Eastern Europe Tour??

Old May 24th, 2009, 10:21 AM
  #1  
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Eastern Europe Tour??

Hi guys! My brothers and I are all in our early twenties and we're interested in traveling around Eastern Europe for 16-17 days sometime in late August or early September. We're interested in visiting Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Romania and were wondering how accessible this region was by train or car?? We have family friends in Dubrovnik and thought that might be a good place to start and then enroute North to Ljubljana we'd stop by Split. We were considering visiting Traglav National Park and the cave systems in northern Slovenia, but someone mentioned that the quickest route to Budapest was via Zagreb so there'd be good deal of back tracking. After Budapest, we were interested in visiting some towns in Transylvania (Cluj-Napoca, Brasov & Bran) enroute to Bucharest which will be our end point. Are hostels reliable in any of these cities or would hotels be a wiser choice?? How widely is English spoken in these cities?? Between the three of us, we have conversational French and Italian covered at least which will help. There don't seem to be any direct flights from the US to Croatia or Slovenia, but we figured we'd fly direct to London and then transfer to Stansted which offers budget flight via Easyjet or Ryanair down to Croatia. We might be totally crazy for attempting this (go ahead and say it haha!), but we've road tripped across the US in as much time with about as many stops on our trip and found it fine. Any feedback would be much appreciated!
classiqueP29 is offline  
Old May 24th, 2009, 11:37 AM
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In Brasov, Romania the young people have some English, but don't expect to find as much outside the cities or among older people. Romanian is easy to learn if you have a background in Italian. Cold Mountain was filmed in the area around Brasov and it's very scenic. You'll find good food at reasonable prices and quite a few hotels from which to choose. I can't recommend a specific one as I rented an apartment there. Brasov has regular train service and cheap taxis. The bus/trolley system is old and can be crowded and sometimes unreliable. There is a large farmer's market, modern grocery and department stores and many smaller shops. The resort above the town Poiana Brasov offers good skiing in season and boating, hiking and other activities in the summer.
Bucharest is not my favorite European city. You'll probably find lots of other places you'll enjoy more.
Budapest is a large city and there is lots of good information available online. It is beautiful.
If you have more specific questions as you plan your trip, post again. Have fun!
saige is offline  
Old May 24th, 2009, 01:15 PM
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Tip: If you click on "view by country" at the top of this page, you'll be able to view lots of threads with great information for each country you plan to visit.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 01:29 PM
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Probably best to take the ferry (http://www.jadrolinija.hr/default.aspx?lang=2) north from Dubrovnik - pick an island for at least an overnight on the way to Split. For train schedules see bahn.de. Romania is likely best by car.

Don't worry about the language - I'm hopeless at anything but French and did fine in Eastern Europe. Rather than hostels you might try sobe - rooms in private houses. See the Lonely Planet guides for web addresses of agencies.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 03:20 AM
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Traveling in Slovenia, Croatia is easy. Nice roads, nice people, almost everyone under 40 speak English. Lots to do and see. I'm from Slovenia and your idea for Easyjet is the best , very cheap if you book months in advance. Triglav National Park is very beautiful, visit Skocjan Caves-more beautiful then Postojna Caves and less tourists. You can find lots of hostels in Slovenia(Bled, Ljubljana) or even cheap rooms in Gostilna(inn in Slovene).They have also cheap and good food and you will meet local people.Slovenia is very safe country, almost no crime. On the road you must be carefull as Slovenes drives quickly.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 04:58 PM
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Brasov is easy to navigate and we found the busses quite easy to use. There is a tourist information outside the train station where you can get a lot of information. We also bought a map of the city with all of the bus routes on it. We found lots of people who spoke English throughout the country, and all were happy to help us. I would just ask questions until I found someone who could help.

There are great regional busses throughout Romania - we traveled from Barlad to Brasov and from Brasov to Bran (jumped in a random van for the return trip) and Brasov to Sinaia by bus. The Bran bus leaves from a secondary station a mile or so west of the main train terminal, while many of the regional busses leave from the train station (right side as you face the station). We also took the train from Sinaia to Bucharest, about 2.5 hours I believe.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 05:02 AM
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bookmarking, thanks.
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