city in Lithuania where social, political, and cultural trends are reflected in architecture to such an extent. The history of the past few centuries becomes crystal clear in Kaunas as the city gained its modern form only recently.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if animals behaved like humans? One incredibly unique Croatian museum is dedicated to exploring this question and is full of exhibits where frogs go to school, work, and even play tennis. Well, kind of.
For more than 130 years, the tomato has been a fixture on the Bulgarian table, but today, its production is on the verge of collapse. What is happening to the vegetable still enjoying the status of 'national pride' in Bulgaria?
Cycling is one of the Slovenes' national superpowers. For several years their peloton has been running away from the rest of the world. Who will finally overtake them (and why it won't be that easy)?
After World War Two, all the German culture was forced out of Wrocław, and Polish culture swept in. This included the residents switching out the most important monument in the main square.
Sprechen Sie Englisch? In the most recent English Proficiency Index, Austria ranks second best in Europe. For those not yet fluent in German, it makes adapting to Austrian life that little bit easier.
This southeastern Bulgarian city of close to 200,000 residents wasn't voted "Best city to live" for nothing. But Burgas has more to offer than a stroll along the Black Sea and what seems like a never-ending summer music festival program.
Pilsen was the only major Czech city liberated by the American army during World War II. How did this happen, why did the Americans not go further, and how do Pilseners still celebrate this fact today?
Would any country ever give up part of its territory to ensure its continued prosperity? In the 17th century, the Republic of Dubrovnik did just that. How did the Neum Corridor divide today's Croatia and become a cheap tourist oasis?
A bucket list item for cheese lovers from around the world, smoked sheep cheese from the Tatra Mountains is seasonal and, in Poland, even has a protected name of origin.
Sometimes it is called the most beautiful place in Lithuania. And there are thousands of reasons why – the Curonian Spit is a 98-kilometer-long peninsula that forms a lagoon separating Lithuania from the Baltic Sea.
Have you ever wondered where Europe's shortest river is? Or maybe the question has crossed your mind how long can it be? If your answer is "yes," then be sure to read this text – you will find all the answers.
In the Polish mountainside, you can still find tourist shelters so unplugged that you have to chop your own wood and use a well to get a cup of hot tea.
Sigmund Freud, who forever fixed psychoanalysis on the map of human ideas, is still celebrated in his native city. Contrary to what you might assume, it's not Vienna. In fact, it's not even in Austria. It's actually in Czechia.
For most of us, art is associated with galleries and museums. In these places, you can see the works of various artists. But what if we told you there is a town that is a huge art gallery in itself?
This campsite in Latvia offers much more than just a bed for the night. Inspired by the sea, local history, and traditional lifestyles, Melnsils has built several unusual cabins for immersing oneself in the rugged coastal landscape.
Říp Mountain rises proudly to the sky in Central Bohemia. In good weather, you can see Prague. What is the history of this Czech mountain, which has been attracting people since prehistoric times?
In a bid to revamp its mostly uncompetitive road system, Romania seeks to spend more than EUR 20 bln in the upcoming years on ambitious interconnectivity projects to freshen up its infrastructure. When these will turn from ink into concrete remains to be seen.
Two important Czech universities are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. But how old are Czech Universities, and what is the outlook for them in the coming years?
The annual International Peace Marathon in Košice, known as Košice Marathon, is the oldest in Europe and the fourth oldest in the world. In what began as a race with eight runners, today, this marathon series attracts over 10 thousand participants each year, with roughly 1500 running in the main event.
Are you ready to set sail on an adventure aboard the largest sailing ship in history? Then hop aboard the Golden Horizon, a majestic vessel that will take you on a voyage you'll never forget.
The world's shortest cable car is in the heart of old Zagreb! The cable car has been a symbol of the city and an attraction among tourists for years. Take a [surprisingly comfy] seat and indulge in the charms of exploring Croatia's capital.
An unusual artist project from the 1960s and 70s turned a medium-sized Polish city's public squares into the exposition of the country's best sculptors.
Coffee. Can you imagine a day without it? It puts you on your feet, gives you energy, and is simply irreplaceable. And did you know that Croatia is a country of coffee drinkers?
In 1978, a man from the village of Emilcin, Poland, made contact with beings from outer space. And it must be true because there's proof: a monument that says so!
Bulgarians love their national cuisine. And yet, Bulgarian restaurants are getting harder to find in Bulgaria. Is this a temporary trend or a long-term crisis?
While still a practical mobility aid for seniors and hikers, the generously patterned and colorful wooden walking stick has also become a symbol of the Latvian town of Sigulda. It is a much-loved souvenir item, and you can even make your own version.
Hidden among pastures and vineyards, these igloo-like stone houses, forged through skill, determination, and great patience, are an inseparable part of the landscape of Istria and Dalmatia in Croatia.
The most well-known wafer biscuit in Slovakia is undoubtedly Horalka, which has reigned supreme for almost 60 years. With a recipe still under lock and key, the sweet treat has won the hearts of many across the world.
This fascinating royal residence is one of Romania's most splendid castles and one of Europe's most modern palaces. Featuring its very own power plant, an elevator, and a central heating system, Peleș is the perfect blend between vintage and contemporary.
Located at the opposite ends of the three seas region, Bulgaria and Poland are connected in myriad ways. But with new countries competing for attention, are traditional cultural ties still going strong?
The world's oldest cave glacier is disintegrating. As in, it is literally disappearing into thin air right before our eyes. The accelerated melting rate is caused by global warming, and sadly, the process is irreversible.
Bryndza is a phenomenon in the Slovak food industry. The origins of this soft cheese can be traced back to the 18th century’s recipe, which was probably developed by the Vlach population. Family businesses were the key to its promotion and export, and their legacy continues to this day.
The oldest fair in the world has been held in Frankfurt since 1240. How does the Saint Dominic’s fair, held annually in Gdańsk, compare to that result? You might be surprised.
Before peppers came to Hungary, Bulgaria had already made a name for itself as a power to be reckoned with. And while production of locally grown red peppers is down, the Bulgarian pepper refuses to retire.
Almost a century ago, Slovenian engineer Herman "Noordung" Potočnik published his innovative concept for long-term human habitation of space. As is often the case with visionaries, hardly anyone took him seriously at first.
A good piece of advice – never anger a Pole. Better yet – never anger a Pole by attacking his loved ones. Regardless of how important you may be, chances are you risk one going, "[Polish] Medieval on your ass."
A historical narrow-gauge railway in North Latvia connects the towns of Gulbene and Alūksne and charming villages along the way. This part of the country is an ideal destination for railway-themed trips.
Crunchy on the outside yet steamy and soft on the inside, this cheese donut topped with slightly tangy sour cream and the sweetest home-made jam, the humble papanași a dessert that will have you fall in love with instantly and most certainly ruin any current or future diet plan.
With Bulgaria banking on the return of tourists to its popular Black Sea Coast, finding a quiet place away from big hotels poses a challenge. And yet, it's doable.
No restriction plaques here. Interactive and futuristic, the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw is a paradise for science enthusiasts, kids, and adults alike! Increasingly popular, it provides direct contact with scientific achievements.
Ever wondered what it would be like to walk on the moon? Finding out might be easier than you think, for, in the Romanian county of Buzău, you can do just that - without the weightlessness, though.
Anyone who grew up in the early 2000s knows "Gladiator" by Ridley Scott. Yet another Hollywood movie that came out only a year later also tapped into the sword-and-sandals success of its Golden Globe-winning predecessor - but with a Central European twist.
With the world largely considering the COVID-19 pandemic a thing of the past, its effects are still holding back one of Bulgaria's key industries – tourism. Add the war in Ukraine to the equation, and the question arises: will Bulgaria's tourism sector rebound (soon)?
The first non-religious sample of long-form written Polish language is a poem giving some genuinely sage advice: wash your hands before dinner.
Aren’t we all too familiar with the pictures of Venician gondoliers, carefully navigating the channels of Italy’s city of romance? Try something niche! Poland offers its own, wilder version of the same experience and throws in breathtaking views.
Known for its intellectual properties and unanimously referred to as a mind game, chess is a board game that stimulates mental and psychological development. Which is precisely why in Romania, it is an official curriculum subject that you can study in school.
Sociological surveys consistently show that young Czechs and Slovaks are losing their understanding of each other. Two nations that lived together for almost 70 years in a federation and have similar languages might not understand each other in the future.
"All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players," Shakespeare wrote in “As You Like It.” What if we took a break from the roles in our daily lives to go to a real theater? Perhaps to oldest theater in Europe?
The European aristocracy and artists loved the Czech Spas. The fame of Czech healing waters has gradually spread worldwide. The result is the 2021 inscription of the Czech Spa triangle to UNESCO.
Architect Oskar Hansen's winning bid for the 1958 commemoration of Holocaust victims was a plan to let the concentration campsite degrade to allow our psychological recovery from the horrors of World War II.
Forms of art created during the oldest era in human history have been found in Apuseni, Romania. The cave paintings, believed to be over 30,000 years old, represent the oldest form of cave art ever discovered in Central Europe.
British, French, and Spanish colonies are probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of colonialism, but other European countries also ventured abroad. How did the famous Dubrovnik Republic establish its colony in distant India?
We take so many things for granted. And although we are theoretically aware that country borders (and what's within them) have shifted over centuries, the story of how Poland kept its Tatra Mountains is bound to be one of a kind.
At the turn of the 20th century, Croatians who were driven out of their own land by poverty tried to find a place of opportunity that would remind them of their homeland. But how exactly did that lead them to the Los Angeles suburbs?
A-frame vacation homes, named after the Brda River in Poland, became popular in the 1970s. The project was so ingenious though that modern architects eagerly returned to the foundations of the idea.
Want to see one of the three great cities of the Bay of Dragons? In that case, you won't want to miss the majestic Klis Fortress, a prominent filming location for "Game of Thrones". It was here that the fictional village of Mereen was built.
At first sight, Pliska, a town in northeastern Bulgaria with a population of just over 1,000, is exactly what you’d expect from a small town, with its main street housing a few administrative buildings and a coffee shop. And yet, it is not a town like any other. Welcome to Bulgaria’s first capital.
We can call this episode "That time when Latvians built a tower to have a higher highest point than their neighbor." In reality, the highest Latvian and Estonian peaks just barely classify as "mountains." And at one point, Latvia even built a tower on top of its highest peak just to surpass its Estonian rival.
After a scandal of large-scale wine adultery in the vineyard heartland of Austria, it was time to tidy up the fallout. What followed was the successful renaissance of Austrian winemaking.
You won’t taste it during Wimbledon, served with a dollop of cream. Nor will you experience its sweetness on a hot afternoon in Huelva. But believe me – no strawberry in the world is equal to Kashubian strawberries. And there is a paper to prove it!
When the world's largest, most diverse underground mining complex was set to become Europe's biggest open-pit mine, the people had a word to say against it. How much are Romanians willing to fight to protect Roșia Montană?
A 17th-century love story between a German nobleman and a Polish aristocrat sparked the formation of a unique Catholic community that still exists in Latvia today. The Suiti are a remarkable and hardy people.
Have you ever wanted your own private underground tunnel so you could leave your house without anyone noticing? This is precisely what some prominent people from Zagreb demanded - and received.
It’s unknown who - or what - built the Șinca Veche Temple – an underground sanctuary that allegedly turns all of the desires of the pure-hearted into reality. Step inside the mysterious cave and discover the truth for yourself – if you dare.
Visionary Polish architect Oskar Hansen dreamed about Poland with only four cities, one street wide, stretching from the southern to the northern border of the country.
Once home to Soviet army officers tasked with spying on the West, today the Latvian town of Irbene is the site of advanced space research. The VIRAC has given a new lease of life to the two giant radio telescopes it inherited.
Lavender seekers should definitely head to the island of Hvar in Croatia. The small village of Velo Grablje has beautiful lavender fields that look like a spreading purple carpet in late June and early July.
You either love 'em or hate 'em! Every national cuisine has dishes bound to give goosebumps to those unfamiliar with the flavors. Would you try any of those Polish delicacies?
The apple. Such a ‘common’ fruit. So common, in fact, you might think that this staple of your 5 a day is simple to grow wherever you live. Rightly so. But did you know that globally the most apples consumed come from Poland?
In Balgari, a small village in Bulgaria’s Strandzha Mountains, the air is thick with anticipation. Embers are spread around in a large circle. High above the circle sit icons of the two saints, Constantine and Helena, who are being honored today. The fire dance is about to begin.
Croatia has beautiful beaches, a pristine sea, and a unique underwater world. For centuries, locals have been interested in the treasures that the sea has to offer. Shells, in particular.
Countries across the Three Seas region are steadily improving their proficiency in foreign languages, with Croatia and Poland placed among the top European countries when it comes to knowledge of English. But, the region is not done yet.
"Vienna for lunch, Venice for dinner... and Dubrovnik for breakfast," contemplate Mr. and Mrs. Connor Roy in the recent episode of "Succession" about a possible stay in Slovenia. However, once they see what the country has to offer, we think they'll want to stay closer to their Ljubljana base for their three square meals.
This eel-like creature in Latvia is much more than a simple food item. The lamprey contributes to the identity of some coastal towns. Every year, locals and visitors indulge in festivals dedicated to the fish.
Every year, the inhabitants of Vlčnov pick a young boy who will become the King for that year. And like any other King, he must ride through the town with his knights. Vlčnov Kings has done so for the last 200 years, and there are no signs of stopping.
If only camping trips weren’t so challenging… Latvia’s BeTriton has a solution! Their amphibious electric vehicle allows crossing terrain and water at ease and eliminates the need to pitch a tent at night.
A distant relative of Spanish gazpacho, the cold soup of Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia involves beetroot instead of tomato. The one ingredient they do share is cucumber. Both suit their respective climates at either end of Europe.
Lithuania is one of the few European countries where football does not reign supreme. There are many reasons for this, but the most important is that basketball here has always been closely related to its historical ups and downs.
Medieval Polish historian Jan Długosz once claimed that trees in the Roztocze Forest turned to stone just a few years after death. The reality is just a bit more complicated.
On May 24, Bulgaria is set to celebrate its biggest national holiday dedicated to the saints of the Bulgarian alphabet, education, culture, and of the Slavonic literature. We asked five Bulgarians working with words on an everyday basis to give us their favorite distinctively Bulgarian words.
Every country has its own idea of cheap yet satisfying food. Poland is no exception. But the Polish idea, now well over a century old, can cause some confusion among first-time visitors. Let us explain.
With the advent of modern science, there also came modern detectives. One of the first was Juan Vučetić, born in Hvar, Croatia, who pioneered dactyloscopy and was the first person in history to identify a killer based on a bloody fingerprint.
For years, the residents of Pernik, a city of 70,000 near the Bulgarian capital Sofia, have been a subject of countless jokes told about them. What started this endless trove of jokes and how are the people of Pernik fighting back?
For centuries, generations of Bulgarians have resorted to a trove of proverbs and saying with clear negative undertones. Why is their pessimism still around?
It's that time of the year again. In the second half of May, main streets in big cities and small towns across Bulgaria turn into a catwalk. But no, this is not Bulgaria Fashion Week.
Ten years, ten editions, and over 100,000 visitors. These are the stats of Central and Eastern Europe's most influential comic book convention in numbers. But what does it like behind the doors?
It’s true what food anthropologists say: dumplings are the most ubiquitous food concept in the world. Just think of Italian tortellini, Georgian khinkali, or Japanese gyoza. However, there's a reason that Polish dumplings are known across the globe. Our Pierogi 101 is here to help you navigate this rich world.
With two million people, Slovenia is among the smallest nations in Central and Eastern Europe. However, when it comes to internationally recognized cuisine, it is one of the biggest powerhouses. What is the recipe for their amazing culinary success?
As you take in the extraordinary sights of the country, especially the city of Dubrovnik, it's easy to see why film crews from massive productions like "Star Wars" and "Game of Thrones" have chosen to shoot some of their most most meaningful scenes here.
If you hear a live performance of Croatian klapa even once, you will certainly not remain indifferent to this kind of music. Because klapa has been binding people together for years, stealing their hearts and enchanting them with its unique sound.
Czech artist and sculptor David Černý is seen by many as a controversial figure. This controversy goes beyond Czechia, as does his art. His “Black Babies” invaded Prague, his “Golem” Poznan, and his “Bus” London.
People across the countries of Central Europe embrace the spring by celebrating their nearest and dearest – parents, in a series of more or less official holidays. What are the dates to look forward to?
Make some noise for the wooden structures in Võru County, Estonia that amplify the forest's sounds without disturbing the natural order.
The Medieval Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland has many wonders. If a one-day visit is not enough for you, feel free to go on and just spend the night in the underground hostel.
Active at the beginning of the 20th century, Teodor Talowski was the genius behind several buildings in Cracow that, though built from scratch, look as if they were centuries old with a history of being partly demolished and rebuilt. And every one of them has a story to tell.
What is the Central European city that never sleeps - for at least part of the year? Tallinn, of course, where, during the summer solstice, you can take in the midnight sun.
The beginning of May celebrates the launch of sailing season in the Polish Thousand Lakes Region. The area is not only the crown jewel of Poland’s natural landscapes but also a centuries-old effort to create waterways serving economy and recreation.
Croatia’s Višnjan Observatory is the most successful in the world when it comes to looking out for asteroids that could possibly crash into Earth.
On a May day some 250 years ago, Poland declared its first-ever constitution. Along with the communist-propagated Labor Day, also in May, the celebrations for two long and storied traditions give just the right excuse for majówka - extended spring celebrations.
One of Romania’s most alluring monasteries is not known just for its beauty. The fascinating frescos painted in this unique, bright shade of blue, called Voroneț blue, have amazed an entire world. The color mix is still a mystery to this day.
In 1937 Walter Zapp developed the Minox subminiature camera, a boon to real-life 007s across the world. His invention opened up the possibility of quickly and covertly smuggling countless thousands of pages of secret materials out from behind enemy lines.
As the only Orthodox Latin country and the only one located so far east from the cluster, Romania is often referred to as a "cousin" of the Romance family. How close is Romania to its Latin roots, and how much was it influenced by the Slavic and Balkan culture?
On April 24, known as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, Armenians in Bulgaria will pay their respects to the victims of the systematic murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians, which took place in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
We all have different spices in the kitchen for various dishes, but one always stands out. Vegeta is an unmistakable blend of salt and spices that has become a kitchen staple in many homes across the world. The story of its inventor is almost as rich as the condiment itself.
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! I wonder why he does. Perhaps because the honey of Polish forest bees has, for centuries, been cherished for its superb quality. Judge for yourself!
The ice-cold winds known as a bora, bura, or burja in the Adriatic region might seem violent and terrifying for visitors. The locals believe in its good energy and the upcoming change it brings.
As mezcal famously has its worm, this Polish vodka gets its specific yellowish tint from a straw of grass, the same that feeds bison in Eastern Poland.
Residents of Valka, Latvia, and Valga, Estonia, come and go freely, living in one country and shopping, studying, or working in the other, illustrating the human value of open borders. Visitors can explore both within a day or two.
You could be forgiven for thinking a blue cow is something out of fiction. But it is, in fact, real and roams the fields of Latvia along with another local breed – the Latvian Brown.
The Czech Republic stands at a critical crossroads for the future of train transport. While some dream of high-speed rail, others fear for the survival of trains. Will the Czechs get their TGV?
Would you turn yourself into the cops for a good night's sleep? In Ljubljana, you can skip the drastic measures and still hide behind bars for a few peaceful hours of rest in this prison-turned-hotel in one of the city's most trendy districts.
A small pyramid in northeastern Poland holds the final resting place for several members of a wealthy family. But to some it's a places as mysterious and mystical as the pyramids of Egypt.
It is well known that any traditional Romanian family usually has eggs on its Easter table. However, some take this tradition to the next level, adorning them with an unexpected accessory.
In true start-up fashion, Fermentful took two existing products – buckwheat and kefir – and found how they could work together to create something new. Their plant-based drinks are a gut-and-planet-friendly alternative to the original dairy beverage.
Recurring summer heatwaves force many of us to turn to tested tricks of staying cool, such as wearing that favorite linen top, having the mid-day cool shower, or finally putting that souvenir fan to good use. But what to eat when it is just too hot?
Perhaps nothing illustrates the diversity of Central Europe better than the richness of its languages. The perfect example is the way the region's countries approach naming the Easter holiday. The diversity is quite telling.
Rye bread is a staple of the Latvian diet. Delicious by the slice, it's also a key ingredient in several unusual sweet and savory recipes. You can try many of them at themed festivals and stops along the Rye Road tourism route.
Every year before Easter, the Polish consumer press is all hot on one topic: the mayo price index. But following the charts is complicated, as Poles in different regions are hooligans for very specific traditional brands of the condiment.
Have you ever wanted to vacation on another planet? While traveling to distant plants like Mars isn't possible just yet, there is an Earth-bound alternative on the Croatian island of Pag. How did Pag become a famous tourist location dedicated to Mars?
Anyone who ever watched old-school cartoons must be familiar with the motif of a Saint Bernard dog with a little cask around its neck that saved victims of snowy atrocities with the cask's magical elixir. While it may seem funny, it’s based in truth.
Who would have thought that in the late 70s, a family dispute would lead to the creation of one of the most appreciated Romanian soups? All it took was the whim of a husband to have chicken in a traditional beef soup.
The war in Ukraine is having unexpected effects far and wide. A key source of protein for countries in the Middle East and India, the demand for chickpeas outstripped the supply, with both Russia and Ukraine being among the top producers. Can small players familiar with the crop, like Bulgaria, step up to the challenge?
In Kruszyniany, a small village in northeastern Poland, you can still experience the culture (and even cuisine) of the Tartar. Steppe Warriors were introduced as a lethal weapon against heavy German cavalry. The last Tartar families integrated into a colorful mix of cultures and religions along the eastern borders of Poland.
The surface of the Earth is peppered with impressions made by outer-space visitors. But by “impressions,” we mean craters, and by visitors, we aren’t talking aliens – we’re talking about meteorites. So where can you find these spots in Central Europe?
Hidden among the calloused patches of the evergreen forests or in plain sight, these eight UNESCO-recognized wooden churches stand tall – quite literally - as symbols of faith and determination, emblems of architectural artistry and historical resistance.
A Japanese delicacy made its west by inadvertently hopping rides on Europe-bound shipping containers. However, far from a welcome treat, uninvited sea snails have been wreaking havoc in the waters of the Black Sea ever since their arrival.
There's little doubt that one of the best holiday destinations in Europe is Croatia's Dalmatian coast. This is somewhat old news, as the area was already known as a dream retirement spot 1,700 years ago, attracting even the likes of Roman emperors.
Ever wondered what a Mongolian man on a hobby horse is doing representing one of the most gorgeous and historical Polish cities? There is a valid explanation!
Bram Stoker and Jules Verne, defining figures in the world of literature, took great inspiration from the Romanian lands - despite having never stepped foot inside the country.
Every good story has intriguing protagonists who make you want to figure out who they are and where they came from. In the Three Seas Region, there is a country whose history causes a lot of “I didn’t know that!” reactions. Want to know which one?
The tiny Croatian island of Biševo attracts huge numbers of tourists every year thanks to a magnificent sea cave. The Blue Cave truly lives up to its name, mesmerizing visitors with its stunning blue vistas.
There are only a handful of countries around the world where Coca-Cola does not reign supreme. Czechia and Slovakia are among them. Meet Kofola, the socialist Coke alternative introduced in the 60s, still holding strong and topping the soft-drink market.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria’s second-largest city, is always there for you, although it’s easy to miss. A less than two-hour drive to the south from the capital Sofia, Plovdiv is often seen as a city living in the shadow of its mighty neighbor. Big mistake.
Is it the city's beauty or just the collateral benefit from Poland’s role in the most important historical event in years, namely the war on Ukraine? Regardless, it suffices to say that Warsaw deserves its title of the European Best Destination of 2023.
The Tokaj region, famous for its wines that have been prized since the 18th century, became an official appellation in 1737, some two centuries earlier than the famous Burgundy.
Do you want to be a happier person with nothing standing in your way? All you have to do is learn the Croatian practice of fjaka. The people of Croatia have found their own foolproof recipe for happiness and joy every day – and it’s something that anyone can bring home with them.
Podpiwek, which can be peculiarly translated as 'underbeer', is a traditional beverage made from cereal coffee, hops, and yeast. Not unlike malt beer, it provides refreshment on hot summer days.
Bulgaria and Romania share 609 kilometers of border. And yet, despite the fact that the Danube River forms as many as 470 km of that border, the two countries are linked only by two bridges. Is this about to change?
At a time when European states were looking to establish and reaffirm their culture, Romania decided the best way to cement its identity was through… architecture! Cue the birth of Romanian Revival style that, to this day, continues to brighten up the streets of Bucharest.
The emotive architecture of one of Riga's most prominent buildings speaks of the Latvian nation's strength, courage, and endurance. This is the home of the National Library of Latvia – a contemporary center of knowledge and culture.
Croatia has been the number one vacation spot for many Czechs. Is this still the case, or have Czechs changed their vacation preferences and are venturing outside the Three Seas region?
One Austrian postmodern artist, in particular, was known for designs that crush your opinions of how a building should look and behave. The perfect example in Vienna is named after its designer, and if you wish, you can even spend a night there.
If you are planning a trip to Cracow, Poland (if you are not – then you should do), we want to help you avoid one of the most terrible culinary faux pas anyone can commit while in this gorgeous city. One that the locals would not forgive.
Croatian cuisine is famous for its variety of dishes, bridging the gap between Mediterranean cuisine and typical Balkan flavors. Each region has its own specialties, but they’re all connected by a traditional preparation method.
These days much is being said about the carnival season and various celebrations that take place as the Earth prepares for its rebirth. Romania tops it with its very unique take on the welcoming of Spring.
It’s the one accessory that goes with everything and never goes out of style. On March 1st of each year, Bulgarians adorn their clothing and wrists with martenitsas. The ancient bracelet, usually made of twisted red and white woolen or cotton threads, announces the end of winter. And so much more.
One of the largest and most elaborate murals from Communist Europe consists of three million porcelain pieces and makes a huge impression. In fact, it had such an impact upon its unveiling that its creator was forced to flee Romania.
It turns out that in ketchup-loving, tomato-growing Poland, all the brands get their produce from factories in just one narrow strip of land. This fact sent the Internet into a tizzy.
The largest of the Estonian islands was already inhabited thousands of years ago. In the 21st century, it’s still thriving, and its expansive heritage is just the cherry on top.
About 40 million years ago, a large pine forest was growing on land now long gone. As the Earth was rapidly changing, the forest saw its time was coming to an end. Resigned to its fate, sure of being lost and forgotten for all eternity, it… cried.
Spanning 140 kilometers, the Soča may not be the longest or largest European river. Still, it is among the most important and – last but not least – the most stunningly beautiful on the continent.
Communist countries were jealous of a few things from the West, and one of them was the famous "capitalist" soft drink. A Polish copy became the symbol of attempts at escaping communism – but in a very unexpected way.
After a long period of short, cold days and endless, dark nights, there comes a time when something has to be done about it. In Hungary, the people of Mohács might just have the answer.
Decades before Anthony Bourdain set out to enlighten a hungry population of would-be food tourists and future foodies about the exotic world of international gastronomy, there was Emil Markov, who was on a mission to bring Bulgarian cuisine to the world.
Used to fasting and celebrating Easter as a time of penance, many Poles limit indulgences to only a few special occasions each year. But when it’s time to feast time, they do it 100%. Or, in this case, 200%.
By late February, everyone is sick and tired of winter, especially as the eternal cycle of the seasons promises the soon arrival of spring. For millennia, the human race was celebrating that time, trying to scare away the death of winter and invite the season of rebirth and fertility.
Bulgaria and wine, it’s serious. So serious that Bulgarians honor Saint Tryphon, patron of vine growers and winemakers, not once but twice a year. But is this enough to help Bulgarian wines conquer demanding markets abroad?
Europe is not called “the old continent” by chance. Civilizations here have spawned for millennia. But three cities in Bulgaria are competing to be Europe’s oldest city.
Winter is coming, and for Romanian peasants, that is good news: they can now indulge in the much-beloved șezătoare, where anything can happen. From song learning to marriage planning, șezătoarea was the place where to catch up on village life.
Adršpach-Teplice Rocks are called Rock City for a reason: a romantic network of “streets” to roam and get lost provides an experience of being both a mountain hiker and an urban flaneur.
In a small town in eastern Slovakia, an underground spring shoots a 15-meter-tall column of water every day and a half. This is the only place in Europe outside of Iceland where you can see such a marvel.
If the phenomenon of a self-burning fire is not mind-blowing enough already, know that the living fire of Vrancea is more than just pretty flames. It is an indicator that the disaster that lies underneath is about to erupt.
In the beer-vodka-wine European divide, Bulgaria’s position is clear: Wine, please. While Bulgaria has no shortage of impressive wines based on well-known grapes such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, why not impress your sommelier with knowledge of Bulgaria’s lesser-known varieties?
A unique aspect of Slovenian folk art is the way it intermingles with everyday farm life in the form of artfully decorated beehives. It is not only an excellent example of how creativity takes shape in all environments but also how seriously the culture of beekeeping is taken in this country.
Socialism’s great hotel investment in the heart of Polish Tatra Mountains is glamorous again. And it gets one hell of an (unofficial) product placement in the latest production of the most famous Polish opera.
The 2021 census in Bulgaria confirmed something that most Bulgarians know: the town of Melnik’s spot as one of the smallest towns in Europe is safe.
It's like walking through a fairytale city. When you add snow, you feel like you're in a romantic movie. All this is Český Krumlov, a town in Southern Bohemia where time seems to have stood still.
In a small corner of the West Pomeranian forest in northwestern Poland, a grove of pine trees grow in unique shapes that might seem more suited to a fantasy film rather than wildlife reality. The origin of this curiosity is still up for debate.
In the Šalek Valley in Slovenia, new lakes were unintentionally created as a consequence of coal mining. They covered old villages where people have lived for millennia, which are now to be found at the bottom of the lake, hiding a mysterious underwater world.
Today’s race for the tallest building in the world is usually a competition between the United Arab Emirates and China. However, a few short centuries ago, St. Olaf’s Church in Tallinn held the title. (At least, maybe it did.)
At only 91 years old, it is not the oldest Zoo in Europe. However, Prague Zoo is repeatedly ranked as one of the best zoological gardens worldwide. Let us give you a virtual tour.
Can sweeping political changes impact what and how we eat? You bet, argues historian and writer Dr. Albena Shkodrova, author of “Communist Gourmet.”
You’ve probably seen or heard the name “Czechia” used instead of “Czech Republic” and may have wondered what the deal was - which name is right? It’s an easy answer: both. Depending on the situation, of course.
Step inside the filming set of the newest adaptation of Adams Family, Wednesday, the coming-of-age spin-off that took the world by storm. From the ordinary city of Jericho to the outstanding Nevermore Academy, discover the locations of one of the most binge-watched series.
Not ready to hang up your skis come April or May? No need to worry. Some of Central Eastern Europe's top ski resorts will keep you on the trails well into spring.
The forests can hide untold amounts of treasures. One employee of the Slovak Museum of Nature Protection and Speleology in Liptovský Mikuláš learned this lesson first-hand in January when a walk in the forest led to the discovery of a lifetime.
Europos Park is a “monument valley” on the outskirts of Vilnius to celebrate the spot being exact center of Europe. But the celebration was a bit hasty, as now one of claimants to the title is 11 km away.
Cepelinai dumplings, the fist-sized Lithuanian delicacies, derive their name from Zeppelins - the long, cylindrical airships of the early 20th century to which they bear a striking resemblance. And like their dirigible counterparts, cepelinai will leave you high... on carbs.
In this outdoor cabinet of curiosities on the outskirts of Bratislava, Slovakia, animals made of the most unlikely of materials – scrap metal – come to life. It is an art form that is quickly growing in popularity across Eastern Europe.
Shopska salad is a bone of contention between a few Central European nations. However, its origins are easily traced to the post-war creation of Bulgaria as a socialist paradise of sun, relaxation, and good food. The red, green, and white salad easily fits the image of traditional Bulgarian cuisine.
Predjama Castle is a unique medieval castle in Slovenia that was built into a cave entrance in a mountain wall. Thanks to its position, it has never been truly conquered and impresses visitors and architects from all over the world. Its heritage includes a legend of a bad knight and his end.
When frosty winter hits, people tend to stay home and warm themselves up with a nice cuppa… not! Not when they're Polish, anyway. Winter at the end of the carnival was considered by the nobles as the best time to hit each other's pads and party.
Surely you've heard of Ice Hotels as they are nothing new. But if you are looking for one of a kind place to hold your wedding or christening of your child, then this Ice Church on top of Romania's highest peaks might be the perfect place.
The Krkonoše Mountains are like a wall, yet they are a bridge linking Czechia and Poland. They consist of deep woods and crystal-clear rivers, yet they are very open to the public. This is the story of the wilderness haven.
French, Italian, American, Mediterranean, and so on – cuisine from all over the world seems to enjoy recognition. After all, tasting local specialties is an integral part of any travel. So what about Eastern Europe? What do people eat there?
Which of the Central European countries has in total over 7000 kilometers of ski runs and about 2,500 ski lifts? This whole infrastructure comes complete with guaranteed snow. I can hear you're sold. Want to know where to book your tickets?
The small town of Žalec in Slovenia is home to a unique fountain that flows not with water, but with the hoppy goodness of beer. It is an original project, the first of its kind, and commemorates the local culture and tradition.
The blood-red bohemian garnet is considered the national gem of the Czech Republic. Not only is it good-looking, but legends also say that this beloved stone can replace bad moods with joy.
These funny-looking, curly haired pigs are a Hungarian specialty. Their breeding is protected and regulated by law, and their meat is, well, quite simply delicious.
Due to the climate, which tends to bring rather cold winter months, the nations of the Three Seas Region developed their cuisines following the particularities of each season. But one vegetable dominated all four of them.
At the end of January, masked people with countless bells tied around roam the streets in villages across Bulgaria. But despite their scary outfits, locals are not intimidated. These are the Kukeri, and they are here not to scare onlookers but to chase away the evil forces
It is a route that Czech Kings took upon their coronation for centuries. And while there are no kings in Czechia these days, the Royal Road is still a crucial sightseeing trail through Prague.
Navigating the Balkan cuisine and claiming dishes as national is a tricky balancing act. And yet, when it comes to the "most Bulgarian" thing you could eat, we think we may have just found it.
Would you swim in the frozen waters during Romania’s coldest month to fetch a cross thrown by the Priest? Some wouldn’t - but many would. Or so the tradition proved for the past hundreds of years. Learn about Romania’s most astonishing Epiphany traditions.
Croatia is undoubtedly one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in the Three Seas Region. Fascinating history, lush food, and glorious sun have the power to attract anyone dreaming of a perfect summer break. But have you considered Croatia as a winter destination, too?
While the concept of dining in the dark is not novel, in most such restaurants, the point is to have you guessing at what you’re eating, provided you’ve been able to locate your plate first. In Bulgaria, one restaurant takes this a step further to educate.
Friday night. Chic restaurant. Notable chef. You've finally picked a mouthwatering main dish, and the sommelier recommends pairing it with... a Polish wine? Seems crazy, right? Not if a new crop of Polish winemakers has anything to do with it.
If this grapevine could talk, oh... the stories it could tell. Wars, plagues, and fires haven't been able to stop one remarkably resilient vine in Maribor, Slovenia, that is still producing fruit - and wine - at a ripe 400 years old!
On 1 October 1869, the Austrian Post Office issued its first postcard. Today merely a collectible, they were for decades a communication staple, as texting is now.
The new railway network will connect all of Poland’s larger cities with a mega-airport near Warsaw as well as connect Poland with neighboring countries.
Austrian startup Blue Planet Ecosystems has been presenting its product on efficient, bio, eco-friendly, and sustainable fishing production called LARA systems (Land-based Automated Recirculating Aquaculture). The product aims to address future food shortages.
With Christmas approaching, let's look at how it is celebrated in the Czech Republic, where little attention is paid to faith and church. And is Christmas here still a Christian holiday?