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My love affair with Central Europe

(Last Updated On: 31/08/2023)

It’s no secret that Central Europe is probably my favorite part of the world. Every year I do couple of trips around, discovering new areas and cities that until recently I had no idea that even existed. I’m falling in love with places more often than ever, every second city I visit make my heart beat faster. It took me a while to realize that this is where I feel the best during my travels, that I simply fit there.

I think this part of the world deserves a little bit more attention from you and a little praise from me therefore here’s my little tribute to Central Europe.

central europe - lviv

Lviv, Ukraine

It took me years of travels to numerous destinations all over the world only to realize what I enjoy the most, what makes me almost hyperventilate and fall in love. And that’s Central Europe.

While I’m very grateful for a chance to visit so many amazing places in five continents and while I usually liked them a lot, discovering broadly defined Central Europe gives me always the most pleasure. I just love finding and getting to know some less popular places not many have heard of, authentic and still unspoiled by the mass tourism. And Central Europe is full of them!

With my crazy lifestyle where I try to balance full time job and travels and with a perfect base in Warsaw, Poland Central Europe is the easiest place for me to travel to – and I try to take this chance as often as possible!

central europe - zagreb

Zagreb, Croatia

Why I adore Central Europe

When saying Central Europe I usually think of Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia or Bosnia and Herzegovina (Hungary also applies here but I have a problem with the country as I don’t really know it, I was only in Budapest some 10 times so far) – basically a former Habsburg Empire. The common legacy makes these places very much alike, even if they’re now located in different countries hundreds of kilometers apart.

When you look at the architecture of let’s say Zagreb, Brno or Chernivtsi the cities look very similar. But that’s not all: the cafe culture, the vibe, the laid-back atmosphere, multicultural past – it’s all there!

central europe- chernivtsi

Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Visegrad Hostels project

That’s why I was more than happy when my friends from 3Bros’ Hostel in Cieszyn (yet another amazing Central European town) has started Visegrad Hostel project, aiming at promoting the region. We share the affection for this part of the world and we believe that due to the common past this region is very unique and deserves more attention and visitors.

So far the project associates hostels from five cities: Cieszyn (Poland), Olomouc (Czech Republic), Kosice (Slovakia), Pecs and Esztregom (Hungary) under the slogan “Discover the Undiscovered”. While most of the people who visit these four countries focus on Cracow, Prague, Bratislava or Budapest Visegrad Hostels plans to promote less known yet still fascinating destinations. And I keep my fingers crossed for them so much!

central europe - cieszyn

Cieszyn, Poland

Best Facebook group about Central Europe

Couple of months ago I started my project connected to Central Europe (and not only). I founded a Facebook Group dedicated to this part of the world as well as the Balkans and former USSR – you’re more than welcome to join! The group is growing really fast (now at over 6000 members) and connects fellow travelers who want to discover these still less popular countries.

Together with my friend Zofia we keep the group spam free so if you’re looking for any advice about traveling to those off the path destinations or just want to share your interest for the place – this is the best group to be in! I must admit I’m really surprised how well this group is doing and how helpful members are!

central europe - timisoara

Timisoara, Romania

Best places in Central Europe

And so if you’re looking for still undiscovered yet amazing places to visit in Central Europe you should check Cieszyn, Bielsko-Biała, Przemyśl, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Chetnivsti, Kamianets Podilskyi, Timisoara, Brasov, Sibiu, Kosice, Banska Stiavnica, Bardejov, Ostrava, Olomouc, Brno, Graz, Ljubljana, Ptuj, Celje, Maribor,Subotica, Oradea, Zagreb or Sarajevo.

These are only few suggestions as each country hides so many gems I still need to discover. But most of these cities are on my list of favorite destinations and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed too!

central europe - ptuj

Ptuj, Slovenia

Which places did you visit in Central Europe? What’s your favorite part of the world?

love, kami 2

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  • Reply
    Iza Zawadzka
    04/09/2016 at 19:29

    Podpisuję się wszystkimi rękami. P.S. Tegoroczne odkrycie – Maribor.

  • Reply
    Magdalena Broda
    04/09/2016 at 21:08

    ja najbardziej lubię odwiedzać wsie strany bywszego sowietskogo sojuza :D

  • Reply
    Agnieszka Ptaszyńska
    05/09/2016 at 09:08

    cały czas się zastanawiam nad swoim podejściem do środkowej Europy. Ale chyba też lubię. Szczególnie te jeszcze nie do końca odremontowane kamienice i podupadłe rynki, po których widać, że za 10 lat będą błyszczeć jak ta lala

  • Reply
    Filip Tu
    05/09/2016 at 09:56

    Daleki Wschód <3. Choć zastanawiałem się ostatnio w Peru, czy może nie Ameryka Południowa, ale jednak wciąż ta Azja. Tak sobie myślę, to chyba przez tą skrajną odmienność (y)

  • Reply
    Ewa Serwicka
    05/09/2016 at 11:44

    Hmmm jakbym miala wybrac jeden region swiata? Aaaa za trudne pytania zadajesz :P

  • Reply
    Oliwia Papatanasis
    05/09/2016 at 13:19

    Miłość w pełni zrozumiała patrząc na Twoje wpisy :) No i zdjęcia Cieszyna nie mogło zabraknąć, od razu poznałam to skrzyżowanie ;)

    • Reply
      Kami and the rest of the world
      12/09/2016 at 21:03

      no tak, przewidywalna dość jestem… ;)

  • Reply
    Miroslav Hristoff
    06/09/2016 at 12:37

    I’ve always been thinking it’s such a pity Habsburg empire had fallen apart :) When I look at picture from all these places you write about it’s amazing how it is possible to unite so much different culture into one empire.

    • Reply
      13/09/2016 at 21:55

      I know!!! I’ve had similar thoughts too! It’s incredible how similar all these places are, even if they are so far away

  • Reply
    09/09/2016 at 07:39

    Ja mieszkam w Krakowie i to miasto najbardziej lubię. Ale Praga też jest równie piękna i Cieszyn również, chociaż w tym ostatnim nigdy nie byłam :).

    • Reply
      13/09/2016 at 21:57

      to zdecydowanie trzeba do Cieszyna pojechać, tym bardziej że to tak blisko z Krakowa!

  • Reply
    17/09/2016 at 09:03

    So far the only places in Europe I’ve visited are Spain and Russia. I absolutely love Russia, and am hoping to explore Central Europe at some point because it’s more interesting to me than Western Europe. My grandmother was Slovenian, so I’ve always had that country high on my list of places to visit!

    • Reply
      21/09/2016 at 20:18

      Slovenia is amazing, one of the cutest countries out there!! You will love this region, I’m sure of that! I’m just like you, prefer Eastern and Central Europe, West is just so predictable for me. Fingers crossed you will get here soon!

  • Reply
    12/10/2016 at 21:47

    I’ve been mostly in Western Europe, but have been to Ljubljana (SOOO gorgeous, like a movie set), and I’m DYING to go to Croatia! Been on my list for years.

    I just submitted a request for the FB page you mention – I look forward to hearing about everyone’s travel and photos!

    • Reply
      12/10/2016 at 21:48

      And Prague – omg, stunning!

    • Reply
      17/10/2016 at 19:46

      Many cities in Central Europe are like Ljubljana so you definitely should go back to the region to explore more! And I hope you will enjoy the group!

  • Reply
    20/10/2016 at 21:00

    Hi, Kami! We have the same exact taste! Central Europe attracts me like flies to the light :-) My friend, who also follows your blog, told me the same. I’ve been to the balcans last fabruary and realized tha Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the most special places on earth. And like you said, “There’s no other places like Sarajevo”. Definitely not! I also love your country! I got emotional in Cracow as well in Warsaw, but also had a blast there. Later, take a peek in my travel blog ( Unfortunately, it is in portuguese (I’m brazilian), but, just like you, I love posting lotos of pictures.

    Best regards!

    • Reply
      24/10/2016 at 22:06

      Thank you for your nice comment Alessandro! Nice blog you have! Happy travels and I hope you will have a chance to explore more of Central Europe!

  • Reply
    Tom @ Adventurous Travels
    03/03/2017 at 16:29

    I’ve got the same feeling! I love exploring Central/Eastern/Southern Europe – and I believe the best time to do it is now before it gets famous and with so many attractions it will eventually (just like Croatia)…
    My favorite countries are probably Albania and Slovenia – I can’t find right words to describe the natural beauty of the beaches and mountains and also unique, amazing towns. And before I went there, people’s reactions were like “Albania? Are you crazy? Who would go there? Mafia and stuff, why not Spain?” Now, after having been to Spain (including Canaries, Ibiza and Mallorca), I can easily say Spanish beaches don’t even come close to the white sand turquoise ones in Albania that look like in the tropics. Great to see someone has a similar blog, not only about “trendy places”.

    • Reply
      03/03/2017 at 23:18

      The incredible thing about both Slovenia and Albania is that they are such a small country yet they have everything!!! I’ve been to both couple of times and I still have so many places to see there!

  • Reply
    Dejan I.
    24/07/2019 at 13:44

    Hi I’m glad we have the same passion for Central-Europe more exactly the area of ex Austria-Hungary or Habsburg empire. In my opinion after Italy it is the most beautiful part of Europe. Let me tell you about one of my traveling experiences. In summer 2014 I first time visited London and we all now how beautiful is that city. During my trip I really found it nice but still I found nothing was extraordinary. I was traveling back to my home near Subotica (Vojvodina, Serbia) via Osijek (Croatia). It was my first time in that Croatian city and I stayed in a hostel in Tvrđa (Osijek’s old town). When I enter the main square in Tvrđa something magical happened, I felt a magic trill by seeing that idyllic square with gorgeous Austria-Hungarian architecture. Than I realized what I missed in London and where I really belong.

    • Reply
      31/07/2019 at 11:43

      I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one with a passion for this region. And I perfectly understand what you mean :) I love traveling around the world and I find beauty everywhere but it’s Central Europe that makes my heart beat faster :) Thank you for telling me about Osijek, I haven’t been there myself but hopefully I will be able to visit the place soon!

  • Reply
    Sandra Ze
    11/01/2021 at 01:01

    Interesting that your definition (if you can call it that) of central Europe kind of overlaps with the territory of the former Habsburg empire, yet does not include Austria itself. I’m from Austria, and we always consider ourselves central European, alongside many of the countries you mentioned too. It is even in our national anthem! I think that is partially because Austria always bridged the gap between East and West, either by having an empire that spanned all the way to today’s Ukraine, or by being an officially neutral country and acting as a sort of mediator today. Then of course the fact that you mentioned as well, the shared history, architecture, (cafe) culture, the chronically laid-back attitude of Austrians etc. etc.. Austria even incorporated a lot of words from the Slavic languages and Hungarian into Austrian German, which is something that sets our German apart from the other German-speaking countries. We even have a common saying/joke in Austria that the Balkan starts just south-east of Vienna(; No matter the definition though I share your enthusiasm 100%, and your posts about the region are a great inspiration for future trips and spots for photos. On that note, I love your photos, they are amazing!

    • Reply
      12/01/2021 at 08:15

      Thank you for your comment, Sandra. You are right. I guess I left Austria out as in my mind it’s a Western European country (although obviously, it’s Central Europe with the Habsburg legacy and culture) – that’s how we always treated Austria here in Poland, probably because it was behind the Iron Curtain, whereas all the other countries were under the Soviet influence. But you definitely gave me food for thought, thank you for that! And thank you for your kind words about my blog. All the best!

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