Eastern Europe, best and safest places to see? Watch

Chillaxer
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#1
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I'm thinking mainly cities but I guess some country if worth it.
I was looking at the Ukraine, then up to Baltic states, then Czech and Polish areas. I get the impression there is stuff like crime, prostitution, racists etc quite a lot in Czech and Poland. Ukraine may have some too, but I would love to go to Odessa, on the sea, and am curious about Kiev. My impression is that the baltic states would be better, Riga, Tallin etc, in summer of course.
Don;t want to go to Romania, and not sure about Hungary even though Budapest looks beautiful. Not too keen on the Balkans, would only go there for coast and not cities, and Austria is just Germanic. So where is good, friendly people, not thugs, stuff to do, etc.?
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bethdavidson
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I think Eastern Europe has got a bad name for itself via the media and films (Taken, anyone?) From my experience, the vast, vast majority of this part of the continent is extremely friendly and welcoming, plus the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Of course, the tourism industry isn't as established as western Europe so there will be some language barriers etc, BUT if this is not an issue for you then you can pretty much go wherever you like. My personal favourites were Sarajevo, Prague, Krakow and Budapest. I didn't see any crime/prostitution/racism during my time in Eastern Europe and I think it's very rare that you will too.
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thegreenchildren
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I visit Riga regularly and have been to Tallin and Ukraine and I think the most important thing to watch out for is pickpocketing! Also sometimes at local markets, they increase prices once they find out your from the UK (but this can happen anywhere).
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ukstudent1989
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I would visit Tallin, Riga, Moscow, Prague, Warsaw, Budapest, Sochi, St Petersburg, Vienna, and Ljubljana etc.
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standreams
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It's Ukraine (not 'the Ukraine)...Ukrainian English-speakers do not like it when people say 'the Ukraine' (there are valid historical reasons for this dislike).

Kiev is beautiful, I highly recommend it. A Chernobyl tour is also a worthwhile use of time. I don't think the problems you mentioned are any greater in the Czech Republic or Poland than anywhere else in Central/Eastern Europe. The Czech Republic and Poland are both more 'western' than Ukraine but all three countries are easy to travel in. Being able to read Cyrillic and speak some Ukrainian (west) or Russian (east) will help make life a bit easier in Ukraine.
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Dave127
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Do not imagine Eastern Europe as any kind of a "dangerous" place to stay in. Actually i do not see any kind of difference between Eastern and Western European cities in this matter. I have personally been so far to Prague, Vienna and Budapest...you surely can visit all of them in one trip, starting in Prague, taking a bus/train to Vienna and Budapest and from there flying back to Uk. Can be done in a very low-cost kind of way both the airplane and bus tickets
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smithyinthehouse
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Albania is a really nice country believe it or not.
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