The Iron Curtain has long been lifted, and more and more adventurers, travelers, and motorists are discovering the wonders of Eastern Europe.
Those who want to go off the beaten path in Europe (meaning, no tourist traps like Paris or London) will definitely enjoy going on self-drive tours of this amazing region.
Thanks to the decline of communism in the area in the 1990’s, the true beauty of Eastern Europe is starting to shine again—there is plenty to see and experience in this wonderful region. Here are some of the best road trip routes to enjoy in Eastern Europe.
The Vienna Loop
No, this is not an obscure kind of Austrian pastry, but rather, a scenic drive in one of the most important cities in Europe. Vienna can be considered a bit of cheating since it is actually in Central Europe, but you can just use this as your starting point into the actual Eastern Europe. Vienna is a gateway city, and following the path of the River Danube to the Austrian countryside will bring you to the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
The total distance from Vienna, Austria to Cesky Krumlov in the Czech Republic is around 125 gorgeous miles of Old World wonders and breathtaking natural scenery that you will never forget.
The Cologne Route
The name of this route might give you a mental image (and scent!) of perfumed fields all the way, but it actually starts in Cologne, a western German industrial and university city. You can follow a trapezoid-like road circuit that will take you to Berlin (Germany), Krakow (Poland), and Vienna (Austria) before taking you back to your start point.
You get to enjoy the best scenic sights of these three countries—from the postcard perfection of the German and Austrian countryside to the eye-popping wonders of Poland and the Czech Republic.
Moscow to Croatia
The first two routes described here start in the more popular European cities of Cologne and Vienna, but you can also approach your Eastern European road trip from the other end of the continent. You can start your journey by hiring a car in Moscow, Russia, and exploring the wonder-filled landscape of Russia with its amazing structures such as the Kremlin and the Kuskovo.
From the Russian capital, you can head on to Ukraine (although you might want for the recent unrest in the region to end before planning your road trip in this route), Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and Croatia. The landscapes and climate dramatically change throughout the trip—you will start in a rather cold Russia and end in the port and resort town of Dubrovnik along the Croatian Adriatic Coast.
The Northeastern Journey
If you would like to begin in the United Kingdom, then this route is best for you. You can take a ferry to Holland, rent a car there, and drive through Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Belarus. If you are not in a tight itinerary, make sure to drop by Helsinki, Finland after Estonia, and return to the original route once you have finished your Finnish stopover.