As you walk along the seaside in Zadar, Croatia, the air is filled with the melancholic sounds of the sea. The notes might not mirror any type of classical composition, but they nonetheless create a sound that is in perfect in its harmony.Read More
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)?
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.
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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
Don't be overwhelmed by the word "green" that appears everywhere Slovenia is concerned. "Green" is such a deeply ingrained concept in every aspect of the country that you might get the feeling that even the bricks in Ljubljana's houses will be green. (For the record, they're not).
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.
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.
The Witcher - a successful Netflix series, a mind-boggling game, and… a musical. All of these are spin-offs of a highly witty fantasy saga. So where did it all begin?
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?
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.
Some of Riga's wooden buildings date as far back as the 18th century. Witnesses of wars, power struggles, and transformation, the sturdy structures are a living archive. What is their status today?
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.
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.
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.
During the longest, cold winter nights, you may want to curl up under your blanket with a cup of hot cocoa and a favorite film. But why not try something different? Estonians did. And now, each year, they host the European Sauna Marathon!
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.
One of Estonia’s most famous scientists is the founder of embryology, Karl Ernst von Baer. Each year, Estonian students honor his life and achievements by giving his monument in Tartu Park a bubble bath to remember - with champagne and beer.
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?
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Every winter, Estonians can take a shortcut to their islands through the frozen surface of the sea. The roads are even officially recognized by authorities.
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.
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.
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.
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?
A UFO-like set of discs sits atop a mountain peak on the Czechia-Poland border. However, its inhabitants are not extraterrestrials, rather meteorologists who come from far and wide for the unique weather.
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!
In Czechia, the beer-drinking culture without a shadow of a doubt constitutes its national heritage. Activists are now fighting for official recognition of this fact by UNESCO.
Ready to channel your inner Indiana Jones? Maybe walking across the world’s longest suspended sky bridge, hung almost a hundred meters above a valley in Czechia’s Moravia district, would help you do the trick.
Many festive dishes tend to be present in some shape and form throughout the year. But can you find dishes that are so Christmas-exclusive that you can’t really taste them outside of the season?
Yes, there is a ranking of the world’s healthiest traditional feasts. And guess who’s at the top of the ranking? Poles with their fish-abundant, vegetable-based Christmas Eve supper. Never mind that it consists of twelve courses!
Some say that cultural divides can be explained by the kind of alcohol we imbibe. But is there any actual distinction between "vodka Europe" vs. "beer Europe" vs. "wine Europe"?
This vegetable spread popular in the Balkan region has become sort of a commodity good in Romania, especially among students. Forget about gold and other precious goods, zacusca is now the most coveted possession.
Riga Black Balsam, concocted by a pharmacist in the mid-18th century, was used as a magic cure for numerous diseases. Today it's a drink, cocktail ingredient, cure for indigestion, and, most importantly, Latvia's pride.
Created in 1766, Vienna’s Prater is one of the oldest public leisure spots on the continent. The amusement park in the center of Prater began operations in the 18th century.
Adam Mickiewicz was perhaps the most important figure in Polish 19-century culture. His epic novel Pan Tadeusz – the epitome of Polish national sentiment – contains descriptions of more traditional Polish dishes than any other features.
If you order tea in an Estonian café, you can expect a wide variety of herbal drinks, though not necessarily what we usually call tea. Influenced by Russian culture, the social division between Estonian tea vs herbal infusion drinkers has left traces to this day.
Many communities and cultures would use words, foods, melodies, or actions to express themselves – not the Romanian people, however. For them, the deepest feelings of the human soul were best transmitted through a rug.
Sibiu salami, a trademark of Romanian cuisine, is not even made in Sibiu. In fact, it wasn’t even invented by a Romanian. How did this internationally-appreciated aliment gain popularity, and where did the name actually come from?
They’re everywhere. And they’re all watching you. However, this is not a horror story but rather the charming story of the Sibiu roofs, known for their “eyes” that watch over the city.
Popular across Central and Eastern Europe from Poland to Estonia to Caucasus, this refreshing drink, which comes sweet or savory, is a zero-waste drink from bread leftovers. Its most recent Polish iteration has taken a turn to promote more responsible beer drinking.
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?
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.
Slovenia has proportionally more karst than any other country. It shaped its history and identity. It was here that most karst phenomena were studied very early on. Even the name karst came from the Kras region in Slovenia, a smaller region within the Slovenian Classical Karst.
The Carolina Reaper is no longer the leader of the pack. The world’s used-to-be hottest pepper was recently surpassed by this new and yet-unnamed chili created in the county of Buzau, Romania.
Developing since the 1980s, Latvia's sea buckthorn industry is now well and truly ripe. Not only is export on the rise, but growers are creating new products to introduce people to the vitamin-packed berry and its powers.
Imagine this: It's Friday afternoon in socialist Czechoslovakia. It may seem like there are not many options if you are into American culture. Not to fear - grab your cowboy hat, guitar, and military boots and catch a train to the Czech wilderness!
Everyone has heard of Neuschwanstein, the real-life Disney castle in Bavaria. If only tourists knew this picturesque destination has a long-lost sibling in a much more accessible and equally unexpected location in Southern Poland.
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.
As beautiful as autumn is in its many colors, you wish summer would last longer. This is quite possible in Sandanski, a small mountain town in Southwestern Bulgaria.
If you cannot afford to visit Venice’s Santa Maria della Salute church, you can visit Gostyń instead. This town, like many others in Poland, has one unexpected feature: a church based on virtually the same blueprint.
Zawoja is the longest linear village in Poland, spanning 18 kilometers, which may be considered an average day’s hike. But to perpendicularly cross such a village, a few minutes is usually enough.
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.
A tourist paradise in the Elbe Canyon, home to sandstone formations of European importance and the scene of a recent catastrophe. Welcome to the Bohemian Switzerland National Park.
As Riga grew exponentially in the early 20th century, some one-third of all the buildings in the historical center of the city center were built in this style.
Bigăr Waterfall was ranked the #1 most unique in the world by the World Geography Atlas and, if you were reading this article one year ago, it still would be. However, the unimaginable happened, and world’s most beautiful waterfall collapsed. What happened?
In the 1500s, the Persian carpets entered the halls of European monarchies by way of the Ottoman empire. Once these pieces of art were laid out on floors in castles across Europe, they stayed for good.
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!
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.
Tired of choosing the same old destinations for your holidays? Why not try something new! Central and Eastern Europe has lots to offer!
“How is it possible for a rock to grow or move on its own?” is the question many, if not all, who visit the enchanted realm of the trovanți ask themselves. What is this place, and how can these huge rocks change their size - and location almost overnight?
Although one of the most notable artists of the 20th century was born in Pittsburgh, the Slovakian town of Medzialiborce, where his parents were born, now displays 160 original works of the pop-art master in the Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art.
A city foretold by an iron wolf, built by a pagan Duke, developed by Christian kings, drowning in green vegetation, and home to hundreds of angels – Vilnius might just be the most exceptional European capital.
It is surprising how the charming little town of Nin in Croatia is the home of many wonders. Among such riches as salt and mud (yup!) is a Cathedral fit for the size of the town – namely, very small. In fact, it’s the world’s smallest.
Bendy, lazy rivers; picturesque landscapes; wildlife; and charming bonfire evenings are just some of the things one may experience when they go kayaking in Poland. Indeed, it’s an immensely popular way of spending your summer holidays - for good reason.
Ever thought of an idea of a beauty pageant starred by…cities? People behind the Online Mortgage Advisor did and, acting as the grand jurors, decided which ones should be crowned as the most beautiful.
As the old saying tells us: good fences make good neighbors. And it is pretty convincing since, throughout history, great rulers have insisted on building walls to stop their enemies. It happened in China, Great Britain, and… Croatia.
The most fascinating medieval castles are those which were impossible to force by the enemy. And, of course, those haunted by ghosts. Trakai Castle belongs to both categories.
For most of the world, 1 April is know as April Fools’ Day. However in Ludbreg, a tiny village in the north of Croatia, this is a day for a much larger celebration - to commemorate its position at the center of the world
Bohemian Užupis looks like a typical city district, but it has its own constitution, flag, and international recognition (by UNESCO). Once, it even had an army of 11 soldiers, but now its only line of defense is its cultural value.
If you ever happen to watch the late 20th century films from Poland that take place in a sandy desert, chances are they were filmed… locally. Meet Polish deserts and dunes – truly unique, natural landmarks.
Among Polish dishes, one has enjoyed unfading popularity over the centuries. It is still among the most recognizable flavors of Poland. And a reason why in many Polish houses, during the cold seasons, you may notice a hint of cabbage smell coming from the kitchen.
Prosecco’s Italian name is a direct descendant of the Slavic prošek. The latter word is still used in Croatia, but for a different kind of wine. Now the argument has made it to the European Council.
Some four hundred kilometers from the nearest seashore, a former quarry in Kadzielnia is home to remains of a coral reef, not dissimilar to that near the Bahamas.
Back in the days before dating apps, people had to improvise. Romanians, merchants by nature, found a way to bring together young people from over 80 villages with a “maiden market,” which, contrary to its name, did not imply any exchange of money but marriage proposals.
Shumen, in northeastern Bulgaria, is so linked to its cafes - in particular, its main café-lined street - that one of its former mayors floated the idea of applying for an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest café in the world.
You may have visited spectacular salt mines before. However, with a panoramic wheel, an amphitheater, and mini-golf trails, Romania's Turda Salt Mine, 120m below the surface, is like no other. Upon stepping on the very first stairs you are instantly transported to another world, not outer space, but underground.
Have you been invited to a Czech party and have no idea what to expect in terms of food and drinks? Let us help you get to know some traditional Czech finger foods, meals, and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) that are unique to the Czech Culture.
Polish vodka can be safely claimed by Poles. When it comes to rakija, well… opinions are as divided as there are varieties of this alcoholic drink. Taking into account its unfading fame, it’s no wonder Croatia claims ownership of the best recipe.
In Slovenia, there is a magic lake. Normally, lakes are simply there as we know them. Some freeze in the winter, but we can still admire them. Cerknica Lake, however, could confuse someone who does not know about it, as it’s there one day and gone the next.
A new beach surfaced overnight in the county of Bihor – no less than 800 kilometers far from the Romanian seashore. How did this happen, and why is this place compared to Thailand‘s Railay Beach?
They come in many sweet and savory varieties – wild berry, cabbage-and-mushroom, meat, and white cheese among the classic fillings. But there is one particular version of this classic Polish dish that has inspired mixed feelings in recent months.
Varosliget, or City Park, was established in Pest (before it was connected to Buda) over three decades before the same was done in London – a city now known for its parks.
Depending on where you live in the world, forest mushrooms may be considered a delicacy. They can be such a luxurious product that you must pay a lot to purchase a small amount. Think about this: in the past, it was enough to go to the forest. In Poland, it still is.
For three years now, residents of the small municipality of Stamboliyski in Southern Bulgaria have been using public transport for free. While the idea introduced by Mayor Georgi Maradzhiev is hardly new, Stamboliyski remains Bulgaria’s only town boasting free public transportation.
One may think Europe's tallest rock sculpture could not go unnoticed, but did you know it can be found in Romania? Find out who made it, who requested it, and, most importantly, why would someone invest over one million dollars to have the face of Decebalus in rock?
Welcome to Gabrovo, Bulgaria’s capital of humor. In this Central Bulgarian town, legends say that they cut the tails of cats so that the door closes faster after them. It’s such a prevalent story they erected a bronze cat sculpture that has been attracting visitors for two decades.
One of Slovenia's most recognizable landmarks, Mount Triglav, is much more than just the country’s highest mountain and a national symbol. It is a three-headed god, the gateway to becoming a true Slovenian.
The results are in, and if you’re a salad lover heading to Bulgaria, you’re up for a treat. In TasteAtlas’s 50 Best Salads ranking, four Bulgarian salads make the cut. Ovcharska (Shepherd's) landed the #1 spot, with Snezhanka and the famous Shopska Salad – also in the top 10.
Slovenia is literally flowing with honey. Since the 11th century, beekeeping has been an essential part of Slovenian culture, an inspiration for art and design, and the backbone of local tourism. Professional beekeeping is so rooted in Slovenia that one in two hundred Slovenes is a beekeeper.
Centuries-old houses, lush greenery, friendly neighbors. If this is your idea of the average small Bulgarian village, you might be right. But if you want to experience life in one of these villages first-hand, hurry. Because the Bulgarian towns and villages as we know them might be dying out.
In the spiritual center of Bulgaria’s First Kingdom, carved into rock on a cliff 100-meters high, lies a unique representation of a knight on horseback defeating a lion. The monument, known as the Madara Rider, still poses a riddle with regards to what is depicted on it.
When Austrian and Polish soldiers captured Turkish positions after the Battle of Vienna, they thought that the tiny, brown seeds they found were horse fodder. However, soon enough, they were all enjoying a new kind of brew that was exported across Europe.
The whole of Europe can be divided into two parts, just based on the name of this staple drink - tea. The only countries that escape this division are the former members of the Polish-Lithuania commonwealth. So, what can we glean from this fact?
Hungary is famous for being a landlocked country. However, the great lake of Balaton makes up for that fact to Hungarians, who appreciate this lake so vast, it allows you to enjoy a riviera.
At 16 square kilometers, the Lithuanian enclave of the Republic of Paulava was one of the tiniest countries in the known world. It was a progressive realm where personal freedom was protected, and even peasants could own land.
With almost a thousand castles and another 1100 stately homes, Czechia tops the list of places to visit for those in search of aristocratic residences. In fact, one castle in Prague is considered the largest ancient building in the world. So how did Czechia become the land of castles?
A small town with a decisively Mediterranean feel. It would not be surprising if it weren’t for the fact that Szentendre is located in the vicinity of Budapest, the capital city of Hungary.
Bucegi Mountains may not be Romania's tallest mountains, but they sure are the most mysterious ones. Discover the Romanian Sphinx, a natural wonder of the country that, unlike the Sphinx of Giza, was not crafted by hands. At least not those of a human.
Are you looking for sunny skies and sandy beaches? There's a gem hiding in plain sight in a spot you might not have thought to look. And the best part: fewer tourists. For now, at least.
After 30 years of independence, the Pelješac Bridge joining Dalmatia, home to the country's most visited city of Dubrovnik, with the rest of the country, finally opened on 26 July.
Abandoned after World War Two and repopulated again in the 1990s, this small village of Holašovice, Czechia, has architecture so remarkable that it made it onto UNESCO World Heritage Site List.
In honor of one of the world's greatest composers, his homeland's confectioners created Mozartkugeln – spherical chocolates and Austria's top souvenir for over a century now.
One restaurant is the oldest. Piwnica Świdnicka in Wrocław opened in 1275. Only slightly younger is Cracow’s Wierzynek, named after Poland's first famous restaurateur.
"I am Bulgarian, not English. I only drink coffee, not tea." Some nine years ago, Jonathan Allen, then British ambassador to Bulgaria, made a statement most Bulgarians easily support. And while Ambassador Allen might have gone back to drinking tea, Bulgaria's relationship with this beverage remains somewhat lukewarm.
If you ever happen to be driving in southern Nebraska, located in the heart of the US midwest, you may come across the town of Wilber. And if you happen to be Czech, you will be greeted twice as warmly. That's because this is the Czech Capital of the USA, the cultural center of the Czech diaspora there.
The blockbuster screen adaptation of the famous "Chronicles of Narnia" was partially set in Poland. The country owes this to an unusual rock formation called the Errant Rocks – part of the Stołowe Mountains (Table Mountains) chain.
Starting as far back as the 15th century, people in Poland and Lithuania would pour vodka into oak barrels and bury them underground for many years. Making Starka, barrel-aged vodka, was connected to the maturing process of their children.
Even today, some would argue that the motivation behind the Roman conquest of Dacia (present-day Romania) was Dacian gold. In reality, the economic goal was salt, Dacia having one of the most bountiful salt resources in the known world. Dacian gold was just a bonus.
Spanning an impressive 249 meters, Ventas Rumba is the widest waterfall on the Old Continent. This width makes up for its relatively modest 2-meter height. Each year on midsummer's eve, the waterfall is the setting for a stark sight - as in a stark naked one - as revelers streak across the nearby bridge in the moonlight.
Hungary's ruling politicians under Soviet rule took inspiration from the country's most famous traditional dish, using it as a model for running its politics. Though the ingredients were different, the methods for combining them had certain similarities.
In 1978, an entire village was evacuated to accommodate what was to become the waste drainage pool for Europe's largest copper mine. Today, only the top of what used to be the local church can be seen peeking out of the infected waters that drowned the city.
The decades-long debate between Poland and Russia over who invented vodka started to turn in Poland's favor when an A-list Hollywood star stepped in to help the old myths to die hard.
It’s always good to know your neighbor. This is almost certainly the case in the village of Hum, Croatia, which boasts fewer than 30 current residents. Besides its tiny size, its other claim to fame is a secret recipe supposedly passed down by Celtic Druids some two thousand years ago.
…and the country knows exactly how to put them to good use. We're taking a deep dive into some of the best thermal spas Slovakia has to offer.
When Francis I of France suffered a stomach disease, a renowned doctor was summoned from Constantinople, soon arriving in Paris in unusual company – a flock of about 40 sheep. The good doctor got to work fermenting the sheep milk and offered it as a remedy. The King made a swift recovery.
The Baltic states are building Rail Baltica - a high-speed railway that will finally connect them to the rest of the EU. It is set to be completed by 2030 and will allow travel across Baltic countries in less than four hours.
Central Europe is, well… central, but different countries claim to be more central than others. This is where you can look for the most central place in Central Europe.
How far would you have to go to find an animal species different to anything you might find on Earth’s surface? If you are a skilled expert on caves and near Romania's Black Sea coast, 200 meters of underground tunnel could be just enough.
Each summer on a day in early July, a small town in Finland attracts visitors from around the world, cheering as husbands clamber over rough terrain with their wives on their backs. Why, you ask? For the ultimate prize: the wife’s weight in beer.
Holiday-seekers in in Central Europe will soon have a new travel option at the ready with the launch of a new train route from Cracow, Poland to Split, Croatia. Sunny beaches, here we come.